Thursday’s News & Notes

The Chiefs snaps their losing streak, the P-Nats split, the Suns and Sens lose

The Quick Rundown…

Team Yesterday’s Result Today’s Game Pitching Matchup
Syracuse Chiefs Won, 6-3 @ Pawtucket 12:05 p.m. Garrett Mock (0-1, 3.86) vs.
Brandon Duckworth (1-0, 0.77)
Harrisburg Senators Lost, 3-2 vs. Trenton, 7:00 p.m. Ryan Tatusko (0-2, 10.57) vs.
Graham Stoneburner (1-1, 1.64)
Potomac Nationals Lost, 6-1; Won, 8-4 @ Salem, 7:05 p.m. Danny Rosenbaum (0-1, 2.70) vs.
Tom Ebert (0-0, 0.00)
Hagerstown Suns Lost, 8-3 vs. Hickory, 5:05 p.m. Chris McKenzie (1-1, 6.48) and
Paul Applebee (0-1, 7.94) vs.

Syracuse 6 Pawtucket 3
∙ Detwiler (W, 2-0) 6IP 9H 3R 3ER 1BB 3K
∙ Rodriguez (H, 1) 2IP 1H 0R 1BB 2K
∙ Kimball (S, 3) 1IP 0H 0R 1BB 0K
∙ Bernadina 2-4, R, BB, 2SB
∙ Solano 2-4, R, HR, 2RBI

Five runs in the seventh and eighth innings combined gave the Syracuse a 6-3 win, snapping a five-game losing streak. Jhonatan Solano and Chris McConnell each connected for a two-run shot, while Roger Bernadina went 2-for-4 with a walk and two stolen bases to pace the offense. Ross Detwiler got win #2 with six innings pitched, three runs allowed on nine hts and one walk. Henry Rodriguez and Cole Kimball shut the door with three innings of scoreless relief, earning the hold and save respectively.

Altoona 3 Harrisburg 2
∙ Davis (ND) 5⅓ IP 4H 2R 2ER 4BB 3K 1HR
∙ Mandel 1⅓ IP 0H 0R 0BB 0K
∙ Lomardozzi 2-4, R, 2B
∙ Valdez 2-2

Altoona scratched out an unearned run in the bottom of the seventh with a two-out hit, a stolen base, and an error for a 3-2 win. Cory VanAllen, who was lifted after surrendering the two-out hit, took the loss. Starter Erik Davis went he first five and 1/3rd innings and allowed two runs on four hits and four walks. Steve Lombardozzi and Jesus Valdez combined for four of the Sens’ five hits.

Frederick 6 Potomac 1 — GAME ONE
∙ Demny (L, 0-1) 4IP 7H 5R 4ER 3BB 2K 2HR
∙ Smoker 1IP 0H 0R 0BB 1K
∙ Curran 2-3, R, 2B
∙ Dykstra 2-3

The Keys would pound out 10 hits, including two solo HRs, in six turns at-bat to beat the P-Nats 6-1 in the first game. Paul Demny gave up both big flies, five runs total, on seven hits and three walks over four-plus innings. Kyle Morrison was ineffective as the first man out of the ‘penm, allowing both inherited runners to score along with one (unearned) run of his own. Table-setters Chris Curran were 4-for-6 combined, but only scored onces as the 3-4-5 men went 0-for-9.

Potomac 8 Frederick 4 — GAME TWO
∙ Clegg (W, 1-0) 6IP 7H 4R 4ER 2BB 2K
∙ Demmin 1IP 0H 0R 0BB 1K
∙ Dykstra 2-3, 3R, BB, SB
∙ Ramirez 2-4, 2R, HR, 2RBI
∙ King 2-3, 2B, BB

Potomac would fall behind 2-0 early, but would roar back with three big innings in the third, fourth, and capped by a two-run shot by J.P. Ramirez to take an 8-4 decision, split the doubleheader, and secure the first series win. Starter Mitchell Clegg got his first win of the year with four runs allowed on seven hits and two walks over six innings.

Hickory 8 Hagerstown 3
∙ Grace (L, 1-2) 5IP 9H 4R 4ER 1BB 3K
Jenkins 1IP 3H 3R 3ER 1BB 1K
∙ Freitas 2-3, 2BB, 2RBI
∙ Kelso 2-3, 2B, RBI
∙ Harper 2-5, 2B

Leading 2-1, the Hagerstown Suns loaded the bases with nobody out in the third and were poised for the proverbial big inning. They got one. Hickory feasted on the Hagerstown middle relievers for seven unanswered runs for an 8-3 win. Individually, the Suns had a great night on offense with 11 hits, eight coming from the first four batters. But as a team, Hagerstown was a woeful 3-for-12 with RISP and 12 runners LOB. Starting pitcher Matt Grace went the first five innings, allowing four runs on nine hits and one walk with three strikeouts.

Author: Luke Erickson

Since 2009, Luke Erickson has been chief writer, editor, and bottle-washer of Potomac is his home base as a season-ticket holder, but he has visited every affiliate north of Florida at least once, with multiple trips to Hagerstown and Harrisburg.

27 thoughts on “Thursday’s News & Notes”

  1. I saw that Kelso had another good night, and spurred on by TBRFan’s gushing reviews, did some looking up on one of Hagerstown’s new stars………..

    Andy Seiler — Blake Kelso, 5’10” 170 lbs. SS, U of Houston, DOB: 3/29/1989 10th Round
    “Kelso is a slick-fielding middle infielder that has the tools of a utility player, but
    the work ethic of a starting shorstop. He runs well and fields well, but his hitting
    is a little light for the 10th round. This is a solid pick, as he could become a nice
    Major League utility infielder”. Signing Bonus: $115,000

    John Sickels — “Scrappy infielder with athleticism and speed, but undersized body may make
    offense problematic at higher levels”.

    Folks, so far he’s doing very good (.830 OPS), and he’s officially on this seamheads radar. Props to our head scout in Hagerstown — TBRFan.

  2. At first, I didn’t think much about Kelso, but he’s been very consistent and has made some highlight plays to boot. The whole team is starting to come together – but that relief pitching is going to be the big question. I am not sure what players can help here, maybe someone has some better insight on who can come up/down to fill the hole in the dam.

    As for Bryce Harper filling the stands? Um, no. 866 in attendance last night, and that was a “feed your face” night. It was an absolutely stunning evening/night to watch a game. Now tonight is cheep beer night with a double header – we’ll see what happens.

    1. Sounds like you’re not a ‘Minion’ because Manno has been terrific, sounds like middle relief is the big issue.

    2. I think it’s wise to remember that this pattern of attendance is pretty common in the minors — crowds in the thousands on weekends, crowds in the hundreds on weekdays. For Wednesday in April, 866 — even a minors 866, which is like a college 6′ tall — is pretty good, but you can easily attribute 200-300 of that to the warm weather and the earlier start time. Even if Harper were hitting .400 with 10HRs, I don’t think they would have broken 1,200 last night.

      1. You have to also remember that they count tickets sold, not actual butts in the seat. So that number is probably even lower than the quoted 866 or so.

        Right now it’s probably better they don’t have high attendance numbers because there are a lot of things that are not being handled well management-wise. The ongoing excuse is always “well, i’ve only been here 3 months”. Ugh. 🙁

      2. Thia officially makes me a minor league novice, as I had scheduled my coming up to Hagerstown to coincide with Harper’s promotion to Potomac in late April, thinking the crowds might be nuts.
        Turns out I would have gotten in regardless & Harper’s not going anywhere soon.

        Thanks for the tutorial Sue & TBRFan.

        I sure hope the new management @ Hagerstown is getting smarter as they go along.

    3. TBR – As far as bullpen arms possibly coming up, Neil Holland, Mark Herrera, Kevin Cahill, Brandon Meister (all RH), & Christian Meza (LH) posted decent numbers in Vermont / GCL last season.
      Cahill & Meister are both a little old (22) against projected level (A-short), so they might jump quickly. Holland is a personal favorite who racked up some nice numbers in Vermont last year, making the All-Star team, IIRC.

    4. Guess they still haven’t fixed the concession stand issues in Hagerstown since I was there last Friday (and a friend of my brother’s went Monday). I mean, there’s a MAJOR problem when you have to stand in line 20 bleeping minutes (and miss the 3rd inning, like I did) when all you wanted was hot coffee…
      Anyway, that’s neither here nor there…lol

  3. Neil Holland had good stats last year at Vermont. I’m surprised they not promot him to Hagerstown. Maybe he could be a part of the answer to relief pitching.

  4. Hagerstown’s new managment miscues:

    Feed your face WEdnesday now cost 10.00 on top of a full priced ticket so 19.00 compared to 12.00 last year.

    Not 1 thing for kids except the radar Pitch. No duck pond, bouncy house, wheel spin, etc?

    On field promotions have been dry. Prizes are now free tickets instead of tee-shirts/hats/groceries etc. Guess it is easier to give a free ticket then a tee shirt.

    Beer, smaller now longer do they sell the 32 oz’ers.

    Food, they ran out of some selections already on the first homestand??????????? With 2 rain outs too boot.

    I do like the debit cards, its easier then bringing cash and you get 20% off but I also noted a service charge that appears when it is used.

    Hopefully just growing pains, and they can get their crap together. Oh the Harper crap is way over the top, I think its the only freaking tee shirt they sell.

    Disgruntled Season Ticket holder

    1. They are also not allowance re-entries. So if you go to your car to get a jacket when it gets cold, you have to buy another ticket to get back in. Brilliant, isn’t it?

  5. How a MiLB club can fail in the area of Marketing is beyond me. There are books, seminars, willing colleagues and even industry trade shows dedicated to this exact topic. All one needs to do is copy what countless others have done before you……

    Only possible explanations: 1) Don’t know how (see comment above) or 2) Don’t care.

  6. hi new to the forum , i got here because i like to from time to time google player that I played againt in college and see how they are doing This time i googled Christopher Manno and it brought me here. Any I will give you some insight. I played on one of the top ACC teams in the conference. World Series team, 2 of 4 years I was there. We played against Manno. Let me say first , off the field a absolute great person. On the field , he is focused and hardcore. He was the toughest S.O.B pitcher I faced in four years. Now saying that I played against many many 1st round draft pitchers, but for some reason that guy gave me more trouble then others. I am not sure what he signed for but I will tell you this, he will progress through the system quickly. Greaty pick up for the Nats .

    1. Pinhead — Welcome! Always good to hear from a new voice.
      As a founding member of ‘Manno’s Minions’, you’re in the right place to check up on anyone in the Nats organization, especially one of our favorites, Chris Manno.

      Keep in touch.

  7. This is not to endorse the “I’m new here” excuse, but having watched indy league teams try to start up or relocate in six month or less (a.k.a. one offseason), these complaints are fairly typical and it’s probably a functional equivalent to Hagerstown.

    In general, never mind when a new front office is hired, teams tend to put more time and energy into group sales than marketing because the payoff is bigger and more immediate (usage rates for STH hover around 50%, Groups are closer to 80%). Selling ads to local businesses is also where teams put a lot more energy than the promotional schedule as well. The two are closely related because sponsors want to be sure that people are actually going to see their ads, too.

    There is a ray of hope, though. The aforementioned teams (starting up on the fly) that are smart can survey the fans to get feedback on where they can improve for the following year. STHs have their best chance to influence things here, if only that they’re more likely to fill out the damn surveys. It’s also cheap and easy to do. And I’ve seen it done. The question is whether or not they’ll invest the time and money to do something that doesn’t have an immediate payoff.

    1. People do listen … for example take “yelp”. I’ve been surprised at how much influence my “yelps” have been. Part of that is I can be articulate when the need calls for it … and the other is a propensity and an idiosyncratic impulse in my reviews to thoroughly describe both good and bad.

      One can take these review to “yelp” and you can be sure that their management will be made aware … if not Hagerstown then Nats central in DC. Those are the guys trying to convince players to get on “twitter”.

  8. After today I don’t se how the Nats can justify keeping G. Mock? If lst outing was bad then today was horrible!!!!

    1. Uhm, they need to cut someone to give Bixler a slot on the 40-man.

      Odd isn’t it? Flores optioned, Bixler ostensibly recalled … all after Mock couldn’t find the plate yet again? After last nights solid pitching performance by Ross Detwiler, Henry Rodriguez, and Cole Kimball? There are “two” different pitching staffs in Syracuse as well.

      1. Optioning Flores back to Syracuse only opens the door for a player already on the 40-man (Bernadina, Marrero, Brown, or another pitcher). Adding Bixler would additionally require posting someone from the 25-40 roster as a DFA.

        Sending Flores back to SYR is a good thing, as it will get him additional playing time. I think the move would be to gain another arm to cover the pitching shortfall caused by the double-headers; Maybe Stammen or Maya.

    2. Some of us (well, me at least) have been wondering about Mock since the 2009-10 off season. A million-dollar arm & a 10-cent head.

    1. yeah, and then proceeded to stumble and fall face first right into the outfield wall trying to play a fly ball in the first game. He laid on the warning track for a while. Stayed in the game though – at least he’s no soccer player in that aspect. 🙂

  9. As for help down-the-road for Hagerstown pitching-wise? How about AJ Cole, Robbie Ray, Dean Weaver, and at some point, Jack McGreary? Plus there is the June draft? And SpringfieldFan’s Big Board shows Nate Karns in the GCL?

    1. Weaver might be the earliest help available, as he’s currently on the HAG DL. Cole & Ray still project as SP’s & could move to HAG sometime in August, I’d hope. McGeary is presently recovering from TJ surgery & will probably spend the year in the GCL. If Karns is indeed ready to come back after a 1-1/2 year layoff, I’d guess he’ll likely start in the GCL as well.

      The 2011 draft will most likely populate the GCL & Auburn rosters as they are signed. The early rounds could be deep in pitching, but that won’t be clear until mid-May, imo.

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