Bats Weekly Podcast: Episode 14

Bats broadcaster Matt Andrews joins Ryan and Robert to give a look behind the scenes and break down the surprises of the first half.

Holmberg now with Reds

md20150615 6669 300x168                           Holmberg now with Reds

Many Bats’ players have been called up to the Reds this season. Joining them now is David Holmberg.

Holmberg is 4-6 with the Louisville Bats this season with a 4.78 ERA. He appeared for the Reds a season ago when he went 2-2 with a 4.80 ERA. Holmberg will get the start later today against
Miami in his 2015 Reds debut.

Some of the other players that started in April with the Bats but have seen some time this year with the Reds include:
Short stop — Eugenio Suarez
Pitcher — Michael Lorenzen
Catcher — Tucker Barnhart
Infielder — Chris Dominguez
Infielder — Ivan De Jesus
Pitcher — Jon Moscot
Pitcher — Josh Smith
Pitcher — Nate Adcock
Pitcher— Donovan Hand

Outfielder Yorman Rodriguez also was able to get the call up to play for the Reds earlier this week.

While some of these players have seen little time with the Reds or have moved back down to Triple A or Double A ball, some of them have made significant contributions to the team.

Eugenio Suarez is currently the team leader in batting average with a .325 mark. He has hit three home runs, appearing in 22 games.

Michael Lorenzen, a pitcher, is 3-3 for the Reds with a 3.58 ERA. He has started in 11 games. He is also hitting .286 (6-for-21).

Tucker Barnhart has appeared in 28 games for the Reds. He is currently hitting .267.

And Ivan De Jesus has played in 20 games at second base for the Reds. He is hitting .254 in his time with Cincinnati.

It will be exciting to see the second half of the season and to see which other Bats’ players will get the call to show what they have in Major League Baseball.

Yorman Rodriguez promoted to Cincinnati

Yorman Rodriguez 1 Yorman Rodriguez promoted to Cincinnati

via Pat Pfister (pfoto.com)

Yorman Rodriguez has been promoted to Cincinnati, as announced by the team, Monday. Rodriguez, the 22-year old outfield prospect, has hit .322 since the beginning of June and has been a big reason for the Bats success as of late. Just a couple of weeks ago he was named International League Player of the Week for June 22-28 after hitting .444 with a double, two home runs and 12 runs batted in.

Overall, Rodriguez is hitting .272 (78-for-287) with 13 doubles, three triples and nine home runs with 40 runs batted in. He is the current team leader in runs (40), home runs (9), RBI (40), and total bases (124). The place where he has struggled is his strikeout to walk ratio. He has struck out 75 times with 16 base on balls.

Rodriguez continuously works on his game to get the next advantage over opposing pitcher. The next addition to Rodriguez’ game has been his plate discipline. The free-swinging outfielder struggled early on expanding the zone and coming up empty more often than not, putting him in a hole, he couldn’t quite dig out of. He combined for seven walks the first two months of the season, before walking nine times in June alone.

This skill has put Rodriguez in a better position to be a better overall offensive player. Seeing the ball deep into the hitting zone has allowed him to hit the ball to the opposite field (right field) for extra bases. Before this transformation in his game, he was a pull-heavy hitter that had trouble reaching pitches on the outside part of the plate. It may not seem like a big difference, but that has seemed to be the difference for Rodriguez.

He has jumped from a .203 hitter in April, to .257 in May, and all the way up to .321 in June. The strikeouts are still a bit high, but for his age, he is right where he needs to be. He is learning the game, day by day, and becoming better with every plate appearance. By watching him, you can see him becoming more comfortable at the plate, it’s just a matter of him trusting himself and seeing the ball deep into the zone.

This will be the second consecutive season that he will be getting the call to the big leagues. He played in 11 games for the Reds last season as a September call-up and hit .222 (6-for-27) with two runs batted in. After being signed at just 16 years old, he has climbed through the ranks quickly and this could be a chance for him to show off his talents at the big league level for a good chunk of the season.

 

Bats Weekly Notebook: Goodbye June

The Louisville Bats (40-42) went 3-4 this week, closing out June with a 14-15 record. While the Bats posted a losing record, Louisville benefited from a few exciting performances from batters and hurlers alike.

June at a Glance

JuneReportCard 580x841 Bats Weekly Notebook: Goodbye June

After going 17-12 in May, Louisville fell one win short of a second consecutive winning month in June. The Bats have not had two consecutive winning months since July and August of 2010, and have had just four winning months since the beginning of the 2011 season.

Despite the losing record, Louisville posted a .286 team batting average, the highest mark of the season, the best mark in the International League in June, and Louisville’s highest monthly average since May 2013 (.288). Louisville also average four and a half runs per game in June (131 runs in 29 games), its highest mark of the season.

Bats pitchers, on the other hand, posted a 4.31 ERA in June, falling between the team’s 4.73 ERA in April and 3.70 ERA in May. Bats’ hurlers also had a 1.58 WHIP in June, its highest monthly mark of the season, and allowed 296 hits in 29 June games.

Louisville still sits in third place in the IL West, but has lost ground on both the second-place Columbus Clippers and the division-leading Indianapolis Indians since the end of May.

Hitter of the Week: Outfielder Brennan Boesch

Brennan Boesch struggled mightily in 32 games with Cincinnati this season, batting just .125 (7-for-56) with one double, two runs, one RBI and three walks. The 30 year-old outfielder got off to a slow start in Louisville as well, going 0-for-6 with two walks in his first two games as a Bat. However, since then, Boesch has hit safely in 11 straight games, recorded five multi-hit games, two three-hit games, and is batting .462 (18-for-39) during the streak.

This week Boesch went 11-for-21 (.524) with two home runs, three RBI, two runs and five walks. His .524 average was the third-best mark in the IL this week, while his .615 on-base percentage, .810 slugging percentage and 1.425 OPS (on-base plus slugging) and were all second best in the IL.

Boesch capped his solid week going a combined 3-for-5 with a pair of solo homers, two runs, two RBI and two walks between Thursday and Friday’s games against Columbus.

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OF Brennan Boesch homered in the fourth inning of Thursday’s game to tie it at 1-1.

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OF Brennan Boesch homered in the fourth inning of Friday’s game to tie it at 2-2.

Since joining the Bats on June 20, he leads the club in average (.400), walks (9), on-base percentage (.500), slugging (.578) and OPS (1.078).

Pitcher of the Week: Right-hander Robert Stephenson

Right-hander Robert Stephenson was promoted from Pensacola on Friday and did not disappoint in his Triple-A debut for the Bats.

The Reds top prospect allowed just two earned runs on four hits and three walks with five strikeouts and took the win in his first appearance with Louisville.

StephensonK Bats Weekly Notebook: Goodbye June

RHP Robert Stephenson struck out the first batter he faced in his Triple-A debut on Friday, July 3.

Stephenson, 22, began the season with Pensacola and went 4-7 with a 3.68 ERA in 14 starts, while averaging 10.2 strikeouts per nine innings with the Blue Wahoos. He also posted a 2.53 ERA in five June starts, and was named a Southern League All-Star for the second consecutive season.

He was selected 27th overall in the June 2011 draft and his fastball and curveball are regarded as the best of any Reds minor leaguer. Following the 2013 season, the Reds named him their Minor League Pitcher of the Year. MLB Pipeline currently ranks him as the No. 18 overall prospect in all of Major League Baseball.

Notes

- Infielder Irving Falu was selected as Louisville’s only 2015 All-Star, this past week. Falu is third among all qualifying IL hitters in batting (.320), and he leads the Bats in stolen bases (12), on-base percentage (.384), OPS (.804) and is tied for first with 13 doubles and three triples. He also has 21 multi-hit games, second on Louisville only to outfielder Yorman Rodriguez.

 Bats Weekly Notebook: Goodbye June

Entering play Saturday Falu was riding a nine game hitting streak as well. During the streak, Falú is 16-for-36 (.444) with two walks, four doubles, one triple, seven runs and four RBI. He also has five multi-hit games during the streak, including a 4-for-5 performance on June 25 at Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

- Two Cincinnati Reds hurlers made rehab appearances for the Bats this week as right-hander Raisel Iglesias and left-hander Tony Cingrani returned to their old stomping grounds at Louisville Slugger Field.

Iglesias, who has been on Cincinnati’s disabled list with a strained left oblique since June 5, allowed just one hit and one walk in three scoreless innings against the Syracuse Chiefs on Tuesday, June 30.

In all, he has started five games for Louisville this season and is 1-2 with a 3.33 ERA in 24 and one-third innings. With Cincinnati this season, Iglesias is 1-1 in six games, four starts, with a 5.11 ERA in 24 and two-thirds innings.

Reds southpaw Tony Cingrani appeared for Louisville when the Bats and Clippers resumed Thursday’s suspended game in the third inning on Friday. He struck out three batters and walked just one in a hitless and scoreless two innings of work.

CingraniK Bats Weekly Notebook: Goodbye June

LHP Tony Cingrani struck out the first batter in his ML rehab appearance in Thursday’s game.

Cingrani has been on the Reds’ disabled list since June 14 with a strained left shoulder. He posted a 3.47 ERA in 24 appearances with the Reds this season before his injury. The former Rice Owl debuted with Cincinnati in 2012, appearing in three games, before starting the 2013 season with Louisville. Cingrani posted a 3-0 record with a 1.15 ERA in six starts with Louisville, including six hitless innings with 14 strikeouts in the Bats’ 2013 Opening Night game. He has made 63 career appearances with Cincinnati.

- Louisville right-hander Keyvius Sampson just missed out on pitcher of the week honors for his valiant performance in a losing effort against Syracuse on Monday, June 29. He allowed two earned runs on five hits and two walks, but punched out nine as Louisville lost to the Chiefs, 5-0.

Sampson’s nine strikeouts are the most he has recorded in a game since he matched a career-high 12 strikeouts on July 20, 2013 with San Antonio. Sampson has the second-highest K/9 (strikeouts per nine innings) among Louisville pitchers this season, and is one of three pitchers with 15 innings or more who has more strikeouts than innings pitched. Righty Carlos Contreras, who is currently with Cincinnati, leads all Louisville pitchers with 12.6 K/9 (27 strikeouts in 19 and one-third innings), followed by Sampson at 9.9 K/9 (22 strikeouts in 20 innings pitched) and righty Drew Hayes at 9.5 K/9 (33 strikeouts in 31 and one-third innings).

- After going 11-for-20 (.706) with one double, two home runs, five runs and 12 RBI from June 22 to June 26, outfielder Yorman Rodriguez has gone just 1-for-14 since being named IL Batter of the Week for the week of June 22 to June 28.

- To make room for Stephenson on Friday, right-hander Nick Christiani was transferred to Double-A Pensacola. He is the Bats all-time leader in pitching appearances, and posted a 0-2 record with a 5.74 ERA in 22 games with Louisville this season.

Upcoming Schedule

The Bats will be in Indianapolis through Monday, before returning to Louisville for the second-half of a split six-game series with the Indians form Tuesday to Thursday. The Bats will ship out to Toledo on Friday for the final three games before the All-Star Break.

On top of Louisville’s season-long promotions – $1 Hot Dog and $1 Pepsi Tuesdays, Thornton’s Grand Slam Ticket Pack Wednesdays and $1 Budweiser Beer Happy Hours on Thursdays – the Bats will be giving away Bats bucket hats on Thursday to the first 2,00 fans and Bucket Ruckus will make its second of three appearances at Louisville Slugger Field, also on Thursday.

maxresdefault 580x326 Bats Weekly Notebook: Goodbye June

Bucket Ruckus will make their second of three appearances at Louisville Slugger Field this season when they perform at Thursday’s Bucket Hat giveaway game against Indianapolis.

Cingrani, Stephenson slated to pitch for Louisville Friday

stephenson 580x386 Cingrani, Stephenson slated to pitch for Louisville Friday

RHP Robert Stephenson was promoted to Louisville Friday after being named a Southern League All-Star for the second straight season with Double-A Pensacola. (Michael Spooneybarger/Pensacola Blue Wahoos)

Right-handed hurler Robert Stephenson was promoted to Louisville Friday, and is expected to make his Bats and Triple-A debut Friday as well. Also joining the Bats Friday was Reds southpaw Tony Cingrani, who is expected to start the resumption of Thursday night’s suspended game against the Columbus Clippers, that will resume at 5 p.m. Friday. Stephenson is expected to start Friday’s regularly scheduled game, which will be a seven-inning contest beginning approximately 30 minutes after the completion of yesterday’s suspended contest.  

Stephenson, the Cincinnati Reds’ top prospect according to MLB Pipeline, went 4-7 with a 3.68 ERA for Double-A Pensacola this season. He posted a 2.53 ERA in five June starts, and was named a Southern League All-Star for the second consecutive season.

The Martinez, Calif. native was the 27th overall pick out of Alhambra H.S. in the June 2011 draft, which featured notable high school hurlers Jose Fernandez, Dylan Bundy and Archie Bradley. Stephenson’s fastball and curveball are regarded as the best of any Reds minor leaguer, and, following the 2013 season, the Reds named him their Minor League Pitcher of the Year. He pitched in the MLB All-Star Futures Game last summer in Minneapolis, and MLB Pipeline currently ranks him as the No. 18 overall prospect in Major League Baseball.

Cingrani Spring 580x396 Cingrani, Stephenson slated to pitch for Louisville Friday

LHP Tony Cingrani is expected to make a Major League rehab appearance for Louisville on Friday.

Cingrani has been on the Reds’ disabled list since June 14 with a strained left shoulder. He posted a 3.47 ERA in 24 appearances with the Reds this season before his injury.The former Rice Owl debuted with the Reds in 2012, appearing in three games, before starting the 2013 season with the Bats. He posted a 3-0 record with a 1.15 ERA in six starts with the Bats, including six hitless innings with 14 strikeouts in the Bats’ 2013 Opening Night game. He has made 63 career appearances with Cincinnati.

 

Bats Weekly Podcast: Episode 13

Ryan Ritchey and Robert Davidson discuss the impact of Brennan Boesch and Kristopher Negron, and look at what it will take for Louisville to make a playoff push.

Reds’ Injuries & Where Team Stands Today

Jon Moscot 1433611403288 19336258 ver1.0 640 480 300x225 Reds Injuries & Where Team Stands Today

The Cincinnati Reds have had some poor luck this season in terms of the injuries of multiple players throughout the first half of the season. On June 15th, pitcher Jon Moscot became the latest of a long string of injuries that the Reds have had to deal with. Moscot had to be helped off the field in his third Major League start after he dislocated his non-throwing shoulder after diving to make a tag.

Moscot joined other Reds players who are recovering from injuries as well which include: Relievers Tony Cingrani and Sean Marshall, starting pitcher Raisel Inglesias, shortstop Zack Cozart, starting pitcher Homer Bailey, and catcher Devin Mesoraco.

Center fielder Billy Hamilton, second baseman Brandon Phillips, and left fielder Marlon Byrd have also dealt with injuries this season.

So with all the injuries this year how do the Reds stack up in the Majors?
As of July 1st at 1:00 PM ET:
Record: 35-41, 16 games back from St. Louis Cardinals
Team Pitching ERA: 3.95, 16th in MLB, 8th in National League
Team Pitching BAA: .245, 10th in MLB, 4th in National League
Team Hitting BA: .251, 20th in MLB, 10th in National League
Team Runs Scored: 311, 17th in MLB, 7th in National League
Team Field PCT: .986, 10th in MLB, 5th in National League
While injuries are expected to happen for any sports team, what the Reds have had to deal with in the last two seasons is pretty extreme. It will be interesting to see how Reds manager Bryan Price and the Reds look the rest of the season with plenty of fresh faces from the Minors and hope to compete while getting the injured players a quick recovery and keeping the non-injured players healthy.

Yorman Rodriguez named IL Batter of the Week

RodriguezYorman 062915 580x435 Yorman Rodriguez named IL Batter of the Week

Patrick L. Pfister (pfoto.com)

Louisville Bats outfielder Yorman Rodriguez was named the International League’s batter of the week for the week of June 22 to June 28.

Rodriguez hit .444 over the past seven days and led the IL with 12 hits and 12 RBI. He produced three different three‐hit games this week, including a five‐RBI performance in Louisvilleʹs 15‐2 win Thursday at Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and a four‐RBI effort in Fridayʹs 11‐5 win at Lehigh Valley. Rodriguez is the first Bat to earn a player of the week nod this season, and Louisville’s first Batter of the Week since Cody Puckett in 2012 (June 18 to June 24).

The week put a bow on what has been an exceptional June for the 22 year-old outfielder. He is tied for second in the IL in hits (34), tied for fourth in RBI (19), fourth in average (.347) and ninth in OBP (.402). He is also the Bats’ active team leader in runs (39), hits (74), doubles (13), home runs (8), total bases (117) and RBI (37).

Two of Rodriguez’s eight home runs came against Scranton/Wilkes-Barre this past week as the outfielder hit a pair of three-run bombs to right-center.

 

June has been a rebound month for Rodriguez as well. After posting a .278 on-base percentage in May, Rodriguez is reaching base at a .402 clip in June. He is also striking out less, as he punched out 33 times in 105 at-bats (31%) in May, but has struck out just 22 times in 98 at-bats in June (22%). He walked just three times in the entire month of May, but has walked nine times in June. Rodriguez has raised every mark in his slash line each month, from .203/.250/.328 in April, to .257/.278/.476 in May, and .347/.402/.469 in June. 

Earlier in the week, Rodriguez was one of two Bats, and three Cincinnati farmhands altogether, chosen to represent the Reds at the 2015 MLB All-Star Futures Game at Great American Ballpark on Sunday, July 12.

A native of Ocumare de la Costa, Venezuela, Rodriguez will play for the World Team, while Daytona Tortuga left-hander Amir Garrett and Bats outfielder Kyle Waldrop will play for the US team. Rodriguez will be one of six outfielders for the World Team, and one of five Venezuelan-born representatives in the prospect exhibition.

Rodriguez is in his first season at the Triple‐A level. His professional career began in 2009 after signing with the Reds as a non‐drafted free agent. Last season he was an All‐Star in the Double‐A Southern League before making his Major League debut in September for Cincinnati. 

Futures 2 580x320 Yorman Rodriguez named IL Batter of the Week

Homestand Preview: Syracuse, Columbus come to town

LSF 580x435 Homestand Preview: Syracuse, Columbus come to town

via @LouisvilleBats on Twitter

After a long 10-game road trip the Bats are back in town for a quick five-game homestead which will have Syracuse, Washington Nationals Triple-A affiliate, in town for the only time this season for three games and Columbus, Cleveland Indians Triple-A affiliate, for two games.

On the 10-game road trip Louisville went 5-5, after beginning the trip, 2-4. The trip included three games against Rochester, four versus Scranton/Wilkes Barre, and three with Lehigh Valley. The Red Wings took two-of-three, Louisville split with the RailRiders and won two-of-three against the IronPigs.

The offense began the trip in a lull, struggling to score runs. They scored a combined 13 runs in the first six games of the trip, but in game seven they broke out for 15 runs against the RailRiders, in a 15-2 win. The Bats recorded 24 hits, tying a franchise record. You can read about the record-setting night here, as seven Bats players had multiple hits, the most of any game this season.

In that 15 run, 24 hit performance Yorman Rodriguez went 3-for-4 with a double, home run and five RBI. He then followed that up with a 3-for-5 performance the next night in Lehigh Valley and drove in four runs. This morning, Rodriguiez, was named International League Batter of the Week for the first time this season. He hit .444 (12-for-27), with one double, two home runs, a league leading 12 RBI and five runs scored.

In the final series of the trip versus Lehigh Valley, Louisville took the first game 11-5, but had to play a double-header on Sunday after a rainout on Saturday night. In the double-header Kristopher Negron made his 2015 Bats debut and hit his first long ball of the season between both Cincinnati and Louisville. The Bats split the double-header and took the series with Lehigh Valley.

 

The Bats come back to town one game under .500 at 38-39, but will face Syracuse, a team in which they had great success against this season. On June second and third the Bats played three games in two days, because of a rainout and took all three games putting them a season-high three games over .500 at 28-25.

Louisville is in another great position to take the series this time around. The Bats will send to the mound righty Keyvius Sampson (1-1, 5.79) on Monday, lefty David Holmberg (4-5, 4.64) on Tuesday and righty Matt Buschmann (1-0, 4.15) on Wednesday to round out the series. The best matchup on the mound will come in Monday’s opening game as Sampson will be opposed by the Nationals second best prospect according to MLB Pipeline, A.J Cole (0-4, 4.60)

The Chiefs have the worst record in the International League, 26-51. They are 17 games back in the North Division, where the RailRiders lead the way. Syracuse is also not a good road team, losing 27 of 38 games away from NBT Bank Stadium. They come into the series on a five-game losing streak.

Their offense is hitting a league worst .233, 32 points worse than Louisville, who is second best in the league at .265. Their pitching has also struggled having the third worst ERA in the circuit at 4.04. They are one of three teams to have an ERA over four, including the Bats. Louisville is the second worst at 4.23.

Leading the way for them hitting wise is Darin Mastroianni hitting .254 in 46 games for the Chiefs. Jason Martinson has been providing the extra-base hit power with 24 hits for extra-bases, 13 doubles, one triple and 10 long balls.

Also recently joining the Nationals organization from San Diego and jumping into the third spot on their top 30 prospect list according to MLB Pipeline is Trea Turner. He was a first round pick, 13th overall, in the 2014 amateur draft and was involved in the three-team deal that sent Wil Meyers from Tampa Bay to San Diego and Turner was supposed to head to Washington’s organization as the player to be named later. Since he was just drafted, he couldn’t be a player to be named later and instead had to remain in the Padres organization until June 14 of this year. You can read all about this strange rule, that has now been changed, over at MLB Trade Rumors.

To end the homestand, the Clippers will be coming to town. Columbus is three games ahead of Louisville in the West Division at 41-36. Columbus has dominated the Bats so far this season winning seven of the nine games. They have only played two games here at Louisville Slugger Field and will face the Bats including this series, 13 more times overall. There is still a lot of season left, but the Clippers have the upper-hand on the Bats so far in the 2015 campaign.

The Indians have called up their top prospect, Francisco Lindor, to play shortstop and that helps the Bats out tremendously. In nine games versus Louisville, Lindor hit .459 (17-for-37) with three doubles, five RBI and four walks. Needless to say, the Bats pitching staff will be happy to not see him step in the box in the upcoming series. Replacing Lindor at shortstop was Jose Ramirez and he is no slouch. He has hit .353 in 18 games so far with Columbus with four doubles.

Tyler Naquin, the Indians fifth best prospect, by MLB Pipeline joined the Clippers in early June and has played in 17 games and is hitting .231 with four doubles and two round-trippers. He played in two games versus the Bats and went 5-for-11 with a double and a long ball.

Come on out to the ballpark and enjoy the Bats who had a rejuvenated lineup ready to score runs in bunches. This homestand will include “Peanut Allergy Awareness Night” on Monday, where no peanuts or “peanut based products” will be sold. Monday is also Meijer Monday and Baseball Bingo night. On Tuesday and Wednesday will be the Chevy Youth Clinic from 9AM-12PM both days. Thursday, as always, we will have the “Budweiser Game Time Happy Hour” from 5:30-7:00 p.m. on the Overlook Grill with live music from “The Olivia Henken Band”. Olivia was on season five of “The Voice”. Rounding out the homestand on Friday will be a Bats Hat Giveaway to the first 1,800 paid admissions to the ballpark.

Bats Weekly Notebook: The Future is Bright

The Louisville Bats embarked on a 10-game road-trip this week, their longest trip of the season. Despite a slow start, Louisville could break even on the northern swing if they take two of three from Lehigh Valley this weekend.

Performance of the Week: Louisville at Scranton/Wilkes-Barre on Thursday, June 25

After scratching out just three hits and one run the night before, Louisville exploded for 15 runs on 24 hits in a 15-2 win over the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders on Thursday. Here’s a look at the Bats blowout by the numbers.

Louisville’s 24 hits tied the club record for most hits in a game, set on May 3, 2010 in a 20-7 win at Buffalo. The Bats’ 15 runs are the most in a game since they scored a club-record 22 runs against Gwinnett on July 13, 2012.

Seven Bats recorded multiple hits in Thursday’s game. Outfielder Jason Bourgeois and infielder Irving Falu both recorded four hits in the game; outfielders Brennan Boesch, Jose Constanza and Yorman Rodriguez, as well as infielder Hernan Iribarren, all had three hits, while catcher Ramon Cabrera had a pair of base knocks in Thursday’s contest. 

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Louisville’s half of the box score from Thursday’s blowout win over Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

Thursday night was the first time in 2015 that two Bats, Falu and Bourgeois, recorded four hits or more in a game this season. Louisville has had five four-hit performances this season and Thursday was Falu’s team-leading second four-hit game of the year.

Rodriguez went 3-for-4 with one double, one home run, two runs scored and five runs batted in, becoming the second Bat to record five RBI in a game this season. Infielder Chris Dominguez previously knocked in five runs on April 18 against Indianapolis, four of which came on a grand slam.

Rodriguez’s three-run homer in the third inning also capped a seven-run stanza for the Bats. Thursday’s seven-run inning is tied for the Bats highest-scoring frame of the season. Louisville also scored seven runs in the third inning on May 9 against Rochester.

Overall, nine of the 10 Bats who appeared in Thursday’s game recorded at least one hit, eight scored a run and seven drove in a run.

Hitter of the Week: Outfielder Yorman Rodriguez

Since signing with the Reds on his 16th birthday in 2008, Rodriguez has been considered by many to be a five-tool prospect. Kiley McDaniel, the lead prospect analyst at Fangraphs, described the 22 year-old outfielder as having “absurd tools” with above average power, speed and arm strength.

Rodriguez entered the 2015 season as the Reds’ 10th-best prospect, according to Baseball America, but struggled out of the gate, batting just .203 with a .250 on-base percentage in April. He was slightly better in May, batting .257, but Rodriguez has really broken out in June, batting .363 ,the fourth-best mark in the International League, with three homers, 19 runs batted in and a .420 on-base percentage.

Determined to finish the month on a high note, this past week was Rodriguez’s best week of the season. After going o-for-3 last Friday and 0-for-4  last Sunday, he hit .550 (11-for-20) with two home runs, one double and 12 RBI from Monday to Friday.

The Venezuelan-born outfielder went 3-for-3 on Monday, then 2-for-5 with a three-run homer on Tuesday. Louisville ultimately lost Tuesday’s game to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, but his three-run, eighth-inning blast capped a four-run frame, knotting the game at 4-4.

Rodriguez was a driving force in the Bats’ 15-2 win over the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre on Thursday, going 3-for-4 with a double, a home run and three RBI in the game. He also drove in three runs and scored another in the final three frames of Louisville’s 11-5 come-from-behind victory at Lehigh Valley on Friday. He went 3-for-5 with four RBI and one run in the series opener against the IronPigs.

On Thursday, Rodriguez was also selected as one of three Cincinnati prospects to represent the Reds at the MLB All-Star Futures Game on Sunday, July 12. But more on that in a bit.

Pitcher of the Week: Right-hander Dylan Axelrod

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RHP Dylan Axelrod earned his fourth win of the season in Louisville’s series-opening win at Scranton/Wilkes-Barre on Monday, June 22. (Patrick L. Pfister – pfoto.com)

It has been an up-and-down year for right-hander Dylan Axelrod (4-5, 4.31 ERA), but he was able to give Louisville a quality start when it needed one against Scranton/Wilkes-Barre on Monday. When the Bats rolled into Moosic, Pa. on Monday, the RailRiders were the hottest team in the IL, having won 15 of their last 19 games, outscoring opponents 109-54 over that span.

The 29 year-old righty worked five scoreless frames, allowing Louisville to take a 4-0 lead, before giving up a run in the sixth, and another run in the seventh on a solo home run. Axelrod left the game with one out in the seventh and the Bats bullpen shut the door, preserving the series-opening win for Louisville.

Although he gave up two late runs, Axelrod stifled the league’s hottest offense, allowing the Louisville lineup to get the ball rolling. Overall, he allowed two earned runs on five hits, one home run, and one walk with five strikeouts in six and one-third innings, and earned his fourth win of the season in the process.

Notes

Louisville’s lineup may have received a shot in the arm this week when the Reds promoted outfield prospect Kyle Waldrop from Double-A Pensacola. Waldrop hit .277 (67-for-242) with 13 doubles, three triples and six long balls with the Blue Wahoos this season, and was named a Southern League All-Star. The Reds’ 12th-best prospect, according to MLB Pipeline, went 2-for-5 in his Bats debut Friday, after receiving another special honor on Thursday.

Kyle Waldrop 580x304 Bats Weekly Notebook: The Future is Bright

OF Kyle Waldrop was promoted to Louisville on Thursday. (via the Pensacola News Journal)

Rodriguez, Waldrop and Daytona lefty Amir Garrett were selected to represent the Reds at the MLB All-Star Futures Game in Cincinnati on Sunday, July 12.

Rodriguez, a native of Ocumare de la Costa, Venezuela, will be one of six outfielders for the World Team, and one of five Venezuelan-born representatives. He is the Bats’ active team leader in runs (36), hits (67), doubles (12), triples (3), home runs (7) and total bases (106).

Waldrop will join Rodriguez as one of six IL players to be featured in the Futures Game. The 23 year-old Ft. Myers, Fla. native was drafted in the 12th round of the 2010 draft, and will be one of six outfielders on the US Team.

Garrett, the Reds’ fourth-best prospect, according to MLB Pipeline, will meet Rodriguez and Waldrop in Cincinnati as one of 10 pitchers on the US Team. This season, with High-A Daytona, Garrett is 2-5 with a 3.22 ERA. He has struck out a team-high 72 batters (third-most in the Florida State League) in 67 and two-thirds innings.

Right-hander Robert Stephenson and outfielder Jesse Winker, both in Pensacola this season, represented the Reds in last year’s exhibition. Many current Reds have appeared in past Futures Games, including: Homer BaileyJay BruceBilly HamiltonDevin MesoracoBrandon Phillips and Joey Votto.

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LHP Amir Garrett, OF Yorman Rodriguez and OF Kyle Waldrop will represent the Reds at the MLB All-Star Futures Game in Cincinnati on Sunday, July 12.

Also Thursday, utility-man Kristopher Negron was optioned to Louisville when left-hander Aroldis Chapman returned to the Reds from paternity leave. Negron was hitting just .141 in 42 games with Cincinnati. He is the Bats’ active games played leader with 388 between 2010 and 2014. He is a career .227 hitter in Triple-A, having spent all of his time in Triple-A with Louisville. In a complimentary move, outfielder Nick Benedetto was placed on the seven-day disabled list. He was 0-for-9 with five strikeouts in his first nine games at the Triple-A level, after joining the Bats from Class A Dayton.

After Louisville’s series against Lehigh Valley, the Bats will return to Louisville Slugger Field for a five-game homestand. The week culminates with Louisville’s annual Fireworks Extravaganza following the Bats game against Columbus on July 3.

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The Bats’ annual Fireworks Extravaganza will take place on July 3, following Louisville’s matchup with the Columbus Clippers.