Tornicasa busy; Team welcomes Lobaton

No one is quite sure why but the Lake Elsinore Storm will shoot two lefties in a row in the starting rotation.

The prevalent thinking would be to stick hard throwing Evan Meek between Brent Carter and Cesar Ramos but bucking conventional wisdom seems to be the way the Storm will go.

Meek, who hit 96 on the radar gun and maintained 95 into the fifth inning on Friday, is a vastly different pitcher than either Carter or Ramos.

Carter offers a devastating changeup with a fastball that sits in the high 80's. Ramos' fastball is a tick or two faster but offers similar off-speed pitches. The fear is Ramos may get hit hard if he faces the same team that Carter faced.

  • Colt Morton was a tower of power in batting practice on Saturday, putting on a clinic with several bombs to all parts of the field.

    The hot hand carried over to the game as the slugging catcher hit his and the Storm's first home run of the season in inning number three. It was also the first homer of the year at the Diamond. Morton also added a single and double.

  • Hitting coach Tom Tornicasa was a busy man on Saturday. He worked before the game with Yordany Ramirez on keeping his hitting approach consistent.

    "He told me to stay calm," Ramirez explained.

    Tornicasa also worked with Chase Headley on keeping his hands further from his body. Headley was quick to take to the approach and told his coach that he liked the way he swing felt.

    Sean Kazmar also took some instruction on his hands and his stance and was rewarded when he hit a line drive homer just over the left field wall in the fifth inning.

  • Jose Lobaton joined the Storm on Saturday from extended spring training, a replacement for Matt Hagen who moved up to Double-A.

    "He has a very good arm," Renteria said. "He has been developing as a catcher. He still needs experience and time to develop his skills."

    Lobaton, 21, has impressed the organization with his defensive work and was shipped to Lake Elsinore over Luany Sanchez because the organization wants Sanchez to get consistent at bats.

    The question is whether Lobaton will get playing time. Renteria believes he can learn just as much in another role.

    "One of the things I think we mistake in terms of development is what the presence of where they are at means to them in terms of what they are observing, what they are listening to. That plays a big part in development. Something they can take and translate into their physical abilities."

  • Peter Ciofrone is gaining confidence in his outfield defense. He dove for a ball in left-center and came away with a short-hop to prevent extra bases. It was the effort and dive that surprised many – this is just his third game as an outfielder.
  • The JetHawks loaded the bases three times over the first two games of the series but Storm pitching has induced three double plays to end each inning without a run crossing the plate.

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