- Pigs are back in action tonight versus the Buffalo Bisons, AAA affiliate of the Toronto Blue Jays and the AA New Hampshire Fisher Cats. Pigs lost last night 15-8. It’s Ghostbusters night. Plus, fireworks.
- Big roster news of the day was the call to the big leagues for RHP reliever JD Hammer, he of only one AAA appearance, but electric stuff. Here’s more on Hammer Time. It was fun while it lasted, for your dedicated blogger. I haven’t had that much fun with a name since the Phantoms had a goalie named ‘Zepp.’
- LHP Josh Tols was called up to the ‘Pigs from extended spring for his AAA debut. He had 23 appearances in Reading last season. The 5’7″ curve-ball specialist was born in Australia and went to school in Missouri. He can really spin it–get down close at field level and get a look at that thing come in, if you can. Tols will wear #31.
- Ranger Suarez was activated, and returns from his injury (abdominal strain) and returns to the rotation tonight. His opposing pitcher was just promoted from A+ Dunedin, bypassing AA. This should make for an interesting evening one way or another.
- Nick Pivetta is listed as the IronPigs starter tomorrow, but I’m thinking he’ll be held out in anticipation of a start for the Phillies on Tuesday in Cole Irvin’s spot. Drew Anderson could slot in tomorrow, assuming he’s back from Philadelphia and activated. Tom Eshelman should pitch Monday, and Cole Irvin Tuesday (at P’tucket).
- INF Andrew Romine makes his first start today, in some time. He had a one-day stint on the inactive list, and pinch-ran the next night. The reason for his absence is unknown at this time.
- OF Nick Williams should return from attending his fiancee’s graduation in Texas, and be in the lineup tomorrow, we’ve heard. I imagine travel schedules and whatnot could impact that.
- The absence of Nick Williams, and injuries to Jan Hernandez and Dylan Cozens, have the ‘Pigs short on outfielders. Grenny Cumana and Ali Castillo will be out there tonight with Suga-Shane Robinson. This has led to some whispers that first rounder Adam Haseley could be headed our way, from AA Reading, soon. We’ll see; I don’t smell it yet, but I didn’t see the Hammer move coming, either.
- Tyler Viza and Seth McGarry took one for the team last night, with INF Jose Antequera getting an inning on the mound as well. The bullpen should be well-rested for tonight.
- Buffalo has recently lost a couple players to Toronto, but they were swinging the bat well last night. It will be interesting to see how they do versus the lefty Suarez–as well as how he looks coming back from the injury, and how many innings he can go.
- ICYMI Dept: Old friend Aaron Altherr is on the Mets. He had a home run yesterday in his first at-bat in the blue and orange.
- The IronPigs are 24-20, 0.5 games behind Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, and 1.0 game ahead of Syracuse. The West and South have some good teams this season, and the wild card may not end up coming from the North. If we want to be in it we might have to win this division. Rochester, P’tucket and Buffalo all have losing records.
- Hopefully, once we have some clarity on Tuesday starter for Philadelphia–Velazquez could return to the rotation or remain in the pen. Pivetta could return to Philly or remain with the IronPigs–they can make a decision on Enyel De Los Santos. He hasn’t had much opportunity to pitch in Philadelphia, which tells me they don’t totally trust him. However, he’s not really getting an opportunity to convert to a reliever, either. He’s just not pitching. I don’t begrudge him the paycheck, of course. I just hate feeling like the Phillies are wasting a 23-yo pitcher who is pretty good.
- Conspiracy theory time: Remember how the Phillies strangely held top prospect Sixto Sanchez out of Arizona Fall League with “sore collar bone” or some such? My feeling was that they had his value established and that they didn’t want him to look bad or get injured because they were planning on perhaps using him in a trade. Could De Los Santos be headed out on a deadline deal? I hope not–he’s been a favorite around here. I just want to see him pitch.
See you at the park,