So, here we are. Once again the Bats trail Columbus (Indians) in the division by a substantial margin on the final day of July. Last year it was 8.5 games. This year it’s 9.5 games. They trail Pawtucket by 3.5 games for the wild card. Considering all the movement that’s been going on lately and the number of guys playing positions they’re not used to, that’s not bad. The Bats will be in Pawtucket (Red Sox) for 3 more games (3-2 win last night) with a chance to close the gap in the wild card, then it’s on to Scranton (Yankees) for a four game set.
A couple of new faces have made a great first impression on me. One is Felix Perez. I only saw him for one game, but he is very athletic, has some good speed, and what looks like a pretty decent bat (his .267/.298/.361 in Carolina says otherwise, though). The other is Denis Phipps, who leads off the Who’s Hot list for this BRM Bats Update:
Denis Phipps – Just looking at Phipps’ 6’2” frame, you’d think he’s got to be pretty good. And he is. Phipps covers a lot of ground in center field (made a diving catch in yesterday’s game) and has a cannon of an arm. And his bat? That’s good too. His slugging percentage isn’t high (.387), but he’s been clutch for the Bats in his 7 games with the team thus far (4-10 with 7 RBI). If Phipps keeps hitting the way he’s started and his power numbers come around, Bats fans will forget about that Yonder Alonso guy.
Devin Mesoraco – Mesoraco has been stellar all season. He has a line of .316/.357/.395 with 7 RBI in his last 10 games. And if the Bats have runners in scoring position, every Bats fan looks to the on-deck circle in hopes of seeing Devin there. He boasts a season line of .340/.430/.519 with 2 HR, 11 doubles, 1 triple, and 49 RBI with RISP. The only thing holding Mesoraco back from being in a Reds uniform is his defensive ability, which is getting better each game. It won’t be too much longer, Reds fans.
Carlos Fisher – Uhm, I don’t know why I am just now noticing this, but Carlos Fisher has been absolutely outstanding for the Bats this year. Fisher is 2-0 with 6 saves and a 2.70 ERA. He’s gone 9 straight outings—and 11.2 innings—without giving up a run. In that span, Fisher’s struck out 13 batters and walked just 3. Fisher has been part of turning around a bullpen that a couple of weeks ago was in a complete funk. Hopefully, the Reds leave Fisher in Louisville so he can continue to hold down the fort in the late innings and the Bats can make a good stretch run at the playoffs.
The Bats have a long road ahead of them if they are to make the playoffs for the 4th straight season. But if these guys mentioned about stay hot, that road may seem a lot shorter.