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Weekly Minors Recap: Pitching Leads Way

While the Iron Pigs got their first win (two of them) this week, attention turned to pitching. Top prospect Carlos Carrasco had two strong outings, while Fabio Castro, Ron Chiavacci, Joe Savery, Josh Outman and a few others mowed them down:

AAA Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs (2-14)
Luckily, your Iron Pigs managed to win a game. In fact, they won two, and in a row, with wins over the Richmond Braves and Toledo Mud Hens. Ron Chiavacci led the Pigs to their first win, striking out eight in his outing. His ERA is now at 0.52 after 17.1 innings. Batting averages rose slightly over the week, with Mike Cervenak making a charge to .245. Prospect JA Happ has a 5.59 ERA while our friend, JD Durbin, has a 8.10 ERA in 13.1 innings.
Player to Watch: Ron Chiavacci – 17.1 IP, 1-0, 0.52 ERA

AA Reading Phillies (8-7)
If you log onto right now, you can see a picture of Norwich City Hall, which is the city hall of my current residence. I work three blocks from that building, and live a half mile away. That’s where Reading is this weekend — sandwiched in between two all-world casinos and a bunch of forest. They’ve split a four-gamer so far against Connecticut, with Fabio Castro going seven strong Thursday and Carlos Carrasco doing the same Friday. Carrasco struck out seven and gave up just one run — a home run down the right field line. They were the second great starts for Castro and Carrasco this week, with Castro flirting with a no-hitter Sunday and Carrasco going seven strong, striking out seven Monday. Carrasco leads the Eastern League with 21 strikeouts — Castro and Josh Outman are third and fourth. Outman had another strong outing Tuesday, bringing his ERA to 1.06. Greg Golson continues to strike, hitting .322 with a game-winning hit over the week and a game-saving rope to home Friday night. He seems primed for the show by the end of 2008.
Player to Watch: Carlos Carrasco – 18 IP, 1-1, 2.00 ERA, 21 K, 7 BB

A+ Clearwater Threshers (5-10)
Clearwater — hugging the basement in the Florida State League — still has its bright spots. Adrian Cardenas had an off week, as his average is now at .347. Matt Spencer, however, leads the team with three homers and carries a .309 average. Joe Savery threw a shutout over the week, and now has a 0.90 ERA over 20 innings. He has struck out 13. Antonio Bastardo had a 5.2 IP, 5 K outing this week following his awesome strikeout session last week.
Player to Watch: Joe Savery – 20 IP, 1-1, 0.90 ERA, 13 K, 8 BB

A Lakewood Blue Claws (6-9)
With a practical split this week, Lakewood is looking OK at 6-9. The offense took a backseat this week — most guys are carrying poor averages. Travis Mattair, a 2007 draft pick third baseman, is at .170 with 15 strikeouts. Shortstop prospect Freddy Galvis is hitting .157. Outfield prospect D’Arby Myers is hitting .191. First baseman Michael Durant has four homers already; he’s a nice power bat. In two starts this week, Drew Naylor stepped it up, and now has struck out 27 in 23 innings.
Player to Watch: Drew Naylor – 23 IP, 0-2, 3.13 ERA, 27 K, 6 BB

Prospect Watch
1. SP Carlos Carrasco (AA) – Two very solid starts for the EL strikeout leader.
2. 2B Adrian Cardenas (A+) – Average, if best, week.
3. SP Joe Savery (A+) – Very nice outing this week; K-BB ratio needs to improve.
4. SP Josh Outman (AA) – Continues to pitch well with high K numbers.
5. SP Kyle Drabek (A) – Recovering from Tommy John surgery.

SP Andrew Carpenter (AA) – Another tough outing for Carpenter; ERA is at 5.94.
C Lou Marson (AA) – Has .404 OBP; playing well enough.
C Jason Jaramillo (AAA) – Bad start continues.
SS Jason Donald (AA) – Cold second week ends with some bench time against Connecticut.
OF Dominic Brown (A) – Came down a bit, but doing OK.

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