The Nashville Sounds’ up-and-down season has continued. Going into Wednesday’s game in Colorado Springs riding a two-game winning streak, the Sounds are 45-52 and 10 games back in their division. Over the past 10 games, the Sounds are 5-5. Since the All-Star break, the Sounds are 4-2.
Offense has been tough to come by for the Sounds for most of the season. As a team, the Sounds are second-to-last in the Pacific Coast League with a 699 OPS. The Sounds are third-to-last in OBP (.328) and second-to-last in SLG (.371). Nashville has managed just 50 homeruns and 377 runs (3.8 runs per game) in 97 games this season.
The Sounds’ pitching staff has held its own this year. As a team, the Sounds are second in ERA with a 3.65 and first in WHIP with a 1.28 mark. Sounds’ starters have completed four games. Nashville pitchers are in the middle-of-the-pack in strike-outs (694 in 852.1 innings) and walks (316). Sounds’ pitchers have allowed just 69 homeruns, fifth-fewest in the league. The Sounds’ 775 hits allowed is the lowest total in the league, a credit both to the Sounds’ pitching staff and their defense.
Nashville has two more games remaining in their four-game set with Colorado Springs. They return home on Friday to square-off against New Orleans.
Comings and Goings
It has been a relatively light month for transactions for the Sounds thus far. In early July, the A’s signed minor league free agent Parker Frazier and assigned him to Nashville. After one start, Frazier was re-assigned to Double-A Midland on July 8. He has been in the RockHounds’ rotation ever since.
Since July 2nd, the Sounds have been without infielder Andy Parrino. Parrino was lent to USA Baseball for the PanAm Games. Parrino helped lead the USA team to a PanAm silver medal. He should return to Nashville soon.
On July 1st, the A’s released Nashville catcher Luke Carlin and then promoted catcher Carson Blair from Double-A Midland, where he was among the top hitters in the Texas League. The next week, the A’s added two pitchers from the Atlanta Braves’ organization in exchange for international signing slot money. RHP Cody Martin joined the A’s from Atlanta and entered the Sounds’ starting rotation. He took the spot previously filled by Sean Nolin, who was placed on the DL with a left shoulder injury on July 1. RHP Aaron Kurcz also joined the A’s from Atlanta, sliding into the Nashville bullpen on July 6.
On July 12, the A’s promoted veteran left-handed reliever Phil Coke from High-A Stockton to Nashville. He joins several other major-league veterans on the Nashville pitching staff. On July 16, LHP Jim Fuller was placed on the disabled list.
RHP Chris Bassitt was a one-man transaction log this month, as he shuttled back-and-forth between the A’s rotation and the Sounds’ rotation. Bassitt is currently on the Nashville roster, but he will be promoted to Oakland this weekend to take the fifth spot in the A’s rotation. In addition to Bassitt, the A’s grabbed RHP Dan Otero and OF Jake Smolinski from the Nashville roster this month.
PCL All-Star Jason Pridie continues to put together an outstanding season for the Sounds. The 31-year-old had two hits in the Triple-A All-Star game and currently carries a .304/.363/.511 line. His 15 homeruns lead the team and are second-most within the A’s minor league system. In July, Pridie has homered seven times in 17 games and has a 1197 OPS.
Infielder Niuman Romero hit .286 in June and is batting .308 in seven games thus far in July. Second baseman Joey Wendle has six hits in his last two games and he is batting .289 in 18 games this July. He has had a batting average of .284 or higher in every month this season except May.
It has been a very rough year for Nate Freiman, who was outrighted off of the A’s 40-man roster this month. He is showing signs of turning things around, however. He has a five-game hitting streak and he hit his first homerun of the season this week.
Catcher Carson Blair had an 898 OPS for Midland. He is batting .303 with a .361 OBP in his first nine games for the Sounds. This is Blair’s first taste of Triple-A.
On the pitching side, LHP Barry Zito continues to put together a strong season for Nashville. He has a 2.25 ERA in three starts this month and his ERA has been 3.31 or lower every month this season except for April.
RHP Arnold Leon moved into the bullpen towards the end of June and he has pitched well in that role. In nine outings, Leon has a 1.76 ERA and a 13:1 K:BB in 15.1 innings. Opposing hitters are batting .098 against Leon as a reliever.
”Mr. Efficient” Zach Neal is off to a good start in July. In three starts, he has a 2.57 ERA and one complete game. In 21 innings, Neal has struck-out just six, but he has walked only one. He has allowed just 17 hits. His GO/AO is 1.45 for the month.