A Bull In A Bacon Shop

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The foundering ‘Pigs managed to get a win from the Bisons–finally–and now welcome the Durham Bulls to town for four more games in the second half of this season-long home stand.

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Another great day at the park.  Photo Cheryl Pursell

Another great day at the park. Photo Cheryl Pursell

TEAM REPORT

The IronPigs finished off their April home/home with the Bisons at a dreadful 1-7.  We’ll see the Bisons again up North June 23, and at The Coke at the end of August.

International League North
Club W L PCT GB ELIM # Home Away L 10 Streak
Buffalo Bisons (TOR) 12 5 .706 6-2 6-3 8-2 L1
Pawtucket Red Sox (BOS) 11 7 .611 1.5 126 5-2 6-5 6-4 L2
Rochester Red Wings (MIN) 9 7 .563 2.5 126 3-2 6-5 4-6 W2
Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders (NYY) 9 9 .500 3.5 124 6-8 3-1 7-3 W2
Syracuse Chiefs (WSH) 6 11 .353 6.0 122 2-5 4-6 3-7 L2
Lehigh Valley IronPigs (PHI) 5 13 .278 7.5 120 4-7 1-6 2-8 W1

PLAYER REPORT

RHP Phillippe Aumont  (cover photo by Cheryl Pursell) got the start yesterday–and the win.  He walked none and kept the Buffalo hitters off-kilter all afternoon.  He went five innings, but probably could have gone more.  In fact, folks in my section were yelling for him to come back out after the mess Cesar Jimenez was creating in the sixth.  Aumont will remain in the rotation for now.

Domonic Brown continues his rehab assignment and should be in the lineup Monday and Tuesday barring unforeseen circumstances.  He’s hitting .129 at AAA over the past week.

Dom Brown Photo: Cheryl Pursell

Dom Brown Photo: Cheryl Pursell

The following players were part of the win yesterday; I think each should be in the lineup almost every day at this juncture:  Darin Mastroianni (.298), Tyler Henson (.286), Russ Canzler (.317), Chris Nelson (.302), Chase d’Arnaud (.292).  I know you’ve got to find positions for all those guys, and others such as Brian Bogusevic (.293), Jordan Danks (.269) and Rene Garcia (.269) deserve to play, as well.  It feels like we’ve got enough hitters to win more ball games than we have.  But then, I’m not really worried about the results.

Darin Mastroianni can be an impact player--he's got the dirty uniform to prove it. Photo: Cheryl Pursell

Darin Mastroianni can be an impact player–he’s got the dirty uniform to prove it.
Photo: Cheryl Pursell

Maikel Franco didn't have a great game yesterday, but has been really solid this April. Photo: Cheryl Pursell

Maikel Franco didn’t have a great game yesterday, but has been really solid this April.
Photo: Cheryl Pursell

I expect some roster moves coming up, but not necessarily any system movement at May 1.  Mid-May and June 1 should have more of those types of moves.  For now, I’m looking at a move on Tuesday when the Severino Gonzalez promotion becomes official.  The Phillies will need both a 40-man and a 25-man spot for him.  Wednesday, Dom Brown should get promoted, and somewhere before Tuesday May 5, Chad Billingsley should get promoted.  Here’s some wild speculation on moves the Phillies could make in order to make room for these three:

  • Andres Blanco and Cesar Hernandez are somewhat redundant on the Phillies–both would be DFA moves.
  • Grady Sizemore is hitting .133
  • Darin Ruf has an option and is hitting .147
  • The Dustin McGowan era might be over in Philadelphia
  • Jake Diekman is struggling, and may have an option left.
  • Severino Gonzalez may come back down when it’s time for Billingsley to get activated.
  • Sean O’Sullivan, who’s on the 15-day D.L., could get assigned for some “rehab” first, then outrighted if necessary.
Chase d'Arnaud needs to be in the lineup more often. Photo: Cheryl Pursell

Chase d’Arnaud needs to be in the lineup more often.
Photo: Cheryl Pursell

Tommy Joseph had a big hit yesterday and could benefit from more consistent playing time.  He did well with Aumont, too. Photo: Cheryl Pursell

Tommy Joseph had a big hit yesterday and could benefit from more consistent playing time. He did well with Aumont, too.
Photo: Cheryl Pursell

AT THE PARK

Monday:  LHP Adam Morgan is on the mound for the IronPigs as the Bulls make their 2015 visit.  The ‘Pigs will visit them starting June 8.  It’s Saved By The Bell night as Mr. Belding visits.  He’ll be signing autographs on the concourse from the 2nd inning through the 6th, I believe.  Weather:  57 degrees with a slight chance of rain at game time.  Some wind and dropping into the 40’s by the end of the game.  AUTOGRAPHS tonight at opening (subject to change):  Joely Rodriguez and Russ Canzler.

Tuesday:  Veteran Paul Clemens on the mound for “T-Shirt Tuesday.” And, it’s Hockey Night at the park.  The T-Shirt giveaway is for the kiddos, if I’m not mistaken (It’s not listed now).  This will be the first Kram-less game of the season, so it’s fitting that the weather will start to get a little warmer here.

IMG_1420

Wednesday:  Young LHP Joely Rodriguez gets the ball again for On Field Photo Night.  I think this is a great opportunity for “real fans” of the team to go down on the field and meet the players and get photos–more than the autograph-hawkers trying to make money on player signatures.  See the ‘Pigs web site for more details.  The weather should be gorgeous.

Thursday:  It’s another “education day” as we get a 10:35AM start.  The weather should remain good as Chad Billingsley makes his final rehab start in another day game.  It’s getaway day for the team as they head off to the far-western reaches of the International League to face Indianapolis, then Louisville.

The team gets it’s first off-day of the season on Thursday May 7 before hosting Gwinnett on Friday May 8 at home–unfortunately, much of their free time will be spent on a bus ride from Louisville to Allentown.

Let's hope Dom Brown can get some good results in these final two rehab games. Photo: Cheryl Pursell

Let’s hope Dom Brown can get some good results in these final two rehab games.
Photo: Cheryl Pursell

Da Bulls

The Bulls come in at .500, 9-9.  While that’s a world from our miserable 5-13, it’s not their usual sparkling record.  However, they have been a bit better of late, just taking 2 of 3 from Gwinnett over the weekend and 3-of-4 from Charlotte at DBAP to wrap up a 5-2 home stand.

A couple names you may recognize, for various reasons:

Catcher JP Arencibia hasn’t been able to stick in the Majors since we saw him visit at the AAA All-Star game a few years ago.  He came up with Toronto and went to Texas before joining the Tampa organization in the off-season after a brief foray with the Orioles.  He’s listed as a catcher, still, but will see time as 1B and DH as well.

Vince “You Know Me” Belnome is a first baseman and “Pig Killer” we remember from seasons past with the Bulls.

1B Allan Dykstra is NOT related to Lenny Dykstra.

LHP Andy Oliver left the Phillies organization after passing through waivers this Spring as the Pirates didn’t want the Rule 5 player back.  RAJ said he thought Andy was “making a mistake,” and now he’s with Durham.  Given the way Cesar Jimenez has been throwing lately, and how Diekman has struggled with the Phillies, it might be RAJ who made the mistake–not his first, of course.

RHP Alex Colome is the #2 prospect in the Rays’ system.  CF Mikie Mahtook is the #6 prospect.  It’s not clear if we’ll get to see Colome or not–he pitched yesterday as part of a doubleheader, so wouldn’t be due again until Friday.  With Thursday’s early start, I’d kind of think it could be a bull-pen game for Durham.

For more information on the Durham Bulls, please follow this excellent blog:  Watching Durham Bulls Baseball

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See you at the park,

@Kram209



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

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