Lehigh Valley is now 41-24 (the high water mark in their history) after another good week (4-2) and in first place of the Northern Division of the International League, five games ahead of second place Scranton. The ‘Pigs hit the road for a four game series in Pawtucket before they return to Coca Cola Park next Monday, when they begin a 8 game home stand (Indianapolis/Charlotte).
Leaders: Hitting: Jeff Larish is tied for 3rd in HR’s (12); Delwyn Young is 7th in strikeouts (62); Rich Thompson is 2nd in SB’s (21)
Pitching: Nate Bump has the 6th worst ERA (6.71) and 5th worst WHIP (1.68); Mike Zagurski is 4th in saves (10); Ryan Feireabend is 3rd in homers allowed (13).
This week we take a look at catchers, the outfield, and the bullpen:
Catchers: Erik Kratz continues to play well and should be in Philly rather than Dane Sardinha. Kratz has hit in 12 of his last 16 games (.344) and is hitting .316 over his last 25 games including several game winning hits. He has thrown out 32% of would be basestealers and the ‘Pigs are 29-13 in games he has caught.
John Suomi has done what has been asked of him in his reserve role and has hit in 4 of the last 5 games he has played in. His weakness continues to be his arm, having thrown out only 1 of 9 would be basestealers.
OF: Brandon Moss is heating up, having hit in 10 of his last 13 games (.327) and is hitting well over .300 with RISP this year. He remains in a platoon as he struggles against RHP (.205).
John Mayberry, Jr. started very slow after being sent down from Philly but has started to look more like himself lately, hitting in his last 6 games (.400) with two walk off game winning RBI’s.
RIch Thompson came off the DL on Saturday after spending about a week disabled with the flu. He leads the league in steals with 21, and is at .308 with RISP this year. Hitting .253 against RHP and .244 against LHP.
Delwyn Young has hit in 5 of his last 7 games (.400) after a 0-22 slump. He has hit in 22 of 31 games raising his average from its low water mark of .178. During that time period, Young hit .290.
Mike Zagurski continues to pitch well at this level, earning saves in 5 of his last 8 appearances. He is averaging 14.4K/9 and opponents are hitting just .083 with RISP against him. Zagurski is 10/10 in save opportunities and is holding both RH and LH hitters right around the .200 mark.
Michael Schwimer continues to impress with just about every outing. He is unscored upon is his last 8 games and over his last 17 games, Schwimer is 1-0 with a 0.70 ERA and has allowed just 11 hits in 25.2 innings, while striking out 37. RH hitters are hitting .114 against him and Schwimer is holding the opposition to a .146 average.
Scott Mathieson has a 1.40 ERA and 3 saves in his last 12 games(19.1 IP) and has struck out 18 over that time period. After struggles early in the year, Mathieson has started to climb back. The opposition is hitting .161 with RISP against him.
Juan Perez got rocked in his last outing, allowing 4 ER in 0.2 innings after 9 straight scoreless appearances. In his last 17 games, Perez is 0-1 with a 4.50 ERA and a very high 1.83 WHIP, attributed basically to control issues.
Drew Carpenter has been outstanding and has been unscored upon in 10 of his 11 games (2-0, 0.47 ERA, 19.1IP 25K, 0.87 WHIP). He has come into his own as a middle reliever and the ‘Pigs should hesitate to move him out of that role, even with rotation issues.
Jason Grilli: Came off the DL to get a win Monday night throwing a scoreless inning. Had been pitching very well prior to his month-long DL stint, not having allowed a run in his 10 previous innings prior to going on the DL.
Chance CHapman has been asked to pitch a good deal because of rotation and injury issues, and although with a now high ERA over five, has given Lehigh Valley some valuable innings when needed. Prior to getting knocked around yesterday (3IP 6ER), he was 1-0 with a 2.35 ERA in the previous 9 games.
Notes: Pete Orr currently has a 8 game hitting streak. He is expected to miss a few games after his wife gave birth.
–All five homers that Tagg Bozied has hit have either tied the game or put LV ahead. Bozied missed several games last week with a toe infection.
–The ‘Pigs are now 13-2 in one run games after going 16-35 under Dave Huppert last year.
Transactions: On Saturday, OF Rich Thompson was activated from the DL, after Scott Podsednik was placed on the DL with a stress fracture in his foot. Podsednik is expected to be out 3-4 weeks.
On Tuesday, 3B Ronnie Belliard retired and P Brian Gordon was released because of a contract provision stipulating for his release if his contract was going to be picked up by a major league team and he was going to be major league rostered. Jason Grilli was activated from the DL to take Gordon’s roster spot.
It was also announced that P Eddie Bonine will have season ending Tommy John surgery.
Probables: Thursday: Bass Friday: TBA Saturday: Feireabend Sunday: Worley??; Monday: TBA