Well, that winning streak sure was fun while it lasted. Things are going downhill once again in Albuquerque, with the Isotopes going 4-6 in their last ten games. The ‘Topes are 48-62 and 13 games back in their division. Eddie Butler may be on the path to getting back on track, meanwhile Tom Murphy, Jordan Patterson and Stephen Cardullo are carrying the offense following the departure of David Dahl.
Stephen Cardullo has been absolutely excellent for the team so far this season. The outfielder who was signed out of independent baseball before the season is hitting .309/.373/.501 with 12 home runs and 56 RBI in 98 games. He has also been on a bit of tear lately, hitting in 13 straight games as of Thursday afternoon.
Through Wednesday, Jordan Patterson is hitting .314/.401/.489 with 48 RBI and eight home runs. In most organizations, Patterson would probably have been promoted by now, but thanks to the Rockies glut of outfielders, he hasn’t gotten the call yet. If he doesn’t get the call before then, he should be up when rosters expand in September.
Hot on Patterson’s heels is catcher Tom Murphy, who is slashing .311/.342/.649 in 59 games. The presumed catcher of the future has been hotter than the sun for the last month, hitting .540/.586/1.079 in the month of July after three months where he really, really struggled. In three games so far in the month of August, he’s hitting .385/.385/.769 with three RBI. Murphy, who hit .257/.333/.543 in a brief, 11 game stint in the Majors last season, is first in line to take Nick Hundley’s place on the roster, in the event the Rockies decide to part with him.
Jeff Hoffman had his third rough start in his last four on Monday night, only making it 2⅔ innings against Tacoma, giving up seven hits, six runs, walking three and striking out only one. His ERA jumped from 3.95 to 4.35 following the outing. Hopefully Daryl Scott and company can fix whatever it is that is plaguing Hoffman. The last time he managed to go six innings in a start was on June 30 in a loss to Sacramento.
Just when it looked like Kyle Freeland was starting to get a handle on Triple-A, he went out and gave up six runs on seven hits in 5⅓ innings. Thankfully, there was still one positive we can take away, thanks to his eight strikeouts and one walk. Things have not been easy for the southpaw since his promotion, to say the least.
Eddie Butler had an absolutely fantastic outing on Tuesday, throwing eight strong innings in which he allowed four hits, two runs, one walk and struck out one. Chris Jackson took a look at how a desire for consistency in his delivery made the difference for Butler. In the small, one start sample we have, it seems the change could get him back on track. It will be something to watch closely as the season continues.
Finally, Miguel Castro had a really, really rough outing last night. In one inning of work, he gave up five hits, four runs (including a home run) walked one and struck out two. Things have not gone well for him since his injury and so far he’s been unable to get back on track. In 13.2 innings since his demotion, he has given up 18 hits and 13 runs. Opponents are batting .321 against him and he has a WHIP of 1.68. Hopefully he can find a way to get things back on track sooner rather than later.
Keep an eye out for Chris Jackson’s in-depth pieces from the clubhouse and check this space again next week.