Pigs Last Stand

The IronPigs are home for the final 5 games of the 2015 season.

Here’s what you need to know to get ready for the games:

Chase takes second and comes up...smiling? Sure! Photo: Cheryl Pursell

Chase takes second and comes up…smiling? Sure!
Photo: Cheryl Pursell

Team Report:

You’ll recall that the ‘Pigs started slowly this season.  They reached their nadir on June 13 when their record fell to 22-42.  Since then, they are 40-34, including 3-5 on their most recent 7-day, 8-game road trip, where they lost the IronRail for 2015 and got swept in two games at P’tucket.

They’ll likely finish in fourth or fifth place in the IL North, and currently have an overall record of 62-77.  They have home/road splits of  30-37 at home and 32-40 on the road right now.

Attendance has been good, but not great, at home for the ‘Pigs this season.  They’ll finish near the top, as per usual, but well below the leaders.  I’ll have a full analysis following these final five games, where things may shift a bit.

Roster Report:

A summary of the plethora of transactions since the ‘Pigs left home in August, with brief comments: (a printable roster follows)

August 28:

RHP Nefi Ogando recalled by Philadelphia.  Active roster stands at 24 players.

August 29:

LHP Joey DeNato promoted to Lehigh Valley from Lakewood (A)

LHP Jesse Biddle placed on the DL (left shoulder strain).  Active roster still at 24.

Discussion:  Not a lot of leftys at the upper level of the system–Jimenez left to join the Brewers and Loewen is in Philly.  They don’t want to monkey with the Reading roster (or Clearwater for that matter) heading into the playoffs.  DeNato makes the short trip from New Jersey.  He had pitched very well there out of the ‘pen and looks to be a late-season replacement.  As a college guy, he’s almost age-appropriate for AAA, so we’ll see how he does.  We don’t know how to feel about Jesse.  We’re fans around here and while it’s always kind of scary to hear “shoulder” it also could explain his lack of results lately.  We’ll keep him in our thoughts heading to next season–and hope it’s something minor, that a little rest can help.

August 30:

RHP Alec Asher had contract selected by Philadelphia.

RHP Nefi Ogando optioned to Lehigh Valley.  Active roster still at 24.

Discussion:  You know, I never did get to see Asher or Eickhoff pitch live, at Coca Cola Park or on the road.  Only on MiLB.TV.  We wish those two guys well, in their work for the Phillies.  And, if they don’t win a job in Spring Training for next season, I imagine we’ll have one or both of them here while they await their turn.  Nefi never did get into a game with Philadelphia.

August 31:

LHP Kenny Roberts assigned to Lehigh Valley (claimed off waivers by PHI, 8/30). Active roster at 25.

Discussion:  Another veteran, lefty arm for the pen.  This time more experienced; he replaces Cesar Jimenez in our eyes.

September 1:

RHP Dalier Hinojosa recalled by Philadelphia.

RHP Colton Murray had contract selected by Philadelphia.

C Erik Kratz had contract selected by Philadelphia.

RHP Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez activated off the DL.  Active roster at 23.

Discussion:  The first of the “September Call Ups” as the MLB rosters expand.  The big clubs often add a third catcher, so Kratz gets the nod.  He’s got the experience, and has been playing well–went 3-for-3 the night before the call.  Hinojosa and Murray add ‘pen depth.  Murray’s done well lately after struggling somewhat earlier in the season.  We congratulate him, but feel for Nefi who never got to pitch!  Word is, three more will go up when our season is complete, so we expect Nefi to be in that group.  MAG makes his return to AAA ball, but it didn’t go so well in his start in P’tucket on Tuesday; he got rocked pretty good and never broke 90MPH with his fastball.  We’ll  have to wait and see if he gets the ball to start the game on Sunday.  Observers have suggested that he really belongs in the bull pen, and is only being asked to start in order to log some innings in another lost season for the $12 Million Dollar Man.

September 3

No roster moves to announce as of this writing; however, Dom Brown suffered a possible concussion in last night’s game and is being evaluated.  He’s not with the team in Boston.  Tyler Henson left the IronPigs game the other day and has not played since–no word on the nature of his absence or injury.  I anticipate the possibility of a roster move or two today, including the possibility of OF Jordan Danks or OF Brian Bogusevic heading to Boston to join the Phillies.  Danks has hit well recently–including a pinch-hit grand slam the other day in Henson’s spot–and has the 40-man spot.  Bogey has been the more consistent performer this season.  The Phillies don’t play until tomorrow, so perhaps a move after tonight’s game.

Printable Roster:  2015 LHV Roster 9-1

Heart and Soul:

INF Chase d’Arnaud has been the heart and soul of this team.  In fact, when I look back on 2015, I think I’ll remember Chase as the straw that stirred the drink–a clubhouse leader and a guy who had fun playing the game.  He’s among the league leaders in runs scored and may challenge Rich Thompson’s team record.  He also leads the team in multi-hit games and plays a pretty mean NBA-Jam and Call of Duty on the clubhouse PS4–which he provided.  Much of the slow start to the season could also be down to d’Arnaud missing time with an injury, methinks.

I’ll also remember OF Brian Bogusevic and the year he’s had, as well as the prospects who passed through, like Maikel Franco, Aaron Nola, Adam Morgan, Aaron Altherr, Jerad Eickhoff and Alec Asher.

 

Cheryl Pursell

Cheryl Pursell

cheryl pusell

The Final Five:

Thursday:

Final Happy Hour of the season, 5-6PM with 1$ Hot Dogs and 2$ domestic drafts.

“Give em the finger” Foam Finger Giveaway and Prostate Awareness Night:  Baby Blue Cap raffle.

Nine Innings of Networking: ?Business fair?

David Buchanan on the mound for a 7:05PM first pitch.  Weather:  92/sunny

Friday:

Final fireworks of the season.

Sean O’Sullivan on the mound for a 7:05PM first pitch.  Weather:  82/part cloudy

Saturday:

2016 Wall Calendar sponsored by Nacci Printing

Final post-game “trough” party of the season.

Jersey Auction:  getting rid of the road “Lehigh” grays.

Anthony Gonzalez on the mound for a 6:35PM first pitch.  Weather:  82/sun

Sunday:

Rich Thompson “Fan Favorite” T-Shirt giveaway.  He’ll be “in the house” to sign autographs and take pictures, they tell me.

Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez on the mound for a 1:35PM first pitch.  Weather: 86/sun

Post-game tailgate with the Noise Nation crew, special guests, and VIP’s.  Look for the flags up in “Joe’s Corner.”

Monday:

“Nine Innings of winning” with giveaways throughout the game.

Remember, concessions usually go half-price at some point during the game.

Final game of the 2015 season.

Severino Gonzalez on the mound for a 1:35PM Labor Day start.  Weather: 88/sun

Post-game “shut this place down” tailgate with the Noise Nation crew, special guests and hangers-on. 

and then there was hockey….

see you at the park,

@Kram209

But Wait!  There’s More!

Can’t get enough of the ballpark?  Here’s what’s going on post-season.  Check with the IronPigs web site for details and links:

Friday, September 25:  Bacon 5K Challenge, 6PM.  Run. Eat Bacon. Repeat.  Info: IronPigsBaseball.com

Saturday, September 26: Bacon and Brews Bash, 1-5PM.  More info:   LVBaconandBrews.com

Saturday, October 24:  Cider and Wine Fesitival, 12-5PM.  More info:  LVCiderWine.com



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

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