Lehigh Valley Weekly Report

 The first three up, then the last four down for Lehigh Valley whose troubles continue at 44-62, in 5th place of the Norther Division of the International League, 16.5 games behind division leading Scranton with 36 games left to play.

‘Pigs league leaders thru 7/28: Hitting: John Mayberry is 5th in runs(58); Chris Duffy is 8th in triples (4) and is 6th in strikeouts (96); Andy Tracy is 2nd in walks (55), 2nd in OBP (.397), and 4th in SLG (.508). Pitching: Nate Bump is 6th in ERA (3.33); Drew Carpenter is 7th in ERA (3.39); Brian Mazone is 7th in starts (20) and 6th in hR allowed (16); Scott Mathieson is 2nd in saves (20); Joe Savery is 8th in walks (41).

Monday–A 15 inning marathon as Lehigh County closed their series against Norfolk with a 6-3 loss.  Joe Savery received a spot start and as is the norm, Norfolk jumped on him fairly early with two runs in the 3rd and a run in the 4th, taking a 3-0 lead. A three run homer by Ozzie CHavez (4) tied the score in the fifth, and Savery was lifted after five, allowing 3 runs on 5 hits.  He walked one and struck out one.  Next came 9 consecutive scoreless innings where neither team could solve the bullpen of the other.  At one point, Lehigh Valley relievers retired 23 consecutive Norfolk hitters. It came undone in the 15th inning for Lehigh Valley as costly errors by Michael Schwimer (0-1) and Ozzie Chavez contributed to a three run Tides inning, which the ‘Pigs could not recover from.  Gordon, Villarreal, Zagurski, and Mathieson each threw two shutout innings for Lehigh Valley in relief. Both Ozzie CHavez and Chris Duffy had two hits apiece for Lehigh, however hitters 4,5,6 (Tracy, Mayberry, Sellers)in the Lehigh Valley lineup were a combined 0-17.

Tuesday–A tough loss Tuesday evening as Scott Mathieson (3-4) gave up 4 runs in the 9th inning (on 2 homers), to blow the save after Lehigh Valley came from behind in the late innings to gain the lead.  Vance Worley made his AAA debut and was just short of dominating in his 6 shutout innings of work.  He left with the score tied at zero, and gave up just 5 hits, walking one (intentional) and struck out 7.  As opposed to the night prior, the ‘Pigs bullpen struggled mightily with Mike Stutes coming on to pitch the 7th and 8th, with varying degrees of control problems in both innings.  He gave up a run in the 8th as Durham took the 1-0 lead.  Lehigh Valley bounced back in the bottom of the 8th, putting 3 on the board on a two run triple by Domonic Brown and an RBI single by Andy Tracy.  The ‘Pigs carried the two run lead into the 9th, during which time Mathieson blew his 4th save of the year. Both Brown and Tracy had 2 hits apiece for Lehigh Valley.

Wednesday–On a day certainly overshadowed by the promotion of Domonic Brown to Philly, Lehigh Valley lost 3-2 to Durham on Wednesday evening. Andy Tracy gave the ‘Pigs a 1-0 lead in the 4th with a solo homer (14), and Melvin Dorta added a solo shot (3) of his own an inning later, giving the ‘Pigs a 2-0 lead after five.  Brandon Duckworth started and as is typical, gave a nice outing, going 6 innings, allowing one run on 7 hits. He struck out 3 and walked 4.  Durham chipped away with a run in the 6th before Duckworth gave way to the bullpen.  Mike Zagurski (1-3) struggled with his control walking three in the two run 8th as the ‘Pigs lost yet another one run game. Both Tracy and Dorta had 2 hits apiece for Lehigh Valley.

Thursday–A tough 2-1, 11 inning loss on Thursday afternoon, as the ‘Pigs lost once again by one run to Durham.  A solo homer by John Mayberry (11) tied the game at one in the bottom of the 9th, but Durham pushed a run across in the 11th inning off of reliever Brian Gordon (1-2) for the victory.  Brian Mazone started for Lehigh Valley and was excellent, going 8 strong innings, yielding just a run on 3 hits.  He didn’t walk a batter and struck out 6. Both Brian Bocock and Ozzie CHavez had two hits apiece for Lehigh Valley.

‘Pigs Prospects–Drew Carpenter–A “quality” start for Carpenter who have up 2 runs on 8 hits in his start Sunday against Norfolk.  It was a gutsy performance where Carpenter was feeling under the weather.  On the year, 19 starts, 7-6 with a 3.39 ERA. 106.1 IP 102H 37BB 76K, 1.31 WHIP, .255 opp. avg. More of the same from Carpenter who has been good, not great.

Scott Mathieson made 2 appearances this week, one very good (2IP 0H 0R 2K) and one very bad (0.1IP 3H 4R).  Still on the year, 3-4 with a 2.85 ERA in 40 games, with 20 saves.  Opponents are hitting .202 against him, (.197 with runners on base).

Antonio Bastardo continues to dominate at the AAA level with 3 more scoreless appearances this week, making it 12 on the year in AAA.  He has struck out 16 in 10 innings of AAA work, and is pitching beyond this level. Problem is, his command seems to suffer each time he makes the major league jump. 

Michael Schwimer threw in 3 games this week, taking the loss in a long game Monday evening, but generally looking very good.  On the week he threw 5.2IP , gave up 2 hits, 1 earned run and struck out 3 without yielding a walk.  Since his call up from Reading: 0-1 with a 0.79 ERA in 11.1 innings.  .154 opp. avg., and 0.79 WHIP.

Mike Stutes pitched twice this week, going two scoreless in his first outing but having significant control issues his second time out, yielding 4 walks in 2 innings of work. Still, in his 10 July appearances for Lehigh Valley, Stutes is 2-0 with a 2.89 ERA.

Mike Zagurski had a good outing and a very poor one this week, as he continues to struggle after his return from the majors. On the year, Zagurski is now 1-3 with a 4.17 ERA in 38 appearances with 2 saves. In July, he is an abysmal 1-1 with a 13.50 ERA in 9 appearances.  The opposition has hit .370 against him and he is walking well over a hitter an inning throughout this month.

John Mayberry is hitting .205 over his last 10 games, with 2 HR and 2RBI over that time span. On the year, .257/.323/.406 with 11HR 52 RBI and 13 SB.  Once low, his k rate is now at 22% and his avg. vs. RH has dropped to .239.

Notes:  The bullpen had a 17.2 inning scoreless streak snapped when Norfolk scored in the 15th inning Monday night.

Antonio Bastardo has retired 20 consecutive hitters.

Probables: Friday: Carpenter, Saturday: Savery, Sunday: Worley

Transactions:  Melvin Dorta was activated from the DL, after spending a couple of weeks recovering from a finger injury.  Dorta was playing well and hitting .284 before being placed on the DL.  Infielder Keoni DeRenne was sent to Lakewood to make room on the roster for Dorta.

 Pitcher Alex Concepcion was placed on the DL with a right elbow strain, retroactive to 7/25.

Outfielder Domonic Brown was called up to Philadelphia from Lehigh Valley.  A corresponding roster move to fill the spot of Brown has not been announced as of Friday morning.

34 thoughts on “Lehigh Valley Weekly Report

  1. Gregg, thanks for everything you do for this site. With all the trade stuff and Brown up in Philly, no one’s commenting on a LHV report. That doesn’t mean that we didn’t read it. If you hear that Rizz is coming to town, you’ll be back in the high life again (I can hear Stevie Winwood now).

  2. Whats up with Ozzie going yard so much in AAA, in Reading he hit all of one HR, I see he’s hit 5 since being in AAA. I went up to Wednesday’s game for Japan night, my friend and ex is half Japanesse, we had hoped to see Domonic but of course a few hours ago he had gotten the call. we live in Reading and had gone to pretty much every game here this season, even a few away ones but Richomnd is little far. It had been a couple months since I’ve been up there.

    was shocked to see Chavez batting at the top of the line up in the 2 spot, his avergae looks to have stayed about the same. Tracy’s homerun should have been a 2 run HR, but Mayberry was caught stealing on the play just before his bomb to right.

  3. Another thing that is shocking is the stadium and atmosphere, I can’t believe how bored I was, the place was packed probably around 9000 people but its like these people don’t care about whats going on in the game. It actually pissed me off a bit they just didn’t have a pulse, no clapping no making noise even when they had rallies going to re take the lead. The only thing these people like is Andy Tracy and I have no idea why, he looks like a much weaker version of Matt Rizzotti. It affected me so much that I probably will not go to another game there unless maybe for special prospect. I know this doesn’t have alot to do with the prospects but it was something I just was surprised by, like I said I’ve gone to about 30 Readng games or so and even went out to Harrisburg, Altoona and Trenton, all of these places seems to have crowds that cared. IS it cause their team sucks? Domonic Brown depression? This is 3rd year of having a team there, you’d think they would care a bit by now and know how to be fans.

  4. Love this site.

    I know it’s not germain to the topic, but were could I find how much an organization spends on prospects and their minor league players? I thought this was as good a place as any to ask.


  5. @ Joe minor leaguers have very modest incomes, of course the bigger names get some hefty siging bonuses but the salarlies themselves are very tiny. I remember Michael Schwimer saying on here he makes $1400 a month but 300 or 400 went back in club house dues, he is now a set up man/ closer with AAA Iron pigs, but those numbers he said were earlier this year when he was the closer with AA Reading. He’s not exactly a lowly prospect either (not that he’s a very high one though)

  6. Jeremy, how excited can you expect a crowd to get when Bocock is at the plate? I left with two outs and the winning run at the plate, I had THAT much faith.

  7. If you guys are looking for some real baseball talk while at the game just give me a shout. Normally make it to gaes friday n saturday if I’m not busy. Tough to find people who actually know whats going on with the pigs or the Phills minors overall.

  8. @ Joe also to add to evidence of there megar salaries, I often see Reading Phillies out at a local bar not too far from where I live but its pretty far from the stadium, its a super cheap bar in terms of prices for drinks. I mean its a fun place but there are definetley more lively and exciting bars in our area and they’re at the place that serving 2 dollar beers. I’ve seen Tyson Gillies there and he’s a fiarly high prospect so again I think this just feeds into their lower salary thing. I never did see Domonic there, besides Tyson there were other lower prospects or career minor leaguers, like Tagg Bozied, Cody Overbeck, Drew Naylor, Mike Spidale

  9. @ Alan- I don’t claim to be an expert on the Ironpigs, but I mean come on your watching the greatest game ever played in absolutley beautiful ballpark. I guess having a losing team the past few years plays a role in this. But for me its all about the game and the pride of your home team, Ive even seen mush more life at the independant league level with the Lancaster Barnstormers… Besides that Reading has seen its share of miserable seasons, but the crowd still was always into the game. Something is just missing in Lehigh Valley, my friend and I just couldn’t believe it you have a rally going in 2-3 game and its like Andy Tracy is coming to the plate. I don’t care if its Bocock coming to the plate, in Reading I remember last year we had the bases loaded down in a game with 2 outs and Ozzie “I swing at everything” Chavez came to the plate, this is one guy you who never hits home runs (except for in AAA for some reason this year) the corwd still got into it he hit a grand slam. Maybe you guys need moments like that or a winning season… i don’t know but something is definetly off up there

  10. As a partial season ticket holder, I agree. I cannot stand the ‘Pigs crowd, especially if you’re into prospects. When it comes to relievers, they have no idea who anyone is. Wednesday night everyone was growling about Zagurski having bases loaded, booing and whatnot. Schwimer comes in and no one has a clue who he is and somehow grumble that the batter had a hit, scored a run — yet, he was able to produce a double play. People hate Mayberry when he strikes out (a lot), but during the game Thursday he was a gem to everyone because of a homerun. I keep my mouth shut but I wish I could muzzle a lot of people talking at these games. They like Tracey bc he’s fan friendly. To the Pigs crowd, its about booze, food, and the entertainment and you have to realize its new to the area — not long established like in Reading. I like the pretzel nibs but I do like my prospects more.

  11. How has Schwim looked recently? Could he help the big club’s bullpen down the stretch? I’m starting to think he could be the answer.

  12. His only bad outing this week was the 15-inning game. Then again, you’re in the heat all day, sitting in that bullpen for almost two games and then having to throw? I’d be exhausted — although that’s what you’re paid to do. I wouldn’t know. I run marathons so I use my feet, and not my arms.

    I think he has this great ability to block out any nerves and handles himself incredibly well in intense situations. He doesn’t panic. That definitely is something I’d like to see the Phils take a risk on; however, they love veteran relievers. I don’t know. I was at the Phils game Monday and I bit my nails when Lidge came out of the ‘pen even though they had a good lead. Ofcourse the entire CBP almost pissed ourselves when he almsot blew it, but, he seems to be the guy they like up there.

  13. @ jennabenna

    I was at the phil’s game too on Monday, I was about ready to have a panic attack, my friend who recently got into baseball this year said she how understand why glass bottle beers aren’t sold at games cause she wanted to throw hers lol.

    On Sshwim I can tell you from his time here at Reading he is very good composed, all those things you’ve said, but on rare occasions he can implode, its not often but it can happen and its frustrating for sure to watch

  14. True. And maybe I’m not experienced enough to know this since I really only got into the prospects and really understanding the game 2-3 years ago — is it better to have a guy with control most of the time, but when he get lit up, he really gets lit up? Or a guy that sometimes makes hiccups, but doesn’t get completely rocked?

    Does that make sense?

  15. If you knew the Lehigh Valley, you wouldn’t be shocked. It is a lifeless place full of people who have no opinion on anything. Sports talk shows here are laughable, because NOBODY calls.
    People go to Ironpig games to socialize, not watch baseball. A local writer who covers the team, finally wrote an article about his exasperation with the Phillies not putting a good team on the field for the Ironpigs. He got NO response.
    To be fair, the Ironpigs themselves don’t market the baseball. They market the stadium, mascots, give aways, fireworks and food.

  16. Vance Worley could be the Phillies #1 prospect if he has a good August, and currently he is on a role after a good July, a cup of coffee in the Show and a promotion to Lehigh Valley. Right now he may be the best Phils prospect above Lakewood. At at 22 he is still a bit young for his level. With a reported 94 MPH fastball and 3 pitches to supplement it he has to have a very high ceiling. The other top prospects in the upper levels of the system are relievers. All the high ceiling A ball pitchers still have a lot to prove, mostly that they can stay healthy and still pitch a lot of innings. Look at Knapp (traded to the Indians) and May, Cosart and Colvin, Carrasco and Floyd. High ceiling prospect pitchers have the hardest trip to the major leagues. Singleton and even James, Gillies, and Valle are safer bets to be major league regulars, in my opinion than any of the Phillies Lakewood pitchers.

  17. Ultimately the issue with the Ironpigs is that they’re marketing the experience. On another level they are marketing towards big money, which means the club level seats, dugout suites, etc. But if you want a truly bad baseball experience, head to Scranton.

  18. As an LV resident, it’s because A) th team stinks and B) there are almost no prospects. To me, it’s just not as exciting to watch 30-year-old minor leaguers play. Tracy might be an exception because he can hit and he’s been with the team awhile, IDK.

  19. I have had an 18 game plan since the Pigs started, section 115 right behind the plate. I stayed the entire 15 innings Monday, booed when the errors were made. Yes the IronPigs market the experience, but so do a lot of minor league teams. “Bull Durham ” was accurate- the crowd and the experience are the thing, not the baseball.
    The crowd did react when D Brown was there, but even a diehard baseball fan like myself wondered aloud Friday night, “what or who is there to watch now?” The team got beat 9-2 by a team that has multiple prospects on their way to the majors. The Phillies have stocked this team over the years with veterans, but few prospects. But fans stayed until the end for the fireworks..

  20. Why would I go to see that array of over thirty guys without brown not one postion prospect, sorry its not fun , can go to a local softball game to see those type of players or pendel league, same type of players and closer.

  21. I’ll say this much. In my experience, 90% of the fans really don’t care who is a prospect or non prospect (except for the elite guys). If a player is good they root for him, and if bad they dislike him. Andy Tracy produces, so he’s a fan favorite.

  22. As a full season ticket holder for the ‘Pigs please let me briefly point out:

    1. I’m here reading these posts because I care about prospects that might eventually come to the ‘Pigs. I don’t care a thing about the Phillies and resent that they won’t put any effort into finding decent players for our AAA team–despite the fact that we support the team like few other minor league towns do. I’m hopeful for the fact that some of these kids will eventually find their way up to AAA without getting traded or cut. I do understand how baseball works and try not to complain too loudly about AAA–but be careful about complaining that I’m not cheering loudly enough on August 18 when we’re 16.5 games out.

    2. Local team management is not responsible for the talent on the field–only for putting fannies in the seats and turning a profit. I can hardly fault them for the job they’ve done.

    3. By this time of the year, we’ve seen what this team is and some of us refuse to get too excited by it. Please don’t blame the fans who either don’t want to get burned again, or don’t know enough to care in the first place. This area doesn’t know what winning baseball is, yet. I go to almost every game, so I do know that there are nights when the crowd is much more responsive than what you describe. How can you fault us for not getting excited by prospects? We don’t have any! There’s the sense that at least Andy Tracy is somewhat loyal to the area, for sticking around, so he gets some support–plus he’s always cool to my kids when we meet him.

    4. The popularity of the entertainment has led to a demand for tickets. If you’re sitting in the outer sections, the folks are mostly groups and many may not be interested in baseball at all. The baseball folks sit between the dugouts and in the club level, but some of us don’t come as often this time of year when there’s nothing to cheer for and we’ve had our enthusiasm usurped a number of times by now.

    5. I was in Reading for the first time the other night, and really didn’t find it that much different from early-season ‘Pigs games. Except that my kids complained about not being in the club level. I was in Washington for a ‘Nats game earlier in July, which was good–great crowd. I’m headed to Scranton later, as well as Pittsburgh. We shall see.

    6. I don’t blame Schwim for the bad inning the other night. He really only gave up one hit, and then all kinds of goofiness happened. He did his best to help the team win, which not all players will do *cough*Mayberry*cough*.

    ehh, anyway, you’re always welcome to join me in 209. I do yell at the umps a bit, though…

  23. “ehh, anyway, you’re always welcome to join me in 209. I do yell at the umps a bit, though…”

    No we’re not. They check tickets at the door. :-p

  24. My boyfriend plays in the NFL and here for Eagles training camp. I’ve also noticed people brag about going to camp, but when it comes down to it and to converse w/ a random fan – its difficult. Like mentioned above, I’ve lived here most of my life had no one really has their own opinion. Most people don’t understand what exactly is a team organization or what the word “High-A” means.

    On one note, head of entertainment at the field (Lindsey) is a longtime friend of mine from high school and she works insane hours (once came to meet up with us at the bar in sweats, disheveled hair, and sweats. I applaud the efforts to entertain thousands of antsy children.

  25. Looking over Savery’s games in July, there has been a marked improvement in control according to the numbers. Are the coaches on to something? Admittedly, he is still not pitching too well, but I wonder if that will improve also as his command and control does.

  26. Yes, Lindsey is chatty, but she knows what she is doing. She gets to the field at 9am at times and leaves after the players at the end of the night. To do that every home game and work her hours when they’re on the road is impressive. I couldn’t do it.

    As mentioned before – again, the fans here always have something to complain or pout about.

  27. Jenna-
    Incredible isn’t it..? As horrible as the team is, the ‘Pigs front office do an excellent job putting together an entertaining night, wih very little entertainment between the lines.

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