Batavia Muckdogs Notebook: 2010 Week 9

Third baseman Jonathan Rodriguez is among this week's hot players for the NY-Penn League club, locked in a tight battle for a playoff berth.

Current Record:  33–25 (Pinckney Division) (Pythagorean 34-24)

Current Standing:  Tied for second with Williamsport (Philadelphia), one and one-half games behind Jamestown (Florida)


Roster Moves:

Sunday, August 15th – Right-handed reliever LaCurtis Mayes recalled to Class A Quad Cities

Overall, Mayes' short A line was :  2-2, 15 G, 4.50 ERA, 4.03 FIP, 27.2 IP, 31 H, 18 R, 14 ER, 3 HR, 10 BB, 23 SO, 1.48 WHIP, .277 BAA, .283 BABIP, 2.3:1 K/BB.  He was absolutely pounded in his last appearance on Sunday, allowing three runs, earned, on five hits and a walk in one and two-thirds innings.  Mayes took the loss.  But a roster slot did open up for Jordan Swagerty.


Tuesday, August 17th – Right-handed pitcher Jordan Swagerty (2nd round) assigned to Short-season A Batavia

Arizona State's now former closer signed with St. Louis at the August 15th deadline for a reported $625,000 bonus.  Brian Walton reports that St. Louis has decided to have Swagerty start.   He last pitched for Arizona State in the Sun Devils' season-ending loss to South Carolina on June 22nd. 


Wednesday, August 18th – Right-handed pitcher Chris Corrigan called up to Class A Quad Cities

Corrigan was ineffective in his last appearance for Batavia on August 14th.  He pitched three innings, giving up three runs, earned, on six hits.  Overall, Corrigan went 3-1 in 13 games including three official game starts.  He pitched 40 1/3 innings, allowing 22 runs, 18 earned runs, on 40 hits and thirteen walks.  That works out to a 4.02 ERA, 3.80 FIP and 1.34 WHIP.  The righty struck out 23 for a 1.64:1 K/BB ratio and held opposing batters to a .258 average against.  He had a .257 BABIP.


Thursday, August 19th – Catcher Geoff Klein, catcher Audry Perez:  activated from the 7-day Disabled List

Woo Hoo!!



Of Interest:

The Rochester Red Wings will end their operational control of the Batavia Muckdogs at the end of the season, according to the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle.  That move puts Batavia's future in the league in grave doubt since they nearly folded three years ago when they were bailed out by the Red Wings.  More information here.  St. Louis' current player development contract with the Muckdogs is up at the end of this season.


The Batavian has a very informative blog entry on the financial aspects of the Muckdogs' possible sale:  link


Southpaw John Gast was named the New York-Penn League Pitcher of the Week for the period August 9th through the 15th.  He was named the Hot Pitcher of the Week in this report last week, a clear foreshadowing of the much bigger award to come.  Gast has 26 strikeouts in 23 innings against just two walks and 19 hits for a 13:1 K/BB ratio, 0.93 WHIP, 1.33 FIP and 10.2 SO/9 IP.


Third baseman Jonathan Rodriguez hit for the cycle on Sunday against Hudson Valley. 


While both Audry Perez and Geoff Klein returned to action on Thursday, Mike O'Neill did not make a plate appearance.  His only sighting came during Friday's game when he pinch hit for Pat Biserta in the eighth inning and played left field in the ninth.  Also among the missing-in-action this week is starter Andrew Moss who did not appear in a game.  Reliever Houston Summers did not pitch in a game this week until Friday's appearance which earned him a win.  Former Sun Devils teammates Seth Blair (supplemental first round) and newly arrived second-rounder Jordan Swagerty have not seen game action at all.  More on Blair from Brian Walton. 


I believe this past Wednesday, August 18th, was the last day a player could be added to a team's roster and be eligible for the play-offs.


This week's chart gives each player's walk and strikeout totals and their walks-per-plate appearance and strikeout-per-plate appearance averages.

Joey Bergman 180 21 34 8.6 5.3
Pat Biserta 115 9 18 12.8 6.4
Juan Castillo 29 1 1 29.0 29.0
Yunier Castillo 169 4 22 42.3 7.7
Chris Edmondson 60 4 9 15.0 6.7
Jon Edwards 121 12 50 10.1 2.4
Roberto Espinoza 36 6 10 6.0 3.6
Geoff Klein 80 13 17 6.2 4.7
Nick Longmire 239 25 48 9.6 5.0
Adam Melker 104 11 14 9.5 7.4
Mike O'Neill 109 18 12 6.1 9.1
Audry Perez 128 5 22 25.6 5.8
Jonathan Rodriguez 210 20 44 10.5 4.8
Victor Sanchez 175 17 30 10.3 5.8
Matt Valaika 154 9 21 17.1 7.3


The combination of a lack of pitching consistency at this level and a larger quantity of pitchers vying for a limited number of innings makes the pitching side of the ‘Hot' and ‘Not' difficult at times.  Sometimes the most equitable thing to do is to by-pass part or all of the pitching side entirely.  When a pitching ‘Hot' or ‘Not' is omitted, the omission is intentional.



Who's Hot:  Third baseman Jonathan Rodriguez

Rodriguez used a 4-for-4 game on Sunday, in which he hit for the cycle, to mash his way to a line of .313/.450/.750/1.200, 5-for-16 in five games.  He walked four times, scored five runs and drove in two as well as striking out five times.  Rodriguez had a .400 BABIP.



Who's Not:  Centerfielder Nick Longmire

Longmire went .250/.318/.350/.668, 5-for-20 in five games, with two doubles, two walks and five strikeouts.  He was productive when he was on base, scoring four runs and driving in three.  Longmire had a .333 BABIP.



How They Stack Up:

Joey Bergman's .327 batting average is good for fourth in the league behind leader Darrell Ceciliani's .354 average.  Ceciliani is with the Brooklyn Cyclones.  Bergman has the league's third best on-base percentage at .412 (Hudson Valley's Robby Price leads at .427) and no one on the Batavia team ranks in the top 10 in slugging.  Nick Longmire and Jonathan Rodriguez each have eight home runs which places them in a five-way tie for fifth in the league in the home run chase.  Lowell centerfielder Felix Sanchez leads the league with 29 stolen bases.  Batavia as a team has 38 stolen bases.  The Muckdogs' stolen base team leader is Nick Longmire with nine.



Team  AB  AVG  OBP  SLG  OPS  R  H 
Batavia 1950 0.268 0.348 0.388 0.736 306 523
Lg Standing - 11 3rd 2nd 3rd 3rd 3rd 3rd
week change - - - - - - - U
League Lead 2043 0.286 0.351 0.447 0.799 324 585
  2B  3B  HR  RBI  BB  SO  SB 
Batavia 112 17 29 272 219 419 38
Lg Standing - 4th 8th 6th 3rd 3rd 3rd 12th
week change - U - U - D - D
League Lead 119 32 50 296 255 405 77
Team - NYM FL NYM FL Wash Phil TB

Batavia remains very competitive in the averaged numbers of batting average, on-base percentage, slugging and OPS.  They are also extremely competitive in the raw numbers of runs scored, hits, doubles, runs batted in and walks which is impressive considering they have played two fewer games than league leader Brooklyn (New York Mets).  Batavia is tied with third with Brooklyn in fewest strikeouts-per-plate appearance with a 1:5.4 SO/PA ratio.  The co-league leaders are Williamsport and Mahoning Valley (Cleveland) who have a 1:5.5 SO/PA ratio.  The Muckdogs are also third in the league in most walks-per-plate appearance with a 1:10.3 BB/PA ratio, behind league leader Vermont's (Washington) 1:8.9 ratio and second place Auburn's (Toronto) 1:10.2 ratio.  In comparison, Williamsport, which co-leads the league in fewest strikeouts-per-plate appearance is second-to-last in the most walks-per-plate appearance with 1:13.7 BB/PA ratio.  Mahoning Valley's 1:11.3 BB/PA ratio is ninth.


Batavia 3.79 3.33 -0.46 514.2 1.29
Lg Standing - 7th 5th   9th 3rd
week change - D D   D -
League Lead 3 3.11   539.1 1.21
  H/9 IP HR/H BB/9 SO/9 K/BB
Batavia 8.18 1:18 3.44 8.22 2.39:1
Lg Standing - 4th 6th 6th 5th 5th
week change - D - D D D
League Lead 7.72 1:23.8 2.77 8.65 2.83:1
Team - Philly Tor NYM NYY NYM

The Muckdogs' pitching slid into the ranks of the mediocre this week as they are now in the top 30% (top four teams) in only one category:  WHIP.  Last week they were third in FIP, WHIP, fewest hits allowed per nine innings pitched and most strikeouts-per-nine innings pitched.  Batavia was fourth in K/BB ratio. 


The Games: 

Batavia went 3-2 the past week with a two-day siesta for the New York-Penn All-Star game.  They moved from third place to a second-place tie and remain one and one-half games behind Jamestown as the latter moved from second to first place.  The Muckdogs gained two full games on Williamsport. 


Batavia split the final two games of a three-game home series against second-place Hudson Valley (28-30, McNamara) after taking the opener on the 13th.  The Muckdogs won the second game 7-4 as right fielder Chris Edmondson, centerfielder Nick Longmire and second baseman led the way for the offense.  Nick McCully evened his record at 2-2 with five innings of three-hit, one-walk ball.  The sole run to score against McCully was a third-inning solo shot.  McCully struck out five.  Chris Corrigan was ineffective in relief and Keith Butler picked up his second save.  (Box) 


Batavia lost its final game before the All-Star break 8-6.  LaCurtis Mayes took the loss in a game started by Justin Edwards and neither pitcher was very good.  Jonathan Rodriguez hit for the cycle, driving in two and scoring two.  (Box)


Six Muckdogs were All-Stars and five played in the game, in which the NL lost by a 4-3 score. Nick Longmire, Joey Bergman and late addition Yunier Castillo went a combined 0-for-8 with three strikeouts. Audry Perez was still on the DL and did not play. Justin Edwards tossed a scoreless inning, striking out two and Chase Reid fanned the side in his one inning of work. He allowed one hit. Longmire earlier participated in the Home Run Derby, but was shut out. (Box)


After the All-Star break, the Muckdogs traveled to last-place Mahoning Valley (25-35, Pinckney) for a three-game series.  They lost the series opener 4-2 with Matt North taking the loss in relief of Zack Russell.  Right fielder Adam Melker's second inning single drove in two which turned out to be Batavia's only tallies.  (Box) 


Batavia took a 7-0 lead in the second game and held on to win 7-5 with John Gast picking up his fourth win against no losses.  Keith Butler gave up three hits, a walk and a run but held on to record his third save.  (Box)


The Muckdogs won the final game of the series 6-4 behind a five-run third inning.  The big blows were Nick Longmire's two-run double which was immediately followed by Victor Sanchez' two-run home run.  Houston Summers picked up the win in relief of starter Nick McCully.  (Box)


The Race to the Pennant:

Batavia, Jamestown and Williamsport are the three teams locked in the race for the Pinckney division title and Batavia faces their most important week of the season next week.  The Muckdogs travel to Williamsport today (Saturday) for a three-game series then host Williamsport for another three-game series.  They end the week at State College for two games.


  Current Batavia Williamsport Jamestown
Opponent Record Home Away Home Away Home Away
Williamsport 34-26 3 3        
State College 29-30 3 2    
Jamestown 35-24 1 1    
Auburn 25-34 2 1        
Batavia 33-25     3 3    
Jamestown 35-24     2 3    
Mahoning Valley 25-35     2    
State College 29-30     2 1    
Auburn 25-34     3 3
Williamsport 34-26     3 2
Batavia 33-25     1 1
Mahoning Valley 25-35       3
Remaining Games:   9 7 9 7 7 9
YTD Split:   19-10 14-15 21-8 13-18 20-11 15-13


The above chart outlines each team's remaining opponents and whether they face them at home or on the road.  All three teams have 16 games remaining.  Both Batavia and Williamsport have nine home and seven road games while Jamestown has the exact reverse with seven home and nine road games.  Jamestown, however, is the only club of the three with a winning record both at home and away.  Williamsport is five games below .500 on the road and faces the most difficult remaining road schedule on paper:  three games each at Batavia and Jamestown plus a final road game against almost .500 State College.  Jamestown appears to have the easiest remaining schedule with nine of their remaining sixteen games being against co-cellar dwellers Auburn and Mahoning Valley.  However, each of the three teams controls their own fate since they face their main rivals multiple times in the remaining weeks.  Overall, Batavia has played two games less than Williamsport and a game less than Jamestown.



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