Monday, May 18, 2009

Weekend Leftovers

Some abbreviated thoughts from this weekend. I didn't get to check out all of Lexington's games, but there's plenty here for your minor league enjoyment. Corpus Christi had one of its games rained out this weekend, but everyone else played a full four games. Here's the news and notes from those:

Shortstop Tommy Manzella is 11 for 21 in his last four games. The 26-year old has nine XBH in May, bringing his average up to .289 on this season. He's also created 19 runs, but 16 of those in May. Manzella is much more valuable for his glove than his bat, but he's been hitting consistently this season at Round Rock. He may be able to help the Astros sometime this season if there is an injury in the middle of the infield.

Bud Norris started on Thursday and had a pedestrian start. The 24-year old gave up four earned runs and eight hits in six innings, striking out eight and walking three. His game score of 45 was his lowest of the season as was his DER of .529. No help from the defense really hurts pitchers, as most of Norris' peripheral stats were good. He threw almost exactly the same number of pitches in his last two starts, but threw 10 more strikes on Thursday in 2/3 less innings. He still rates as a definite power pitcher, with a PFR of 1.65 on the season and no start with a ratio under 1.00.

Polin Trinidad only needed 105 pitches to pick up the third complete game of the season for the Hooks staff. In nine innings, he allowed seven hits and two earned runs, striking out six and walking one. Trinidad also took over the Hooks lead in PRC with 15.68 and posted a game score of 70, second only to Douglas Arguello's 75 in his complete game last week.

Chris Hicks saw his May ERA balloon up over 8.00 this weekend. The 22-year old has lost all three of his starts this month and has allowed 25 hits in 13 innings. A big reason for this is his .489 BABiP, which means that almost half of the time a batter makes contact, the ball will fall for a hit. That's pretty unbelieveable and a big reason why Hicks can be considered a prospect even when his numbers stink.

Lancaster added another outfielder to the fold over the weekend. Former Georgia State outfielder Eric Suttle was signed before spring training and has (probably) been in extended spring training until now. The 24-year old graduated after the 2007 season and spent last year with the Southern Illinois Miners, an independant team in the Frontier League. He was 1 for 3 with a double, a walk and two RBIs in his debut on Sunday.

Lexington's Ross Seaton took his third loss of the season last Thursday. Seaton's ERA didn't nudge up that much, but he gave up 5 unearned runs, which led to his lowest game score of the year (36). He still isn't getting much run support, as the Legends have only scored 31 runs for him in seven starts. If you exclude a 15 run outburst in his fifth start, that's 2.67 runs a game.

Teammate Robert Bono may not have posted his best game score of the season in his start this weekend, but he did strike out more batters than he has all year. In six innings, Bono struck out seven and walked none, pushing his PFR up to 1.17 for the second time in three starts. He's still profiling as more of a finesse pitcher, but the uptick in strikeouts means he may be able to sustain his success long-term.

Some other player moves from this weekend: A few relievers moved around, as Danny Meszaros was promoted from Low A Lexington to Double-A Corpus Christi and Andy Van Hekken was promoted to Triple-A Round Rock this weekend. To make room for him on the Hooks' roster, former Kent State Golden Flash Chad Wagler was sent to Lancaster. ... Replacing Meszaros with Lexington is lefthander Michael Hacker, a 25th round pick in 2008 out of Cosumnes River College. Hacker pitched in 23 games last season with an ERA of 2.73 in 26 1/3 innings, striking out 27 and walking 17... To make room for Suttle on the JetHawks roster, it looks like Eric Taylor was released from the team. He last appeared in a game on May 4, and is not currently listed with any team on ... Another Lancaster outfielder, Brian Pelligrini, was sent back to Lexington. The 24-year old was 3 for 39 in May, forcing the team to pull him from the lineup. ... Lexington also added outfielder Marques Williams to its roster. Williams was drafted in the 43rd round of the 2007 draft out of Compton Community College and was a graduate of MLB's Urban Youth Academy. The 23-year old played for short-season Tri-City in 2008, hitting .213 in 46 games.

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