‘Pigs Weekend Update

The weekend summary for Lehigh Valley along with some notes and a transaction.

Friday–The Lehigh Valley streak of not having won a series all season remains intact after their 8-4 loss to Toledo on Friday evening.  The four game series was split.  Toledo scored two in the first inning off of starter Brian Mazone, however the ‘Pigs bounced back with a run in the 2nd on a Willy Taveras RBI single.  Toledo scored single runs in the 3d and 4th, making it 4-1.  Again, the ‘Pigs stayed in the game with a Dane Sardinha Sac Fly in the 4th and an RBI double by Cody Ransom is the 5th that made the game 4-3.  Mazone left after six, with no decision (6IP 9H 4R 3ER 0BB 5K). An RBi single by Ransom tied the game, but Lehigh Valley relief pitchers had a rough night with Ryan Vogelsong (2-4) taking the loss after giving up a run in the 8th.  Toledo added three in the ninth off of Oscar Villarreal. Big nights offensively for Willy Taveras (2-4,r,rbi, sb), Cody Ransom (3-5, 2b, 2rbi), Dane Sardina (2-3,r,rbi), Brian Bocock (3 hits) and Neil Sellers (2 hits).

Saturday–Lehigh Valley traveled to Buffalo to begin a four game series and won Game One 6-3 behind a solid effort by Drew Carpenter (6-4).The ‘Pigs jumped on Buffalo for two runs in the second after four consecutive singles produced two runs, the last two RBI singles coming from unlikely sources (Bocock and Carpenter). Another run was added in the 4th, when a Dane Sardinha sac fly scored Cody Ransom. After Buffalo scored a run in the bottom of the inning, Lehigh Valley scored three more in the 6th, effectively putting the game away. (Sardinha, Bocock RBI singles). Carpenter left having gone six innings and gave up 2 runs on 4 hits.  he didnt walk a batter and struck out three.  After Buffalo scored a lone run in the 7th, Zagurski and Mathieson pitched a scoreless inning apiece with Mathieson earning his 12th save of the year. Big nights offensively for Chris Duffy (3-4, 2r), Brian Bocock (2-3, 2RBI) and Dane Sardinha (2-3, 2r, 2RBI)

Sunday–Two in a row for Lehigh Valley as they romped 10-1 over Buffalo Sunday afternoon behind Nelson Figueroa (2-0). Figueroa went six scoreless innings for the second straight time since being sent down from Philadelphia.  The ‘Pigs opened the scoring in the 2nd on Cody Ransom’s 14th homer of the year, a solo shot.  Lehigh Valley added 3 in the 3rd on a two run double by John Mayberry and a Andy Tracy sac fly.  The game was over for all intents and purposes after a four run 5th made it 8-0 Lehigh Valley. The big blows in the 5th were RBI singles by Mayberry and Ransom. A lot of notables offensively for Lehigh Valley including Willy Taveras (3-5,3r,2b), Melvin Dorta (2-4, 3r), John Mayberry (3-3, r,2b, 3RBI) and Cody Ransom (2-5, hr, 2rbi).

Notes: On Friday night, the ‘Pigs were without John Mayberry (knee), Rich Thompson (with family after wife gave birth) and Paul Hoover (knee), leaving the Lehigh Valley bench empty.

–Since his return from the DL, Andy Tracy is hitting .333 (17-51) and has a remarkable on base % of .534.

John Mayberry returned to the lineup on Saturday after missing six games and went 0-4 with a RBI.  He followed that up with a 3-3 day on Sunday.

Mike Zagurski has now not allowed an earned run in the last 16 appearances, spanning 18.2 innings. He has struck out 28 over that same period.

Melvin Dorta is hitting .344 over his last 21 games and seems to have effectively taken over at 2B for Luis Maza.

–A Phils AAA affiliate has not been over .500 since Ottawa was 22-21 in May of 2007.

–Despite being in last place most of the year once again, Lehigh Valley continues to be at the top of International League attendance at over 8,500 per game.

Transactions: Catcher Paul Hoover was placed on the DL with left knee inflammation. Called up from Reading to take Hoover’s roster spot is catcher John Suomi, who had spent a couple of weeks with Lehigh Valley earlier in the season when Hoover was up with the big club.

15 thoughts on “‘Pigs Weekend Update

  1. They have a nice righty – lefty combo in the back of the bullpen with Mathieson and Zags. If only they could keep more games close until then. I’ve heard rumblings that the Phils intend to morv Schwim up to LHV but I’m not seeing the benefit there. Let him close in Reading and if one of these two guys get called up to the big club then move Schwim.

    Figueroa is unhittable. He certainly has some value for the big club but he has to get innings. Too bad it’s impossible to determine when Moyer, Kendrick or Blanton will implode. They could bring Figs up for that start.

  2. Mathieson and Zagurski should both get a September callup, and likely will both be on the roster for 2011.

    Figueroa could battle it out with Kendrick and Carpenter for the #5 starter job in 2011.

  3. Figueroa won’t be around in 2011…not unless they resign him. He’s an unrestricted free agent after the year. Journeymen pitchers rarely stick around like that.

  4. Blanton is dangerously close to playing a game of “trading places” with Figueroa. One more bomb of a start and I think they’ll send him down to straighten things out, which probably means that Nellie will be recalled. I’ll give the Phillies credit for one thing – while they will stick with an expensive player for a longer period of time (which is understandable), if they think a situation is really bad, they will ultimately disregard salary and do what is best for the team.

  5. I doubt they’ll send him down…maybe another DL trip or maybe some time in the BP but I can’t see them sending him down like that. He was terrible the first 8 games of 09 too and he then turned it around completely.

    Figgy is a nice emergency piece to have around but sending him out there every 5th day in the Majors is a losing strategy long-term. He’s a smoke and mirrors guy at best.

  6. I have no expectation that Nellie would be anything but a short-term stopgap at starter, he might be able to confuse just long enough for Blanton to right his ship.

  7. If Blanton goes anywhere, it would be the DL. They won’t send him to AAA. As NEPP stated, Figgy is a journeyman AAA starter, used occasionally in the bullpen in the majors, if a need arises. Nothing more than that. Proven by the fact he went unclaimed on waivers recently.

  8. Interesting to see if the Phils could legtimately hide Blanton on the DL. A lot of postings on this site suggest that the DL is a good place to hide an underperforming player, which sounds fine if the player is truly injured. Doesn’t MLB take a hard line against that sort of thing unless there’s a demonstrable injury. Crazy me, I keep thinking about that as a DISABLED list.

  9. So, if Carlos Ruiz is more injured from yesterday than they let on, and Hoover is injured as well, how would they scramble if they needed a catcher?

    Send Blanton to minors? In case it was missed they just extended Blanton to give him a 3 year contract for, like, 8 million a year, or 24 million in total, or a similar amount (exact amount not essential for this thing) To send him to the minors they have to ask waivers. He would be claimed , there is not doubt about it, and the evaluative processes of some may be off here. He is basically still working off injury and if he don’t get back that is another sign of wait till next year. So when claimed on waivers by another team, the other team pays the minimum salary, and Philly pays the full amount of the rest. So, the result of that is Philly pays Blanton around 24 million to pitch for somebody else. Another great scheme.

  10. Catch 22, I have two words for you: Turf toe.

    They been doin’ it for decades, as long as I’ve been around. I have never seen MLB take a hard line. Let’s face it, players are always hurting with some little nick or pain. It’s part of the job.

  11. ****Doesn’t MLB take a hard line against that sort of thing unless there’s a demonstrable injury. ****

    No, not really. As long as there is some basis for it, its usually just given a cursory glance and then allowed…same as what happened to the Mets with Ollie Perez. Blanton seems to be still struggling with the oblique so they cuold use that. As Marfis stated, we CANNOT send him down. He’s got to be out of options at this point.

    My guess would be Sardinha coming up…and Ruiz looked like he aggravated the knee which really really sucks as we have no org depth at catching.

  12. I appreciate the input, both on the DL and the optioning of players to the minors. The reason I was openly wondering about the minors is that the Phillies did the same thing with Brett Myers when he was struggling and it actually worked out pretty well – Myers became their no. 2 during the playoff/WS run. I cannot remember if they did that under the pre-text of his being injured – perhaps they did.

    But if you are telling me that if they send Blanton down to the minors he has to clear waivers and if he doesn’t the Phillies would have to pay nearly full freight for him while somebody else would get him for ML minimum – of course that’s not something they can do. It’s not even a consideration.

  13. Myers had options remaining…i.e: They didn’t need to expose him to waivers. However, as a 5 year (I think) Vet, they needed his permission to do it or something like that. Bretty had to go along with it essentially. It wasnt an injury thing.

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