A strong performance against Kannapolis this week helped get Lynchburg back over the +/- run differential column at eight. That was after taking one on the chin vs Salem last week 36-32 in a rough series that was only salvaged by a 13-1 win to end it. Hillcats pitchers had such a rough series both INFs Nick Yorke and Blaze Jordan (2020 draft picks by Boston) got promoted to High-A Greenville after that series. Both were already having good years but they pulverized the Hillcats pitching staff that has been reeling since losing Xzavion Curry and Daniel Espino along with other injuries and having inconsistencies from Lenny Torres Jr and Josh Wolf, its two biggest name arms. Now without Jhonkensy Noel and Johnathan Rodriguez, the Hillcats must get Jorge Burgos and Milan Tolentino acclimated to help Petey Halpin and Angel Martinez hold down the offense the rest of the year. The Hillcats are 10 games out of the Low-A playoff picture and likely will have an uphill battle for any miraculous run at a spot. 

Day-by-Day

8/19 L 7-2 vs Salem

8/20 L 6-4 vs Salem

8/21 L 11-10 vs Salem

8/22 L 11-3 vs Salem

8/24 W 13-1 at Kannapolis

8/25 L 3-2 at Kannapolis

Prospect of the Week

OF Petey Halpin (6-21, 2B, 2 3B, 2RBI, 6BB/7K – .286/.464/.524)

It took some time for Cleveland’s 2020 3rd round pick to get settled in for an aggressive assignment but he’s started to calm down his approach and now owns a .912 OPS over his last 18 games played. His .958 OPS in August has raised his season line to an impressive .782 considering his early struggles and his age. He won’t turn 20 until next May.

Who’s hot

OF Alexfri Planez (7-23, 2 2B, 4 RBI, 7K – .304/.292/.478) 

Yes you’re reading that right, Planez’s average last week was higher than his OBP due to reaching on an error. He’s still aggressive hitter who has power but the approach remains unrefined. His OPS is .731 on the year.

RHP Jordan Jones (5.2IP, 4H, 3ER, HBP, BB, 12K)

Easily the most impressive performance of the season for Jones and one of the most impressive ones the Hillcats have gotten since the departures of Xzavion Curry and Daniel Espino. Jones does have 70 strikeouts in 75.2 innings this year but his ERA remains high around 4.50

Who’s not

INF Yordys Valdez (4-18, 2 2B, 4 RBI, 3BB/6K, SB – .638 OPS)

Valdez still hasn’t shown much with the bat and he was drafted as a glove first infielder. He’s had stretches where the bat has looked better but overall has had a time tough time finding a consistent approach at the plate throughout his first season.

RHP Yeury Gervacio (2.2 IP, 7H, 8ER, 2BB/4K)

Gervacio has nine strikeouts in five innings in his brief time in Lynchburg but had a rough outing this last week facing a very tough Salem lineup. Most of the Hillcats arms had a tough week facing the Red Sox lineup and this was a tough one.

Transactions

8/18 + OF Cesar Idrogo assigned to Lynchburg

8/20 – LHP Andrew Misisaszek promoted to Lake County

8/21 + RHP Alaska Abney added to Lynchbug roster

8/22 + RHP Josh Wolf activated from developmental list

8/24 + OH Jorge Burgos and INF Milan Tolentino added to roster

8/24 – OF Johnathan Rodriguez and INF Christian Cairo promoted to Lake County

Up next

8/26/-8/29 AT Kannapolis

8/31-9/5 AT Myrtle Beach

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