Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports
It appears that 2014 is the year of Tommy John surgery.
With plenty of MLB pitchers tearing their UCL’s and going down for the year with Tommy John surgery, it’s only fitting that the same problem strikes in the minor leagues. This time, it’s Matt Purke of the Harrisburg Senators. Purke, a 23-year old left-hander, was a third-round pick in the 2011 MLB Amateur Draft. A highly touted prospect, Purke struggled with a 1-6 record and a 8.04 ERA (although to be fair, there isn’t much good news coming out of Harrisburg anyways).
Purke underwent the season ending surgery on May 29th.
On to some brighter news, we find Eastern League Player of the Week, Robert Refsnyder. Refsnyder, the 23-year old second baseman for the Trenton Thunder, had an impressive week en route to a league-wide award. He batted an even .500 for the week, with 6 doubles, 2 triples, and 1 home run. His .964 slugging percentage jumped off of the page, as Robert demonstrated his skills as an elite offensive second baseman.
On the season, Refsnyder holds a .320 average, with 16 doubles, 5 triples, 5 home runs, and 25 runs batted in. Refsnyder is a former fifth-round pick out of University of Arizona, and is making his way up the prospect rankings in the New York Yankees system.
If Refsnyder is the hottest hitter, Joseph Colon of the Akron Rubberducks. Colon, a 24-year old righty, posted 2 wins and 1 shutout in the past week. Colon’s final stat line for the week was 2 wins, 15.0 innings pitched, 8 strikeouts, and 1.20 earned run average.
While last week was impressive, that’s how Colon’s season has looked as a whole. His season stat line is 5-2, with 44 strikeouts and a 2.37 earned run average. The Puerto Rican right hander has put together an impressive season, and will look to take on the role of “ace” for the Cleveland Indians’ AA affiliate.
Eastern League Standings:
Looking at the standings, Altoona took a huge drop in the past week, as they ride a 9-game losing streak into Wednesday’s action. They saw themselves get swept by New Hampshire from May 29th to June 1st, all that coming off of a 3-game sweep at the hands of Richmond.
Speaking of Richmond, they turned out to be one of the high risers in the past week, going 7-3, currently on a 6-game winning streak. They swept the Curve as mentioned before, and then went on to sweep the Bowie Baysox in a three-game series right after.
Both Akron and Portland find themselves at the top of their respective divisions, with Portland seriously running away with the Eastern League Eastern Division. The minor league baseball season is entering the heat of the summer, and the gaps between first and last are starting to grow.