Some notes from the RailRiders clubhouse over the past couple days.
The Yankees designated Rob Refsnyder for assignment Wednesday. Refsnyder has spent parts of the last four seasons with SWB. In the press box, we ran through uniform numbers he’s worn here and, well, the amount gives the Yankees’ retired numbers a run for their money.
When he was here, Refsnyder raked. In 286 games, he had an OPS of .796.
“He was fine,” Pedrique said of Refsnyder’s reaction to learning he was designated for assignment. “He came in and he asked me, ‘How come I’m not in the lineup?’ And I explained to him. And He went outside, I guess got a phone call from (Brian) Cashman. He came back in and said goodbye to everybody, but it seemed like he was fine.
“A kid that, for everything that he had gone through so far, any time he came back to us, his attitude was great. He played hard for us. He played in the outfield, played first base. He helped the young guys in the clubhouse when he was here. So, that’s why we wish him nothing but the best. Hopefully, if he gets picked up by somebody, it will click for him. He gets a chance. That’s the way this business is. You never know who’s watching the games. You never know who’s following you. So, we’re hoping that he gets a shot.”
Dealing with Charlotte’s aces
The RailRiders welcome Charlotte to PNC Field for a four-game series. The White Sox’s Triple-A affiliate lost a little bit of its luster when Chicago promoted top prospect Yoan Moncada to the big leagues earlier this week. But the RailRiders will still get a look at a pair of the top pitching prospects in the game.
Lucas Giolito is scheduled to pitch tonight — as long as the weather cooperates — then Reynaldo Lopez faces off against Chance Adams on Friday. Giolito and Lopez, both part of the deal that sent Adam Eaton to Washington this offseason, don’t have great numbers at first glance. Giolito is 3-8 with a 5.00 ERA. Lopez is 6-5 with a 3.78 ERA. They’ve combined to allow 27 home runs and Giolito has walked a few too many batters.
But that doesn’t change how the RailRiders go about preparing for the series.
“They know their job is to make sure they watch video of the guys that we’re facing each night,” RailRiders manager Al Pedrique said. “And definitely, we know when we’re facing a team with a good staff, we look at the numbers and it’s not a secret that we’re facing probably two or three good arms in the rotation. I think the energy level is the same. The preparation is the same. We just know that we’re facing some good arms. … If each guy takes care of their business and does their homework, we should be fine.”
Giolito and Lopez — especially Lopez — are in a pretty good stretch right now. It’s hard to take their numbers at face value, though, since Charlotte’s home park is an extreme hitters’ park. So, the RailRiders rely on video.
“Sometimes, you look at the numbers and then you look at the park, can be a small park, can be a big park,” Pedrique said. “So, that’s why we concentrate more on video. So, we watch guys, if it’s a right-handed starter, we’ll watch what type of pitches he has, which pitch he uses to get people out; when he’s ahead in the count, behind in the count. So, that’s the type of homework we do. And we go from there. But once the game starts, sometimes it’s different. Maybe their starter will make adjustments that we don’t know about them until we face the guy that night.”
German working on secondary stuff
Domingo German looked like he went to his secondary pitches, his curveball and changeup, a little more than usual toward the end of his outing. After the game, German said through translator Jonathan Diaz that he’s working on those pitches to “show the big league squad that he’s got control.”
German pitched three innings Wednesday — his first game action in 10 days — and allowed one run on three hits, struck out three and walked none. German said the off time probably messed with his timing and his rhythm a little bit. He also mentioned he’s still trying to adjust to his role switching back and forth between starting with SWB and relieving with New York.
Cave’s power surge
Wrote about it in the game story for yesterday, so check out Jake Cave’s thoughts on what’s behind his recent power surge.