Lehigh Valley IronPigs (29-18, 1st in IL North)
Despite being swept in a doubleheader and being outscored 13-3 by the Gwinnett Braves on Tuesday, Lehigh Valley had another very good week by winning the rest of their games. Jose Contreras made a final rehab appearance before rejoining the Phillies about a month after he went on the DL, and Pete Orr joined the club after Chase Utley’s return. Finding playing time for veteran infielders Orr, Jeremy Barfield, Ronnie Belliard and Brian Bocock could be a challenge for Ryne Sandberg, especially if one of the players on a minor league contract has an opt out clause available.
Reading Phillies (24-22, 4th in EL East)
Reading is on a five game losing streak largely due to a sweep at the hands of the Trenton Thunder (Yankees). Their pitching had been decent until Friday when Josh Zeid and Chris Kissock combined to allow 11 runs in a five inning, fog shortened game at Erie (Detroit). Their offense, which has been at the top of the league the entire year, is averaging only three runs per game during the losing streak, and their struggles can be traced back to Matt Rizzotti’s current slump. The team did get some good news recently as Tyson Gillies could return to the field very soon. He’s participating in simulated games and could see some extended spring training action soon.
Clearwater Threshers (30-18, 2nd in FSL North)
Yesterday, it was noted by Baseball America that Clearwater has a top 10 record in minor league baseball, but unfortunately for the Threshers the Daytona Cubs are #1, and that’s why they’re left 6.5 games back. Their week was highlighted by a 23 inning loss at Jupiter (Florida) that featured two position players pitching. The Threshers lost by an identical 2-1 score the next night, but they rebounded with a 5-1 final on Wednesday to split the series. In two straight games, Jonathan Singleton and Joe Savery have swapped positions. It’s just speculation, but I wonder if they’re preparing Savery for a promotion to Reading where flexibility can keep him in the lineup.
Lakewood BlueClaws (24-23, 6th in SAL North)
The BlueClaws completed a 5-1 week with a shutout win over Greensboro (Florida) on Friday. Unfortunately for Lakewood, that only leaves them in 6th place in a tightly packed North division where last place is only two games under .500. Their offense averaged nearly six runs per game over the past week, led by streaking 2008 first round picks, Anthony Hewitt and Zach Collier. At this point, they’re probably still major league long shots yet still worth keeping an eye on. On Monday, Phillies’ first round pick Jesse Biddle defeated #2 overall pick Jameson Taillon of the Pittsburgh organization, although neither pitched particularly well.
Cody Overbeck, Reading: 7/20, 5 R, 1 2B, 2 HR, 4 RBI, 3 BB, 2 K, 0/1 SB- Right handed minor league slugger has been playing LF to try to increase flexibility.
Darin Ruf, Clearwater: 9/27, 3 R, 3 2B, 4 RBI, 4 BB, 3 K, 2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K- It was a memorable 23 inning game for Ruf who had two hits and two innings on the mound despite never even pitching in college.
Zach Collier, Lakewood: 10/19, 5 R, 2 2B, 3 RBI, 2 BB, 2 K, 3/4 SB- After a wrist injury kept him out for all of 2010 and a slow start to this year, Collier is in the midst of a hot streak.
Domingo Santana, Lakewood: 8/19, 2 R, 2 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 2 BB, 8 K, 1/1 SB- Powerful right fielder is currently making decent contact, but the K:BB ratio is always a concern.
Andrew Carpenter, Lehigh Valley: 0-0, 0 SV, 5 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 7 K- This former 17 game winner may be running out of time in this organization, but a move to the bullpen has been successful so far.
Jarred Cosart, Clearwater: 1-0, 5.2 IP, 3 H, 1 R (0 ER), 2 BB, 9 K- Cosart is a repeat from last week, and it’s obvious why with 20 strikeouts in his last three starts.
Jonathan Pettibone, Clearwater: 2-0, 13 IP, 7 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 13 K- Pettibone entered the season as the least heralded starter in the Clearwater rotation, but he’s more than just another guy.
Garett Claypool, Lakewood: 0-0, 7 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 11 K- Another repeat from last week, Claypool continued his domination of South Atlantic League hitters this week.
Brandon Moss, Lehigh Valley- 2/16, 2 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 BB, 5 K- Moss has some ML experience, but I think everyone can agree it’s better that they called up Domonic Brown.
Matt Miller, Reading- 1/12, 0 R, 0 XBH, 1 RBI, 0 BB, 1 K- Miller has been an every day player since being sent from Lehigh Valley to Reading, but he could lose at bats once Gillies returns.
Tim Kennelly, Reading- 0/6, 0 R, 0 XBH, 0 RBI, 0 BB, 1 K- Kennelly hit very well for Clearwater in 2009, but his career has stalled since.
Matt Rizzotti, Reading- 2/19, 2 R, 0 HR, 0 RBI, 1 BB, 7 K- As hot as Rizzotti was last week, he’s just as cold this week. He hasn’t reached base via hit or walk in four straight games.
Fidel Hernandez, Clearwater- 0/4, 0 R, 0 XBH, 0 RBI, 0 BB, 0 K- Despite hitting well in a utility role for Reading, Hernandez finds himself back with Clearwater for a 5th straight season.
Ryan Feierabend, Lehigh Valley- 1-0, 6.1 IP, 9 H, 6 ER, 0 BB, 6 K- Feierabend got the win, but he allowed two more home runs for a total of 10 in 39.1 IP this season.
Josh Zeid, Reading- 1-0, 8.2 IP, 11 H, 6 ER, 6 BB, 4 K- Zeid continues to struggle with the double jump to Reading, and he’s walked three batters in three consecutive starts.
Tyler Knigge, Lakewood- 0-0, 1 SV, 2 IP, 6 H, 4 ER, 0 BB, 1 K- This Lewis-Clark State product had consecutive one inning, three hit and two run appearances for Lakewood this week.
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