“Don’t mind telling you i get a little mad
To get a [hit] … takes all the time I have
Don’t misunderstand me
I’m not getting soft
All i want is a couple days off “
–Huey Lewis and the News
Let’s say you just worked 135 days straight. Oh, but you had five days off–never more than one at a time. That’s a grind, right? Well, that’s the Minor League player’s work schedule from March 1 to mid-July. As fans, we may find it difficult to get to all 72 home games in the schedule; keep in mind for every home game there’s another game on the road. Plus the travel and the workouts and all the other obligations. Major League guys seem to get one day off every week or so, but the MiLB guys have to grind it out a little more. Now, it’s the break, and we wish the ‘Pigs Players safe travels, and peace and relaxation for the next three days.
The ‘Pigs go into the break on a semi-high note with a 5-2 win in Louisville. The win concludes their 10-game road trip at 4-6. Not what we needed for a team that’s now in second-to-last place 11 games back of Syracuse. On the trip, they seemed to find ways to snatch defeat out of the jaws of victory. A couple games where the hitting wasn’t there. A couple where one of the bullpen guys gacked it up. A time or two where a starter couldn’t go deep enough–not effectively anyway.
But now they’re off–and on win. After seeing Grady Sizemore go to the Phillies, and Steve Susdorf leave the team, they’ve got that win, and something to look forward to. In today’s game, Jason Marquis was scratched due to a “tight back.” I was afraid he was exercising an opt-out. Perhaps it was a “veteran” injury. After all, it was termed “minor.” We’ll see, I guess. But, the game must go on, and that meant a bull-pen game. They’ve had their struggles on this trip, to be sure, but Jeremy Horst took the ball to start the game, and Martin, Neris and Garcia each pitched two innings each to keep the Bats (Louisville, that is) at bay. Tyler Henson went 4-for-4 with a double. Castro went 3-for-5, and Murphy and Canzler each had 2 RBI on a day they were playing without Franco. Maikel was making his way to the Futures Game in Minneapolis to represent the World team. Phillies SS prospect JP Crawford is there for the USA team, as well.
What’s on tap now? Well, 11 games might be too much to overcome for a division title. I guess you never know in the Minors, but it would be a bit of a long-shot. We can look forward to a couple familiar faces returning, though. OF Clete Thomas and SS Freddy Galvis should be back soon. SP David Buchanan is already back, with Cliff Lee set to resume his spot in the Phillies’ rotation. Who might be up from Reading in the second half? You never can tell, but we could see MAG (Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez). We could also see Chris Bootcheck and/or Matt Tolbert return. Veteran Jake Fox is there, too, and could be a AAA guy at a moment’s notice. One or both catchers could be back from Philly, as they decide whether to take the easy route and option Cam Rupp, or expose Koyie Hill to waivers via DFA first. At the end of the month, the Phillies may make some deals, which could get some of our guys to the Bigs, or could land us some high-level prospects. We’ll just have to wait and see, I guess.
So here we go. Enjoy the All Star festivities, both MLB and AAA. Perhaps we’ll see you at the park Wednesday for the ticket holder picnic. I’ll certainly be there Thursday and Friday for the games against first-place Syracuse. Then, it will be time for me to get a few days off.
News still to come from me about the Scranton trip, the fundraiser part, and some bonus pictures from Jim.