Lehigh Valley IronPigs (51-37, 1st in IL North)
Lehigh Valley is enjoying by far their best season in franchise history despite ML injuries consistently depleting their roster. One major lowlightduring the week was being no hit by Rochester (Minnesota), but overall they were 4-3 partly because they swept Rochester in a two game series just days before the no hitter. They will temporarily be rejoined by Vance Worley who the Phillies demoted just before the All-Star break, and he’ll provide relief to a patchwork rotation that’s down to three starters with double digit AAA starts this season.
With John Mayberry back in Philadelphia, veteran outfielders Brandon Moss and Rich Thompson look to fill in the production void.
Reading Phillies (44-43, 4th in EL East)
Reading went 4-3 this week to keep pace in a division that has four teams in contention. After winning a home series against Richmond (San Francisco), the Phillies lost a 17-12 slugfest to Bowie (Baltimore), and it appeared their offense was returning to form from the first two months of the year.
However, they only scored seven runs in the final three games of the series and lost a 1-0 game on Thursday. Joe Savery continued working in his two-way role of DHing in most games and relieving in two as he revives a depleted bullpen with Josh Zeid. J.C. Ramirez has improved on his strikeout rate in every month and needs to continue to do so.
Clearwater Threshers (6-8, 5th in FSL North)
One downside of the playoff system many minor leagues use (first and second half standings are separate with the winner in each half making the playoffs) is a team can have a better overall season than another but miss out on the playoffs for not being dominant in a half. Clearwater could experience that if their subpar second half continues. They went 3-2 this week and lost two games to postponement. They averaged nearly seven runs per game thanks to two 11 run games, and the first base tandem of Jonathan Singleton and Darin Ruf contributed to that. Jonathan Pettibone bounced back and didn’t allow an earned run in eight innings in his start.
Lakewood BlueClaws (9-6, T-1st in SAL North)
On the flipside, Lakewood has the opportunity to put their average first half behind them and get back into playoff contention immediately. Improved pitching has helped them to their solid second half start, averaging a few run per game allowed compared to their season average. Garett Claypool and Lisalberto Bonilla have dominated all year, and *Jesse Biddle* has improved since his rough start. After missing some time at the beginning of July, Zach Collier returned to the lineup and continued to make strides back onto the prospect map. Anthony Hewitt has been as inconsistent as ever.
Williamsport Crosscutters (10-12, 5th in NYPL Pinckney)
The Crosscutters dropped in the standings after an unimpressive 2-5 week.
They went 1-3 in a series with Jamestown (Washington) which saw them score 10 in their win and only three in the rest of the series combined. Like their parent club, Williamsport is mediocre offensively and below average in the power categories. Third rounder *Adam Morgan* made his pro debut on the 7th, replacing struggling starter *Leonel Bastidas* who went on the DL.
Fellow 2011 college draftee *Austin Wright* continued to dominate, and if Lakewood needs a starter for a playoff push, he could be promoted at any time.
GCL Phillies (11-6, 1st in GCL North)
Due to a Saturday doubleheader, the GCL Phillies had a rare week with seven games. They went 4-3 on the week and maintained their division lead despite only alternating wins and losses since late June. They scored 34 runs during the week, half of which came in a two game series against the GCLYankees (9-8 loss and 9-5 win). According to the box score, Yacksel Rios, drafted as a pitcher from Puerto Rican, made his pro debut as a shortstop. After nearly three weeks off, Nerio Rios returned to game action but only got one at bat before being removed from the game.
Brandon Moss, Lehigh Valley – 6/23, 7 R, 2 HR, 3 RBI, 7 BB, 5 K, 0/1 SB- He may never be a major league regular again, but he’s walking and hitting for power again like he did as a prospect.
Matt Rizzotti, Reading – 11/29, 6 R, 1 2B, 2 HR, 5 RBI, 0 BB, 10 K- It wouldn’t be surprising at all if he was no longer in the organization on August 1st.
Steve Susdorf, Reading– 12/26, 7 R, 4 2B, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 1 BB, 4 K- He doesn’t hit for much power, but Susdorf is nearly a .300 career minor league hitter.
Darin Ruf, Clearwater – 13/21, 5 R, 3 2B, 1 HR, 7 RBI, 1 BB, 2 K- Like Rizzotti, Ruf is one level lower than he probably should be due to a surplus at the position in the organization.
Travis Mattair, Lakewood – 9/23, 3 R, 2 2B, 1 HR, 6 RBI, 3 BB, 4 K- Mattairhas a July OPS over 1.000 after an awful start with Lakewood in his return from the DL.
Michael Schwimer, Lehigh Valley – 0-0, 2 SV, 4 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 6 K- Huge reliever has proven himself at each level and is knocking on the door of the big leagues.
J.C. Ramirez, Reading – 1-1, 14 IP, 6 H, 4 ER, 3 BB, 15 K- Ramirez won the start where he allowed four runs in six innings and lost the one he allowed an unearned run in eight innings.
Josh Zeid, Reading – 0-0, 1 SV, 6 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 9 K- After getting pounded as a starter with Reading this year, Zeid moved to the bullpen and began dominating.
Lisalberto Bonilla, Lakewood – 0-0, 9 IP, 6 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 12 K- Bonilla is pitching himself onto the prospect radar with great stats in addition to a 90-92 MPH fastball and plus changeup.
Mike Nesseth, Williamsport – 0-0, 11 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, 4 BB, 4 K- Nessethstruck out a lot of batters in college, but that hasn’t happened in his pro debut season yet.
Jeremy Barfield, Lehigh Valley – 3/24, 0 R, 1 2B, 2 RBI, 0 BB, 4 K- Barfield’s May and June were fine, but his April was bad, and July is not looking promising at the moment.
Jeff Larish, Lehigh Valley – 1/17, 0 R, 0 XBH, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 11 K- Larish is incredibly streaky, and it’s safe to say he’s in a bit of a slump with a .212 OPS in July.
Terry Evans, Reading – 1/13, 1 R, 1 2B, 0 HR, 0 RBI, 0 BB, 5 K- Evans has just a .519 OPS with Reading, and he’ll likely continue to lose at bats with absolutely no production.
Freddy Galvis, Reading – 4/24, 4 R, 1 2B, 1 3B, 0 HR, 0 RBI, 1 BB, 7 K, 2/3 SB- Galvis has made strides this year, but this week he was back to hitting the way he did every other year.
Michael Dabbs, Clearwater – 1/13, 1 R, 0 XBH, 1 RBI, 0 BB, 1 K- Dabbshasn’t had a good transition to Clearwater, and D’Arby Myers will probably get some of his at bats.
Tim Redding, Lehigh Valley – 0-1, 5 IP, 10 H, 4 ER, 1 BB, 3 K- Redding is probably running out of chances in the US if he continues to pitch poorly.
Jordan Ellis, Reading – 0-0, 1 IP, 3 H, 5 ER, 2 BB, 0 K- Ellis landed on the DL after his most recent poor outing. Ellis has struggled in AA all season.
David Buchanan, Lakewood – Buchanan’s ERA has risen each month of the season and is approaching 4.00 for the overall year.
Gabriel Arias, Williamsport – 0-0, 0 SV, 2 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 1 K- Arias had his first bad week of the season with these two appearances, and that was the first run he allowed.
Josh Warner, GCL – 0-1, 9 IP, 17 H, 9 ER, 2 BB, 8 K- Warner’s opponents’ batting average has been well over .300 in three of his four starts so far this season.
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