New Britain went 2-3 this past week and had another two games postponed due to the weather. At 32-26 the Rock Cats are in 5th place in the Eastern League’s Eastern Division a full 10 game behind frontrunner Binghamton. While they’ve been playing at a near 0.500 clip thus far, more wins could be in the team’s future as New Britain received some notable reinforcements from Fort Myers this week.
The recent additions of Rosario (pictured), Sano, Morales and Watts should make wins easier to come by for the Rock Cats. (Photo Credit: Scott Rovak-USA TODAY Sports)
On the same day that Watts joined the team, Chris Pettit (28) and Mark Sobolewski (26) were released from the organization. Neither player was having much success off EL pitching. Sobolewski was hitting 0.165/.231/.248 in 134 PA and Pettit was faring even worse with a 0.129/.214/.194 slash line in 71 PA.
Even if the new additions struggle to adapt to Double-A competition, it won’t take much for them to produce at a higher level. Replacing the contributions of 2B James Beresford (24), who was promoted to Triple-A Rochester on June 10th, will be a tougher task. At the time he was moved up, Beresford was hitting 0.316/.373/.348 in 181 PA.
Unfortunately the Rock Cats lost the services of #4 prospect Alex Meyer who was placed on the 7-day disabled list with a shoulder strain on June 9th. He hadn’t pitched since June 1st when he struck out 10 in 6.2 innings. His Game Score of 74 in that start was Meyer’s best on the year.
As far as in-game performances are concerned, RHP Tom Stuifbergen bounced back from a rough Double-A debut on the 8th to pitch 6.0 innings of one-run baseball on Saturday. He allowed 4 hits and no walks while striking out 7 in what turned out to be the best start from anyone in the rotation last week.
While it didn’t match Stuifbergen’s outing, lefty Logan Darnell (24) was solid in 7.0 innings on Friday night. He allowed 6 hits, 3 runs (2 earned) and 1 walk while striking out 3. He took the loss in the game but it was nice to see him bounce back after two subpar starts. Darnell has a 2.87 ERA and 1.30 WHIP with 68-22 SO-to-BB in 87.2 IP.
From the group of relievers, only lefty Edgar Ibarra stood out allowing 1 hit, 1 walk and no runs in his 3.0 innings of work. His 3 strikeouts this past week give him 30 on the season in 30.2 IP.
Peaking at the Plate:
3B Nate Hanson (26) stood head and shoulders above his teammates last week putting together a 0.467/.471/1.067 line in 15 at bats with 3 R, 3 2B, 2 HR, 6 RBI, 1 BB and 4 SO. The Chanhassen, MN native also had the best single game of the week going 2-3 with a 2B, HR and 5 RBI on Saturday.
1B Reynaldo Rodriguez (27) was Hanson’s sidekick hitting 0.375/.389/.813 with 3 R, 2B, 2 HR, 5 RBI and 6 SO in 16 AB.
The rest of the offense was inconsistent. Collectively the team scored 22 runs (4.4 rpg) in their 5 games but that number is a bit misleading as half of those were scored on June 9th against Bowie and another 8 came Saturday night against Harrisburg. If you’re doing the math as you follow along, you know that means the Rock Cats scored a total of just three runs in their other three games (not surprisingly they lost those three).
None of the newcomers has made a huge splash with New Britain just yet though Rosario has a hit in three of his first four games (0.250/.357/.333) including a 2B. Sano is just 1-8 but has drawn 4 walks already, scored twice and has driven in 2 runs. Morales has just one hit in a dozen at bats and six strikeouts, but his hit was a home run.