The Pelicans have a double-header this afternoon starting at 4:30 pm ET in Frederick, Maryland. Right-hander Chris Vines, Atlanta's fifth round pick in the 2003 draft, will make his first start in a year. Vines had Tommy John surgery last July 18th and has done very well in his rehab.
Myrtle Beach has won five out of its last six and is 24-28 on the season, seven games out of first place. After going 11-13 in April, the Pelicans were 13-15 in the month of May.
Since coming up from Rome, outfielder Jordan Schafer has continued his solid play. He's got a five-game hitting streak right now. Overall on his season, Schafer is hitting .329 with 7 home runs and 31 RBI, 74 hits in 225 at bats, 10 stolen bases, and a .387 on base percentage. He's hit .271 in his 23 games with the Pelicans.
Elvis Andrus had a strange month of May. He hit only .214 (after hitting .250 in April), but he stole ten bases. Since coming back from missing a few weeks with a thumb injury, third baseman Eric Campbell is hitting .243 (9-37) with three home runs and eight runs batted in.
Isaiah Ka'aihue is waking up a bit. ‘KK' hit only .167 in April, but in May he hit .278 with 5 home runs, 15 RBI, and a .393 on base percentage. Since taking over for Clint Sammons, who was promoted to AA Mississippi after Jarrod Saltalamacchia went to Atlanta, Jose Camarena has done well as the Pelicans' starter. Camarena is hitting .263 with a home run and nine RBI in the 22 games as the regular catcher.
Moises Hernandez leads the Carolina League with eight wins, and he was 5-1 in six games in the month of May with a 3.20 ERA. But two of the Pelicans' starters really struggled in May. Dustin Evans was 0-4 last month with a 5.60 ERA in five games started, while right-hander Jairo Cuevas went 0-5 with an 8.25 ERA in his six starts.
Kevin Gunderson, the team's closer early in the season, had a rough month of May posting an ERA of 9.00 in his ten games. While the former Oregon State star did have four saves, he also had seven walks in 10 innings.
But thankfully for the Pelicans, they received some help from Sung Ki Jung, who has missed three years after spending time in the Korean army. Jung was Rome's closer back in 2003 when they won the Sally League title with Jeff Francoeur, Brian McCann, Kyle Davies, and Blaine Boyer. So far Jung has been perfect, not allowing a run in his first four games.
Bill Shanks is the author of Scout's Honor: The Bravest Way To Build A Winning Team, a look inside the Braves‘ traditional scouting and player development philosophies. He can be heard on 680 the Fan in Atlanta and 105.5 the Fan in Macon. Email Bill at email@example.com.