Archive for the ‘Roster Talk’ Category

Roster Notes: Hitters

July 19, 2012 Leave a comment

Nice come-from-behind win last night as the Jammers scored two in the ninth — after being no-hit through 7 — to walk-off with a 2-1 win over Batavia. Still early in the season, but the Jammers are just 2.5 games out of the wild card. They start a four-game set with Mahoning Valley tonight with the next two at home.

I’ve noticed a slight change in the everyday lineups, so let’s take a closer look at what’s been going on with the hitters.

Catchers: Well, after starting 10 of the first 16 games, Jose Behar now looks like the backup down here in Jamestown. He’s hitting .180 (9-for-50) with three RBI and is in a big slump, hitless in his last 19 at-bats. In his place has been Sharif Othman. Othman has started eight of the last 13 and getting back-to-back starts each time out.

After an atrocious start at the plate, he’s 4-for-15 with a triple and a homer in his last five games. Still, he’s hitting .135. Regardless, it looks like it’s Othman’s job for the time being. They’re both fairly similar behind the plate, but I’ve liked Behar a little more from what I’ve seen.

Brian Dice gets a spot start here and there. His .217 average shockingly leads the group.

1st base: It’s been mostly split between Viosergy Rosa and Felix Munoz, but Rosa has really been hitting the ball well lately. Of most importance, he’s vastly improved with plate discipline. He’s walked 14 times versus 16 strikeouts so far this year. Last year in Jamestow, it was 7 vs. 54.

He leads the team with a .297 average and has two homers and 10 RBI.

Munoz was off to a hot start but has cooled down recently, all the way down to .250. Part of that may have been due to Rosa getting 8 out of 9 starts in a recent stretch. Munoz is still a project, but looks like he has some potential. Neither have been all that good defensively.

Second base: It’s been a logjam lately, much as I thought it would be. Anthony Gomez started here but has moved to short since Austin Nola’s promotion. Yefri Perez, Ronny Peralta and Yeison Hernandez have all split time here with nobody really taking a stranglehold of the position.

Perez is hitting pretty well, and at .280, he’s only behind Rosa. Peralta is more of a utility guy and Hernandez needs to figure it out defensively before he gets another promotion.

Shortstop: Gomez is hitting just .229 but is probably the best defender out of the group (with the aforementioned three). I think his bat can still come around and he does a nice job putting the ball in play. He’s only struck out eight times in 83 at bats. Also shown some speed by swiping five bags.

Third base: It’s been a lot of Pedro Mendoza lately and I can’t fault manager Angel Espada for that. Mendoza has been utterly fantastic defensively and is doing a decent job putting the ball in play.

The problem is he has no power. He doesn’t have a single homerun in four professional seasons, but has hit four doubles in a short year this year since being taken off the DL. He’s hitting .274 while usually in the second hole.

The starter was Matt Juengel but he’s had a tough go at it defensively. The rookie already has seven errors this year and has really been relegated to DH and some spot starts at third. He’s hitting .216, but I still think he’s a little better of a hitter than that. Not sure he has the power to make it to the next level, though.

Left field: Kentrell Dewitt has shown some flashes, but he’s still hitting .176 and is striking out way too much (21 in 68 at bats). He has some speed when he can get on, swiping four bags without getting caught. He’s also shown good power with a team-high seven doubles and also a homer. But the average and OBP need to drastically improve.

Center field: Juancito Martinez was off to a hot start, hitting well over .300 for a good portion of the season. With his speed and OBP, I was curious why he wasn’t hitting leadoff, but Martinez has cooled down quite a bit since then. He’s down to .272, but with the CF job all his, he can put together a nice season and earn a promotion if he keeps doing what he’s doing.

Right field: Cameron Flynn has come on of late, bumping his average to .221, which is actually saying a lot from where he was.  Back-to-back three hit nights last week jumped him from .170 to .250. He also fell a triple short of the cycle in one of those games. Still need to see more of him.

Finally, the roamer is Jesus Solorzano, the top-listed prospect here in Jamestown. He’s been playing all three outfield positions and actually doing a pretty good job at each. He’s hitting .240 with a team-high three homers. He’s second in RBI with 11.

Striking out is the main concern. He has 30 in 96 at bats. But, Solorzano still looks like the best prospect down here, even though he’s clearly not ready for a big promotion yet. He has that make of a five-tool player and is probably one of the best athletes down here. He’s been inserted into a bigger role, cleanup or fifth, lately too.



Jammers First Quarter Report Card

July 10, 2012 Leave a comment

Saturday’s 6-3 win over the Brooklyn Cyclones marked the Jammers 19th game of the season, and more importantly, the one-quarter point of their 76 game schedule. The Jammers finished off the weekend by sweeping the first-place Cyclones and sit at 9-12 and in fifth place in the Pinckney Division. It’s the first time since the first week of the season that Jamestown had crept out of the basement.

With one quarter of the season out of the way, the Jammers — and the rest of the NYPL — had the day off Tuesday before picking back up Wednesday. The next scheduled day off is July 31.

So, it’s time for some grades here at the end of the first quarter.

Starting Rotation: C+. This would actually be much worse if not for the last week of action. The Jammers starters still have an ERA of 4.32 with a record of 1-7, but solid outings from Helpi Reyes and Ramon Del Orbe on Sunday and Monday, respectively, helped that out. Reyes’ win on Sunday was the first by a Jamestown starter.

Also, only six of the 21 starts have lasted five innings or more and Reyes has three of them. None of them have lasted into the seventh inning, although you do rarely see that by any pitcher in the NYPL.

Group MVP: Reyes

Where it can improve: Blake Logan was inserted into the rotation in Ryan Newell’s spot. All Logan has done is throw seven scoreless innings in two starts and allowed one hit. If Del Orbe can find some consistency, and Hope can build off his last start, the rotation can actually be pretty good.

Bullpen: A+. There’s really no other way to put this; the Jammers would be well under .500 and probably own the league’s worst record if it was not for the bullpen so far. Even though the 8-5 record doesn’t look overly great, the team also owns seven saves. Think about it this way: Jamestown’s starters have one win, so the bullpen is grabbing the win and the save every night.

But, the 2.26 ERA says it all really. Plus the fact the bullpen has thrown 115.2 innings compared to the 81.1 of the starters. It’s usually the other way around.

Where to start? Closer Nick Wittgren has been tremendous. His five saves are second in the league, behind Tri-City’s Blake Ford. In seven games, Wittgren has thrown 10.2 innings and allowed just one run for a 0.84 ERA. He’s also struck out 14 while walking nobody. Exactly what you want from a closer.

Setup man Jheyson Manzueta has been excellent as well. He holds a team-high three holds and is 1-0 with a 2.57 ERA. He’s struck out 18 batters in 14 innings.

Long-man Jake Esch is 2-0 with a 1.80 ERA in 20 innings. Beau Wright and Frankie Reed have been quality lefties with ERA’s under 4.00 as well.

Group MVP: Wittgren

Where it can improve: Really, it can’t. If this group can do this all year, Jamestown will compete for a playoff spot.

Catchers: C-. The offensive numbers aren’t there, but Jose Behar and Sharif Othman are doing a fine job behind the plate, and at this level, that’s all you can ask for right now. Behar is hitting .205 with three RBI in 12 starts behind the plate. I like his arm and he’s shown pretty good range, too.

Othman is hitting just 1-for-22 (.045) this year with a RBI. He wasn’t used much this year until he started three out of four game during the road trip.

Brian Dice seems to be the third option behind the plate. He’s hitting .267 (4-for-15) with a homerun in three starts. Also started at DH.

Group MVP: Behar

Where it can improve: More at bats for Behar should drive that average up a little.

Infielders: B-. The Jammers lost arguably their top prospect Austin Nola to Greensboro a week ago. He had started 15 of the 16 games he played in while in Jamestown.

Taking over for him at shortstop has been fellow rookie Anthony Gomez. Pedro Mendoza has also got plenty of at-bats since being activated. In addition, the team lost middle infielder Yeison Hernandez to Greensboro.

First base has been between Viosergy Rosa and Felix Munoz. But, the other gets the start at DH sometimes. Rosa, a holdover from last year, is hitting .255 with a homer and six RBI in 12 starts. Munoz has nine starts and is hitting .283 with two homers.

Gomez was the guy at second before getting switched back to his natural position at short. Returnees from last year Yefri Perez and Pedro Mendoza have been at second since the switch and have both done a good job.

After playing in just two of the first nine games, Perez has started 10 of the last 12 and is batting a team-high .345.

Matt Juengel has pretty much been the everyday guy at third base with 11 starts and is batting .213 with five RBI.

Group MVP: Perez.

Where it can improve: With Perez and Mendoza at the top of the order, the offense has been better. We’ll see if it holds.

Outfielders: C+. It’s a four-man group, but centerfielder Juancito Martinez has been the mainstay each night. Martinez, my team MVP, has started a team-high 18 games and leads the club with 21 hits and nine steals and two homers. He’s hitting .318 with a .400 on-base percentage.

The rest of the group has struggled. Returnee Kentrell Dewitt is hitting .185 in 15 starts in left field. Cameron Flynn is hitting .170 in 13 starts in right field.

The utility man is Jesus Solorzano with 17 starts in all three outfield positions. He was considered one the Marlins top prospects by Baseball America in January, but the 21 year old is hitting just .209. He does have a team-high two homers and eight RBI.

Group MVP: Martinez.

Where it can improve: The three besides Martinez need to start hitting. Solorzano is the key.


Pitching Report

July 6, 2012 Leave a comment

The Jammers 3.39 team ERA is seventh in the league and keeps me thinking this team isn’t as bad as their 6-11 record would indicate. What’s helped is arguably the best bullpen in the league.

Entering play Friday, Jamestown had a bullpen ERA of 2.23, nearly 3 runs better than the starters, who come in at 5.10. Jamestown has still only had two starts get through six innings and none have started the seventh. Thus, the bullpen has thrown 96.2 innings versus just 65.1 out of the starters.

Now, there might be more talent in the bullpen, and with a 14-man staff, it’s hard to blame manager Angel Espada for using the bullpen so much this year.

Regardless, here’s a rundown of what the rest of the roadstand might look like:

Friday, July 6 at Staten Island

The Jammers really need this one. They still haven’t won a series (while splitting three) and tonight gives them a chance to do so against one of the bottom teams in the league. Plus, Jamestown has a three-gamer with Brooklyn coming up, who tied for the best record in the league at 13-5. Don’t want to finish this stand up 1-4 and if they don’t win tonight, they’ll have to win the series against Brooklyn to do better than 1-4.

Regardless, I’ll say it’s Blake Logan tonight, even though Jamestown has yet to announce its starter. Logan has thrown well in two outings this year and threw three no-hit innings Sunday. Which mean, I’ll assume Ryan Newell also gets two innings today. Assuming Logan goes five, that will leave an inning or two for the rest of the staff.

Tops on my list would probably be Bryan Berglund if the Jammers are losing. Berglund now hasn’t thrown in eight days and has thrown just once in the last 12 days. He’s been used the least among Jammers relievers.

Lefty Beau Wright also hasn’t thrown in three days and should be fully rested from his 3-inning outing on Monday.

If winning, Nick Wittgren will be called upon to close it out. I would assume Miguel Fermin is ready to go as well for the eighth inning.

Saturday, July 7 at Brooklyn

This will be Matt Milroy. Milroy has gone two, then three, then four innings in his first three starts. It’s not a pattern or coincidence. His pitch counts haven’t been overly high in any of them. The former reliever is being stretched out and I’d assume they’ll aim for five Saturday.

This is where you’ll definitely see Berglund if he doesn’t throw Friday. And the same can be said for Beau Wright. I also think you’ll probably see Brian Ellington on this night.

Again if winning, some combination of Wittgren/Fermin/Jheyson Manzueta will be employed.

Sunday, July 8 at Brooklyn

Back to staff ace Helpi Reyes, who’s actually been pretty good this year. His last start got washed after 2.1 innings, and while those numbers won’t effect his ERA until the game is finished, they aren’t in the books now. So, it will only be his fourth start and with him not getting much work last time out because of the rain, I’d assume Jamestown will look for Reyes to go as long as he can.

Guys like Frankie Reed, Manzueta and Ellington will be in the discussion here. Berglund another possibility if he throws an inning Friday.

Monday, July 9 at Brooklyn

Ramon Del Orbe will get the start. He’s been a rollercoaster this year, with enough up-and-downs to make Espada nauseous for sure. He had two pretty decent starts to begin his year, but has been tough to watch since then. Monday will be a good test for the righthander.

Tuesday, July 10, off day

Jammers will return home. 12 of their next 15 will be at home. Not falling too far come behind come Tuesday will be important.


Categories: Roster Talk

Hitting Report: June 28

June 28, 2012 Leave a comment

After a hot start, the Jammers have fallen quite hard over the past few days and have scored just nine runs in their past five games — and six in their last four. Not much of a coincidence that Jamestown is 0-5 in that stretch.

So why the power outage? Well, it’s Angel Espada’s duty to get everyone at bats and with 15 active hitters, that’s not the easiest task. While Jamestown does have five guys hitting over .300, they have the same amount hitting under .200. In addition, Jamestown has just four homeruns, all of which are solo shots.

Perhaps the most surprising stat, though, is Jamestown is batting .263 with runners in scoring position. That’s really not a terrible number and has a handful of guys doing pretty well in that situation. For whatever reason, they’re not scoring. The main reason may be their slugging percentage, which is just .322, fourth last in the league.

CATCHERS — Jose Behar (6), Sharif Othman (2), Brian Dice (2)

Behar started last night. My guess is Othman gets it tonight. He hasn’t started since Saturday. Back to Behar on Friday. Dice or Behar on Saturday.

Who should be playing — Behar. I like him defensively and he’s hitting .318/.375/.408. While he’s only played back-to-back days twice, Espada’s done a pretty good job settling on one guy so far.

FIRST BASE — Viosergy Rosa (6), Felix Munoz (4)

It’s been on-and-off here, but both players are fairly similar. They’re lefties without a whole lot of power and neither showed they were too much better than the other defensively. I suppose I’d prefer Rosa with the glove though. He’s also shown a great eye at the plate. But, Munoz is hitting .353/.389/.529. Rosa is .150/.250/.207.

Who should be playing — Looking at those offensive numbers and Jamestown’s mighty struggle at the plate lately, it should be Munoz.

SECOND BASE — Anthony Gomez (5), Yefri Perez (3), Yeison Hernandez (2)

This has been my headscratcher. Granted Gomez has DH’d a couple of times, but I’d like to see him out at second more often that 50 percent of the time. I really like Hernandez, who is hitting .290, and like what Espada is doing with him, moving him around the infield and getting him at bats. But to me, Gomez has a future at second. Get him more at bats.

Who should be playing — In an ideal 10-game stretch, I’d probably have Gomez start six or seven with Perez and Hernandez splitting the rest.

SHORTSTOP — Austin Nola (5), Hernandez (3), Rony Peralta (2)

Nola has played everyday, but has moved around which is somewhat OK in my book. Again, I like Hernandez playing this amount and him getting a few starts at shortstop every 10 games is great. Nola at .143/.262/.143 has been a hole in the middle of the lineup this year.

Who should be playing — Well, with Nola struggling as much as he is, this is a decent rotation. Ideally, I’d like to see him more at just short and give his at bats at third base to Peralta.

THIRD BASE — Matt Juengel (5), Nola (4), Peralta (1)

At this point, Jamestown/Miami is trying to figure out if Nola can play shortstop at the major league level. Thus, he’s getting a ton of work at third. It’s possible with Nola going back-and-forth that he is struggling so much at the plate. Whatever the case, I like Juengel. He’s hitting .267 with a .371 OBP. No extra-base hits yet, but they’ll come.

Who should be playing — The conundrum in whether or not Nola can play short. If he can’t, then Nola should be here, which I guess DH’s Juengel (unless he can play first against lefthanded starters?). If Nola can play short, then have Juengel here everyday with Peralta backing up both positions.

LEFT FIELD — Kentrell Dewitt (6), Jesus Solorzano (4)

Dewitt started 4-for-7. He’s 0-for-16 since. Coincidence or not, there were three days off in between those two numbers. Nobody said he was injured, but that’s a bit strange. Solorzano looks like a player and with his versatility in the outfield, he has a great chance to keep moving through the system.

Who should be playing — Dewitt unless he continues to really struggle. I’d rather see Solorzano in right.

CENTER FIELD — Juancito Martinez (8) Solorzano (2)

The MVP of the season so far has been Martinez. He has a team-high 10 hits and three stolen bases, while hitting .333 with three RBI and three runs. He does have an error, but he’s been fine to me defensively when I’ve seen him. Again Solorzano backing him up twice every 10 games is ideal.

Who should be playing — Martinez. He’s been great.

RIGHT FIELD — Cameron Flynn (7) Solorzano (3)

Flynn, a rookie out of Kentucky, has struggled so far. He’s just 5-for-28 with five singles. He is batting 3-for-8 with RISP and is tied for the team lead with four RBI.

Who should be playing — Well Jamestown only has four outfielders and if Solorzano is the utility man, I suppose it’s Flynn. The outfield rotation has actually been great so far so no real complaints here.

DESIGNATED HITTER — Juengel (3), Hernandez (2), Gomez (2), Dice (1), Rosa (1), Nola (1)

This is all about getting guys more ABs and there is no real reason to complain about any of the choices here. Again, once we know what they’re going to do with Nola, shortstop and third base will clear up more. I like Hernandez getting opportunities here.

Who should be playing — Any of the infielders. They’ve got plenty of them.



Categories: Roster Talk

Pitching Report: June 26

June 26, 2012 Leave a comment

The bats have gone cold lately as Jamestown’s team batting averaged has dipped down to .254 (sixth in the league still). But, the Jammers pitching staff actually was on a decent roll until getting hit hard Monday night.

As reported earlier in the week, Drew Steckenrider was placed on the temporary inactive list. Today, Jamestown activated Blake Logan, a 13th round pick this year. I’m not sure how he’ll be used, but Logan was a starter as a sophomore this season at Eastern Oklahoma State.

Tuesday, June 26 at Auburn

Starter: Ryan Newell. He threw just two innings in his debut last week. Allowed a hit, walked two and let one run score. I’m sure he’ll be extended tonight.

Relievers: Jake Esch went four innings in relief of Newll last time out and hasn’t pitched since. I would expect to see Esch get at least an inning tonight. Closer Nick Wittgren has had three days off (all Jammers losses) and would likely see action tonight if Jamestown is ahead late. Besides that, Miguel Fermin, on two days rest, is likely to go tonight.

Wednesday, June 27 at Auburn

Starter: Matt Milroy or Blake Logan. It’s Milroy’s turn in the rotation, but I just figured he’d be a reliever for these guys. He only threw two innings last time out so there’s no reason to think he’s a fixture in the rotation. Logan, with starting experience, was just activated and should probably get some work soon.

Relievers: Whoever doesn’t start should probably get work anyhow. Brian Ellington and Bryan Berglund probably due for some work as well.

Thursday, June 28 at Batavia

Starter: Helpi Reyes. Reyes has a 5.63 ERA in two starts this year and is the de facto ace. Three innings on Opening Day. Five in his second. Espada will certainly expect at least five from him.

Relievers: They could go anywhere but from a pure schedule standpoint, Jheyson Manzueta might be targeted for Thursday. He threw three innings Sunday and I can’t imagine him going before then. Frankie Reed and Ellington — if not used Tuesday or Wednesday, which is unlikely for both — make sense here too.

Breaking down the roster: hitting edition

June 23, 2012 Leave a comment

I did this much earlier in the year (before the year even started actually) for the pitchers. But, now that we’ve had a look at these guys for almost a full week, let’s take a close look at how Angel Espada plans on using his 15 hitters this season.


Jose Behar — He’s been the main guy behind the plate, catching three of five games with a day off in between each start. That leads me to believe he won’t play tonight. He’s 4-for-12 with a pair of doubles but I think his usage primarily because of his defense. He’s got a good arm and does well defensively. Behar was a 30th round pick last year.

Sharif Othman — Didn’t get a chance to see him, but Othman has started one game and went 1-for-3 with a walk. I think he’s the odd man out, especially with the immediate damage Brian Dice is doing with the bat. Othman was a 32nd round pick last year.

Brian Dice — Undrafted out of Lenoir-Rhyne University, Dice received just seven at bats last year. He’s quickly made a name for himself this year, going 3-for-4 in his first start before drilling a homerun in his second start. As is the case with this level, if you keep hitting, you’ll keep playing.

Michael Vaughn — He’s on the 7-day DL. Can’t be activated until Monday but Jamestown’s lineup is full, they’d need to make a roster move to activate him.


Viosergy Rosa (1B) — A 29th round pick in 2010, Rosa spent some time in Jamestown last year, but hit just .210 in 41 games. He’s got a pretty good eye at the plate and is 5-for-17 in four starts, but appears to be getting pushed for playing time by Felix Munoz. I like Rosa. I would imagine he’ll be in the lineup everyday (especially against righties) either at first or DH-ing.

Felix Munoz (1B) — Munoz was signed out of the Dominican Republic late in 2008 and is playing well in his first season above rookie ball. The 20-year-old first baseman is 5-for-10 and while he looked like primarily a backup, if he keeps getting multi-hit games in starts, he’ll be playing a lot. Minor complaint (and I mean minor, more of a note) — all five hits are singles.

Anthony Gomez (2B) — The sixth round pick out of Vanderbilt looks like a player. Gomez is batting .313/.400/.438 in four games and has four RBI. He’s started the last three games at second while hitting first or second and I can’t imagine that changing anytime soon with the way he’s been playing.

Yefri Perez (2B/SS) — He started the second game and went 0-for-4. He also played here last year and batted .198. It’s tough because Perez batted .290 and .319 in two stints at GCL in 2010 and 2011, respectively, but has struggled to get consistent playing time. With the logjam in the middle infield, that doesn’t appear to be changing any time soon.

Rony Peralta (2B/SS) — Peralta started a game and pinch ran, but doesn’t appear to have a great chance of cracking the starting lineup on a regular basis. Again, Jamestown has a bunch of middle infielders and Peralta looks like the last choice. He struggled between Jupiter and Jamestown last year, but the Marlins clearly like his speed.

Pedro Mendoza (2B/SS) — 7-day DL, but the same thing as Vaughn goes for the 21-year-old middle infielder. Jamestown would need to make a roster move to activate him and there’s quite the logjam in the infield. Mendoza did hit .252 in 31 games for Jamestown last year and did OK at Greensboro.

Yeison Hernandez (2B/SS) — Another middle infielder, Hernandez seems to be the third option up the middle. He’s started at short twice and second once, and also got a DH spot. Still just 19 years old, Hernandez has already spent time at Jupiter this year and he’s doing alright down here at Jamestown batting .263. Have to imagine he’ll play every three or four days out of five.

Austin Nola (SS/3B) — Nola, a fifth round pick this year, can do a little bit of everything on the infield but has been relegated to the left side so far. He’s started all five games but is off to a slow start, batting just .100 (2-for-20). Has walked three times, though. He’ll be fine.

Matt Juengel (3B) — He’s another rookie doing alright through five games with three starts. He’s batting .286, but probably has more power than he’s showing. The optimal lineup probably has him at third everyday.


Kentrell Dewitt (LF) — Dewitt, just 21, spent a majority of 2011 with Jamestown but struggled, hitting just .200. He’s started well, 4-for-7 with three doubles, but hasn’t played in the last three games. I’m awaiting word to see if he’s hurt (which he must be) and how long it is. Dewitt was in the starting lineup for the third game before getting scratched late.

Jesus Solorzano (OF) — He’s been the utility man out there, going from right to center to left in his first three games. He’s played all three in left with Dewitt out. He’s been the only player besides Nola to play every game and if Dewitt’s out for a longer time, that will have to keep up. He’s batting .200 (4-for-20) with a pair of doubles.

Juancito Martinez (CF) — Played in 4/5 games with every single one of them in center. He appears to have the job locked down for the time being. He’s been terrific so far, 6-for-15 with a stolen base.

Cameron Flynn (RF) — The rookie 23rd round pick out of Kentucky has had a rough go at it so far in his first week of pro ball. He’s 2-for-17 with a couple of walks and a RBI. He was at the top of the lineup early, which shows you what they think of his potential. If Dewitt’s out, the chances for him to break out of it will keep coming.



Categories: Roster Talk

All Is Good — Through 4 Games

June 22, 2012 Leave a comment

First of all, we’re four games in, so there’s not too much to be said here about this season yet. But there are actually some positive signs out there, and frankly, not so many negative ones. Sure, 2-2 is nothing to brag about — or to even be overly confident about going forward — but the Jammers have the feel of a contender if four games mean anything.

What I’ve liked:

• Jamestown is fourth in the NYPL in batting average at .264, which actually feels low in regard to how they’ve been hitting. A few regulars are struggling like Austin Nola and Jesus Solorano, but everyone else is hitting. In order, they’ve had 7, 9, 10 and 13 hits in their respective games this year. That will get the job done in this league. Last year, Jamestown hit .246

• They’re also third in ERA at 2.89 and third in WHIP at 1.15. Let’s just put it this way: if both of those stats stay somewhat in that area, Jamestown will be one of the best teams in the league. Again, it’s four games. But, Jamestown — which hasn’t had a starter enter the fifth inning — has shown they have a remarkably good bullpen with plenty of arms that can get outs. Now the question is do they have the starters to go longer than a few innings.

What concerns me:

• The starting pitching. Jamestown is the only team in the league not to have their starting pitcher start the fifth inning. Through four games, 21 starters in this league have gone at least five innings and another five have at least started the fifth. None of them are Jammers. I’m sure it’s a Marlins/Jammers thing since it’s early in the season and there a lot of arms down here, but I’m not so sure that can keep up.

• Of their 39 hits, only 10 of them are extra base hits and only one was a four-bagger. Again, it’s early, but Jamestown is seventh in slugging. This isn’t too big of a concern if they can keep hitting for a high average because this team does have some speed and Angel Espada has shown how much he likes to play small either via the sacrifice or the hit-and-run.

Why it doesn’t matter yet:

It’s four games. They play 76 — weather permitting. But these are some trends to keep an eye on. Does the bullpen need to get 15 or more outs every night? Can this team hit for power? We’ll see.

Coming up on Jampacked blog:

• Our next live game (via Twitter) is Sunday against Batavia at 4:05 p.m.

• Saturday: Breaking down the roster — hitters.

• Sunday morning pitching report.

• Every Sunday night will be a weekly recap around the NYPL. June 24 will be the first look.

Pitching Report: June 21

June 21, 2012 Leave a comment

As I outlined in our all-new Usage Chart, only three pitchers haven’t been used yet in the Jammers first three games this season. Matt Milroy and Drew Steckenrider were both relievers in college last year, so I’d assume Ryan Newell (7th round pick out of Shorter University) will start either tonight or tomorrow.

But, if they don’t go to a 4-man rotation (and I don’t know why they would) the smart money would be on Steckenrider (8th round pick out of Tennessee) being the other starter. Milroy appears to strictly be a one inning guy.

The Jammers used five pitchers Monday, four Tuesday and five Wednesday. Of the starters, only Del Orbe and Hope have gone into the fourth with neither going into the fifth. Bryan Berglund and Miguel Fermin each threw twice on Monday and Wednesday.

What to expect Thursday:

For whatever reason, Jamestown appears settled on not pushing starters too much in their first start. So whoever starts today and tomorrow won’t go more than four innings. As was the case with Reyes on Monday, if either falters, they’ll probably only go three.

So who will we see today? I’ll say Newell will start. I would expect Beau Wright, Jake Esch and Matt Milroy will get work as well. A save situation will likely call for Nick Wittgren. I think we’d all like to see Jheyson Manzueta again and I wouldn’t rule him out for tonight, either. Certainly some combination of those five will work the last five or six innings tonight.

What to expect Friday:

Again, I have no idea who is going to start, but I’ll say Steckenrider. If any of those five I mentioned for Thursday don’t throw (and someone assuredly won’t), they’ll definitely get work Friday. On top of that, Sean Donatello could be in line for an inning or two. I don’t think we’ll see Fermin either day. He’s looked great but two innings Monday, day off Tuesday and two more innings Wednesday deserves at least two days off. Expect him Saturday.

What to expect Saturday:

Back to Opening Day starter Helpi Reyes. Who I think would be stretched out to five innings. After that, who knows at this point.


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Jammers Announce Opening Day Roster

June 17, 2012 Leave a comment

I broke down a preliminary roster yesterday for pitchers. Today, the Jammers have released their full roster. Added to the pitching staff are Bryan Berglund, Ramon Del Orbe and Blake Logan, giving the Jammers 16 pitchers.

Jamestown will also have 16 hitters for a rather large 32-man roster to open the year. Don’t worry, that will certainly change quick.

Pitchers (16) — Bryan Berglund, Ramon Del Orbe, Sean Donatello, Brian Ellington, Jacob Esch, Miguel Fermin, Mason Hope, Blake Logan, Jheyson Manzueta, Matt Milroy, Ryan Newell, Frankie Reed, Helpi Reyes, Drew Steckenrider, Nick Wittgren, Beau Wright.

Catchers (3) — Jose Behar, Brian Dice, Sharif Othman

Infielders (9) — Anthony Gomez, Yeison Hernandez, Matt Juengel, Pedro Mendoza, Felix Munoz, Austin Nola, Rony Peralta, Yefri Perez, Viosergy Rosa

Outfielders (4) — Kentrell Dewitt, Juancito Martinez, Jesus Solorzano and Cameron Flynn

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Breaking down the Jammers roster-Pitchers

June 17, 2012 Leave a comment

It’s far from official, but as the Jammers have begun to arrive in Jamestown for practices Friday and Saturday, here’s my first look at 2012 roster.

Pitchers (13):

Sean Donatello (RHP) — A 21 year old in his second professional season, Donatello spent most of last year in the Gulf Coast League for the GCL Marlins. He posted pretty good numbers at the rookie level, going 3-0 with a 2.97 ERA in 13 games (four starts). He appeared in one game for Jupiter, throwing 2.1 innings and allowing a run. He started 2012 in Jupiter, though, and struggled. In seven innings, he’s 0-1 with a 7.71 ERA. He was sent back down to Jamestown on May 4. Expect him to be in the bullpen.

Brian Ellington (RHP) — Ellington, 21, was a 16th round selection this year from the University of West Florida. He started 11 games for the Argos and went 6-3 with a 4.08 ERA. He had a pretty decent opponents batting average at .241, but it’s hard to project much from Ellington at this point, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he gets a few chances to start. He had Tommy John Surgery in 2007 while in high school.

Jacob Esch (RHP) — He played his college ball at Georgia Tech and was drafted as a second baseman in the 11th round in 2011. He threw just 18.2 innings (11.2 for Jamestown) of professional ball last year and compiled a 3.38 ERA. He showed some potential as a power pitcher, striking out 17. Esch is listed as the opening day starter on the Jammers website, but nothing has been announced yet.

Miguel Fermin (RHP) — Yes, that Miguel Fermin. Now at 27, the former catcher has been forced to renew his career after blowing out his knee last year. Fermin was a NYPL All-Star on the Jammers back in 2008 when he hit .347 with 17 homeruns in 65 games. He was then an all-star for Jupiter in 2009 and 2011, but struggled in two stints for New Orleans. Now that Fermin can’t do much behind the plate, the Marlins have decided to use his right arm on the mound. Will be interesting to see how he’s used, but will almost assuredly be out of the bullpen.

Mason Hope (RHP) — Hope is the highest draft pick amongst the Jammers current pitchers as he was a fifth rounder last year out of Broken Arrow High School in Oklahoma. The 19 year old started six games in the Gulf Coast League last year and did pretty well, compiling a 3.29 ERA in 27.1 innings. Hope has a bright future and considering his age, the Marlins are in no rush with this kid. He’ll be in the rotation.

Jheyson Manzueta (RHP) — It will be interesting to see what the Marlins’ plan is with Manzueta. The 22 year old was actually signed back in 2007 and spent his first two years in the Dominican Summer League. Last year was his first year above rookie ball and he struggled in both Jamestown and Greensboro. Combined he was 2-11 with a 6.57 ERA. He started the year in Greensboro, where he started all 20 games he appeared in. When he went back down to Jamestown, he appeared in 10 games, all of which came in relief. Probably not a pattern, but we’ll see where Manzueta gets his innings. I’ll expect the bullpen.

Matt Milroy (RHP) — Drafted in the 11th round, Milroy became the highest pitcher selected out of the University of Illinois since 2001. He worked out the bullpen and averaged almost 11 strikeouts per nine innings, good for ninth in the NCAA. Milroy chose to forgo his senior season at Illinois. He had a 3.88 ERA in 53.1 innings and I would doubt if the Marlins are looking to stretch him out.

Ryan Newell (RHP) — Newell is the highest draft pick from this year on the pitching staff. Drafted in the seventh round out of Shorter University (NAIA program in Rome, Ga.), Newell went 9-4 with a 3.53 ERA as a starter last year and will probably be used as one for Jamestown or perhaps a middle-inning reliever. Newell will turn 21 on Opening Day Monday.

Frankie Reed (LHP) — The 24-year-old lefty will be used in the same role as last year, as a reliever who can strike some guys out. He was drafted out of Cal Poly SLO last year in the 27th round and spent his rookie year between Jamestown and GCL. He struggled as a Jammer, going 1-1 with a 6.11 ERA.

Helpi Reyes (RHP) — Another familiar name, Reyes started 12 games last year for the club and went 1-6 with a 5.37 ERA. Still just 19, Reyes has been in the Marlins organization for three years with each of the last two being a full-time starter. 2012 appears to be a big year for the righthander if he wants to advance through. I’d imagine he would be in the rotation.

Drew Steckenrider (RHP) — An eighth round pick out of Tennessee this year, Steckenrider also has pretty great power potential, but his future is based on his right arm. He struck out 79 batters in 67 innings and held opponents to a .197 batting average. The 6-foot-5 reliever seems ticketed for the bullpen. Decided to forgo his senior season at UT.

Nicholas Wittgren (RHP) — Another high-level college pitcher prospect, Wittgren was a ninth round selection this year from Purdue. He also decided to forgo his senior season and projects as a reliever. Wittgren is another power pitcher, striking out 39 batters in 41 innings, but was the closer for a Boilermaker team that won the Big 10 and hosted an NCAA Regional. He had a 1.76 ERA in 26 games and saved 10.

Beau Wright (RHP) — Wright was a 48th round pick in 2010 out of Orange Coast College, but was a 29th round pick out of high school by the Minnesota Twins in 2009, where he obviously did not sign. He was 2-2 with a 3.98 ERA in 11 games (six starts) for GCL last year. Wright, 21, will have every opportunity to start games for the club this year.

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