By Josh Cook
We've reached the midway point of the June schedule for the Louisville Bats, so let's take a quick look at what they've done in the first half.
Through the first 15 days, and 14 games, of the month the Bats (30-36) have a 6-8 record and have matched their opponents run for run (both have scored 60).
So since they have a day off Wednesday it's a perfect time to take a closer look at the players' performances:
AT THE PLATE
*Catcher Chris Denove has been on fire since his promotion from Double-A Carolina in late May, hitting .378, including .345 in June.
*Wilkin Castillo, who has also seen some time at catcher, isn't far behind at .333 in June.
*Shortstop Chris Valaika continues to make a strong case for the International League All-Star team, hitting .320 in June.
*Luis Terrero, who has been out since June 6 with a strained left calf, started off the month hitting a sizzling .412 with three homers.
*Utilityman Michael Griffin is hitting .316, while Drew Sutton is batting .296 and Todd Frazier .265.
*Third baseman Juan Francisco is hitting .250 (2-for-8) in his two-game return from an appendectomy.
*Several Bats, however, are struggling from the plate so far this month. They include Yonder Alonso (.226), Zack Cozart (.213), Wladimir Balentien (.180) and Chris Burke (.170).
ON THE MOUND
*It's been a rough first half of June for highly-touted pitching prospect Aroldis Chapman. In three starts the lefty is 0-2 with a 6.43 earned-run average, having allowed 10 earned runs in 14 innings pitched. He does have 15 strikeouts, but also has 11 walks.
*Travis Wood has been a bright spot. He is 1-1 with 1.71 ERA in three starts and has 21 strikeouts in 21 innings.
*Bats' closer Jon Adkins has rebounded nicely from a rough May, when he went 0-3 with a 10.61 ERA and only one save in 11 appearances. So far in June he's 0-1 with a 5.40 ERA, but he has four saves in five appearances. His last one tied the Louisville franchise record of 39.
*Matt Maloney is 2-1 in three starts, but has a 5.06 ERA having allowed 15 runs in 16 innings pitched.
*Lefty Ben Jukich is 0-0 with a 0.87 ERA in four appearances, including one spot start. He has 10 strikeouts in 10 1/3 innings.
*Right-hander Chad Reineke is 0-1 in two starts, after making nine appearances and only three starts in May, with a 3.46 ERA.
*As for other starters: Matt Klinker was 0-1 with a 2.57 ERA in one start before returning to Carolina, while former Bat Homer Bailey lasted only 4 1/3 innings (with a 10.38 ERA) in a rehab start from the parent Cincinnati Reds.
*Meanwhile other than Adkins the Bats' bullpen has been up and down. Some have been solid - Jesus Delgado (0-0, 1.17 ERA in four appearances with nine strikeouts in 7 2/3 innings); Joseph Krebs (0-0, 1.13 ERA with eight innings pitched in six appearances); and Bill Bray (0-0, 0.00 ERA in two innings pitched in two games). Meanwhile some others have struggled - Federico Baez (0-1, 6.75 ERA in three appearances); Carlos Fisher (1-0, 7.20 ERA in four appearances); Jared Burton (1-1, 8.44 ERA in 5 1/3 innings in five games).
*The Bats' bullpen, though, should get a boost from the return of relief pitcher Enerio Del Rosario, who has returned to Louisville after a brief stint in Cincinnati.
The Bats return to action at 7:05 p.m. Thursday night against Durham at Louisville Slugger Field to begin an eight-game homestand. Reineke (2-5, 2.90 ERA) is slated to go against Bulls' right-hander Aneury Rodriguez (3-4, 3.68 ERA). Gates open at 5:30 p.m. for Budweiser Game Time Happy Hour. From then until 7 p.m. fans can enjoy $1 Bud and Bud Lights.