May 222011
 

The Quick Rundown…

Team Yesterday’s Result Today’s Game Pitching Matchup
Syracuse Chiefs Won, 2-0 @ Rochester, 1:05 p.m. Craig Stammen (3-2, 3.43) vs.
Eric Hacker (1-1, 3.49)
Harrisburg Senators Won, 7-2 @ Binghamton, 1:05 p.m. Tanner Roark (0-1, 13.50) vs.
Brandon Moore (3-2, 5.05)
Potomac Nationals Won, 13-8 @ Lynchburg, 2:05 p.m. Paul Demny (1-3, 2.95) vs.
Cory Rasmus (0-5, 7.17)
Hagerstown Suns Lost, 9-6 @ Greensboro, 4:00 p.m. Taylor Jordan (6-0, 2.82) vs.
Kyle Winters (4-2, 4.30)

Syracuse 2 Rochester 0
• Milone (W, 3-3) 7IP 3H 0R 0BB 9K
• Carr (H, 1) 1+ IP 0R 0H 1BB 0K
• Mandel (S, 2) 1IP 1H 0R 1BB 0K
• Brown 2-4, 2B
• Solano 2-4, RBI

Tom Milone, Adam Carr, and Jeff Mandel combined to shut out the Red Wings, 2-0, as the Chiefs won their sixth straight ballgame. Milone allowed just three hits over seven innings with no walks and nine strikeouts to even his record at 3-3. Carr and Mandel each threw an inning to notch the hold and save respectively. Corey Brown and Jhonatan Solano both went 2-for-4 to lead the Syracuse offense.

Harrisburg 7 Binghamton 2
• Peacock (W, 6-1) 6IP 1H 1R 1ER 2BB 10K 1HR
• Chico 1⅔ IP 1H 0R 1BB 1K
• Johnson 2-5, 3R, BB, HR, RBI
• Gilbert 2-5, 2R, RBI
• Ivany 2-4, R, HR, 2RBI

Brad Peacock struck out 10 over six innings for his sixth win as Harrisburg returned to .500 with a 7-2 win in Binghamton. Offensively, the Senators put runners on base in eight of nine innings, getting 11 hits and drawing six walks. The veteran trio of Josh Johnson, Archie Gilbert, and Devin Ivany went 6-for-14 with two HRs and four RBI, scoring six of the seven Harrisburg runs.

Potomac 13 Lynchburg 8
• Holder (W, 2-5) 5⅓ IP 7H 5R 5ER 0BB 6K
• Kobernus 3-5, 2R, 3B, 2SB
• Hood 3-4, R, 2B, 3RBI
• Souza 2-4, 3R, 2B, HR, 3RBI

The P-Nats have taken the “s” out of their offensive slumber, battering the Lynchburg moundsmen for 16 hits in a 13-8 romp, their fourth straight win. Designated driver hitter Cutter Dykstra was the misnomer as the only batter not to join the party, as six Potomac hitters had multiple hits with Jeff Kobernus and Destin Hood leading the way with three apiece. Starter Trevor Holder got the win despite allowing five runs on seven hits over five and 1/3rd innings, but once again did not walk a batter and struck out six. Justino Cuevas has joined the team from XST, with Francisco Soriano placed on the DL to make room.

Greensboro 9 Hagerstown 6
• Hansen (ND) 6IP 5H 2R 2ER 2BB 6K
Brown 1⅔ 5H 4R 4ER 0BB 2K
Graham (BS, 1)(L, 0-1) ⅓ IP 2H 3R 3ER 0BB 0K 1HR 1-1 IR-S
• Kelso 2-5, 2RBI
• Freitas 2-5, R, HR, 2RBI
• Rogers 1-2, 2R, 2BB, SB

The offense did its part, scoring six runs, with Blake Kelso and David Freitas each going 2-for-5. Starter Bobby Hansen had a quality start with two runs allowed on five hits and two walks over six innings. The bullpen, however, melted down for the second straight game, allowing seven runs in the bottom of the seventh, lowlighted by a two-out, three-run home run that proved to the difference as Greensboro defeated Hagerstown, 9-6.
As mentioned in comments, Kevin Keyes has joined the team from XST, with Randolph Oduber placed on the 7-Day DL. MiLB.com also saw fit to finally confirm our commenters’ observation that Chris McKenzie and Chad Jenkins have been removed from the roster to make room for A.J. Cole and Robbie Ray. No word on whether or not that was posted after 6 p.m. last night.

May 212011
 

The Quick Rundown…

Team Yesterday’s Result Today’s Game Pitching Matchup
Syracuse Chiefs Won, 5-4 (10 inn.) @ Rochester, 7:05 p.m. Tom Milone (2-3, 4.21) vs.
Ryan Mullins (1st AAA start of ’11)
Harrisburg Senators Postponed @ Binghamton, 1:05 p.m. Brad Peacock (5-1, 2.13) vs.
Robert Carson (1-4, 3.96)
Potomac Nationals Won, 6-2 @ Lynchburg, 7:00 p.m. Trevor Holder (1-5, 5.57) vs.
Zeke Spruill (2-4, 2.88)
Hagerstown Suns Lost, 5-4 @ Greensboro, 7:00 p.m. Bobby Hansen (5-1, 3.53) vs.
Zachary Neal (3-2, 3.73)

Syracuse 5 Norfolk 4 (10 inn.)
• Meyers (ND) 5⅓ IP 7H 3R 3ER 0BB 3K 2HR
• Martin 2IP 0H 0R 0BB 3K
• Marrero 3-5, R
• Hulett 2-2, R, 2BB, RBI
• Frazier 2-4, R, RBI

Pinch-runner Yunesky Maya scored the gamewinner off the bat of Tug Hulett in the bottom of the 10th as the Chiefs won in extras, 5-4, and swept the four-game series with the Norfolk Tide. The win was the fifth straight for the Chiefs and the first four-game sweep since May 2010. Brad Meyers started and went the first five innings, but fell victim to the longball twice for solo shots and allowed three runs on seven hits overall. Chris Marrero led the hit parade with three singles in five at-bats to raise his average to .323 for the month of May and .278 overall.

Harrisburg-Binghamton — PPD
Aliens invaded a small town in upstate New York and hatched their evil plan to postpone yet another Senators ballgame. Well, maybe not. The game will be made up as part of doubleheader on Tuesday, June 7th.

Potomac 6 Lynchburg 2
• Clegg (W, 2-2) 7IP 4H 1R 1ER 2BB 2K
• Nelo 2IP 2H 1R 0ER 1BB 1K
• Souza 2-4, R, HR, 3RBI, SB
• Hood 2-5, 2R, 2B, 3B, RBI
• Perez 3-5, RBI, SB

The P-Nats were clicking on all cylinders, showing speed (five SBs) and power (five XBHs) on offense and limiting the Hillcats to just six hits in a 6-2 triumph in Lynchburg. Mitchell Clegg pitched a season-high seven innings, allowing one run on four hits and two walks while striking out two. Destin Hood (double, triple) and Eury Perez (three singles) remain red-hot on offense, with Steve Souza phoning long distance over the centerfield wall for two of his three RBI on the night. Combined, the trio accounted for seven of the 11 Potomac hits.

Greensboro 5 Hagerstown 4
• Ray (ND) 6IP 7H 2R 1ER 0BB 4K
• Eusebio (L, 0-2) 1IP 4H 3R 3ER 0BB 2K
• Harper 2-3, R, 2B, BB, HR, SB, 3RBI
• Taylor 1-4, R, HR, RBI

A fifth-inning run ended Robbie Ray’s scoreless inning streak at 15, while a bullpen blowup denied him the chance for the win as the Greensboro edged Hagerstown, 5-4. Ray gave up two runs, one earned, on seven hits and no walks. Wilson Eusebio was torched for three runs on four hits, with a two-out double clearing the bases that had been loaded with singles. Bryce Harper drove in three with a double and a homer while Michael Taylor’s solo shot accounted for the fourth Sun run.

May 202011
 

In the thankless task of keeping up with transactions, here are the ones that we’ve missed since our last “catch up.”

RELEASED
Saskuel Herrera (DSL Nationals)
Boomer Whiting (Syracuse Chiefs)

PLACED ON 7-DAY DL
Rob Wort (Potomac)
Pat Lehman (Potomac)
Pat McCoy (Harrisburg)

ACTIVATED FROM 7-DAY DL
C Brian Peacock (Potomac)
RHP Rafael Martin (Potomac)

May 202011
 

As discussed earlier this month, as the indys start up in May, we’d be checking back to see if we could find some familiar names. Absent a searchable database, it’s an eyeball test. Here’s what we found for the American Association of Professional Baseball (nee the Central League) and one of the original two of the modern era, the Frontier League.

AAPB

RHP Mike Bacsik, Fort Worth Cats

OF Christian Guerrero, Gary-Southshore Railcats

RHP Osvaldo Rodriguez, Shreveport–Bossier Captains

IF Trevor Lawhorn, Sioux Falls Pheasants

LHP David Trahan, Sioux City Explorers

LHP Kevin Light, Winnipeg Goldeyes

Frontier League
OF Jamar Walton, Evansville Otters

IF Kyle Breault, Lake Erie Crushers

LHP Clayton Dill, Southern Illinois Miners

RHP Tim Dupuis, Washington Wild Things

The Canadian-American Association of Professional Baseball (nee Northeast League) and the new North American League (reformed from the ashes of the Golden League, the Northern League, and United League) are up next and will conclude our look-see.

May 202011
 

Our weekly look at the leaders, trailers, and outliers in the Washington Nationals minor leagues.

SYRACUSE 16-22, 5th place I.L. North, 7 games behind

Good Craig Stammen 1.03 WHIP
Bad Collin Balester .318 Opp. BA in May
Interesting Michael Aubrey .364/.464/.879 in May

HARRISBURG 18-19, 2nd place E.L. West Division, ½ game behind

Good Derek Norris .300/.429/.550 in May
Bad Tim Pahuta .173BA, 9E
Interesting Hassan Pena 0.87WHIP, 23K in 20⅔ IP

POTOMAC 16-23, 4th place C.L. North Division, 6½ games behind

Good Eury Perez .485 last 10G, .341BA overall
Bad Cameron Selik 8.71ERA, 1.84WHIP in first two Hi-A starts
Interesting Trevor Holder 4BB in 42IP

HAGERSTOWN 27-13, 1st place Sally League Northern Division, 3 games ahead

Good Robbie Ray 0.00ERA, 13K in two starts over 11 IP
Bad Jason Martinson 40K, 13E in 39G
Interesting Bobby Hansen 1.88ERA, 1.13WHIP in last four starts
May 202011
 

The Quick Rundown…

Team Yesterday’s Result Today’s Game Pitching Matchup
Syracuse Chiefs Won, 9-4 vs. Norfolk, 7:00 p.m. Brad Meyers (2-0, 3.00) vs.
TBD
Harrisburg Senators Won, 3-1 (7 inn.)
(2nd Game PPD)
@ Binghamton, 7:00 p.m. Brad Peacock (5-1, 2.13) vs.
Robert Carson (1-4, 3.96)
Potomac Nationals Won, 14-6 @ Lynchburg, 7:00 p.m. Mitchell Clegg (1-2, 5.46) vs.
Dimaster Delgado (4-3, 4.17)
Hagerstown Suns Lost, 6-1 (6 inn.)
(2nd Game PPD)
@ Greensboro, 7:00 p.m. Robbie Ray (1-0, 0.00) vs.
Jheyson Manzueta (0-3, 6.75)

Syracuse 9 Norfolk 4
• Detwiler (W, 3-3) 5IP 5H 4R 4ER 4BB 3K
• Mattheus (H, 2) 2IP 0H 0R 1BB 1K
• Aubrey 2-5, R, 2B, 4RBI
• Hulett 2-4, 2RBI
• Fox 2-4, R, 3B, RBI
• Blanco 1-3, 3R, 2BB, 2SB

Whether it was luck or clutch, Syracuse scored all nine runs last night with two outs, sweeping the series with Norfolk with a 9-4 decision. Starter Ross Detwiler gave up four first-inning runs, but settled down to go the five required for the win, allowing five hits, four walks, and setting down three on strikes. Four relievers combined for four scoreless and hitless innings of relief. Michael Aubrey drove in four as the the Chiefs collected 10 hits for the night.

Harrisburg 3 New Britain 1, 7 inn.
• Perez, O (W, 1-0) 5+ IP 1H 1R 0ER 2BB 3K
• VanAllen (H, 3) ⅔ IP 1H 0R 0B 0K
• Pena (S, 2) 1⅓ IP 1H 0R 0B 0K
• Gilbert 2-3, R, SB, RBI
• Lombardozzi 1-3, R, SB
• Norris 1-2, 2B, BB

Oliver Perez made his season debut with five-plus innings of work in the first game of a would-be doubleheader as the Sens won, 3-1. The erstwhile LHP alowed one unearned run on one hit and two walks with three strikeouts. Cory VanAllen and Hassan Pena combined for the final two innings, earning the hold and save respectively. Archie Gilbert paced the offense with two of the seven hits. After a 3:31 delay, the second game of the doubleheader was postponed. No word yet as to when/where the game will be made up.

Potomac 14 Frederick 6
• Rosenbaum (W, 2-1) 5⅔ IP 7H 6R 6ER 4BB 4K
• Olbrychowski (S, 1) 3⅓ IP 2H 0R 3BB 3K
• HRs – Perez, Hood, Bloxom, Ramirez, Lozada, Peacock
• RBIs – Perez, Hood – 3; Kobernus, Peacock – 2; Bloxom, Ramirez, Lozada – 1

After a two-hour-plus rain delay, Potomac launched six HRs and pounded the Frederick Keys to the tune of 14-6. Three Nationals had their first HR of the season (Peacock, Lozada, Perez) in support of starter Danny Rosenbaum, who was not sharp with all six Frederick runs charged to him on seven hits and four walks. Adam Olbrychowski broke his string of poor outings with a rulebook save of three and a 1/3rd innings of scoreless relief.

Kannapolis 6 Hagerstown 1
• Cole (L, 0-2) 4IP 6H 5R 2ER 0BB 5K
• McCatty 2IP 0H 1R 0ER 0BB 0K
• Kelso 1-3, R, SB
• Oduber 1-2, RBI

For the second straight date, rain turned a doubleheader into a shortened game as the Kannapolis Intimidators ran the Suns into the wall, 6-1 in six innings. A.J. Cole took the loss with all five runs allowed (two earned) on six hits, but struck out five and walked none. Blake Kelso and Randolph Oduber were the only Suns to get a hit, as Hagerstown had more hits than runs and more errors than hits. Bryce Harper went 0-for-3 with a strikeout to end his on-base streak at 25 games.

May 192011
 

[Ed. Note: Frequent commenter BinM weighs in here on his view of where the four full-season affiliates stand after the first quarter, roughly 35 games...]

Syracuse Chiefs – 13-22
Weak offensively overall, but getting decent production from behind the plate (Flores/Maldonado/Solano), at 2B/SS (Hulett/Bynum/J.Johnson), and 1B (Marrero). Lost two players to the ‘big club” in Bixler and Bernadina. The starting pitching has been up and down, with Maya and Stammen compiling good numbers to date, while Detwiler and Milone have both struggled; Meyers is a recent addition and is unproven at AAA to date.

In the bullpen, it’s been a battle as well, with J.D. Martin, Carr, Hyde, Chico (demoted) and Balester each struggling at some point or another, while Mandel, Wilkie, and Kimball (recently promoted to DC) have all pitched brilliantly. At the pole, the team is falling short of preseason expectations, given the amount of experience on the roster.

Harrisburg Senators – 17-17
A mixed bag offensively, with both prospects (Norris-CA, Moore-1B, Lombardozzi-2B), and OG’s (Gilbert-OF, Rhinehart-OF/1B, Valdez-OF, and Rahl-OF) contributing to a .500 record. The team lost Fox (3B) and Valdez (OF) to promotion to little effect so far, getting King (3B) and Martinez (RP) as replacements. The starting staff has been wide-ranging in effectiveness so far, with Peacock at the top, then Davis, Arnesen, Martis, Tatusko [Ed. note: Now in the bullpen], Atilano and Roark falling in behind. The long relievers in the bullpen (Chico, Martinez, and Barthmaier) have been less than effective, but the back-end (Pena, Van Allen, and McCoy) have all been solid to date. Overall, not a bad record, but could be a team affected by roster moves as the season drags on.

Potomac Nationals – 14-22
Possibly affected by an extended period on the road (28 games due to an ‘unplayable’ ruling for the field at the Pfitz), the P-Nats are in a bit of a funk offensively, with only Hood (RF), Lozada (IF), and Souza (1B) showing any real consistency at the plate. Maybe the string of home games prior to the All-Star break will get them squared up. The starting pitching has been a bit of a roller-coaster, with Rosenbaum and Demny posting effective starts despite bad K-W ratios; Holder occupies the middle ground with decent peripherals and a bad ERA / W-L record. Clegg and Selik have both been a little overmatched so far, but may settle in.

Middle relief has been the primary problem in the bullpen to date, with no-one carrying an ERA lower than 4; the long roles and backend of the ‘pen have been good up to now. The team has lost Hague (SS), Curran (OF), and Peacock (CA) to the DL, and King (3B) and Martinez (RP) to promotion so far. At the pole, I’d say they’re underachieving; The next couple of weeks could say a lot about what this team is made of.

Hagerstown Suns – 26-12
Got out of the gate cleanly and hasn’t looked back. Kelso (3B), Harper (RF), and Freitas (CA-DH) are all mashing the ball, and Sanchez (2B), Oduber (LF-DH), Taylor (CF), and Martinson (SS) are joining the fun of late. There are some defensive liabilities with the club, but run production has been covering most of that. The pitching (both starting and in relief) has been solid overall, but the backend of the bullpen has been absolutely outstanding. The pairing of Graham and Manno have combined for just one earned run allowed over 30.7IP in 24GP, with 32K and 6BB (a 5.3:1K-W ratio). Player promotions are inevitable over the next few weeks; Hopefully, they won’t slow this teams’ momentum too much.

May 192011
 

The Quick Rundown…

Team Yesterday’s Result Today’s Game Pitching Matchup
Syracuse Chiefs Won, 10-4 vs. Norfolk, 7:00 p.m. Ross Detwiler (2-3, 4.76) vs.
Chorye Spoone (2-1, 4.88)
Harrisburg Senators Postponed vs. New Britain, 5:30 p.m.
(doubleheader)
Oliver Perez (1st game) and
Brad Peacock (5-1, 2.13)
Potomac Nationals Won, 6-3 (comp. early) @ Frederick, 11:00 a.m. Danny Rosenbaum (1-1, 2.28) vs.
Ryan O’Shea (3-1, 1.93)
Hagerstown Suns Won, 4-3
(comp. of susp. gm)
vs. Kannapolis, 5:05 p.m.
(doubleheader)
Robbie Ray (1-0, 0.00) and
A.J. Cole (0-1, 3.52) vs.
Ryan Buch (3-3, 3.89) and
Paul Burnside (3-1, 3.55)

Syracuse 10 Norfolk 4
• Maya (ND) 6⅓ IP 4H 3R 3ER 1BB 2K 1HR
• Carr (W, 2-2) 1⅔ 1H 0R 1BB 0K
• Marrero 3-5, R
• Blanco 2-5, 2R, 2B, 2RBI, 2SB
• McConnell 2-3, 2R, 3B
A six-run bottom of the eighth capped a comeback from a 3-0 deficit as the Chiefs turned the Tide, 10-4. Yunesky Maya weathered a three-run first to go six and 1/3rd innings and get the quality start with a walk and two strikeouts and four hits allowed. Adam Carr got the win in relief with a hit and walk given up over the next one and 2/3rds innings. Chris Marrero paced the 13-hit attack with a 3-for-5 night, as eight of the nine batters had at least one safety with Gregor Blanco, Chris McConnell, and Adam Fox getting two hits apiece.

Harrisburg-New Britain — PPD
It was rainout #5 for the Sens, forcing a pair of seven-inning games tonight at MBP on City Island at 5:30 p.m.

Potomac 6 Frederick 3 (Comp. Early)
• Bronson 3⅔ IP 5H 2R 2ER 3BB 1K 1HR
• Martin, R. (W, 1-0) 1⅓ IP 3H 0R 0BB 2K
• Kobernus 2-5, R, RBI, SB
• Hood 3-5, 2-2B, 2RBI
• Perez 2-4, R

Eury Perez and Destin Hood remain red-hot, combining for five of the nine Potomac hits in a 6-3 win that was ended early due to… wait for it… rain. Spot starter Evan Bronson went the first three and 2/3rds innings, allowing two runs on five hits and three walks. Four relievers combined for one run over the next five innings, with recently activated Rafael Martin getting the win and Dean Weaver getting the hold. Jeff Kobernus stole his team-leading 15th base while going 2-for-5 from the leadoff spot. Pat Lehman was deactivated, i.e. placed on the 7-Day DL, to make room for Martin.

Hagerstown 4 Kannapolis 3
• Grace 3IP 5H 2R 2ER 1BB 3K
• Applebee (W, 4-1) 4⅓ 6H 1R 1ER 0BB 1K
• Manno (S, 6) 1⅔ IP 0H 0R 0BB 2K
• Sanchez 2-4, 2R
• Freitas 3-4, 2B, 3RBI
• Leonida 2-3, 2-2B, BB

After rain pushed this game from Tuesday night to Wednesday morning, the Suns took advantage of timing to come back from a 2-1 deficit to win 4-3 before the rains returned to force another doubleheader tonight. De facto starter Paul Applebee turned in four and 1/3rd innings to get his fourth win while Chris Manno got the last five outs for his sixth save. David Freitas drove in three of the four Hagerstown runs with a double and two singles, while Bryce Harper broke an 0-for-11 streak with a double, for which MASN’s Byron Kerr was on hand, extending his on-base streak to 25 games.

May 182011
 

The Quick Rundown…

Team Yesterday’s Result Today’s Game Pitching Matchup
Syracuse Chiefs Won, 4-3 vs. Norfolk, 7:00 p.m. Yunesky Maya (1-3, 3.57) vs.
Michael Ballard (2-4, 4.58)
Harrisburg Senators Lost, 4-1 vs. New Britain, 7:00 p.m. Oliver Perez (1st start) vs.
Liam Hendriks (3-1, 3.66)
Potomac Nationals Lost, 2-0 @ Frederick, 7:05 p.m. Evan Bronson (1-1, 2.20) vs.
Nathan Moreau (3-2, 3.56)
Hagerstown Suns Suspended, Top 3 vs. Kannapolis, 10:35 a.m.
(completion, then 7-inn gm)
(Game 2)
A.J. Cole (0-1, 3.52) vs.
Paul Burnside (3-1, 3.55)

Syracuse 4 Norfolk 3
• Stammen (W, 3-2) 6IP 9H 3R 3ER 0BB 7K
• Wilkie (S, 4) 1IP 1H 0R 0BB 2K
• Hulett 1-3, R, RBI
• Flores 1-4, R, RBI
• Aubrey 1-1 2BB

Thanks to three runs scored in the sixth inning, the Chiefs were able to take the lead and win the game, defeating Norfolk by a score of 4-3. While it took five pitchers to get the win, Stammen earned it, pitching six complete innings, allowing three earned runs on nine hits and seven strikeouts. Wilkie also earned his fourth save of the season, pitching a scoreless ninth. Hitters of the game were Hulett, Flores and Aubrey who collectively went 3-for-8 with two runs scored, two RBIs and two walks.

New Britain 4 Harrisburg 1
• Martis (ND) 7IP 3H 0R 1BB 5K
• McCoy (BS, 1)(L, 1-2) ⅓ IP 4H 4R 4ER 0BB 1K 0HR
• Barthmaier 1⅔ IP 1H 0R 0BB 0K 1-0 IR-S
• Norris 2-4, 2B, RBI
• Lombardozzi 2-4
• Gilbert 2-4

A four-run eighth was the undoing for the Senators, ruining a fine outing by Shairon Martis, as Harrisburg lost, 4-1. Martis laid seven goose eggs on the top of the scoreboard, giving up just three hits and a walk while striking out five. Pat McCoy would face just six batters and give up all four runs to blow the save and take the loss. Derek Norris’s two-out RBI double in the fourth was the only hit in nine chances with RISP, as the Senators stranded seven baserunners. Norris, Steve Lombardozzi and Archie Gilbert each collected two hits in the loss.

Frederick 2 Potomac 0
• Demny (L, 1-3) 6IP 5H 2R 2ER 3BB 4K
• Nelo 1IP 0H 0R 0BB 2K
• Perez 2-3, CS

Poor baserunning undid what little offense Potomac was able to bring last night, as Frederick Keys locked them out, 2-0. Paul Demny took the lost with both runs allowed on five hits and three walks. Justin Bloxom was picked off first in the ninth, doubled off second base in the second while Francisco Soriano got gunned down trying to advance to third on a ball hit to short. Eury Perez went 2-for-3 to improve his average to a team-best .329, as Potomac got just four hits in getting shut out for the seventh time this season.

Kannapolis 2 Hagerstown 1 — SUSP, T3
• Grace 3IP 5H 2R 2ER 1BB 3K
• Freitas 1-1, RBI
• Sanchez 1-1, R

Sanchez’s RBI single in the bottom of the 1st tied the game at one apiece but Kannapolis fought back in the top of the 3rd to score an additional run to gain the lead. Due to the weather, the game was called in the 3rd inning, with the Suns trailing by a score of 2-1. The nine-inning game will be completed this morning, followed by a seven-inning contest for a daytime doubleheader.

May 172011
 

This may seem late, but I made this post last year after roughly 11 home games. It just happened to be April 27 instead of May 17. The problem, of course, is that the P-Nats have played more than twice the games on the road (25) than at home.

That matters because no matter what I write next, people will look to the overall stats. And teams play differently on the road than they do at home, so that imbalance is going to be built in. Some guys have hit or pitched much better on the road (Perez, Lehman) and some have really done noticeably better at the Pfitz (Hood, Demny)

While I look at stats as much as the next gal, these eyes, though they may be cryin’, get to have their say ’cause they see the little things the boxes don’t (bah buh bah bahhh). And here’s what I’m seeing from the P-Nats…

FIRST BASE
Steven Souza – An all-or-nothing type hitter. But when he makes contact, it’s solid. At home, he’s a slugger (.641); on the road, he’s not (.363) which makes no sense considering that the team has been to hitter-friendly parks like the Salems and Frederick. Defensively, he’s not bad considering he’s a convert to the position, but still needs to work on the smaller nuances like when to defer to the neighboring fielders and when to cover second base on an extra-base hit.

SECOND BASE
Jeff Kobernus – Plays hard, good instincts on the basepaths, but just hasn’t had the results to match his efforts. Defensively, he’s still a work in progress like Souza as he spent most of his college career at third base.

SHORTSTOP
Jose Lozada – An OG that can play anywhere in the IF, but only above-average as a 1B.
Francisco Soriano – Has improved defensively (a cannon for an arm), and will take a walk.
Rick Hague – Liked what I saw on the first homestand, but that’s just five games and more than a month ago.

THIRD BASE
Stephen King – He’s since gone up to Harrisburg, but his defensive improvement was significant compared to years past. Appeared to be turning the corner offensively just before his callup.
Justin Bloxom – Assigned to the position, but not a third baseman — that I’m confident in stating with a small sample size (i.e. just this past homestand), but offensively, I need to see more to have a more informed opinion.

DESIGNATED HITTER
Cutter Dykstra – Yes, he’s played in the field, but the majority of his appearances have been as a DH. That said, he’s been a disappointment relative to his achievements last year. Tends to hit towards right field with little-to-no-power. Speed is as advertised.

LEFT FIELD
J.P. Ramirez – Offensively, the numbers aren’t there, but I like how he uses all fields to hit and has a lot more power than you’d expect out of a short/squat body type. Defensively, he’s a work in progress but lately has been compensating for his lack of footspeed with good jumps.

CENTERFIELD
Eury Perez – In April, he was intent on bunting and playing small ball on offense, but of late, he’s been swinging away and getting gap doubles. Terrific speed, but has a bad habit of looking over his shoulder and will sometimes give up on a grounder instead running out at full speed. The two converge when he taps a grounder that’s not cleanly fielded and you’ll see him kick it up a notch. Haven’t seen the shallow CF that BA referenced, but he’s more than adequate on defense.

RIGHT FIELD
Destin Hood – Like Bloxom, this is where he’s been playing but it’s not his position. Lately, Hood has been showing difficulty picking up the ball and doesn’t take good routes consistently. Classic description of a left fielder. Offensively, he’s been showing more power, but he’s also become pull-happy with nearly every extra-base hit going to left.

CATCHER
Sandy Leon – Defensively, he’s as good as any catcher I’ve ever seen at Potomac. Offensively, he’s a switch-hitter that fits the mold of power from the left side, average on the right side. But light on both.

BENCH
Brian Peacock – Glad he got the call up to Harrisburg, but hope he’s being groomed to coach a la John Poppert because he’s unlikely to play again any time soon.
J.R. Higley, Chris Curran – Strong arm, good glove, excellent speed, but struggles to hit.
Jeremy Mayo – Seen very little of him and what I have seen has been “meh,” much like any backup catcher that’s lightly used.

STARTING PITCHERS
Danny Rosenbaum – As a known quantity, this is really a “first impression,” but more a commentary. The velocity seems to be up a notch from last August/September, but the control is also down a notch. It’s most evident with his curveball, which he needs to harness and throw more often. Once those two areas are improved, he’ll AA-ready. Unfortunately, that’s something that you can say about a LOT of High-A pitchers.

Trevor Holder – Likewise, Holder has become an enigma. Just when you think it’s time to pull the plug and put him in the ‘pen, he breaks out like he did last night in Frederick. There are three Nats starters on the farm with less than a walk per nine innings. Brad Meyers and Tom Milone are easy ones to guess; Holder is the third. Maybe it’s an aberration, but pitchers that don’t hurt themselves are always worth watching.

Paul Demny – Unfortunately, I have only seen Demny pitch once, and it was on a game that I arrived late because of a rain-created doubleheader. In the course of researching Holder, I did happen to notice that Demny is the polar opposite in terms of ERA-FIP. Holder is +2.74, which is considered extremely unlucky (i.e. his ERA is much higher than it “ought” to be). Demny is -2.52, with an ERA of 2.94 and an FIP of 5.46. Could just be nothing, but with a walk rate that’s barely less his K rate (4.28 vs. 4.81), it’s not a good sign

Mitchell Clegg – I’ve seen him pitch twice — the Tuesday, May 2 blowout and last Sunday. In both starts, his pitches were up, but the second start his fastball had a bit more life on it.

Marcos Frias – Opening weekend, Frias looked like the guy that won the 2010 Carolina League championship. But while Potomac was on the road, something came undone and he was banished to the bullpen. Sunday, he looked better, but that’s all I’ve seen of him: one start (excellent) one relief appearance.

RELIEVERS
I’m punting here for the most part because this is what I have to go on…

Kyle Morrison, Alex Caldera (released)
Carlos Martinez (promoted)
Ryan Demmin (sent back to XST)
Pat Lehman, Dean Weaver, Joe Testa – two appearances each
Evan Bronson – one long relief appearance

Rob Wort – Doesn’t look as sharp as I remember last fall. His control and command are both off and he can’t seem to not issue a walk each time out, which is deadly for a reliever.

Adam Olbrychowski – Looked decent the first time out on Opening Weekend, but since then has been awful.

Josh Smoker – Not too often you see a lefty throwing in the 90s out of a High-A ‘pen, but he’s just as likely to walk a guy as strike him out.