As April comes to a close, and the ‘Pigs find their way to Georgia for a four-game series with Gwinnett. Their flight was cancelled, stranding them in the airport Thursday morning, with a 6:35PM first pitch on tap; word is they got on their way OK. But, let’s take a look at how the team has done so far:
By the Numbers
Record Last Season (2013) in April: 11-15
Standings: T-5th place, 4.0 Games Back
Home: 5-9; Away: 6-5
vs. RH Starter: 9-9, vs LH Starter: 2-5
Best Day of the Week: Sunday 4-0
Worst Day of the Week: Saturday 0-5 (curse of the Bacon Uniforms??)
Best Hitter: Koyie Hill .356 avg
Best Pitcher: Greg Smith (1.82ERA, Starter), Luis Garcia (0.00ERA, Reliever)
Roster Moves on the Hog-rizon:
- Darin Ruf will be coming back soon, and will most likely not be added to the Phillies right away. Expect a possible rehab assignment which turns into an option move, pending health issues with the big club
- Ethan Martin will be coming back as a reliever. Expect a similar scenario as he’s added to the IronPigs bullpen
- Hector Neris didn’t do anything bad enough to get demoted to Reading; he should be back at some point.
- Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez could be back, but may start in Reading first.
- Chris Bootcheck‘s ailing finger is improving. He could help the starters or relievers as needed.
- Cesar Hernandez could find his way back here to play in the infield. He’s currently working on 3B and SS at Reading.
- A little later, perhaps July 1, we may get some promotions from Reading: OF Cam Perkins? OF Kelly Dugan (if healthy)? C Tommy Joseph (if healthy)? P Ken Giles? P Jesse Biddle?
After a slow start, the bats are starting to come around. Some roster moves, some nice weather, and a little more experience for the younger players, and I’m expecting a higher grade next marking period. I’m expecting a greater show of power by the big guys, too: Jim Miller, Maikel Franco, and Darin Ruf when he gets back.
They started out as the best fielding team in the IL. Good thing, because at the time the bats weren’t hitting at all. Pitching and defense were keeping the games close. Of late, errors abound. Bad throws, mostly. I trust they’ll get it cleaned up. The release of Troy Hanzawa won’t help, though; he’s a good fielder.
Starting Pitchers: B-
All five starters have the capability of pitching a shutout on any given night. Greg Smith and David Buchanan have been the best. Jon Pettibone should continue to improve and hopefully stays healthy. Barry Enright and Sean O’Sullivan have been very solid at times.
Relief Pitchers: B
There are some really solid, veteran guys out there–all with MLB experience. They’re entitled to a bad outing here and there; we’ve seen a couple of those lately. They best not make it a habit, as Neris knocks on the door from Reading and Martin comes off the DL.
Coaches and Manager: A-
Bundage and his staff have been much more aggressive managing the pitchers this season–not leaving them out to dry as they did a couple times last season. They’ve been aggressive with the hitters, too. Hit and runs, steals, and safety squeeze plays come to mind. They’ve been “coaching to win” which is all I ask. The lineups have been creative and have made sense for the most part. Brundy has been getting everybody work. The addition of a coach at first instead of a player (Morandini often, or Abad during the last home stand) had made the base running a bit tighter at first.
See you at the SteelHawks, Saturday Night!