The ‘Pigs have been playing better baseball after struggling out of the gate and are now 11-9, and in 3rd place of the Northern DIvision of the International League, 2.5 games behind division leading Buffalo. Lehigh Valley continues with three games on the road against Toledo, before returning to Coca Cola Park in Allentown for a quick three game homestand against Scranton. Going into this weekends series, the ‘Pigs have won four consecutive series.
Probables: Fri: Lively; Sat: Thompson; Sun: Pinto; Tues: Appel
News and Notes: Catcher Jorge Alfaro has hit safely in 4 of his last 5 games and 14 of his 16 games this year, hitting .354 with 3HR and 10RBI
–Switch pitcher Pat Vendittee has been outstanding for the ‘Pigs, having not allowed a run or a hit thru his first 9 innings of work spanning 6 games.
–1B Rhys Hoskins is hitting .414 over his last 8 games (having hit safely in each) and is leading the league in HR with 6. He has reached base safely in 19 consecutive games.
–After a brief three day stint in the majors, during which he did not pitch, Ben Lively returned to the ‘Pigs rotation with a victory last Saturday yielding a lone ER in 6 innings of work. Over his last 7 AAA starts, Lively is 6-1 with a 2.25ERA.
–OF Cam Perkins has been one of the ‘Pigs most consistent hitters, hovering between .280 and .300 all year. In his last 36 AAA games dating back to last year, Perkins is hitting .308.
–Through the first 20 games of the season, ‘Pigs relievers have converted all six of their save opportunities, have an ERA of 2.67 and an opponents avg of .207, all while losing their closer (Luis Garcia) to the big club very early on.
—Ricardo Pinto has been throwing well with a 2-1 record and a 2.28ERA in his 4 early season starts.
—Jake Thompson, who had very rough beginnings to the year in two awful starts turned things around last Sunday with seven dominant shutout innings.
–P Nick Pivetta will be called up over the weekend to take Aaron Nola’s spot in the Phillies rotation while Nola is on the DL. Pivetta has been outstanding in his 3 starts for Lehigh Valley this season, with an ERA below 1.
–RP Hoby Milner has started his season with 6.2 scoreless innings spanning 5 appearances.
–OF Dylan Cozens has really been struggling. He is hitless over his last 5 games (0-17) with 11K’s, and is hitting just .088 over his last 10 games with a 50% K rate.
–The struggles of JP Crawford continue. He is hitting .109/.230/.141 this season thus far with a 14%BB rate and 26% K rate. Over the last 10 games, Crawford is hitting .118. In his 74 plate appearances, Crawford has 1 extra base hit. Crawford’s “range factor” on defense is also significantly down this year. After a historic range factor at 4.60, Crawford is down to just 3.88 this season.
–After starting the season in a 5-28 skid, Nick WIlliams has come on strong with a .361 average over the last 11 games, leaving him close to .300 on the season. There have been a few concerning defensive miscues (mental lapses)
‘Pigs leaders, Hitting: Rhys Hoskins is 6th in the league in runs (14), leads the league in SLG (.697),7th in OBP (.434), leads the league in HR(6), is 6th in hits (23) and is 6th in average (.348); Jorge Alfaro is 5th in hits (23), 4th in triples (2), 5th average(.354) and 10th in SLG (.589), JP Crawford is 9th in walks (10); Dylan Cozens leads the league in strikeouts (33); Roman Quinn is 6th in strikeouts (25) and 8th in SB(4).
Pitching: Nick Pivetta is 6th in wins(3), 2nd in WHIP (0.74); 8th in K’s (24) and 3rd in ERA (0.95); Pedro Beato in 7th in games (8) and 2nd in SV(4); Ricardo Pinto is 5th in IP (23.2); Mark Appel is 4th in HR allowed (4); Ben Lively is 5th in WHIP (0.82)
Transactions: Comings: Wander Perez (from Reading); P Colton Murray (activated from the DL); Goings: RP Mark Leiter (promoted to Philly); P Zach Eflin (promoted to Philly)