Here are some storylines to keep a closer eye on during the month of June.
1. Richard Gallardo – At times, he looks good. At other times, he is very hittable and his pitches look flat like last week in Beloit. What I want to see for him is to pitch well against good teams. Last night, he struck out 11 Dragons from Dayton in his second look at the club. On Tuesday, he only struck out five. You want to see improvement from outing to outing especially against clubs he’s already seen.
2. Anyone from Myrtle Beach’s Rotation – Granted the Woodpeckers from Fayetteville have the worst record in the Carolina League, but the Pelicans rotation has been feeling it all month. Can they continue in June?
3. Can BJ Murray and Pablo Aliendo keep the power going in June? They should as they both look very comfortable in the box.
4. Promotions from Tennessee to Iowa – There’s a bit of a logjam of player movement right now. No one is really moving from Tennessee to Iowa and there are three that should – Jordan Wicks, Luis Vazquez, and Chase Strumpf. Once they move up, some other deserving players could move as well like Connor Noland and Brandon Birdsell in South Bend and Felix Stevens and Saul Gonzalez in Myrtle Beach.
5. The 2023 Debut of Ed Howard – It’s not a question of if, but rather when.
6. Jackson Ferris – If he continues to do well, will there be some buzz about moving him to South Bend in July? Is it possible? Would he need to be challenged to do so? Or, will Ferris stay in Myrtle Beach no matter what?
7. Who Gets in the Postseason in June? – There are a little over four weeks left in the first half for Tennessee, South Bend, and Myrtle Beach. All 3 teams are close with Tennessee holding a 1 game lead over Chattanooga. South Bend is a game back of Cedar Rapids while Myrtle Beach is 3 back of Columbia.
Players of the Week
Hitter of the Week – This was a very tough choice – Do I go with Chase Strumpf who hit .467 with a .556 OBP but only drove in a single run? Or, should Pablo Aliendo get this week’s accolades? He had 2 HRs and a system leading 7 RBI this week while hitting .286? It was a tough choice but the hitter of the week is Pablo Aliendo.
Starting Pitcher of the Week – At first, I thought this was going to be Porter Hodge, then I wavered to Ben Brown. I ended up going with RIchard Gallardo who threw 11 innings and struck out 16 on the week.
Reliever of the Week – Johzan Oquendo whiffed 6 guys in 3 scoreless innings this week. He’s pretty close to being ready for South Bend.
Myrtle Beach gets the Affiliate of the Week as they went 6-0 against Fayetteville.