Another year begins, this time with the youngest team in Lehigh Valley team history and a number of legitimate prospects to track as the year progresses. The season started off in a bizarre manner with the ‘Pigs entire first weekend series in Syracuse postponed because of unplayable field conditions. Lehigh Valley was able to accommodate to some extent, moving two of the four games to Coca Cola Park, but played in bizarre conditions without any spectators in the stands as the stadium was not yet ready to receive fans with their actual opening night not set for another week.
An open and down first week plus for Lehigh Valley, taking five games before they won their first home game but ending the first eight games at 3-5, 2.5 games behind division leading Scranton. Lehigh Valley remains home thru Tuesday with two more games against Rochester, followed by two against Syracuse before leaving on a 9 game/8 day road trip.
‘Pigs Prospects: We will take a look in alternating weeks at the production of a series of Lehigh Valley prospects. This week:
Andrew Knapp has started the same way his 2015 finished. Hot. He has been on base consistently in each of his starts and is currently hitting over .350. His defense has been somewhat problematic as he has thrown out just 1 of the 6 runners attempting to steal on him and committed two throwing errors.
Mark Appel had a very nice start in his initial outing with the IronPigs. He went 5.2 scoreless innings, giving up just 5 hits, walking two and striking out five. He will be on the mound again Monday evening.
Adam Morgan started twice, one good and one poor in the seasons first ten days, leaving him with an 0-1 record and a 4.22ERA. In his 10.2IP, he has allowed 12 hits, walked 3 and struck out an impressive 14. The opposition is hitting .273 against him.
Next week: Nick Williams, Jake Thompson, Darnell Sweeney, Zach Eflin
News and Notes: Catcher JP Arencibia has thrown out 3 of the five runners trying to steal on him this year.
–INF Ryan Jackson has reached base in 6 of his last 7 games, including three hits last night.
–C Andrew Knapp has reached base in 12 of his last 17 plate appearances.
–Prior to this season, OF Will Venable had not played in the minors in five years.
–The average age of the Lehigh Valley opening day roster (26 years, 9 days) is the youngest in team history. The roster has seven players that were drafted by the Phillies.
–In their first trip through the rotation, Lehigh Valley starters went 2-1 with a 2.05ERA.
Probables: Sunday: Eflin; Monday: Appel; Tuesday: Buchanan; Wednesday: Thompson
‘Pigs league leaders: Darnell Sweeney is 3rd in triples (2); Ryan Jackson is 4th in OBP (.478); Adam Morgan is 4th in strikeouts (14)
Transactions: Placed on the DL to begin the season were RP Jimmy Cordero, RP Frank Hermann and RP Yoervis Medina. With the suspension to Daniel Stumpf in Philadelphia, RP Elvis Arajuo was called up to Philadelphia on Thursday. Prior to Friday’s game, INF Carlos Alonso broke his jaw after he was struck by a line drive in batters practice. He was placed on the DL and his roster spot was taken by P Severino Gonzalez who was called up from Reading.