‘Pigs Weekend Report

A look at the Lehigh Valley weekend, transactions, probables and notes, with Lehigh Valley on top in 6 of their last 7 games.

Friday–A pretty ugly loss to Norfolk as Lehigh Valley was coming off an 8 game road trip, very long travel day and two rain delays in their 8-3 defeat at the hands of the Tides.  Homers by Josh Bell and Brandon Snyder gave Norfolk a 3-0 lead off of ‘Pigs starter Brian Mazone (5-11) who was less than sharp yielding 3 runs on 10 hits in his 5 innings of work.  A three run homer by Michael Aubrey in the 6th off of Oscar Villarreal put the game out of reach at 6-0. Lehigh Valley managed a few late runs on Domonic Brown’s 5th homer as an IronPig, a two run shot and an RBI double by Andy Tracy. Brown, Tracy and Chris Duffy all had two hits for Lehigh Valley. The recent struggles of reliever Mike Zagurski continued as he gave up 2 runs in his 0.2 innings of work.

Saturday–Lehigh Valley bounced back Saturday evening with a 6-4 victory over Norfolk on a very steamy night behind Nate Bump (8-4). Norfolk scored a first inning run, but the ‘Pigs bounced right back in the 2nd, on a solo homer by John Mayberry (11), tying the score.  A two run homer by Ozzie Chavez (3) in the 3rd, gave Lehigh Valley the lead that they didnt relinquish, however things did get a bit dicey in the later innings.  RBI singles by Brian Bocock and Ozzie Chavez extended the lead to 6-1.  Bump left in the 6th, with a line of 5.1IP 7H 4ER 1BB 3K. He left with 2 runners on in the 6th, who scored when Brandon Snyder singled off of reliever Michael Schwimer.  After a wild pitch and the single to Snyder, Schwimer settled down for a very nice outing in which he retired 8 of the 9 hitters he faced.  Scott Mathieson pitched a flawless 9th once again earning his 20th save of the season.

Sunday–Drew Carpenter struggled early with his command, and it cost the ‘Pigs early as Norfolk jumped out to a 2-0 lead on Lehigh Valley with a two run second inning. Norfolk starter Chris George was nearly unhittable through five, but the ‘Pigs got to him in the 6th with 3 straight hits, including an RBI double by Chris Aguila which was followed by a bloop RBI single by Neil Sellers. Carpenter left with a no decision after 6 innings, allowing 2 runs, both earned on 8 hits. He walked 4 and struck out 6.  After two outstanding innings of relief by Mike Stutes, a RBI single by Neil Sellers, gave Lehigh Valley a 3-2 lead heading to the 9th.  Neil Sellers had a huge game, going 3-4 with 2 RBI’s.  Both John Mayberry and Chris Aguila added 2 hits apiece for Lehigh Valley. Antonio Bastardo earned his 3rd save of the season, pitching a 1-2-3 9th inning.

Transactions: JA Happ up to Philly, with Vance Worley coming down from Philly after going up from Reading.  The 22 year old Worley will go into the Lehigh Valley rotation after going 9-4 with a 3.20 ERA in 19 starts for Reading. Worley has thrown 112.2 innings this year for Reading and has been dominant in June and July, going 5-2 with a 2.20 ERA in 8 starts.

Probables: Monday: Savery, Tuesday: Worley, Wednesday: Duckworth

Ty Taubenheim was activated from the Lehigh Valley DL and assigned to Reading.

Notes: With his 20th save on Saturday night, Scott Mathieson has tied the Lehigh Valley single season franchise record for saves (Childers, 2008). Mathieson is now 20/23 in save opportunities on the season.

John Mayberry has hit in 11 of his last 12 games, hitting .418 over that time period.

–In his last 11 games between Reading and Lehigh Valley, Michael Schwimer has thrown 12.2 scoreless innings, in which he has given up just 6 hits.  His WHIP stands at 0.63 over that time period.

Lehigh Valley plans to implement a “hitting coach by committee” after the recent promotion of Greg Gross to the Phils.  Pretty lousy idea in my opinion.  While the voices in the organization are no doubt professional voices that can help developing players (Steve Henderson, Sal Rende, Ernie Whitt) it seems extremely difficult to have a variety of ideas thrown at players still developing skills.  To have a particular coach involved with the team for a homestand, and then another voice join them for the next homestand or roadtrip, potential confusion can ensue, and that is surely what this team, which has struggled hitting since its inception needs least.

—In an interesting piece of news that was the talk of the press box on Friday evening, Major League baseball has announced that they will begin testing Minor League Players for HGH, effective immediately.  Blood samples will be collected randomly from players after games. Big Leaguers cannot yet be included in the testing as their current Collective Bargaining Agreement prohibits it. Minor Leaguers, who are not a part of the CBA are not precluded from testing. The general feeling among Lehigh Valley players seems to be that testing in and of itself is a positive step, however the players have not yet been given any specifics about how testing will be implemented.

–Some interesting comments from ‘Pigs manager Dave Huppert who made the comments to Jeff Schuler of the Morning Call when asked about the recent turn around by Lehigh Valley: “At this level, you get too many six-year free agents, and they are all looking for a job for next year, trying to put up numbers for themselves, not thinking about moving runners over and doing the little things it takes to win…For me, six-year free agents are a whore for a hire.  Sorry to use that word, but that is what they are, guys that keep putting up numbers but move from team to team. Right now, we have young guys.  The Browns, the Schwimers, The Stutes, and we will be getting Vance Worley here.  It will be fun.”.

26 thoughts on “‘Pigs Weekend Report

  1. See old Tracy struck out all four times at bat today. That shoulder must still be bothering him. Time to DL him and get Rizzotti some AAA at bats. In just about the same number of at bats Rizzotti has better numbers than D. Brown had at AA this season in just about every offensive category.

  2. Lehigh Valley may have the Phillies BP of the future…Stutes (has had a good year in his 1st yr as a reliever) could be the long man in a few years, Bastardo takes over for Romero (he is nasty when healthy), Schwimer could be the set up guy (has been on point since call up from Reading), and Mathieson (hopefully working in his secondary pitches…Lidge gives me heart failure) the closer. Throw in a few vets to help out the kids.

  3. Thanks for these updates. How hard is Schwim throwing these days? His slider is his strike-out pitch right?

  4. Really interesting comments from Huppert. Coaching in AAA often involves the guys who just can’t give up hope but just don’t quite cut it. I’m sure it can be a challenge.

  5. Schwimer is throwing in the low to mid 90’s and both his change and slider have been working very well for him. Look for his comments tomorrow or Tuesday from an interview I did with him this evening.

  6. I agree about the bullpen. They have alot of dare I say “weapons” right now, and is by far and away the best bullpen they have had in their 3 years of existance. Between Stutes, Villarreal, Schwimer and Mathieson from the right side, and Zagurski/Batardo from the left, there are plenty of good options for Huppert.

  7. Only “problem” in having so many near major league ready BP arms is that there is NO CHANCE the big team will use them all. No way they will trust multiple young arms in the pen. Don’t see how they would have much trade value either. Will be interesting to see how all these arms get used.

  8. A team hoping to make the World Series cannot have more than 2 rookies in the pen IMO….I like Bastardo but he has shown that he is injury-prone….I hope that someone from LHV steps up in Sept and if we then make the playoffs they get a roster spot over Baez…..Charlie has shown that he will not put a player on the playoff roster just because he has a high salary.

  9. How about Tracy as the hitting coach? I think he’ll be caoching somewhere after his playing days are done. Let him take a shot.

  10. got to wonder how some of the aaaa players on the pigs feel about the manager’s description of that type of player as a whore

  11. Iam looking at the team useing mathieson as a 7-8 guy to replace baez, and bastardo to replace romano, schwimmer or worley to replace herdon, why not those three guys in the bullpen a nice payroll savings and with durbin madson we would be okay.remember mathieson has some experience.

  12. Jimhg, it sounds like Huppert is possibly singling out a specific player on his team. It strikes me as an awfully ignorant thing to say though. If you want your players to do the “little things” to win games, then PAY THEM TO WIN. If you want the minor leagues to be nothing but a feeder system where competition barely matters, that is what you get.

  13. “got to wonder how some of the aaaa players on the pigs feel about the manager’s description of that type of player as a whore”

    Yep… those are some pretty harsh words.

  14. MikeMike, there is no way that next year the Phillies will move 3-4 guys from LV to the Phillies bullpen. That’s a receipe for disaster. Saving money doesn’t equate to winning games.

  15. Maybe your right but rather have mathieson than baez, schwimer or worley over herdon, and romano isnt coming back so why not bastardo. Doesnt sound that bad to me

  16. Gotcha, thanks! Agreed with the sentiment of others, it would be hard breaking in that many rookies into the BP at one time – at least on a contender. Too many unknowns that will be difficult to replace should they not perform.

  17. Matt Rizzotti 4-4 tonight 2 doubles. At this point it is just waste for him to stay in Reading.

  18. Just watched Mathieson drop a slider on the outside corner to get a called third strike for his second strike out of the inning to close out the top of the 10th in a 3-3 tie. The Pigs are fortunate to have such a quality closer as Mathieson is.

  19. i believe that both his strikeouts came on splitters witch he has been throwing for his last few games well at least thats what they have said on the radio. i wonder if the phillies gave up on him learning his ch and sl

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