Lehigh Valley IronPigs (47-34, 1st in IL North)
It was announed earlier in the week that catcher Erik Kratz and relievers Michael Schwimer and Mike Zagurski made the International League All-Star Game. If you can stomach three hours of Kevin Millar, the game will be broadcast on MLB Network on July 13th at 7 PM. The IronPigs wrapped up a 4-3 week with a 2-0 shutout ofBuffalo (Mets) to earn a series split. The Lehigh Valley pitching staff allowed just over 3 runs per game this week despite a depleted rotation due to the departures ofBrian Gordon, Vance Worley and Scott Mathieson and the injury to Eddie Bonine.
Reading Phillies (40-40, 4th in EL East)
The Reading Phillies also went 4-3 the past week. After being swept by Akron (Cleveland), the Phillies came back and swept Altoona (Pittsburgh). The shortage of starters in AAA has trickled down to Reading where they’re relying on three pitchers who began the season as relievers in the rotation in B.J. Rosenberg, Tyler Cloydand Joe Esposito. After losing Justin De Fratus and Phillippe Aumont to promotion, they need help piecing together a bullpen as well. Justin Friend has helped with that as he tries to have AA success for the first time in his career. One interesting note is that Joe Savery seems to be settling into a two way role as a DH and reliever.
Clearwater Threshers (3-6, 6th in FSL North)
After a strong first half, the Threshers came out of the All-Star Break poorly. They just finished a 2-5 week where they neither pitched nor hit well. They scored just 15 runs while allowing over four per game. The starting staff has just been ordinary as of late, and the Phillies expect more from a rotation that has five of their best pitching prospects. With Sebastian Valle in a slump and Leandro Castro on the DL, a lineup that was previously deep hasn’t been. Due to the promotions of Justin Friend andTyler Cloyd, with the exceptions of Ebelin Lugo and Eric Pettis, the bullpen is now almost all independent league signings.
Lakewood BlueClaws (4-5, 7th in SAL North)
The BlueClaws started the week with a doubleheader sweep against Delmarva (Baltimore) and then beating them again the next day, but they only managed to go 1-4 after that. Their offense went back into a slump with only 27 runs in the eight games. Due to the doubleheader and no off day, Lendy Castillo, a former infielder, made his first start of the season, but he only recorded two outs before being taken out of the game. Travis Mattair has continued his return with Lakewood, and after getting off to a rough start with Lakewood, had three multi hit game in the past week and could be on his way to turning his season around.
Williamsport Crosscutters (8-7, T-3rd in NYPL Pinckney)
After a bit of a rough start to the season, the Crosscutters went 5-2 last week to get back over .500. Williamsport is 5th in the league in runs despite being tied for 2nd to last in home runs. After slow starts after signing, Harold Martinez and Cody Asche are starting to turn it around, but the Phillies are expecting more power from both of them. On the 27th, Auburn (Washington) got off to a 12 run lead against Williamsport starter Leonel Bastidas and a couple relievers, the Crosscutters scored six in the 9th to make it a slightly more respectable 13-8 final. Williamsport has already used seven different pitchers to start a game.
GCL Phillies (7-3, 1st in GCL North)
The GCL plays at least 95% of their games in the afternoon, and the volatile Florida weather means that there are a lot of postponements and doubleheaders. The Phillies only played five games during the week due to two postponements. Due to the size of the roster, a lot of times it’s tough for players to get in the lineup consistently. The Phillies have nice depth with some young players and GCL veterans, and that’s shown so far with an offense that’s one of the best in the league. So far, Ethan Stewartand Ramon Oviedo have led the rotation. James Birmingham has done a good job as the team’s closer so far, and with 8 K in 5 IP, this undrafted free agent should probably pitch at a higher level.
Niuman Romero, Reading– 8/21, 4 R, 2 2B, 3 RBI, 3 BB, 4 K, 1/1 SB- Recently, I called Romero the minor league Michael Martinez. For one week, he was much better than that.
Jonathan Singleton, Clearwater– 8/23, 3 R, 1 2B, 3 RBI, 6 BB, 5 K- Singleton has been incredibly streaky, but he posted a .958 OPS in June.
Maikel Franco, Williamsport– 10/26, 2 R, 2 2B, 4 RBI, 3 BB, 7 K- Bill Conlin was being a bit ridiculous ranking him as the team’s 3rd best prospect, but he is worth paying attention to.
Peter Lavin, GCL– 7/16, 8 R, 2 2B, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 2 BB, 2 K- This 23 year old should probably be in Williamsport, but the OF logjam there has him getting at bats in the Gulf Coast League.
Brian Pointer, GCL– 6/17, 2 R, 2 2B, 1 3B, 7 RBI, 2 BB, 3 K, 2/2 SB- Pointer was a surprise late sign last draft, and this athletic outfielder has had a good start to 2011.
Brian Bass, Lehigh Valley– 0-0, 13 IP, 12 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 6 K- With Lehigh Valley’s rotation in flux, Bass has given them a lot of decent innings this season.
Jason Grilli, Lehigh Valley– 0-0, 1 SV, 3.1 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 5 K- After missing a month due to an injury, this major league veteran is having a solid season with the IronPigs.
Lisalberto Bonilla, Lakewood– 0-0, 12 IP, 10 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 12 K- Statistically, Bonilla was much better as a reliever this year, but he hasn’t been bad in the rotation either.
Chase Johnson, Lakewood– 1-1, 7 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 9 K- Johnson has a career K/9 over 9, and this season he’s cut down on his walks significantly.
Dane Sardinha, Lehigh Valley– 0/10, 0 R, 0 XBH, 0 RBI, 2 BB, 5 K- Popular whipping boy among fans hasn’t been good in the minors this season either.
Terry Evans, Reading– 2/15, 2 R, 1 2B, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 0 BB, 0 BB, 5 K- Veteran minor league free agent pickup to provide depth hasn’t been good for Reading so far.
Brian Gump, Clearwater– 2/18, 1 R, 1 2B, 0 RBI, 1 BB, 11 K, 0/1 SB- With Leandro Castro out with an injury, Gump has had to step in and has not been good at all.
Troy Hanzawa, Clearwater– 1/18, 0 R, 0 XBH, 0 RBI, 0 BB, 6 K- Hanzawa’s monthly high in OPS was in June at .605, but it wasn’t because of how he finished the month.
Sebastian Valle, Clearwater– 3/21, 2 R, 1 2B, 2 RBI, 1 BB, 6 K- Valle hit .356 in June, but he showed no power and didn’t hit any home runs.
Tyson Brummett, Lehigh Valley– 0-2, 10.2 IP, 14 H, 9 ER, 2 BB, 6 K- Brummett probably shouldn’t be in AAA, but he finds himself in their rotation anyway.
B.J. Rosenberg, Reading– 0-1, 5.1 IP, 11 H, 11 ER, 4 BB, 1 K- At this point, it’s clear that the Rosenberg in the rotation experiment probably isn’t working.
Tyler Knigge, Lakewood– 0-1, 2.1 IP, 2 H, 2 ER, 5 BB, 1 K- Knigge has a lot of strikeouts, but his stats have been getting progressively worse month to month.
Leonel Bastidas, Williamsport– 0-1, 1.2 IP, 8 H, 7 ER, 1 BB, 0 K- Bastidas made consecutive starts allowing seven earned runs and could soon be out of the rotation.
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