Batavia Muckdogs Notebook: 2010 Week 7

Joey Bergman and Jonathan Rodriguez are among the hot players on the Cardinals' New York-Penn League club.

Current Record:  27-20  (Pythagorean 27-20)

Current Standing:  Third, two and one-half games behind Williamsport (Philadelphia) and two games behind Jamestown (Florida)


This week Batavia travels to Stedler Division leader Vermont (Washington) for three games then returns home to play a six-game home stand that is evenly split between two McNamara Division teams, co-last place Auburn (Toronto) and second-place Hudson Valley (Tampa Bay).   


Roster Moves:

07/31/10 - C Roberto Espinoza re-assigned from class A Quad Cities


08/01/10 - C Juan Castillo called up from Rookie League Johnson City


08/03/10 - LHP Tyler Lyons placed on the 60-day Disabled List (tendonitis)

-          Lyons did not appear in a game for Batavia this season.


08/04/10 - Infielder Colin Walsh promoted to class A Quad Cities; Outfielder Chris  Edmondson called up from Rookie League Johnson City

-          Walsh took infielder Alan Ahmady's roster slot when the latter went on the 7-day disabled list with a quad strain.  He went .300/.420/.433/.853, 27-for-90, with four doubles, a triple, two home runs, 20 runs scored and 12 driven in.  A key stat is that Walsh walked more than he struck out:  17 walks to 14 strikeouts.

-          Edmondson was called up because both Adam Melker (tight hamstring) and Mike O'Neill (sore wrist) are day-to-day.


08/05/10 - Right-handed reliever Jose Rada promoted to class A Quad Cities; Catcher Luis De La Cruz re-assigned to Batavia from A-Advanced Palm Beach

-          Rada's promotion is part of a chain of promotions that was triggered when St. Louis reliever Jason Motte went on the 15-day Disabled List.  Fernando Salas was re-called to St. Louis; Francisco Samuel was promoted to Memphis; Ramon Delgado went from Palm Beach to Springfield; Jesse Simpson was called up to Palm Beach from Quad Cities and Rada took Simpson's roster slot at Quad Cities.  Rada went 4-1 with 10 saves in 24 innings pitched over 18 game appearances.  He had a 1.13 ERA, 1.33 FIP, 0.75 WHIP, .124 BAA and .196 BABIP.

-          De La Cruz' reassignment from Palm Beach is a temporary move to shore up the Muckdogs' catching battalion which has been decimated recently with injuries to Audry Perez, Geoff Klein and possibly Roberto Espinoza.  Espinoza left Wednesday's game early.



Of Interest:

The Batavia Daily News reports that Audry Perez tweaked his back after doubling in the third inning of the game on Saturday, July 31st.


Batavia Daily News says that Adam Melker has a hammy injury and may miss a week.  Last appeared on July 26th.  


Injury updates and more are included in Brian Walton's very recent interview with Muckdogs' manager Dann Bilardello:  link


There is no good time for a team to be dealing with injuries but this week was a particularly tough time to see Audry Perez, Adam Melker and Mike O'Neill missing time.  The three are hitting .328/.415/.448/.863 collectively and account for 25% of the runs scored and driven in this season for the Muckdogs. 


August 1st saw the return of lefty starter Zack Russell who had missed time due to a blister issue.  Russell was the losing pitcher in the first game of a double-header with Jamestown (Florida).  He allowed three runs/earned on four hits and a walk in four innings.  Russell struck out one.  He followed up that performance with six innings of no-hit ball against Brooklyn on Friday night. Overall, Russell has a 2.06 ERA and .172 BAA in 35 innings.  He has struck out 34 while walking 15.


August 1st also saw the re-appearance of lefty starter John Gast who was last seen on July 19th.  Gast shut out Jamestown in the second game of the double-header on four hits and no walks in three innings.  He struck out five in a game that Batavia eventually won 2-1. 


Shortstop Yunier Castillo, who seriously needs to bulk up on some Amish food, hit for high average this week but was overshadowed by a couple of his teammates.  Thus, he missed out on the ‘Hot' but gets mentioned here instead.  Castillo hit .429/.429/.524/.952, 9-for-21, with two doubles.  Unfortunately, Castillo, who turned 21 in May, did not draw a walk.  In fact, Castillo has walked exactly twice in 38 games so far. 


Below is a chart listing some stats of Batavia's active players, along with the recently departed Colin Walsh. 


Joey Bergman 117 0.316 0.398 0.419 0.817 0.402 17.0%
Pat Biserta 71 0.211 0.296 0.268 0.564 0.241 6.6%
Juan Castillo 8 0.250 0.333 0.250 0.583 0.250 25.0%
Yunier Castillo 121 0.281 0.289 0.331 0.620 0.324 8.5%
Luis De La Cruz 18 0.278 0.316 0.611 0.927 0.308 14.3%
Chris Edmondson 5 0.200 0.500 0.600 1.100 0.333 0.0%
Jon Edwards 90 0.200 0.294 0.333 0.627 0.333 11.8%
Roberto Espinoza 15 0.200 0.400 0.400 0.800 0.200 28.6%
Geoff Klein 64 0.250 0.377 0.344 0.720 0.333 22.9%
Nick Longmire 159 0.283 0.374 0.522 0.896 0.322 12.7%
Adam Melker 73 0.342 0.461 0.452 0.913 0.417 8.2%
Mike O'Neill 88 0.273 0.389 0.375 0.764 0.316 15.2%
Audry Perez 111 0.333 0.379 0.468 0.848 0.393 21.3%
Jonathan Rodriguez 144 0.215 0.282 0.382 0.664 0.238 12.1%
Victor Sanchez 109 0.248 0.331 0.349 0.679 0.299 18.9%
Matt Valaika 107 0.178 0.219 0.206 0.425 0.211 14.3%



Who's Hot:  second baseman Joey Bergman and third baseman Jonathan Rodriguez

Both Bergman and Rodriguez posted an OPS over 1.000 for the period but did it in very different ways.  Bergman hit for high average but with little extra base power, going .500/.565/.600/1.165, 10-for-20, with two doubles, three walks, four strikeouts and a stolen base.  He had a .625 BABIP.


Rodriguez, on the other hand, got it done via the long ball as one-third of his hits were home runs.  He went .360/.407/.720, 1.127, 9-for-25, with three home runs and two walks against six strikeouts.  Rodriguez had a .375 BABIP.


There is no 'Hot' mention this week on the pitching side.


Who's Not:  Centerfielder Nick Longmire

Longmire went .154/.267/.269/.536, 4-for-26, with a home run, four walks and nine strikeouts.  He had a .188 BABIP. 


No 'Not' notice is being made for the pitchers this week due to mixed results.



How They Stack Up:

Brooklyn's league-leading offense has three players in the top 10 in league batting average:  centerfielder Darrell Ceciliani at .387 (first), third baseman Joe Bonfe at .337 (third) and shortstop Rylan Sandoval at .330 (seventh).  Batavia's highest ranked player is Joey Bergman whose .311 batting average is good for 14th. 


Nick Longmire has the tenth best OPS in the league at .888 and hit eight home runs place him in fourth among the league leaders.


Batavia's offensive stats were mixed this week when compared to the rest of the league.  Their ranking went up in total at bats, home runs and walks but either remained the same or slipped slightly in the rest of the categories.  The biggest drop in ranking came in the fewest strikeouts category where they went from third last week to sixth this week.  The Muckdogs' slugging percentage is driven by their home runs since they rank in the middle of the pack in both doubles and triples.  Overall, Batavia was in the top 30% in nine categories.


Team  AB  AVG  OBP  SLG  OPS  R  H 
Batavia 1574 0.262 0.346 0.381 0.727 245 413
Lg Standing - 8th 3rd T-2nd 3rd 3rd 3rd 3rd
week change - U D - - - D -
League Lead 1642 0.296 0.359 0.470 0.829 276 479
  2B  3B  HR  RBI  BB  SO  SB 
Batavia 80 14 26 217 185 337 36
Lg Standing - 6th 8th 4th 3rd 3rd 6th 10th
week change - D - U - U D D
League Lead 101 29 43 247 208 311 65


Batavia's pitching displayed some improvement in key areas this week, both when compared to their own performance through last week and against the rest of the league.  Their walk rate average decreased and their strikeout rate average increased while the hits allowed per nine innings remained fairly constant.  Subsequently, their team strikeout-to-walk ratio improved as did their ranking which went from fifth to fourth.  The biggest drop came in the home runs-per-hits allowed ranking where Batavia fell from 1:19.6 hits and a fifth-place ranking last week to a 1:17.9 ratio and an eighth-place ranking this week. 


Batavia 3.77 3.28 -0.49 417.2 1.29
Lg Standing - 7th 4th   9th 3rd
week change - D -   U -
League Lead 3.09 3.09   427 1.2
Team - Philly NYM   NYM/Tor Philly
  H/9 IP HR/H BB/9 SO/9 K/BB
Batavia 8.10 1:17.9 3.47 8.30 2.39:1
Lg Standing - 3rd 8th 7th 3rd  4th
week change - - D U U U
League Lead 7.27 1:26.7 2.87 8.52 2.71:1
Team - Philly NYY NYM Tor Hou



The Games:

Batavia went 4-4 for the week and dropped from a second-place tie and only one game off the division lead to sole possession of third and two and one-half games back.  They began the week well by taking two-of-three from division rival Jamestown:  6-1, 1-3, 2-1.  The Muckdogs then hosted cellar-dweller Mahoning Valley (Cleveland) for two games, taking both of them:  6-3 and 8-1.   What was a good week turned sour quickly when they visited powerhouse Brooklyn (New York Mets) and were swept 4-0, 14-4 and 5-4 in 11 innings.  The extra-inning defeat was particularly difficult to take as the Muckdogs were up 4-2 going into the bottom of the ninth but could not hold the lead.


In the meantime, neither of the chief rivals for the Pinckney division title, Williamsport and Jamestown, played a team with a winning record the entire week except for Batavia.  Williamsport swept Stedler Division cellar-dweller Lowell (Boston) and split two-game series with their own division co-bottom rung teams:  Mahoning Valley and Auburn. 


Jamestown lost two-of-three to Batavia but then won the next five games:  two from four-place State College (Pittsburgh) and three from Aberdeen (Baltimore) which shares the bottom rung in the McNamara Division with Staten Island (New York Yankees).



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