Team Record: 19-34 (3-5 on the week)
Standing: Sixth in the Northern Division
Eddy Martinez-Esteve came into the year as the top hitter in the Giants minor league system, looking to prove he could come back from an injury that limited him to fewer than 100 at-bats last year. The injuries have not completely healed, apparently, as fans have noticed EME out of the lineup for quite some time. Martinez and the team have decided it is best to head back to Arizona and work on some strength and conditioning for his shoulders and hamstrings.
This should be good for him and for the Defenders. It will allow him to completely heal his mind and body in a pressure-free environment away from Dodd Stadium. The Giants do not want any more damage done to their young star-in-the-making and hope this is the best way to accomplish that. It could spell the end to his time in Connecticut.
When Alexander Hinshaw was added to the rotation a few weeks ago, some were sure it would be at the expense of Darren Sack, who had struggled mightily at Double-A since the start of the year. Surprisingly the switch pushed Ben Cox into the bullpen instead.
After a few more implosions from Sack, he was ultimately demoted to San Jose, and taking his spot was David McKae. McKae had been dominant at San Jose, going 5-1 with a 1.93 ERA in 11 starts. He is the power pitcher the Defenders rotation needed, and now they really have five starters who they can count on every time out.
Unfortunately the team played eight games this week and needed to give Ben Cox a spot start, which resulted in him lasting less than two innings and giving up six runs.
Speaking of solid starting pitching, the Defenders went up against one of the best pitchers in the minors this week when they faced off against Clay Buchholz of the Red Sox organization.
Buchholz fanned 11 Defenders, but couldn't ward off a leadoff triple in the first by Eugenio Velez, who eventually came around to score the winning run in the first.
Kudos to Nick Pereira, who seems to pitch brilliantly (minus some control issues) every other start, giving up only three hits in 5 1/3 innings and not allowing any Sea Dogs to score.
Brian Anderson got the save in that one, and also in Sunday's game, giving him 11 on the season, which is second best in the league. If he keeps up this pace he could easily have himself another 30 saves on the season.
Just to clarify all roster moves on the week: Simon Klink went on the disabled list retroactive to May 21 with a shoulder problem. Martinez went back to Arizona, and Darren Sack heads back to San Jose. David McKae joins the Defender rotation, and Connecticut welcomes back speedster Alex Requena.
Player of the Week: David McKae
Defender fans have been screaming for the Giants to promote someone who could make an immediate impact on the team, and McKae did just that. He got the start Sunday, and went seven innings, allowing five hits, no runs and striking out eight. McKae is out of UC Irvine, and in two years of minor league service prior to this season, he has an ERA of 2.07.
Stat of the Week: 8
This is the most strikeouts in a game this season by a Defender pitcher, and would you guess recently-promoted David McKae achieved this feat?
Kris is a junior at Clemson University interning at SFDugout.com for the summer. He is an avid fan and still plays baseball in summer leagues at home in hope of one day getting on the pro field. Until then, this is as close as he gets. Send questions, comments, concerns to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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