Thursday, April 18, 2013

Series Preview for Lehigh Valley

The Bisons will head to Lehigh Valley to take on the Iron Pigs (sweet name), who are the AAA affiliate for the Philadelphia Phillies. They are coming off a series against the Paw Sox where they won 3 of 4 and scored 31 runs.

The Pigs have an interesting roster, consisting of 5 of their top 10 prospects according to John Sickels. They also have their bullpen stacked full of arms that have MLB experience.

Their bullpen features lefties Cesar Jimenez (1.74 ERA in 4 G), Jake Diekman, and Joe Savery (0.00 ERA in 5 G). Also righties Zach Miner, Michael Stutes, and #17 prospect Justin DeFractus (0.00 ERA in 5 G). The Bisons should be in tough trying to comeback from deficits and trying to tack on late runs.

Their offense is less impressive on paper. The most intriguing name is Darin Ruf (#7 prospect) who blasted 41 HR in AA last season and got a call to the Phillies. He could be a big power bat, or a guy who took advantage of players 3-5 years younger than himself. He has 2 HR so far this season.

The starting pitching seems to be the question mark, where young arms look to develop. The starters are all RH (bodes well for the bats) and are Adam Morgan, B.J. Rosenberg, Ethan Martin (#8 prospect), Tyler Cloyd, and Jonathan Pettibone (#5 prospect).

Other intriguing bats on the roster are #4 prospect catcher Tommy Joseph, former White Sox 3B Josh Fields, Canadians Tyson Gillies and Pete Orr, and #6 prospect Cody Asche.

The Bisons haven't announced their starters yet (probably because the Jays keep calling up their guys), but the Pigs will send out Martin, Rosenberg, and Cloyd in the first 3 games.

Hopefully the Bisons feast on some (insert pork/bacon joke here) this weekend.

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