Are the Fisher Cats in a slump? If so, it’s still a slump most Eastern League teams would dream of having.
It’s May 10, 2018. Here’s what’s going on the road 400 miles to Toronto.
May 3 – Binghamton 10, New Hampshire 6
May 4 – New Hampshire at Binghamton ppd.
May 5 – Game 1: New Hampshire 4, Binghamton 2. Game 2: New Hampshire 6, Binghamton 5
May 6 – New Hampshire at Binghamton ppd.
May 7 – New Hampshire 10, Portland 2
May 8 – Portland 5, New Hampshire 3
May 9 – Portland 7, New Hampshire 1
So…. big takeaways from this week……Well, we’ve moved from snow delays to rain delays for one. The offense is still amazing on most nights, although the lack of plate discipline in the final two Portland games were a cause for some concern.
However, the big question with the Fisher Cats right now (outside of whether Vladimir Guerrero Jr. is already packing his bags to the big leagues and we just don’t know it yet) is the starting rotation.
Sean Reid-Foley and Jordan Romano have been automatic, Francisco Rios and Nick Tepesch have struggled (with Fisher Cats manager John Schneider giving them both relief work on Monday) and Jon Harris has been vulnerable to big innings, giving up multiple runs in three innings this week alone.
This week also marked the first Double-A starting appearance for 2016 Toronto Blue Jays first round draftee T.J. Zeuch, the loss on May 8. Like Harris, Zeuch was done in by one bad inning, a five-run fifth that chased him from the contest.
It goes to assume that New Hampshire’s potent offense will still keep them within reach in just about any game, almost a quarter of their wins have been come-from-behind wins, with both wins on Saturday coming from a deficit. It’s just a matter of whether the pitching can keep things close enough for the offense to put the game away.
Fisher Cats of the Week
Batter: Vladimir Guerrero Jr. – Not a bad week for Harold Ramirez (8-for-21) or Jonathan Davis (7-for-24 with three doubles), but Vlady is the easy choice here, winning Eastern League Player of the Week for the second time already this season.
Guerrero extended his hitting streak to 14 games, grabbing two hits in four of his six appearances this week. He also grew his lead as the Eastern League’s current RBI king, adding 10 RBI this week to put him at 35, nine ahead of Binghamton’s Peter Alonso.
Starting Pitcher: (tie) Sean Reid-Foley/Jordan Romano – Romano won the first half of Saturday’s doubleheader and Reid-Foley won the Portland opener, with both pitchers submitting almost identical performances.
Relief Pitcher: Kirby Snead – The 23-year-old southpaw allowed just one run in eight appearances for Advanced-A Dunedin before promotion to the Fisher Cats this week and he continued that trend, recording 13 outs in three appearances without allowing any hits or runs.
Around the Horn
Bo Bichette, Davis and Guerrero continue to hold a firm grip on shortstop, third base and centerfield respectively, with that trio taking up the first three spots in the lineup on most days.
Andrew Guillotte, Ramirez, Connor Panas and Cavan Biggio all saw playing time in each game this week, albeit with a bit more flexibility, with Gunnar Heidt often filling in where needed to help fill in gaps.
Along with the additions of Zeuch and Snead, New Hampshire also bid farewell to Conor Fisk, who will get a chance at Triple-A Buffalo.
Reliever Craig Breslow was placed on the 7-day disabled list, eligible to return to action today in Pennsylvania.
The Fisher Cats now meet their first non-division foe of the season, the Harrisburg Senators.
They begin their series against the Double-A affiliate of the Washington Nationals tonight, playing four games before a three-game set in Hartford against the Yard Goats.