The Barons have reached rock bottom. 30 games under .500 for the season. The only goal I can see for them for the rest of the season is to make sure they win at least 8 more games so that they avoid 100 losses. With 44 games left to play, and with the Barons averaging 1 win every 5 games played, they will be cutting it close. Because of illness, dead car batteries and rain delays, I only managed to see half of the 7 game homestand. I also missed both appearances by Kyle Bellamy, so I can't give a report on him just yet, except that he's very skinny. I also missed both wins and 3 of the 4 homeruns hit by the Barons. I did buy the 2010 Barons card set. It was surprisingly pieced together, usually it features the players that were with the team around the beginning of May. But, this year's set features many of the recent roster additions along with a picture of Ryan Ouellette on the Ricky Brooks card. Rushed perhaps?
I did witness both starts made by Charlie Leesman. Boy, was it bad. I assume he was promoted to push him since it seems he was underachieving in Winston-Salem. He was averaging only 5 innings a start there, he has only compiled 9.1 innings in 2 starts for Birmingham. His biggest problem seems to be command. He threw 92 pitches on the 14th and 84 on the 19th. Both times, he had many 2 and 3 ball counts. His stuff seems good, he had 6 strikeouts in each start, but he walked 3 in each start as well. This seems typical of pitching prospects in the organization with good stuff. They just nibble way too much instead of attacking hitters and trusting the defense. In a pitchers park like Regions, that should be the gameplan. Lucas Harrell has done the same thing for years now, he throws a ton of pitches and can't go more than 5 innings. Even though he has good stuff. So, Leesman may be a left handed version of Harrell.
Eduardo Escobar has gotten off to a good start with the Barons so far. He has 6 hits, 3 of which are doubles, and 4 RBI in 7 games played. After 5 games, he was bumped up to the 2 hole. He definitely is a smooth fielder with good range and soft hands. He seems very composed at the plate and handled pressure situations well. I couldn't tell if he preferred hitting from the left or right hand side, but he handled both very well. I was pleasantly surprised given that I assumed he would have the most trouble adjusting from A to AA. Plus the bonus of his presence pushing the abominable Greg Paiml to the bench, who by the way was the kids jersey giveaway due to his local ties. Justin Greene is still trying to find his footing here in Birmingham, as his average is just over .200
Tyler Kuhn continues to be my favorite Barons player, sorry if that jinxes you TK. His numbers are not amazing, but as a player, he's the type of guy you'd want on the team. His sudden power boost is no fluke either. He has 3 homeruns on the season, 2 of which he's hit at home, so they're legit homers. I hope he does get a shot at AAA next season, because he may have a bright future as a role player.
I had an interesting conversation with Justin Cassel in the parking lot on Sunday before the game. He told me that he had been rehabbing in Atlanta after having surgery on his shoulder. James Andrews performed the surgery and he's expecting 8 to 9 months of recovery. He had just gotten out of a sling and hasn't been able to do any baseball related activities at all. Justin said he expects to be ready to pitch again around spring training in 2011.
Although it's a rumor I heard, I'll pass it along. The Barons GM is mad at the players because they act like they don't want to play if there is a rain delay. So, to counter act that, he's decided that no matter how long of a rain delay there is, they will play the game. Basically, he's not going to be so quick to call games.
Yay! I get a reprieve from the boring Barons! Until next time...