Well, this was a pretty exciting trip to Coca-Cola Park for me tonight. First off, it was my first time using our new seats. We’ve been partial season ticket holders for three seasons now and this year we moved closer to home plate in Section 115. Something always seems to come up which keeps me from going in 2015, but not tonight. But more importantly, Adam Morgan drew the start for the Iron Pigs. As most of you know, Morgan is slowly working his way back to full strength after missing all of 2014 with a shoulder injury. So, after chasing some autographs with my son, we settled in to watch some baseball. Here’s what I saw:
Adam Morgan – I tried to pay a lot of attention to Morgan’s performance and in my estimation, he didn’t disappoint. Morgan showed pretty good command of a fastball that sat in the 86-88 range, occasionally touching 89-90. He did surrender a home run to lead off the game to Eury Perez but settled in nicely after that. Around the fifth inning, Morgan started mixing in more breaking and off speed pitches, especially early in counts, but largely threw his fastball for most of the night. He seemed able to move the ball around the zone and induce weak contact for the most part. Outside of the no doubter home run, I’m struggling to recall many hard hit balls over the course of his 7.1 innings. All in all, I liked what I saw.
Maikel Franco – I may start leaving Franco off of my reports going forward. I feel like I’m in the minority on him but every time I see him, I come away feeling justified. I will concede that tonight Franco faced junk baller Greg Smith (who has made a career out of keeping guys off balance) but Franco really took some off balanced swings tonight that looked like he was guessing at pitches. He did manage a hard line drive single in his second at bat but for the rest of the night looked too aggressive. As much as I believe I’m right, I haven’t seen enough of his 2015 at bats to justify my opinion in the face of his production to date. I just worry that major league pitchers will solve him quickly and easily. One other note, he made an error in the field on a routine grounder, sailing the ball wide right of first. I do like his glove but his throwing is another concern of mine. Am I too hard on this kid? It’s OK to tell me if I am.
Tommy Joseph – Joseph is another name that may disappear slowly from these reports because it breaks my heart to watch him struggle like this at the plate. He really just doesn’t seem to be seeing the ball well and subsequently is getting behind in counts and chasing a lot of questionable pitches. He did hit the ball hard tonight (with no Ks) and laid down a good sacrifice bunt (asking him to bunt is another sign he’s not seeing the ball) but had nothing to show for it. Defensively, he took a beating behind the dish but did a good job otherwise. Its a positive that he doesn’t carry his slump into the field with him, but the hitting has to come around.
If you consider Seth Rosin a prospect, tonight wasn’t your night. Four of the five batters he faced reached base and both of his inherited runners scored. I have seen Rosin look good for extended periods of time and personally prefer him to Hector Neris, but he grooved a few fastballs tonight and paid for it.
So there it is, another night of baseball in the Lehigh Valley in the books. The Pigs hung in a tight ball game but couldn’t get outs when they needed them in the 8th and ultimately lost 5-1. While the result wasn’t desirable, the play of some of the young guys was promising. And if nothing else, the weather and walking tacos were perfect! And who doesn’t like post-game fireworks! Until next time…