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Minor League Report – 5/3

May 3, 2013, 5:00 PM EDT

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Syracuse Chiefs – 9-16 (Last in Int’l League North)

Offensive Player of the Week
First baseman Chris Marrero continues to rake with multi-hit games in five of his last seven outings. He ranks second in the International League in home runs (6) and fourth in RBI (20). The Chiefs’ cleanup hitter, Marrero leads the team in both categories and is third in runs with 11 on the season. He also ranks second with a .354 average this year with a team-leading OPS of 1.048. 
Pitcher(s) of the Week
The Chiefs have three relief pitchers in the middle of solid seasons at the Triple-A affiliate. Lefties J.C. Romero and Fernando Abad, plus right-hander Erik Davis have given Syracuse a trio of reliable options out of the bullpen. Romero has a 0.82 ERA through ten appearances with 14 strikeouts in 11 innings pitched. Abad holds a 1.93 ERA through ten games and Davis is even better with a 1.64 mark and two saves.

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  1. JaneB - May 3, 2013 at 5:07 PM

    I forgot about Chris Marrero. I love you ALR but if you are injured, and you look it, let's give him one last try. Is that mean? I hope not.

  2. SonnyG10 - May 3, 2013 at 5:17 PM

    I wonder how hard Bryan Harper throws.

  3. EmDash - May 3, 2013 at 5:21 PM

    LaRoche has started to come around a bit this series, I think – that double last night probably would've been a home run on a less windy night. Hopefully he can continue to come around this weekend. AJ Burnett may be good for him that way; he's been a very good pitcher this year so far, but lefties are hitting him at a .288/.432/.373 rate this year. He's been murder on righties, though, with a SO/BB rate of 10/1 and an overall line of .145/.181/.246.

  4. EmDash - May 3, 2013 at 5:28 PM

    Players with an OPS over .600 against Burnett: Ramos, Werth, LaRoche, Harper, Suzuki, Span. No one else has a positive track record against him at all.

  5. A DC Wonk - May 3, 2013 at 5:43 PM

    Responding to a couple of comments:Maybe if he stopped grinning he'd throw strikesHow do you explain the grinning _and_ the strikes last year? In fact, I recall that Detwiler cited Gio and his positive attitude as a significant factor that helped Detwiler's attitude while pitching.MZ/Chase wrote:*Lefty Ian Krol, acquired in the Michael Morse trade from the Athletics, has terrific numbers through his first ten games with a 0.61 ERA and 14 strikeouts in 14 2/3 innings.Well, that sounds pretty cool. Anybody know anything about him?

  6. A DC Wonk - May 3, 2013 at 5:44 PM

    1st pitch he swings at if it's close. You pitch him fastball inside off the plate so he either swings or misses or fouls it off to get him 0-1.On the next pitch from a RHP throw him a slider near the inside of the plate under his hands for Strike 2. Now 0-2.On the 3rd pitch, throw him a heater out of the strike zone over the middle of the plate at shoulder height and he will swing out of his cleats for that swing & miss.Arggh!! I was having a flashback about Rick Ankiel!!

  7. A DC Wonk - May 3, 2013 at 5:45 PM

    Number of games played against teams in 2013 that finished at or below .500 in 2012:Braves: 18Nats: 9 Nice catch — a useful reminder of what many of us knew going into the season: that the Nats have a killer first month or so of a schedule. Things will even out later.

  8. Laddie Blah Blah - May 3, 2013 at 5:57 PM

    Thanks, Mark. This is an excellent feature.

  9. Eric - May 3, 2013 at 5:57 PM

    Yeah, and I'll tell you what, I'd rather start off fighting than cruising. Nothing like adversity to remind you of the need to stay sharp at all times.

  10. NatsLady - May 3, 2013 at 5:58 PM

    Update on Opening Day Starters, including some under achievers.Starters after 6http://ladyandthenats.blogspot.com/2013/05/six-packs-opening-day-starters.html

  11. Ghost Of Steve M. - May 3, 2013 at 6:04 PM

    A DC Wonk said… Number of games played against teams in 2013 that finished at or below .500 in 2012:Braves: 18Nats: 9 Nice catch — a useful reminder of what many of us knew going into the season: that the Nats have a killer first month or so of a schedule. Things will even out laterI love that stat!The Nats can beat any team when they play mistake free baseball and that includes fielding errors, mental errors, baserunning mistakes, and failures to execute fundamental plays.One of the biggest plays in Strasburg's loss was his own failure to execute a bunt that turned into a doubleplay when Tracy got picked off 2nd. It went from no outs with men on 1st and 2nd to 2 outs and a runner on 1st.This team has been its own worse enemy in losses.I'm still looking for that spark when the Nats do fall behind to show they can make a great comeback and win a game. That may be the biggest thing missing is the "fight" in these guys.

  12. Eric - May 3, 2013 at 6:09 PM

    "I'm still looking for that spark when the Nats do fall behind to show they can make a great comeback and win a game. That may be the biggest thing missing is the "fight" in these guys."Yes, agreed, although I think it's not so much missing as it is overshadowed by the self-imposed pressure to over perform.That may be the last great unconquered frontier remaining for us in the early season: a gritty, claw-back win.

  13. A DC Wonk - May 3, 2013 at 6:09 PM

    Update on Opening Day Starters…NatsLady, I think that's a cool series, and am looking forward to it all season long. Thanks.Very strange about Matt Cain. I mean: it's strange enough that he's having such an awful season, but what's really odd is that his season opener was 6 inning of shut-out ball.

  14. nats guy - May 3, 2013 at 6:11 PM

    Ian Kroll was the guy suspended from baseball for a while because of using anti gay slurs on social network.

  15. Eric - May 3, 2013 at 6:11 PM

    "That may be the last great unconquered frontier remaining for us in the early season: a gritty, claw-back win."Er, that and beating the freaking Cardinals ;) .

  16. NatsLady - May 3, 2013 at 6:15 PM

    Wonk, thanks. I'm kind of getting the hang of it. Profile one or two guys (mostly random), check out the injuries and trends. The hardest part is formatting the tables. It's endlessly frustrating because what you see is NOT what you get, even if you use the HTML commands as described.

  17. NatsLady - May 3, 2013 at 6:16 PM

    There are various theories on Matt Cain, including that he's not as bad as it looks, but no one has come up with the answer.

  18. EmDash - May 3, 2013 at 6:24 PM

    Cain is definitely an interesting case. SO/BB ratio not down too much, strikeouts up, walks about the same – just more hittable, and with an HR/9 that's gone over *2,* which is to say at least two home runs a game. Which is kind of insane.Gio has a similar problem – after allowing 9 home runs over all of his starts last year he's allowed 4 in 6 starts. He almost certainly couldn't have kept his ratio as low as it was last year, but it's odd to see it regress so severely. Hopefully it's a small sample size fluke for both of them.

  19. Faraz Shaikh - May 3, 2013 at 6:33 PM

    emdash, gio's main and maybe only problem is walks.

  20. nats guy - May 3, 2013 at 6:43 PM

    Gio seems to lose his focus for at least one inning per game. If he is not given the strike zone on his curve he gets all bumfuzzled and frazzled.

  21. Ghost Of Steve M. - May 3, 2013 at 6:50 PM

    Faraz Shaikh said… emdash, gio's main and maybe only problem is walks.Yes, walks have been a big issue in those games he lost. Look again at the Mets and 2 Atlanta games. He got hit hard by the RH batters which was more than usual.I think he needs to rethink coming inside like Detwiler does on the Righties. Gio may have to keep the fastballs outside. The Braves have a lot of hitters like Uggla and Gattis and JUp that crush fastballs inside.The Braves RH batters appeared to step up in the box and were bashing his fastballs. His curveball was still effective. Atlanta "thinks" they have figured Gio out and that's why they were very succesful. Sit on the inside fastball while also hoping for a mistake pitch.Look at this chart for Gio's game 3 nights ago. Leadoff HR to Andrelton Simmons:http://www.brooksbaseball.net/pfxVB/cache/numlocation.php-pitchSel=461829&game=gid_2013_04_30_wasmlb_atlmlb_1&batterX=4&innings=yyyyyyyyy&sp_type=1&s_type=3.gifRBI double to Gattis:http://www.brooksbaseball.net/pfxVB/cache/numlocation.php-pitchSel=461829&game=gid_2013_04_30_wasmlb_atlmlb_1&batterX=8&innings=yyyyyyyyy&sp_type=1&s_type=3.gifChris Johnson RBI single down the middle:http://www.brooksbaseball.net/pfxVB/cache/numlocation_io.php-pitchSel=461829&game=gid_2013_04_30_wasmlb_atlmlb_1&batterX=17&innings=yyyyyyyyy&sp_type=1&s_type=3.gif

  22. Ghost Of Steve M. - May 3, 2013 at 6:53 PM

    nats guy said… Gio seems to lose his focus for at least one inning per game. If he is not given the strike zone on his curve he gets all bumfuzzled and frazzled.Focus is a key and when you give up a leadoff HR to the 1st batter you face, it will mess with your focus and that's what happened Tuesday night.

  23. Sec. 3, My Rocking Fire Sofa - May 3, 2013 at 7:06 PM

    Laddie Blah Blah said…Thanks, Mark. This is an excellent feature.I'm sure he'll mention that to Chase the next time he sees him. ; )

  24. sjm308 - May 3, 2013 at 8:49 PM

    I like this feature as well.There was a poster on here who I have stopped reading that informed us all that Syracuse was as good as some major league teams. Not sure that has worked out so well as far as wins and loses. Also not sure how important wins and loses really are in the minor leagues. To me, its all about player development and I think Rizzo gets a check plus for that. Do you all remember what we were stuck with when this team came to DC. It was horrible.Great posts in the last two articles and I especially liked the data on Atl vs. Washington on strength of schedule etc.

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