Scrappers struggling with men on base
A Scrap Book of information from Mahoning Valley’s 6-3 loss to Vermont on Saturday
The Scrappers left nine runners on base Saturday night. In this month alone, they’ve stranded 89 players on base. The most left on was 11 in a 12-5 loss to State College on July 9 and the least was two in a 1-0 loss to Tri-City on July 11, though they collected just two hits.
“That’s been the story all year,” manager Ted Kubiak said. “It seemed like the only runs we’ve gotten are from home runs. We can’t piece anything together.”
Kubiak has no problems with the way his team practices, warms up and takes batting practice. In fact, the preparation excites him.
“Their energy level has been good,” he said. “The pre-game work is excellent. You push them to do stuff and they’re working on it and we’re talking to them.”
Most of the players show up at 2 p.m. before a game and work on hitting drills. Kubiak will throw soft toss and assistant Shaun Larkin hones in on the hitting. They even take extensive swings off a tee.
“The problem with the young guys, they can do it when you’re there pushing them and forcing them to do it,” Kubiak said. “When they’re left on their own, they could resort to what they’ve done in the past. They can’t make that change, they can’t make that adjustment, they can’t seem to get a feel for it.”
Since earning the Tribune Chronicle’s Scrapper of the Week honor on June 28, Caleb Hamrick has not earned a win in four starts. In his first two starts, Hamrick allowed a combined four hits in 10 innings and had seven strikeouts. Now, he has given up an average of 6.5 hits per game. On June 28 and July 3, he surrendered seven runs each game. On Saturday, Hamrick walked two, struck out four and allowed seven hits.
“He’s throwing hard, they just hit him,’ Kubiak said. “He’s going to get hit once in a while. He’s doing all that we’re asking of him.”
NO RELATION FOR BOOG
Vermont centerfielder Herschel Powell was introduced as “Boog” by Eastwood Field PA announcer Robb Schmidt. It drew the attention of many fans and media members who had fond memories of former Baltimore Orioles first baseman and brief Cleveland Indian John “Boog” Powell. The elder Powell, who owns Boog’s Barbecue in Baltimore, was born in Lakeland, Fla. while the younger “Boog” resides in Mission Viejo, Calif. A source with the Lake Monsters said that Herschel does go by that nickname as a reference to the two time World Series champion. However, the two are not related.