Results tagged ‘ Lakewood BlueClaws ’

Series Preview: Lakewood BlueClaws at Hickory Crawdads August 10-13

Lakewood BlueClaws (Philadelphia Phillies) (72-43 overall, 31-15 second half, 1st SAL North) at Hickory Crawdads (Texas Rangers) (59-56 overall, 29-18 second half, 2nd SAL North)

The Crawdads continue their homestand with a four-game series against the BlueClaws

IF YOU PLAN TO GO:

 

WHERE IS IT?: Clement Blvd., 1 mile west of U.S. Hwy 321, near entrance to Hickory Airport.

 

IF YOU PLAN TO GO:

GAME TIMES: Friday and Saturday, 7 p.m. Sunday 5 p.m. Monday noon.

 

PROMOTIONS:

Friday – Post-game Fireworks, Super Hero Night

Saturday – App State Hat Giveaway (1st 500 fans), 90s Night, Catawba Science Center Night

Sunday – Church Bulletin Sunday

 

TICKETS: $9 dollars for regular seats, $14 for VIP section.

PARKING: All parking is $3.

CONCESSIONS: L.P. Frans Stadium has two main concession areas plus the Crawdads Café. The concession stands have your basic ballpark food: Hot dogs, burgers, chicken sandwich, BBQ, etc. Here is that menu http://www.milb.com/content/page.jsp?ymd=20130627&content_id=51970362&sid=t448&vkey=team4

The Crawdad Café has a menu that features more diverse items, including the Mac & Crawdog, Banana Foster Bites, Fried Pickles, Sloppy Burger, and more. Click here for the menu http://www.milb.com/documents/3/3/4/185907334/cafe_menu_6eeko6n2.pdf

 

 

PROBABLES (Kannapolis/ Hickory)

Friday: RHP Gustavo Armas vs. RHP Tyree Thompson

Saturday: RHP Andrew Brown vs. RHP Hans Crouse

Sunday: RHP Julian Garcia vs. RHP Noah Bremer

Monday: RHP Spencer Howard vs. RHP Tyler Phillips

 

Recent Series History:

Lakewood holds a 4-2 series lead in 2018 with all the games played in New Jersey. The majority of the games between the two clubs over the past 10 seasons have been played at the BlueClaws ballpark. During the stretch dating back to 2009, which is the start of the Crawdads affiliation with the Rangers, Lakewood is 51-46 overall. However, just 29 of the 97 games have been played at Hickory, where the Crawdads hold a 15-14 edge. This is the first series played by the teams at LP Frans since 2016, when the BlueClaws took 2 of 3.

 

Prospects to watch- Hickory (rankings are by MLB.com):

RHP Hans Crouse (No. 5): 2018 stats at Spokane: 8 games (8 starts), 38 IP, 25 H, 11 R (10 ER), 2 HR, 11 BB, 47 K, 2.37 ERA, .179 OBA, 0.95 WHIP. Second round pick of the Rangers in 2017 out of Dana Hills HS, Dana Point, Calif. Named to Northwest League/ Pioneer League All-Star Game this week. Making his first start with Hickory.

OF Bubba Thompson (No. 10): 2018 stats: .281/.336/.427, 14 2B, 4 3B, 5 HR, 18 BB, 75 K, 24 SB, 5 CS. This season vs. Lakewood: 2-for-22, 2B, 4 BB, 13 K. Last series vs. Kannapolis: 2-for-11, 2 BB 5 K, SB, CS. First-round pick of the Rangers in 2018 out of McGill-Toolen High, Mobile, AL. SAL Top-10 Rankings: 4th stolen bases.

RHP Tyler Phillips (No. 14): 2018 stats: 19 games (19 starts) 111 IP, 106 H, 39 R (36 ER), 3 HR, 3 HB, 12 BB, 111 K, 2.92 ERA, .247 OBA, 1.06 WHIP. This season vs. Lakewood: 2 starts, 12 IP, 20 H, 8 R (8 ER), HR, BB, 6 K. Last start vs. Kannapolis 8/7: 7 IP, 6 H, 13 K. In his last 29 starts stretching to 6/23/17 at Spokane 174.2 IP, 19 BB, 183 K. Sixteenth-round pick of the Rangers in 2016 out of Bishop Eustace HS, Pennsauken, N.J. Native of Lumberton N.J. SAL Top-10 Rankings: 1st walks-per-9-inning ratio among starters (0.97), T-2nd wins (9), 6th ERA 6th WHIP, 9th innings, 9th strikeouts, 10th hits allowed. Named to the SAL All-Star Game.

OF Pedro Gonzalez (No. 18) 2018 stats: .239/.305/.436, 16 2B, 5 3B, 12 HR, 28 BB, 101 K, 9 SB, 3 CS. This season vs. Lakewood: 4-for-18, 2B, BB, 6 K. Last series vs. Kannapolis: 3-for-9, BB, K. Obtained by the Rangers in 2017 from the Colorado Rockies for Jonathan Lucroy. Native of Santo Domingo, D.R.

RHP AJ Alexy (No. 19): 2018 stats: 17 games (15 starts), 84.2 IP, 74 H, 45 R (39 ER), 4 HR, 8 HB, 44 BB, 101 K, 4.15 ERA, .239 OBA, 1.41 WHIP. Not expected to pitch in this series. Last start vs. Kannapolis 8/9: 5.2 IP, 4 H, 2 R (2 ER), HR, 2 BB, 9 K. Joined the Rangers after a trade that sent Yu Darvish to the Dodgers in 7/17. Originally 11th round pick of Dodgers out of Twin Valley HS, Elverson, Pa. SAL Top-10 Rankings: 4th walks, 10th strikeouts, T-10th losses (7).

C Sam Huff (No. 22): 2018 stats: .244/.299/.452, 20 2B, 3B, 16 HR, 19 BB, 111 K, 7 SB. This season vs. Lakewood: 2-for-17, 2 BB, 6 K. Last series vs. Kannapolis: 1-for-8, HR, 2 K. Seventh round pick of Rangers in 2016 out of Arcadia HS (Phoenix, Ariz.). Named to the SAL All-Star Game. SAL Top-10 Rankings: 5th HR/ AB Ratio 1/21, T-6th HR.

RF Miguel Aparicio (No. 27): 2018 stats at Hickory: .222/.275/.383, 8 2B, 5 3B, 7 HR, 14 BB, 48 K, 3 SB, 5 CS. Has not faced Lakewood this season. Last series vs. Kannapolis: 2-for-7, 2B, 3 K, SB, CS. Signed with the Rangers as an international free agent in 2015. Native of San Carlos, Venezuela.

 

Others to watch – Hickory:

RHP Tyree Thompson: 19 games (16 starts), 89.2 IP, 95 H, 59 R, 46 ER, 13 HR, 5 HB, 33 BB, 55 K, 4.62 ERA, .274 OBA, 1.43 WHIP. This season vs. Lakewood: 2 starts, 10 IP, 10 H, 3 R (3 ER), 1 HR, 3 BB, 10 K. Last start at Hagerstown 8/4: 6 IP, 5 H, 3 R (3 ER), HR, HB, 2 BB, 4 K. Twenty-sixth round pick of the Rangers in 2016 out of Edna Karr HS, New Orleans. SAL Top-10 Rankings: T-4th losses (8), T-6th home runs allowed.

RHP Noah Bremer: 2018 stats: 13 games (13 starts), 62 IP, 73 H, 32 R (28 ER), 6 HR, 19 BB, 55 K, 4.06 ERA, .300 OBA, 1.48 WHIP. Has not faced Lakewood this season. Last start vs. at Hagerstown 8/5: 5 IP, 6 H, 2 R (2 ER), HR, 5 K. Sixth-round pick of the Rangers in 2017 out of the Univ. of Washington. Attended Berkeley (Calif.) HS.

RHP DeMarcus Evans: 2018 stats: 29 games, 6 saves, 45.2 IP, 27 H, 11 R (11 ER), 1 HR, 1 HB, 27 BB, 83 K, 2.17 ERA, .172 OBA, 1.18 WHIP. This season vs. Lakewood: 1 game, 1 IP, 2 BB, 2 K. Last game vs. Kannapolis 8/8: 2 IP, 4 K. Twenty-fifth round pick of the Rangers in 2015 out of Petal HS (MS).

RHP Joe Barlow: 2018 stats: 31 games, 6 saves, 51.1 IP, 19 H, 14 R (11 ER), 3 HR, 40 BB, 78 K, 1.93 ERA, .118 BA, 1.15 WHIP. This season vs. Lakewood: 1 games, 2 IP, 1 H, 3 BB, 2 K. Last game vs. Kannapolis 8/9: 1.1 IP, 1 BB, 2 K. Eleventh-round pick of the Rangers in 2016 out of Salt Lake CC. Attended Riverton (Utah) HS. SAL Top-10 Rankings: 1st OBA by relievers (.118), 2nd SAL among relievers Ks per 9 IP ratio (13.68), T-8th games, T-10th walks.

C Yohel Pozo: 2018 stats: .256/.312/.401, 21 2B, 1 3B, 9 HR, 26 BB, 43 K. This season vs. Lakewood: 4-for-22, HR, 2 BB, 6 K. Last series vs. Kannapolis: 3-for-7. Signed with the Rangers as an international free agent in 2013. A native of Maracaibo, Venezuela. Named to the SAL All-Star Game. SAL Top-10 Rankings: 2nd plate appearance to strikeout ratio (8.86).

IF Ryan Dorow: 2018 stats: .294/.359/.451, 22 2B, 3B, 10 HR, 29 BB, 91 K, 5 SB, 2 CS. This season vs. Lakewood: 2-for-17. 8 K. Last series vs. Kannapolis: 4-for-14, BB, 2 K. Thirtieth-round pick of the Rangers in 2017 out of Adrian College (MI). Attended South Haven (MI) HS. SAL Top-10 Rankings: 6th batting avg., 10th OPS.

2B-SS Yonny Hernandez: 2018 stats (Hickory only): .254/.363/.324, 8 2B, 3 3B, 2 HR, 45 BB, 49 K, 31 SB, 8 CS. This season vs. Lakewood: 2-for-13, 3 BB, 2 K, 2 SB. Last series vs. Kannapolis: 4-for-14, BB, CS. Signed with the Rangers as an international free agent in 2014. Native of Maturin, Venezuela. SAL Top-10 Rankings: 1st sacrifice bunts (13), 2nd stolen bases, 5th walks, T-6th CS, 7th OBP.

1B Tyreque Reed: 2018 stats: .267/.338/.485, 22 2B, 12 HR, 24 BB, 82 K, SB. This season vs. Lakewood: 3-for-14, 2B, HR, BB, 6 K. Last series vs. Kannapolis: 3-for-12, HR, 2 BB, K. Eighth-round pick of the Rangers in 2017 out of Itawamba (MS) CC. Attended Haulka (MS) HS.

 

Prospects to watch-Lakewood (rankings by MLB.com):

RF Jhailyn Ortiz (No. 7): 2018 stats: .220/ .281/.363, 14 2B, 11 HR, 24 BB, 117 K, 2 SB, 2 CS. This season vs. Hickory: 6-for-23, HR, 2 BB, 9 K. Last series at Charleston: 3-for-10, BB, K. Signed with the Phillies as an international free agent in 2015. Native of Jarabacoa, D.R. SAL Top-10 Rankings: T-9th strikeouts

RHP Spencer Howard (No. 19): 2018 stats: 19 games (19 starts), 91 IP, 79 H, 45 R (41 ER), 6 HR, 36 BB, 116 K, 4.05 ERA, .231 OBA, 1.26 WHIP. This season vs. Hickory: 2 starts, 10 IP, 11 H, 7 R (7 ER), 4 BB, 13 K. Last start at Charleston 8/7: 6 IP, 4 H, 2 BB, 6 K. Second-round pick of the Phillies in 2017 out of Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. Attended Templeton (CA) HS SAL Top-10 Rankings: 6th strikeouts, T-9th wins (7), T-10th losses (7)

SS Nick Maton (No. 30): 2018 stats: .268/.334/.424, 25 2B, 5 3B, 6 HR, 33 BB, 84 K, 4 SB, 3 CS. This season vs. Hickory: 4-for-15, 3 BB, 3 K, SB, CS. Last series at Charleston: 1-for-7, 2 K. Seventh-round pick of the Phillies in 2017 out of Glenwood HS, Chatham, Ill. SAL Top-10 Rankings: T-5th doubles.

Others to watch-Lakewood:

RHP Andrew Brown: 2018 stats at Lakewood: 10 games (6 starts), 44 IP, 30 H, 12 R (10 ER), 1 HR, 2 HB, 7 BB, 39 K, 2.05 ERA, .192 OBA, 0.84 WHIP. This season vs. Hickory : 1 game 2 IP, 3 K. Last start vs. Lexington 8/4: 7 IP, 3 H, 2 R (2 ER), 1 HR, 1 HB, 1 BB, 6 K. Thirteenth-round pick of the Phillies in 2016 out of Granite Hills (CA) HS.

RHP Gustavo Armas: 2018 stats (at Lakewood): 4 games (4 starts), 27 IP, 20 H, 6 R (6 ER), 3 HR, 4 BB, 24 K, 2.00 ERA, .206 OBA, 0.89 WHIP. Has not faced Hickory this season. Last start vs. Lexington 8/4: 7 IP, 5 H, 6 K. Signed with the Phillies as an international free agent in 2013. Native of Playa Iguana, Venezuela.

RHP Julian Garcia: 2018 stats: 24 games (4 starts), 54 IP, 46 H, 19 R (17 ER), 1 HR, 2 HB, 19 BB, 62 K, 2.83 ERA, .236 OBA, 1.20 WHIP. This season vs. Hickory: 1 game, 1 IP, 2 H, 1 R (0 ER), 1 K. Last start vs. Lexington 8/5: 6 IP, 4 H, 1 R (1 ER), 1 HB, 1 BB, 4 K. Tenth-round pick of the Phillies in 2016 out of Metro State Univ. of Denver. Attended Fossil Ridge HS in Ft. Collins, Colorado.

LHP Zach Warren: 2018 stats: 31 games, 10 saves, 46.2 IP, 28 H, 14 R (12 ER), 2 HR, 3 HB, 24 BB, 76 K, 2.31 ERA, .177 OBA, 1.11 WHIP. This season vs. Hickory: 1 game, 2 IP, 3 H, 3 R (3 ER), 1 HR, 2 BB, 3 K. Last game at Charleston 8/7: 1 IP, 2 H, 1 R (1 ER), 2 K. Fourteenth-round pick of the Phillies in 2017 out of the Univ. of Tennessee. Attended St. Augustine Prep in Vineland NJ. SAL Top-10 Rankings: 1st SAL among relievers Ks per 9 IP ratio (14.66), 2nd OBA by relievers (.177), T-4th saves, T-8th games pitched.

IF-OF Jake Scheiner: 2018 stats: .292/.358/.465, 26 2B, 4 3B, 11 HR, 37 BB, 71 K, 9 SB, 5 CS. This season vs. Hickory: 6-for-24, 2B, HR, 2 BB, 4 K, SB. Last series at Charleston: 3-for-11, 2B, 3B, 2 K, SB. Fourth-round pick of the Phillies in 2017 out of the Univ. of Houston. Attended Maria Carrillo HS in Santa Rosa, CA. SAL Top-10 Rankings: 4th doubles, 5th hits, 7th OPS, T-7th RBI, 8th OBP, 9th batting avg., T-10th at bats.

1B-3B Madison Stokes: 2018 stats overall: .327/.422/.482, 10 2B, 2 3B, 1 HR, 16 BB, 24 K, SB, CS. Last series at Charleston: 2-for-9, 2 K. Tenth-round pick of the Phillies in 2018 out of the Univ. of South Carolina. Attended AC Flora HS in Columbia, SC. Called up to Lakewood on 8/3.

OF Matt Vierling: 2018 stats (at Lakewood): .283/.320/.425, 10 2B, 2 HR, 5 BB, 27 K, 3 SB, 2 CS.  Has not faced Hickory this season. Last series at Charleston: 2-for-8, 2 K. Fifth-round pick of the Phillies in 2018 out of Notre Dame. Attended Christian Brothers College HS in St. Louis.

Game story July 13: Lakewood survives heat, Crawdads rally

After the Hickory Crawdads tied the game in the ninth, the Lakewood (N.J.) BlueClaws struck for three runs in the 11th to take a 6-3 win on a hot, muggy Wednesday afternoon at L.P. Frans Stadium.

The win was the second straight by Lakewood (39-50 overall, 11-9 second half) at Hickory and overall their sixth out of the last seven games.

Hickory (47-43, 9-11) dropped to 19-23 at home this season and lost its fourth straight at home. The Crawdads are assured of continuing a drought in which they have not won a home series since taking three of four vs. Lexington (Ky.) from April 29 to May 2. Since that time, the Crawdads have lost six series and tied two others (9-19 overall).

As they did in game one of the series on Monday, the Crawdads took the early lead in the second. Ti’Quan Forbes tripled just past the dive of Jose Pujols in right to score Josh Altmann, who had singled and stole second earlier.

Lakewood rebounded with a two-out rally in the fourth as Damek Tomscha singled and Pujols followed with a two-run blast to right, his South Atlantic League leading 17th of the season.

Both starting pitchers held the opposing lineups from wreaking further damage through five innings. Lakewood’s Franklyn Kilome allowed three hits and two walks, and struck out seven. His counterpart Wes Benjamin gave up five hits to go with his two runs allowed and struck out five.

BlueClaws reliever Skylar Hunter contributed to his downfall in the sixth as an errant pickoff attempt of Frandy De La Rosa at first skipped into foul territory in right field. De La Rosa moved to third and scored when Tyler Sanchez singled to left.

A controversial play led directly to a run for Lakewood in the seventh inning. With runners at first and second and two outs, Zack Coppola singled on what looked to be a routine grounder to second. Frandy De La Rosa charged the ball and as he entered the baseline between first and second, the runner, Edgar Cabral, ran into De La Rosa, knocking De La Rosa flat and sending the glove high into the air. Cabral was ruled safe at second with Wilson Garcia scoring on the play from second. De La Rosa remained in the game, but Cabral was taken out after struggling to run to third.

Crawdads manager Steve Mintz argued the call and was eventually ejected from the game.

The score remained 3-2 until two outs in the ninth. Forbes singled and scored all the way from first when Pujols mishandled a bloop single into right by Yeyson Yrizarri.

Emerson Martinez (0-2) entered the game for Hickory in the 11th and immediately walked Pujols. A sacrifice moved him to second before Martinez got Duran to bounce to short. After a wild pitch, Grenny Cumana singled in Pujols and then scored on Deivi Grullon’s second homer in as many games.

Jeff Springer struck out two of the three batters he faced to close out his three-inning relief outing and pick up the win (1-0).

Crawdads leave ducks on the pond:

As has been the case much of the year, the Crawdads missed several opportunities to add runs to their ledger and finished the game 2-for-12 with runners in scoring position.

A couple of stout defensive plays contributed to Hickory’s woes. Though Altmann eventually scored from third in the second, Ricky Valencia missed an RBI when second baseman Josh Tobias, who was playing in to cut off the runner at third from scoring, made a diving stab of a sharp grounder to hold Altmann and retire Valencia.

With Forbes at third, the Crawdads had a chance to take the lead in the seventh, Eric Jenkins chopped a ball to the left of the mound. Third baseman Damek Tomscha made a hard-charging play to the ball and short armed a quick throw to first to barely catch the speedy Jenkins and end the inning.

Otherwise, the Crawdads flailed away at the plate and that cost them a scoring chance in the fourth. Dylan Moore and Altmann walked to start the inning and moved up to second and third on Kilome’s wild pitch. With his fastball command perilous at times, Kilome turned to the slider to get Tyler Sanchez, Valencia and Forbes on strikeouts.

Altmann again whiffed in the sixth with a runner at third in the sixth, though De La Rosa did eventually score in the inning.

For the season with runners in scoring position, the Crawdads collectively have a slash of .239/.316/.343. With the bases loaded, it is .183/.243/.267.

Forbes fortunes continue at third:

What is becoming routine this season, Forbes showed off the leather with a couple more quick grabs of short hops in the game, including perhaps his best of the season in the tenth. On a sharp grounder by Tomscha, Forbes made a sprawling backhand pick of a short hop. Then seated with his right leg bent behind him, Forbes got enough on a throw across the diamond to get Tomscha by a step.

Benjamin money:

Wes Benjamin continued a steady progression through the 2016 season on Wednesday night. Coming off Tommy John surgery, the goal was to steer the lefty through good health and thus far it is working. Of his 12 starts, Benjamin has completed five or more innings in ten of them. In those ten starts, he has given up more than three runs just once and has walked more than one batter in just two of his 15 overall appearances (13 walks overall in 71 innings)

Benjamin is a guy that spots his fastball (90-91) well around the strike zone. He’ll mix in a change and a curve for show and used both to good effect today. Benjamin was especially tough in a couple of long battles with Phillies No. 5 (mlb.com) prospect Cornelius Randolph, who fouled off several pitches in both appearances against Benjamin. After Benjamin spun a high-and-tight fastball to the lefty in the first, he spotted a 92 mph pitch on the corner at the knees to get the out. In the third, it was a change on the inside corner that got the job done for a caught looking K.

Benjamin has 26 Ks over his last 20.1 innings of work.

Martinez a one-trick pony:

Emerson Martinez had his second tough outing in a row in a win/lose situation and has been tagged for the loss in both.

On Saturday at Rome (Ga.), it was two walks and two wild pitches that led to two runs scored in the ninth for a Braves walkoff win. On Wednesday afternoon, it was the inability to throw the curve for strikes that did him in. By my count, all five of them were well out of the strike zone, staying up and well to the 3B corner side of the plate. With that info in hand, the BlueClaws hitters were able to pick out a fastball to their liking and went to the attack. Cumana’s RBI single and Grullon’s homer were both on fastballs down the middle.

Moore joins the club:

Dylan Moore stole his 30th base of the season when he swiped second in the fourth inning. He joins teammate Eric Jenkins in the 30-steal club, as the outfielder already has 39. The two become the sixth duo in club history to steal 30 or more in a season, the first since Odubel Herrera (34) and Christian Villanueva (32) turned the trick in 2011.

Yrizarri stays hot:

Yeyson Yrizarri had two more hits on Wednesday and he now has multi-hit games in six straight (11-for-22). Currently in the midst of a seven-game hitting streak, the 19-year-old has 11 RBI and 0 strikeouts in that span.

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 27

The Lakewood (N.J.) BlueClaws scored four runs over the final two innings to claim a 6-3 win over the Hickory Crawdads Saturday night at L.P. Frans Stadium.

The win for the BlueClaws (35-36 overall, 1-2 second half) was the second straight in the five-game series and dealt the first lost of the season to the Crawdads (45-26, 1-2) when they led or were tied after seven innings. Hickory was 40-0 when leading after seven.

What Happened?:
The Crawdads scored all of their runs during two-out rallies. In the first, Eduard Pinto singled and Jose Trevino doubled before Jonathan Meyer singled in both.

After Emmanuel Marrero cut it to 2-1 in the third with his first pro homer, Hickory added a run in the fourth when Jairo Beras walked with two outs and scored on Carlos Arroyo’s triple.

Lakewood made it 3-2 in the fifth. Cord Sandberg reached on a bloop single to left, moved to second on a wild pitch, to third on a deep fly to right, and then scored when Joel Fisher lined a single to center.

The decisive rally came in the eighth against Crawdads reliever Joe Filomeno. With one out, Gustavo Martinez legged out an infield hit to short. Marrero sneaked a grounder just inside the bag at third for a double. Filomeno held runners at second and third when he struck out Drew Stankiewicz, but both scored as Scott Kingery ripped a double between third baseman Josh Morgan and the bag. Kingery then scored on Herlis Rodriguez’s double off the wall in right-center.

Lakewood’s final run in the ninth came when Kyle Martin homered to right against reliever Erik Swanson.

The Good:

Brett Martin: Arguably his best start of the season. The homer he served up was a curveball down that Marrero went down to get. Threw 40 strikes out of 54 pitches, using mostly a fastball (89-92) –slider mix. He fanned two in the first – both on sliders – and two more in the second, one swinging on a slider, the other a fastball looking. Was definitely an outing to build upon.

Chris Dula: After giving runs in five straight outings and six out of seven, Dula kept the sinker (93-96) down for three groundballs – two for outs, the third an infield hit.

Jose Cardona: Went 2-for-4 with a double, lining a pair of fastballs for hits, including a 95 mph heater for a double.

Rock Shoulders: Went 0-4, but crushed the ball three times, only to see them die at the wall. Just not his night.

Josh Morgan: Had one hit – a dribbler up the middle in the fifth – but had two other hard hit liners that left fielder Cord Sandberg snagged. Like Rock Shoulders…

The Not-So-Good:

Joe Filomeno: Given the first chance to close out a tight game after the bullpen rearrangement, he had a tough night. Fastball was lively sitting around 93, but breaking balls were not close enough to the plate to entice swings, or sharp enough to miss bats when swung at. Kingery and Rodriguez both sat on first-pitch fastballs for back-to-back doubles that accounted for three runs. He struck out two in the inning, but needed eight pitches each to do so.

Late innings slump: Put only three runners aboard over the final four innings. Had only one runner in the same span in the previous game.

The Opposition:

Kyle Martin: The Phillies fourth-round 2015 pick out of South Carolina hit his first pro homer in the ninth.

Manny Martinez: After Cardona slammed a fastball off the wall in the seventh, Martinez went predominantly to his curve to retire Michael De Leon on a grounder to first and Morgan on a popup to first.

Austin Smith: The left-handed reliever threw an explosive mid-90s fastball to strike out two, the second against Jairo Beras, who froze on a 91 mph heater on the inside corner.

Look Who’s Coming to Hickory: Lakewood BlueClawsScott 2B Scott Kingery

Lakewood BlueClaws second baseman Scott Kingery began his pro career at L.P. Frans Stadium on Thursday. The second-round pick (48th overall) of the Phillies early in June out of the University of Arizona singled in his first at-bat.

“Kind of a blooper into left,” said Kingery of his first live-game experience. “It doesn’t matter how it happens, as long as I got that first hit.”

He tripled later in the game and scored what was then a go-ahead run before the Hickory Crawdads rallied from two down to gain a walk-off win.

The success in Kingery’s pro debut is a taste of what many in the Phillies organization hope to see in the future.

Phillies’ scouting director Johnny Almaraz labeled Kingery as someone could be “a quick mover” in comments made to the media after the draft selection. In mlb.com’s article on Kingery, the opening paragraph mentioned him as someone who could succeed Phillies second baseman Chase Utley.

All of this is high praise for someone who was a walk-on at Arizona after receiving his only scholarship offer from Central Arizona College. With an eye to the future and the hope to improve his craft as a baseball player, Kingery made the choice to go to Arizona with the full backing of his family.

“My dad told me, ‘if you’re going to be a good player, you’ve got to take a chance at a D-1. So, if you want to go to Arizona and walk on, we’ll support your decision.’”

Kingery went on to play three seasons with the Wildcats under longtime head coach Andy Lopez. While there, Kingery won back-to-back batting titles in the Pac-12. His athleticism also played out in the field when he moved to second base for his junior season after playing in the outfield. Despite his inexperience at the position to start the season, he learned quickly and was named to the Pac-12 All-Defensive team.

“It was my first year at second base, so coming in there, I didn’t know what to expect,” Kingery said of the move. “I figured some stuff out in the fall. Coming out with that defensive All-Pac 12 team, that was a great feeling knowing that I can go into my first season and make some good plays on defense and end up being on the defensive team.”

But it is the bat that earned him the high draft slot. Kingery batted .392 in 54 games with a .984 OPS. Despite winning the Pac-12 batting title the year before, he didn’t feel he started getting noticed until earlier this season.

“My sophomore year I had a good year, but at the beginning of this year is when things started to happen,” Kingery said. “I began to come into contact with some scouts. Once the season started, it took off from there.”

While all of the talk of being a quick mover and a successor to Utley swirl around him, for now Kingery is simply hoping to learn the routine of being a pro.

“At this point, I’m just trying to be the best I can be right here and not thinking too far ahead. I’m just looking to compete here. Hopefully I can move fast, but right now, I’m just focused on this team.”

Game Story: Lakewood at Hickory June 26

Lakewood at Hickory June 26

The Lakewood BlueClaws took advantage of poor control by Hickory Crawdads starter Cody Buckel to build an early lead and take a 6-3 win Friday night.

The win by the Blue Claws (34-36 overall, 1-1 second half) evened the five-game series at a game apiece. Hickory (45-25, 1-1) snapped a mini two-game win streak.

The teams will resume the series Saturday night at 7:00 p.m. at L.P. Frans Stadium.

What happened?:

After the Crawdads dodged a bullet in the first, Lakewood put up a run in the second. Cord Sandberg (3-for-4) singled to right and moved to second on an error by Jairo Beras. A wild pitch by Buckel placed Sandberg at third and he scored when Kyle Martin collected his first pro hit, a double to right.

The decisive point of the game came in the third. With one out, Buckel hit Scott Kingery with a pitch and then walked Herlis Rodriguez. After Damek Tomscha was drilled by a pitch, Sandberg lined a first-pitch changeup over the fence in right for a grand slam to make it 5-0.

The Crawdads got a run back in the bottom of the third. Ricardo Valencia walked to start the inning. The next batter Jose Cardona hit into a potential 5-4-3 double, but the throw from Derek Campbell at third sailed into right field and put Valencia at third. Michael De Leon’s sacrifice fly scored Valencia to make it 5-1.

Save for the unearned run in the third, starter Ranfi Casimiro (3-5) held the Crawdads in check until the fifth. He walked Cardona and served up a single to De Leon. A wild pitch moved the runners to second and third. One out later, Beras steered a seeing-eye single into center to make it 5-3.

However, that turned out to be final threat by the Crawdads offense in the game. Scott Harris pitched two perfect innings before turning the game over to all-star closer Alexis Rivero. Eduard Pinto was the only Crawdad to reach over the final four innings, as he doubled to start the ninth. He eventually reached third, but was stranded as Rivero struck out Jonathan Meyer to end the game.

Lakewood’s final run came when Gustavo Martinez scored on a passed ball in the ninth.

The Good:

The Defense – Michael De Leon: With a runner at third and one out in the second, the Crawdads brought the infield in. Campbell hit a popup about 25 feet past the cut of the grass. De Leon raced back into the outfield and avoided the on-charging Beras from right to catch the football-like post pattern.

The Defense – Jose Cardona: In the sixth made a long run before making an over-the -shoulder catch on the track in straight-away centerfield. Also tracked down a liner in the RCF gap in the seventh.

The Defense – Luke Tendler: Kept the BlueClaws off the board in the first with a strong, on-the-money throw to Valencia at home to cut down Drew Stankiewicz on a sac fly attempt by Tomascha.

Kelvin Vasquez: Other than an E-5 that allowed Martinez to reach in the fourth, Vasquez held court on the mound. Needed only 11 pitches to complete the final two innings of his 4.1 inning tenure (43 pitches, 30 strikes). Had a little extra giddy-up on the fastball (95-98) than he’d shown in the recent past. Fanned his only two hitters of the night on back-to-back at bats in the fifth. Struck out Tomascha, who whiffed through a 97 mph heater, then got Sandberg to waive at a slider.

Jairo Beras: Swung through five breaking balls by Casimiro, but laid off an 0-2 slider in the fifth before getting enough on a changeup to get it through the infield for a two-run single.

Josh Morgan: Had the only two-hit game for Hickory, both coming on fastballs by Casimiro.

The Not-So-Good:

Cody Buckel: Color me concerned. Friday’s outing was painful to watch, as I know how much Buckel has put into getting back to the type of pitcher he was in 2011-2012. There was no fastball command. Of the 41 fastballs (out of 68 total pitches- 27 strikes) he threw (by my count), only16 went for strikes. Six of those were put into play, 3 went for hits, two of those doubles. Usually able to rely on his curveball to get strikes, the smattering of those Buckel threw stayed well up and to the catcher’s glove side. The only missed bats I had were from sliders, which did have some bite. But with the fastball control what it was, there was not much sense chasing.

Field staff: With Buckel struggling from the beginning, it seemed that a mound visit would’ve been in order, if for no other reason than to give Buckel a chance to collect himself. Valencia made a few visits, but nothing from the bench. With pitching coach Oscar Marin away for his mid-season sabbatical, his fill-in finally trotted to the mound with the bases loaded in the third. On the next pitch – a flat change – Sandberg took Buckel deep for the decisive slam. Through all this, no one was warming until after the slam. Two batters later, and after his third HBP of the inning, Vasquez was brought in. Buckel threw 31 pitches to get two outs and surrender four runs on five base runners.

Ninth-inning defense: The BlueClaws insurance run in the ninth was a matter of “non-error” misplays. Herlis Rodriguez reached on a bunt when pitcher Shane McCain was slow to cover first. McCain later picked off Rodriguez, but first baseman Rock Shoulders’ throw to second went wide of the bag allowing Rodriguez to steal the bag. Jonathan Meyer’s passed ball (in fairness, he was pressed into service after Valencia’s injury) brought in Rodriguez.

The umpires: I’m not usually one to rag on the boys in blue. They are developing and learning just as the players are. Working as a two-man crew brings difficult challenges in making calls, such as making a call at first on the check swing by a left-handed hitter. A horrible call on a checked swing cost Tendler a strikeout in the sixth and the remainder of the game on the subsequent ejection. Perhaps placing the base umpire in the middle of the infield for left-handed hitters will allow them to make better calls.

The Opposition:

RP Scott Harris: Though the command of it was spotty, he threw a good, hard sinker to record three ground ball outs and K’d Tendler with one in the sixth. Left a trail of tears as three of the six hitters he faced broke their bats.

LF Cole Sandberg: Feasted on a couple of fastballs for hits, but picked off a get-me-over changeup for a homer after the Crawdads bench paid a mound visit in the third.

Series Preview: Lakewood at Hickory June 25-29

The second half of the South Atlantic League’s 2015 season begins after a three-day break for the all-star game. Hickory will host the Lakewood (N.J.) BlueClaws for five games at L.P. Frans Stadium, the only series of the year between the two teams at L.P. Frans. Hickory will travel to Lakewood a total of three times this season.

Probables (Lakewood/ Hickory):

Thursday: Tyler Viza (RH, 4-2, 3.69 ERA) and Nick Gardewine (RH, 4-5, 3.73)

Friday: Ranfi Casimiro (RH, 2-5, 3.64) and Cody Buckel (RH, 0-1, 1.77)

Saturday: Chris Oliver (RH, 3-5, 4.12) and Brett Martin (LH, 3-2, 2.83)

Sunday: Elniery Garcia (LH, 4-6, 3.77) and Yohander Mendez (LH, 0-0, 0.00) / Ariel Jurado (RH, 9-0, 2.07)

Monday: Yoel Macias (LH, 0-1, 6.00) and Collin Wiles (RH, 7-3, 2.13)

Recent Series:

The Crawdads and BlueClaws split four games at Lakewood early in June. Since the Crawdads became a Texas Rangers affiliate in 2009, Hickory holds a 31-25 advantage overall, including a 12-9 mark at L.P. Frans Stadium.

Entering the Series:

Hickory (44-24) closed out the first half with a 3-2 road trip to Rome (Ga.) and West Virginia to finish 7 ½ games ahead of the second place Power. The Crawdads have the fifth-best record out of 120 full-season minor league teams. Hickory went 24-10 at home in the first half.

Lakewood (33-35) lost seven in a row – six of those at home – in the final days of the first half. However, the BlueClaws played a spoiler role on Sunday when they defeated Greenville (S.C.) to knock the Drive out of the Southern Division title chase. Lakewood finished in fifth place in the Northern Division, 11 games in back of Hickory. The BlueClaws are 18-15 on the road.

Players to watch – Hickory:

RF Jairo Beras: After struggling to a .204/.271/.241 slash through June 7, the lanky 20-year-old has begun to see pitches – especially breaking pitches – better as of late. He had at least one hit in eight of the last ten games – four of those multi-hit games – with three homers, a double, nine RBI and ten runs scored. His slash for June: .308/.373/.538.

SP Yohander Mendez: Made his first start of the season during the Crawdads last home stand against Savannah on June 14 (3 IP, 2 H, 4 K). He was a starter for Hickory in 2014, but missed much of the year with shoulder/ oblique issues. Mendez has yet to allow an earned run in 24.1 innings with 37 strikeouts to only 17 base runners allowed. SAL hitters are batting just .110 against Mendez.

SP Ariel Jurado: Will pitch on the back half of a tandem with Mendez for now. He adjusted well to his first non-starting role with Mendez against Savannah and allowed one run on four hits and struck out five in five innings. Jurado has 54 strikeouts to only seven walks in 61 innings.

OF Luke Tendler: After a nearly two-month drought in homers, Tendler jumped a first-pitch fastball for a two-run shot in the all-star game on Tuesday.  Had at least one hit in five of his last seven games to close out the first half.

RP Joe Filomeno: With the Crawdads missing their top three relievers (John Fasola, Adam Parks, David Perez) to promotions, Filomeno might be the one to look to at the back end of games. He has thrown six straight scoreless appearances (8.1 innings) with nine strikeouts.

RP Shane McCain: Assigned to Hickory from high-A High Desert, he signed with the Rangers as a non-drafted free agent in 2014 out of Troy (AL) Univ. Although he posted a 0.50 GO/AO ratio, he survived the pinball-machine like atmosphere of High Desert, giving up a reasonable four homers in 19 innings. However, control was an issue, as he gave up 13 in 32.1, including six in 2.2 innings on June 8. McCain gave up 12 earned runs on 16 hits over a stretch of four appearances from May 27 to June 13.

3B Juremi Profar: Played infrequently at High Desert (13 games) and will likely fill the utility role vacated by the departure of Isiah Kiner-Falefa

3B Jonathan Meyer: Was a former third-round pick of the Astros out of Simi Valley (CA) High in 2009. Meyer played in the Texas League All-Star game in 2013 while with AA Corpus Christi. Made it to AAA Oklahoma City in 2014, but was released after the season. Will likely spell Rock Shoulders at first.

Players to watch- Lakewood:

SP Yoel Macias: Currently ranked by mlb.com as the Phillies No. 19 prospect, he is still recovering from “Tommy John” surgery late in 2013. Made four appearances with high-A Clearwater before returning to the BlueClaws for a third straight season.

SP Chris Oliver: Currently ranked by mlb.com as the Phillies No. 20 prospect. The Austin, Tex native was the fourth round pick of the Phillies out of the Univ. of Arkansas in 2014. Has walked 26 in 59 innings over 11 starts.

SP Elniery Garcia: Ranked as the 27th best prospect in the Phillies chain by mlb.com. The SAL hitters are batting .293 against Garcia, who has walked 20 over 62 innings in 11 starts.

RP Joey DeNato: The 19th round pick (2014) by the Phillies out of Indiana, DeNato pitched in the SAL all-star game. Has a 0.89 WHIP and a .196 OBA in 22 outings. Is a strikeout machine with 34 Ks in 32.2innings.

CF Herlis Rodriguez: Was named the SAL hitter of the week last week when he put together a slash line of .407/.484/.741 in nine games. His .479 slugging pct. is sixth in the league while his .309 average is eighth.

2B Scott Kingery: The Phillies second round pick earlier this month out of Arizona will make his pro debut with the BlueClaws. He was the Pac-12 batting champion this season.

1B Kyle Martin: The Phillies 14th round pick in the first-year-player draft this June will make his pro debut this weekend. The native of Simpsonville, SC attended the Univ. of South Carolina.

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.