Put another year in the books for the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs who finished the year in 3rd place of the Northern Division of the International League at 75-68, 9 games back of division leading Scranton. The season was a challenging one for Lehigh Valley. From the get go they were faced with a myriad of call ups and injuries that left the team in a state of total flux, literally all year. With the Phillies bullpen decimated by both injury and ineffectiveness, just about every pitcher in the bullpen on the IronPigs opening day roster received a shot with the big club. My perspective is that even with a record that stood well below the level of success of the 2011 team, the job done by Manager Ryne Sandberg was far better, getting alot more with less talent. On paper, this was no more than a .500 team that Sandberg took into the final weekend of the wild card hunt.
Before we retreat into the world of statistics, I wanted to say thank you to the General Manager of the IronPigs Kurt Landes, Media Relations Director Matt Provence, Manager of Media Relations Jon Schaefer, and Media Relations Assistant Tim Doohan. While often hearing good natured ribbing from the “real media” about being “just a blogger”, the Lehigh Valley management has always treated me and the site with the same high degree of professionalism as any other media member, providing the exact same access and information to me as to others. I greatly appreciate the access which allows me to pursue a true passion of mine, which ultimately allows all of us to share the information I am able to provide. As always, the end of the minor league season, feels as if I am losing a friend for the next seven months and I already look forward to 2013 and the exciting team Lehigh Valley is likely to have. Now enough with the sappy and on the baseball….
‘Pigs leaders: Kevin Frandsen was 3rd in doubles (34) and 5th in avg. (302); Cody Overbeck was 6th in RBI’s (71); Kyle Hudson was 8th in SB’s (22); Tyler Cloyd was 4th in wins (12), lead the league in ERA (2.35) and led the league in WHIP (1.01); Pat Misch was 2nd in the league in losses (12); Scott Elarton was 4th in losses (11), 5th in starts(26); worst ERA (5.41) and 3rd worst WHIP (1.57); Philippe Aumont was 5th in saves (15); Tom Cochran was 4th in walks (70)
Notes: Lehigh Valley were shutout a franchise high 13 times in 2012.
–Lehigh Valley once again led the league in attendance, drawing over 622,000 fans during the season for an average of almost 9,100 a game,
–JC Ramirez has been unscored upon in 11 of his last 12 games, throwing 18.1 innings, allowing just 9 hits, walking 6 and striking out 12.
–After having significant control problems during the early season in Reading, reliever Juan Morillo has opened my eyes, having seen hom several times in Lehigh Valley. In his last 7 games with the ‘Pigs, he has thrown 12 innings, allowed 2 runs and struck out 18.
–After losing seasons in the first three seasons in the franchise’s history, Manager Ryne Sandberg enjoyed winning seasons the last two years.
–Cody Overbeck ended the season having hit in 8 of his last 10 games (.351) and over 70 RBI’s on the season.
–OF Steve Susdorf hit .329 over his last 23 games of the season, ending the year over .280.
–Tyler Cloyd was named the Lehigh Valley Most Valuable Pitcher, while Kevin Frandsen took the honors for Most Valuable Hitter.
–Scott Elarton won his last start of the year, after going 17 consecutive starts (105 days) without a win.
–Michael Schwimer’s health remained a controversial topic as the season ended. Ruben Amaro was quoted as saying that “he wouldn’t be put on disabled list:, but Schwimer was certainly not ready to pitch. He hardly threw during soft toss the last several days of the season and Colton Murray was called up from Clearwater to give the ‘Pigs an extra arm in the bullpen.
–OF Derrick Mitchell hit just .132 in 18 games since being activated from the DL in Mid-August after missing two plus months with a broken wrist.
–In his last four starts of the season, Tom Cochran was 3-0 with a 1.59 ERA.
–In his last 19 games of the season, OF Kyle Hudson hit just .189, including 16 k’s.
–Sebastian Valle threw out just 2 of 16 runners trying to steal since his AAA call up.
-In his last 13 outings of the year, Justin DeFratus was 0-0 with a 2.04 ERA and 3 saves in 17.2 IP.
–After relief pitchers Jake Diekman and Justin DeFratus (and the continued unavailability of Michael Schwimer) were called up to Philadelphia, Clearwater closer Colton Murray joined Lehigh Valley for the final two games of the season.
–Tyson Brummett had a bounce back season this year for Lehigh Valley going back and forth between the rotation and the bullpen. In 7 starts Brummett had a 2.48 ERA.
–Mario Hollands tied a Lehigh Valley record by allowing four home runs in a game during his last start against Scranton.
–In his last 20 starts of the season between Reading and Lehigh Valley, Jon Pettibone was 12-5 with a 2.65 ERA.
–Even while missing two months of the season, OF Derrick Mitchell led the team in OF assists with 8.
–Lehigh Valley opens the 2013 season at home against Syracuse on April 4th.