Yet another successful Week for Lehigh Valley who went 5-2 since our last report and at 32-20, remain atop the Northern Division of the International League, three games ahead of second place Scranton. The Magic Number is 91 (hadda say it). Lehigh Valley concludes their series in Gwinnett tonight, before traveling to Charlotte for a four game series.
Leaders: Hitting: Jeff Larish is 5th in homers (10); Erik Kratz is tied for 7th in homers (9); Rich Thompson leads the league in stolen bases (18)
Pitching: Brian Gordon leads the league in ERA (0.84), WHIP (.0.80); and is tied for 8th in Wins; (4); Drew Carpenter is tied for 8th in Wins (4); Mike Zagurski is tied for 3rd in saves (9); Ryan Feireabend is 2nd in homers allowed (12).
Infield: Jeff Larish’s playing time has been cut with the activation of Tagg Bozied, combined with his own recent struggles, although he had an incredible game Sunday against Gwinnett hitting two homers and knocking in 7. He is hitting .235 over his last 10 games with 3 HR and 11 RBI’s. On the year, Larish is at .240/.329/500 with 10 HR and 26 RBI’s in 150 AB’s.
Tagg Bozied has seen time at 1B, 3B, DH and LF since his activation and has hit well at .280/.438/.640 with 4 HR and 14 RBI’s in his 50 AB’s this season. Always out taking extra grounders, Bozied’s fielding continues to be a work in progress.
Pete Orr has performed exactly as expected/advertised giving Lehigh Valley versatility, speed and a good bat through his first nine games. He is at .281 with a homer and 4 RBI’s in his first 27 AB’s in Lehigh Valley.
Josh Barfield has taken his play up a notch recently and is not at .275/.310/.404 on the year with 4 HR and 25 RBI’s. Over his last 10 games, Barfield in hitting .353, and concluded the month of May hitting .344 for the month. He has hit in 8 of his last 10 games, including a four hit effort against Gwinnett.
Brian Bocock has not been quite as good defensively as in years passed, yet has hit better than last year. Bocock is at .244/.303/.300 in 90 AB’s with 1 HR and 13 RBI’s including a few key hits. Over his last 10 games, Bocock has hit .281. Playing nearly everyday at SS, Bocock is still an outstanding defender, however, has made a few more errors than anticipated.
Ronnie Belliard has gone through his ups and downs at the plate and in the field, with both categories being more down then up recently. Hitting just .190 over his last 10 games, Belliard has seen his playing time decrease with Pete Orr joining the club. On the year, Belliard is at .253/.314/.341 with 2 HR and 23 RBIin 170 AB’s. He hit just .233 in May.
Starters: Vance Worley returns to the Lehigh Valley rotation to try to get himself stretched out after two difficult starts for the Phillies which followed a bad start for Lehigh Valley against Scranton.
Brian Gordon has been simply phenomenal. The current IL leader in ERA and WHIP, Gordon has become the “stopper” in the rotation. In each of his last 5 starts, he has gone 5 innings or more, and in four of those five he went 6 or more innings, giving up 2 runs or less. He has had pinpoint control, walking only 6 in 42.2 innings this year. On the year, 4-0 with a 0.84 ERA; 42.2 IP 28H 6BB 36K, 0.80 WHIP; .185 opp. avg.
Brian Bass has been average at best for Lehigh Valley. In his last 3 starts, he is 1-1 with a 4.00 ERA, and threw six innings in each, marking an improvement over his early season form. Walks remain an issue as Bass has now given up 22 free passes in his 54 innings of work. On the year, 3-3 with a 5.17 ERA in 10 starts. 54IP 66H 31ER 22BB 35K; 8 HR allowed, .304 opp. avg.
Nate Bump continues to struggle at 2-5 with a 6.18 ERA on the year. In most of Bump’s starts he has been hit hard, and he has gone 0-2 with a 7.90 ERA in his last three outings. He has been very simply hittable this year, with opponents hitting .338 against him this year, and a George Brett like .368 in May.
Ryan Feireabend (see Nate Bump). Is 3-2 on the year with a 6.04 ERA. As a lefty, and a “younger”efty at that, Feireabend probably has a bit more of a margin for error than others in the rotation, but he has been prone to the HR ball. Over his last three starts, he is 2-0, but with a 5.94 ERA. Opponents are hitting .282 against him, and his WHIP stands at 1.50.
Transactions: Lots of action since the last report. Relief Pitcher David Herndon was optioned to Lehigh Valley, OF Cory Sullivan was released to make room for OF Scott Podsednik. Sullivan was mired right around the Mendoza line all year. Over the weekend, LHP Mike Zagurski was called up to Philadelphia when SP Vance Worley was send back down to the ‘Pigs. Finally, last evening LHP Les Walrond was called up to Lehigh Valley from Reading. Walrond, 34, was recently signed by the organization after starting the year playing for Lancaster of the Atlantic League. Walrond was a member of the Lehigh Valley rotation in 2008, and made a cameo for the big Phils in 2008 as well. Walrond, most likely will be working out of the bullpen for now.
Notes: Lehigh Valley is 24-9 with Erik Kratz catching.
–Scott Podsednik is hitting .176 in 17 AB’s with Lehigh Valley since joining the club last week.
–Through the first 51 games, Lehigh Valley’s bullpen was 15-5 with a 2.48 ERA, and had 211 strikeouts in 189 innings.
–Great stat: Brian Bocock has 8 hits in his last 10 AB’s with the bases loaded.
–Lehigh Valley finished May at 19-9, setting a franchise record for wins in a month.
Probables: Thursday: Feireabend, Friday: Worley; Saturday: Bump; Sunday: Bass