Batter's Box Interactive Magazine Batter's Box Interactive Magazine Batter's Box Interactive Magazine
The only team that won last night was the only team with John Hattig. Count the ring!

Toledo 4, Syracuse 3 (11)
Box score, game story

Another spread-out night among the lineup as far as run-scoring plays are allowed (I know this is the first game reading-wise, but I wrote the copy for the New Hampshire game before I wrote this one, so in my mind, it's "another" game of that type, deal with it), with no player getting more than one RBI or run, but Bryant Nelson and Eric Crozier both collected four hits. Crozier also stole a base, which surprised me. Syracuse left 13 men on base; Anton French struck out four times.

Chad Gaudin got the call and performed well enough to get the win -- five strikeouts, two runs on seven hits through seven. If only he could pitch eleven innings. Jason Arnold gave up a run in the top of the ninth (blown save) and Spike Lundberg gave up a triple and a single in his second inning of work. Those two hits formed the winning run for the Mud Hens. In fact, DH DeWayne Wise drove home the winner, which begs the question...why was DeWayne Wise DHing?

Interesting note: five pitchers appeared last night for Syracuse, and they all have ERAs under 2.90.

Portland 6, New Hampshire 5
Box score, game story

I suppose Vince Perkins, in his first AA season, couldn't be expected to perform well against this well-hitting Sea Dogs lineup. I know there are park effects in play here, but seven Portland players are slugging over .415, which is the highest slugging average of any Fisher Cat, and even that one is the 29 year old, Kevin Barker.

Accordingly, Perkins gave up five runs in four innings. He struck out three, walked two -- nothing out of the ordinary there. Jamie Vermilyea, who should be seeing Syracuse any time soon, picked him up with 3.2 scoreless relief innings. Seven K's for Vermilyea yesterday afternoon, which is very, very nice.

By the ninth, when Vermilyea had handed the ball over to Steve Andrade (faced two batters: walk and a strikeout), the Fisher Cats had tied the game at 5 thanks to three hits (two doubles) from Ron Acuna and assorted RBI hits up and down the lineup. Only four extra-base hits from New Hampshire yesterday against eight singles; the power continues to hide.

In the bottom of the ninth, the Sea Dogs put the winning run on third with nobody out. Two intentional walks loaded the bases, but it didn't matter: Jeremy West "singled" to end the game. He hit it off the wall in left-centre, and it was inches away from being a grand slam, says beat writer Kevin Grey. Ryan Houston was stuck with the tough loss. West was the hero of the day for Portland, as he also homered in the bottom of the second.

Dunedin 3, Palm Beach 2
Box score

Palm Beach never had a lead in this one, and the least the D-Jays could do is have more than two non-singles, give me something to write about other than Zack Jackson's fine start -- 6 IP, 6 K, 5 H, 1 ER. Brian Reed (7th, 8th) and Bubbie Buzachero (9th) together faced just ten batters in the last three scoreless innings.

As you might have figured out from the title and intro, Dunedin welcomed Batter's Box favourite, Guam bomb, Toronto Star story subject and all-around good egg John Hattig to their lineup last night, batting fifth and playing third. His at-bats, for no substantial reason:
2nd inning: With a runner on first, Hattig lined a single to right. He later scored on a double.
3rd inning: With two HBP's on base, Hattig flew out to left, a sac fly, though it's not recorded as one.
5th inning: With Robinzon Diaz on first, Hattig singled to right. Somehow, Diaz scored while Hattig was thrown out at second 9-6. I don't get it. No, really. If it was deep enough to score Diaz from first, why did Hattig not make it into second? I guess he's still hurting, but I would like to know more about that play.
7th inning: A double play ball to end the inning, stranding one runner.

Lansing was rained out

Funny story: I wrote up a summary of Tuesday's Lansing-Burlington game before realizing my error. The irony is not lost on me as I sit here in Burlington, Ontario, a far superior Burlington to that of Iowa, I'm sure.

Your Three-Star Selection:
3. Zach Jackson
2. Bryant Nelson
1. Jamie Vermilyea

Today’s Games:
Syracuse (Rosario) vs Toledo, 2:00 ET.
New Hampshire has the day off. Weren't they idle last Thursday?
Dunedin (MacDonald) vs Palm Beach, 7:00 ET.
Lansing (Yates, Cheng) @ Burlington, TBD (DH).

Man-Strength in Dunedin | 28 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Pistol - Thursday, May 12 2005 @ 09:02 AM EDT (#116413) #
As the unofficial Zach-Jack booster in da Box I think that the early season worries can be retired.

37.1 innings
7.5 K/9
1.0 BB/9
0.5 HR/9
31/4 K/BB

Given those numbers his 4.10 ERA seems high - he's pitched a lot better than that.

If there's a concern it's that he's given up slightly over a hit an inning but it's tough to know if he's just been unlucky, has bad defense behind him or if he's hittable. I suppose time will answer that.
Mike Green - Thursday, May 12 2005 @ 09:20 AM EDT (#116415) #
As the unofficial Zach-Jack worrier, I agree with Pistol. He has pitched very well. I am not at all worried about the H/IP and ERA numbers. Zach-Jack's dERA would be about 1 and 1/2 runs lower than his actual, as would fellow lefty Davis Romero's. Most of the difference is likely attributable to defence.
Marc Hulet - Thursday, May 12 2005 @ 09:24 AM EDT (#116416) #
The results certainly show what scouts said early on: That Jackson was more polished as a pitcher than Purcey. That said, Purcey's stuff projects to be more effective at the higher levels, if he can harnass his control.

Gerry - Thursday, May 12 2005 @ 10:14 AM EDT (#116430) #
Syracuse lost their game because of a Jason Arnold strikeout. No he was not batting, but he got a strikeout for what could have been the second out in the ninth inning. But the hitter reached first, stole second and moved to third on what would have been the third out, and scored on a hit. That tied the game, and Toledo won it in the eleventh.
jgadfly - Thursday, May 12 2005 @ 10:20 AM EDT (#116433) #
early morning musings...not necessarily of the many things that I don't understand about K\W and W\IP ratios with pitchers who have low numbers but have high H\IP is the possibility that when they get close to giving up a walk (3-1, 3-2, 3-0, 2-0 counts) do they not just throw a pitch right down the middle and say "hit this" (with a 50\50 chance of it becoming an out) to maintain their decent numbers and thus appear to be better prospects...and as these pitchers get higher in the minors their "grooved" pitches get hit a lot harder and farther than they were scouts keep track of contact made on "hitters counts" and would this not be a statistic that would be more indicative of a measure for a pitcher's true potential ? ...I know that numbers can be used to explain a lot of things either way (but this is not news to anyone ) but surely this also is not an epiphany to university pitchers who have sat in on Stats 101 classes either ...
Gerry - Thursday, May 12 2005 @ 10:28 AM EDT (#116437) #
Vermilyea is looking very good right now. His ERA is down to 1.77, his WHIP is 1.03 and his K/9 rate is 8.4.

I remembered that Vermilyea had a rough first appearance of the year, on April 9th he allowed 6 hits and two runs in 2.2 innings. If we recalculate his stats since his first appearance his ERA drops to 1.02, his WHIP to 0.79, and his K/9 rate is 9.7. Vermilyea's K rate last year in AA was 6.1, so we should continue to see if his K rate continues to stay high.
VGeras - Thursday, May 12 2005 @ 10:32 AM EDT (#116439) #
According to ITD Yates and Cheng are starting the DH.

What do you guys think of Cheng? He doesn't give up hits, strikes out many but also walks a lot of batters.

Vermilyea is awesome, and I am a big fan of his.
Lugnut Fan - Thursday, May 12 2005 @ 10:46 AM EDT (#116443) #
My impressions of Cheng....He has to learn to throw strikes and command his fastball. He throws alot of breaking stuff which is pretty common with Asian pitchers from what I have seen. He does strike out alot and that is because there is no rhyme or reason to the way he pitches. He throws curveballs in fastball counts and fastballs in curveball counts which would make him awesome if he could just throw strikes. There aren't too many guys he doesn't go to a full count on.
Mike Green - Thursday, May 12 2005 @ 10:50 AM EDT (#116446) #
The organization must be delighted with Cheng's development to date. He skipped a level (from Pulaski to full-season ball), and is essentially maintaining his performance level. My major long-term concern with him is not his control, but his arm health because of the number of curveballs he's thrown at a young age. It would be great to see pictures of his delivery, if one of our Lansing friends or visitors could post them.
Jordan - Thursday, May 12 2005 @ 10:50 AM EDT (#116447) #
Cheng can reasonably be expected to add a few mph to his fastball as his matures. This will be a necessity, because he's been striking out a lot of low-A hitters with his advanced breaking stuff, but he'll need at least a show-me fastball to succeed at higher levels. And of course, he needs to sharpen his command. But there's plenty of potential upside here.
Ryan01 - Thursday, May 12 2005 @ 11:03 AM EDT (#116449) #
jgadfly, I can't imagine any pitcher being successful at any level by just grooving pitches over the middle of the plate. That's certainly not going to help the K/IP, WHIP or the dERA (with the extra home runs). Nor can I imagine any player caring so little about his team, or about winning, that he would do so. That said, the key to succeeding in the upper levels is to be able to throw strikes. You can do that without 'grooving' it over the middle.

But then, stats guys will often focus on K/IP in the lower levels and moreso on K/BB in the upper levels anyways. That's why it's nice to see Cheng at least striking out so many. He will have to learn to throw more strikes eventually, but at least we know his stuff, and thus the potential to be a big leaguer, is there.
jgadfly - Thursday, May 12 2005 @ 11:09 AM EDT (#116451) #
I just read Magpie's game summary and somehere in there is my point exactly...or not ... I think...In any case I am in awe of how some of you guys can truly and clearly express your thoughts is an artform beyond my admiration is yours...thanks
Mike Green - Thursday, May 12 2005 @ 11:15 AM EDT (#116452) #
Vermilyea has usually had excellent K rates when he pitches in relief. When he starts, he tends to focus on getting ground balls and "saving his stuff".

I truly believe that if you gave Marcum and Vermilyea the ball every 5 days for 4-5 innings each, you'd get great performance. But, no team is ready to try that.
Wedding Singer - Thursday, May 12 2005 @ 11:44 AM EDT (#116453) #
Interesting idea, Mike. I've wondered about the possibility of building an effective pitching staff with two or three "front of the rotation" kind of guys (i.e. Halladay; Lilly circa 2004) and four or five guys who could throw 3-4 dominant innings every 3-4 days. I wonder if Bush might not be better suited to such a scenario.....
Lugnut Fan - Thursday, May 12 2005 @ 12:24 PM EDT (#116456) #
I'll see what I can do about getting a pic of Cheng's arm angle and his delivery. It might be awhile though. He is pitching on the road today. His next start should be on Tuesday which is a home game, but it is a 10:30 am start and this work thing kind of interferes with my attendance, and then they hit the road for two weeks.
jgadfly - Thursday, May 12 2005 @ 12:36 PM EDT (#116457) #
Ryan01...thanks for your thoughts...perhaps "grooving" might be an oversimplification on my part but don't you think that a pitcher who is concerned about K/W or W/IP (or is in an org. that puts emphasis on this) when facing a hitter's count will go with a "more hittable pitch" in the strike zone than his "unhittable pitch" which may end up out of the strike zone ...somewhat along the lines of the debate about Nolan Ryan never giving into a batter (thus his higher walk rate) and never becoming the "pitcher" that he could have been (ie:if he actually "pitched" to batters than trying to simply overpower them)...where is the sawoff between walks and "bats missed" ? ...between drafting Purcey ahead of Jackson ?... ah baseball and the ruminations of life not reflected...where's JP Kinsella when you need him? ... and where have you gone Joe Dimaggio ?
HippyGilmore - Thursday, May 12 2005 @ 02:16 PM EDT (#116477) #
This is about as interesting an item for a Jays fan as I've ever found.
Ryan01 - Thursday, May 12 2005 @ 03:04 PM EDT (#116488) #
That's certainly an insteresting question jgadfly. You're right that better hitters at higher levels are probably more likely to hit a "more hittable pitch" in the strikezone, but conversely, they're also much less likely to swing at the "unhittable pitch" outside of the strike zone. So it is important to be able to throw strikes. Magpie's excellent piece certainly brings up an interesting question about the importance of inducing swinging strikeouts vs. called strikeouts.

There's definitely some sort of balance between 'stuff' and 'command' but there are plenty of pitchers with mediocre stuff that can still cut it in the majors while some pitchers with all the stuff in the world can't. The great ones are of course the ones who have spectacular stuff AND can throw it for strikes.
Mike Green - Thursday, May 12 2005 @ 03:18 PM EDT (#116491) #
Will we see the invention of a stat to reflect the difference between called strikes and swinging strikes, UISR, umpire-independent strikeout rate? There does seem to be special importance to "missing bats".
Gerry - Thursday, May 12 2005 @ 03:23 PM EDT (#116493) #
Afternoon baseball....

Su=yracuse lead 2-1 in the middle of the fifth. Rosario has allowed two hits through five innings, both to Chris Shelton and one a home run. Syracuse scored on a Hill double, Gross double, Griffin single.

Lansing lost game one 3-2. Kyle Yates allowed all three runs in the first inning. Thigpen continued to heat up with a double and a triple. Patton also had two hits.
Lugnut Fan - Thursday, May 12 2005 @ 03:41 PM EDT (#116496) #
Thigpen is on fire lately. Patton I think had some personal stuff going on early in the season with his wife being in Texas and all. Now that she is in place for the season, he might start to relax and start stroking the ball.
Rob - Thursday, May 12 2005 @ 03:45 PM EDT (#116497) #
Developments in AAA:

I tuned into the Syracuse game for a few minutes. Rosario just fell apart here in the sixth -- three walks, a balk, and a HBP in the inning. Marty Pevey comes to take him out of the game and he was just thrown out of the game! Something to do with one of Chris Shelton's earlier ABs.

Ryan01 - Thursday, May 12 2005 @ 03:49 PM EDT (#116498) #
Thigpen was also 2 for 2 at gunning down basestealers. Good stuff.
Jordan - Thursday, May 12 2005 @ 03:55 PM EDT (#116499) #
Funny, because Rosario normally struggles in the early innings and steadies himself as the game progresses. Sounds like there were umpire issues, though.
Lugnut Fan - Thursday, May 12 2005 @ 04:02 PM EDT (#116502) #

Thanks for that update on the caught stealing stats for Thigpen. He has been struggling with that lately. It seemed like SWM ran at will on him this weekend and he had a few throwing errors.
Gerry - Thursday, May 12 2005 @ 04:59 PM EDT (#116509) #

I was finishing the Lansing report for tomorrows minor league update but why wait, here are the gruesome details...

Game 1 - Lansing 2 Burlington 3

Game 2 - Lansing 2 Burlington 3

The Lugnuts were outscored by two runs in two games but came away empty handed when the bullpen lost the split in the seventh inning of the second game. In game one Kyle Yates had a rough beginning; in the first inning of game one, two doubles and a home run put Lansing down 3-0 after one. Lansing had a few chances to get back in it, they had two on with one out in the second but David Corrente lined into a double play. Curtis Thigpen tripled with two out in the third but was stranded. The Lugnuts bunched three hits in the fifth to score a couple. Singles by Cory Patton and Juan Peralta were followed by a Thigpen double. Lansing only recorded one walk in 2 and a third innings after that and lost a close game 3-2. Yates pitched a six inning complete game, allowing eight hits with six strikeouts. Thigpen and Patton had two hits each.

Chi-Hung Cheng had a pretty typical start in game 2. He lasted five innings and allowed just one unearned run on four hits, a walk and a hit batter. Lansing scored twice in the third inning, Joey Wolfe singled, Juan Peralta reached when Burlington messed up his sacrifice attempt, and Ryan Klosterman singled to load the bases with no-one out. Curtis Thigpen walked to score the first run and Eric Nielsen singled to drive in the second, but the three remining baserunners were stranded as three Lugnuts failed to score a runner. That miss came back to haunt the Lugnuts later on. Joey McLaughlin pitched a scoreless sixth and Danny Hill came on in the seventh to try and save the split for the Lugnuts. Hill got the first two outs but then an infield single, a hit batter, and two more singles lost the game. Nielsen was 2-4 and Thigpen 0-1 with three walks.

Mick Doherty - Thursday, May 12 2005 @ 05:12 PM EDT (#116512) #
Here is the opposition's home paper account of the SkyChief loss:

Dawkins Key to Hen Victory (Toledo Blade)

Magpie - Thursday, May 12 2005 @ 07:34 PM EDT (#116520) #
a pitcher who is concerned about K/W or W/IP (or is in an org. that puts emphasis on this)

Are pitchers actually thinking about such esoteric numbers while they're on the mound? Ah, who knows. There are hitters who can update their batting averages to five decimal points while they're running to first base.

Interesting stuff. One of the things the minor leagues is for, obviously, is learning how to pitch, as opposed to just throwing. Oddly, in some ways at least, the minor leagues might not be the best place to do that. I remember Jim Palmer (now there's someone who could probably work out his WHIP while the catcher was throwing the ball back to him) was very much committed to throwing strikes - what he wanted to know, especially if men were on base, was what part of the strike zone to avoid, i.e. where the hitter's power zone was. Don't know if opposition scouting reports at AA level are quite that extensive.

Nolan Ryan's philosophy of pitching (or lack of same) came up again. Strangest thing - I recently came across a quote from a pitcher explaining his own logic is never giving in to a hitter, and being willing to issue a walk, even with the bases loaded, rather than groove one.

The pitcher was, of all people, Tommy John. His thinking was if I walk a guy with the bases loaded, it's one run. If I groove one, it's two or three or four.

It worked for Tommy, but then it was almost impossible to hit the ball in the air when he was pitching.

Man-Strength in Dunedin | 28 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.