Monday, April 21, 2014

Minor League Update - Omaha Storm Chasers

Through the season’s first 18 games, the Storm Chasers are 9-9 and are in a three-way tie for second place in the PCL American Northern Division, trailing Oklahoma City (HOU).

The Chasers have played an astonishing 15 of 18 games at home to start the season, but will leave for an eight game road trip to New Orleans (MIA) and Iowa (CHC) following Tuesday’s morning game against Nashville (MIL).

Through eighteen games, Omaha ranks third with a .299 team batting average, but are middle of the road in the 16-team league with a .356 on-base percentage and .411 slugging percentage, including just 11 home runs (fourth worst in the PCL). The team does not rank any individuals among the league’s leaders in any major offensive categories.

The club is one of three teams with a sub-4.00 ERA, sitting third at 3.96. However, the Chasers rank third from the bottom with 119 strikeouts.

Individual Hitting

Who’s Hot:

Outfielder Brett Eibner took a big step forward April 9 when he went 5-for-5, including two home runs and nine RBI. The 25-year old scored three times in the game as Omaha beat Memphis (STL) 20-3. Eibner added a four hit game and a three hit contest over the next week and now sits at .333/.395/.500 with 12 RBI and 12 runs scored on the season. He has excelled against right-handed pitching to the tune of .340/.435/.566 with all three of his homers, which is tied with Francisco Pena for the team lead in round-trippers.

Matt Fields has held the everyday first base duties for Omaha and has responded offensively. Fields hit safely in his first 14 games, and was hitting a white-hot .459/. 524/.622 on April 11. Despite being held hitless through his last three ballgames, the 28-year old is hitting .361/.437/.475 with one homer and 10 RBI in 67 plate appearances.

Paulo Orlando hit safely in 10 of his first 12 ballgames and sits at .328/.371/.345 in 17 games. The Brazilian outfielder has four multi-hit games in early April.

Infielder Johnny Giavotella spent nine days in the big leagues, but returned to Omaha on a hot streak. In his first four games back, Giavotella had seven hits and has compiled a line of .368/.429/.526 in ten Triple-A games.

Who’s Not: 

Prospect Christian Colon has five multi-hit games this season, but sits at just .230/.275/.338 in 18 games. He has one home run, nine RBI and has scored 13 runs, but only four walks, in 78 plate appearances.

Individual Pitching

Who’s Hot: 

Spencer Patton is 1-0 with three saves and a 1.04 ERA in five appearances this season. In 8.2 innings, the 26-year old right-hander has nine strikeouts and allowed four hits and four walks.

Fellow reliever Buddy Baumann has yet to allow a run in ten innings across five appearances. The lefty has surrendered nine hits, four walks and has hit one batter.

Columbian starter Sugar Ray Marimon is 1-0 with a 1.00 ERA in two starts this season. He collected a win in his first appearance, five scoreless innings against Nashville on April 11.

Who’s Not:

John Lamb has allowed five home runs, which is the third most in the Pacific Coast League. The lefty is 0-4with a 5.31 ERA, has surrendered at least two runs in every start this season, and has allowed a .333 batting average across 20.1 innings. With runners on, Lamb hitters have posted a line of .368/.429/.632.

Lefty reliever Donnie Joseph has had two rough outings, in which he allowed a combined eight runs (five earned) across two innings. In 22 plate appearances, left-handed hitters are posting a staggering .357/.609/.357, which includes eight free passes. Not very good for someone that hopes to get lefties out in Kansas City this season.

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