JPNese 5/25

A successful homestand for the Barons, winning 6 out of 10. Good news most of the time, but when you were 8-26 going into that 10 gamer, things are still bleak. I managed to catch all ten games, the five against Mobile were played in three days due to a rainout and a scheduled double header. I watched both Johnnie Lowe and Charlie Shirek injure themselves. I got to see Justin Edwards and Brandon Hynick pitch for the first time and got to see Buck Coats ignite the offense. And, a near brawl.

Unfortunately, Coats has been promoted to Charlotte.  Not
surprising as I considered it only a matter of time. I was hoping it
would last longer than 20 games (18 played) though. Coats seemed to
have helped Dale Mollenhauer get things going as he’s raised his average
significantly. Mollenhauer had more hits during the homestand than all
the home games before combined it seemed. John Shelby III wasn’t
helped by having Coats in the lineup as he struggled mightily and sat
many games. When will they put Shelby back in the heart of the order?
It just plain suits him better; he is not a leadoff hitter. In place
of Coats, the Barons received Robbie Hudson in return from Charlotte. Hudson is well liked in Birmingham and will probably play everyday at
shortstop now. Neither Justin Fuller or Greg Paiml have produced, both
are hitting under .200, so Hudson should steal playing time from them.
Hopefully he will bat leadoff as well.

Speaking of a near brawl, that occurred this past Saturday
night when Mobile outfielder Evan Frey was caught in a rundown between
third base and home. Barons pitcher Joe Torres received the throw and
attempted to block the plate. Frey swatted at his glove and ran
into him. Justin Fuller did not take too kindly to that, so he yelled
at Frey and shoved him. The benches cleared, as did the bullpens. The
homeplate ump got in between Fuller and Frey, and in the middle of all
this I could see Barons manager Ever Magallanes yelling at the ump. Magallanes showed more fire that night than he has before since the
start of the 2009 season. He was tossed from the first game Saturday
for arguing a horrendous call at first base. Nothing came about and no
bean ball war occured, sadly. Although, I have a lot more respect for
Justin Fuller now. He’s pugnacious.

Justin Edwards and Brandon Hynick made their Barons debuts
during the homestand.  I’m assuming Hynick will not be here long as I
imagine he’s shaking the rust off before an eventual promotion to
Charlotte. His stuff was “meh,” but he may just be rusty. You can only
replicate so much in extended spring training games and simulated
games. Maybe he’ll be around long enough for me to see him pitch
again. Edwards was also just okay, but he has been pitching for the
best offense in minor league baseball up until now. I’m sure in the
back of his mind, he wasn’t so thrilled to have to join the scuffling
Barons and their below average offense. I know he was happy for the
promotion, but keep in mind the run support he had before and what he
has now.

Johnnie Lowe and Charlie Shirek both were injured during their
last starts. Lowe pulled up lame with what appeared to be a painful
groin injury and was immediately removed from the game. Shirek was
already getting hit hard when he tried to field a screamer back up the
middle with his bare hand. The Barons now have four pitchers on the DL,
three of which are starters. Justin Cassel being the other starter and
Ricky Brooks the other pitcher. Rickwood is next week, until next





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