On the Pharm: Brown on fire during rehab
Lehigh Valley (AAA)
Domonic Brown has been on fire over the last week as he plays in a rehab assignment with the GCL Phils. Brown has hit safely in all five games in which he’s appeared. He’s 11-for-19 (.579) with seven doubles and four RBIs. He had been down with a knee strain since mid-June. The Phils had targeted a post All-Star break return so he’s right on schedule.
B.J. Rosenberg made his third start for the ‘Pigs Saturday night and it was his best of the three as he tossed five shutout innings, scattering two hits and striking out five in a no-decision against Norfolk. … The ‘Pigs lost, though, as Tyson Brummett had his first bad outing in a while. Brummett allowed six runs on four hits in 1/3 of an inning, ending what had been a 13 2/3-inning scoreless streak.
LHP Pat Misch is 2-0 with a 1.93 ERA in his last two starts. … As the second half of the season starts, Tyler Cloyd (8-1) continues to lead the league with a 2.01 ERA.Reading (AA)
After going 2-for-5 in a pair of rehab games with Lakewood last week, Tyson Gillies didn’t get on the field Friday or Saturday with the R-Phils after experiencing soreness in hamstrings in the sounds-like-a-familiar-refrain department. The oft-injured Gillies hasn’t played for the R-Phils since May 26.
Darin Ruf’s batting average dropped to a season-low .309 on July 7 but has gone 7-for-16 since, raising his average to .316 heading into Sunday. He’s now tied for fourth in the Eastern League in hitting. He’s not alone, though. Cesar Hernandez (.312) and Leandro Castro (.306) are ninth and 10th, respectively. The trio is a big reason why the R-Phils are leading the league with a .269 average. Ruf is also second in slugging percentage (.537) and OBP (.410) while holding down fifth in homers (15) and RBIs (57) and prompting talk of a call-up to Lehigh Valley.
The R-Phils aren’t as dominant on the pitching side though Trevor May and Julio Rodriguez, along with Binghamton’s Zach Wheeler, are atop the circuit with 95 strikeouts. … Tyler Knigge joined the R-Phils from Clearwater, where he was 4-1 with 10 saves and a 0.61 ERA in 34 games. Knigge has pitched two scoreless innings over two appearances for the R-Phils and collected a save.
Cody Asche finally connected for his first homer at Reading on Friday but has yet to prove he can consistently hit Eastern League pitching. Yes, it’s only a 19-game body of work but Asche is hitting .145 in 69 at-bats having fanned 20 times (once every 3.5 at-bats). In comparison, he hit .349 at Clearwater and struck out every 6.9 at-bats.Clearwater (A)
Please don’t pay attention to Adam Morgan’s record. There are more important numbers on the big left-hander’s stat line that are worth exploring. The 2011 third-round pick out of Alabama has a 3.23 ERA in 17 games and has struck out a league-leading 104 in 97 2/3 innings. He’s got a 2.56 ERA over his last five starts but is 1-2 with a pair of no-decisions, a big contributor to his overall record of 3-8.
A cool item on the leader board in the Florida State League – four of the top five hurlers in the league are Threshers. Jesse Biddle (90) is second followed by Adam Wright (89) third and Brody Colvin (84) fifth. Colvin, who has started 16 of his 21 games, also has the more dubious distinction of being fourth in walks (44). He’s 5-4 but hasn’t lost since May 21.Lakewood (A)
Chris Duffy was named the South Atlantic League Player of the Month for June last week after hitting .420 (34-81) with three HRs and 19 RBIs. He reached base safely in all 23 games he played and hit safely in all but three. He also had a 19-game hitting streak that was snapped on July 3. It was the third-longest hitting streak in franchise history. Overall, he’s hitting .377 in 46 games with the ‘Claws. That includes a grand slam in an 8-1 victory Saturday night over Savannah.Williamsport (Short-Season A)
The ‘Cutters are struggling in July. They’ve lost five in a row and 11 of 13 this month. There are some bright spots, though, in Williamsport. One of them is Mitch Walding. He’s 10th in the league in hitting (.326) and second in RBIs (18). Chris Serritella is also worth watching in central Pennsylvania. He’s second in the league with four homers, tied with Walding in RBIs and third with 33 hits. Kevin Brady, a 10th-round pick, out of Clemson, joined the ‘Cutters. He pitched 3 2/3 innings in a pair of Gulf Coast League outings.
Chris Nichols, a 31st-rounder out of Sioux Falls, also joined the Cutters. He, too, pitched in the GCL, fanning nine in 11 innings. … The Cutters have committed 46 errors in 25 games and, from a statistical standpoint, are the worst team in the league with a .952 fielding percentage. Only Staten Island (47) has more errors.Gulf Coast League
The Phils saw their six-game winning streak end on Friday and followed that with a loss on Saturday. … Second-round pick Dylan Cozens, a second-round pick out of Chapparal High in Arizona, is fifth in the league in hitting (.348), fourth in RBIs (13), fourth in total bases (38) and first in slugging percentage (.576).
Manaure Martinez is third in the league in strikeouts (26) and batting average against (.172). He’s also second in innings pitched (27). … The Phils are leading the Gulf Coast League with a .274 team batting average but are ninth with a 3.56 team ERA. Nine players in the Phils’ lineup are hitting .300 or better entering Sunday’s action. … Supplemental-round pick Mitch Gueller has a pair of no-decisions in two starts, posting a 5.40 ERA in five innings.