Lehigh Valley Report

Lehigh Valley wrapped up a three game series against Durham on Sunday with a 10-3   loss, however won two of three over the weekend against the Bulls.  After an off day on Monday, Lehigh Valley continues their home stand with 3 against Gwinnett, followed by four against Buffalo including a doubleheader next Saturday.  At 34-29, the ‘Pigs are in 3rd place of the Northern Division of the International League, 2.5  games behind division leading Rochester.

News and Notes:  With a 8-0 lead in the 4th inning on Saturday evening, both JP Crawford and Nick WIlliams decided to lay down bunts, (clearly against the unwritten rules of baseball) which nearly led to a bench clearing brawl and 1B Brock Stassi getting drilled by the Durham pitcher.

–The 16-1 win on Saturday night was the largest run total in a game for the ‘Pigs at Coca Cola Park.

–SP Ben Lively leads all of minor league baseball with 10 wins.

–Catcher ANdy Knapp is currently riding a 10 game hitting streak, during which he is hitting .366.

–Over his last 16 games, Darin Ruf is hitting .377 with 5HR and 18RBI.

–OF Cedric Hunter has hit in 19 of his last 23 games, hitting .337 over that time span.

–After a rough first month plus, 1B Brock STassi is coming to life with the bat, hitting .372 over his last 13 games, raising his average above .260 to  go along with his solid defense.

–RP Mario Hollands has been pitching well since coming off the DL, having not allowed an ER over his last 3 games spanning 4.2IP.

‘Pigs Prospects: JP Crawford has really been struggling at the plate as of late, hitting just .091 (3-31) over his last 8 games and .165/.272/.190 in the 21 games he has played since his call up from Reading. The struggles at the plate have not affected Crawford’s glove which has been excellent since joining the team.

Nick WIlliams is hitting .308 over his last 9 games and .325 over the 19 games since JP Crawford joined the Lehigh Valley lineup. On the year, WIlliams is putting together solid numbers, at .282/.320/.455 in his 213AB to go along with 7HR 31RBI and 5SB.  He is subject to the occasional mental error that often occurs with younger players.

Edubray Ramos has been lights out since joining Lehigh Valley allowing just a lone ER in his 12 games in AAA.  He started his AAA career with 15.2 scoreless innings before yielding a lone ER in a game he entered with a 9-0 lead.  It appears he is now at least sharing, if not completely taking over the closers role in the LV bullpen. Between AA and AAA this season, Ramos has an incredible ratio of 36 strikeouts to just 2 walks.

Next week: Lively, Knapp, Thompson

‘Pigs League Leaders: Hitting; Nick WIlliams is 4th in runs(36); Taylor Featherston is 8th in runs(32), 4th in triples (4), 8th in HR(8) and 6th in SLG (.477); Darnell Sweeney is 5th in triples (4); Brock STassi is 10th in OBP (.376); Pitching: Zach Eflin is 9th in ERA (2.90) and 2nd in WHIP (0.88); Edward Mujica is 5th in games (24) and leads the league in saves(14); Jake Thompson is 3rd in HR allowed (8)

Transactions: Comings: OF David Lough (from Phillies); INF Emmanuel Burriss (from Phillies); INF Carlos Alonso (Promoted from Reading)

Goings: INF ANgelys Nina (Released); OF Will Venable (Released); RP Luis Garcia (promoted to Phillies)

Probables: Tue: Buchanan; Wed: TBD; Thur: Thompson; Fri: Lively


11 thoughts on “Lehigh Valley Report

  1. Some funky stuff coming up with the rotation. As probables listed above, TBA Wednesday, interesting that Anthony Vasquez is the probable in Reading that night. Saturday is a day/night double dip for the IronPigs, with two full 9-inning games. With Wednesday TBA, Russell is on turn for one of them. I suppose Sev Gonzalez could handle the other–or, Nick Pivetta is on turn in Reading. Clearwater heads to the break after Thursday, so pitchers could be available there for Reading. Interesting to see–we should get some clarity tomorrow as the beats will likely ask Brundy about Wednesday, prior to the IronPigs game, if it’s not already in the game notes.

    I’ve been thinking–some really good core groups at all these levels, and it’s great to keep them all together rather than breaking them up to just promote one guy. If the situation demands–like the ToJo promotion or now the Eflin one–then fine. But otherwise the core lineup groups from Clearwater, Reading and Lehigh Valley maybe keep them together. Just a thought.

    1. By all accounts, Nick Williams and J.P. Crawford are really close. Are you saying Crawford, who hasn’t hit at the AAA level, should be an anchor on a Williams promotion? If that’s what you’re saying, I don’t agree. Arbitration eligibility is the only consideration I recognize — otherwise it’s merit alone to consider when promoting to the big team.

      1. No, when it comes to the Majors it’s a bit different–but still not calling guys up just to do it but as necessary or when they’ve forced it. I was just kind of looking at Clearwater and Reading and you can make the case for MANY players to be moved. That in and of itself doesn’t mean they’re “ready” but there could be a case for keeping some of these guys together…just postulating, mostly. And with the pitchers it’s a bit different, too–just looking at the lineups and thinking last night…

    2. And looks like lineup might be settled: Vasquez up today should make start tomorrow. Prob Russell and Sev on Saturday unless someone decides Pivetta is ready.

  2. Lots of batting averages going up. I always question the league pitching when I see that mid season at AAA because the better pitchers start getting called up. Lively and Thompson both look headed for philly at some point too. For now, if VV comes back in two weeks, there will be a decision to make on Eflin vs Morgan at that time.

    1. Murray, could it also be that the players from Reading are getting adjusted to the next level?

  3. I did vote this year Ben Lively as my break-out candidate =)

    Still early, but I’ll double-down on that selection.

    Last year, I went with Liebrandt, who looked great…until he got hurt. D’oh!

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