IronPigs Return Home For 7-Day “Work Week”–Changes To Come

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It’s Monday through Friday, plus the weekend, for our hard-working ‘Pigs.  Here’s what you need to know about the next seven games–the second home-stand of June 2015.

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Photo: Cheryl Pursell

Anthony Vasquez. Photo: Cheryl Pursell

Looking Back:  Report From The Road

The IronPigs are returning from their second Southern road trip of the year.  Every season they head South twice, once to Gwinnett/Charlotte and once to Durham/Norfolk.  The began this trip in Durham where the red-hot Bulls took all three games in a sweep.  The only notable thing about the series, really, is that Dom Brown went deep twice–marking his first homers during this tour with the IronPigs.  On to Norfolk and a split with the Tides behind 1-0 and 2-0 shut-outs led by starters Phillippe Aumont and Adam Morgan, and saved by Jake Diekman.  Overall, they were 2-5 on the roadie.

 

Photo: Cheryl Pursell

Photo: Cheryl Pursell

 

Standings (or, “Look, we’re not in last place–somehow”)

(Sunday late games not included)

International League North
Club W L PCT GB ELIM # Home Away L 10 Streak
Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders (NYY) 37 28 .569 17-20 20-8 8-2 L1
Rochester Red Wings (MIN) 32 30 .516 3.5 78 17-12 15-18 3-7 W1
Pawtucket Red Sox (BOS) 32 32 .500 4.5 76 18-16 14-16 5-5 L1
Buffalo Bisons (TOR) 31 32 .492 5.0 76 18-16 13-16 5-5 W3
Lehigh Valley IronPigs (PHI) 23 42 .354 14.0 66 11-20 12-22 2-8 W1
Syracuse Chiefs (WSH) 19 43 .306 16.5 65 9-20 10-23 2-8 L3
International League South
Club W L PCT GB ELIM # Home Away L 10 Streak
Durham Bulls (TB) 37 27 .578 18-11 19-16 7-3 L1
Norfolk Tides (BAL) 35 28 .556 1.5 80 17-11 18-17 5-5 L1
Charlotte Knights (CWS) 33 29 .532 3.0 79 20-12 13-17 3-7 L4
Gwinnett Braves (ATL) 30 32 .484 6.0 76 18-16 12-16 5-5 L2
International League West
Club W L PCT GB ELIM # Home Away L 10 Streak
Indianapolis Indians (PIT) 41 24 .631 21-14 20-10 9-1 W2
Columbus Clippers (CLE) 33 29 .532 6.5 75 20-10 13-19 7-3 W3
Louisville Bats (CIN) 32 31 .508 8.0 73 17-16 15-15 4-6 W1
Toledo Mud Hens (DET) 28 36 .438 12.5 68 12-16 16-20 4-6 W1

We’ve lost 11 of our last 14 games, and 16 of our last 21.  The ‘Pigs have lost SIX games in walk-off fashion.  The ‘Pigs have also lost 14 1-run games, winning only 11 such contests.  Plus, 55 of their 65 games have been decided by 3 runs or fewer, including 16 of their last 19 defeats.

In 2008, the bellwether year for IronPigs ineptitude, the ‘Pigs were 23-42 at this juncture–exactly the same.

 

Roster and Player Notes; Plus, Who’s Hot and Who’s Not

On the trip, RHP Severino Gonzalez rejoined the ‘Pigs and assumed a place in the rotation in Jason Berken‘s spot.  His outing was solid, if inefficient.  Veteran RHP JC Gutierrez was signed for bull-pen depth and joined the team on the road.  He’s been wearing #54.  He spent most of last season with the San Francisco Giants.

RHP Tyler Knigge was sent to Reading to help support their depleted bull-pen following three extra-inning games and an injury to speedster CF Roman Quinn.

OF Domonic Brown was a late scratch from Saturday’s game as we learned he’d been called up to the Phillies.  1B/OF Darin Ruf was optioned to make space on the 25-man roster.  Brown joins the Phils as they head to Baltimore with the DH in effect, while I imagine Ruf will meet the IronPigs in Allentown for the start of this series.

While Darin is suitably disappointed having been sent back to the minors and “Ruf Nation” is upset that he was not given consistent at-bats at the major league level, I’ll point out that this has been the M.O. of the Phillies this season:  They will use up the options and move guys around where they can.  Just ask Cody Asche and Dom Brown and Jake Diekman.  Ruf will be back up soon enough–and if Howard gets traded, he’ll get consistent at-bats to boot.  He needs to come to the IronPigs and rake, though, to prove he deserves it.  All-time, Ruf has 8 HR in 106 games with the IronPigs.

RHP Chad Billingsley will re-join the IronPigs–this time on a rehabilitation assignment–and start Tuesday’s game.

RHP and #2 prospect RHP Aaron Nola has been promoted to the IronPigs.  He’ll likely pitch Thursday.

Photo: Cheryl Pursell

Billingsley. Photo: Cheryl Pursell

 

Moving Day:  I think a flurry of roster moves are going to happen later this week.  At some of the lower levels, they may wait until after the All Star games for those teams (next weekend).  One reason for the moves to happen during this home-stand is that Friday marks the first time that Reading and Lehigh Valley will play at home on the same night this season!  For up-to-the-minute roster information, follow along on Twitter @Kram209; I’ll have roster posts here on the blog when the official announcements and printable rosters are forwarded from the IronPigs Media department.

What am I expecting?  Well, the first shoe already dropped with the Nola promotion.  Once they return to Reading from Trenton on Friday, I’m looking for OFs Cameron Perkins and Aaron Altherr and maybe 1B/OF Brock Stassi.  We may have to say good-bye to some guys in order to make space–or some creative use of the DL.  Or, maybe they’ll stretch it out to Bogusevic’ opt-out July 1.  We’ll see.

Russ Canzler.  Photo: Cheryl Pursell

Russ Canzler. Photo: Cheryl Pursell

Who’s Hot

DH Russ Canzler has shaken off his slump (6/61) during the road trip, where he’s hit safely in 6 games (11/28) with a 3-run HR.

OF Brian Bogusevic has hit safely in 19 of his last 21 starts, including a HR in Sunday’s 2-0 ‘Pigs win.

Gabriel Lino  was up to .300 in his first week with the club, but has cooled to .265 after snapping his 8-game hitting streak Sunday.

RHP Seth Rosin is unscored upon in 9 of his last 12 games, with a 1.47 ERA.

RHP Aaron Nola was 7-3 with a 1.88 ERA in 12 starts with Reading this season.  He had 114 strikeouts against only 19 walks in 132 innings.

Rosin.  Photo: Cheryl Pursell

Rosin. Photo: Cheryl Pursell

Who’s Not

SS Chase d’Arnaud has seen his batting average slip to .277, and in the first five games of the road trip, committed 4 errors playing shortstop, before moving to 3B in favor of Jayson Nix the past two games.

3B Cord Phelps  is hitting .222 overall, and 6/32 (.188) on the road trip.

INF Jayson Nix continues to bat below the Mendoza at .163, and is 0-for-13 in recent at-bats.

1B Chris McGuiness is hitting only .227 compared with .264 he hit last season in Indianapolis.  However, he does have good at-bats and is leading the team in walks.

LHP Joely Rodriguez is back to his “walking” ways after walking 7 in Norfolk.  He hasn’t been able to get out of the fifth inning in his last 3 starts, and may be a candidate to go get a couple starts in Reading whilst they await reinforcements from Clearwater.

Joely.  Photo: Cheryl Purssell

Joely. Photo: Cheryl Pursell

 

The Home-Stand

Enter the Buffalo Bison.  They come to town to start a road trip which will also take them to Syracuse.  On their home-stand, they got swept in three by Scranton, then took three from Charlotte before a late game Sunday.  Buffalo took three of four from us at Coca Cola Park April 23-26, and swept us up at Coca Cola FIELD April 16-19.  You’ll recall 1B  Matt Hague has owned the ‘Pigs this season.  Blue Jays’ top prospect LHP Daniel Norris is scheduled to start for the Bisons on Thursday.  Former Phillie LHP Randy Wolf is scheduled to pitch on Wednesday.  Veteran Pitcher Johan Santana is on the Bisons’ DL.  RHP Miguel Castro is the Jays’ #9 prospect, but he’s on the DL as well.  Veteran MLB hurler, LHP Felix Doubront starts the series opener.

Following the four-game series with Buffalo, the first-place Scranton/Wilkes-Barre team will be in town.  It hurts my fingers to type that, but we’ll take them down and take back the lead in the IronRail series.  I’ll have a full preview prior to Friday’s game.

Monday

7:05PM First Pitch / 5:45PM Main Gates

82 degrees / 43% chance of thundershowers at game time

LHP Anthony Vasquez vs LHP Felix Doubront

Phillie Phanatic appearance

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Tuesday

7:05PM First Pitch / 5:45PM Main Gates

High 88 degrees / 50% chance of thundershowers

RHP Chad Billingsley [REHAB] vs RHP Scott Copeland

T-Shirt Tuesday:  Design TBA

Wednesday

7:05PM First Pitch / 5:45PM Main Gates

High 87 degrees / 10% chance of showers

LHP Adam Morgan /or/  RHP Severino Gonzalez vs LHP Randy Wolf

Soccer Night:  Soccer Ball giveaway for KIDDOS

Thursday

7:05PM First Pitch / 5:00PM ATT Plaza Happy Hour

High 78 degrees / 60% chance of thunderstorms

RHP Aaron Nola vs. LHP Daniel Norris

Ice Cream Scoop giveaway:  Adults

Friday

7:05PM versus Scranton; Fireworks; Captain America Jersey Auction

Saturday

6:35PM versus Scranton; Hambone Banks (KIDDOS)

Sunday

1:35PM versus Scranton; Father’s Day Fedoras for the Men; Post-game throw on the field with Dad; Post-game tailgate TBD

What’s Next

Following the game next Sunday afternoon, the ‘Pigs will enjoy a much-needed day off before shuffling up to Buffalo for three more games with the Bisons.  Then it’s back home for an 8-game set to close out June and bring us right up to the July 4 holiday weekend, with Louisville, Scranton, and Rochester.

 

See you at the park,

@Kram209

Nola kicks... Photo: Kram

Nola kicks…
Photo: Kram

 



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

1 reply

  1. From a fan’s perspective, that opt-out stuff is so lame … barely worth the energy required to talk about it.

    Case In Point — I’m listening to Matt Provence’s broadcast yesterday afternoon and Brian Bogusevic hits a rare home run to give the IronPigs and early lead … I wanted to get behind Bogus this season. I thought he could be the genuine IronPigs Hero-type providing leadership on the field (with his play) and off the field in the locker room (as a result of his MLB experience). I thought he could be the genuine IronPigs Hero-type that we really haven’t had since Andy Tracy departed … BUT, I must admit, I did not know that Bogus had the ole “opt-out” option in his contract and, YES, I must admit, it changes EVERYTHING.

    Because it is, indeed, one thing if a guy like Mikael Franco kicks butt and, as a result, the Philadelphia Phillies come and take him from us. ALL of the IronPigs players SHOULD be trying to kick butt and get their tails promoted to the Major Leagues AT ALL TIMES. So, when the Phillies come for Franco — fine, that IS definitely a major part of the program here in the minor leagues and at least we (the IronPigs fan base) CAN be proud of our role in Franco’s player development process.

    However, the “opt-out” thing is a much different animal … A certain date arrives on the calendar and, BINGO, a certain player(s) jumps up and bolts the team as if the IronPigs clubhouse is on fire or something. A less polite way of putting it is, a certain date arrives on the calendar and, a certain player(s) just up and quits on the team. As in, “See you, don’t want to be you!” or, perhaps, “Later, Losers!”

    So, back to yesterday afternoon. I wanted to be happy for Brian but all I could think about was that July 1 opt-out date — “Will you or won’t you”, kind of like sweating it out at the junior high school prom as you wonder where you can find some courage quick while you think about approaching that cute girl you’ve had your eye forever.

    Thing is, it’s been a long, long time since I was in junior high school. In other words, I just don’t even want to begin to needlessly waste any precious emotional energy on “opt-out” affairs. “Up & Down” has ALWAYS been a part of professional baseball but this “In or Out” stuff, well, that’s just plain bogus. So, to quote Matt Provence, I think’ll I’ll just “forget about it!”

    PS — Be advised, Pro-Union people who want to hammer me with “freedom of movement in labor” issues will be greeted with questions about “income inequality in professional baseball” and exactly how much guaranteed money is in Ryan Howard’s contract.

    🙂

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