PBN Minor League Notebook

There is plenty to talk about as the minor league season starts to wind down. If you're looking for hot bats, start with a few players at Scranton and work your way down to the white-hot offense in Batavia. For pitchers, start with Clearwater's Zack Segovia and work from there. It's all part of our look into the PBN Minor League Notebook.

Scranton Wilkes-Barre Red Barons

Shane Victorino continues to be impressive for Scranton. Victorino went 2-for-5 Monday night to take his current hitting streak to 19 games, good enough to tie him for eighth best in franchise history with Rick Schu and Nick Punto. During the streak, the 24 year old center fielder is hitting .381 (32-for-84) and he's now eight games behind Pablo Ozuna for the longest hitting streak in the history of the Red Barons. Victorino is also somewhat of a road warrior, collecting hits in 22 straight road games. In other words, he's had at least one hit in every road game since the All-Star Break.

Chris Coste and Matt Kata have hit safely in all eight games on the Red Barons road trip that concluded with a 3-2 win at Louisville Monday night. Both also collected a hit in the final game of Scranton's last homestand, giving them nine game hitting streaks. Coste is hitting a torrid .447 (17-for-38), while Kata is hitting .308 (12-for-39) during his streak.

Reading Phillies

Right-hander Mike Smith was awarded with the Eastern League Pitcher of the Week Award. For the week ending August 21st, the 27 year old Smith went 2-0 and posted a 1.38 ERA in two games. He pitched a total of 13 innings and struck out 11 hitters while walking five and allowing seven hits. On the season, Smith is just 5-12 and has a 4.34 ERA in 24 starts for Reading. Smith cemented the award Sunday night with a strong outing in Altoona, going seven innings while allowing just one earned run against the Curve. In that game, Smith struck out five hitters and gave up just two hits.

Randy Ruiz was activated from the suspended list on Sunday. Ruiz was suspended for 30 days after failing an MLB mandated test for banned substances. It was the second offense for Ruiz, who missed the first 15 games of the season serving his first suspension.

Clearwater Threshers

Zack Segovia put together a great outing against Ft.Myers last week, but got no run support as Clearwater lost 1-0, putting Segovia at 3-12 on the season. Segovia, who is returning from elbow surgery after missing all of last season, threw seven innings and allowed just five hits and no walks, while striking out eight hitters. It was a return to the form that Segovia was showing prior to his surgery in November of 2003. The Phillies aren't concerned about Segovia's record, since he hasn't always gotten the best run support and because they simply wanted him to pitch for the full season and stay healthy. He's one of the pitchers that the Phillies expect to see bigger things out of coming into next season.

Lakewood BlueClaws

Lakewood had their six game win streak snapped Saturday in the series opener with DelMarVa. Now, they're in the throws of a three game losing skid. Nathan Johnson won two games during the streak, putting his season mark at 10-7, 5.40 for the BlueClaws. In his two wins, Johnson threw 5 1/3 shutout innings, giving up seven hits and no walks, while striking out four.

Batavia MuckDogs

The bats are smoking in Batavia. In a recent four game series with Mahoning Valley, the 'Dogs scored 50 runs, including scoring 37 runs in two games. The hot hitting gave Batavia a five game win streak and wins in six of their last seven games headed into the inaugural New York / Penn League All-Star Game. Jeremy Slayden and Mike Costanzo combined to hit .471 (16-for-34) in the series against Mahoning Valley, with six homeruns and 17 RBI. Slayden hit .500 (8-for-16) with three homeruns and seven RBI, while Costanzo hit .444 (8-for-18) with three homeruns and ten RBI. The two combined to score 20 runs and walked eight times while striking out seven times.

Costanzo and Slayden didn't just start hitting against Mahoning Valley. In his last 20 games, Costanzo is hitting .329 (27-for-82) with six homeruns and 22 RBI. Slayden has hit .356 (21-for-59) over his last 16 games and has added six homeruns and 17 RBI over the span.

With all of the offense, a strong outing by Kyle Kendrick (5-2, 3.42) could have been overlooked in the second game of the series. Kendrick threw six innings, giving up seven hits and a walk and just two earned runs. The Batavia defense hurt him, giving up two unearned runs in the game. Of course, that wasn't as bad as the first game of the series when the MuckDogs mucked up defensively and made five errors.

GCL Phillies

With just three games remaining in the GCL season, Mike Durant has slim hopes of raising his average above the Mendoza Line. Durant is hanging at .190 on the year, but he's shown good power numbers, clubbing a team-high six homeruns and standing at second on the club with 22 RBI. The key is simple, put the bat on the ball; Durant has whiffed 56 times in 126 at bats. That means that in a total of 44% of his at bats, Durant has failed to put the ball in play.

Curt Miaso has put himself on the radar with a strong season. He leads the Phils' in RBI (24), stolen bases (13), at bats (140), runs (28). He is also tied for the team lead in total bases (52) and second on the club with four homeruns. Defensively, he's been perfect, with no errors to his credit.

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