Results tagged ‘ Osvaldo Abreu ’

Senators can’t hold late lead to preserve win for Fedde

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The Hartford Yard Goats scored five unanswered runs to top the Harrisburg Senators 6-5 on Saturday night at FNB Field. The Senators had raced out to an early 5-1 lead but couldn’t hold on for the victory.

Harrisburg starter Erick Fedde allowed a two-run home run to Collin Ferguson in the top of the sixth inning but left in line for the win up 5-3. Reliever Phillips Valdez was knocked around for three runs on three hits including a double off the bat of Elvin Soto that Zach Collier couldn’t corral in front of the wall in left-center field.

“We were right there, we just didn’t finish it,” manager Matt LeCroy said. “(Valdez) elevated the ball, and they made him pay for it.”

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Fedde started for the Senators scattering five hits and allowing three runs over seven solid innings. It was an encouraging outing to see from the 24-year-old righthander after he couldn’t get out of the fourth inning against the Thunder in his previous start.

“He was a two-pitch pitcher in Trenton,” pitching coach Chris Michalak said. “That worked great the first time through the order, you can get away with it. But that second time through if they only have two options, they can eliminate one.”

Against the Yard Goats on Saturday night, Fedde once again made sure to utilize his change-up as part of his repertoire. Something he failed to do in Trenton.

“Tonight there was a focus of using it again,” Michalak said. “He threw 24 change-ups and it made all of his other pitches better. It was a legitimate swing and miss pitch.”

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Osvaldo Abreu was ejected by home plate umpire Patrick Sharshel when the shortstop slammed his bat down after getting rung up on strikes in the fifth inning. LeCroy relayed that Abreu didn’t say anything to Sharshel, instead he was ejected solely for his outburst that ended up breaking his bat upon impact.

Rule 9.01 (d) gives umpires the authority to disqualify any player for “unsportsmanlike conduct” so Sharshel was well within his rights, but the ump has to let that go in that situation.

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Fedde threw first-pitch strikes to 19 of the 28 batters he faced…four Senators (Drew Ward, Collier, Alec Keller, and Abreu) registered multi-hit games…Jake Johansen worked a scoreless ninth inning in relief.

Ozzie Abreu and Jimmy Cordero put April struggles behind them in 2-1 win

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After Neftali Soto doubled to lead off the bottom of the seventh inning, Raudy Read and Alec Keller failed to advance him any further as both batters flew out to Hartford left fielder Dillon Thomas. That brought up Harrisburg shortstop Ozzie Abreu looking to deliver a hit that would break the 1-1 tie between the Senators and Hartford Yard Goats.

Mired below the Mendoza line for much of the season, Abreu might be one of the last batters you wanted up in that situation. But the shortstop is hitting .375 over the last week and has started putting quality at-bats together on a consistent basis.

On the first pitch he saw from Hartford starter Sam Howard, Abreu slashed a single right back up the middle that scored Soto and gave the Senators a 2-1 lead they would preserve for the victory.

“He’s gotten a lot softer, he’s not swinging as hard. Hitting balls up the middle and the other way,” manager Matt LeCroy said. “That’s kind of his bread and butter when he’s doing well.”

“(Hitting coach Brian) Rupp has helped him out a lot and he’s making some big strides.”

Abreu had looked overmatched most days and as if the game was moving a tick too fast for the 22-year-old in the batter’s box. He was striking out at a rate of once every three times he came to the plate. But the issues were more mental than physical according to Rupp.

“A lot of it has really been just talking and helping him understand that he didn’t have to do too much,” Rupp said. “I think he was pressing a little bit when he got here wanted to prove to people that he belonged here.”

“It was just getting him to relax a little bit and slow some things down. We’ve done a few drills that have helped, but it was more the mindset.”

The results speak for themselves. Abreu hasn’t struck out in his last 13 plate appearances, has recorded multi-hit games three times in the last week, and even drew a walk, only his second of the season, on Thursday night.

“One thing I’m proud of is that his defense hasn’t changed. Frustrations come with not hitting and it’s easy to take it out to the field,” LeCroy said. “He’s actually stayed with what he’s trying to do.”

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To say it has been a rough first month to the season for Jimmy Cordero would be an understatement. The flamethrowing reliever has been touched for runs in six of his nine appearances and sports a 17.65 ERA over 8.2 innings. Because of the extreme amount of runs, hits, and walks the 25-year-old has allowed, it’s going to take a while to see improvements in his numbers. But Cordero may have indeed turned the corner if his last two outings are any indication.

Monday evening in Trenton Cordero tossed two scoreless innings in what his manager said was the best he has looked so far this season. For an encore, Cordero was called upon to get out of a base loaded jam on Friday with the game on the line.

Clinging to a one-run lead in the top of the eighth inning, Senators’ reliever Braulio Lara issued three consecutive walks to start the frame. LeCroy wasted very little time in bringing Cordero into the game. The Dominican induced a comebacker that forced the first out at home and then got Ryan McMahon to ground into the rally-killing 4-6-3 double play.

“He did a really good job in one of the toughest spots you could possibly be in, and he put up a zero,” LeCroy said. “We need some more guys to finish ballgames especially with that kind of stuff.”

“You saw the fastball tonight. It had angle, it had life.”

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Jaron Long would probably love nothing more than to face Hartford every time he takes the mound. With the victory on Friday night, the 25-year-old starter evened his record to 3-3 on the season with all three wins coming against the Yard Goats. Long has allowed just two runs and 12 hits in 20 innings against the Colorado Rockies’ affiliate thus far in 2017.

On Friday at FNB Field, the Ohio State product surrendered only one run on three hits, all off the bat of Drew Weeks including a home run, as he outdueled Hartford starter Sam Howard. Long pitches to the game plan, but also does a tremendous job reading swings and adjusting within an at-bat.

“He just keeps doing it,” LeCroy said. “Every time out he mixes it up. His changeup has been his best go-to pitch to keep them off balance.”

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ICYMI: Mario Lisson put the first run on the board for Harrisburg with his second homer of the season…Working back to back nights, Wander Suero picked up his third save of the season with a dominating 1-2-3 inning where he struck out two…the 2-1 victory sent Hartford to their seventh straight defeat and kept them in the basement of the Eastern division of the Eastern League.

The Matt LeCroy Show: May 5 vs. Hartford

Terry and Matt discuss last night’s win over the Yard Goats, Osvaldo Abreu improving at the plate and in the field, and Zach Collier filling in easily for the departure of Andrew Stevenson.

 

The Matt LeCroy Show: May 4 vs. Hartford

Greg Wong and Matt discuss the 1-5 road trip, Ozzie Abreu’s improvement, and his go-to order at Underdog’s

Senators’ Notebook: Raudy Read and Ozzie Abreu produce different results in first taste of Double-A

Raudy Read has made the transition to Double-A seamlessly (Samuel Getty / Harrisburg Senators)

A TALE OF TWO PROSPECTS

Charles Dickens began his classic novel A Tale of Two Cities with the famous opening line, “It was the best of times. It was the worst of times.” After a week and a half of games, the same could very easily be said of Senators’ players Raudy Read and Ozzie Abreu. Both are getting their first taste of Double-A Harrisburg to start the 2017 season and while one prospect flourishes, the other flails.

Read, a 23-year-old catcher, has adapted to the better pitching and looks like he has already made the necessary adjustments to succeed at this level. In eight games so far, Read has four doubles and two home runs while driving in seven runs to match Neftali Soto for the team lead.

“I think going to big league camp and comparing himself to all these other players, he realizes he’s close. He sees if he goes out and competes and plays the game right, he’s there,” manager Matt LeCroy said. “I think that shows in the way he’s been going out and doing his work.”

Throughout his career, Read has been known as an offense first option behind the plate, but the backstop has impressed his skipper with other tools. “I think he’s done a really nice job with our pitching staff. That’s what I’ve been pleased with,” LeCroy said.

On the other hand, Abreu has struggled in his opening salvo with the Senators. The 22-year-old shortstop is hitting a meager .147 thanks to only five singles in 35 plate appearances. At the plate Abreu appears overwhelmed at times as evident by his 15 strikeouts. “The game is a little faster at this level, but I think he’ll catch up,” LeCroy said pointing to Abreu’s respectable numbers in the prospect-laden Arizona Fall League last fall where he slashed .267/.303/.317.

After batting second during the opening week, LeCroy moved the scuffling Abreu down to eighth for Saturday’s game. Hopefully, the lower spot in the batting order will take pressure off the shortstop until he can get his feet under him.

PITCHING LEADS THE WAY

Although the Senators came away with only one win in their three game set against Bowie, Harrisburg has to be happy with the way they pitched against the potent Baysox lineup. In the first seven games of the season against Akron and Erie, Bowie averaged over seven runs a game and had clubbed 33 extra-base hits including 11 home runs. The Senators limited the veteran lineup to just 12 total runs and only four doubles and one home run in the entire series.

Overall, the Senators pitching has been their strongest asset so far as the staff has posted a 3.20 ERA (second only to Altoona in the Eastern League) and given away the fewest base on balls in the league. Led by Nationals’ top pitching prospect Erick Fedde,the starting pitchers have been excellent so far this season and have carried the load admirably. In two starts, Fedde has tossed 11 scoreless innings while holding opponents to a .171 batting average.  As a unit, the starters are pitching to a 2.50 ERA while allowing a minuscule 1.09 WHIP.

CLEANING UP FROM THE CLEAN-UP SPOT

Much like he did last season for 93 games, Neftali Soto has provided the big veteran bat the Senators need in the middle of their lineup. He has provided protection for Drew Ward batting in front of him and has taken some pressure off Double-A rookies Read and Alec Keller behind him. Soto is in the top ten in the league in batting with a .382 average and has only whiffed twice in 39 plate appearances for an Eastern League best rate of 19.5 TPA/SO.

COMINGS AND GOINGS

The injuries to Trea Turner and Stephen Drew at the major league level caused a ripple effect down to the Senators as they embarked on their first road trip of the season. Adrian Sanchez, who had played second base this season but can handle multiple positions defensively, was promoted to Triple-A Syracuse. To fill Sanchez’s roster spot, the Senators activated Zach Collier off the disabled list and the outfielder went 2-for-5 with two doubles and two runs scored in his first game action on Saturday afternoon.

VETERAN MOVE

Prior to the team arriving in Harrisburg, many of the players drove their vehicles up from spring training so they would have a means of getting around town. The coaching staff is normally not any different, but ths season LeCroy chose to fly here. In the past he has done this at least once before, but then he had gotten a player (Jose Lozada) to drive his pickup truck to the midstate. This time, though, LeCroy pulled what he called “a veteran move” when he left his vehicle here after this year’s Hot Stove banquet in late January.

Osvaldo Abreu’s rough day bleeds into his night

Photo courtesy Samuel Getty / Harrisburg Senators

A professional baseball team taking batting practice before a game can resemble chaotic anarchy to an uninitiated viewer as hitters are taking their hacks in the cage, infielders are fielding ground balls, and players are working on baserunning all at the same time. But if you look long enough you can see the beauty in the detailed organization and the inherent rhythms that make everything simultaneously work perfectly in sync.

But sometimes one wrong step can bring the system crashing to a halt.

As the Harrisburg Senators prepared for their Opening Night clash with the rival Altoona Curve, a group was cycling through the batting cage as pitcher Austen Williams was hitting fungo groundballs to Drew Ward at third base. A mere couple of hours away from his Double-A debut, Harrisburg shortstop Osvaldo Abreu took that one wrong step into the path of Williams’ bat.

Abreu, the Nationals’ 21st ranked prospect per Baseball America, got dinged around the temple above the right eye that required medical attention and forced the 22-year-old Dominican to miss his turn in batting practice.

It was a rough start to a day that was about to go from bad to worse for Abreu and the rest of his teammates as the Senators committed five errors in a 5-3 loss to the Curve to start their 2017 season on a down note.

Abreu struck out three times in five hitless trips to the plate and accounted for one of the miscues with an errant throw on a routine grounder.

“He had a really good Arizona Fall League, but it’s a different level now so he has to really step up his preparation before the games,” manager Matt LeCroy said. “The game is a little faster at this level, but I think he’ll catch up. I think tonight, his first time at Double-A, it kind of sped up on him a little bit.”

Abreu wasn’t the only Senator struggling at both the plate and in the field as 29-year-old Cuban outfielder Yadiel Hernandez whiffed twice and committed two errors including a dropped pop fly.

The game, however, marked the first time Hernandez was playing competitively in a game that counted since he defected to the United States at the end of June in 2015. So it makes sense he was a little anxious in the batter’s box as he saw only nine pitches in his first three at-bats and swung at seven of them.

“I don’t know how much he played last year. We gave him a lot of opportunities in spring training because we knew he hadn’t played much the year before,” LeCroy said. “It’s his first time out. He works hard, he just had a tough night.”

“I don’t like to make excuses. We didn’t secure the baseball and it ended up costing us the night.” – – LeCroy on playing in temperatures in the thirties with a biting wind.