Hurricanes Baseball Reporter
Week 2 of preseason kicked off with 6 innings of practically hitless ball. After tonight’s display of lack of hitting, if things don’t start heating up with the bats we might be looking at a frustrating season ahead. Complicating the picture is the team will be without one of its power hitters, Carlos Perez, for at least the first month. Carlos is recovering from an operation on his thumb which he had recently had operated on. Must have happened during the hiatus period. Fortunately, we still have two talented catchers in Max Romero and Jacoby Long to fill the void. Still, the way the team is not hitting the bat of Carlos will be dearly missed.
Nothing super special with the pitching tonight. What was special was the hitting or lack thereof. The offense only managed to come away with just 4 singles in a pretty pathetic display of not being able to hit the ball. For the most part, if they were able to get on base, it was via one of 14 walks given up. when they weren’t walking, for the most part, they were striking out which they did for a record-breaking 22 times. You do the math. That is almost 2 strikeouts per half inning. My question is what are they doing in this state-of-the-art batting facility. Hitting always lags behind the pitching at this stage of the season, but the disparity this year has been far worse than years prior.
Of the 8 pitchers tonight, the one pitcher who stood out far brighter than the others was Jordan Dubberly. He definitely threw his hat in the ring for a Wednesday night starting position. He opened tonight’s scrimmage opposite Ronaldo Gallo. Each pitched 2 innings. Jordan struck out 5 of the 6 batters he faced. Yoyo was the only one able to make contact within the field of play but grounding out 6-3.
Ronaldo got off to a slow start and had trouble finding the plate starting with walking Dorian Gonzalez, the first of three that would follow for the 6 batters faced without retiring the side. Dorian reached first via the walk, followed it up stealing second. So far this season we have not seen aggressiveness on the base pads and if this team is going to put runs on the board they need to be more proactive this season. Jacob Burke followed Dorian with an RBI single for the initial run of the game. Once again, aggressiveness on the pads paid dividends with Burke stealing and going to 3rd on a PB. That set it up for Ariel Garcia to bring Jacob home on a rare fly to the OF (SF9) making the score 2-0 end of the 1st. Two consecutive walks followed the SF ending the inning without the final out. Ronaldo rebounded in the second striking out the first two batters faced looking (Carrier, Rosario), walking Henry Wallen and retiring Jacoby Long with strikes. For Ronaldo, a mixed bag of walks and strikeouts.
Next to follow for 2 innings were Jamar Fairweather and David Rossow. Jamar had 2 Ks for the 3 batters faced in his first inning. The next inning had an initial walk who eventually made it to third, a hit batter who ended on second (steal) and with runners on 2nd and 3rd striking out Wallen looking for the 3rd out. Four of the 6 outs recorded came with the batter looking at the third strike.
David, like Ronaldo, also ran into problems in the walk department in his first inning on the mound. Initially walked Gaby Gutierrez. Edgardo Villegas following hits a grounder to second which should have been an easy 4-6-3 DP but instead ball was thrown wide of 2nd advancing Gaby to 3rd. Runners on the corners Dominic strikes out. David walks Jones to load the bases and does the same to JP for a free tip to home. Bases still loaded Gaby making his 2nd appearance in the inning SF9 for the second run in the inning. Gino seeing enough shuts the inning down with only one out recorded. Things did not get much better the following inning for Ronaldo facing the same fate of loading the bases coming from a one-out single followed up with a pair of walks to load the bases and for the second time walks in another run. Once again Gino pulls the plug before the final out. Say the least, Ronaldo did not make any points tonight of moving up the charts in the BP. Don’t expect to see his number called for a while come the regular season.
For the final two innings, we got to see 4 pitchers each throwing a single inning. Rafe Schlesinger and Anthony Arguelles pitched the 5th. Neither gave up a run. Rafe started out great with back-to-back strikeouts before giving up back-to-back hits to Jones and Gates. left stranded on 1st and 2nd with a PO to second. Anthony also had a pair of strikeouts squeezed between a walk and ended the inning with CJ Kayfus caught stealing second.
Final inning Alejandro Torres faced off against Andrew Walters. As with Schlesinger and Arguelles neither gave up a run. Torres also had a pair of strikeouts along with a walk. The same with Andrew. The difference between the two is unlike Torres after walking Pitelli with one out, Dominic steals second and on a pickoff move advances to third on an E1. Takes back-to-back strikeouts to end the inning and bring an end to tonight’s scrimmage.
Offensively, there was no offense with just 4 singles scattered around. They have two weeks to get their act in gear before opening day. It would be an embarrassment if the Alums put the lumber to them which has not been done for as long as I can remember. Pitching might be the only thing that will save them.
Try again on Friday to wake up those sleeping bats. Scheduled start time 415 for 6 innings.