He got off to a sluggish start hitting .242 (16-for-66), with four doubles and two home runs in April. He really struggled with strikeouts, punching out 22 times to just two base on balls. As the weather began to warm up so did Waldrop’s bat. He bounced back from a slow April to have a fabulous May, hitting .304 with seven doubles, a pair of triples and a trio of home runs, with 20 runs batted in. The strikeout numbers were still high, but when he was putting the ball in play, he was seeing great success. He tied for 11th in extra-base hits in the Southern League, seventh in total bases and top 20 in average in May.
As the calendar flipped to June with the All-Star Game approaching, Waldrop seemed to cool off a bit. In 19 games he hit .266, but the good sign was the strikeouts numbers were down and the walk numbers were up. After walking just six times in the first two months, he had six base on balls in 19 games in June, while his strikeouts were way down to just 11 punch outs in 64 at bats.
Waldrop will be a great addition to this Bats club and will fill the void of Steve Selsky, who was put on the disabled list on Tuesday with a left knee meniscus injury. Time will tell if his power thrives in the International League, which has been a pitchers league the last few seasons. The ball doesn’t fly well at Louisville Slugger Field, so we may see a lot more doubles than home runs for Waldrop.
Waldrop has spent most of his time in right field this season, as 172 of his 242 at bats have come as a right fielder, so we will see how that plays out as Yorman Rodriguez, the other top prospect on this Bats club, has been playing right field. That will all play out as the season moves along, but having Waldrop in the lineup is a must for this Bats team that is looking for more offense.
Ryan Ritchey and Robert Davidson discuss the Bats slide in the standings and bring on Mitch Rupert from the Williamsport Sun-Gazette to preview Louisville’s upcoming series against the Lehigh Valley IronPigs.
The All-Star Game is quickly approaching and that means it’s time for the fans to vote for their favorite players. We have been pushing this for a couple of weeks now, but we are down to the last few days to cast your vote. Here are some of the Bats that we believe you should be voting for up until the June 26 deadline.
Outfielder Steve Selsky: “Stone Cold” Steve Selsky is now a qualified hitter after an injury earlier in the season had him sidelined. Now that he is qualified, he is third in the league in batting, with a .317 average, and fourth in on-base percentage at .386. In his last 10 games he has 11 hits, including three multi-hit games and a pair of three-hit games. He has also reached base in 36 of his last 39 games played. So far in June he is a .345 hitter (20-58), eighth best in the league, with four doubles and nine runs batted in.
Infielder Irving Falu: Irving Falu has been a consistent contributor to this Bats club all season long. After jumping out of the gate and hitting .367 in the first month of the season with nine runs batted in, he has come back to earth a bit since. He is currently one of two Bats players, along with Selsky, to be hitting over the .300 mark. Falu is the complete hitter as he also takes his walks, 26 to be exact, which is tied for the team lead with now Reds shortstop Eugenio Suarez.
Outfielder Yorman Rodriguez: Yorman Rodriguez got off to a slow start to begin the season batting just over the Mendoza Line at .203. Since then his average has jumped in both May and June. He is hitting .346 in the month of June, which is tied with teammate Josh Satin for the seventh best average in the International League this month. Rodriguez is still the free swinger that he was at the beginning of the season, but has been working on his plate discipline and has drawn nine walks in June after a combined seven the first two months of the season.
Infielder Josh Satin: Josh Satin is not on the ballot itself, but I would advise that you write his name in at the bottom. The corner infielder has dealt with injuries all season long and only had a combined 56 at bats in the first two months of the season. Since he has gotten back on the field for the month of June he is hitting .346 and is fifth in the circuit in OPS (on-base plus slugging) at .929. He deserves your vote and so do the other three above him.
You can vote for the following players and other Bats players that I may have left out here. #VoteBats all day long, you can vote up to 25 times per email address.
Performance of the Week: Louisville vs. Durham on June 13
After dropping the first two games of their four-game set against Durham, Louisville looked like it was in for another rough night on Saturday, June 13. The Bulls jumped all over right-hander Keyvius Sampson, who was making his Bats debut, with three runs in the first two innings. But the Louisville offense came to life with a five-run frame in the home-half of the second, propelling the Bats to an 8-6 win.
Louisville scored five runs in the second inning on Saturday, June 13 with an RBI single by catcher Ramon Cabrera, a two-run triple by outfielder Jose Constanza, an RBI groundout by outfielder Jason Bourgeois and solo home run by infielder Irving Falu.
The Bats would later tack on a run in the fifth, sixth and seventh inning, highlighted by Cabrera’s first home run of the 2015 campaign, a solo shot in the sixth.
Once Louisville took the lead in the second, Sampson settled in and earned his first win as a Bat. He allowed three earned runs on seven hits and two walks with five strikeouts in six innings of work.
Falu went 4-for-4 with three runs and one RBI in the contest, and Cabrera went 3-for-4 with two runs and two RBI. Right-hander Jumbo Diaz also earned his first save of the season.
Hitter of the Week: “Stone Cold” Steve Selsky
Steve Selsky had a big week for Louisville, batting .476 (10-for-21) with four RBI, two runs, seven walks and one double. The recently converted first baseman tied for the fourth-best batting average in the International League and amassed a .607 OBP, the league’s second-highest mark over the past week. Selsky also had two three-hit games this week and is 9-for-18 (.500) with two run and two RBI in his last five games.
Selsky is also transitioning from the outfield to first base. He made just one of his first 35 starts at first base but nine of his last 14 starts, and each of his last seven, have come at first . When playing first base, Selsky is 15-for-36 (.417) with three runs, six RBI, eight walks, one double and one home run.
Pitcher of the Week: David Holmberg
David Holmberg made just one appearance this week, but it may have been one of his best outings of the season. The lefty allowed just two earned runs on 10 hits over seven innings in his June 15 start against Gwinnett. The outing was his longest of the season, and his fifth consecutive quality start.
Holmberg has been on a roll since he finished April with a 10.59 ERA. He has allowed just 16 runs in nine games with a 2.59 ERA since the beginning of May, and seven of his eight starts since May 1 have been quality starts. Since April, Holmberg has worked no fewer than five and one-third innings and has only worked fewer than six innings once since May 1.
Bats right-hander Nick Christiani passed Brian Shackelford for sole possession of first place on the Bats’ all-time career pitching appearances list Wednesday. He made his 178th career appearance for Louisville and allowed one earned run on four hits in one and two-thirds innings. Shackelford previously held the record at 177. Christiani has a 13-15 record with a 4.39 ERA (107 earned runs in 219 1/3 innings) across five seasons with Louisville. Christiani is also 0-1 with a 4.77 ERA in 13 career games with the Reds in 2013 and 2014.
Louisville also had another busy week of transactions, making eight roster moves over the last seven days. The Bats have now made 81 roster moves on the season, and 31 in the month of June.
On Monday, right-hander Pedro Villarreal was recalled by Cincinnati. Fellow righties Carlos Contreras and Donovan Hand headed north on I-71 to join Villarreal and the Reds on Tuesday. The departure of Contreras, Hand and Villarreal made room for southpaw Joel Bender, who came up from Class-A Daytona on Tuesday, and right-hander Scott Brattvet, who came up from Advanced-A Dayton on Wednesday. Bender worked two and two-thirds scoreless innings before being transferred to Double-A Pensacola on Friday.
Friday also saw the addition of outfielder Brennan Boesch, who was optioned from Cincinnati after going 7-for-56 (.125) in 32g with the Reds this season. Boesch is a career .329 hitter in 118g at Triple-A. Cincinnati also acquired right-hander Collin Balester from Pittsburgh on Friday. This season, Balester was 0-0 with a 3.07 ERA in eight games with Indianapolis, and 1-0 with a 1.77 ERA with Double-A Altoona. He is 25-25 with a 4.60 ERA in 163 games at the Triple-A level.
Louisville dropped the first game of its longest road-trip of the season, 7-3 to Rochester on Friday. The Bats will play three games against the Red Wings in Rochester, N.Y., head to Moosic, Pa. for a four-game set with the IL-North-leading Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders and stay in the Keystone State for a three game set at Lehigh Valley before returning to Louisville on June 29.
Ryan Ritchey and Robert Davidson recap Louisville’s 2-5 week and talk about Bats in the bigs, and how that may affect Louisville.
This is the first installment of what will be a weekly series covering all the news and notes from the Louisville Bats’ past week of action.
We will not cover the games in depth, but will look at the trends that defined the last week. We will also pick a performance of the week, position player of the week and pitcher of the week.
Seeing as the Bats have played two full months of games, lets catch up on April and May before diving into this past week’s news and notes.
Louisville struggled out of the gate, going 8-13 in April (including a 13-0 loss to Toledo on Opening Night), but righted the ship with a 17-12 record in May. The Bats improved at the plate and on the mound, as they hit .242 with a 4.73 ERA in April but bested both of the marks in May, batting .260 with a 3.70 ERA.
The nine-win improvement was Louisville’s largest month-to-month improvement since they made a 10-win jump from June to July of 2010 (12-16 in June to 22-6 in July).
The Bats were propelled to the marked improvement by a number of notable individual performances in May as well.
Outfielder Yorman Rodríguez collected 13 extra-base hits in the month, which was tied for the third-best mark in the International League, and tallied 50 total bases, tied for sixth-best in league.
Infielder Eugenio Suárez had an .886 OPS in May, tied for the sixth-best mark in the league. He was also tied for seventh in walks with 16, and tied for the eight-best slugging percentage in May at .404.
Right-hander Jon Moscot won four games in May, tying him for first in the IL in wins, and threw 37.2 innings, the fifth-most in the in IL.
Southpaw David Holmberg allowed just four earned runs, tied for the fourth-fewest in the IL, in 36.1 innings and posted a 1.98 ERA, the sixth-best among pitchers who threw 30 or more innings.
June has not been as kind to the Bats, who have gone 6-5 and were a season-high 7.5 games behind Indianapolis on Friday for the lead in the IL West.
But, there were certainly some notables performances in the past week as two big leaguers joined the Bats on rehab assignments, and two Bats joined the Reds, who have struggled to stay healthy this year.
Performance of the Week: Eugenio Suárez on 6/7 vs. BUF
Suárez had one of his best games of the season as he went 3-for-3, falling a home run shy of the cycle, with three runs scored and three driven in as he powered the Bats to an 8-4 win over Buffalo.
Here is Suárez doubling home two runs in his first at-bat of the night.
Hitter of the Week: Josh Satin
Satin has been on a tear since he came off the DL on June 2, and went 11-for-26 (.423) with one home run, one triple, two doubles, five doubles, five RBI, five runs scored and just four strikeouts. He collected a hit all seven games and had four two-hit games this week. His return to the lineup could not come at a better time either, as Chris Dominguez was called up to Cincinnati Thursday, leaving a whole at third base.
Pitcher of the Week: Layne Somsen
Somsen had a wild week, as he was officially called up from Pensacola and made his Triple-A debut on his 26th birthday, June 5. The South Dakota native was making his second start of the season in his debut and went four shutout innings, allowing just two hits and one walk with six strikeouts. Somsen took the ball again on Wednesday, June 10, and allowed just one earned run on three hits and four walks with two strikeouts in five innings. In total, Somsen worked nine innings, allowing one earned run on five hits and five walks with eight strikeouts.
He also snapped off this nasty 12-6 curveball for his first Triple-A strikeout.
Reds outfielder Jason Bourgeios and catcher Devin Mesoraco joined the Bats on Major League rehab this week. Bourgeois is 2-for-9 with one double and one walk, and Mesoraco is 1-for-7 with one walk. Mesoraco recorded his first career outfield assist on Tuesday in his second career game in the outfield. He has been unable to catch since April 12, because of a left hip impingement and was trying to transition to while with LOU. Bourgeois was Louisville’s Mary E. Barney Team MVP last season after leading the team in hits, stolen bases and at-bats.
Chris Dominguez and Eugenio Suárez were recalled by Cincinnati on Thursday. Dominguez went 1-for-4 with a solo home run and Suárez went 1-for-3 with one walk and one run in Thursday’s game against the Cubs in Chicago.
Here is Dominguez’ home run from Thursday’s game at Wrigley.
With the two most recent call-ups, four of the Reds starting nine in Thursday’s game were with Louisville on April 29 (Ivan De Jesús, Dominguez, Michael Lorenzen and Suárez).
Durham is in town for a packed weekend that includes Southern Indiana Night on Friday, Devin Mesoraco Bobblehead Night on Saturday and a pregame concert by the Sidewalk Prophets for Faith Night on Sunday.
And Gwinnett comes to Louisville Slugger Field on Monday, for a three game stand, that includes Louisville’s final Dog Day at the Park on Tuesday, June 16.
Ryan Ritchey and Robert Davidson discuss the Bats’ up and down week, the solid play of Yorman Rodriguez and Josh Satin and bring on Doug Gray of RedsMinorLeagues.com to talk about some of the talent waiting in the wings in Pensacola.
The Bats climbed back into the IL West race with a solid May. Check out May’s report card!
Ryan Ritchey and Robert Davidson discuss the Louisville Bats hot streak and who they will be paying attention to this weekend when the Bats take on the Buffalo Bisons.
David Holmberg has had high expectations ever since he came to the Reds organization in a three-team trade that sent,then Reds catcher Ryan Hanigan to the Tampa Bay Rays on December 3, 2013. The 2014 season was his first chance to show his abilities first hand to the Reds organization and it wasn’t a great first impression. He finished with a 2-6 record with an ERA over four and a half.
This season things did not start out well either, even after getting into better shape in the offseason and gaining more flexibility and strength. In April, David lost his first three starts one of which only lasted two and one-third of an inning as he allowed 10 runs on 12 hits, both season-highs. He finished the first month of the season with a 10.59 ERA, allowing 20 runs on 27 hits in just 17 innings.
All of those numbers came while Holmberg was producing ground balls at a fifty percent rate. Even though he was getting ground balls, he was not happy with his first-pitch strike rate that was below fifty percent. He wanted to throw more early strikes, but maintain his efficient ground ball rate.
To begin May he started throwing curveballs earlier in counts than he had been in April, and they were strikes more often than not. “In April, command of my breaking pitches just wasn’t there and in May that has been a lot better. When I’m able to go off my breaking pitches, sometimes my fastball looks a little bit harder to hitters, and I think I have done a better job picking my spots to throw my fastball as of late”, said Holmberg.
That change in philosophy began to come to form and show success immediately. He didn’t allow a run in six innings against Buffalo on May 3, and followed that up by earning his first win of the season at home on May 9 against Rochester, allowing just one run in six and one-third innings.
In May he earned three wins and tossed four quality starts, six innings allowing three earned runs or less, in his five starts. He lowered his ERA nearly six full points from April to May and allowed more than one earned run in a start just once.
Looking purely at the statistics Holmberg was one of the best pitchers in the International League in May. He finished sixth in ERA of pitchers with at least 30 innings pitched (1.98), seventh in innings pitched (36.1), and fourth in earned runs allowed with eight.
After a poor April, Holmberg is happy how things are progressing. “You can call it luck, or you can say everything evens out” Holmberg said. More of the ground balls that were finding a hole in April, found an infielders glove in May. This change has turned his entire season around and it all started with command.
He will take the mound on Thursday versus Buffalo as the Bats return to Louisville Slugger Field for a four-game series against the Bisons beginning at 7:05 p.m.