To start the season the Clearwater Threshers were written up by a couple of minor league blogs as one of the best teams in minor league baseball. Well fans, they have started out very slowly going 1-6 and have lost five straight in the Florida State League.
When I opined about the sad state of the Threshers to one of my baseball friends, he declared minor league baseball is all about player development and another minor league observer told me, “it was still early”. They are both right but come on fans!
The Threshers enter tonight game tied for the worst record in Advanced A ball at 1-6 to start the season. They are in the midst of a five game losing streak. It’s always darkest before the dawn but to be tied for 29th place among the 30 A+ teams, after being proclaim as one of the best teams in minor league baseball to start the season, something is not right!
It’s the little things that cause me concern, such as on Tuesday night infielder Raul Rivas hit his first homer in 136 minor league games stateside, watch HERE. However, he failed to put down a squeeze bunt with the potential tying run on third in the ninth inning.
The Threshers would lose 5-4 in Tuesday’s game to the Jupiter Hammerheads in the tenth inning with the new “courtesy runner” rule in effect. This rule starts extra innings with a runner on second base for both teams until a team wins. For whatever reason, Rivas did not play in Wednesday afternoon’s game. No reward for his long ball in the previous game.
In the Wednesday game, the Thresher fell behind Jupiter 5-0, even though starter Connor Seabold had a no-hitter after four innings and struck out nine in 5.1 innings. His 92-93 fastball set up his off speed pitches for strikeouts. Watch several of his strike outs HERE. The Hammerheads put up a five spot in the sixth inning as Seabold was pulled after two batters reached base. Aaron Brown came on in relief and allowed the two inherited runners to score plus three of his own fueled by a three-run homer.
Watch HERE, as the Threshers answered with four runs in eight around a Jose Gomez double, and singles by Kevin Markham, Darick Hall and Willie Garcia.
It was not enough. A high long drive by Jose Gomez, with the wind blowing in from left, was caught against the wall by Jupiters’ left fielder named Boo Vasquez to end the game in another defeat. Watch HERE.
Tonight wraps up the four game series with the Marlins farmhands, as the Threshers continue the battle with Myrtle Beach of the Carolina League to avoid the worst start in all of Advanced A minor league baseball.