F-Cats split road trip, but continue strong offensive performance

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400 Miles to Toronto: New Hampsire Fisher Cats Column

It’s April 26, here’s the state of things on the path 400 miles to Toronto and beyond.

Quick Recap

Road trip #2 of the season for the Fisher Cats ended with a 3-3 record, although to their form so far this year, it could have easily been 6-0 if not for a few things here and there.

One certainty for New Hampshire this season has been the offense, which continued to roll in these series against Reading and Binghamton.

They grabbed at least eight hits in each game during the trip and they’re either at or near the top of the Eastern League in every offensive category.

Oh yes, almost forgot to mention that Vladimir Guerrero Jr. set a single month Fisher Cats record for RBI on Tuesday with 19. He’s up to 22 as of today and he still has four more games left until May.

New Hampshire can slug, but it’s clear that Fisher Cats manager John Schafer also has confidence in playing small ball, although Guerrero’s failed stolen base attempt in the ninth inning stunted the ‘Cats momentum on Monday against Binghamton.

The question mark has been the pitching. Sean Reid-Foley and Jon Harris contributed strong starts during the trip, but there is still cause for concern regarding Francisco Rios given the lack of good performances this year following an injury plagued 2017 campaign.

Even the Fisher Cat bats couldn’t make up for Rios’ series opener against Binghamton, where he left after recording just one out, giving up six Rumble Pony runs in the process.

Fisher Cats of the Week

Batter: Cavan Biggio – Let’s see…. Three home runs, nine RBI, two stolen bases, 9-for-20, and an OPS that’s now over 1.000….

Starting Pitcher: Sean Reid-Foley – Eventually Jon Harris will end up with this honor if he keeps up his current output, but he’s still not up to the standard that Reid-Foley has set so far this year.

Reid-Foley lowered his ERA to 1.47 during the road swing, good for fifth in the Eastern League among qualified pitchers.

Relief Pitcher: Conor Fisk – The Fisher Cats haven’t found a tried and true closer yet this year, but Fisk might be in line for the gig. Fisk contributed six innings of near perfect relief during two appearances during the road trip.

Around the Horn

With the promotion of Lourdes Gurriel Jr. to the big leagues, New Hampshire added catcher Ryan Hissey from extended spring training.

Hissey was 1-for-4 in the final game of the Reading series, although it looks like he will have a hard time cracking into the Max Pentecost/Patrick Cantwell platoon behind the plate.

On Deck

The Fisher Cats return to Manchester on Friday for a six-game homestand, split between the Trenton Thunder (Friday to Sunday) and the Reading Fightin’ Phils (Monday to Wednesday)