Posts Tagged ‘Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs’

Now Pitching For The Cleveland Indians…

The Indians are planning to call up top prospect Carlos Carrasco, obtained from the Phillies in a trade deadline deal for Cy Young Award winner Cliff Lee, to make his major league debut on Tuesday:

It’s no surprise that the Indians, who have taken major heat from their fan base for dealing Lee and catcher Victor Martinez before the deadline, are anxious to show off some of the talent they got back. Marson will also join the Indians, and chances are Donald would have too if it weren’t for back spasms that landed him on the DL at Columbus.

Carrasco, 22, was 6-9 with a 5.18 ERA in 20 starts for Lehigh Valley prior to the trade, 5-1 with a 3.19 ERA in six starts for Columbus after.  He struck out 148 batters in 157 innings between the two stops.

As noted above, he is expected to be joined by Columbus teammate Lou Marson, a 23-year-old catcher who also came over from the Phillies in the Lee trade.  The move has had the opposite effect on Marson, who has gone from .294/.382/.370 with the IronPigs to .235/.300/.309 with the Clippers.  He is currently mired in a 1-31 slump.


The Minor Links

More good stuff about the world of minor league baseball. If you read something that belongs in The Minor Links, please do pass it along to

Raul Ibanez loves “The Office”?  I think I heart Raul Ibanez (The Hog Blog)

John Sickels breaks down the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers (Minor League Ball)

Nick Hill may be a darkhorse candidate to help out the Mariners bullpen within the next year or two (U.S.S. Mariner)

Rhett Barber must have broken a mirror during his senior year of high school; fortunately, his seven years of bad luck appear to be over and he is pitching well for the Alexandria Aces (The Town Talk)

“Sugar” is being released on DVD and Blu-Ray (Baseball Musings)

Marty Popham, a pitcher for the Cleveland Indians Short Season affiliate in Mahoning Valley, pitched seven no-hit innings on Wednesday before being pulled; Austin Adams gave up an infield single with two outs in the ninth to end the no-no (Indians Prospect Insider)

Cooper Brannan lost part of his left hand in Iraq about 3 1/2 years ago; he was just released by the Padres, then caught on with the American Defenders of New Hampshire (Nashua Telegraph)

The Z-Meter: 6/5/2009

The Z-meter tracks the story arcs of 25 top prospects (or players we just like) on their way to the bigs. It is named after current Washington Nationals star Ryan Zimmerman, who made the transition from anchoring the University of Virginia to starring in MLB in one year.


Jordan Zimmermann: Syracuse Chiefs (AAA) to Washington Nationals (MLB)
Matt LaPorta: Columbus Clippers (AAA) to Cleveland Indians (MLB)
Daniel Bard: Pawtucket Red Sox (AAA) to Boston Red Sox (MLB)
Mat Gamel: Nashville Sounds (AAA) to Milwaukee Brewers (MLB)
Fernando Martinez: Buffalo Bisons (AAA) to New York Mets (MLB)
Matt Wieters: Norfolk Tides (AAA) to Baltimore Orioles (MLB)
Antonio Bastardo: Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs (AAA) to Philadelphia Phillies (MLB)
Andrew McCutchen: Indianapolis Indians (AAA) to Pittsburgh Pirates (MLB)

Antonio Bastardo: Reading Phillies (AA) to Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs (AAA)

Madison Bumgarner: San Jose Giants (A) to Connecticut Defenders (AA)
Yonder Alonso: Sarasota Reds (A) to Carolina Mudcats (AA)

I know a few people who live in Pittsburgh, and they are spitting, cussing mad that Nate McLouth – a rare All-Star for the Buccos – has been traded to Atlanta. From my somewhat vulturine Z-meter perch, however, I am pleased that this has happened, because it means that we finally get to see what Andrew McCutchen can do in PNC Park. Andy Mac is a pretty classic table-setter; he gets on base, is a threat to steal, and scores more than he drives in. His range in the outfield should be a serious boon to the Pirates as well. In fact, he already went 3/4 with a swipe and three runs in his debut.

To replace him, we’re going with a legacy pick. Kyle Drabek is the son of 1990 Cy Young winner (in Pittsburgh!) Doug Drabek. He appears to be following in dad’s windup, piling up enough strikeouts at Sarasota to earn a promotion to Reading just this week. This whole edition of the Z-meter has a very Pennsylvania feel to it, doesn’t it?

Wade Davis has had middling numbers so far this year, but the Rays might take a closer look at him after this week’s start. Davis threw 13 strikeouts in a game that ended up as a loss for the Durham Bulls. Still… thirteen! Poor old Carlos Carrasco finally got his first win in Lehigh, beating the McCutchen-less Indianapolis Indians on June 4th. Keep ya head up, Carlos!

The top level. These prospects are in AAA in the prime of their youth, waiting for the call that will change their lives.

Wade Davis, RHP – Durham Bulls (Rays): 11 Games – 5W – 3L – 3.51 ERA – 26 BB – 45 K

Kila Kaaihue, 1B – Omaha Royals – .278 – 36 R – 8 HR – 25 RBI – 49 BB – 0 SB – .521 SLG – .955 OPS

Alcides Escobar, SS – Nashville Sounds (Brewers): .296 – 41 R – 2 HR – 15 RBI – 13 BB – 22 SB – .399 SLG – .737 OPS

Carlos Carrasco, RHP – Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs (Phillies): 11 Starts – 1 W – 6 L – 5.14 ERA – 17 BB – 63 K

Austin Jackson, OF – Scranton Wilkes-Barre (Yankees): .348 – 29 R – 1 HR – 26 RBI – 20 BB – 11 SB – .465 SLG – .885 OPS

These guys also have the potential to skip straight to the majors, but may get promoted to AAA first.

Lars Anderson, 1B – Portland SeaDogs (Red Sox): .243 AVG – 26 R – 6 HR – 30 RBI – 23 BB – 0 SB – .405 SLG – .734 OPS

Jhoulys Chacin, RHP – Tulsa Drillers (Rockies): 10 Starts – 3 W – 4 L – 3.38 ERA – 20 BB – 45 K

Carlos Santana, C – Akron Aeros (Indians): .284 AVG – 35 R – 9 HR – 37 RBI – 37 BB – 0 SB – .547 SLG – .964 OPS

Justin Smoak, 1B (injured) – Frisco RoughRiders (Rangers): .325 AVG – 28 R – 6 HR – 25 RBI – 32 BB – 0 SB – .503 SLG – .947 OPS
Andrew Locke, OF – Corpus Christi Hooks (Astros): .363 AVG – 35 R – 10 HR – 57 RBI – 16 BB – 0 SB – .585 SLG – .987 OPS 
Madison Bumgarner, LHP – Connecticut Defenders (Giants): 5 Games – 4 Starts – 4 W – 0 L – 1.86 ERA – 8 BB – 29 K
Jeanmar Gomez, RHP – Akron Aeros (Indians): 6 Starts – 4 W – 2 L – 2.77 ERA – 5 BB – 33 K
Yonder Alonso, 1B – Carolina Mudcats (Reds): .313 AVG – 3 R – 0 HR – 3 RBI – 3 BB – o SB – .500 SLG – .921 OPS
Kyle Drabek, RHP – Reading Phillies (Phillies): 1 Start – 1 W – 0 L – 0.00 ERA – 3 BB – 4 K

These guys have vast potential but need to work out some kinks in A-ball before they can advance.

Ian Gac, 1B – Bakersfield Blaze (Rangers): .231 AVG – 15 R – 7 HR – 20 RBI – 12 BB – 0 SB – .440 SLG – .729 OPS

Mike Moustakas, SS – Wilmington Blue Rocks (Royals): .263 AVG – 33 R – 7 HR – 35 RBI – 11 BB – 2 SB – .433 SLG – .734 OPS

Pedro Alvarez, 3B – Lynchburg Hillcats (Pirates): .240 AVG – 26 R – 9 HR – 41 RBI – 31 BB – 1 SB – .448 SLG – .792 OPS

Che-Hsuan Lin, OF – Salem Red Sox: .217 AVG – 24 R – 1 HR – 16 RBI – 21 BB – 7 SB – .289 SLG – .600 OPS

Josh Vitters, 3B – Peoria Chiefs (Cubs): .348 AVG – 33 R – 13 HR – 34 RBI – 5 BB – 2 SB – .610 SLG – .995 OPS

Shooter Hunt (injured), RHP – Beloit Snappers (Twins): 7 Games – 5 Starts – 0 W – 1 L – 10.70 ERA – 33 BB – 18 K

Collin Cowgill, OF – Visalia Rawhide (Diamondbacks): .273 AVG – 37 R – 6 HR – 33 RBI – 23 BB – 9 SB – .459 SLG – .822 OPS

Mauricio Robles, P – West Michigan Whitecaps (Tigers): 10 Starts – 4 W – 3 L – 3.91 ERA – 23 BB – 70 K

Tim Beckham, SS – Bowling Green Hot Rods (Rays): .291 AVG – 21 R – 3 HR – 29 RBI – 14 BB – 1 SB – .413 SLG – .757 OPS

Ezekiel Spruill, RHP – Rome Braves (Braves): 10 Games – 9 Starts – 7 W – 2 L – 1 SV – 3.05 ERA – 9 BB – 46 K

Brad Brach, RHP – Fort Wayne TinCaps (Padres): 23 Games – 0 Starts – 1.13 ERA – 3 W – 2 L – 15 SV – 5 BB – 32 K

NCAA: Only used if a prospect in college shows really, truly, immensely, hugely inescapable potential.

Stephen Strasburg, RHP – San Diego State: 14 Starts – 13 W – 1 L – 1.32 ERA – 19 BB – 195 K

Strasburg and the Aztecs were eliminated from postseason play in their regional. Let the draft watch begin.

Prospects chosen from Diamond Cutter’s Top 25, Baseball America, and our trademark irrational sense of whimsy.

The Iron Pigs have Lost their Dog

This was an unusual news item, but if you live in the Allentown, PA area, you might run across Champ roaming your neighborhood or locked up at your local shelter. Here’s the description from the Iron Pigs:



Champ (see photo above), a 4-year-old Shepherd Mix and a member of the IronPigs front office, got loose on Friday night following the IronPigs-Yankees game at Coca-Cola Park and is currently missing. Champ is mostly brown with some black on his back and is wearing a purple collar. He is a medium to large-sized dog weighing roughly 50 to 75 pounds. He answers to the name, Champ.

If found, please call (610) 554-0474.

*** The IronPigs are offering a reward for anyone that finds Champ. ***

The IronPigs Front Office Thanks You For Your Help In Finding Our Lost Dog.

In the Bus Leagues, Winning Isn’t Everything

There are many reasons to love the minor leagues. I hope, for most, that the chance to see skilled players compete in one’s own back yard is at the core of the experience. But I cannot, and will not deny that the extraneous stuff is a blast, as well. That’s why this blog has tags for promotions, mascots, and other non-baseball entertainment options that go along with the ballpark atmosphere.

But sometimes the style overshadows the substance, as in the case of the brand-spanking-new triple-A Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs (Phillies). The pigs, to coin a phrase, suck. At 19-40, they not only anchor the Northern Division of the International League, but have easily garnered the worst record in all of AAA ball.

But man, can they move some merchandise.

Tina Gust, Director of Licensing for MiLB, will only state that the Pigs are among the top 25 in merchandise sales, a feat that club officials attribute to their bold choices of nickname and mascot.

The team hired Plan B. Branding to design its snorting pig, which exhales smoke from his snout on the team’s Web site, and has rivets or bolts in IronPigs letters below.

“We’re kind of risk takers and wanted our logo to reflect that,” said IronPigs general manager Kurt Landes, whose team starts a four-game series at Victory Field tonight. “In the end, you truly have an iron pig, its own species. When that pig is mean, he’s mean.

“But when he smiles, the kids can love him.”

[Indianapolis Star]

In general, the Pigs seem to be going for a nuttier vibe than other IL teams. They also have a dance team that doubles as the grounds crew. They’re known as the Dancing Dirt Dudes.

I’m in favor of family fun at the ballpark, and a minor-league club is supposed to develop talent first and foremost, so far be it from me to keep you away from the Iron Pigs store. Browse and enjoy! Here’s hoping they start winning next season when all of this has grown a bit stale.

Spotlight on AAA Ball – 5/2/2008

Five games with the Nashville Sounds (Brewers). You’d think Mike Cameron had been sentenced to a decade of hard labor, the way he talks. []

Check this out: Wolf Blitzer loves AAA Ball. Especially the Buffalo Bisons (Indians). Interview courtesy of our old friend Ted Bauer, who wrote the late, great blog A Price Above Bip Roberts. [ESPN the]

Oh, I do love these kooky administrative bets. The GMs of the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees and the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs (Phillies) have wagered their professional services on the outcome of the season series, which spans 16 games this year. Of course, it’s not GM abilities that will be required from the losing exec, but bat boy duties. This just got a wholllle lot more interesting. [SWB Yankees]

Paul Janish, a shortstop for the Louisville Bats (Reds) broke out of a slump in a big way, going 4-4 with six RBIs and just missing the cycle on an official scorer’s decision that took away a triple. See, we CAN write about the Bats without mentioning Jay Bruce or Homer Bailey (oops). []

The Salt Lake Bees (Angels) have won 92% of their games to start this season. The subsequent callups of SS Brandon Wood and 3B Matt Brown might slow their roll, though. []

That’s it for AAA news. I’ll be attending a West Virginia Power (Brewers) vs. Delmarva Shorebirds (Orioles) game this weekend, so look for photos to grace the A-ball news on Monday.

AAA Spotlight: Rehab Start Edition 4/25/2008

We started this blog right at the end of the season last year, so we didn’t have a lot of posts before we went into hibernation. But one that did attract attention was a post about the new Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs (Phillies), who opened play this season. The nickname alone is noteworthy, but as I perused the roster, I found something even better – it turns out Kris Benson is an Iron Pig. My favorite part of his official bio is this offhand remark: “Married, wife’s name is Anna”. I wonder if the offer to sleep with all of his teammates if/when Kris cheats still applies in triple-A? [Iron Pigs Baseball]

And, speaking of washed up, Mike Hampton will be coming to Richmond (Braves) soon, trying to make his way back to the parent club. []

And, the Red Sox hope Bartolo Colon will be ready to play for the Pawtucket club on Cinco de Mayo. I can’t decide if that’s racist or not. []

Tony Gwynn, Jr. just got back from Nashville, and he’s not havin’ it. “You get a taste of this, and then you go back down there and realize why you don’t want to go back down there,” Gwynn said. “It’s the big leagues! It’s kind of self explanatory.” Hey! Some of us like it down here. []

And, you’ve already read OMDQ’s ode to Curtis Granderson, and his advice for Scott Kazmir, who both spent some time slumming it with the rest of us this past week.

That’s it! See you next week!