SAVANNAH, GA - In this exclusive Q&A session, Sand Gnats pitching coach Marc Valdes sat down with…
Week in Review Across the Farm
Last Week: 4-5
The Bisons played one game under .500 ball during a very busy week which saw them play back-to-back doubleheaders on Thursday and Friday. The Bisons began the week by taking the last two games against Lehigh Valley before taking two wins in a six-game set with Syracuse. They wrapped up the week by falling to the Scranton-Wilkes/Barre Yankees.
Nick Evans: 7-for-29, HR, 4 RBI, 3 R, 2B, 4 BB
Evans production could stand to be more consistent, but he is nonetheless in the midst of his best month. He is hitting .273 in August—42 points higher than any previous month—and his four home runs and 14 in 24 games far exceed his prior numbers.
Tobi Stoner: 2-0, 12 IP, 2 ER, 11 H, 9 K, 4 BB
Stoner bounced back from a six-run, four-inning effort on August 11 to post his best week in Triple-A. He began the week by blanking Lehigh Valley over six innings before limiting Syracuse to two earned runs over six frames. The six strikeouts racked up on Friday were the most since a seven-strikeout effort on July 26.
Last Week: 2-4
The B-Mets gutted out a tough week that saw them start the week by losing 1-0 to the Reading Phillies. The B-Mets then returned home where they dropped two of three to the New Britain Rock Cats before hitting the road again where they split the first two games against the Connecticut Defenders.
Eric Niesen: ND, 5 IP. 2 H, 8 K, 3 BB
Niesen continued his run as he blanked Reading for five innings last Sunday and struck out at least eight for the third consecutive start. He has given up only 12 hits in his last 16 innings.
Jenrry Mejia: 2 ND, 6 IP, 2 ER, 5 H, 6 K, BB
Mejia's pitch count has been limited since his return from the disabled list. He last only two innings in his first start of the week before the game was suspended and continued the next day. He returned to the mound on Saturday and allowed one earned run four innings. He has allowed five earned runs in nine innings since his return.
ST. LUCIE (A+):
Last Week: 4-4
The High-A Mets also packed in a full week that included a doubleheader last Monday though they dropped both games to the Charlotte Stone Crabs. However, the Mets offense was nonetheless potent as they posted double-digit runs three times before dropping two games to the Sarasota Reds to end the week.
Kirk Nieuwenhuis: 16-for-33, 5 HR, 15 RBI, 9 R, 5 2B, 2 3B, 5 BB
Nieuwenhuis was one of the hottest hitters across all of minor league baseball last week as he recorded five multi-hit games and swatted four home runs and drove in nine runs in a three-day span. He is hitting .410 over his last ten games and .321 in the month of August. His 15 home runs tie him for second in the Florida State League and his 66 RBI are good for fourth.
Brahiam Maldonado: 8-for-26, 6 HR, 15 RBI, 8 R, BB
If Nieuwenhuis was blistering, Maldonado was red hot as he hit four home runs in a four-day span and six in the week. His week began with a 3-for-4, three-run, six-RBI effort. He has driven in 22 runs in August after driving in 40 in the previous three months combined.
Scott Shaw: Loss, 6 IP, ER, 7 H, 3 K, BB
Shaw worked his fourth straight quality start, and third in which he allowed just one earned run, though he picked up his eighth loss of the season. He owns a 1.95 ERA in four starts in August and his 132 1/3 innings ties him for sixth in the Florida State League.
Last Week: 3-4
The Gnats had two days off during the week thanks to a rain out, but squeezed in six games on the back of two doubleheaders but were swept in both of them to Delmarva and Augusta. They did take a victory against Delmarva on Monday and closed the week by out-scoring their opponents 23-9 over two games.
Kyle Allen: ND, 5 2/3 IP, 4 H, 7 K, 3 BB
Allen's strong August continued as he blanked Delmarva last Monday. The seven strikeouts were a personal best in the second half of the season as he lowered his ERA this month to 1.80 and his opponent's average to .189. Despite his numbers in August, he has yet to earn a decision.
Jeurys Familia: ND, 6 IP, 2 H, K, 3 BB
Familia once again blanked the opposition in a start for the second time in his last four outings and has now surrendered only 17 hits in his last 25 innings and 44 hits in his last 60 1/3 innings. He is 4-2 with a 2.25 ERA since the Sally League All-Star Break. His overall 2.76 ERA ties him for third in the league and his 1.12 WHIP puts him sixth.
Last Week: 3-1
The Cyclones were successful in a week truncated by the New York-Penn League All-Star game. They first took a series victory over Oneonta by capturing a 2-1 win before taking two of three from State College in the first series after the break. Brooklyn entered Sunday with a 39-22 overall record, putting them five games up in the division.
Collin McHugh: Win, 7 IP, 4 H, 7 K, BB
McHugh picked up a victory and fanned seven for the second straight start as he blanked State College on Thursday. McHugh has not lost since July 28, which was a tough one as he gave up only one run in seven innings then. His seven victories tie him for the NYPL lead with teammate Mark Cohoon. He also boasts a 72/18 K/BB ratio.
Wes Wrenn: 1-0, 10 IP, ER, 5 H, 9 K, 2 BB
Wrenn took on two roles last week. First, he limited Oneonta to just one run in a seven-inning effort last Sunday in which he struck out six and walked none. He then took the ball as a reliever and limited State College to one hit in three innings with two walks. He is now 2-0 with a 2.30 ERA in five starts.
Darin Gorski: Win, 7 IP, ER, 2 H, 5 K, 2 BB
Gorski picked up the third victory of the week as he too went seven innings and gave up just one earned run. The five strikeouts were the second most of the season for Gorski and the highest total since fanning seven back on July 9. For the season, left-handers are hitting .196 off the southpaw.
Last Week: 5-2
The K-Mets put together a successful week which included four straight wins stretching over two series. Kingsport took three of four from the Princeton Rays before taking two of three from the Bluefield Orioles. The K-Mets record now stands at 24-30 entering Sunday.
Eduardo Aldama: Win, 6 2/3 IP, 3 H, 6 K, BB
Aldama had arguably his best start of the season as he blanked Princeton and struck out six. It was his first scoreless effort since he shut out Johnson City back on June 25. The right-hander has given up 18 hits in his last 24 2/3 innings with 28 strikeouts and just two walks in that stretch.
Angel Cuan: ND, 7 IP, 5 H, 5 K
The 20-year-old left-hander made his deepest start of the season on Saturday as he shut out Bluefield for seven innings after giving up nine earned runs in his previous eight innings. However, he has issued just one walk in his last 15 innings.
GULF COAST LEAGUE (R):
Last Week: 1-4
The rookie league Mets made it a clean sweep—in the other direction—of their division as they dropped one game to each of their divisional rivals. Yet, the Mets picked up a close victory on Saturday, defeating the GCL Astros 3-2.
Aderlin Rodriguez: 2-for-7, HR, 3 RBI, R, 2B, 4 BB
The Mets 2008 international free agent prize had his most productive stretch of his young season. He began the week with a double, two RBI and three walks. He has struck out ten times and walked eight times in his ten games.
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