Here is today’s result.
Lehigh Valley (74-70) lost to the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders, 4-1, and were eliminated from the division trace. Another bullpen game.
Matt Seelinger (0.00) pitched one scoreless inning, allowed one hit, walked one, and struck out two. Bubby Rossman (3-3. 6.04) pitched two innings, gave up 2 runs on 4 hits, and struck out two. Brian Marconi (3.09) pitched two innings, gave up 2 runs (1 ER), 4 hits, 2 walks, and struck out two. Trevor Bettencourt (4.91) pitched one scoreless inning, allowed 2 hits, and struck out two. Vinny Nittoli (3.96) pitched one scoreless inning striking out two. Jake Hernandez (4.31) pitched one scoreless inning striking out one. Griff McGarry (4.50) pitched one scoreless inning walking one.
The IronPigs scored their only run in the fifth inning on Darick Hall’s solo HR. Scott Kingery (.226) went 2-5. Hall went 1-4 with a walk and HR (28). Dustin Peterson (.244) went 1-5. Johan Camargo (.213) went 1-4. Jorge Bonifacio (.238) went 2-3 with a walk. Rafael Marchan (.234) went 1-3 with a walk.
Darick Hall hit his 28th HR in the game. He is one behind Rhys Hoskins for the IronPigs season record. He has 5 games to tie/pass the record.
The past few days, the drills have taken on more of a one-on-one nature. Three outfielders will take instruction from one or two coaches while another coach hits balls to them from one of the foul lines. Infielderswork in a small group with one player at each position and one or two at shortstop. At least one coach stands with the players at each position and two others hit balls to them. They work on positioning their feet, their glove, how they throw, and a lot of other minutiae with the players. Batted balls are fielded and thrown/flipped third-to-first and short-to-second during one sequence, third-to-first and second-short during another, third-to-second and short-to-first during another, and first-to-short at second during yet another.
We’ve seen the entire groups switch out and replaced by another that might include a fourth outfielder or only one shortstop. I imagine this goes on during the hours before we get to the Complex.
I’ve also seen PFPs on another field where infielders play their positions and a smallish group of pitchers gets their fielding practice. And, I’ve witnessed coaches coaching up the players during these drills, too.
The most recent batting practice we saw had four groups of batters rotating from one field to the next so that they had four hitting sessions in an hour or so. On this day, they had to put a ball in play for a hit (or what the coach would consider a hit). It sounded like the coach would give a situation or identify a shift for the batter. If the batter was successful, he got to swing again. He maintained his turn as long as he was successful. Fail and you only got one swing.
Today, the players went inside the stadium after some drills at the Complex. They were divided into two squads and took turns hitting and playing the field. Coach Zach Jones would broadcast a situation for each batter. Every situation had a runner at third base. The situations were varied – defense up 3 early in the game, defense up one late in the game, defense up 2 late in the game, … No matter the situation, the offense had to score the runner and the defense had to make the correct play depending on outs, score, inning.
As in the Complex drills, coaches were all over the place providing instruction. They didn’t wait for a break or to get the player alone. All instruction came on the heels of a play, if necessary. Some came before.
When a team was on the field, they played through one pitching change. While the new pitcher warmed up, two coaches hit ground balls to the infielders and another coach hit balls to the outfielders. Other coaches were always nearby to give advice and feedback.
It was amazing to see how much one-on-one instruction could go on in this environment. I think this type of work is beneficial.
The constant movement of players made it difficult to follow or notice standouts. Samuel Aldeghari by virtue of pitching first looked good and I can remember him pitching. I remember Jesus Querales for a different reason. While he was warming up, I remarked that the next batter Dakota Kotowski looked like he could be the guy to go yard today. Sure enough, he deposited his first swing just over the right field fence. Later in this sequence, Cade Fergus crushed a ball to left-center. these are the only two dingers I recall.
I noticed that one group of outfielders was playing shallow. I wondered if this was data-driven or personnel-driven. I later assumed that it was personnel-driven since two of the outfielders were Crawford and Boyd. The other group wasn’t playing as shallow with bigger guys on the corners. In any case, Otto Kemp launched a ball over the head of the shallow center fielder that landed on the warning track in dead center just in front of the wall. Whether it was Crawford or Boyd (I couldn’t tell), the center fielder almost recovered to catch the ball.
Among the infielders, shortstop Bryan Rendon caught my eye. He is as smooth as any shortstop I’ve seen come through the Complex.
One last thing, after each at bat, the batter took his turn as the runner at third base. After his HR, Kotowski had to return to third for his turn. I remarked that he hit a ground-rule triple. A nearby pitcher (I think it was McFarlane) who was one of a few charged with collecting foul balls in the stands overheard and gave a little chuckle.
And in other news …
Ben Brown’s Tennessee Smokies won both games on the road and beat Logan O’Hoppe’s Rocket City Trash Pandas 2 games to one to advance to the Double-A championship series against the Pensacola Blue Wahoos.
Former Phillies’ catcher Chris Coste managed the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks to the American Association Championship.
9/21/2022 – Lehigh Valley transferred RHP Jack Perkins to the Development List