Vegas Has a Good Bunch of Hitters

As a team Las Vegas is batting .289. Pretty darn good. Still, it ranks only third in the Pacific Coast League where Tucson is averaging .294 as a unit while Salt Lake has a .290 mark. Gives you the idea that when they say the PCL is a hitters' league they have the facts to back it up.

The 51's aren't doing as well in the run scoring department where they rank fourth and particularly not so as far as home runs go for they're only 10th in the league in that department. But as the team slowly sags down, down in the race, you have to pause and wonder a bit about the "why".

I know, I know, they've had some good people promoted to L.A. like Russell Martin but still, look at that lineup. Jason Repko was leading off for awhile while rehabbing but he's gone back up so Jeff Duncan has reassumed that role and he's not at all bad at it- hitting .285 with speed.

Francisco Valdez isn't supposed to be much of a hitter but he's currently carrying a .291 mark to the No. 2 hole. And then come the big guns.

That would be James Loney (.380), Matt Kemp (.385 since joining the team), and Andy LaRoche (.321 since getting back into the lineup after recovering from his torn labrum.) Why, they're saying Joel Guzman is having an off-year and he's hitting .294. D. Y. Young has a mere .282 mark but he's supplying a lot of the juice with 14 home runs and 30 doubles.

Manager Jerry Royster has his choice of infielders Eric Riggs (.337) and Oscar Robles (.306). That leaves the only guy trailing the pack in catcher Edwin Bellorin, who has a .250 average but, remember, he bats ninth.

So, it's obviously not offense that the 51's are hurting for. No, the problem is pitching, particularly the starting kind for the advancement of Chad Billingsley and Aaron Sele cut out the heart of the rotation and the loss of William Juarez, who went home to Nicaragua to settle family concerns and hasn't returned, hasn't helped, either.

Only D. J. Houlton and Eric Stults are left from the original starting group. So far, the 51's have tried 11 different men in the rotation. Hong-Chi Kuo is the latest to assume the role, so far without success.

As they labor on, losing more often than not, one still has to wonder- with that lineup, shouldn't they be winning more than their share of 12-10 games ?

Of course, with the trading deadline looming, that lineup might get alterations as well.

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