Results tagged ‘ Cord Sandberg ’

Series Preview: Hickory at Lakewood July 8-12

The Hickory Crawdads (51-30 overall, 7-6 second half) make their second of three trips this season to FirstEnergy Park to take on the Lakewood (N.J.) BlueClaws (39-42, 6-7) in a five-game series.

Probables (Hickory/ Lakewood):

Wednesday: Cody Buckel (RH, 0-2, 2.79) vs. Ranfi Casimiro (RH, 3-5, 3.51)

Thursday: Brett Martin (LH, 3-3, 2.73) vs. Austin Davis (LH, 0-2, 2.40)

Friday: Ariel Jurado (RH, 9-0, 2.15) vs. Elniery Garcia (LH, 6-6, 3.08)

Saturday: Collin Wiles (RH, 9-3, 2.29) vs. Shane Watson (RH, 0-1, 2.45)

Sunday: Austin Pettibone (RH, 1-1, 3.94) vs. Will Morris (RH, 0-0, 0.82)

Recent Series History:

Lakewood holds a 5-4 edge in the 2015 season series after taking three of five at Hickory to open the second half. The Crawdads and BlueClaws split the series at Lakewood in early June. Hickory is 32-30 since 2009 – the start of the affiliation with the Texas Rangers – and 18-18 on the road.

Entering the Series – Hickory:

The Crawdads took the first three games of the series at Greensboro before dropping the matinee Tuesday afternoon. Winners of six out of the last nine on the road, Hickory (23-15) currently holds the best road record in the South Atlantic League.

The team pitching ERA of 2.82 is nearly a half-run better than second-place Lakewood (3.29). However the BlueClaws bats battered Hickory pitching for 32 runs on 51 hits in the recent five-game series at L.P. Frans. Overall, the Crawdads pitching staff has surrendered the fewest hits, runs and earned runs in the SAL. They also have the lowest WHIP at 1.16.

At the plate, Hickory has reclaimed the top spot in the SAL with 61 home runs. They are third in slugging pct. (.384).

In the field, the Crawdads remain at the top of the SAL in fielding pct, having committed the fewest errors and turning the most double plays.

Entering the Series – Lakewood:

After winning three straight at Hickory, the BlueClaws are 3-6. They split a four-game series at home with Hagerstown over the weekend.

Lakewood will put the ball in play as the hitters taken the fewest walks and have the second fewest strikeouts in the SAL. The BlueClaws are second in doubles and third in hits. They are next to last in OBP (.312).

Players to watch- Hickory:

SP Ariel Jurado: Currently pitching in tandem with Yohander Mendez, Jurado is expected to start, but could be switched to the relief role. He is first in the SAL in WHIP (0.96), tied for second in wins (9) and fourth in ERA (2.15). Jurado has thrown only six innings in the second half and will likely be limited to around three innings for now. He currently has 60 Ks to just eight walks in 67 innings.

SP Collin Wiles: Having won six of his last eight starts, two of those have come against the BlueClaws over the last month (12,1 IP, 11 H, 4 ER, 2 BB, 7 K). Opposing teams are hitting just .221 against Wiles. He is tied with Jurado with nine wins, is second behind Jurado in WHIP (1.00) and fifth in ERA (2.29)

SP Cody Buckel: After giving up nine baserunners in 2.2 innings against Lakewood on June 26, Buckel rebounded against Greenville with a three-hitter over six innings and struck out six to just one walk. SAL hitters are batting just .182 against Buckel, but he has thrown 16 walks and hit six batters in 29 innings.

SP Austin Pettibone: Has settled into the rotation nicely since gaining a permanent spot in late June. Spun a two-hitter over six innings against Greenville on June 30, then followed that up with a one-hitter through six at Greensboro before falling apart in the seventh for a no-decision.

RP Scott Williams: Has two wins and a save in the second half during which Williams has allowed one base runner (a solo homer) in seven innings and struck out 11. After sporting a 4.26 ERA in May, Williams has allowed two runs overall in 12.2 innings (8 appearances) on six hits and two walks with 17 Ks.

OF Luke Tendler: Arguably the hottest hitter in the lineup in the second half, Tendler is at .333/.375/.489 in the 12 games after the all-star break. He put up six RBI in the weekend series vs. Lakewood to open the second half and has a team-high of nine RBI against the BlueClaws this season. Tendler is tied for sixth in the SAL with 19 doubles.

C Jose Trevino: Has a .301/.322/.460 slash on the road compared to a .216/.252/.399 mark at home. He is off to a cool start in July (3-for-20) with all three hits coming at Greensboro on Saturday. Currently, Trevino is third in the SAL in homers (10) and tied for 11th in RBI (39).

OF Jose Cardona: Of current active players, Cardona has the highest avg. (.290) against the BlueClaws this season. Like Trevino, Cardona is off to a cool start in July and is three for his last 31 – two of the hits homers. His nine homers are tied for fourth in the SAL.

C Chuck Moorman: Joined the Crawdads at Greensboro, the 17th round pick of the Rangers in 2012 played two games at AAA Round Rock this season.

C-1B Jonathan Meyer: Had a six-game hitting streak (8-for-22) and a three-game RBI streak snapped in the shutout loss to Greensboro on Tuesday.

2B Carlos Arroyo: Currently in the midst of a three-game hitting streak (5-for-12) and has at least one hit in 17 of his last 22 games since going hitless in his first two games with the club.

OF Jairo Beras: Has begun to heat up again with hits in five straight games (7-for-18) before an 0-for-3 game on Tuesday. However, he has at least one strike out in seven straight (11 overall).

Players to watch- Lakewood:

SP Elniery Garcia: He has dominated the Crawdads in his two starts, having allowed two runs on nine hits over 13 innings with eight strikeouts. Garcia threw a four-hitter over seven innings against Hickory on June 28. He followed that up with a five-hitter over seven innings against Hagerstown in his last start. Garcia is ninth in the SAL in ERA (3.08) and WHIP (1.20).

SP Shane Watson: The first-round pick of the Phillies (Lakewood (CA) High) in 2012 missed all of 2014 with shoulder surgery and a 50-game suspension for a drug of abuse violation to start this season. Watson allowed one run on seven hits over 3.2 innings in his first start for the BlueClaws on Sunday.

SP Will Morris: Former teammate of Evan Van Hoosier at College of Southern Nevada, the 24th-round pick of the Phillies in 2013 made the first start of his career last Monday against Hagerstown (5 IP, 2 H, 2 K). Morris had 51 relief appearances over three seasons before the start.

RP Joey DeNato: Was selected to the SAL All-Star Game. He is eighth in the SAL with 26 appearances.

CF Herlis Rodriguez: Has two SAL hitter-of-the-week awards and is arguably the best hitter on the team after the promotion of key teammates Carlos Tocci and Rhys Hoskins to high-A. Currently seventh in the SAL in slugging (.469) and tenth in RBI (41).

3B Damek Tomscha: Has ripped through Hickory pitching this season at a .370/.419/.556 clip with seven RBI and a homer. He put together four straight multi-hit games at the end of June, but is hitless in his last four games and is 2-for-21in his last six. Tomscha has 20 doubles, tied for third in the SAL.

1B Kyle Martin: The Phillies fourth-round pick out of South Carolina last month made his pro debut at Hickory. He has a .340/.365/.580 slash in 13 games since joining the BlueClaws with six multi-hit games.

LF Cord Sandberg: Was the third-round pick of the Phillies in 2013 out of Manatee (FL) High and is currently the No. 13 prospect in the organization. Sandberg with 10-for-21 against the Crawdads two weeks ago with four extra-base hits, five runs scored and five RBI.

2B Scott Kingery: The Pac-12 player of the year was the Phillies second-round draft pick a month ago. Like Martin, he made his pro debut at Hickory with two hits in the opener. Kingery finished 6-for-21 in the series with six runs scored. So far in July, he is 3-for-24 (.125).

Game Story: Lakewood at Hickory June 28

The Lakewood BlueClaws put pressure on Hickory from the start and pummeled the Crawdads 9-0 at L.P. Frans Stadium.

The win for Lakewood (36-36 overall, 3-1 second half) was the third in a row, and the fourth straight game in which the lineup has pounded the Crawdads pitching staff. The BlueClaws have scored 28 runs on 47 hits in the first four games of the second half. The two teams will finish the five-game series Monday night.

What happened?:

The game for the Crawdads (45-27, 1-3) went downhill early as the BlueClaws placed only one ball into the outfield to scored two runs in the first.

Derek Campbell reached on an infield single to start the game. Scott Kingery and Herlis Rodriguez each placed perfect bunts to the first-base side of the mound to reach and load the bases. Damek Tomscha then rolled a single through the hole at second to score Campbell. The next batter, Cord Sandberg, sent a broken-bat comebacker to Yohander Mendez on the mound. Mendez botched the grounder – the first of three errors by Hickory – which allowed Kingery to score and make it 2-0.

Things got heated during Lakewood’s three-run uprising in the third. After Kingery singled to left, Mendez hit Rodriguez in the ribs with a first-pitch fastball with Rodriguez taking several steps toward the mound with his arms outstretched. As Mendez came off the mound, the advancing Rodriguez threw his batting helmet towards Mendez, who responded by throwing his glove. Both players were ejected with Ricardo Rodriguez replacing Mendez on the mound.

‘We had hit a couple of their guys the last few games, unintentionally,” said Crawdads manager Corey Ragsdale. “You know what, guys continue to get hit and it’s frustrating for sure. I see their part, but it’s not anything that we want to do on purpose or anything like that. You can see why they’d be pretty mad.”

The BlueClaws had little problem solving the new hurler’s fastball. Tomscha had an RBI double and Sandberg tacked on a run-scoring single before Tomscha scored on a wild pitch.

The Crawdads had little response in the lineup as BlueClaws starter Elniery Garcia pitched a four-hitter over seven shutout innings. Garcia retired the minimum during the first four innings before Jairo Beras touched him for a double. He struck out four and walked one.

Joey DeNato allowed a walk and a single over the final two innings.

A two-run double by Kyle Martin made it 7-0 in the fifth. In the seventh, Sandberg doubled and scored when centerfielder Jose Cardona misplayed a single by Martin, who ended up at third and came home on a grounder to short by Deivi Grullon.

“The kids are getting after it and playing well and swinging the bats well and playing well all the way around – defense, pitching,” said BlueClaws manager Shawn Williams. “We just hope to continue it on here through the second half and taking it into tomorrow.”

The Good:

Jairo Beras: Continues to see pitches well. Sent a flat change down the line in right for a double and later walked.

Ariel Jurado: Not his best outing, but continues to bring an improving curveball into his repetoire. He fanned Kingery with it in the sixth and used the pitch to set up a fastball on the outside corner to RH hitting Jiandido Tromp.

Yohander Mendez: Actually had decent stuff, despite the four runs allowed. Showed a ramped up fastball that touched 96 on a strikeout of Campbell in the second. Also threw an 1-7 curve had some decent bite.

The Not-So-Good:

Flat Team: This may have been the worst game of the year for Hickory. The Crawdads had little life on the field and it didn’t improve even after the benches cleared. With the turnover of the roster to start the second half, it may take a bit for the team to re-gel. But Ragsdale said there was no excuse for the effort.

“That may take a little time to come together as a team and start clicking again, but it doesn’t take much to come ready to play and to play the game the right way and we didn’t do that today.”

Defense: Three errors, led to four unearned runs. Morgan committed his second error in as many games and arguably could have had a throwing error charged on the opening play of the game. Cardona pulled up on Martin’s liner in the seventh, but then let it go by him for a two-base error that led to a run. Bunt defense continues to be a problem as the Crawdads right side of the infield (2B Carlos Arroyo and 1B Juremi Profar) along with Mendez failed to coordinate covering first.

Ricardo Rodriguez: Had little movement on his 90-93 mph fastball and was punished accordingly. Showed a curveball that had some bite on occasion and K’d two with it.

The Opposition:

Elniery Garcia: Showed an adequate three-pitch mix (90-92 fastball, change, curve). Didn’t always show control (96 pitches, 55 strikes), but with the Crawdads out of the game early, Garcia did what he needed to do to keep them off-balance and off the bases. nd Had his catcher Grullon throw out Pinto trying to advance to second on a pitch in the dirt to end the first and then induced double play balls in the second and fourth.

Damek Tomscha: The 17th round pick of the Phillies in 2014 out of Auburn had his second three-hit game of the series and it took a play by SS Michael De Leon to take away a fourth hit.

Cord Sandberg: Has hits in all four games of the series, three of those multi-hit games (9-for-17). The Phillies third-round pick in 2013 (Manatee High, FL) has attacked the fastball well and sprayed it to all fields.

2015 picks: Scott Kingery – the second-round choice out of Arizona earlier this month – is 6-for-17 in his first pro experience. Kyle Martin (fourth round, South Carolina) is 5-for-16 with five RBI.

Series Preview: Hickory at Lakewood June 4-7

The Hickory Crawdads are on the second half of a two-city swing through the Northern tier of the South Atlantic League, as they visit the Jersey Shore to face the Lakewood BlueClaws.

Probables (Hickory listed first):

Thursday: Collin Wiles (RH, 5-2, 2.01) vs. Ranfi Casimiro (RH, 2-3, 2.96)

Friday: Nick Gardewine (RH, 4-3, 2.89) vs. Chris Oliver (RH, 3-4, 2.93)

Saturday: Brett Martin (LH, 3-1, 2.50) vs. Elniery Garcia (LH, 2-5, 3.65)

Sunday: Ariel Jurado (RH, 7-0, 2.29) vs. Ricardo Pinto (RH, 5-1, 2.68)

Series History: Since 2009 during the current Rangers-Crawdads affiliation Hickory is 28-25, 16-16 at Lakewood. The Crawdads were 5-2 at FirstEnergy Park in 2014, 6-4 overall.

Entering the series:

After coasting in the standings much of the first 50 games of the season, Hickory (34-18) suddenly finds itself in a tight race for the first-half Northern Division title race. Once leading by six games, the Crawdads now lead West Virginia by 2 ½ games with 18 to go. After finishing up with Lakewood, Hickory will face only one other Northern Division squad in the first half—it closes the season with three games at West Virginia… The Crawdads were swept by Hagerstown in a doubleheader on Wednesday in what was an abbreviated series with the Suns… The Jekyll-and-Hyde offense has suddenly returned into the Hyde mode. After a four-game stretch when the Crawdads scoring 37 runs, they have put up just ten on 26 hits in losing four out of six… The power has also evaporated as the team has not homered since Travis Demeritte and Marcus Greene went deep in the seventh inning against Delmarva on May 25 (8 games). Hickory has only eight extra-base hits in six games – all doubles. Only Travis Martin has more than one in that stretch… The pitching continues to remain strong overall, giving up only 12 runs in five games. As a group, the starter’s ERA is 2.59 for the season with a 1.14 WHIP. Also, the starters have not allowed a home run in 22 games (111 2/3 innings)… Scoring first has been crucial. The Crawdads are 27-3 when they do so…Once Hickory has a lead in the middle innings, it is tough to beat. The Crawdads are 28-2 when they lead after five innings, 30-0 when they lead after six.

Lakewood (25-25) won the only game it played during what was to have been at three-game series at Delmarva on Monday. The BluesClaws have won 8-of-13 and are in fourth place, eight games behind Hickory…Lakewood is 12-12 at home, 13-13 on the road…Facing a struggling Hickory lineup, the BlueClaws have given up 24 earned runs in the last ten games and trailing only Hickory (2.76) and West Virginia (3.06) in team ERA (3.09). They are second in WHIP (1.19)…At the plate Lakewood has hit only 16 homers in 50 games, but has shown good gap power with 95 doubles…Despite having the fourth highest batting avg. (.257) in the SAL, they have scored the third fewest runs… The team will put the ball in play. Lakewood has the fewest walks in the SAL and the second fewest strikeouts.

Players to watch- Hickory:

SP: Collin Wiles: He is looking to rebound after a rough seventh inning when he allowed a season-high of three runs. It was only the second multi-run inning given up by Wiles this season. He has not surrendered a homer this season.

SP Ariel Jurado: Named the SAL pitcher of the week (May 25-31). In four of his last starts, Jurado has thrown at least five innings and allowed no earned runs with four or fewer hits. He has struck out 12 and allowed nine base runners in his last 17 innings pitched.

SP Nick Gardewine: Threw four shutout innings in his last start on Saturday before the Rome Braves scratched one against him in the fifth. Has been tough on the road with SAL hitters batting .189 against him (.322 at home). SAL has touched him up the second time through the order. His OBA in the first and second innings are .158 and .063 respectively. From then on it blows up to .316 in the third, .280 in the fourth and .364 in the fifth.

SP Brett Martin: Hopes to return after last pitching on May 22 due to a stiff back and rainouts. SAL hitters are batting .182 against him on the road.

RP: While John Fasola (10 saves) is inactive, who will the Crawdads turn to in a closing situation? Likely candidates could be RH David Perez (30 Ks/ 22.1 IP) or LH Yohander Mendez (0.00 ERA, 0.66 WHIP in 16.2 IP).

1B Rock Shoulders: Has struck the ball well as of late. The team could look to the big first baseman for a veteran presence in the midst of its funk. Shoulders has a mini four-game hitting streak and has put the ball in play in recent days (1 K in four games).

LF Eduard Pinto: Had two hits on Sunday and one during the doubleheader, he is another player that has put good contact on the ball, only to come up short (3-for-15). He has only six strikeouts this season to go with six walks. Pinto is the leading hitter on the road at .333.

RF: Luke Tendler: Has only four XBH since ending April with 21.

Players to watch- Lakewood:

SP Ricardo Pinto: The No. 11 Phillies prospect (MLB.com, No. 14 in BA). Has struck out 54 to only 13 walks in 57 innings. Been especially tough at home, where batters are hitting just .229 against him with a 2.08 ERA.

SP Chris Oliver: The Phillies fourth-round pick in 2014 out of Arkansas is the Phillies 21st-best prospect on MLB.com’s listings. He has proven to be a pitch-to-contact hitter with 24 K/ 18 BBs in 46 innings. He has given up two runs in each of his previous two starts, but has walked three or more (13) in his last four covering 22 innings. Oliver has yet to give up a homer this season, but hitters are batting .273 against him – .281 at home.

CF Carlos Tocci: Though just 19, he is in his third full season with the BlueClaws. The Venezuelan native is second in the SAL in hits, batting avg. (.330), and sixth in OBP (.393). Tocci is the Phillies 5th best prospect according to Baseball America, 18th according to MLB.com.

C Deivi Grullon: The 19-year-old is currently the No. 12 Phillies prospect (MLB.com, No. 13 BA). Has thrown out only 26.7% (12-45) of base stealing attempts. Had a .193/.228/.273 slash in May.

LF Cord Sandberg: Signed away from a commitment to Mississippi St. to play quarterback, the No. 14 prospect (MLB.com, No. 21 BA) has yet to homer after putting up six at SS-A Williamsport in 2014. Currently sporting a .207/.268/.251 slash.

1B Rhys Hoskins: The Phillies fifth-round pick in 2014 out of Cal-State Sacramento is raking. He leads the SAL in OPS (.921), slugging (.513) total bases, and OBP (.407). Hoskins is third in batting at .328.