Destin Hood – The Mobile, Alabama native has rediscovered himself this year. Reinstilled confidence coupled with better pitch recognition and approach at the plate has made a world of difference in the first ten games this season. Hood is batting .419, good enough for fourth in the Eastern League, with six runs scored and four stolen bases.
A.J. Cole – The righthander improved to 2-0 with a 1.80 ERA on the season with Sunday’s five-inning outing against the Reading Fightin Phils. Although I was fairly confident he’d be in Harrisburg for most of the season, the recent spate of injuries and promotions to the Nationals and Syracuse Chiefs has me doubting how long we’ll see Cole pitch here.
The weather – Ignoring the Friday night rainout, one couldn’t have asked for better weather over the home opening weekend. Games in April are typically played in cold, windy, and damp conditions (kind of what they’re calling for on Tuesday). But over the four-game series, temperatures were in the 60s, 70s, and even 80s providing many in the midstate with their first opportunity to wear shorts.
Starting Pitching (not named A.J. Cole) – The quartet of Schwartz, Gilliam, Rivero, and Purke has underperformed so far this season. Through two times through the rotation, those four starters have combined for a 8.40 ERA and .383/.430/.511 slash line. If you can find a silver lining in any of the numbers, it has to be the improvement each hurler made between starts however.
Matt Skole – The power-hitting corner infielder has struggled mightily coming out of the chute this season collecting only three hits in 36 at-bats. Although Skole has faced some tough southpaws (Eduardo Rodriguez, Jesse Biddle, Tim Berry, Sean Gilmartin, Pat Dean, Hoby Milner), he has also yet to get comfortable against righties either hitting only .133.
Defense – The Senators lead the Eastern League with 15 errors committed in the first ten games. At least they lead in something, right? But seriously, the Sennies have only played three errorless games thus far and have committed more than one in half of their games. Giving the opposition more than three outs in an inning is a surefire way to frustrate your pitchers and affect the razor thin margin between winning and losing.