The Zephyrs’ inconsistencies continued last week as they squeaked out a 3-3 record including a four-game series split against the Memphis Redbirds and a rain-shortened two-game series against the Nashville Sounds. The Z’s now possess a 27-25 record at home and a 45-52 overall record, sitting nine games behind the first place Oklahoma RedHawks.
Andy Green: 8-24, 2 HR, 5 RBI, 6 R, 7 BB
The 30-year-old second baseman was added to the Z’s roster in conjunction with the promotion of Argenis Reyes. In a small sampling, ten games, Green is hitting .281 with a .452 on-base percentage. His nine walks against four strikeouts have allowed to him to be a steady presence atop the lineup in his short tenure.
Brandon Knight: Win, 7 IP, 2 ER, 6 H, 7 K, 2 BB
Knight recently moved into a starting role with Zephyrs and so far the move is paying off. In four starts, Knight holds a 3-1 record with a 2.59 ERA in 24.1 innings pitched. The seven innings pitched on Thursday night against the Albuquerque Isotopes was a season-high and the seven strikeouts he registered were the most since he fanned eight on June 14 against Oklahoma. So far this season, Knight has a 37/7 strikeout-to-walk ratio.
The struggling B-Mets offense has led to a prolonged cold streak this month as the club has slipped to a 5-8 record in July. The majority of the week was spent battling the Connecticut Defenders who they split four games with, including two runs in three games. The offensive issues are apparent right on the scoreboard as the B-Mets scored more than three runs just once last week, and 15 runs in their last seven games.
Jonathon Niese: 1-1, 13 IP, 16 H, 4 ER, 12 K, 4 BB
The B-Mets’ left-hander backed up his shaky outing last Monday against Akron [6 IP, 4 ER, 10 H] with seven shutout innings and six hits allowed on Saturday night at Trenton. Niese has not been the beneficiary of helping run support as he lowered his ERA to 3.09 in 20 starts despite his 5-7 record. Though Niese has issued two walks in seven straight starts, he now ranks fourth in the Eastern League with 97 strikeouts.
Ambiorix Concepcion: 6-25, 2 HR, 4 RBI, 5 R, 2 2B, 4 SB
Concepcion provided much of the thump that otherwise lacked from the B-Mets scorecard this week. “Rixy” popped both of his home runs last week in the B-Mets 7-4 victory at Connecticut, bringing his season total to ten and tying Mike Carp and Daniel Murphy for the team lead in the process. Strikeouts and lack of walks continue to serve a as a problem for Concepcion who maintains a 62/12 strikeout-to-walk ratio and a .280 on-base percentage.
The St. Lucie Mets hoped to keep their momentum of the second half going last week, but any rhythm was disrupted as the club had a four-game series against the Tampa Yankees virtually washed out. The two clubs did manage to have a doubleheader on Thursday which the Mets swept by a combined 9-4 score. However, the weekend started on a downturn as they dropped the first two games against the Dunedin Blue Jays. They now sit ½ game back of the Palm Beach Cardinals in the FSL second half standings.
Lucas Duda: 6-17, 2 RBI, 4 R, 2 2B, 2 3B, 4 BB, SB
For St. Lucie to stay in contention in the second half of the season, they will need Duda to turnaround his recent slump, including his .205 batting average in June. The tall left-handed first baseman has not homered since May and has driven in 12 runs since that time. He has struggled mightily against left-handed pitching this season, registering just a .191 batting average [18-for-94]. Despite his offensive swoon, he still retains a sharp eye at the plate, ranking second in the Florida State League in walks .
Dylan Owen: Win, 7 IP, 4 H, 6 K, BB
Owen, who celebrated his 22nd birthday on Saturday, rebounded in dramatic fashion on Wednesday night after giving up a combined 12 earned runs in his previous six innings pitched by blanking the Tampa Yankees for seven innings. Given that it was the first game of a scheduled doubleheader, it went on the book as a complete game shutout—his second of the season [one of two FSL pitchers with two]. It was his longest outing since he tossed seven innings against Palm Beach back on June 17. He ranks third in the FSL with 88 strikeouts.
The week did not start well for the Sandgnats who were taken out in a four-game sweep at the hands of the West Virginia Power. Amazingly, the Sandgnats seem unable to avoid the one-run bug as three of their losses to the Power were by that margin. The club has now played seven one-run games in 11 scheduled games in July. Entering Sunday, the club remains tied with the Greenville Drive and Charleston RiverDogs in last place of the South Atlantic League Southern Division at seven games back.
Brant Rustich: Win, 5 IP, ER, 2 H, 7 K, BB
Rustich picked up his first victory since June 7 against Charleston [a relief appearance] by tossing his longest outing with the Sandgnats. His seven strikeouts on Friday night were a season-high. In five starts, Rustich owns a 1-2 record with a 4.34 ERA in 18.2 innings pitched.
Scott Moviel: ND, 7 IP, ER, 3 H, 2 K, BB
Though Moviel picked up a no-decision in his start last Tuesday, the towering right-hander continues to pitch with terrific consistency and has definitely found a rhythm against Sally League competition. After pitching through two very rough months in April and May in which he compiled a 3-7 record and a 6.24 ERA and a 32/20 strikeout-to-walk ratio, Moviel is 5-0 with a 2.57 ERA with a 28/7 strikeout-to-walk ratio since. He has not surrendered more than two earned runs in a start since June 3 or more than two walks in a start since May 29.
The Cyclones endured their worst week of the season as they dropped five of six games on the docket including a three-game sweep to the Jamestown Jammers bookended by losses to the State College Spikes and the Mahoning Valley Scrappers. The Cyclones fell to 11-14 this season, five games back of first-place Staten Island. Two notes of the week, after breezing through three starts in the Gulf Coast League, Jenrry Mejia made his NY-Penn League debut but was roughed up for five earned runs in four innings pitched. Also, Ike Davis saw his 15-game hit streak snapped on Saturday night, falling short of Lucas Duda’s team record 17-game hit streak set in 2007.
Scott Shaw: Loss, 6 IP, ER, 8 H, 6 K
The 21-year-old Illinois alumnus continues to impress as he mows down the opposition. Though he allowed a season-high eight hits on Saturday night against State College, he showed tremendous control by allowing zero walks and lowered his WHIP percentage to 0.95, good for sixth in the league. His 25 strikeouts this season tie for him for ninth in the NYPL.
Jeff Kaplan: ND, 5 IP, 4 H, 5 K, BB
The rookie right-hander made his second start for the Cyclones and for the second straight start, he blanked his opposition. Kaplan has issue just two walks in twelve innings this season. In three total outings, he holds an 11/2 strikeout-to-walk ratio and lowered his total ERA to 0.75 this year.
Like St. Lucie, the K-Mets had their week broken up by rainouts, taking the field five times last week but only capturing one victory along the way, a 2-1 victory over the Danville Braves. They then dropped two games against both the Elizabethton Twins and the Pulaski Mariners. Four of their games were decided by one run with the other decided by two.
Josh Satin: 7-12, HR, 2 RBI, 3 R, 2 2B, BB
Satin was reassigned to Kingsport after spending fifteen games in Brooklyn. The second baseman, and 2008 sixth round pick, made an instant impact with his new club collecting a four-hit game in his debut followed up by a three-hit performance on Saturday in which he slugged his home run. Satin was hitting .245 in 15 games at the time of his exit from Brooklyn.
Rafael Fernandez: 8-17, 3 RBI, 3 R, 2 2B, SB
One of the Mets’ 2006 international free agent signings is making a splash after appearing in just three games with the GCL in 2007. Over his last ten games, Fernandez is hitting .429 [15-for-35] with nine RBI. In 18 total games, he holds a .403 on-base percentage.
The Gulf Coast League Mets continue to press on, playing tight games against games against division opponents. They finished the week with a 2-3 record, earning two victories over the GCL Nationals. The Mets are now 8-11 for the season.
Jefry Marte: 5-19, HR, 2 RBI, 5 R, 2 2B, 3 BB
The young third baseman cooled a bit over the last week in comparison to his torrid start, but that did not stop him from popping his third home run of the year and scoring five more runs. Through 16 games, he owns a .667 slugging percentage and a 1.079 OPS. In eight home games, he owns a .519 batting average [14-for-27] in comparison to his .148 road average [4-for-27].
Robert Carson: 6 IP, H, 12 K
The 19-year-old southpaw was electric in his last outing in which unfortunately picked up a no-decision from after a blown save prevented him from picking up his first victory of the season. He amazingly recorded 12 of his 18 outs by strikeouts, a career-high by a significant margin. He has not walked a batter in his last two outings and owns a very impressive 6.25 groundball/flyball ratio.