Saturday – Clearwater – J.P. Crawford vs Alex Reyes
I know Brandon Leibrandt is on the mound for the Threshers, but Alex Reyes is the best minor league pitcher than Crawford has faced this year and might be the best he faces all year. Right now Reyes has a 1.788 ERA and 58 strikeouts in 35.1 innings, but has walked 20 in that same period so there is room for the Threshers to try and expose him with some patience. It will be a very tough test for the whole team.
Lehigh Valley: (vs Charlotte)
Friday: Jason Berken
Saturday: Phillippe Aumont
Sunday: Adam Morgan
Lehigh Valley is a bit rough right now, but at least we get another Phillippe Aumont start and those have become must follow. I don’t know how long Domonic Brown and Cody Asche will be in AAA, but both are at least hitting right now.
Reading: (@ Portland)
Rather than bump every back a day with the off day and then get one schedule with the double header, Reading gave Jesse Biddle a turn off in the rotation to work on stuff in a side session while they go with a bullpen game during the double header. My guess is that left hander Hoby Milner will get the call to at least start since he will have 6 days off. The move is probably best for Jesse whose stuff looks good but keeps losing focus and control. Otherwise business as usual for Eflin, Windle, and Lively who all have things they need to work on. Roman Quinn enters the weekend hitting .444 in his last 10 games with 8 stolen bases. His April (19 games) was fairly unsustainable (especially on the power end) as he hit .347/.388/.573 on the month, but he has followed that up with a much more realistic and sustainable May as he is hitting .318/.375/.439 through 17 games while dropping his strikeouts from 19 to 13. His season has really been fueled by his left handed swing which has clicked to the tune of a .337/.380/.525 batting line, the approach numbers aren’t amazing, but it is a giant step in the right direction.
Clearwater: (@ Palm Beach)
At the time of this writing the Threshers have already fallen to Palm Beach in game one has they allowed a complete game shutout. It doesn’t get better as they face Alex Reyes and Rob Kaminsky to close out the series. Pretty much the whole lineup outside of J.P. Crawford and Aaron Brown is slumping (outside of Thursday’s 13 hit explosion) and this weekend is unlikely to break that streak. Things to watch include Crawford’s lack of power and whether the lefties can handle the tough lefty in Kaminsky on Sunday or will it just be ugly.
Lakewood: (vs Greensboro)
The offense is pretty much just Canelo, Tocci, and Hoskins at this point and all three have returned to just being really good and not otherworldly. On the pitching side Ranfi Casimiro is starting to get on a role and is challenging Ricardo Pinto for the spot of first call up when Shane Watson gets back at the end of the month. Speaking of Pinto, he has now walked 8 batters in his last three games after walking just 3 in his first 4 games, but still is putting up very solid numbers. This will be his third start vs Greensboro who seemed to find more luck against him in their second meeting. Chris Oliver’s control issues are back and he is no longer missing bats which is concerning, but it is still really early. Speaking of missing bats, Elniery Garcia has only 18 strikeouts in 32.1 innings, he also had mixed results in two previous starts vs Greensboro.
Image of Elniery Garcia by Baseball Betsy