New Look ‘Pigs Can’t Hold On, Plus News and Notes

A new starting pitcher and a couple new fielders couldn’t quite propel the ‘Pigs to a second win in a row versus Rochester.  The new guys look good, though.

Marquis Delivers Photo: Cheryl Pursell

Marquis Delivers
Photo: Cheryl Pursell

Another 10,100-type night saw the ‘Pigs jump out to an early lead behind newcomers Grady Sizemore and Russ Canzler, while the RedWings were held in check by new/old pitcher Jason Marquis. Sebastian Valle continues to hit the ball really hard, and added a line-shot to the bullpens in left.  However, the relief battery of Jeremy Horst, Ethan Martin, and Cesar Jimenez couldn’t secure leads of 4 and 3 runs.  Today’s another day…

Valle with the HR stroke... Photo: Cheryl Pursell

Valle with the HR stroke…
Photo: Cheryl Pursell

Marquis Winds, Photo: Cheryl Pursell

Marquis Winds,
Photo: Cheryl Pursell

Going forward, expect to see former MLB star Sizemore playing every day and playing in center field.  He looked good last night while making a diving play in center (he missed another, but it was a difficult play).  He lined a single over the shortstop in his first at-bat, and crushed two more to the right-center warning track.  He’s probably rusty, but he was hitting the ball hard.  If he can get out in front of those a little, they will all be for extra bases and more.  He has an opt-out at the All Star break, so we’ll need to get what we can out of him before he’s gone–one way or another.

Grady Sizemore at the plate. Photo: Cheryl Pursell

Grady Sizemore at the plate.
Photo: Cheryl Pursell

These reclamation projects–maybe that’s a bad term, but–could be good for the Phillies.  There’s little to lose, as neither have been promised any money, much less even a roster spot at this juncture.  If they can help the Phils, then the IronPigs should get help, too, in some way.  If they become trade pieces or replacements for traded players, that could bring the ‘Pigs players indirectly.

Anyway, Sizemore was lead-off in the order which I suppose suits him.  He has the speed and skill to hit there, but the drop for Castro hurts him a bit.  Canzler hit fourth, and has done well there the past two nights.  However, I think I might shuffle things a bit if it were up to me.  Perhaps:

  1. Castro LF
  2. Henson 2B
  3. Canzler DH
  4. Sizemore CF
  5. Franco 3B
  6. Susdorf RF
  7. Murphy 1B
  8. Blanco SS
  9. Valle C

No, I guess that doesn’t completely work either.  But, putting the pressure ON Castro to bat first and see some pitches does kind of help him, and taking the pressure OFF Murphy by dropping him down seems to help him as well.  Valle’s been tremendous, and should get to play most every day now with Rupp and Hill both on the Phillies.  I suppose you could switch Valle and Franco and it’d look pretty good, but I don’t think the Phillies’ brass would like seeing Franco in the nine hole.  I’d also like to see Spears leading off at some point, and you’ve got to fit Perkins in there too once he’s back from his concussion-like symptoms.  I’ll keep working on it.  I think we’ll see a couple permutations in the next few days.


Roster Moves:

Alluded to above:  Koyie Hill to the Phillies (Chooch to 7-Concussion Symptoms DL) putting both he and Cameron Rupp in Philly, Luis Garcia to the Phillies today (extra player for double-header), P Shawn Camp released (again), OF Zach Collier (Reading) DFA to make room for Koyie Hill on the 40-man.  ICYMI: Maruczak was released from Reading, and Rusty Ryal was sent to his place.  I believe another move will need to be made today to make room for Sean O’Sullivan with the Phillies, as he’s due to start the night-cap tonight in Philadelphia.  I suppose they could make a paper move with a reliever who has options, and wait until between games to do it, reversing it after the fact.  I believe Justin De Fratus has already used an option for this year, so that would  be an easy, temporary move.  C Lars Davis was promoted from Reading to fill the back-up spot.  So far as I can tell, Reading is left with only Logan More behind the plate as Tommy Joseph is still in Florida rehabbing his arm, and is not ready.  Stay tuned.


Old Notes:

Thursday night was a nice win:  1-0 behind a masterful night from Greg Smith.  He was ranging 71-84 most of the night, and the variety of crazy, moving pitches coming out of that new side-arm delivery had the Rochester batters befuddled.  The ‘pen was able to hold it behind Neris, Knigge and Garcia.


On Tap:

The much detested two-game sets continue, as Rochester leaves to face Norfolk at home, and Scranton comes to town for two games home and home.  Barry Enright on the mound tonight for the IronPigs as the IronRail series continues against an TBA starter for the RailRiders.  The IronPigs currently lead the series 6-2, with 9 wins needed to win outright.  The Moosic squad is currently in last place, but only one game behind us in the standings.  They won last night, but are 4-6 over their last 10.  Monday is in Scranton, and Tuesday is our trip up there!



“Tiki” party tonight following the game, I assume.  We’ll see if it’s in the Trough or Tiki area–Trough seemed to be well-received last week, but I kind of like the intimacy of the Tiki.

Still planning on a post-game tailgate for Sunday.  “Joe’s Corner” of the Dr Pepper lot up top.  Look for the flags.  Last week we were a little delayed getting set up because there were too many cars in the way.  Monitor Twitter for status, and look for the flags 5-50 minutes after the last out.  On the menu this week:  Steak Sandwiches.

Tailgate still planned for Tuesday in Moosic prior to the “invasion” game.  As soon as 4PM so that we can listen (watch?) the soccer game.  Menu TBA–probably cheeseburgers and hot dogs.



I know Bert thinks I’m off, but if Cliff Lee threw a simulated game yesterday, he could be ready for a rehab on Wednesday or Thursday when the ‘Pigs are home.  Pure speculation on my part.

I think Darin Ruf took regular batting practice yesterday for the first time.  If that’s the case, he could be a little ahead of the schedule I was assuming.  But if I had to guess, I’d say we still won’t see him in the lineup until the road trip to Indy 7/6 at the earliest.  Again, speculation on my part.  Just keeping my ear to the ground.

Matt Tolbert has been playing in the GCL games of late.  I wonder if they’ll send him to Reading when he’s ready?  I haven’t heard anything about Clete Thomas or Freddy Galvis lately.

As mentioned above, Cam Perkins has been battling concussion symptoms since diving on the warning track in Syracuse the other day.  Reports are, he was seeing a doctor yesterday and wasn’t in the dugout during BP.


Kram’s Dilemma:

I think I’m headed for the IronPigs tonight–combination of needing to deliver T-Shirts to folks who’ve ordered them for Tuesday, and tired and don’t wanna drive, and hatred for Stabler. I hope the SteelHawks can make the playoffs, though, and would encourage all to attend that game.


See you at the park,



Categories: CherylPursellsPhotos, Kram's Korner - From the Club Level, Lehigh Valley IronPigs

2 replies

  1. Can’t put Franco in the 5 slot on regular basis. Usually that spot should go to your best RBI guy and Franco is not that guy. He should be hitting 6th or 7th based on what he’s done so far this year. By the way the 2 hard hit balls by Grady were to left center not right center.

    • I know about Franco, man. He was killing us at 3, so now 5. He’s gotta get at-bats, though, so like I said brass will want him in the top “half.”

      You are correct about those hits. I just mis-wrote thinking that if they were to right they could have been out. His timing might be just a hair off–hope to see it improve quickly for the sake of our team.

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