The weekly report will be back as a regular Wednesday/Thursday feature throughout the year. If there is anything additional that you all are looking for beyond what I am reporting, always feel free to leave a comment with your thoughts!
The first week of the ‘Pigs season has had some good, some bad and some ugly after a 3-4 week which included multiple extra inning affairs, one ending with two position players on the mound. The week ended on the upswing with consecutive victories over Syracuse, including an 8-5 win in this mornings game. A week in, Lehigh Valley is in 3rd place of the Northern Division of the International League, 2 games behind division leading Pawtucket. Lehigh Valley hits the road for the first time this year with their next four games in Buffalo followed by three in Scranton.
News and Notes: OF Jordan Danks has hit safely in his first five games to start the year.
–The average age of the Lehigh Valley opening day roster is just under 27.
–Pitchers Ethan Martin and Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez have both started the season on the DL with right shoulder inflammation
–There has been speculation about Phillippe Aumont moving into the role of a starter or long reliever after several years of mediocrity or worse out of the bullpen.
–Its scary that–Only three players on the Lehigh Valley 25 man roster were originally drafted by the Phils (Morgan, Knigge, Murray)
‘Pigs Prospects: Each week we will take a deeper dive into the details of three or four players. Those players will alternate weekly among those most likely to see time with the big club as true prospects. For this week:
Maikel Franco–The low light of the week for Franco was his one game benching after his admiration for a ball he hit off the wall on Saturday, a shot he turned into a single with his slow trot for 90 feet down the first base line, presumably thinking he had hit a HR. That said, Franco has come out of the gate stronger than in years passed and is hitting .296 with 1HR and 7RBI through the first week of the season. He has been solid at third and noticeably more patient at the plate, walking several times.
Tommy Joseph–A very slow start for Joseph, who is trying to bounce back from a lost year last year. Through 18 AB’s, Joseph is hitting .167 and albeit with a very small sample size, has struck out in 39% of his plate appearances, without walking. Joseph has thrown out 2 of the 6 runners attempting to steal on him thus far.
Colton Murray has looked very good with three scoreless outings, spanning 5.1 innings to start the season. Control has been a bit of an issue as he has yielded walks in each of his three appearances and that will catch up to him in time. Murray has yielded just 2 hits and struck out 3 while earning his first AAA save in his 3rd appearance.
Next week: Severino Gonzalez and Adam Morgan
Transactions: Sean O’Sullivan was called up to Philadelphia last Sunday. RP Cesar Jiminez was outrighted to Lehigh Valley in the corresponding roster move. On Monday, largely because of an overworked bullpen, RP Mike Nesseth was promoted to Lehigh Valley and Phllippe Aumont was (at least on paper) sent to Reading. Aumont in actuality remained in Allentown and was unavailable to pitch for several days because of an extended four inning outing. Prior to the game on Wednesday, Nesseth was returned to Reading and Aumont was “promoted” back to Lehigh Valley.
‘Pigs League Leaders: This feature will begin next week after a sufficient statistical sample from around the league is gained.
Probables: Thur: S. Gonzalez; Fri: Morgan; Sat: Clemens; Sun: Rodriguez