This team has been hard to figure out this year. This week, I'm going to comment on each of the starting pitchers in an attempt to show where the strengths and weaknesses lie. The oppressive heat and humidity in the Midwest this week have been both a bane and a blessing to the team.
Sam Gaviglio (5-7) still hasn't shown his true talent. In years past, I have seen teams here that get the idea that when a certain pitcher is in the game, they can't hit. This could be the case with Sam. When he is pitching, it seems that if the team doesn't get several hits in the first couple of innings, they don't get many hits for the entire game. I hope that Sam isn't the victim of this mentality. He starts Wednesday in Clinton and gives his club the chance to get back into first place. We'll see how that goes.
Hector Hernandez (7-5) is an enigma. Most of his wins are big wins – by more than five runs. His losses are either one-run losses or they are also five or more runs. Hernandez has good control of his pitches most of the time and throws in the mid-nineties. It's hard to figure out why he doesn't have more wins but also why he doesn't have more losses.
Willy Paulino (2-8) came under scrutiny early in the year as a middle reliever. I have not been impressed. I have watched his last two starts especially trying to figure out what is going wrong. In Sunday's game this week, Paulino had a great first inning, faltered a little bit in the second, and then seemed to recover for the next two innings. However, whether it was fatigue or a mental game breakdown, he came apart in the fifth inning and gave up four runs in 1/3 of an inning. It seems to me that if Paulino is throwing well, he can maintain good control but as soon as he stumbles, there is no recovery. I think he's better suited for a short relief role.
Brad Watson (1-0) just replaced Kyle Hald in the rotation. While he has only had one start, it was impressive. He's a native of Urbandale, Iowa, just outside of Des Moines, and went to school at Wartburg in Waverly, IA, so he had lots of support from friends and family in his debut. Watson did not take a lot of time between pitches and was hitting 92-94 mph this week. He's tall - 6'4" - but Lake County's starter that night was 6'7" so Watson did not look very big on the bump. It's always fun to see a new pitcher do well.
The Bandits had several players on the move this week. Kyle Barraclough (Bear Claw), David Bergin (Bur gun), Brad Watson, and Anthony Melchionda (Mel CHI onda) joined the team as part of an eight-man shuffle. Jeremy Patton became a River Bandit earlier in the week. Colin Walsh has extended his DL stop with a nagging injury to his wrist. Stephen Piscotty took a cleat to the ankle last week and has missed some games with some swelling but has not officially been placed on the DL. The club hopes to have both of them back soon.
This week in Clinton will be three very important games. A good series there could leave the Bandits two games up on the LumberKings. A bad week could be very costly as we go into the last week of July.
As always, I welcome your questions and suggestions on the forum or via private message (sport61201).
Thanks for reading!
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