Lehigh Valley Report 21 April 2011

In light of the daily box score update, I think it may make some sense to do away with daily game summaries and attempt to focus the weekly updates on how particular players have been performing along with general team updates.  So, along those lines each week I will update half of the team.  Infielders, catchers and starters one week and then outfielders and relievers the next. That should allow a constant continuing picture of what we have at the AAA level.  Look for that on Thursday or Friday each week.  I hope to combine that with occasional additional features and player interviews throughout the season.

Lehigh Valley went 3-3 since the last report and are currently 7-6 and in 3rd place, one game behind division leading Scranton. The ‘Pigs are off to Buffalo for a short four game road trip against the Mets AAA affiliate, before they return home for a 8 game home stand.

Leaders: Hitting: Ronnie Belliard is 6th in hits (16), 9th in OBP (.434) and 6th in avg. (.348); Jeff Larish is tied for fourth in homers (3); Rich Thompson leads the league in stolen bases (7); Brandon Moss is 2nd in the league in OBP (.475) and 4th in avg. (.364)

Pitching: Vance Worley is 6th in IP (17.2), tied for 5th in HR allowed (3) and third in strikeouts (20).

Infield: Jeff Larish–is at .250/.327/.523 with 3 HR and 5 RBI during the early going and has been the primary first baseman for Lehigh Valley.  He is only 1-10 with RISP and that needs to increase.

Kevin Frandsen–Has hit in 6 of his last 7 games (8-16, .500) and is very hot after a cool start.  Playing mostly SS, Frandsen is at .317/.383/.390 with 0HR and 5 RBI to go along with 2 SB in the early going.

Robby Hudson appears to be Brian Bocock without the glove. .118/.167/.118 in his first 18 at bats.

Josh Barfield is off to a slow start as the primary 2B this far. .214/.227/.333 with 1HR 6 RBI and 3 SB to go along with some shaky fielding.  The Phils clearly expect more from him.

Ronnie Belliard has been the most consistent hitter in the Lehigh Valley lineup in th early going at .348/.434/.500 with 1HR and 7 RBI.  He has played a serviceable 3B although not outstanding.

Catcher: Erik Kratz–The 30 year old local product is at .278/.409/.500 with 1 HR and 3 RBI in his 7 games and has thrown out 2 of the 6 runners attempting to steal on him (33%).  He is basically splitting time catching with Sardinha.

Dane Sardinha has struggled hitting out of the gate and is at .091/.231/.091 and is without a homer or an RBI in his 7 starts.  While he has thrown out 2 of the 7 runners attempting to steal on him(29%), the has committed two costly passed balls.

Starters: Vance Worley has looked very good, thus far this year, with two quality starts in three outings.  In his start against Scranton on Tuesday, he went 5.2 innings and gave up 2 runs on 6 hits.  He didn’t walk a batter and struck out six.  Thus far, Worley is 1-2 with a 2.55 ERA in his 3 starts, to go along with a WHIP of 0.96.  He is striking out well over a hitter and inning.

Nate Bump was hit around last night by Scranton, giving up 6 runs and 10 hits over his five innings. On the year: 3 starts:0-1 with a 4.50 ERA, 1.86 WHIP.  Averaging 4.7 innings per start.

Eddie Bonine had a very nice outing his last time out, going 7 innings and picking up a win while allowing just a run against Buffalo. Both of his starts have been quality starts and the 29 year old is 1-1 with a 1.38 ERA thus far.

Brian Bass got roughed up his last time out lasting just 4 innings while giving up 5 runs against Buffalo.  Thus far, 0-0 with a 4.50 ERA for the 29 year old righty.

Ryan Feirabend went on three days rest and it showed against Scranton as lasted 4 innings and gave up 5 runs on 7 hits against Scranton, taking the loss. So far,  0-0 with a 6.75 ERA in his two starts for the 25 year old LHP.

Notes: Scott Mathieson threw 61 pitches in a three inning, scoreless outing against Scranton on Monday evening. 

–Of their seven wins this season, six have been come from behind.

–Through the first 12 games, the Lehigh Valley bullpen is now 5-1 with a 1.96 ERA, and are averaging well over a strikeout per inning.

Transactions: With Mike Zagurski heading up to Philadelphia, reliever Chance Chapman was called up to Lehigh Valley for one game and gave the ‘Pigs a mediocre performance in his outing in relief.  Chapman was returned to Reading after his appearance and  RHP Tyson Brummett, the Phils 7th round pick in the 2007 draft out of UCLA was called up from Reading.

Brummett threw three scoreless innings against Scranton on Wednesday and was returned to Reading after the game, to make room for Brian Gordon, who was activated from the DL.

Probables: Thursday: Bonine, Friday: Bass, Saturday: Feirebend, Sunday: Worley

16 thoughts on “Lehigh Valley Report 21 April 2011

  1. Thanks for the update Gregg…

    I’m a bit disappointed in the offense, especially Barfield and & Young. These were two guys who you could definitely make an argument that coming out of spring, should have made the big club. Now it looks like they don’t even belong at AAA. I guess they’re sulking a little, maybe not taking it too seriously. I don’t know anything about the guys personally, so I’m not sure if that’s their make-up or not. It sounds like these guys could become another Willy Tavaras/Dwayne Wise type situation, where they ask for their release as soon as they possibly can.

    1. Matt, as far as I can tell from watching all the home games, both seem to be having fun and playing hard. Could be the cold weather? I understand what you’re saying, though. Whatever it is, it’s not bothering old man Belliard. From what I’ve heard, they both do have June 1 opt out option.

      1. Yeah, the cold weather came to mind too. I haven’t been up to any games this year, so I can’t comment first hand. I just heard there have been some sulkers in LHV in the past, and was hoping they didn’t get another bad bunch this year.

        If their attitude is good, hopefully they can turn it around. As I said earlier, LHV really deserves a winner this year. It’s obvious they’re not really focused on too much development this year. Outside of Worley, some bullpen guys, the rest appear to be AAAA taxi guys. Might as well get really good AAAA guys and have a fun season.

        1. We never really had “development” guys in the past, either. Donald and Marson maybe. The Phils like to use AAA as the “extended bench.”

          My feeling is, you may as well get really good AAAA guys as opposed to really crappy AAAA guys. Just look up that 2008 IronPigs roster. JA Happ and a bunch of crap. But then, I have a vested interest…

          1. As far as the “crap” AAAA guys, we can say that really for all years the IronPigs have been in existence. You have your Andy Tracy’s and Rich Thompson’s, but not much else.

            1. Right, but I was leaving the jury out on some guys who may do better elsewhere–like say, Furmaniak who seemed to be doing better in Durham last year–by singling out 2008.

              This year felt different. Some of these guys have been proven AAA or 4A talent–been to the bigs, made the AAA allstar team, etc. Thinking Kratz, Moss, Larish, Beliard, Young–even Sullivan. Bonine, Bass, Bump. The only real reclaimation project is Feierabend, to me. Plus the good bull pen, and I was buying the hype that this team would be different–not to mention the new manager.

              I’m not giving up. We’re still at .500.

  2. What’s the thinking on stretching out Mathieson? Grooming for a long reliever role or converting to starting?

    1. He was a starter for the Phils when he first got called up in 06. I’m not sure if he would last as one now due to all of the injuries he’s had.

    2. If I’m not mistaken, wasn’t the Mathieson 3 inning stint mainly due out of emergency (not enough guys in the pen)? Maybe I’m thinking of a different game.

    3. Their back was against the wall as far as who was available that night. They didnt really have another option.

  3. Just a note, former Leigh Valley pitcher Ryan Vogelsong got called up to replace Barry Zito with the San Francisco Giants. Vogelsong was released from the iron pigs late last year.

      1. did anyone see on Brummetts outing the other night…. just curious maybe he has turned a corner? Thoughts

  4. whats wrong with mathieson? does he finish the year still as a philly? could this be his last year in baseball. man he sucks now.

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