Rustich was extremely tough on hitters last week
In the first full week of the schedule, clubs across the organization looked to find their rhythm. There was varying success as a whole, but there were plenty of individual standouts. Look inside to find out the kind of week had by Josh Thole, Angel Calero, Fernando Martinez and many more.
Last Week: 3-3
The Gnats’ week pushed their overall record to 6-3 and into a first-place tie with the Charleston RiverDogs entering Sunday. The Gnats dropped the finale in their season-opening series against Augusra GreenJackets before dropping both contests in a quick two-game series against the Rome Braves. They closed out the week by once again taking the first three games against the GreenJackets, winning two close games 4-1, 3-1 and then wiping them out 18-3 on Saturday night.
Jordany Valdespin: 9-for-36, 2 HR, 6 RBI, 8 R, BB
The 21-year-old second baseman came off the bench in the season opening games, but his production will force Edgar Alfonzo to get him in the starting lineup. He homered on Thursday and Friday before finishing the week with a 2-for-5, two RBI effort on Saturday. Valdespin comes off a 2008 season in the Gulf Coast League where he hit .284 with three home runs and 22 RBI in 34 games.
Chris Schwinden: Win, 6 IP, 0 ER, 3 H, 6 K, 0 BB
Schwinden picked up his first victory of the season on Thursday night during the Gnats 3-1 victory over Augusta, though an unearned crossed the plate in the fifth inning. The right-hander has now allowed just one earned run over 11 innings this season, after finishing 2008 with a 2.01 ERA. The opposition is hitting just .205 off Schwinden who has given up only eight hits this season to date.
Jeurys Familia: Win, 4 IP, 2 H, 3 K, 2 BB
Familia earned his first victory of the season when he tossed the last four innings in a piggyback effort behind Jeff Kaplan. The right-hander still has not allowed a run in 8 1/3 innings this season and the opposition is hitting .143 off him.
Robert Carson: 1-1, 8 2/3 IP, 10 H, 7 R, 3 ER, 5 K, BB
It was a tale of two starts for the left-hander last week. Last Sunday, Carson was roughed up for seven runs (three earned) and nine hits in only 2 2/3 innings. It was certainly a rude awakening for Carson who, in year three, opened with a full season team for the first time. However, he rebounded in a big way on Saturday night by tossing six shutout innings with only one hit allowed. Always noted as a ground ball pitcher, he currently owns a ground ball/fly ball ratio of near 6-to-1.
ST. LUCIE (A+)
Last Week: 5-1
It was a big week for the Mets High-A affiliate as they got superb efforts from the entire pitching staff. The staff allowed two runs or less in four games which bumped the Mets to 6-3 on the season and into second place in the Florida State League South division heading into Sunday’s action.
Brahiam Maldonado 7-for-16, HR, 5 RBI, 3 2B, 5 R, BB
Maldonado saw minimal time during the opening weekend, but he got the opportunity to play every day late last week and he took advantage of it. The outfielder was 0-for-6 on the season before going 1-for-4 on Tuesday and then exploding for two 3-hit efforts later in the week.
Greg Veloz: 8-for-26, 4 RBI, 3 R, 4 BB, 2B, SB
The second baseman kept his hot bat going as he registered three more multi-hit games last week. He now has five such games over his last ten, a span in which he is hitting .325 [13-for-40]. He earned his first four walks of the season last week which upped his on-base percentage to .386. Veloz is now 4-for-7 in stolen base attempts on the season.
Angel Calero: 1-0, 11 IP, ER, 7 H, 10 K, 4 BB
Calero’s name does not the carry weight of the front of the St. Lucie rotation, but the 22-year-old left-hander has been dynamite in his first two starts. He gave up his first run of the season on Saturday which was a solo home run. Right-handers are currently hitting .179 off Calero.
Brant Rustich: Win, Save, 8 IP, 2 H, 8 K, BB
Rustich has followed Calero in both outings last week. He picked up his first victory of the season last Sunday as he tossed two innings and struck out three. He followed that up by completing a three-inning save in which he gave up zero hits, struck out five and walked one.
Last Week: 2-3
The B-Mets are still finding their footing in the young season which has seen them drop to 4-4 heading into Sunday after splitting a rain-shortened series versus the Reading Phillies and dropping the first two of three against the Portland Sea Dogs.
Josh Thole: 7-for-13, 5 R, 3 2B
Thole made the most of his condensed week, registering multi-hit games in all three which ran his season average to .407 heading into today’s action. He knocked three of his four total doubles and now has four multi-hit games in six starts.
Emmanuel Garcia: 7-for-21, HR, 4 RBI, 3 R, 2 BB, 2 SB
Garcia’s consistency and 8-game hitting streak to start the season ran his average to .324 heading into Sunday. His home run on Wednesday night was his first of the year and his three RBI in that game was his first multi-RBI game of the season.
Michael Antonini: Win, 5 IP, 4 H, 8 K, 3 BB
Antonini earned his first victory of the season with a stellar performance against the Reading Phillies in which he registered a career-high in strikeouts and rebounded from a subpar Opening Day start. His 11 hits allowed in 9 2/3 total innings is good for a .275 opponents’ batting average.
Last Week: 1-6
The record for the week is ugly, but it is compounded by the fact that the Bisons dropped four 1-run games, another two by two runs and their last game by three. The club did earn its lone victory of the season with a 4-2 victory over Pawtucket last Sunday.
Fernando Martinez: 8-for-31, HR, 3 RBI, 5 R, 4 2B, 3 BB
The organization’s top prospect continues to be an extra-base machine, totaling five in eight hits last week. He adds another double and a triple to his season statistics, good for a .512 slugging percentage. His first home run of the season came in a 2-for-4 effort last Monday in which he also notched a double.
Casey Fossum: 2 ND, 11 IP, ER, 5 H, 12 K, 5
Two very strong efforts from the veteran left-hander went without victories as they both came in closely fought games, but his first start—five shutout innings—was the ignition to the Bisons’ first win of the season. Left-handed batters have yet to get a hit off Fossum.