Preview: IronPigs open International League Playoffs versus familiar foe.
It almost came down to the last day. But, when Toledo’s hot streak coincided with Columbus’ cold streak, and RailRiders Catcher Wilkin Castillo hit a triple on a routine fly ball that P’tucket right fielder Cole Sturgeon lost in the lights, the die was cast. Today’s games are meaningless as we now know the first round: Durham vs Toledo and IronPigs vs Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Both will be 5-game series, 2-3 format with the top team getting the rubber games.
IronPigs Series Schedule:
Wednesday, September 5: IronPigs at SWB, 6:35PM, PNC Stadium, Moosic PA TICKETS
Thursday, September 6: IronPigs at SWB, 6:35PM, PNC Stadium, Moosic PA TICKETS
Friday, September 7: SWB at IronPigs, 7:05PM, Coca Cola Park, Allentown PA TICKETS
Saturday, September 8 (if needed): SWB at IronPigs, 6:35PM, Coca Cola Park, Allentown, PA
Sunday, September 9 (if needed): SWB at IronPigs, 5:35PM, Coca Cola Park, Allentown, PA
**Please note the start times: Scranton games are 6:35PM for those of us making the trip up. Friday and Saturday are the usual times for us, but a later Sunday start if it comes to that.
It appears the pitchers we have on the roster right now will be with us for at least this first series. With the six-man rotation before Eickhoff gets re-activated (today?) and the off-day, there is some flexibility if manager Gary Jones wants to get work for certain guys, wants to play match-ups, or wants to split the leftys. Things can change fast, of course, but this is what I’m looking at today:
Wednesday: RHP Enyel De Los Santos hasn’t pitched since 8/29 and should be ready to go to open this series. He pitched 150 innings last season, and is at 138.2 for this season so far between Allentown and Philly, so I don’t see that as a concern as long as he’s healthy.
Thursday: LHP Cole Irvin would be in line for this start, with an extra day of rest, to provide the ‘Pigs with an excellent 1-2 punch to start the series.
Friday: RHP Drew Anderson would get the first home game.
Saturday: While RHP Tom Eshelman would be on regular rest here, I think they’d go LHP Ranger Suarez. Tom would pitch the rubber match on Sunday or start the next series at home on Tuesday should we win.
Notes: RHP Ranfi Casimiro is back from Reading and has been pitching well. He’ll be your long-man, or slot in as a starter if someone gets called up or can’t go for whatever reason. RHP Ben Lively has been back, but just got DFA for Eickhoff.
Tyler Viza is the starter from Reading that I’m looking at. He’s been really really good his last few turns in the rotation. However, he’s been slated for the Arizona Fall League, and I’m guessing they’re going to want to give his arm a break before he heads out there.
Pigs Roster Notes:
The above rotation guess is based on the Phillies leaving us (mostly) alone through the first round. It had been intimated prior to September 1, that there would be two rounds of call-ups by the Phillies. The first would be September 1, the other following the IronPigs playoff run. Manager Gabe Kapler has also been quoted as saying he wants every possible player who cold help up in Philly right away.
With regard to the starting pitchers, there’s really not much opportunity for them right now in Philly. They don’t give the Phillies a better option than their current starters, and they’ll activate Eickhoff to be the “long man” as needed. An injury, or a 16-inning game would change things, of course.
Trevor Plouffe was activated from the DL today.
Here’s who the Pigs lost in the first round of roster moves:
OF Aaron Altherr
OF Dylan Cozens
RHP Yacksel Rios
LHP Austin Davis
INF Pedro Florimon
INF Jesmuel Valentin (DFA, unknown)
RHP Mark Leiter Jr (DFA, Toronto)
Here’s who the IronPigs still have, who are on the 40-man roster:
RHP Drew Anderson
RHP Enyel De Los Santos
RHP Ben Lively (DFA, unknown)
LHP Ranger Suarez
INF JP Crawford
INF Mitch Walding
C Andrew Knapp
RHP Ed Garcia and RHP Jeff Singer are already up. With only two OF on the roster right now, I’d expect Jiandido Tromp to return. The two former first-rounders probably will not: C Randolph has been nursing an illness, and Adam Haseley has been on the inactive list. Haseley is set to go to the Arizona Fall League.
Printable Roster 9/3: 2018 LHV Roster-9-3
(doesn’t include Eickhoff activation and Lively DFA)
A Peak at Scranton
On 9/1 the Yankees took the following players from Scranton:
RHP Luis Cessa
SS Tyler Wade
LHP Stephen Tarpley
The Yankees also activated C Gary Sanchez and SS Adeiny Hechavarria.
LF Shane Robinson was DFA (unknown). The Yankees also took RHP Jonathan Loaisiga from Trenton.
With Trenton in the AA playoffs, there won’t be a bolus of players arriving from New Jersey.
Scranton ‘ace’ Justus Sheffield pitched last night in P’tucket. The soonest they could turn him around on regular rest would be the Friday game in Allentown. Highly regarded RHP Chance Adams, who gave up a few runs to the Pigs 8/26 has been working as a reliever.
See you at the parks–I’ll be in Moosic on Wednesday to see us open up. I’ll likely not make the drive again on Thursday unless there’s a compelling reason, saving my energy for the home game on Friday.
cover photo of Joey Meneses by Cheryl Pursell