This week’s Clearwater Threshers report includes a bonus 8 games for the week thanks to a 10:30 am game on Wednesday that I was able to include here. Fortunately it was able to add another win to put them at a still disappointing 3-5 since my last report. As I mentioned last week it continues to be the pitching that is helping Clearwater out while their hitting as a team remains a disappointment to this point in the year.
Despite the poor team record there are some prospects on the team putting up terrific numbers. As I mentioned the pitching is carrying them to this point so I’ll touch on that first.
Antonio Bastardo (fiery molten lava hot) has had two outings since the last Threshers report. Despite solid efforts in both games he was unable to secure a win and remains at 1-0 on the year with an impressive 1.59 ERA. 0n 4/17 he went 5.2 innings his longest outing to that point giving up just one run on four hits with five Ks and four walks. Not a bad outing, but by the standard he has set for himself this year it was not spectacular. His next outing however would be better. This past Tuesday (4/22) he went 7.0 innings giving up two runs (both solo home runs, his first two of the year) on four hits with 12 Ks and NO walks. The only problem I have seen with Antonio to this point is his lack of stamina. He did go 7.0 innings this past trip to the hill, but had averaged less than 5.1 per game in his previous three starts. He leads the team and the FSL with a total of 34 Ks on the year, and ranks 8th in the league in ERA.
Carlos Monasterios also had two outings since the last report, but was able to pick up a win in the second of the two to bring his record to 2-2 on the year. He owns a terrific 2.81 ERA on the year and is tied for second on the team in strikeouts with 17, but leads the team in HR allowed at four; in fact of the eight runs he has allowed this year six have come by way of the long ball.
Sam Walls has made a great come back after missing all of 2007. This past week he had two appearances out of the bullpen going 3.1 and 3.0 innings respectively giving up no runs on no hits with two strikeouts and two walks.
Joe Savery has been more than luke warm, but not fiery hot. He has a terrific ERA of only 1.73 and leads the team in innings pitched and is second in the FSL with 26.0 in four games. The thing that has brought his rating down has been his walk rate as he has the second most on the team at 12 compared to his 16 strikeouts. Not that his numbers are bad, they are not. He still has plenty of upside and potential. We’d just like to see those BB fall, and those Ks go up a bit to put him in the fiery hot category.
Also more than luke warm, but not fiery hot is Matt German. He has the team’s best ERA at 0.00 and you can’t get better than that. He also has 12K v 3 BB in 8.0 innings of work, still pretty damn good, and he did have his longest outing of the year in his last outing going 2.2 innings. What brought him down a notch was his previous outing of the past week where he went just 0.1 inning walking two to load the bases in what would prove to allow a late rally by the Ft. Myers Miracle for their sixth straight win over the Threshers.
And onto the position players…
WHO’S HOT: Gus Milner, Matt Spencer and PJ Antoniato
WHO’S NOT: Welinson Baez, Fidel Hernandez, Tuffy Gosewisch
Gus Milner really picked things up this past week hitting a terrific .387 for the week to raise his overall batting average from .179 as of the last Threshers report to .274. He leads the team in runs and RBIs with eleven of each to account at least in part for 22 of the teams 56 runs on the year. He currently has a five game hitting streak in progress and has gone 3-4 each of his last two games with 3 RBIs and 3 runs plus two walks and no strikeouts. He also continues to be suprisingly quick on the basepaths for his 6-5 245 frame with 2 triples, 3 doubles and 3 stolen bases.
Matt Spencer has continued his hot streak going 9-29 on the week (.310) for an overall .297 BA. He leads the team in nine different offensive categories including, hits, runs, home runs and slugging percentage and this past week had a two-home run game including his second game winning home run of the year.
Tuffy Gosewisch had a rough week at the plate going just 2-19 (.105) but continues to contribute to the team with his solid defensive work and excellent game calling.
Fidel Hernandez had another tough week going just 4-24 (.166) at the plate, but like Tuffy Gosewisch has given a solid defensive effort with a .957 fielding percentage so hopefully he can get his hitting going and get on track this year.
What’s cooler than being cool? ICE COLD! Welinson Baez had a miserable week offensively going just 1-27(.037) for a team low .134 BA on the year and his .878 fielding percentage is also a team low. Let’s hope Welinson can break out of this slump and become the prospect he was once hoped to be.
In other news: Carlos Leon and John Urick were both promoted to Reading this week while the Threshers added Jesus Villegas-Andino from extended spring training and signed Clearwater native Mike Eylward (1B) as a minor league free agent. Mike was originally signed by the Angels in 2001 out of the University of South Florida (located just across the bay in Tampa) and is a career .289 hitter. He spent last season at AAA for the Angels hitting .305 for Salt Lake City of the PCL in 130 games. So far Mike is 6-13 (.462) in his first three games for the Threshers.
Adrian Cardenas spent the week on the bench for the Threshers with a back strain, with no word as of yeat when he is expected to return to the lineup.