The Clearwater Threshers have continued to struggle over the last couple of weeks since my last Clearwater report. They have a second half record of 10-18 and are currently 11.5 games out of first. Obviously the biggest news in Clearwater lately was the Phillies trade that sent both Adrian Cardenas and Matt Spencer from the Threshers along with Josh Outman to the A’s for pitcher Joe Blanton.
The team has signed two independent league players to take their place who both joined the team in time for the Threshers 5-1 win on Monday night. Andrew Carpenter threw a complete 9-inning effort in the win giving up just one run (a solo home run) on four hits with seven Ks and no walks in the game. Carpenter has a record of 2-3 in six games with the Threshers and an ERA of 2.55 with 27Ks and just 6BB. It seems he has recovered from whatever ailed him at Reading to start the year, and should probably be moved up to give him a shot at getting back on track at AA before the year is out.
For the Threshers pitching staff Joe Savery has also finally begun to show some consistency in his efforts. He has won his last two starts, and has given up just two earned runs in his last four starts combined. Maybe the little experiment of using him as a DH for a couple of games did the trick.
Darren Byrd has also started to look good for the team after a very rough start to the season. He remains winless on the year with an 0-4 record in nine starts as a Thresher, but seems to be on track after being sent back up to the team from Lakewood.
Drew Naylor also finally picked up a win at Clearwater in his fifth try. In his last outing he went 6.0 innings giving up no runs on seven hits with seven Ks and just one walk. He had four pretty rough outings to start things at Clearwater, so let’s hope he is finally on track.
For the offense Michael Taylor has finally started to get on track after a rough first couple of weeks up with the Threshers. Taylor hit under .200 for his first few weeks, but has finally gotten his average up to .232. He has hit safely in six of his last seven games including three multi-hit games. He is 8 for his last 25 AB (.320) with 8 RBIS, a HR and 3 doubles over that period.
Gus Milner remains strong in the offenseive department for the team as well. With the departure of Adrian Cardenas, Milner now leads the team in hitting at .279 on the season, and leads the team in about 80% of all other offense categories.
NOTE: Every year I give out awards to the players through my website. Fans get to vote for the winners and then I give them out near the end of the season. I’ve put the nominations page up for this year’s awards, it you want a chance to give your input. I’m going to take nominations for two week’s or so and then narrow it down to three finalists in each category for a two-week voting period. View past winners here.
And finally … one shameless bit of self promotion. I’ve started to do some new video updates of the Threshers games that are available on YouTube. I’ve done them daily for about the last two weeks. They are very time consuming to do, maybe not all that informative, but they are pretty funny (maybe). The first video that pops up was a new experiment, so it is kind of lame, but click around and watch a few. There are some funny moments in each one. Unfortunately there won’t be any new videos for the rest of this week because I have company in town, and have to entertain them instead of myself, but check it out if you haven’t already.