Batavia Muckdogs Notebook: 2011 Week 8

A 2-4 week hurt the New York-Penn League club's playoff hopes. All-Star C Juan Castillo is hot at the plate.

Current Standings:

Pinckney Division W  L  PCT  GB  Elim  Home  Away  L 10  Streak
Auburn 33 22 0.600 - - 17-10 16-12 7-3 W1
Mahoning Valley 32 23 0.582 1 21 18-10 14-13 6-4 L1
Williamsport 31 23 0.574 1.5 21 18-8 13-15 7-3 W1
Jamestown 28 27 0.509 5 17 17-14 11-13 3-7 L2
Batavia 25 29 0.463 7.5 15 11-14 14-15 3-7 L1
State College 22 33 0.400 11 11 14-14 8-19 7-3 L1


Roster Moves:

Joey Bergman – was sent back up to Quad Cities on the 12th, likely in response to the disabling there of River Bandits' second baseman Kolten Wong.  Bergman is a repeat New York-Penn League all-star but will not be participating because of his promotion.


Manuel De La Cruz – The southpaw spent the minimum on the disabled list before being activated on the 10th.  He marked his return with a scoreless inning out of the bullpen.


Sam Gaviglio – Although St. Louis did not officially announce his signing until the 11th, the Cardinals' fifth round selection in June arrived in Batavia on the 10th, per The Daily News. Gaviglio may follow the path of former Muckdogs-in-name-only Seth Blair and Jordan Swagerty.  Both pitchers were drafted early in the 2010 draft, assigned to Batavia but never appeared in a game.  Gaviglio has not thrown in a game since the NCAA Super Regionals in June and Batavia's regular season only lasts another three weeks.  That does not give him a great deal of time to get his arm in shape. 



Of Interest:

Six Muckdogs were named to the National League squad for this year's All-Star game: 2B Joey Bergman, C Juan Castillo, LHS Jonathan Cornelius, RHS Seth Maness, RHS Todd McInnis and 1B David Medina.  More on the participants in this article:   link


Batavia's pitching coach Arthur ‘Ace' Adams has been named to the coaching staff of the Peoria Javelinas for the 2011 Arizona Fall League where he will act as pitching coach. Brian Walton's August 7th article includes an audio interview with Adams and covers several topics:  link


Below is a chart of Batavia's hitters that includes year-to-date stats in several categories.  An explanation for LD%, wOBA and OPS+ appears in the ‘Glossary' at the bottom of the notebook.


Player AB LD% wOBA OPS+
Joey Bergman 136 21 0.359 132
Juan Castillo 119 34 0.358 138
Phil Cerreto 14 14 0.060 60
Virgil Hill 150 14 0.330 126
Nick Martini 133 14 0.245 44
David Medina 188 23 0.367 140
Kevin Moscatel 74 11 0.288 83
Jeremy Patton 164 19 0.339 120
Casey Rasmus 65 10 0.320 106
Roberto Reyes 169 12 0.271 70
Romulo Ruiz 154 16 0.345 130
Danny Stienstra 53 19 0.302 94
Cesar Valera 142 17 0.251 52
Garrett Wittels 108 18 0.310 102


The top performers are the just-promoted Joey Bergman, catcher Juan Castillo, outfielder Virgil Hill, first baseman/left fielder David Medina, infielder Jeremy Patton and corner infielder Romulo Ruiz.  Center fielder Nick Martini, catcher Kevin Moscatel, right fielder Roberto Reyes and shortstop Cesar Valera are all well under the league average.  Phil Cerreto is also well under the league average but is new to the team and has only 14 at bats.


This week's qualifiers for batting Hot and Not are:  Joey Bergman, Juan Castillo, Virgil Hill, David Medina, Jeremy Patton, Romulo Ruiz and Garrett Wittels.  Qualifiers had 75% of the maximum number of plate appearances for the week. 



Who's Hot: 

Two Muckdogs are swinging the hottest bats this week:  catcher Juan Castillo and infielder Garrett Wittels. 


Castillo went .400/.381/.500/.981, 9-for-20 in five games, with a double and a home run.  He struck out three times and did not walk.  Castillo had a .412 BABIP.


Garrett Wittels had a line of .400/.455/.500/.955, 8-for-20 in five games, with two doubles, two walks and only one strikeout.  He had a .421 BABIP.


With only six games this week, the total innings from which to choose the ‘Hot' pitcher were pretty skimpy.  So, the two starters with the best outings this week both earned the ‘Hot' nod:  Hector Hernandez and Todd McInnis. 


Hernandez tossed six innings, allowing five hits and two walks that resulted in three runs/two earned.  The 20-year-old had a 2.87 FIP, 3.00 ERA, 1.17 WHIP and held opposing batters to a .217 batting average with a .263 BABIP. 


McInnis gave up only an unearned run on four hits in his five innings of work.  He struck out two, did not walk a batter but did plunk one.  That works out to a 3.00 FIP, 0.00 ERA, 0.80 WHIP, .211 BAA and .235 BABIP.   



Who's Not:  

I sure hope Joey Bergman heats up at Quad Cities because he left Batavia swinging an ice cold bat.  Bergman hit a dismal .150/.227/.150/.377, 3-for-20 in five games, with two walks and five strikeouts.  He had a .200 BABIP


There are six starters for five rotation slots now that Seth Maness has returned to the mound.  Pat Daugherty is pitching his way out of the rotation.  The left-hander lasted just two innings, giving up four runs/earned, on two hits but five walks.  He struck out four.  Daugherty had a 6.70 FIP, 18.00 ERA, 3.50 WHIP, .250 BAA and .500 BABIP.



How They Stack Up:

Joey Bergman is sixth in batting average (.309) while Virgil Hill's .487 slugging percentage is good for seventh in the league.  Hill is also tied for fourth with five triples.  David Medina is tied for fourth in the league with seven home runs and Jeremy Patton is tied for eighth with 14 doubles. 


Todd McInnis' 1.97 ERA places him second in the league and he leads the league with a 0.91 WHIP.  Danny Miranda slides to a fifth place tie with eight saves but the slide is due to a lack of opportunities during Batavia's extended slump.


Batavia as a team is fourth in batting average (.256), fifth in on-base percentage (.335), sixth in slugging (.371) and sixth in OPS (.706) out of 14 teams.  They have 98 doubles (third), 11 triples (tie for tenth), 29 home runs (tie for fifth), 199 walks (fourth), 419 strikeouts (only three teams have more) and 56 stolen bases (eleventh).


The Muckdogs' pitching staff is solidly mediocre:  3.79 ERA (seventh), 1.33 WHIP (fifth), 172 walks (fifth fewest) and 374 strikeouts (ninth).  Their best stat is they are third in the league in fewest home runs allowed with 21.  Batavia has tossed 463.1 innings to date which places them ninth.



The Games: 

Batavia went 2-4 in what turned out to be a very soggy week.


The Muckdogs split the week-end games against Williamsport, losing Saturday's game 6-2 at home but winning Sunday's game 8-4 on the road:  link


The team did not play either Monday's game at Williamsport (wet grounds) or Tuesday's game at home against Brooklyn (rain).  Tuesday's postponement was rescheduled for a Wednesday double-header but the team managed to play only one of the two games due to more rain. 


The one game they did play was a nine-inning 9-2 loss to Brooklyn.  Starter Pat Daugherty (3-4) took the loss for the Muckdogs by giving up four runs/earned on two hits and five walks in two innings.  All of the runs scored against the lefty came in his second and final inning of work.  He did strike out five.


The game remained close at 4-2 until the top of the ninth when the Mets scored five runs to blow the game open.  New reliever Yunier Castillo was charged will all five runs although only one was earned.  The big blow was a two-out grand slam by left fielder Travis Taijeron.  Batavia's only runs came in the eighth when Muckdogs designated hitter Casey Rasmus and right fielder Roberto Reyes drove in second baseman Jeremy Patton and left fielder David Medina, respectively.


Batavia finally played both games of Thursday's newly scheduled double-header against Brooklyn and earned a split, losing the first game 3-1 in seven innings while winning the nightcap 2-1:  link


The Muckdogs finished the week with yet another loss, this time to Vermont by a final score of 6-3: link


What's Next: 

Batavia begins the week with the final two games of a three-game home series against first-place Vermont (27-27) (Oakland, Stedler).  They are off Monday and Tuesday for the league All-Star Game. Those Muckdogs participating in the All-Star game will not have to travel, as Batavia finishes the week with three games at last-place Lowell (22-32), the All-Star host (Boston, Stedler).  


Note:  Team records and standings as of Saturday, August 13th.



BABIP (Batting Average for Balls In Play) – measures how many balls that are put into play go for hits, excluding home runs.  The average BABIP is from .290 to .320 and is impacted by the team's defense, changes in talent level and luck.  Certain individual factors, such as a player's speed, impact that hitter's BABIP but generally speaking extreme variations from the average BABIP should eventually move closer to the average range.


GB %, LD %, FB % - the percentage of how many of the hitter's balls in play are groundballs versus line drives or fly balls.  A groundball produces .05 runs/out (R/O), line drive = 1.26 R/O and a fly ball = .13 R/O.  Therefore, a batter wants to hit more line drives while a pitcher wants to induce more ground balls.


OPS+ (On-Base Plus Slugging Plus) – takes OPS (the combination of on-base percentage and slugging percentage) and normalizes it for such things like park factor.  This allows us to then compare players on different teams and different years.  League average is 100+ and each point above or below equals one percentage point.  A player with a 95 OPS+ for the season was 5% below the league average, for example, while a player with a 115 OPS+ was 15% above the league average.


wOBA (Weighted On-Base Average) – starts with the idea that not every type of hit is equal which is how Batting Average works.  Weighted On-Base Average combines all of the different hitting areas (hitting for average, hitting for power, having plate discipline) into one metric and weighs them proportionally according to their actual run value.


- The formulas used to calculate statistics such as BABIP and FIP are from The Hardball Times.

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