Jul 162011
 

Lehigh Valley Ironpigs logoSunday I’ll be at the Reading Phillies game with my valuable press pass.  I’m pretty fortunate that Lidge and Victorino will be rehabbing with them tomorrow.

Lehigh Valley IronPigs (55-38, 1st in IL North)

Erik Kratz, Michael Schwimerand Mike Zagurski represented the IronPigs in the AAA All-Star Game on Wednesday, and the two relievers each recorded two outs without allowing a baserunner.  The IronPigs went 4-1 in regular games, all against Syracuse (Washington), and that included a doubleheader split the day after the All-Star Game.  The IronPigs’ rotation received some reinforcements in the rotation this week with Vance Worley making a spot start and Scott Mathieson replacing him in the next turn in the rotation.  Lehigh Valley got hit by the injury bug this week with Jeff Larish’s season ending due to a leg fracture, and Phillippe Aumont being placed on the DL with a shoulder issue.

Reading Phillies (47-45, 4th in EL East)

Reading continued to tread water with a 3-2 week broken up by the Eastern League All-Star Game.  Before the break, they swept Trenton (Yankees), but they’re 0-2 against Trenton coming out of the break.  They remain just three games behind the Thunder for their division’s second playoff spot, and it’ll be a four team race for those two spots for the rest of the season.  Joe Savery did not spend much time in Reading, and after a few recent scoreless appearances, he was promoted to Lehigh Valley.  Brad Lidge continued his rehab with Reading, but on Thursday he had bad command.

Clearwater Threshers (9-12, 5th in FSL North)

Two Threshers got exposure on the national stage on Sunday in the Futures Game at Arizona when Jarred Cosart represented team USA and Sebastian Valle represented the World team.  Many analysts considered Cosart to be the second best performer on the field, and Valle hit a double.  Cosart wasn’t at all sharp in his return to Clearwater though in relief of the rehabbing Ryan Madson.  Jiwan James has been on fire in July with an OBP over .500 and an OPS approaching 1.000, but the Threshers have gotten little to no production out of their outfield besides him.  With scouts flocking to Clearwater before the trading deadline, now is the time for their prospects to perform to their expectations.

Lakewood BlueClaws (12-10, 5th in SAL North)

With a 3-4 week that included splitting a doubleheader with Kannapolis (White Sox), the BlueClaws slipped from first to fifth in the tight North division, but they’re still only two games back.  The rotation had a pretty rough week besides Jesse Biddle, who made consecutive starts as good as any in his brief career so far.  The rest of the rotation combined to allow 14 earned runs in 24.1 IP, and the bullpen didn’t fare much better this week.  Brad Lidge continued his rehab with Lakewood before moving onto Reading, and Friday’s game was of interest to local fans when Germantown Friends product Jesse Biddle got the best of Germantown Academy product Sean Coyle, striking him out twice.

Williamsport Crosscutters (14-14, 5th in NYPL Pinckney)

The Crosscutters enjoyed their first day off on the season on Tuesday, and they managed a 4-2 week with series wins against Mahoning Valley (Cleveland) and Lowell (Boston). One draft signing, or in this case, non-signing that will affect the team involved 6th rounder Zach Wright, catcher from ECU.  The Phillies announced that they’d be walking away from negotiations and will not sign him.  Maybe it’s just posturing, but it’s a weird situation that I don’t remember seeing before.  Cody Asche and Taylor Black each hit their first professional home runs this week, and Harold Martinez continues to improve after a slow start to his career.

GCL Phillies (13-10, 3rd in GCL North)

The GCL Phillies lost their division lead this week by going 2-4. They’ve split every two game series dating back to June 28th, and that’s allowed the GCL Pirates and GCL Yankees to get in front. On Friday, they suffered their worst loss of the season, defeated 17-5 by the GCL Braves. That’s 15% of the runs the team has allowed the entire season. Jonathan Musser allowed seven runs in five innings, and Yacksel Rios and Craig Fritsch allowed seven more in a combined .2 IP. They scored just over three runs per game which isn’t good enough to win most games, even in the GCL. The roster combined for four home runs in six games.

Hot

Rich Thompson, Lehigh Valley-10/18, 5 R, 2 2B, 3 3B, 3 RBI, 1 BB, 2 K- Thompson has five triples on the season and four of them have come since July 8th.

Erik Kratz, Lehigh Valley- 8/16, 4 R, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 0 BB, 6 K- Kratz has been a consistent performer all year at Lehigh Valley and was chosen for last week’s AAA All-Star Game.

Darin Ruf, Clearwater- 6/17, 1 R, 2 2B, 2 RBI, 6 BB, 4 K- It’s just 24 games, but Ruf’s second half OPS (.992) is 168 points higher than his first half OPS.

Travis Mattair, Lakewood- 8/23, 5 R, 2 2B, 1 HR, 5 RBI, 0 BB, 5 K- Only two points separate Mattair’s OPS at Clearwater and Lakewood this year, but his BABIP is over 100 points higher with the BlueClaws.

Kelly Dugan, Williamsport- 8/24, 4 R, 1 HR, 6 RBI, 1 BB, 4 K, 2/2 SB- After making some adjustments with the hitting coach, Dugan has a .824 OPS in July.

Jason Grilli, Lehigh Valley- 0-0, 3 SV, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 3 K- Grilli’s ERA on the season is now under 2.00 with three straight scoreless appearances.

Joe Savery, Lehigh Valley- 1/2, 0 R, 0 XBH, 1 RBI, 0 BB, 1 K, 2-0, 5 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 8 K- I don’t know if he’s regaining his ML future, but it sure is interesting to follow.

Brody Colvin, Clearwater- 1-0, 8 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 9 K- Colvin hasn’t really gotten going this season, but he has 14 K and 1 ER over his last two starts, 14 IP.

Trevor May, Clearwater- 1-0, 13 IP, 8 H, 3 ER, 3 BB, 19 K- May’s BB/9 continues to shrink as he nears a promotion to Reading before the end of the season.

Jesse Biddle, Lakewood- 2-0, 13 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 4 BB, 16 K- Like Brody Colvin last year, Biddle had a rough April but will finish his first full pro season on fire.

Cold

Michael Dabbs, Clearwater-1/12, 0 R, 0 XBH, 0 RBI, 0 BB, 3 K, 0/1 SB- With only four on the season, Dabbs now has fewer walks than Sebastian Valle, albeit in fewer plate appearances.

Carlos Alonso, Lakewood- 2/13, 0 R, 0 XBH, 0 RBI, 0 BB, 2 K- Alonso was promoted to Lakewood’s bench after starting his second year in Williamsport and isn’t off to a good start.

Jeff Lanning, Lakewood- 0/8, 0 R, 0 XBH, 0 RBI, 0 BB, 3 K- Lanning is having a good season as Lakewood’s backup, but his July OPS is just .167 in limited at bats.

Jorge Miranda, GCL- 0/8, 0 R, 0 XBH, 0 RBI, 0 BB, 1 K- With an OPS of .258 so far this season, Miranda is not proving he deserves more at bats in a crowded GCL outfield.

Bernardo Solarte, GCL- 1/13, 1 R, 0 XBH, 2 RBI, 1 BB, 3 K- Solarte’s July OPS is 300 points lower than his June OPS, and unfortunately that wasn’t over 1.000 in June.

Nate Bump, Lehigh Valley- 0-0, 4 IP, 8 H, 3 ER, 0 BB, 2 K- Despite throwing 30.2 fewer innings than last season so far, Bump has only allowed 12 fewer hits with the IronPigs.

J.C. Ramirez, Reading- 0-1, 3.2 IP, 9 H, 7 ER, 2 BB, 3 K- It was only one start, but Ramirez’s ERA rose over half a run after his second half debut against Trenton.

Ebelin Lugo, Clearwater- 0-0, 1.2 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 0 BB, 1 K- After posting a 1.91 ERA last year with Lakewood, Lugo has pitched himself off the relief prospect map this season.

Eric Pettis, Clearwater- 0-2, 1 SV, 1.2 IP, 6 H, 7 ER, 2 BB, 1 K- Prior to this week, Pettis had only allowed 6 earned runs on the season in 45.2 IP.

Yacksel Rios, GCL- 0-0, 1.1 IP, 2 H, 4 ER, 6 BB, 1 K- The first professional player named Yacksel ever may need to cut down on the 40.5 BB/9 if he wants to make it as a professional pitcher.

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Scott Grauer writes for PSC and Bus Leagues Baseball – check him out!  Scott also regularly updates the PSC Minor League Thread with player stats, game results, and more…

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