The perspective juggernaut has been mediocre at best through the first two weeks of the season with the ‘Pigs sitting with a 5-6 record through 11 games, and in 4th place of the Northern Division of the International League, 2.5 games behind division leading Buffalo. Lehigh Valley returns home tonight to begin what will be a six game home stand against Columbus and Toledo.
News and Notes: Jorge Alfaro has started the season very hot, getting on base in all 9G he has appeared in (.361, 1HR 5RBI)
–Through the first 11 games of the season, the Lehigh Valley bullpen is getting the job done with a 2.38 ERA and an opponents batting average of .190.
–In his second career AAA appearance, RP Mark Leiter set a ‘Pigs record for strikeouts in an appearance by a relief pitcher with 8. Leiter has been predominately used as the ‘Pigs long man in the early going.
–Pitchers Dailier Hinojosa and Colten Murray have been placed on the DL to start the season.
–P Nick Pivetta has probably been the ‘Pigs best starter the first two times through the rotation. Pivetta is 2-0 with an 0.69 ERA. Most impressively, he has not walked a batter while striking out 13 in his 13IP, while holding the opposition to a .167 avg.
–Jake Thompson has had significant troubles in each of his first two starts, lasting just 2.1 innings in each and yielding 9ER in one start and 6ER in the other. His control has been poor as well with 6BB in 5.2 innings of work.
–RP Pat Vendittee has been extremely effective in his first 3 ‘Pigs appearances, throwing 5.1 scoreless innings and striking out 7.
–Both Pedro Beato and Michael Mariot have earned saves in the early going and look for the “closer by committee” after losing Luis Garcia to Philadelphia.
–A very successful first 11 games in his AAA career for 1B Rhys Hoskins, who is hitting .324/.452/.676 with 3HR and 5RBI in his first 34 AB. The other half of the “bash brothers”, Dylan Cozens, sits at .158/.238/.316 in 38AB and has 17 strikeouts in his 42 plate appearances (40%).
–The struggles of JP Crawford have been well documented in the early going. Crawford is at .086/.200/.143 thru 40 plate appearances. He has a lone extra base hit and a lone RBI to go along with an “uncrawfordlike” 30% K rate. Only one error in the early going, however, his range factor has been significantly lower than in previous years thus far. It is still VERY early.
–INF Jesmuel Valentin has been the offensive catalyst in several of the ‘Pigs victories and is hitting at a .355 clip early on to go along with 5RBI in his 31AB.
–A big, three hit game that included a homer has gotten Nick WIlliams going back in the right direction after bumpy beginnings this season. WIlliams sits at .265/.297/.412 with 1HR and 3RBI in 34AB. The OBP is reminiscent of last year and must improve. He has walked just once in 35AB and is striking out at a 35% clip.
Probables: Tuesday: Thompson; Wednesday: Pinto; Thursday: Lively; Friday: Pivetta; Saturday: Appel
Comings: Adam Morgan (optioned from Philadelphia)
Goings: Zach Eflin (to Phillies), P Luis Garcia to Phillies,