Lehigh Valley has gone 4-2 since the last report and are currently 3rd in the Northern Division of the International League, 2.5 games behind division leading Scranton. The ‘Pigs embark on an eight game road trip to Columbus and Toledo after their first off day of the year on Wednesday.
Leaders (thru 5/3/11) Hitting: Jeff Larish is 5th in Homers(6); Rich Thompson leads the league in stolen bases (11).
Pitching: Eddie Bonine is tied for 5th in losses (3) and tied for 10th in IP (29.1); Ryan Feireabend is tied for second in homers allowed (7); Brian Bass is tied for 9th in walks allowed (12).
Pitchers: Nate Bump finally had a good outing after several poor performances, going 6.2 innings against Buffalo while allowing just two earned runs in his last outing, picking up his first Win since July of last year. Bump is 1-2 with a 4.78 ERA in his 5 starts, just one being a quality start. Lefties are hitting .375 against him and batters are hitting at a .323 rate with RISP.
Eddie Bonine had a workmanlike outing his last time out going six innings and giving up 2 runs on 9 hits, while walking one and striking out 4 in a 7-2 ‘Pigs win. In his 5 starts, Bonine is 2-3 with a 3.38 ERA in 29.1 innings of work. He has pitched into a bit of hard luck, receiving little to no run support (2.6/gm). His 3 quality starts leads the team and he also is striking out hitters at a high 7.7/9 rate. Bonine has a great BB/k ratio of 1/8.3. Hitters are batting .276 on him. Other than the called up Vance Worley, Bonine has looked the best among Lehigh Valley starters.
Brian Bass has thrown mediocre at best, including his last mediocre outing giving up 4 runs in 6 innings of work against Buffalo. He has struggled with his control, walking an average of well over 4 batters per nine innings. On the year, Bass has yet to have a quality start, going 1-1 with a 4.68 ERA in his 5 starts with a WHIP of 1.64 and an opponents average of over .300. Not good.
Ryan Feireabend– Looked something better than abysmal for the first time during a 3-2 Lehigh Valley win on Tuesday. Feireabend went 6 innings, giving up just 2 runs on 4 hits. In his 5 starts, Feireabend is now 0-2 with a 7.94 ERA and has been getting pounded by the home run ball (7). Opponents are hitting well above .300 against him.
Brian Gordon will be the 5th starter until Vance Worley returns to the Lehigh Valley rotation from Philadelphia. Gordon threw three shutout innings in his first start of the season and has been unscored upon during his first 4 outings this year (7IP).
Infield-Jeff Larish is hitting .235 with 3 HR and 8 RBI’s over his last 10 games and is at .256/.333/.523 with 6 HR and 13 RBI on the season. Three of Larish’s four hits with RISP (.200) have been homers and he has hit 4 game winning homers in 2011.
Josh Barfield has been the primary second baseman so far for Lehigh Valley and has hit .243 with a homer and 4 RBI’s over his last 10 games and is at .217/.239/.337 with 2 HR 11 RBI and 4 SB thus far on the year. Barfield is hitting LHP at just a .174 clip and is at .188 with RISP. He hasn’t impressed at the plate nor in the field. With an “out clause” coming up in his contract, I would be a bit surprised if he lasts the year in Allentown.
Kevin Frandsen has shown tremendous versatility, playing each position in the infield and playing them well while hitting .314 with a homer and 8 RBI’s in his last 10 games and .317/.379/.451 on the year with 1 HR and 15 RBI’s to go along with 5 SB’s without a caught stealing. Frandsen has struck out in just 6 of his 88 plate appearances. Frandsen has hit .333 with RISP during the early going, while hitting both lefties are righties well. He has started 18 games at SS, two games at 3B,, two games at 2B and two games at 1B.
Brian Bocock was recently activated from the disabled list after missing about a month with a broken wrist. He was 2-6 with 2 RBI’s in his first 2 games with Lehigh Valley. While merely adequate at best with the stick, Bocock should see regular playing time at SS because of his glove.
Ronnie Belliard has given exactly what you would think from Ronnie Belliard. Nothing great, nothing horrible. Belliard has been the primary 3B in Lehigh Valley and his glove has been ok, while his bat basically the same. Over the last 10 games, Belliard is hitting .194 with 0 HR and 2 RBI, while on the year, Belliard is at .267/.364/.372 with 1HR and 9 RBI. Prior to this season, Belliard hadn’t played in the minors (other than rehabs) since 1999. Belliard is hitting just .222 against LHP and .217 with RISP.
Notes:Reliever Chance Chapman earned his first career AAA win last Friday, throwing four scoreless innings.
–AFter going 14 games without a quality start, LV starters turned in two in a row (Bump and Bonine)
–Reliever Mike Zagurski has not allowed an earned run in his 6 appearances this year.
–Through the first 26 games, the Lehigh Valley bullpen is 8-2 with a 2.08 ERA and 104 K’s in 95 innings.
—Kevin Frandsen’s 5 RBI last Sunday against Buffalo were a career high.
–Catcher Erik Kratz currently has a franchise record of nine games in which he has walked and has reached base in 21 of his last 36 plate appearances (58%)
–Lehigh Valley is back atop the International League in attendance, averaging 8,375 per opening.
Transactions: Domonic Brown (hand) and Brian Bocock (wrist) were both activated from the DL on Sunday and assigned to Lehigh Valley. To make room, OF Matt Miller was assigned to Reading and INF Rob Hudson was released.