Guest Column: At The Quarter Pole

A look at the teams halfway through the first half

[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.

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.

10 thoughts on “Guest Column: At The Quarter Pole”

  1. Agree with most of it except on Tom Milone. I would hardly saw he is struggling so far. 1 bad outing but has since had two dominating starts his K/BB is stellar as has been the case his whole career.

    1. I may have been a bit harsh w/Malone, but I guess I’m holding him to a higher standard, and a 4+ERA stuck out like a zit on a runway model in my eye.

  2. Great stuff, BinM. I don’t think you’re taking into account fully that Potomac has played such a lopsided schedule; they have some hellacious homestands coming and let see what happens.

    The Suns are starting to look like the minor league version of the ’27 Yankees!

    1. Mark: I did make mention of the string (14 games in 14 days actually) of home games prior to the All-Star break, but emphasized the skewed schedule / bad break a little more because of its possible effect on their record. Glad you liked the piece otherwise.

  3. Should it be a surprise to see the nats release Boomer Whiting? I was never a fan of his while at Potomac to me he was just a speed burner.

    1. He was apparently a favorite of Trent Jewett, who liked having some speed available. When Blanco was signed, “Boomer” was all but done under Knoor. He was a good OG, and I wish him well.

  4. Do you guys ever watch the youtube highlights of the Senators games? They’ve got a channel that shows highlights sometimes. Supposedly, Ollie Perez looked pretty good in his debut. I’m not not sure what to make of that. I’m sure if he shows anything, they’d kick the tires on him at AAA. It’s a long way to go for that, though, I’m sure.

    Why the man didn’t take his medicine in the minors last year, I will never know. John Lannan he is not for sure.

    1. The results are what the results are so it’s tough to complain…and I am by no means a scout that can tell you whether he was consistent with his arm slot where they want it to be, but he would have got lit up at the major league level last night.

      Out of his first two innings of work (34 pitches), all but 3 were between 80 and 85.

      Now, I’m willing to cut him some slack and see how he does in another start or at Syracuse but I’m not overly optimistic.

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