With a 3-4 week, the IronPigs lost their hold on first place, and teams are gaining on them in the wild card. The Gwinnett Braves are just two games back, and the IronPigs will have to earn their spot over the final games of the season. The offense averaged just under four runs per game over the past week which isn’t surprising considering the sudden release of Jack Cust plus the promotion of Pete Orr to the Phillies. Despite Michael Schwimer being added to the major league bullpen, Lehigh Valley’s has continued to do well with Justin De Fratus and Phillippe Aumont posting solid weeks and Ryan Feierabend transitioning nicely into a relief role.
Reading Phillies (67-65, T-2nd in EL East)
Reading is now tied for the final playoff spot in the Eastern League, not with Trenton (Yankees) who they’ve been competing with all season, but with New Britain (Minnesota). The Rock Cats have gone 12-5 over the past two weeks, and despite a series loss to Reading earlier this week, are now tied with the Phillies for 2nd in the division. The Phillies went 4-3 this week which is nice, but two of those losses came against Portland (Boston), the worst team in the league. For whatever reason, they’re 2-4 against the Sea Dogs this month, and they can’t afford to lose more games against bottom feeders if they want to make the playoffs. With two more great starts this week, Tyler Cloyd is making a case to be Reading’s most consistent starter, not Austin Hyatt.
Clearwater Threshers (31-28, 3rd in FSL North)
Clearwater went 4-2 this week, but it won’t mean anything if the Dunedin Blue Jays don’t start losing. They’ve won consecutive series, but they didn’t gain any ground in the division. At 3.5 games back, there’s still time to come back, especially with one more head to head series. The pitching was strong overall even though Trevor May had his worst start in a month. Brody Colvin continued to struggle, but Jonathan Pettibone and Julio Rodriguez each made great starts. With Sebastian Valle in a serious slump, other hitters have had to step up, and that’s happened. Cesar Hernandez has worked to to turn around his disappointing season, and Brandon Tripp has proved to be a good addition in the outfield.
Lakewood BlueClaws (33-27, 3rd in SAL North)
With a strong 5-1 week, Lakewood got out of the weeds and into legitimate contention. They’re just two games behind the two teams tied for the division lead now, Hickory (Texas) and Kannapolis (White Sox). With four games against Hickory on Monday and Tuesday, it’s safe to say those could be the biggest days of Lakewood’s season. Their pitching was strong this week, only allowing 11 runs. Only five of those runs were allowed by the starters, which included Lendy Castillo making a spot start out of the bullpen. With Garett Claypool placed on the DL, Castillo will have to fill the shoes of one of Lakewood’s best starters. 2011 draft pick Drew Hillman homered in his first game with the BlueClaws but hasn’t done much since.
Williamsport Crosscutters (38-29, 2nd in NYPL Pinckney)
The Crosscutters struggled through a 3-5 week, something they can’t afford in the tight New York Penn League playoff races. Division leader Auburn (Washington) is 8-2 in their last 10 and created some separation, and they also fell to second in the wild card, .5 games behind Brooklyn (Mets), a position identical to last season. The big blow this week was a four game sweep at the hands of Batavia (St. Louis). All four games were one run losses, but they just couldn’t come through. Maikel Franco being reassigned from Lakewood is a nice boost to the slumping offense, and with the GCL season ending, Williamsport could receive reinforcements from below.
GCL Phillies (27-32, T-4th in GCL North)
The GCL Phillies wrapped up their season on Saturday. They ended on a bit of a nice note, winning two in a row against the GCL Blue Jays to tie them in the division. The season started off well with the team competing for a playoff spot and maybe a chance to defend their championship, but they probably finished at the appropriate spot in the standings according to their talent level. Their pitching was the worst in the league with an ERA near 5.00 and a WHIP over 1.50, much worse than the league average. Their run scoring was also below average, but their team OPS was slightly above, so 27-32 is a fair result. Brian Pointer and Tyler Greene probably garner the most interest moving forward in the system.
Brent Clevlen, Reading- 8/27, 8 R, 2 2B, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 5 BB, 9 K, 1/2 SB- Clevlen has continued to be a reliable producer in the middle of Reading’s lineup.
Matt Rizzotti, Reading- 11/27, 2 R, 1 2B, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 3 BB, 7 K- It’s been a good week for Rizzotti, but all of his rate stats are down compared to 2010.
Cesar Hernandez, Clearwater- 12/22, 6 R, 1 3B, 2 RBI, 0 BB, 5 K, 4/5 SB- His overall season has been a disappointment, but he’s been hot in the second half of August.
Brandon Tripp, Clearwater- 9/26, 3 R, 3 2B, 1 HR, 7 RBI, 0 BB, 8 K- Tripp hit pretty well in AA with Florida last year, but he finds himself back in the FSL with the Phillies.
Chris Duffy, GCL- 9/18, 3 R, 3 2B, 2 HR, 4 RBI, 1 BB, 4 K- There’s no reason for a 23 year old to be repeating the GCL, but Duffy is still in the organization and hitting.
Justin De Fratus, Lehigh Valley- 0-0, 3 SV, 4 IP, 2 H, 0 BB, 8 K- De Fratus has had ups and downs with Lehigh Valley, but he could certainly get a look with the Phillies in a couple weeks.
Tyler Cloyd, Reading- 1-0, 14 IP, 13 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 17 K- This righty relies on command and control more than stuff, but statistically this has been a great year for him.
Jacob Diekman, Reading- 0-0, 5 IP, 1 H, 2 BB, 6 K- He needs to improve his command, but he may have a future as a LOOGY with a BAA under .100 against lefties.
Julio Rodriguez, Clearwater- 1-0, 7 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 8 K- Over his last 10 starts, Rodriguez has an ERA under 2.00 and a WHIP under 1.00.
Adam Morgan, Williamsport- 1-1, 11 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 4 BB, 7 K- Morgan has had a solid start to his pro career and could probably hold his own in Lakewood.
Derrick Mitchell, Reading-1/21, 1 R, 0 XBH, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 8 K, 1/3 SB- Mitchell’s batting average and slugging are way down in a disappointing second half.
Sebastian Valle, Clearwater- 2/16, 1 R, 0 XBH, 0 RBI, 0 BB, 6 K- Valle’s average is up 30 points this year, but his OBP is only up 15 and his SLG is down 30 points.
Edgar Duran, Lakewood- 3/15, 1 R, 0 XBH, 0 RBI, 0 BB, 2 K, 1/2 SB- Duran hit .200 this week but is still hitting under .100 over his last 10 games.
Cody Asche, Williamsport- 3/20, 0 R, 0 XBH, 2 RBI, 1 BB, 4 K- The New York Penn League is a league where accomplished college players should flourish, and Asche hasn’t.
Kenny Miramontes, Williamsport- 0/9, 1 R, 0 XBH, 0 RBI, 1 BB, 3 K- Undrafted infielder was earning more at bats earlier in the season and is now losing them.
Scott Mathieson, Lehigh Valley- 0-0, 3.2 IP, 4 H, 4 ER, 6 BB, 3 K- He’ll probably still get called up in September, but Mathieson has had no control lately.
Brody Colvin, Clearwater- 0-1, 11 IP, 14 H, 10 ER, 5 BB, 5 K- A return to Clearwater probably isn’t out of the question for Colvin next season.
Juary Gomez, Williamsport- 0-1, 3.2 IP, 7 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 4 K- Gomez has had a good year overall, but he’s gotten into another slump at the end of games for Williamsport.
Colin Kleven, Williamsport- 0-1, 3 IP, 8 H, 5 ER, 2 BB, 1 K- Kleven has more walks than strikeouts over his last three starts and has a bad ratio over the course of the entire season.
Jorge Serrano, GCL- 0-0, .2 IP, 0 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 0 K- Serrano pitched sparingly with an ERA over 9.00 this year, but he doesn’t turn 18 until next month.
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