July 2010

Big Series for Townsend

Tyler Townsend has eight hits, four runs, four doubles, a triple, home run and five RBIs through four games of the West Virginia series.  He is now batting .319 in 94 at-bats.

The Lewes, Delaware native is coming along really nicely at the plate after suffering the setback in the first half of the season.  Don’t forget that he only played in three games in the first half of the season.

This season is even more impressive considering Townsend hit just .143 (17-119) in his first professional season last year with the Ironbirds.  He struck out 39 times in 119 at-bats. 

Good to see Townsend ripping the ball to all fields!

Dowdy Debuts in Frederick

Unfortunately it wasn’t the debut that Josh Dowdy was looking for in the Carolina League.  He pitched last night (7/18) against the Wilmington Blue Rocks.  In 1.1 innings, he allowed two hits and two runs.  Jamar Walton hit a two-run homer against Dowdy in the ninth inning.

I’m sure Dowdy will have a much better second appearance in the CL. 

Joe Esposito Signs With Phillies

Former Shorebirds pitcher Joe Esposito signed with the Philadelphia Phillies about a week ago. He debuted last night for the Lakewood BlueClaws and gave up nine hits and four runs in 2.2 innings of relief. 

http://www.oursportscentral.com/services/releases/?id=4048349 – Article from the Long Island Ducks about Esposito being signed.

He pitched really well for the Shorebirds last season (1-0, 1.08 ERA), but he was not assigned to a team out of spring training and asked for his release.  Esposito pitched so well that he was promoted to Frederick for the second half of the season.  He was a little up and down in the Carolina League, posting a 1-2 record with a 4.46 ERA. 

Shorebirds will see him July 24th when Lakewood comes to Perdue Stadium for a five-game set.  It will be a little odd see Joe Esposito in the vistors dugout. 

I’m definitely rooting for Joe and it’s good to see him back in affiliated ball. 

10 Straight RHP

Just noticed this while doing the games notes today.  Melkin Laureano, West Virginia’s starter on Saturday night, marks the 10th straight right-handed starter against Delmarva.  The last lefty starter to face Delmarva was on July 6 when Robbie Erlin of Hickory started.

The streak will go to 11 in a row on Sunday when RHP Phillip Irwin will take the hill for West Virginia. 

The streak will might come to an end in Hickory.  Robbie Erlin is the only left-handed starter for Hickory.  He is pitching tonight (7/17), so he will probably pitch game four of the Delmarva series.  There is an off day on Monday, so it will depend whether they are on a five-man or six-man rotation. 

The ‘Birds are batting .246 on the season against righties. 

Raul Rivero to Double-A

I was reading some Orioles minor league news this morning and stumbled on the promotion of Raul Rivero from Frederick (Advanced-A) to Bowie (AA).  This happened on 7/15.  Sean Gleason also joined Rivero in being promoted to Double-A.

Unfortunately, Nate Nery was sent back down to Frederick after making just four starts for Bowie (0-4, 10.24 ERA). 

Rivero posted a 4-2 mark for the Shorebirds in 2009 with a 4.06 ERA.  He was much better than his ERA indicates.  His second half of the season last year was rocky. 

Gleason was unbelievable for the Shorebirds back in 2008.  He went 12-2 with a 2.63 ERA, no doubt one of the best single seasons in the history of the franchise. 

So far, eight guys that played at least one game in Delmarva in ’09 have suited up in Double-A this year. Doesn’t that seem like a lot for one year? And that doesn’t even include the guys that will be promoted at the tail end of the season. 

1) Joe Mahoney

2) Greg Miclat

3) Brandon Cooney

4) Pat Egan (AAA now)

5) Eddie Gamboa

6) Nate Nery

7) Raul Rivero

8) Rick Zagone

Mikey Planeta is Back

I forgot to write yesterday when I received the transaction.  Mikey Planeta was activated off the DL late in the afternoon and actually appeared in the game when Tyler Townsend left in the sixth inning. 

Planeta was hit by a pitch in the fourth inning of the July 4th game.  He appeared for the first time since last night. 

He is hitting .241 on the season. 

Five in a Row

Another win for Delmarva on Friday night.  Very exciting game, especially in the eighth inning.  Three runs came across to overcome a two run deficit.  David Walters picked up his first save. 

Lakewood won again last night, so the ‘Birds did not gain any ground.  Still three games out of first place.  Lakewood has won three straight games over Kannapolis. 


Kelly has been a really nice setter of the proverbial table of late.  Last night, he hit a one out single that rolled up the first base line in the eighth.  Two batters later, Kieron Pope knocked him home with a sharp double to the wall in left.  Another example is game one of this series.  In the third inning, he singled to open the frame.  Tyler Townsend then doubled to score him.  Same thing happened in the fifth inning.  Kelly singled and Townsend tripled him home.  The other recent example is game four of the Lakewood series.  Kelly singled with one out in the first and three runs came into score in that inning with Kelly being the first.  Shouldn’t be a surprise that he leads the team in runs scored with 47.


Kantakevich was once again near unhittable last night.  He was removed after the fifth inning and the 38-minute rain delay (he might have been scheduled to come out anyway).  He allowed a single hit over five shutout innings.  In his last nine innings (two starts), he has surrendered just four hits and zero runs.  He also has nine strikeouts during the last nine innings.  The last ten starters have been unreal.  It’s up to 59.2 innings pitched and three earned runs! Thanks to Steve Melewski of MASNSports.com for publicizing the starting pitching success! http://www.masnsports.com/steve_melewski/2010/07/the-amazing-starting-pitching-run-at-delmarva.html


I’ve said this many times on the radio and I’ll write it here.  Nobody is more productive in producing runs than Gary Helmick He has 20 RBIs in 47 games including the game winner in the eighth inning last night.  He has an RBI in each of his last three games played.  The Severn, Md. product is almost reverting back to his college days in this regard.  In his senior year at Towson, he knocked in 51 runs in 53 games. 


‘Birds try and match their season high winning streak on Saturday night agains the Power.  West Virginia has now lost five in a row and six of seven.  Bobby Bundy takes the hill against Melkin Laureano. 




6 Wins Over 4 Teams

With their win on Thursday night over West Virginia, the Shorebirds now have six wins over the Power this season, which is tied for their most against one team.

The Shorebirds have six wins against Lakewood, Hagerstown, Greensboro and West Virginia. 

Good sign for the ‘Birds since they are all Northern division opponents. 

Side note on the composite standings.  Lakewood has 14 wins over Hagerstown while Savannah has 14 wins over Rome.  That’s a lot against one team. 


Beal (7 Wins) – Second in System

Jesse Beal won his seventh game of the season last night in seven dominant innings.  He allowed only two hits. 

Beal is now just one win shy of the Orioles farm system lead for wins.  Chris Tillman of Norfolk leads the system with eight.  Zach Britton and Kenny Moreland also have seven wins on the season.  Moreland won two in Frederick and five here in Delmarva. 

Beal has finished the sixth inning in 13 of his 17 starts this season.  He has gone through the seventh inning 7 times this year. 

Shorebirds play the West Virginia Power on Friday night at 7:05 p.m.


Holding Down the Opposition

Things are looking good for the Shorebirds, sitting in second place in the Northern Division on a Friday morning in the middle of July.  The pitching has really been the story.  The opposition has only scored 17 runs in the last 10 games.  No surprise that the ‘Birds are 7-3 during the stretch. 

Here are a couple small streaks developing…

Tyler Townsend – 4 straight games with a run scored

Ty Kelly – 4 game hit streak

Brian Conley – 5 game on-base streak

Justin Dalles – 5 game hit streak

Jesse Beal – 5 straight starts through the sixth inning


Also, did you see this…http://web.minorleaguebaseball.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20100715&content_id=12262670&vkey=news_milb&fext=.jsp

Steven Souza and J.R. Higley of the Hagerstown Suns were suspended 50 games for testing positive for performance enhancing drugs. 

Souza is a guy that I have seen now for two years in the South Atlantic League.  Very surprising stuff. 


Let’s catch you up on some 2010 Shorebirds that have moved on this morning…

Ryan Berry is 2-1 with a 2.39 ERA in 10 starts with the Keys.  In 49.0 innings, he has only allowed 34 hits (.190 opponents BA). 

Nathan Moreau is 3-0 with a 1.89 ERA in three starts. 

Tyler Kolodny was hitting .207 in 10 games for the Ironbirds but he got injured and hasn’t played since June 30.

Randy Henry had one rocky outing for Aberdeen and then went on the DL


And I leave you with this today – Ty Kelly has gone 21 games without committing an error. 

Game three at 7:05 tonight!