The Louisville Bats currently sit at 48-74 overall this season, tied with the Toledo Mud Hens for third place in the International League’s West Division standings. That also makes them tied with the Hens for the worst record in the league. They currently sit six games behind the Gwinnett Braves for the third worst record in the league. This may all sound completely unimportant, but consider the fact this team started 23-49 and are 25-25 in the second half and that’s saying something.
Time to get you updated on everything noteworthy with the Bats. Here’s YOUR Bats Sunday Notebook:
Nick Masset has made three relief appearances for the Bats over the past week. However, he didn’t even throw a pitch in the first one; he was out on the mound ready to start the game and a shower came over Slugger Field, causing a rain delay and pushing Masset out of the game without throwing a pitch.
Masset did start two days later and gave up two runs on a hit over 1-2/3 innings work. After working a perfect first, Masset gave up a walk and a single was removed with two out in the second.
In his second relief appearance, Saturday, Masset worked a perfect eighth inning, keeping the Bats ahead 3-2. Masset looked good pitching in a situation the Reds will certainly use him in.
Sticking with the subject of relievers, JJ Hoover has been ridiculous this season for the Bats. In 26 games, Hoover is 4-0 with 12 saves and a 1.36 ERA. Hoover has struck out 48 batters in 33 innings and walked just 11. That’s about all you need to know.
Soto catching fire
Neftali Soto went hitless for six straight games July 20-25. Since then, he’s recorded a hit in 14 of 16 and has a nine game hitting streak. In those 15 games, Soto is hitting a blistering .349 with seven doubles, one home run, and four RBIs. He has eight two-hit games during that time. His 26 multi-hit games lead the team. A hit Sunday will tie him with Joey Gathright for the longest hit streak by a Bats player this season.
Felix Perez entered the month of June with a .227 batting average. Since then, he has hit safely 39 of his last 53 games and is hitting .326 with 16 doubles, three homers, and 18 RBIs in that time. He also has 16 multi-hit games and has raised his average from .227 to .290. This season, Perez has a career high 93 hits and, if he stays on this pace, will finish with a batting average over .300.
New Guys Strugg-A-Ling
Newcomers Didi Gregorius, Henry Rodriguez, and Cody Puckett have been struggling mightily to close out their first Triple-A seasons. In their last eleven games, Gregorius is hitting .150 (6-for-40), Rodriguez is hitting .111 (5-for-45) and Puckett is hitting .064 (2-for-31). Hopefully, with a little under a month left in the season, these guys can turn it around and help the Bats push for a strong finish.
The Road Ahead
The Bats finish up their eight game road trip in Charlotte Tuesday-through-Friday this week. After a four game homestand with Columbus next weekend, there will be only four home games remaining in the 2012 season. So be sure to get your tickets and come out to Louisville Slugger Field as the summer winds down.