The first week in quite a while that Lehigh Valley have struggled as they went 2-5,however are still in first place in the Northern Division of the International League, five gamnes ahead of the also struggling Scranton WIlkes Barre Yankees. On the year, the ‘Pigs are now 43-29 and have reached the half way point of the season.
‘Pigs leaders: Hitting:Jeff Larish is 9th in homers (12); Rich Thompson is second in SB’s (23); Delwyn Young is 7th in strikeouts (70).
Pitching: Juan Perez is 9th in the league in appearances (28); Mike Zagurski is 5th in saves (10); Ryan Feireabend is third in homers allowed (13); Nate Bump has the 3rd worst WHIP (1.68); Brian Bass has the 10th worst WHIP (1.54); Michael Schwimer leads the league in holds (7).
We cover the infield and the ever-changing rotation this week.
Infield: Jeff Larish is at .261/.343/.393 on the year with 12 HR and 33 RBI, and has hit .243 over his last 10 games with 2 HR and 4 RBI. With 14 srikeouts in his last 41 at bats, Larish’s lack of contact is hurting recently. Playing primarily 1B, his playing time will be cut into with the addition of Cody Overbeck.
Tagg Bozied has played sparingly and missed some time recently with a foot injury. On the year, Bozied is hitting .247/..412/.570 in 93 AB’s with 7 HR and 20 RBI’s. Although his average is below its norm, Bozied is a force at the plate and is pitched too carefully. Over his last 10 games: Hitting .240 with 2 HR and 5 RBI; 14 strikeouts in 30 plate appearances. COncerning K numbers.
Josh Barfield has really picked it up to become one of the most consistent hitters on the team. Now at .274/.309/.402 on the year with 5 HR and 31 RBI; Barfield has hit .312 since May 1st. Barfield does continue to struggle with RISP at just .212.
Cody Overbeck was called up from Reading where he was leading AA in homers and he is in his “adjustment period”, where we all agree to not criticize his .105 average thus far because he only has 19 AAA plate appearances.
Brian Bocock provided some hope last season that his bat wasn’t a total lost cause, but that hope has faded a bit as we hit mid season in Allentown. On the year, Bocock is at .206/.259/.250 with 1 HR and 19 RBI and is hitting just .128 over his last 10 games and .157 in June. His defense, while still outstanding, has slipped a notch from last season.
Pete Orr missed a bit of time to be with his wife through a difficult several days of labor during the birth of their first child. Orr has picked it up recently and is not hitting .289/.326/.378 in 90 AB’s with 1 HR 7 RBI and 7 SB’s. He has played all over the infield defensively and done so relatively well. Orr is hitting .364 over his last 10 games, with 5 stolen bases, providing a nice compliment to Rich THompson at the top of the order.
Starting Rotation: Scott Mathieson made his first start in almost four years, and while on a pitch count, threw very well in his 3.2 innings. He gave up just a lone hit, no runs, and struck out seven while walking just one. His next start is Friday against CHarlotte.
Brian Bass has been workmanlike, going seven innings in his last start, giving up just one run. He has started four times in June, going 1-2 with a 3.55 ERA, pitching at least six innings in each outing. On the year, 4-5 with a 4.65 ERA in 14 starts, 1.54 WHIP and .290 opposition avg.
Tim Redding made his first start after being signed as a free agent and was adequate, going six innings and yielding three runs on nine hits against Indianapolis on Monday. Redding had been pitching at AAA in the DOdgers organization and has an ERA well over six before asking for his release in early June.
Ryan Edell has not looked good in AAA, after having some success with the RPHILS. Two starts for the ‘Pigs, and is 0-2 with a 9.00 ERA over 10 innings. There was some speculation that he may have been pitching injured on Wednesday evening, so that is something to look out for.
Ryan Feireabend has been wildly inconsistent, looking good some nights and looking very bad more often. On the year, he is 5-4 with a 6.26 ERA in 13 starts, and is near the top of the league in homers allowed, most often his downfall. He has made four starts in June, going 2-2 with a 6.75 ERA, getting hit around hard by Pawtucket in his most recent start. He is on the mound tonight.
Notes: Lehigh Valley pitchers are 31-16 with a 3.30 ERA in games that Erik Kratz has been behind the plate.
–A rough home debut for Phillipe Aumont, as boos reigned down after he threw just 7 of his 24 pitches for strikes, waking three on Wednesday night.
–Drew Carpenter has not allowed an earned run in 13.1 innings and is unscored upon in 13 of his last 14 games.
–Lehigh Valley is a league best 14-3 in one run games.
–Pete Orr currently has an 11 game hitting streak.
–Lehigh Valley outfielders have 15 OF assists, seven of them by Brandon Moss.
Transactions: Pretty wild week for Lehigh Valley, where about 25% of the roster came and went….Gone are SP Brian Gordon (Released, SIgned by Yankees); Nate Bump (DL with hamstring injury); Chance Chapman (sent down to Reading); Vance Worley (called up to Philly) and 3B Ronnie Belliard (retired).
New to town are: RPJustin DeFratus and Phillipe Aumont (called up from Reading); SP Tim Redding (Signed as a free agent); SP Ryan Edell (Called up from Reading); and INF Cody Overbeck (Called up from Reading).
Probables: Thursday: Feireabend, Friday: Mathieson, Saturday: Redding, Sunday: Bass