July 31, 2009 2:18 PM

Bunts and Balks (7/30)


The Lehigh Valley IronPigs (AAA) lost in ten innings on Thursday, 5-4, to the Columbus Clippers. It must have been disconcerting to see two of Wednesday morning's FeHogs, Jason Donald and Lou Marson, in the starting lineup for the Clippers. In a sign of extreme disrespect, Marson and Donald occupied the last two spots in the Columbus batting order.
Drew Carpenter returned to the LV rotation, making his first start since July 19th. He pitched five strong innings, allowing only one run (five hits, two walks/five whiffs). He left with a 3-1 lead, but Francisco Butto, back in AAA (for a limited time only!), followed with one and two-thirds ineffective innings, before departing with LV trailing, 4-3. Jack Taschner got the loss, but should be held blameless, as he retired two of three batters. The one batter he didn't retire reached on an error, and was permitted to score by Gary Majewski.
Pedro Martinez will make a rehab start for LV on Friday night, facing former FeHog Carlos Carrasco. With the parent club playing on the West Coast, this is a good opportunity to tune in to the IronPigs' broadcast.

OF John Mayberry and RHP Steven Register were optioned to Lehigh Valley from the Phillies. Reinforcements! Mayberry should play regularly in the outfield for the IronPigs, with Register adding another arm to the faltering IronPigs bullpen.

RHP Tyson Brummett and RHP Francisco Butto were demoted from Lehigh Valley to Reading (AA). Butto spent one unsuccessful day in AAA. Brummett had been recalled for five days, in an attempt to replenish the pitching staff. Brummett had been demoted to the bullpen in AA, but was recalled to make a start in AAA. He was ineffective, and only ate four innings.

C Kevin Nelson was promoted to Lehigh Valley, from Reading. With starting catcher Lou Marson joining the Clippers, the IronPigs needed another backstop. Reading's starting catcher, Tuffy Gosewisch, is on the DL. That left Nelson, and Tim Kennelly (batting .171, in 12 games at AA) as the options. Given that Kennelly appears overmatched at AA, it was an easy decision. Paul Hoover should be expected to make the vast majority of the starts behind the plate for the IronPigs.

RHP Joe Savery was promoted to Lehigh Valley, from Reading. The IronPigs rotation has been gutted in recent weeks, but now seems to be almost replenished, with Carpenter/Brian Mazone/Gustavo Chacin/Martinez taking four, of the five, spots. Kyle Kendrick could be returning soon, but it appears the FeHogs wanted another starting option, in the interim.
Joe Savery was very impressive before the All-Star break (12-1, 3.48 ERA), but has struggled in his last five starts (27.2 IP, 41 H, 26 ER, 14 BB/19 K). He may be up in AAA just for a start, or two.

The Reading Phillies (AA) defeated the Portland Sea Dogs on Thursday, 2-0.
Vance Worley was coming off four atrocious starts in a row (18.1 IP, 38 H, 30 ER, 6 BB/12 K), but threw six scoreless innings (3 H, 2 BB/3 K), for his seventh win. Scott Mathieson (2 IP, 0 H, 1 K) and Sergio Escalona (1 IP, 2 K, 11th save) completed the shutout.

LHP Jason Mackintosh was placed on the DL, with a left elbow strain. RHP Scott Mathieson was promoted from Clearwater (A). Mathieson continues to roll through the minors. Could see him in AAA (and MLB?), before the end of Mathieson's season. He could be in the mix for the 2010 Phillies' bullpen.

The Clearwater Threshers (A) shut out the Fort Myers Miracle, 2-0. RHP Darren Byrd pitched eight scoreless innings for the win, allowing only four hits (two walks/six whiffs). Byrd has not allowed a run, in his last three starts (nineteen innings). Steve Susdorf went 1 for 3, and his batting average fell to .398.

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