Kubiak believes Mahoning Valley players are tired
By Steve Ruman
Though he is not the type to back off from pushing a team to its limits, Mahoning Valley Scrappers manager Ted Kubiak believes it might be time to step back and allow his young team to catch its breath.
Kubiak’s assessment came Friday night following the Scrappers’ latest setback, this time a 4-2 loss to Jamestown in front of 3,007 fans at Eastwood Field.
The setback — the Scrappers’ seventh in their last eight games — drops the club to 5-10.
“My concern right now is the workload that we got,” Kubiak said. “A couple of guys started out fine, then it looked like today they were a little tired. Everyone looked tired today.
“It’s no excuse. They have to get used to it and deal with it. But I think I might back off a bit (today) and give them a breather.”
Jamestown opened the scoring with a three-run third inning off Scrappers starter Luis DeJesus. Jammers center fielder Carl Anderson plated the first run on a groundout. Left fielder Jordan Luplow then knocked in a pair of runs with a double to the wall in right-center.
DeJesus, who was the starting pitcher in the New York-Penn League All-Star game at Eastwood Field in 2012, worked three innings, giving up the three runs on four hits. He also issued three walks and made a wild pitch while registering a pair of strikeouts.
“I don’t know what’s going on with DeJesus, he struggled all day,” Kubiak said. “It seemed like it took forever for him to throw the ball, and that’s just not him. He’s a different guy.
“That’s what happens from year to year. These guys have to make adjustments and deal with change. I know in this case, he doesn’t have the pinpoint control that he used to have.”
The Scrappers answered with a pair of runs in the bottom of the fourth. Lead-of hitter Greg Allen started the inning by doubling to right. Allen advanced to third when Bradley Zimmer reached on an error, then both runners scored on a Francisco Mejia double to the wall in right-center.
Mejia now has eight RBIs on the season.
Though Mejia was acquired as a free agent in 2011, he is just 19.
“Francisco is swinging the bad good,” Kubiak said. “He has that big, funky wild swing from both sides of the plate. He has a lot of power and he’s been putting the bat on the ball. For a young kid, he’s been doing good here already.”
Jamestown added its fourth run in the seventh inning. Francisco Aponte reached base with one out on a error, advanced to second on a walk, then scored on a Michael Suchy base hit.
A trio of Scrappers relievers worked six innings, giving up just the one run on four hits.
Meanwhile, Jose Regalado and Jared Lakind combined to give Jamestown five innings of shutout relieve work. Regalado (3-0) picked up the win while Lakind earned his first save of the year.
“Some days guys hit, some days they don’t. Some days they catch the ball, some days they don’t. That’s the good old game of baseball. We’ll come back tomorrow,” Kubiak said.
The Scrappers and Jammers continue their four-game series tonight at 7:05.
Scrappers catcher Francisco Mejia provided the Scrappers’ only offensive spark of the night. Francisco’s double in the fourth plated the Scrappers’ two runs.
IN THE DOGHOUSE
Since starting the all-star game in 2012, Scrappers pitcher Luis DeJesus has struggled to find his groove. DeJesus (0-2, 6.35 ERA) has surrendered 14 hits, 8 runs and 7 walks in 11.1 innings this year.
BARK OF THE NIGHT
“Baseball is a difficult game, and it gets more difficult at each level. Some of these guys are finding that out.” Scrappers manager Ted Kubiak.
KIBBLES N BITS
Jamestown’s roster includes former Kent State pitcher Eric Dorsch. The Pittsburgh native was drafted by the Pirates in the 15th round of the June draft. ... Jamestown is in its fourth affiliation since 1989. The Jammers have been affiliated with Detroit, Atlanta, Miami and now Pittsburgh. ... Six Jamestown batters reached on walks Friday, but none of the base-runners came around to score.
The Scrappers and Jammers continue their three-game series tonight at 7:05. Tonight is Youth League Night. Youth baseball and softball players as well as their families can enjoy a Scrappers game for only $3. Tonight is also Youth Jersey Giveaway Night. The first 500 kids (ages 12 and under) to enter the ballpark will receive a Scrappers youth jersey