Lehigh Valley started May with a 4-1 week that included a sweep of Syracuse and series win against Charlotte. They’re now just a game back of division leading Pawtucket. Domonic Brown missed a few games with an injury, but he returned Sunday with a two RBI pinch hit triple. With the exception of Dave Bush on Wednesday, the IronPigs received a quality start in each game, two by Scott Elarton. Tyler Cloyd was returned to Lehigh Valley from Reading where he spent most of the season, and he should be in AAA for good now. Lou Montanez was released after what can be best described as a bad season.
Reading only went 3-3, but they’re still in first place with a system best 19-10 record. Losing Cloyd is a blow to their rotation, but once Drew Naylor shakes off the rust, he should be a productive member of the starting staff. Naylor made his first start since 2010 Friday, allowing five runs in five innings. Darin Ruf and Cesar Hernandez and a host of AA veterans have led the offense while some of the prospects have floundered. Tyson Gillies however has rebounded from a slow start and now has a .779 OPS while playing good defense in center field.
Clearwater’s 4-2 week narrowed Dunedin’s division lead to 5.5 games, and they’re tied with Lakeland for 2nd in the North division. The Threshers lineup has continued its surprising level of productivity with an unlikely hero leading the way. Anthony Hewitt is batting .391 in May with a .983 OPS. Of course he won’t keep that up, but it’s a nice hot streak for him after the rough start he had. With nine strikeouts in six innings in his last start, Adam Morgan maintains the FSL lead in strikeouts in what’s been a promising start to 2012 for the 2011 draft pick.
Lakewood’s win Sunday snapped their five game losing streak that’s carried them to the bottom of the SAL North. Their pitching has been a problem all year, but this week it’s the lineup that’s failed them, averaging just three runs per game. Sunday’s win was the first shutout on the season for the BlueClaws with Kenny Giles throwing four effectively wild innings and three relievers combining to pitch the final five. Brian Pointer is going through a slump, but the reality is he wasn’t going to OPS 1.000 the entire season.
Players of the week
Chris Duffy, 1B: 5/17, 3 R, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 0/0 SB .294/.400/.529
Cesar Hernandez, 2B: 12/27, 3 R, 6 XBH, 5 RBI, 0/1 SB .444/.464/.741
Anthony Hewitt, OF: 9/23, 5 R, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 1/1 SB .391/.462/.522
Scott Elarton, RHP: 2-0, 12 IP, 7 H, 1 ER, 4 BB, 8 K
Julio Rodriguez, RHP: 1-0, 5 IP, 6 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 7 K
Non-Players of the week
Albert Cartwright, 2B: 3/20, 4 R, 0 XBH, 2 RBI, 1/1 SB .150/.190/.150
Harold Martinez, 3B: 5/20, 0 R, 0 XBH, 1 RBI, 0/0 SB .250/.318/.250
Scott Podsednik, OF: 2/12, 2 R, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 0/0 SB .167/.321/.250
David Buchanan, RHP: 0-2, 9 IP, 13 H, 10 ER, 5 BB, 5 K
Garett Claypool, RHP: 0-0, 3.2 IP, 8 H, 9 ER, 1 BB, 5 K
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