Bowling Green Notebook: Carpenter in Control

The Bowling Green Hot Rods are 6-4 in their last 10 games and continue to get dominating performances from left-hander Ryan Carpenter on the hill. Also inside: Shortstop Jake Hager continues to impress and catcher Alejandro Segovia is beginning to turn heads with his recent hot streak at the plate.

Carpenter's Dominant Pitching Continues

In his last start on Saturday against Lake County, after he gave up a leadoff single followed by a walk in the first, Ryan Carpenter became untouchable. Carpenter pitched the next five innings without giving up another hit and came out of the game after 6 innings with one hit, no runs, two walks and two strikeouts.

His previous start five days earlier against Dayton was nearly a spitting image of his last start: 6 innings, four hits, no runs, no walks and four strikeouts.

"Working fast and attacking hitters," Carpenter said when asked about his success in his last two outings.

Carpenter is 8-4 on the season with a 3.51 ERA in 18 starts. His 18 starts ties him for first in the Midwest League and he also has 81 strikeouts on the season, which is third most in the league and first on the team. Most impressive of all though, has been his control, as the southpaw has walked just 14 hitters in 97.1 innings.

Earlier in the season Carpenter said he was working on a new pitch - a cut fastball - and he now has begum to develop confidence in it.

"It's developed into a good pitch and I've been using it a lot more," Carpenter said about the new pitch he's added to his arsenal. "I feel much more comfortable with it."

Hager Standing Out

Jake Hager, who made a few adjustments in his stance early on in the season, has been a go-to guy for the Hot Rods as of late and continues to play well after a slow start to the year. The young shortstop went 15-for-42 in the last ten games, which translates to a .357/.413/.548 slash line. Five of his 15 hits were doubles and one was a homerun.

The 2010-2011 Gatorade Nevada Baseball Player of the Year has also turned it on on the base paths. In the last ten game stretch Hager was 3-for-4 stealing bases, giving him five stolen bases now on the season.

"Being a little bit more patient, kind of selectively aggressive," manager Brady Williams said is the reason Hager has been tearing up the ballpark with his bat recently.

Segovia Turning Heads

Catcher Alejandro Segovia has proven to be a diamond in the rough for the Hot Rods. In the past 10 games he has shown he can hit just as well as the numerous highly-touted prospects that load the Hot Rods lineup.

Segovia is hitting .351/.385/.838 in the past 10 games along with five homeruns and 13 RBIs. The five homeruns have rocketed him up the list to third on the team in the homerun category, with 9 on the season. The Venezuelan-native now has an OPS of .920 in 39 games and 127 at bats, which leads the team.

Austin Nichols is the Bowling Green beat writer for Rays Digest. You can follow him on Twitter at @Nichols_HotRods.


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