Apr 082013
 
Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Won, 8-6 @ Buffalo,
6:05 p.m.
Rosenbaum (8-10, 3.94 @ AA) vs.
Redmond (8-11, 3.63)
Harrisburg Won, 5-4
(11 inn.)
vs. Bowie,
2:00 p.m.
Karns (8-4, 2.26 @ A+) vs.
TBD
Potomac Lost, 11-6 vs. Salem,
7:05 p.m.
Turnbull (4-5, 5.16 @ A-) vs.
Aguilera (1-3, 4.42 @ SS-A)
Hagerstown Lost, 2-1 @ Lakewood,
6:35 p.m.
Encarnacion (0-1, 6.06) vs.
Mecias (0-2, 2.16 @ GCL)

Syracuse 8 Lehigh Valley 6
• Perry 5IP, 9H, 6R, 6ER, 2BB, 2K
• Crotta (W, 1-0) 2IP, 0H, 0R, BB, K
• Brown 2-5, 2R, 2HR. 4RBI
• Walters 2-4, R, 2B, HR, 2RBI
• Rhymes 2-4, R, BB, 2RBI

Two-run homers by Zach Walters (third of the year) and Corey Brown (second of the game), turned a 6-4 deficit into the eventual 8-6 decision as Syracuse took two of three from Lehigh Valley. Jeff Mandel and Mike Crotta combined for four scoreless innings in relief of starter Ryan Perry, who gave up all six Iron Piugs runs on nine hits and two walks over the first five innings. Eury Perez extended his hit streak to 21 games with an infield single in the 9th.

Harrisburg 5 Bowie 4 (11 inn.)
• Clay 5IP, 8H, 4R, 4ER, 2BB, 4K, HR
• Krol 2IP, 1H, 0R, BB, 0K
• Lehman 2IP, 1H, 0R, 2BB, 1K
• Goodwin 1-3, R, 2BB, HBP
• Bloxom 2-4, R

The Senators broke up a combined no-hit bid in the 8th, rallied for three in the 9th, then took a gift-wrapped 5-4 win from Bowie in the 11th. Ricky Hague, who had broken up the no-no with an infield single, reached on an error (#5 for the Baysox) with two outs, took second on a single by Brian Goodwin, third on a wild pitch, and scored the gamewinner on a single by Sean Nicol. Aaron Barrett, who tossed a scoreless top of the 11th, got the win following five combined shutdown innings from Ian Krol, Rob Wort, and Pat Lehman. Senators starter Caleb Clay gave up all four Bowie runs on eight hits and and two walks in five innings.

Lynchburg 11 Potomac 6
• Cole (ND) 5⅓ IP, 7H, 4R, 4ER, BB, 7K
• Self (BS, 1; L, 0-1) ⅔ IP, 3H, 4R, 3ER, 2BB, 1K, HR
• Martinson 2-3, R, BB, HR, 2RBI, SB
• Burns 1-2, 3BB
• Sacnhez 2-4, 3B, BB, RBI
• Ramsey 2-4, R, RBI

Lynchburg did all it could to lose, but Potomac was a too-gracious host on Sunday Afternoon In Woodbridge

Delmarva 2 Hagerstown 1
• Pena 5IP, 3H, R, ER, 2BB, 2K
• Dupra 3IP, 2H, 0R, 0BB, 0K
• Miller 2-4, R, HR, RBI
• Martinez 1-3, BB
• Rest of lineup 0-for-20

Delmarva pitchers walked eight, but allowed just three hits in a 2-1 pitcher’s duel in Salisbury, Maryland. Just five Hagerstown batters reached second, two by stolen base, as only Estarlin Martinez and Brandon Miller hit safely, with Miller’s solo shot in the 7th accounting for the lone Suns run. Hagerstown starter Ronald Pena gave up the first Shorebirds run on three hits and two walks over the first five innings. Brian Dupra followed with three scoreless frames before giving way to Travis Henke. Delmarva got the gamewinner on a leadoff single, sacrifice, and another single with two outs.

Apr 072013
 
Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Lost, 5-4
(11 inn.)
@ Lehigh Valley,
1:35 p.m.
Perry (1-1, 4.50) vs
Martin (5-0, 3.18 @ AA)
Harrisburg Won, 6-1 vs. Bowie,
2:00 p.m.
Clay (3-3, 4.61) vs.
Gamboa (8-4, 3.33)
Potomac Lost, 10-6 vs. Lynchburg,
1:05 p.m.
Cole (0-7, 7.82) vs.
Pope (7-8, 6.13)
Hagerstown Won, 5-3;
Lost, 7-3
@ Delmarva,
2:05 p.m.
Pena (1-0, 2.84 @ SS-A) vs.
Kline (0-0, 4.50 @ SS-A)

Lehigh Valley 5 Syracuse 4 (11 inn.)
• Maya (ND) 6⅓ IP, 7H, 3R, 2ER, BB, 4K
• Davis 1IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 2K
• Tatusko (L, 0-1) ⅓ IP, 1H, 1R, 1ER, 3BB, 1K
• Kobernus 3-4, R, HR, 3RBI, CS, E (in LF)
• Owings 2-4

After a wild ninth in which the Chiefs scored a run to tie without hitting the ball out of the infield, the Iron Pigs had the last laugh. Syracuse reliever Ryan Tatusko loaded the bases with three straight one-out walks then gave up the gamewinner when a grounder trickled through a drawn-in infield to give Lehigh Valley a 5-4 win in 11 innings. Jeff Kobernus homered and drove in three to pace the Chiefs’ offense, which struggled with RISP at 1-for-12. Yunesky Maya pitched into the 7th, allowing seven hits and a walk while striking out four.

Harrisburg 6 Bowie 1
• Demny (W, 1-1) 5IP, 2H, 1R, 0ER, 2BB, 6K
• Holder (SV, 1) 4IP, 1H, 0R, BB, 2K
• Nicol 2-4, R, 2B
• Souza 1-3, R, BB, HR, 2RBI, OF assist at 3B
• Hague 1-3, BB, 2RBI

The Senators put up three straight crooked numbers with two-run rallies in the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th innings and cruised to a 6-1 win over the Baysox. Steven Souza got the barrage going with a two-run shot as he rocked this pitch over the wall in left-center. It was, however, an all-or-nothing night on offense as Harrisburg also struck out 13 times. Paul Demny’s return to the starting rotation was a good one: an unearned run on two hits and two walks with six strikeouts. Trevor Holder went the rest of the way for a four-inning save, his first as a professional. Geoff Morrow of the Patriot-News is reporting that Matt Skole will go on the D.L. with “a wrist sprain with a small fracture” with a roster move expected sometime today.

Lynchburg 10 Potomac 6
• Jordan (ND) 6IP, 3H, 0R, 0BB, 4K
• Meza 4BF, 4H, 4R, 4ER, 0BB, 0K, HR
• Bates (L, 0-1) 3BF, 1H, 3R, 0ER, BB, 0K, 1-1 IR-S
• Burns 3-5, R, 3B, SB
• Martinson 2-5, R, 2B, 3B, 2RBI
• 14K’s by Potomac hitters

After six strong innings from Taylor Jordan, the wheels came off the bus in the seventh inning
Last Night In Woodbridge

Hagerstown 5 Delmarva 3 — GAME ONE
• Mooneyham 4IP, 3H, R, ER, 4BB, 2K
• Schwartz (W, 1-0) 3IP, 2H, 2R, 2ER, 0BB, 5K, HR
• McQuillan 2-3, R, RBI
• Renda 2-4, 2R, 2B
• Lopez 2-4,

The Suns took full advantage of the Shorebirds’ miscues with two unearned runs being the difference in a 5-3 win over Delmarva. Table-setters Tony Renda and Mike McQuillan combined to go 4-for-7 with three runs scored to lead the Hagerstown “O.” Brett Mooneyham went four innings but also walked four, allowing a run on three hits while fanning two. Blake Schwartz got the win in relief, though he allowed two-run shot in the last of the 6th to cut a 4-1 lead to 4-3 before the Suns tacked on an insurance run in the 7th.

Hagerstown 3 Delmarva 7 — GAME TWO
• Pineyro (L, 0-1) 3IP, 5H, 4R, 4ER, BB, 3K, 3WP
• Harper 1⅓ IP, 0H, 0R, BB, K, 2-0 IR-S
• Martinez 1-2, R, 2BB, RBI, CS
• Miller 2-4, 2B, RBI
• Perez 2-3, R

Ivan Pineyro’s Low-A debut was an ugly one, as the 21-year-old Dominican was rocked for four runs on five hits and a walk as the Suns dropped the nightcap, 7-3. Estarlin Martinez reached base three times, scored a run, and drove in a run while Brandon Miller singled and doubled as all three Hagerstown runs came in the last at-bat in the 7th.

Apr 062013
 
Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Won, 11-0 @ Lehigh Valley,
6:35 p.m.
Maya (11-10, 3.88) vs.
Morgan (4-1, 3.53 @ AA)
Harrisburg Lost, 15-7 vs. Bowie,
7:00 p.m.
Demny (6-8, 5.46) vs.
Gausman (0-1, 6.00 @ A+)
Potomac Won, 12-1 vs. Lynchburg,
6:35 p.m.
Jordan (3-4, 4.05 @ A-) vs.
Holland (5-9, 4.04 @ A-)
Hagerstown Postponed @ Delmarva,
4:35 p.m.
Mooneyham (2-2, 4.55 @ SS-A) and
Pineyro (3-2, 5.50 @ SS-A) vs.
Taylor (5-7, 4.33) and
Blackmar (4-3, 3.57 @ SS-A)

Syracuse 11 Lehigh Valley 0
• Roark (W, 1-0) 6IP, 0H, 0R, 2BB, 7K
• Mandel 1IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 2K
• Costanzo 3-4, 2R, HR, BB, 4RBI (GS)
• Walters 2-5, R, 2B, HR, RBI
• Perez 2-5, 3R, 3B, SB, 2RBI

The Chiefs continued their butchery of Iron Pigs’ pitching with another 11-run outburst for their second straight win, 11-0. Tanner Roark pitched six no-hit innings and was perfect for 3⅔ before giving up the first of his two walks in the 4th. Jeff Mandel lost the no-no by giving up a leadoff single in the 7th but turned in the first of three scoreless frames from the ‘pen to preserve the shutout. Zach Walters homered again while Mike “Don’t Call Me George” Constanzo hit a grand slam to cap a five-run 6th.

Bowie 15 Harrisburg 7
• Treinen (L, 0-1) 2⅓ IP, 9H, 8R, 8ER, BB, K, 0HR
• Barrett 1IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 0K
• Hood 2-4, R
• Skole 1-2, R, 2B, BB, 2RBI

Bowie scored on Harrisburg in eight of nine innings en route to a 15-7 stabbing. Starter Blake Treinen took the brunt of it, giving up eight runs on nine hits and a walk in his AA debut. Aaron Barrett was the sole Senator pitcher to go unscathed, tossing a 1-2-3 ninth. Destin Hood led the Harrisburg offense with a 2-for-4 night. Matt Skole doubled in two in the 1st inning and walked in the 7th but left in the 8th after a collision at first base with a Bowie baserunner. Mayflies and Big Flies has the details plus some color from a real weenie shrinker cold night on City Island.

Potomac 12 Lynchburg 1
• Ray (W, 1-0) 5IP, 3H, 1R, 0ER, BB, 5K
• Holt 2IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 3K
• Martinson 1-3, R, HR, RBI, 3BB
• Dykstra 3-5, R, 2B, RBI
• Oduber 3-5, 2R, 2RBI

Potomac’s 2013 home opener turned out to be a laugher Last Night In Woodbridge

HAGERSTOWN — PPD
The heavy rains that swept through eastern Maryland on Thursday night into Friday morning rendered the playing field at Perdue Stadium unplayable, forcing a doubleheader on Saturday.

Apr 052013
 
Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Won, 11-2 @ Lehigh Valley,
7:05 p.m.
Roark (6-17, 4.39) vs.
Familia (4-1, 2.55)
Harrisburg Won, 4-3 vs. Bowie,
7:00 p.m.
Treinen (7-7, 4.37 @ A+) vs.
Pettit (11-3, 3.86)
Potomac OFF DAY vs. Lynchburg,
7:05 p.m.
Ray (4-12, 6.56) vs.
Moore (8-3, 3.86 @ A-)
Hagerstown Lost, 4-3 @ Delmarva,
7:05 p.m.
Pineyro (3-2, 5.50 @ SS-A) vs.
Blackmar (4-3, 3.57 @ SS-A)

Syracuse 11 Lehigh Valley 2
• Ohlendorf (W, 1-0) 6IP, 2H, 0R, BB, 4K
• Romero 1IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 0K
• Kobernus 3-4, 2R, 2BB, RBI
• Owings 2-6, 2R, HR, 4RBI
• Marrero 1-3, R, 2BB, 2RBI, SF
• Rosenbaum PH BB, R

Highlighted by a back-to-back jacks from Micah Owings and Zach Walters, Syracuse broke open a 1-0 game with a five-run 3rd and cruised to an 11-2 opening night win. Ross Ohlendorf tossed six shutout innings, allowing just two hits and a walks while striking out four. Jeff Kobernus led the 14-hit parade with a trio of singles and a pair of walks, followed by Owings and Eury Perez, who both went 2-for-6. RHP Chris Young has re-signed with the Nats while RHP Christian Garcia successfully threw from 60 feet; both will report to Viera with the goal of getting to Syracuse later this month, per WaPo’s James Wagner.

Harrisburg 4 Bowie 3
• Broderick 5IP, 6H, 3R, 3ER, 0BB, 5K, 2HR
• Krol 2IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, 2K
• Souza 3-4, 2R, 2B, SB
• Rendon 1-2, R, 2BB

Destin Hood’s two-run single in the bottom of the 8th sealed the deal as Harrisburg cut down Bowie, 4-3. Rob Wort got the win in relief while Pat Lehman earned the save as each turned in a 1-2-3 frame with a strikeout. Brian Broderick got the start and pitched five mediocre innings, giving up three runs on six hits including a pair of solo shots in the 4th and 5th innings. Steve Souza paced the offense with a 3-for-4 night, including a double and a stolen base while Anthony Rendon also reached base three times with a single and two walks.

Delmarva 4 Hagerstown 3
• Anderson 5IP, 4H, 2R, 2ER, 0BB, 4K, HBP
• Rauh (BS, 1; L, 0-1) 3IP, 2H, 2R, 2ER, 2BB, 3K, BK, WP
• McQuillan 2-5, R, BB, RBI
• S. Perez 2-4

Delmarva seemed determined to give this one away, committing two errors in the Suns’ three-run 5th and a third in the 9th, but held on to hand Hagerstown a 4-3 loss. Dixon Anderson got the start and turned in a career-high five innings, a good sign for the 2011 ninth-rounder in his recovery from shoulder woes, allowing two runs on four hits and no walks. He hit a batter but struck out four. Brian Rauh finished the game but took the loss, giving up single runs in the 7th and 8th innings on two hits and two walks. Mike McQuillan led the seven-hit attack with a pair of singles and a walk, followed closely by Stephen Perez’s 2-for-4 night.

Apr 042013
 

Finally. Three of the Nats’ four full-season affiliates begin play today, with Syracuse visiting Lehigh Valley, Harrisburg hosting Bowie, and Hagerstown visiting Delmarva. Provided the rains aren’t too heavy, Potomac hosts Lynchburg tomorrow night.

Team Today’s Game Pitching Matchup (’12 Stats at Level)
Syracuse @ Lehigh Valley,
7:05 p.m.
Ross Ohlendorf (5-4, 4.52) vs.
Tyler Cloyd (12-1, 2.35)
Harrisburg vs. Bowie,
7:00 p.m.
Brian Broderick (2-0, 3.99) vs.
Mike Wright (5-3, 4.91)
Hagerstown @ Delmarva,
7:00 p.m.
Dixon Anderson (1-1, 2.79) vs.
Parker Bridwell (0-3, 7.06)

Because it’s a common misnomer, I’ll trot out the annual reminder that these are not the team’s #1 starters, but rather, how the organization wants to align pitchers for future promotions and assignments.

For those wondering about the rotations, here’s what I have found, been told, or am predicting for the next four games:

Team Friday Saturday Sunday Monday
SYRACUSE Roark Maya Perry Rosenbaum
HARRISBURG Treinen Demny Clay Karns
POTOMAC Ray Jordan Cole Turnbull
HAGERSTOWN Pineyro Mooneyham Pena Encarnacion

A couple of small surprises… Demny back in the Sens rotation after finishing 2012 in the ‘pen… Pena, a 16th rounder last June who made just two appearances in Auburn and threw only 12⅓ innings total, assigned to the Suns.

Potomac has only announced its first three starters, Turnbull is the best guess based on age and prior usage for the one of the remaining two spots. As mentioned in the P-Nats roster reveal last week, Taylor Hill and Matt Grace are the other two likely candidates.

News & Notes, the daily rundown and highlights from the previous day’s action, starts back up tomorrow.

Mar 292013
 

It was expected to be the first, but perhaps not this soon… this afternoon the Harrisburg Senators announced its 2013 Opening Day Roster.

As was the case last year, there are more than 25 names here, which means one or more of them will be placed on the DL prior to the Sens’ home opener next Thursday (watchlist players in bold, notables in italics):

PITCHERS INFIELDERS OUTFIELDERS CATCHERS
Aaron Barrett Ricky Hague Justin Bloxom Jeff Howell
Brian Broderick Josh Johnson Brian Goodwin Sandy Leon
Caleb Clay Jose Lozada Destin Hood Kris Watts
Paul Demny Sean Nicol Steve Souza  
Marcos Frias Anthony Rendon    
Trevor Holder Matt Skole    
Neil Holland      
Nathan Karns      
Ian Krol      
Pat Lehman      
Matt Swynenberg      
Blake Treinen      
Rob Wort      

As predicted this morning, this is the roster to watch — 13 of ’em from the 2013 edition including two notables, though it remains to be seen whether Swynenberg is fully healed. I’m sure some folks are disappointed to see Rendon here instead of Syracuse, but “conservative” has been the watchword for prospect development under Rizzo (with some notable exceptions like Goodwin and that Bryce Harper kid).

There are worse things for Rendon (or us as fans) than for him to savage Eastern League pitching for a few weeks before moving along.

A couple of guys from Syracuse that I was surprised to see: Sandy Leon and Pat Lehman. Now, both could be here only on paper until the Syracuse roster is settled, but it could also be the classic “pushdown” scenario where replacement-level guys are sent to upstate New York instead.

We’re not going to know until the Chiefs roster is unveiled, which isn’t necessarily next — though this looks promising for Danny Rosenbaum and Jeff Kobernus.

Otherwise, it’s a familiar group of names, with roughly half of these guys spending some time in Harrisburg last season. Both Aaron Barrett and Matt Skole are moving up from Potomac despite limited time in Woodbridge, which is appropriate given their age and developmental path (otherwise, why bother sending them to the AFL).

Feb 132013
 

Usually, what makes the Syracuse staff tough to pick is trying to divine which pitchers will miss the big club but stick on. What makes the Harrisburg staff a challenge is figuring out who’s going to get promoted from Potomac and which of the minor-league FAs will be kept and assigned here.

So how did I do picking the 2012 Harrisburg Senators?

STARTERS SWINGMEN RELIEVERS
Danny Rosenbaum Evan Bronson Pat Lehman
Paul Demny Jimmy Barthmaier Hassan Pena
Sammy Solis Cory VanAllen
Tanner Roark Patrick McCoy
Adam Olbrychowski Hector Nelo
Josh Smoker
Marcos Frias
Joe Testa
Christian Garcia

Another 50-50 proposition (8/16). I might have done better if Solis hadn’t gone down with an injury and Bronson hadn’t retired. Josh Smoker seemed a viable candidate, even with a high walk rate, because he was living up to his surname with 95-97 m.p.h. heaters. Conversely, I broke even with Joe Testa and Jimmy Barthmaier, both of whom spent more time in High-A than AA.

So what about this year? Well, one might think that having watched Potomac all last summer gives me an advantage. As we saw above, not necessarily and especially not when the P-Nats had the Carolina League’s worst pitching (yes, even with Alex Meyer and Nathan Karns). Then it becomes a challenge of setting aside the frustration/disappointment as a fan and donning the detachment of a prospect-follower.

We’ll see how it goes this time around. Like Syracuse, I’m picking fewer pitchers overall:

STARTERS SWINGMEN RELIEVERS D.L.
Nathan Karns Adam Olbrychowski Paul Demny Sammy Solis
Trevor Holder Blake Treinen Marcos Frias  
Brian Broderick   Neil Holland  
Rob Gilliam   Rob Wort  
Tyler Herron   Cameron Selik  
Matt Grace      

I’m well aware that I may have picked the wrong strong finisher named Matt (Grace vs. Swynenberg). I could be misreading Olbrychowski’s late callup (reward vs. favor). About the only thing I’m reasonably sure of are the repeats of Demny, Frias, and Selik (who is listed lower due to his lat injury) — but I was probably equally confident that Pena and VanAllen would repeat last year, too.

Like Brad Meyers, Sammy Solis is probably destined to begin the season on the D.L., though the prognosis from the scribes at Lake Wobegon* sportswriters in Viera is, of course, sunny and upbeat.
*Where the playoff chances are strong, the players are good looking, and everyone is in the best shape of their lives.

Otherwise, I will understand if folks might be less than thrilled with this collection of arms. But if I’m right about the 2013 position players, these guys won’t have to nurse a 3-2 lead as often as they’ll try to hold a 5-4 lead.

Nov 052012
 

Going into the Eastern League All-Star Game, Harrisburg was 48-40 — good for second place in its division, having had an eight-game win streak broken with a 4-1 loss on July 9th.

It would be nearly a month before the Senators won back-to-back games again.

They went 16-38 in the second half, falling from second place to fifth place by the end of July for their worst finish (64-78) since the ghastly 2007 edition that went 55-86.

Injuries, as you might expect, were a factor. Twenty-nine-year-old Tim Pahuta led the team in games played with 121. Starters Destin Hood, Chris Rahl, and Jeff Kobernus — none of whom were promoted — played in 94, 92, and 82 games respectively. But as Geoff Morrow pointed out in his final of four segments on the team, the inability to hit when it mattered most is what truly killed the Senators in 2012:

The Senators’ .202 batting average with two outs and runners in scoring position wasn’t just dead last in the 12-team EL, it easily ranked last among all 30 Class AA teams (including the Southern and Texas League teams). Their .239 average with runners in scoring position was last in the EL and 28th overall.

Perhaps that might be enough said, but let’s do the dance anyway, starting with how Harrisburg’s team totals compared to the rest of the Eastern League:
HITTING

PITCHING

Not too hard to figure out what the problem was. The pitching wasn’t great, a notch below the league average. But the hitting was atrocious — 11th in runs, RBIs, walks, batting average, on-base percentage, and slugging percentage. Take away the power from graybeards Pahuta and Jimmy Van Ostrand and the legs of Eury Perez and Kobernus, along with Rahl who provided both, and this team would have probably finished 11th or 12th in HRs and SBs, too (somehow, they finished dead-last in doubles).

Perhaps more disturbing is looking at the pitchers by age. As a group, the 24 and unders were 28-32 with two saves, but with a 4.92 ERA and 1.492 WHIP over 488⅓ innings. Contrast that to the 26+ group, and you get marks of 20-29 and 12, 4.13 and 1.335 over 468⅓ innings. The league average age was 24.5, so when you add in the 25-year-olds, those numbers improve to 44-49, 27 and 4.22 and 1.399 over 775 innings.

The problem is that those 25-year-olds were 16-17, 25 and 3.01 and 1.238 over 286⅔ innings. That’s pretty good, but look at who those pitchers are: Erik Davis, Ryan Perry, Hector Nelo, Trevor Holder and Brian Broderick. In other words, guys that for the most part either were or should have been in AAA. Maybe it’s just an anomaly, but it’s something I noticed that I thought was worth passing along.

Now, a look at the Top 14’s — my semi-arbitrary cutoff in order to capture the most notable — for the position players and pitchers. Full statistics for the team can be found here.
Were it not for the injuries, we might have seen a slight improvement in terms of more plate appearances going to age-appropriate players. Jeff Kobernus, for example, might have gotten the bump to Syracause that went to Zach Walters instead — he was hanging a .306/.355/.341 line in July after struggling for much of May and June. Destin Hood probably would have played the whole year for the Senators, but can we write off both the declines in power and patience to his being hurt?

As it was a year ago, the lack of walks is really striking. Without the likes of Derek Norris, Bill Rhinehart, and Josh Johnson, it’s especially noticeable. It’s a testament to Brian Goodwin that he led the above group with a 9.7% walk rate and an indictment on the several players that didn’t break 7.0%. With another wave of free swingers coming from Potomac (Matt Skole and Anthony Rendon excluded), it’s something to watch for in 2013 and beyond.
The story of 2012 for the Harrisburg pitchers was Danny Rosenbaum. His overall numbers aren’t so bad, but that’s a function of arithmetic. After eight starts, he was 5-0 with a 0.62 ERA with six walks, one home run allowed and two complete games, only one of which required more than 100 pitches (109). Halfway through the season (13 starts), he had fallen to 7-2, 1.94 with 13 walks and three HR allowed over 88 innings. After that, the wheels fell off the bus — 1-8 with a 6.54 ERA and a 1.693 WHIP in his final 13 starts.

How much of that is the league adjusting to Rosenbaum and him not adjusting back is up for debate. Pitching coach Paul Menhart offered a clue in this dispatch from Geoff Morrow’s Sunday column in early July, noting that a lot stemmed from frustration, which in turn led to pressing, which even the casual observer knows leads to grooved pitches. Morrow would continually note via Twitter during Rosenbaum’s starts about how much more hittable he’d become as the season progressed.

As noted above, other age-appropriate pitchers struggled. Paul Demny, who had made 98 starts between April 2009 and July 2012, was moved to the bullpen in August. Robert Gilliam was dropped down to Potomac after failing as both a starter and a reliever. Marcos Frias saw his usage cut in half while his ERA rose nearly two runs before and after the All-Star break — though some of the innings drop may be attributable to Ryan Tatusko, Pat McCoy and Davis, all repeating the level, excelling in middle relief and leaving Frias the odd man out.

OBLIGATORY TOP EIGHT LIST
As much as I hate combining lists, with just two pitchers to list, there’s not much else to be done.

On to the caveats… Hood still has time on his side (turns 23 in April), Kobernus doesn’t (turns 25 in June); but both are getting the benefit of the doubt due to injury… Rosenbaum is still left-handed, mechanically sound, and durable (76 starts, 6.19 IP per from ’10-’12)… There are reports that Demny has a lost a some m.p.h. off his fastball (high 80s vs. low-to-mid 90s) in the AFL, but those are likely to come back with a shift to the bullpen… Bloxom plays a position in which the organization is not deep and can switch-hit… Ryan Perry has already made 156 appearances as a major-leaguer (by definition, a prospect must also be a rookie)… and, of course, Brian Goodwin has already been picked (#1 position player for Hagerstown).

1. Eury Perez
2. Sandy Leon
3. Zach Walters
4. Destin Hood
5. Danny Rosenbuam
6. Paul Demny
7. Jeff Kobernus
8. Justin Bloxom

Sep 042012
 
Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Lost, 6-4 END OF SEASON N/A
Harrisburg Lost, 7-2 END OF SEASON N/A
Potomac Won, 3-0
(5½ inn.)
END OF SEASON N/A
Hagerstown Lost, 3-2 END OF SEASON N/A
Auburn Won, 5-3 @ Williamsport,
7:05 p.m.
Monar (2-3, 2.96) vs.
Joaquin (1-4, 4.14)

Rochester 6 Syracuse 4
• Maya (L, 11-10) 7⅓ IP, 11H, 6R, 6ER, 2BB, 2K, HR
• MacDougal ⅔ IP, 0H, 0R, 2BB, 2K
• Brown 2-4, R, HR(25), 2RBI
• Carroll 2-3, RBI

Rochester opened up a 4-0 lead early with a pair of runs in each of the first two innings and held off Syracuse late for a 6-4 win. Yunesky Maya gave up all six runs on 11 hits over seven and a 1/3rd innings, walking two and striking out two. Corey Brown smacked his 25th home run and drove in two (nos. 70, 71), both of which led the Chiefs in 2012. Syracuse finished the season 70-74, 14½ games off the pace in 5th place in the I.L. North.

Bowie 7 Harrisburg 2
• Olbrychowski (L, 0-1) 4⅔ IP, 5H, 3R, 3ER, 2BB, 5K
• Rendon 2-3, R, HR, RBI
• Bloxom 1-4, R, HR, RBI

The Baysox got three runs early off recently promoted Adam Olbrychowski and pounded the Sens late for a 7-2 win. Adam Olbrychowski allowed three runs on five hits and two walks and struck out five in his first career AA start, but suffered the loss. Anthony Rendon and Justin Bloxom hit back-to-back home runs with two out in the 9th to break up the shutout. Harrisburg dropped 36 of its last 52 games to fall from 1st to 5th, ending the season at 64-78 and 18½ games behind.

Potomac 3 Wilmington 0 (5frac12; inn.)
• Hill (W, 1-1) 5IP, 3H, 0R, BB, 6K
• Keyes 1-3, R, HR(21), 2RBI

Rain shortened this one to five and a 1/2 innings, with Potomac shutting out Wilmington for the second straight game, 3-0. Taylor Hill got the win in his third Carolina League start, allowing just one walk and three hits while striking out six. Kevin Keyes drove in two with his 21st HR in the 4th to lead the P-Nats offense. Potomac won six of its last ten but finished the second half 33-36 and went 64-75 overall.

Asheville 3 Hagerstown 2
• Jordan (L, 3-4) 4IP, 10H, 3R, 3ER, 0BB, 3K
• Holt 1IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 2K
• Newsome 3-4, 2R, 2-2B
• Dykstra 2-4, SB(32)
• Jimenez 2-4, 2-2B, RBI

Asheville peppered the field with ten hits over the first four innings, scoring three times en route to a 3-2 victory over Hagerstown in the regular-season finale for both playoff-bound teams. Taylor Jordan took the loss, giving up the aforementioned three on ten over four with no walks and three strikeouts. Brett Newsome led the 11-hit Suns attack with a single and two doubles, scoring both Suns runs. Hagerstown won the 2nd half with a 40-28 mark and went 82-55 overall, two games better than 1st-half champion Greensboro and third-best overall in the South Atlantic League.

Auburn 5 Batavia 3
• Lee (W, 3-1) 5⅓ IP, 6H, 2R, 1ER, 3BB, 5K
• Benincasa (H, 3) 2⅔ IP, 1H, 0R, 0BB, K, 2-1 IR-S
• Self (SV, 14) 1IP, 2H, R, ER, 0BB, 0K
• Pleffner 3-4, 2R, HR, BB, RBI
• Ramos 3-4, 2B, RBI

Home runs by Shawn Pleffner and Estarlin Martinez highlighted a three-run 6th, as Auburn stopped Batavia’s nine-game win streak with a 5-3 triumph to put themselves in the driver’s seat for the Pinckney Division title. The win gives the Doubledays the first division-title tiebreaker (head-to-head, 7-5), effectively lowering the magic number to clinch at one. Nick Lee earned the win with two runs allowed on six hits and three walks over five and a 1/3rd. Derek Self withstood a pair of two-out doubles to record his 14th save. Pleffner and Ramos both went 3-for-4 with an RBI to lead the 12-hit Auburn offense. The Doubledays wrap up their 10-game road trip (and the regular season) with a pair of games in Williamsport.

Sep 032012
 
Team Yesterday Today Probable Pitchers
Syracuse Won, 8-7 @ Rochester,
1:05 p.m.
Maya (11-9, 3.72) vs.
Martis (3-3, 5.40)
Harrisburg Lost, 11-5 vs. Bowie,
2:00 p.m.
Olbrychowski (1st AA start
of ’12) vs. TBD
Potomac Won, 4-0
(11 inn.)
@ Wilmington,
1:35 p.m.
Hill (0-1, 7.20) vs.
Ridings (6-1, 2.67)
Hagerstown Lost, 7-3 vs. Asheville,
1:05 p.m.
Jordan (3-3, 3.75) vs.
Gagnon (0-0, 2.84)
Auburn Lost, 8-7 @ Batavia,
1:05 p.m.
Lee (2-1, 3.97) vs.
O’Shea (3-2, 2.91)

Syracuse 8 Rochester 7
• Atkins 5IP, 7H, 6R, 6ER, 0BB, 5K, HR
• Davis (W, 1-0) 2IP, 2H, R, ER, 0BB, 2K, HR
• Garcia (SV, 14) 1IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, 0K
• Valdez 2-4, R, HR, 2RBI
• Marrero 2-4, R, 2RBI
• Walters 2-4, R, RBI

The Chiefs rallied from a 6-0 deficit to win their home finale, 8-7 over the Red Wings. Erik Davis got the win in relief, his first in AAA, while Christian Garcia threw a 1-2-3 ninth for his 14th save. Every Syracuse batter hit safely with Jesus Valdez, Chris Marrero, and Zach Walters each going 2-for-4 with a run scored. Roster moves: LHP Zach Duke and RHP Christian Garcia recalled to Washington.

Harrisburg 11 Bowie 5
• Holder (W, 4-3) 7IP, 6H, R, ER, 0BB, K, HR
• Frias 2IP, 2H, 4R, 1ER, BB, 4K, HR
• Hood 3-5, 2R, RBI
• Lozada 2-3, 2R, 2B, HR, BB, 3RBI

The Senators filibustered for nine runs en route to an 11-5 win over the Baysox. Trevor Holder closed out 2012 with seven strong innings, giving up a run on six hits with no walks and one K for his fourth win. Destin Hood led the hit column with a 3-for-5 afternoon, scoring twice and driving in one. Roster moves: RHP Adam Olbrychowski promoted from Potomac; LHP Danny Rosenbaum placed on the 7-Day DL. Manager moves: Anthony Rendon was benched for not running out a fly ball.

Potomac 4 Wilmington 0 (11 inn.)
• Grace 8IP, 6H, 0R, BB, 2K
• Holland (W, 7-1) 2⅓ IP, 2H, 0R, 2BB, 2K
• Barrett (SV, 1) ⅔ IP, 0H, 0R, 0BB, K, 3-0 IR-S
• Souza 1-5, R, HR, 4RBI, OF assist at HP

Steve Souza’s grand slam in the 11th broke up a 0-0 tie as the P-Nats finally won a game in Delaware with 4-0 shutout of the Blue Rocks. Matt Grace, Neil Holland and Aaron Barrett combined on the eight-hit shutout, with Holland earning his 7th win and Barrett earning his first Hi-A save.

Asheville 7 Hagerstown 3
• Estevez 4IP, 5H, 5R, 5ER, 6BB, 2K
• Meza 2IP, 0H, 0R, BB, 3K
• Burns 1-4, RBI, SB
• Ramsey 1-4, R, HR, RBI

Wirkin “For The Weekend” Estevez labored through four innings Last Night In Hagerstown.

Batavia 8 Auburn 7
• Encarnacion 3⅔ IP, 6H, 4R, 3ER, 2BB, 4K
• Medina 1IP, 3H, 3R, 3ER, 0BB, 0K, 2HR
• Kieboom 2-4, R, RBI
• Alvarez 1-3, R, 2RBI

The Doubledays couldn’t stop the hottest team in the minors, losing 8-7 to the Muckdogs — the 9th straight win by Batavia and 19th triumph in 21 games. Silvio Medina gave up two home runs in the 7th to turn a 6-5 lead into an 8-6 deficit. Auburn got the tying run to second with no outs in the 9th, but lined out and struck out twice to end it. The loss drops Auburn into a tie with Batavia for the Pinckney Division lead, and three-way tie with Brooklyn for the wild card. Brooklyn holds the tiebreakers with both Auburn and Batavia in the event of a tie for the wild card; Auburn holds a 6-5 advantage in head-to-head play going into today’s game but it’s not clear how that would be resolved in the event of a Batavia win today and tie at the end of the season.