Batavia Muckdogs Notebook: 2011 Week 9

The Cardinals' New York-Penn League club went 2-2 around the league's All-Star Game. Their ace, Seth Maness, was promoted to Palm Beach after the contest.

Current Standings: 

Pinckney Division W  L  PCT  GB  Elim Home  Away  L 10  Streak
Auburn 36 23 0.610 - - 20-10 16-13 7-3 W3
Williamsport 35 24 0.593 1 17 21-8 14-16 7-3 W3
Mahoning Valley 33 26 0.559 3 14 18-11 15-15 4-6 L2
Jamestown 29 30 0.492 7 11 18-15 11-15 2-8 L3
Batavia 27 31 0.466 8.5 9 11-15 16-16 4-6 L1
State College 23 36 0.390 13 4 14-15 9-21 5-5 L2

Roster Moves:

Eric Binder – was unconditionally released on Saturday, the 13th.  Binder was a free agent signing in mid-June 2011 out of Division III Trinity University.  Originally assigned to Johnson City, the 24-year-old was promoted to Batavia on June 28th to take Justin Edwards' roster spot when the latter was called up to Quad Cities.  Binder's final line while at Batavia:  14 G, 11.1 IP, 16 H, 17 R/11 ER, 14 BB, 13 SO, 7.44 FIP, 8.74 ERA, .314 BAA, .389 BABIP, 30 TO, 1.83:1 GO/AO ratio, 43.33% SO, 36.67% GO, 20% AO.


Phil Cerreto – placed back on the DL on the 17th, retro to the 15th.  He has had a difficult time staying on the field, missing from April 28th through August 5th due to a broken leg. 


Ethan Cole – signed as a non-drafted free agent on the 17th.  The right-hander most recently closed games for the Edenton Steamers of the Coastal Plain League, a wooden bat summer league.  He came to the Cardinals' attention when Edenton's coach, Dirk Kinney, became a scout for the organization after the Steamers' season finished.  Cole was slated to attend Tennessee Wesleyan this fall.


D'Marcus Ingram – the Springfield Cardinals' outfielder began and ended his rehab assignment with Batavia on the 17th.  Ingram attempted a diving catch while playing centerfield and had to be carried off the field.


Seth Maness – the St. Louis Cardinals tacitly acknowledged Batavia's play-off hopes are non-existent when they promoted the Muckdogs' ace on the 18th.  The slightly unusual part of the promotion is that Maness is skipping class A Quad Cities and going to A-Advanced Palm Beach.  Palm Beach is in a dog fight for a post-season berth and Maness was clearly overpowering New York-Penn League hitters.  This year's 11th-round selection compiled a 1.94 FIP, 0.91 ERA, 0.76 WHIP, .185 BAA, .233 BABIP, 31 SO, 3 BB, in 39.2 IP.  Maness had a whopping 72 GB% and a 6.2:1 GO/AO ratio.  He takes Deryk Hooker's roster slot.


Ryan Sherriff – The southpaw was promoted to Batavia from Johnson City on Tuesday, the 16th.  Sherriff was taken in the 28th round of the June 2011 First-Year Player Draft out of West Los Angeles Junior College. 



Of Interest:

Batavia came out of the All-Star break with an altered rotation.  Corey Baker made first start of season on the 17th and notched his fourth win.  This year's 49th-round selection was followed on Thursday by Hector Hernandez who picked up his first win of the year in 10 starts.  Jose Almarante pitched Friday so it may be that Baker merely took Seth Maness' slot in the rotation with Pat Daugherty moving into the bullpen.


A month ago, Batavia was contending for the division lead and a possible play-off berth.  Today they are reduced to the role of spoilers.  Below are Batavia's pitching stats over the past month or so, divided between starters and relievers.  Italicized names indicate a left-handed pitcher.


Jose Almarante 5/4 21.1 5.54 8.44 1.73
Jonathan Cornelius 4/4 16.2 3.02 4.86 1.38
Pat Daugherty 4/4 13.2 5.10 10.54 2.12
Hector Hernandez 5/5 26.0 4.01 4.15 1.31
Seth Maness 3/2 10.2 1.14 2.53 1.22
Todd McInnis 4/4 21.2 2.51 2.49 0.92
Jose Almarante 12.5 64.3 23.2 0.347 0.341
Jonathan Cornelius 55.3 26.3 18.4 0.242 0.333
Pat Daugherty 47.1 44.1 8.8 0.291 0.395
Hector Hernandez 36.4 36.4 27.2 0.248 0.297
Seth Maness 31.4 57.1 11.5 0.277 0.351
Todd McInnis 29.3 53.5 17.2 0.224 0.269

Looking at those performances, Almarante and Daugherty have been dreadful and Hernandez has been mediocre at best.  Cornelius' stats are mixed, with a pretty good FIP and BAA/BABIP combination but a not-so-wonderful WHIP.  Todd McInnis and Seth Maness have pitched well although McInnis' BABIP is below the standard range which indicates that hitters' batting average against him will likely rise a bit.


Javier Avendano 5/0 7.1 4.43 6.14 1.77
Corey Baker 6/1 19.0 2.04 0.95 1.11
Adam Bileckyj 7/0 13.2 3.64 1.98 1.17
Eric Binder 6/0 3.2 9.21 12.30 3.55
Yunier Castillo 5/0 4.0 7.20 13.50 3.50
Manuel De La Cruz 3/0 3.0 5.53 6.00 0.67
Kevin Jacob 7/0 7.2 5.29 2.35 1.69
Ricky Martinez 5/0 9.0 3.31 0.00 1.00
Travis Miller 9/0 12.1 3.69 1.46 1.30
Danny Miranda 9/0 8.0 2.58 5.63 1.13
Sean Watson 6/0 9.0 5.31 6.00 1.67
Javier Avendano 55 25 20 0.241 0.353
Corey Baker 34 46 20 0.247 0.321
Adam Bileckyj 37.8 43.2 19 0.191 0.235
Eric Binder 75 0 25 0.389 0.545
Yunier Castillo 27.3 45.5 27.2 0.478 0.526
Manuel De La Cruz 60 0 40 0.182 0.143
Kevin Jacob 33.3 42.9 23.8 0.115 0.158
Ricky Martinez 5 55 40 0.267 0.276
Travis Miller 31 55.2 13.8 0.227 0.286
Danny Miranda 47.6 42.9 9.5 0.179 0.278
Sean Watson 13.6 63.6 22.8 0.306 0.313

After reviewing Corey Baker's performance over the past month, it is clear why he is getting a shot at the rotation.  He had excellent numbers out of the bullpen.  Baker came into five games with runners aboard, four of the five with multiple runners on, for eleven total runners.  Two scored.  Twice he inherited bases-loaded situations, once with one out and the other with two outs and stranded all six runners.  Baker was a starter the last three years of his college career at the University of Pittsburgh.


Command has been an issue during that time span.  The bullpen is averaging 4.7 walks per nine innings and two pitchers have negative strikeout-to-walk ratios.  Both Kevin Jacob (10 walks against seven strikeouts) and Sean Watson (four walks, three strikeouts) have walked more batters than they have K'd.  Corey Baker, Manuel De La Cruz and Ricky Martinez are all averaging under 1.5 BB/9 IP with the balance of the pen all averaging at least four walks a game. 


Overall, a team does not contend when the pitching has been at the level at which the Muckdogs have produced over the past month. 


This week's Hot and Not are being passed over because there were only four games from which to compile data.



How They Stack Up:

Batavia is hitting a collective .256/.335/.374/.708 which places them fifth in batting average, sixth in on-base percentage, slugging and OPS in the 14-team league.


Virgil Hill has a .463 slugging percentage and that ties him for tenth in the league.  He is the only current Muckdog to place in the league's top 10 in batting average, on-base percentage, slugging or OPS.  David Medina's seven home runs ties him for fourth place.


The Muckdogs have a 3.80 ERA and 1.32 WHIP as a pitching staff.  Their ERA is eighth and WHIP is sixth in the league. 


Todd McInnis leads the league with a 1.92 ERA and 0.91 WHIP. 



The Games: 

Batavia went 2-2 in a short week, games wise, due to the league All-Star break and the cancellation of Sunday's home game against Vermont due to rain. 


The Muckdogs lost Saturday's game against Vermont 8-3 on Saturday:  link


The New York-Penn League All-Star game was played on the 16th at the home of the Lowell Spinners (Boston).  link


Batavia resumed play on Wednesday with a three-game series at Lowell and got off on the right foot by winning the series' opener 9-4:  link


The Muckdogs won their second consecutive game for the first time since July 19th and 20th by downing the Spinners 7-2:  link


Batavia lost to Lowell 12-8 on Friday as the Muckdogs' pitching was particularly dreadful and were so against a last-place team:  link



What's Next: 

Batavia begins a week of play against division rivals with a six-game home stand on Saturday, the 20th, when they host Mahoning Valley (Cleveland) for three games.  Williamsport (Philadelphia) comes to town for three games on Tuesday.  The Muckdogs finish the week by bopping over to nearby Auburn (Washington) for a game.




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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