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The Lugnuts finished May with a flourish, after an 8 game winning streak put them at 33-18, a game ahead of West Michigan with less than 3 weeks left in the first half of the Midwest League season.

The Midwest League so far this season has moderately favoured the pitchers, as teams have averaged 4.4 runs per game. Perhaps because of the umpiring situation, the league average strikeout rate is very high at 7.7 per 9 innings.  The average walk rate is a typical 3.3 per 9 innings, while the home run rate is low at 0.5 per 9 innings. Even adjusting for these favourable conditions, the Lugnuts have got things done with their arms on the mound.


In May, the rotation consisted of Kristian Bell, Chi-Hung Cheng, Billy Carnline, Russ Savickas and Aaron Tressler (filling in for the injured Aaron Wideman), and the news was mostly excellent. Russ Savickas was consistently good all month, while Aaron Tressler was a revelation. Billy Carnline proved his humanity by stumbling a bit when facing Kerry Wood on a rehab start, but by month end had returned to his former dominating self. Chi-Hung Cheng has, according to several observers, added a little zing to his fastball, and was showing better control by the end of the month.

The pen was solid from front to back. Paul Phillips closed consistently well, while set-up duties were split among Yesson Berroa, Sean Stidfole and Po-Hsuan Keng. Performances ranged from very good (Stidfole) to superb (Berroa). Jordan Timm LOOGied all night long, and Joey McLaughlin took care of the less stressful relief duties without causing manager Ken Joyce to pop a Rolaids.

Year to date statistics for these pitchers are:

Pitcher IP ERA K/9 W/9 HR/9 H/9
Savickas 56.1 2.40 8.8 3.4 0.16 9.3
Carnline 54.0 1.67 9.3 1.5 0.67 4.8
Cheng 52.1 3.44 9.1 4.0 0.52 10.1
Bell 51.1 4.73 6.5 5.2 0.53 7.9
Tressler 38.2 1.63 6.8 1.6 0.0 8.1
Phillips 23.0 1.96 8.2 2.7 0.78 8.6
Berroa 25.2 1.40 13.0 2.5 0.36 6.0
Keng 27.0 1.67 7.0 2.0 0.67 7.0
Stidfole 21.1 2.95 10.2 3.8 0.42 7.2
Timm 24.2 2.19 6.6 2.2 0.0 7.3
McLaughlin 12.1 2.19 8.8 4.4 0.0 8.0


The Lugnut bats spoke fairly quietly in May. Cory Patton continued to provide big time pop, while Brian Pettway was boom or bust in classic Rob Deer style. Anthony Hatch arrived to shore up the infield after Chris Gutierrez' promotion to Dunedin, and surprised with his home run power. Big City (Joey) Metropoulos continued to be a disciplined and feared hitter. Sean Shoffit cooled off after a hot April, while Yuber Rodriguez continued to struggle, but Luke Hetherington arrived in May to add some offence to the outfield. Josh Bell and Jacob Butler each struggled with strike zone control, but hit for power often at key times. It added up to an offence that scored just enough to win.

Here are the year to date statistics of a number of the players:

Patton 183 16 35 .322 .373 .552
Shoffit 181 17 44 .271 .337 .376
Pettway 169 12 62 .237 .307 .473
Butler 166 10 53 .199 .260 .361
Gonzalez 138 2 34 .239 .257 .283
Metropoulos 137 23 37 .277 .400 .438
Bell 112 3 35 .259 .291 .420
Rodriguez 111 17 37 .216 .328 .279
Hicks 105 9 12 .267 .322 .324
Garibaldi 89 10 29 .202 .314 .292
Hatch 82 8 12 .305 .367 .549
Bormaster 78 11 23 .154 .264 .231
Hetherington 71 6 14 .282 .333 .479


Can the Lugnuts hang on against hard-charging West Michigan for the first-half division title? It should be an enjoyable few weeks in Oldsmobile Park in June.
Lansing Lugnuts- May review | 6 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Lugnut Fan - Friday, June 02 2006 @ 12:24 PM EDT (#148181) #

Great wrap Mike. 

From my standpoint, it  doesn't matter much to me whether the Luggies come in first or second in the division for the first half.  Both spots receive a playoff spot which Lansing is almost assured with a 7.5 game lead at this point with 2+ weeks to play.  Both spots also receive home field advantage for the first round of the playoffs as well. 

West Michigan and Lansing lost a game in the only series that they play each other this half, so whichever of these teams finishes in second, if it remains this tight (which I think that it will), they will point to that game being the difference between first and second IMO.

Ducey - Friday, June 02 2006 @ 02:20 PM EDT (#148182) #

Anyone know what the deal is with Berroa?

He is 24 and has been demoted after pitching just 13 innings in Dunedin last year.  However, his numbers are unreal.  Does he have the stuff to match his numbers?

Mike Green - Friday, June 02 2006 @ 03:07 PM EDT (#148184) #

I have amended the article to include league average K, W and HR rates.  The league average K rate is quite high.  It's probably a good idea to mentally knock 20% off the K rate of both pitchers and hitters. 

CaramonLS - Friday, June 02 2006 @ 03:37 PM EDT (#148186) #
Does Pettway lead A ball with those K numbers?  62!?!

Hopefully it is just a rough start, but those numbers seem to cry out "mistake hitter".

Mike Green - Friday, June 02 2006 @ 04:41 PM EDT (#148189) #
Pettway does not lead the Midwest League in strikeouts.  Brandon Szymanski does with 75. As I said, you should probably knock 20% of the figures to account for the high strikeout context (possibly related to the umpiring situation).  Still, 150 strikeouts/500 at-bats in the Midwest League is a problem that needs to be worked on. 
Lugnut Fan - Sunday, June 04 2006 @ 07:12 AM EDT (#148235) #


I don't want to discount your theory on the umpires because it may play a factor, however a ton of Pettway's strike outs are of the swinging variety from what I have seen.  He has a very big and very long swing. 

Lansing Lugnuts- May review | 6 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.