As the season rolls through the second half, here’s a quick look at the clubs standings in their divisions.
Memphis, 2nd of 4, .5 games back, .536 Win%
Despite having their best relievers plucked away from the team, Memphis is building their success entirely on their pitching staff which has the best ERA in the league. Starters PJ Walters, Adam Ottavino, Lance Lynn and Brandon Dickson were all a big part of the staffs ability to stay in the thick of games. Nick Additon has performed well since his promotion but the Cardinals will need their other starters to step up after the departure of Lynn and Dickson. While the team has also had some of it’s more prolific hitters (Mark Hamilton, Andrew Brown, Tyler Greene) stolen for parts of the season they need players like Nick Stavinoha, Pete Kozma and Bryan Anderson to start hitting.
Springfield, 4th of 4, 9.5 games back, .432 Win %
Springfield has played better than two of the teams in the other Texas League division but there is little denying that they’ve played poorly this year. They’re second in the league in batting OPS but dead last in ERA. Several starters have been bounced to the bullpen (Scott Schneider, David Kopp) and others have continued to struggle throughout the season (Michael Blazek, Kevin Thomas). The additions of Shelby Miller and John Gast are an attempt to shore up what has been, this year, a sub par starting rotation.
Palm Beach, 3rd of 6, 7.5 games back, .457 Win %
2nd to last in the entire league’s OPS, regulars Edgar Lara (.664 OPS), Luis Mateo (.478) and Ronald Ramirez (.465) have struggled badly at the plate. The rotation has been anchored by Joe Kelly and Eric Fornataro for the entire season with a plethora of impressive arms spending time in the rotation as well: Shelby Miller, Carlos Martinez, John Gast & Jordan Swagerty. Keith Bulter has been a lights out closer since his promotion.
Quad Cities, 3rd of 8, 5.5 games back, .550 Win %
With a better record on the road than at home, the River Bandits are a threat to win anywhere. Their first half performance has clinched them a spot in the Midwest League playoffs later this year. Much like Memphis and Palm Beach, the River Bandits are built on pitching with the league’s second best ERA. With Trevor Rosenthal consistently dominating A ball hitters all year, Boone Whiting, Carlos Martinez and Jordan Swagerty all have been impressive in their starts for the club as well. Relievers Justin Wright and Aidan Lucas have been solid performers out of the pen in combination with Keith Bulter (Palm Beach) and Boone Whiting (rotation) from the first half.