Feature photo of Frankie Scalzo by Rich Biesterfeld
Hitter of the Day
There are plenty of worthy options here after South Bend put up a 15-spot on 17 knocks. It would probably be fair to go with Jordan Nwogu and his two hits including a dinger, but it’s impossible to look past Yeison Santana getting on base five times on three hits and a couple walks. No extra base hits from the second baseman, but he did exactly what he was supposed to do atop the batting order and with it, he raised his batting average in High-A all the way up to .323.
Starting Pitcher of the Day
No offense to Mark Leiter, Jr. but I’ll admit that as a prospect hound, I wasn’t exactly pumped to feature him as our Starting Pitcher of the Day after his impressive performance this afternoon for Iowa. Enter Richard Gallardo. The right-hander put together yet another solid performance for the Myrtle Beach Pelicans.
While I’m not exactly gung-ho about his future as a prospect, I’m willing to admit that he is too good for Single-A. A promotion up to South Bend seems to be well-overdue, especially considering his 5.1 innings of shutout ball tonight. He gave up three hits on the evening and walked more than what is typical for him with three guys getting a free pass. But Gallardo also struck out way more than we expect to see from him. He entered the day with a 21% strikeout rate but punched out seven on Wednesday.
Reliever of the Day
Few things get me as excited as a reliever holding a one run lead over multiple innings. Frankie Scalzo, Jr. did just that tonight during the Birds 1-0 win against the FredNats. Scalzo came in to relieve the award winner above, Richard Gallardo, and tossed 2.2 scoreless innings. He struck out three batters while walking one, but posted a zero in the hits column. The mustachioed righty has now posted five straight games without giving up a run and has worked more than three outs in all but one of those outings.