It’s been a couple of weeks since my last full Clearwater report, but not a lot has changed over that time. The first half of the season ended with the Threshers alone in last place with a record of 32-38 13.5 games out of first place, and the second half of the season has begun with the Threshers again in last place with a 1-5 record 4.0 games out of first. Edgar Garcia, Matt German, Brett Harker, and Gus Milner all took part in the FSL all star game for the Threshers at the end of the first half, and each performed well in the game.
The roster has been shaken up a bit lately as the team has lost four players and added four from Lakewood. Zack Segovia was cut by the team, but has since been signed by the Nationals. Sam Walls was promoted to Reading followed by Tyson Brummett a few days later, and I just got a note from Brett Harker a few minutes ago letting me know he was promoted to Reading today.
Meanwhile new players were added to the Threshers roster last Wednesday all moving up from Lakewood. The new faces in Clearwater include Drew Naylor, Michael Taylor, Herman Demmink and Ben Pfinsgraff. So far it has been as rough a start for the new Threshers as it has been for the team coming out of the gate in the second half.
Drew Naylor took a loss in his first outing giving up 7 runs on 7 hits with 3 Ks and 3 walks in the game with the Threshers eventually falling 10-2 in the end. Ben Pfinsgraff had about the same luck in his first outing giving up 4 runs on 7 hits with a strikeout and a walk in 2.2 innings from the pen as the Threshers suffered a 12-6 defeat to the Bluejays. That same 12-6 loss got off to a horrible start when Kris Benson got a rehab start for the Threshers and gave up three home runs and two walks in the first inning, good for a quick 5-0 hole for the Threshers.
Michael Taylor is hitting just .130 (3-23 with one double), a sharp drop from the .361 number he posted while earning all-star honors in Lakewood. While his numbers at the plate have been rough I will admit the kid has a cannon for an arm. He has made a few great plays in the outfield, including one where he threw out a runner at home who had tagged up from third on a fly ball hit to deep left field.
And then there is Herman Demmink. Poor Herman never even had a chance to get going with the Threshers. The utility man had played six different positions at Lakewood, and in his first game at Clearwater he was asked to add a seventh (catcher) to his resume for the season. After being put in as a late substitution in the Threshers 10-2 loss to the Bluejays he was jammed up by a ball in the dirt and broke his thumb in the first inning he played. He is not yet officially on the DL, but has not even been in the dugout the past few games.
As far as the rest of the team goes, Gus Milner has continued to have a solid season. He leads the Threshers in several offensive categories including runs, hits, triples and home runs, and is second on the team in six other categories. He is in the top ten in the league in runs, hits and triples.
Adrian Cardenas continues to lead the team in batting average at .311 and slugging percent .474 and is in the top ten in the league in triples, average, slugging percent, and OPS.
Quintin Berry has struggled with his batting average at just .232 on the year, but leads the team in walks, and stolen bases, and is second in the league in steals with 23 in 30 attempts.
John Urick is hitting .267 on the year, and though that is not great he is getting hits at the right time and leads the team in RBIs with 44 and in doubles with 18. In fact a double he hit earlier this week proved to be the difference between a shut out and a perfect game for Jeremy Hellickson of the Devil Rays as he gave up no walks or other hits in a Threshers’one-hit 2-0 loss to the Vero Beach Devil Rays on Sunday afternoon.
Joe Savery took a loss in his last outing on Wednesday giving up 3 runs on 8 hits, but struck out four while walking none in 6.0 innings. In his previous outing he had earned a win going 5.0 innings giving up 4 runs on 6 hits with 4 Ks and 3 walks.
Edgar Garcia has come back nicely since a small injury late in the first half. He picked up pitcher of the game honors at the FSL all-star game and has the Threshers’ only win of the second half. He went 7.0 in the win giving up just 2 runs on 5 hits with 8 strikeouts and just one walk.
I’ll apologize now for being tardy in this report, and apologize ahead of time for my sporadic reports the rest of this year. I mentioned a few weeks back that I had a new job, and it has really limited my web time. I’ve already cut back on my own website and will have to scale back at Phuture Phillies as well. I hope to continue to be able to contribute as much as possible, but unfortunately it will probably not be at the level that it has been for the last couple of years.
Until next time…let’s hope the Threshers can get something going to make writing about them fun again.