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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.

 

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Morning Jam

July 3, 2012 Leave a comment

Tough night for Jamestown yesterday as the Jammers lost 2-1 to the Auburn Doubledays. A day after Jamestown bashed out 15 hits, the offense — in its rather inconsistent form — had just three. Which is too bad, because it spoiled another great outing from the pitching staff, namely the bullpen, who threw five scoreless innings between Jheyson Manzueta and Beau Wright.

In particular it was Wright, who faced the minimum nine batters in three innings. The only baserunner he allowed was a hit batsman, which he quickly erased on a double play to the next batter he faced.

But, the offense couldn’t muster anything together besides the speed of Juancito Martinez. Martinez led off the fifth with a walk, stole second, advanced to third on a ground out, and advanced home on another ground out. A run is a run, though.

Some notes:

• Yeison Hernandez went 2-for-4 yesterday for Greensboro. He had started off with an 0-for-5 night.

• His roster move opened up space for Pedro Mendoza, who finally went hitless last night after a blistering 5-for-9 start since being activated. He’s still hitting .385 in the three games.

• Anthony Gomez picked up a hit last night, breaking an 0-for-18 slump, which I was starting to blame on myself. Gomez went nearly a week without a hit, which unfortunately started right after I talked to him.

• Blake Logan made his first start for the Jammers Sunday, taking the place of Ryan Newell. No word on if Logan will remain in the rotation, but it’s hard to imagine he won’t. The rookie threw three no-hit innings and has now allowed just four baserunners in five innings for Jamestown. No runs allowed and eight strikeouts. He’d be the ace on the staff at this point.

• Jamestown’s starters ERA was 5.93 heading in to play on Sunday. Logan helped drop that down to 5.58.

• Kentrell Dewitt had to be taken out of the game Sunday in between the second and third innings. Tough to say where Dewitt got hurt, but the team was mum on the outfielder’s condition. Dewitt missed three games earlier in the year with an undisclosed injury as well. He’s day-to-day and didn’t play Monday, so I doubt we’ll see him that soon.

• Errors continue to be a problem for Jamestown. They’ve made 24 this season (15 games), more than 1.5 per game. By, comparison, Auburn (leaders of the Pinckney Division) have made just 14.

• Fireworks at the ballpark tonight as Jamestown wraps up a 3-game set with Auburn. Staff ace Helpi Reyes will get the nod, his fourth start of the year as the Jammers look to take the rubber match of this series. It would be the first series victory of the year for Jamestown, which has lost three and split two.

Morning Jam: June 30

June 30, 2012 Leave a comment

Well… it’s going to be a long year in Jamestown.

The Jammers dropped their seventh in a row, fourth of their last five by at least five runs and didn’t show much of anything after a 4-run first inning from Batavia.

Jamestown’s starter Ramon Del Orbe walked four and balked home a run in one of the ugliest first innings I’ve seen as Batavia had a total of one hit (a single) en route to scoring the four runs. Jamestown finished the game with four hits.

• Juancito Martinez had another nice day at the plate. Went 0-for-1, but walked twice and stole a bag. He’s got five steals which is third best in the league.

• Austin Nola’s day off yesterday helped. He went 2-for-4 today with a couple of well hit balls. Nola has reached base in 9-of-11 games despite the batting average under .200. He looks like one of the few players on this team. Did well at third base, too. Not sure where he projects, but third might be the better choice for him.

• Not much else to say here. Jamestown only had seven baserunners and grounded into three double plays. Kentrell Dewitt had a leadoff double in the 8th, advanced on a grounder and scored on a fly ball. Small ball from the Jammers finally, but too bad it was when they were down by seven.

• Jamestown is now batting .227 as a team with a .296 on-base percentage.

• They’ll look to avoid the sweep tonight with Mason Hope on the mound. Ben Freeman is going for Batavia. He shut down the Jammers Sunday at Diethrick Park. Tonight is at Dwyer Stadium in Batavia.