Friday, July 24, 2009

Friday's Trip to Lancaster

I wrote a bunch about Lancaster players a couple days ago, but here is what I left out:

The Lancaster pitching staff has been fairly awful lately, but if you look past all the hits and runs allowed, there are a couple of guys doing some good. First, former starter Jose Duran has been as close to untouchable as you can be in Clear Channel Communication Field. In five appearances this month, Duran has given up four runs in 12 1/3 innings, and two of those came in two-thirds of an inning in his most recent appearance. Duran has also struck out 10 and walked six in his five appearances, giving him a K/9 rate of 7.30. His FIP of 3.04 is actually very close to his ERA this month of 2.92. All in all, Duran has been very effective, though he'll probably stay in the bullpen.

The other pitcher doing well is Chris Hicks. He's going to keep getting mentioned here until someone notices, because Hicks has been very good. In his latest start on Thursday, Hicks lasted seven innings while giving up seven hits and three earned runs while striking out seven and walking one. Hicks had a G/F ratio of 8 to 6, continuing a trend of allowing more ground balls than fly balls this season. The seven strikeouts was also his second highest total of the season, bringing his K/9 rate up to 6.84 this season. Hicks has a PRC of 43.77 now, putting him third on the team behind Jon Gaston and Jason Castro.

Speaking of Gaston, since his epic home run exploits over the weekend, the 22-year old went 1 for 6 with two walks, including an intentional walk, and hit his fifth triple of July. Gaston is now batting .293/.398/.756 in 88 plate appearances but has struck out a team-high 32 times. He's currently on pace to shatter the Lancaster record for home runs in a season of 31. Currently, Gaston has 27 home runs.

Lexington third baseman Ebert Rosario was called up to Lancaster and has gone 1 for 8 in two games, scoring one run and driving in two more. Rosario has hit a triple and struck out once, giving him a line of .125/.125/.250. He takes the job of David Flores, who was 7 for 37 in July.

Let's run through the monthly team leaders quickly: hits - Koby Clemens 29; doubles - Clemens 11; triples - Gaston 5; walks - Gaston 14; runs - Gaston 23; home runs - Gaston 9; RBIs - Clemens 26; strikeouts - Gaston 32; stolen bases - T.J. Steele and Craig Corrado 3; singles - Jack Shuck 20; strikeouts - Fernando Abad 20; walks allowed - Leandro Cespedes and Bryan Hallberg 11; wins - Cespedes 3; innings pitched - Cespedes 25 2/3.

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