Are you going through ‘Pig withdrawal yet?
The IronPigs haven’t played a home game since July 7 and they won’t be back home for another week yet, leaving Coca-Cola Park empty for 15 straight days. The current 11-game road trip saw the ‘Pigs fly from Rochester to Gwinnett Sunday night to start a four-game series against the Stripers.
With the gang out of town, it’s a good time to take a look at some former IronPigs who have also flown out of town, only on a more permanent basis.
Time to take a look around Major League Baseball and throughout the minors, trying to find former IronPigs players and where they’ve wound up.
You might call Bryson Stott a ‘Pig in the making.’
The UNLV shortstop was drafted by the Phillies with the 14th overall pick in the MLB Draft, which got underway Monday night. It’s the third year in a row that the Phillies have selected a college position player in the first round.
Many times, the district final comes down to the top two seeds. As the number two-seed, Liberty had better than average odds of being in the final and could have figured to play top-seed Northampton. With top-seeded Northampton eliminated early, the Hurricanes took on an Emmaus team that not only took out the Konkrete Kids, but had been beating a number of top teams throughout the playoffs. In the end though, the Hurricanes came away with a 3-1 win to take gold in District 11.
One thing after another has come up for J.D. Hammer in his baseball career and he’s conquered them all.
First, he envisioned himself being a major league shortstop, but the coaches at Navarro Community College in Texas didn’t see enough offensive skills to keep him on the team. His choices were to pitch or redshirt; he learned to pitch.
The IronPigs limped out of town a week ago having had the last game on their six-game homestand rained out, which may have been a good thing since they lost the first five games, coming on the heels of a loss in Buffalo to end their last road trip.
They went down to Durham and lost two more before a win over the Bulls and then won the middle game of a three-game series in Charlotte over the weekend. If you’re doing the math, that’s 10 losses in their last 12 games.
Seth McGarry took somewhat of a circuitous route to Triple-A. He pitched in 45 games at Double-A Reading last season, so it figured that he would either start the year back with Reading or get a promotion to Lehigh Valley. Neither of those things happened. Instead, he was sent down a level to High-A Clearwater even though his 3.99 ERA with Reading in 2018 wasn’t bad, and he had an impressive performance as part of the Phillies contingent playing in the Arizona Fall League following last season.
The Phillies have had success with sending struggling pitchers down to Triple-A Lehigh Valley to get themselves straightened out.
Last season, Hector Neris lost the feel for throwing his splitter and along with it, his confidence. When he returned to the Phillies, he was his old self and probably even better. They had the same hopes for Nick Pivetta and the early returns are pretty good.
In a perfect world, a player like Phil Gosselin would have likely spent the entire season with the Lehigh Valley IronPigs. Unfortunately, a perfect world doesn’t exist and Gosselin had to be added to the 40-man roster before the first month of the season was even complete.
Injuries to starting Phillies shortstop Jean Segura and his backup, Scott Kingery, made the Phillies consider who was next up to make the trip down the turnpike to join the Phillies.
The Lehigh Valley IronPigs roster is a mix of familiar and not-so-familiar faces.
Popular players like Dylan Cozens, Mitch Walding and Cole Irvin are back with the Pigs. Young prospects JoJo Romero, Deivy Grullon and Jan Hernandez are at the Triple-A level for the first time in their careers. Local hero Matt McBride returns for a second season after playing high school ball for Liberty High School and college ball as a Lehigh Mountain Hawk.