A pair of strong weeks for the Isotopes sees them sitting second in the division with a record of 12-9. There has been a bit of roster shuffling, as Eddie Butler, Carlos Estevez, Scott Oberg and Gonzalez Germen all were called up to Denver. Through corresponding moves, the 'Topes added Jason Gurka, Jordan Lyles and Dustin Garneau.
The rotation has been firmly middle of the pack so far this year, coming in tenth out of 16 teams in ERA, but they have thrown 177.1 innings already this season, which is the second most in the Pacific Coast League. The staff has been sure to get their work in, even if a few of the outings haven't gone as well as they had hoped. Jeff Hoffman (No. 3 PuRP), the best prospect on the team, has struggled recently, including a curious outing on April 19th when he was only able to pitch 3⅔ innings, during which he allowed six hits and three runs on 84 pitches. He worked slowly, which drew complaints from manager Glenallen Hill, and encountered a lot of full counts, which inflated his pitch count.
But he bounced back nicely, as his next start saw him throw six innings. He gave up five hits and two earned runs, striking out five in the process while picking up the win. After four starts, Hoffman is 2-0 with a 1.99 ERA, having allowed 19 hits and five earned runs to go along with 19 strikeouts in 22⅔ innings. The rest of the rotation has been shaken up a bit with the Butler call up, and Jordan Lyles should slot into his spot. Shane Carle represents a low point among starters. He has conceded 18 earned runs in 20 innings.
★ ★ ★
Jordan Patterson continues his incredible start to the season. In 19 games, Patterson is hitting .339/.488/.484 with 17 RBI. Mike Tauchman and Stephen Cardullo have been keeping pace with Patterson thus far. Tauchman is slashing .329/.388/.395 with nine RBI and a .783 OPS, while Cardullo is hitting .329/.391/.504 with an .894 OPS and 10 RBI, which is good for third on the team. Jeff Bianchi, in a smaller sample size of just 10 plate appearances, has been the best bat on the team. His line of.357/.438/.429 would be 12th in the league, but Bianchi hasn't played enough to qualify.
As a whole, the team is fifth in the PCL with a collective .276 average and rank first in runs scored with 105 in 20 games. Jackson Williams and Juan Ciracio, the two call ups from Hartford, haven't fared so well in their first six games with the Isotopes. Williams has been the strongest performer of the two, and he's hitting .095/.095/.143 with just two hits. Things have been even worse for the 25-year old Ciriaco, who is sitting at .059/.059/.059 with just one single to show for his efforts at the plate.
★ ★ ★
The bullpen has been hit the hardest by roster moves, with Carlos Estevez, Gonzalez Germen and Scott Oberg all departing. Estevez and Germen both did some work in the closer role, splitting time with Simon Castro. Castro has taken on that role in a more permanent way, having closed out six games in 6⅔ innings across seven appearances, giving up four earned runs on six hits, striking out seven and walking one. Jason Gurka has thrown two scoreless innings while allowing only one hit.
Yohan Flande and Sam Moll have also been strong early on. Moll, who threw in the Arizona Fall League this fall, has allowed 12 hits in 11⅓ innings of work, but he's only given up three runs. Moll has recorded three holds, striking out seven and walking three on his way to a WHIP of 1.32. Flande has thrown 13 ⅔ innings, giving up 18 hits and 5 earned runs, striking out eight and walking five. Albuquerque native and New Mexico grad Austin House has had a rough go of it since he was brought up from Hartford. In 2⅓ innings, the 25-year old has given up six runs on five hits, walking two and striking out four. These numbers are in stark contrast to his six innings in Hartford, when he allowed six hits and no runs.
★ ★ ★
Yesterday, Albuquerque opened a four game set on the road against Reno. After that, the team will return home to face Sacramento on Monday, May 2. The Sacramento series will kick off a week-long homestand for the team, who has been on the road since April 22nd.