Bats Rack: Bats (and Todd?) Return Home


The Louisville Bats return home today for an off day followed by the first of a 10-game homestand tomorrow. Surprisingly, Todd Frazier will be returning with the Bats. Frazier was called up to the big league club on May 23 and was optioned back down the next day after striking out in his only plate appearance.

The Bats will play a pair of four game series against Scranton (Yankees), Syracuse (Nationals), and a two-game series with Columbus (Indians). The Bats are currently 26-20, 6 GB of Columbus, who stand at 32-14.

The Bats’ offense has been stellar all season. Here’s a look at some offensive categories, and where the Bats stand league-wise in that categorey:

You may be wondering, how exactly do you have such a stellar offense, yet you’re record is only 26-20? Look at what Bats pitching has given up:

Simply put, it doesn’t matter how many runs you score if your bullpen is only going to give up that number. The Bats have lost 5 times in their opponents’ final at-bat. When they are tied or trail after 7 innings, the Bats are just 4-16–but they do have 8 come from behind wins this year–including coming back from a 5-0 deficit yesterday vs. Norfolk (Orioles) and coming back from a 6-0 deficit vs. Durham (Rays) on May 20.

One thing that will help the Bats get going is the return of Dave Sappelt. Sappelt was injured chasing down a ball on April 30. He was removed from that game, placed on the DL, and hasn’t returned since. In his absence, the Bats are 10-13, including a five game losing streak from May 1 – May 5. There hasn’t been an official word on Sappelt’s return from the DL, but hopefully it will come soon.

Who’s Hot

Juan Francisco – Juan was placed on rehab May 9 and optioned to Louisville May 17. He has hit safely in all 15 games he’s played since joining the club–including 8 multi-hit performances. In that time, Francisco’s line reads: .364/.382/.561 with 2 HR 11 RBI and 7 doubles. This is the definition of raking in baseball. Once Juan can get his fielding straight (career FLD% of .912) he could be a very valuable third basemen for years to come.

Jeremy Hermida – Speaking of raking, that’s all Hermida has done all year. So much so that it’s almost expected and has become old news. Heremida has 9 multi-hit performances in his 27 GP this season. So far this year, Hermida is hitting .324/.410/.539 with 4 HR, 16 RBI, and 10 doubles. Like I said, he’s been doing so good all year, it’s almost like it’s expected for him to get a hit every game.

Yonder Alonso – He’s cooled off a little bit in his last ten games, but still has a line of .341/.422/.580 with 3 HR, and 16 RBI in May. Alonso has 15 multi-hit games this season and had a 12-game hitting streak from May 5 – May 17. And he’s slowly but surely getting better in left field. He’s still a little slow getting a jump on the ball, but he does seem to be getting better. I say give him a few more weeks and we’ll be discussing his call-up to play LF.

Some other notes:

Justin Lehr has been added to the Bats’ roster. He was one of five pitchers to watch for before the season started. Lehr, 33, brings a veteran presence to a young ball club. Lehr picked up the win in relief yesterday for the Bats.

— Rick Sweet has been quoted many times saying this team is extremely talented, but they tend to “go through the motions” because of their youth. Proof of this: The Bats are 9-4 against +.500 teams, meaning they come to play against good teams. On the other side of the spectrum, the Bats are just 16-14 against below-.500 teams, meaning they “go through the motions,” as the skipper puts it.

— When the Bats hit a HR they are 21-8.

— Of the 11 Bats players who have at least 60 ABs, 5 of them are batting over .300. Those 11 players combine for a .290 AVG.

— From 5/11 – 5/24 the Bats have had at least three players with multi-hit games 11 of 14 games.

Aroldis Chapman pitched a perfect first inning 5/23 at Norfolk. He threw just 8 pitches, 6 for strikes.

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