Tuesday, June 24, 2014
Monday, June 2, 2014
It was a relatively easy choice for our Lugnuts Player of the Week:
In six games, catcher Jorge Saez (pronounced Size) coaxed six walks and drove in a run in five of those games. That's plenty good enough for me.
From earlier in the year, an interview with Jorge.
Jorge and I have been discussing Kaizen, which -- as you can read from this Wikipedia page -- is about continuous improvement. In practice, I see, Kaizen seems to relate to business practices. Jorge and I, though, are relating it to our personal daily baseball work. In his case, he seeks to become the best baseball player he can be, behind the plate and at the bat. In my case, I want to become the best broadcaster I can be.
For both of us, we all understand that we will not make the Major Leagues tomorrow, nor will we make the Majors next month. That said... if we continue to work toward improving, little by little, we shall reach our ceiling.
Jorge Saez is not the only Lugnut playing well recently. Mitch Nay is locked in again at the plate -- I was told that his teammates recognized last homestand that he had regained the "look" he gets when he's locked in, as he was in April. Meanwhile, Dawel Lugo is hitting safely every day, Matt Dean is back from the Disabled List, and Chaz Frank is contributing with his usual gusto in reaching base, stealing bases, and scoring runs.
The next step: straightening out the slumping L.B. Dantzler and Santiago Nessy, and keeping D.J. Davis moving forward.
Also: Dickie Joe Thon is an overlooked key to the lineup. He can hit, he can run... if he can keep reaching base, watch out.
The bullpen, a weakness at times, might become a strength in the second half. Phil Kish has a streak of 10 2/3 scoreless innings, Griffin Murphy ranks among the top closers in the league, and Adaric Kelly looks to be improving a little more every time he takes the mound. (Kaizen?)
If the Lugnuts wish to compete in July and August, they need at least five relievers they can count on. It's June 2nd. Who steps up?