Lehigh Valley Weekly Report

The ‘Pigs (49-61) are going in the wrong direction quickly after being swept by Buffalo over the weekend into Monday and getting trounced by Rochester Monday evening extending their season high losing streak to ten games.  It is their longest losing streak since the awful team of 2008, in their inaugural season. Since May 30th, Lehigh Valley is 20-37 and has fallen from second place to last place, 14 games in back of division leading Syracuse.  Lehigh Valley visits Rochester for two games before returning home over the weekend for what will be a six game homestand.

News and Notes:Lehigh Valley has the International league’s second highest ERA for the month of July at 5.59.

–Over his last 13 games, Maikel Franco is hitting .342 with 2HR and 10RBI.

–Over his last 30 games with Lehigh Valley, Cameron Perkins is hitting just .159.

–RP Hector Neris currently has a 10 inning scoreless streak, spanning 6 appearances.

–Greg Smith is really struggling, going 0-2 with an 8.59ERA over his last three starts, giving up a whopping 24 hits in 14.2IP.

–Cesar Jiminez has not allowed an ER in 10 of his last 11 appearances (0.82 ERA, 0.97 WHIP)

–After a very good start in AAA, RP Tyler Knigge has allowed an ER in 5 of his last 7 appearances.

‘Pigs League Leaders, Hitting:Maikel Franco is 5th in AB’s(394); Tyler Henson is 4th in strikeouts(104)

Pitching:Sean O’Sullivan is 7th in losses(9) 4th in HR allowed (15); and has the 7th worst ERA(4.77); Brad Lincoln has the 9th worst ERA (4.73); Luis Garcia is 3rd in saves(16)

‘Pigs Prospects: Ethan Martin has been excellent as of late, not having allowed an ER in 6 of his last 7 appearances. During that time frame, he has thrown 15 innings and given up just 2ER on 10 hits.  After a 24.75 ERA in his first 4 appearances after being optioned, Martin seems to have gotten back into a more comfortable role recently.

Leandro Castro has it safely in 22 of his last 29 games (.355, 39-110), and is hitting .304 over his last 63 games, raising his average from .212 to his current .275.  He also leads all Lehigh Valley OF with 10 assists.  I continue to advocate for a call up for Castro.  There is zero downside, especially when considering there is a strong possibility he could be lost to minor league free agency after this year.  The Phils should see what they have against major league pitching.

David Buchanan–Even with a poor start his last time out on Sunday (3IP 7H 4ER), Buchanan has thrown well, going 4-3 with a 3.83 ERA over his last 8 starts between the Phillies and the ‘Pigs

Freddy Galvis has been playing pretty well since being activated off of the DL two weeks ago, and is currently sitting with a 7 game hitting streak, during which time he is hitting .286 (8-28)

Next Week: Perkins, Franco, C. Hernandez

Transactions: Comings: RP Jeff Manship joined the team from Philly; RP Matt Hoffman was called up to Lehigh Valley from Reading; C Cameron Rupp was optioned to the ‘Pigs from Philadelphia; Luis Garcia was activated from the DL

Goings: C Sebastian Valle was sent down to Reading; RP Phillippe Aumont was called up to Philadelphia; RP Matt Hoffman was sent back down to Reading

Probables: Wed: Smith; Thur: Buchanan; Fri: Reyes; Sat: O’Sullivan

9 thoughts on “Lehigh Valley Weekly Report

  1. I see Perkins is in the discussion for next week but I thought I’d discuss him now. He’s been horrendous in AAA. He was stupendous in AA. There can’t be that much difference in pitching between the two levels. Most scouts I’ve talked to say, AA often has the better prospects with superior stuff but AAA has savvy pitchers with better curve balls and offspeed stuff. Maybe it’s best said that there are more prospects in AA but AAA has the guys who can pitch in the majors in a pinch. Perkins seems lost. I would advocate for sending him back to AA to regain his confidence. Altherr or Dugan could easily jump into his slot. I think it’s win-win, if they do that.

    1. Agree with Dugan and Altherr being brought up.
      Since there is only one month left in the season, why not have an OF of Perkins (LF), Altherr and Dugan (RF). Let Perkins finish the year out then head for fall instructs or the AFL. again, if he is eligible.
      And the Phillies, if they move OFs by tomorrow’s deadline, should try to get Leandro Castro up there.

      1. No offense, but Leandro Castro has no future as a major leaguer. Let’s not waste big league at bats on him.

        1. You don’t know unless you try. This team sucks, why not see how some new blood does.

    2. It can be a huge difference in pitching, even though the arms in AA might actually be a little better (fewer old guys hanging on). AAA is the first place where pitchers can routinely throw their breaking pitches for strikes. Guys who struggle with breaking pitches can get eaten alive in AAA unless and until they adjust. It looks like it has take Mikael Franco a good 3 or 4 months to adjust and some guys never adjust at all. I recall that when he was at AA Perkins said something to the effect that he just looked for the fastball until he got one. Well, in AAA, you don’t always get one when you expect it and if you don’t know how to handle that, you’ll never make it in AAA or the majors.

      By the way, while I’m at it and speaking of guys who can’t hit breaking pitches, I’m sick and tired of Larry Greene taking so many at bats away from Sam Hiciano – it’s ridiculous.

  2. Catch: You are exactly right about Perkins. At AAA, you have a lot of guys who have been to the bigs and are now back down. They have become more skilled at the art of pitching–moving the ball around, changing speeds, thorwing breaking ptiches that look like strikes on 1st recognition but aren’t. Adjusting to that takes time and some never get there. But he is owed more than 2 months to find out if he can.

  3. Perkins has said that he sees himself as a guy who’s game is to be aggressive at the plate and put the bat on the ball. So the question is how much of his struggles are because of his approach and how much are because of physical tools/swing mechanics?

    Similarly to Franco, scouts warned about both of those things as Perkins was moving through Clearwater and Reading. We know he’s not as talented as Franco, so he’s probably got a good deal of work to do before he adjusts to the level, if he does. I’d let him finish in AAA, then next year he can come into the season with a better idea of what he’s facing.

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