Hurricanes Baseball Reporter
On the second day of scrimmaging, the cooler temperatures seem to have an inspiring change to the offensive performance tonight. Unlike yesterday, where we only saw a mediocre display of the ball rarely clearing the infield, tonight we saw a lot better contact with the ball with the outfield getting plenty of workout. The cold did not take away from defensive play nor the pitching which felt like it took a step forward. While pitching is still ahead of the hitting, tonight the bats showed they have finally showed some pop. Hopefully, as we get closer to opening day, timing and execution will be ready to pay big dividends. Tonight, was a step forward in all category of play.
Six and a half inning was on tap for tonight with 4 pitchers jockeying for getting first call out of the BP in relief for the coming season. Opening tonight‘s scrimmage were Jake Garland and Carson Palmquist. More than likely we will be seeing Carson either on Friday or Saturday night with leaning towards Friday. I still would like him as closer for his shutdown efficiency. Don’t know if he will be as effective going longer innings. Jake will not dazzle you with speed like some of our other hurlers but he throws a lot of stuff and fairly consistent of staying in the zone.
Jake was very efficient through 2.3 innings where he quickly went through the first 5 batters he faced before coming up against Ariel Garcia who beat out a hit along the 3rd base line. This brought Renzo Garcia who got the controversial RBI double last night from Carrier’s misplaying the ball. There was no doubt tonight with a solid single to right center to tie the score at one after Ariel had advanced to second on a clean steal to set up the scoring opportunity. His moment of glory under the lights was short lived trying to duplicate Renzo by being thrown out attempting to steal second. All said, Jake had a very good overall outing until trying to secure that final out.
Carson like Jake breezed through the first inning looking the sharpest of any of the pitchers seen so far. In the second inning, he ran into trouble and should have made it out of the inning unscathed except for the lights becoming a factor. This is why they are having the scrimmages this spring at night. It is to get the players use to playing under the lights. Edgardo Villegas playing left made the play of the night in the first on a diving catch off the bat of Dominic Pitelli robbing him of a hit. However, just one inning later, like Carrier last night, Edgardo got a late start and just could not repeat the Kodak catch from the first inning allowing Mike Rosario to reach second on a double. A lead off walk to CJ Kayfus now had Carson having runners on second and third no outs. Power hitter Gaby Gutierrez with two runners in scoring position strikes out. One strike away to Jacoby Long just could find that final strike having him ground out 6-3 scoring CJ. Carson one batter later gets his third strike out of the game. Unlike Jake who pitched 3 innings, Carson only tossed two.
Ronaldo Gallo replaced Jake coming in the 4th to pitch two innings. First batter he faced was Yoyo, who laid into one for the longest hit of the night taking the ball all the way to dead center hitting the wall on one bounce for a double. CJ was next to bat and also went to center for an out as did Rosario to deep left center neither of which Yoyo was able to tag to third. Gallo got Gaby to strike out for the second time tonight getting him out of an early jam and 3 very hard hit balls. Next inning everything settled down with 3up/3down.
Relieving Carson was was Jordan Dubberly for two innings. Unlike the others before him, never got himself into any sort of a jam giving up only one hit in the third, single by Dorian Gonzalez, and striking out 2. The 4th, again gave up a single to Carrier but neither runner in either inning got beyond 1st.
Finishing up the evening with two innings each were David Rossow relieving Ronaldo Gallo and Jamar Fairweather in relief of Dubberly. The 6th for both were a bit unsettling with each being scored upon. David started getting into trouble after recording his first out. He hits Renzo Gonzalez and Renzo gets a free trip to 2nd on a balk. Manages to get Burke to fly out to left before having to face Max Romero our other power hitting catcher. Max goes opposite field down the RF line for a double scoring Renzo. The 6th, Fairweather met a similar fate but generated two runs rather than one which Rossow gave up. After recording his first out, four straight hits brought in two runs. Henry Wallen started it off with a single caught stealing second. Bases now empty, Jones doubles follows by an RBI single by Villegas who advances to second on the throw. JP Gates does likewise with a single scoring Edgardo. After a 4 hit outbreak scoring 2 runs Jamar ends tonight frigid festivities striking out Dorian Gonzalez looking.
Overall pitching went well and only started getting ragged in the 6th.
Offensively, a much better performance from last night which was kind of pathetic. More driving shots to the outfield which we only saw 2 the previous night. No one with multiple hits but four with doubles tonight (Max Romero, JD Jones, Yoyo Morales, Mike Rosario). Going to be interesting on how Gino is going to use our three catchers who all hit for power. I expect our hitting will start to get more into sync as we progress into the preseason. Yesterday was the return after a two month hiatus and there was definitely rust on the bats.
Only one error defensively coming in the 5th inning by Yoyo on his throw to 1st but did not result in a run. Overall, they continue to perform both mentally and in execution. Outfielders still need to take command in calling off the infield in deciding who is going to make the catch. This happen a couple of time over the pass two days where it was clearly the OF play and the IF was not called off. This is a need which I am sure will be addressed in the days ahead.
Tomorrow they go at it one final time starting at 1230 for 4.5 innings. I am taking a pass on this and return to the Light on Wed for a scheduled 8 inning scrimmage starting at 630