Blogs > Minor Matters

Run by The Trentonian's Nick Peruffo, this blog will provide daily multimedia coverage of the Trenton Thunder.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Brandon Laird's promoted, and so is Corban Joseph

Well, it finally happened. Brandon Laird, the Thunder's dynamic third baseman and the prime piston that kept the team's engine driving over the season's first two months, earned his call-up to Triple-A during yesterday's game with the New Hampshire Fisher Cats.

Laird finished his work with the Thunder sporting a .291/.355/.878 average with 22 doubles, 23 home runs and 90 RBIs. He struck out 84 times and drew 38 walks. He played a solid if not spectacular third base -- although he showed off a top-grade arm on more than one occasion.

He slumped a bit in June and early July, but rebounded big-time over the last two weeks. Since the All-Star break, Laird is hitting .369/.453/1.069 with four doubles, four longballs and nine RBIs.

Tomorrow, even though he's with Triple-A, Laird will get his first taste of major league pitching. Opposing Scranton, with the Syracuse Chiefs, will be Jason Marquis, who won 15 games last season with the Cubs and who sports a 94-86 record in The Show.

So, who'll be replacing Laird, you ask? That would be Corban Joseph, yet another in the Yankees' vast oasis of middle infield prospects. A Franklin, Tenn., native, he's the brother of Caleb Joseph, a catcher for the Bowie Baysox, also in the Eastern League.

For those interested in such things (read: nerds like me), the Baysox come calling on August 17-19, giving fans a view of both Joseph brothers on the same field. That's right, get excited.

Now to my favorite part, the numbers. With Tampa, Joseph was at .302/.378/.814 with 27 doubles, six HRs and 52 RBIs. He stole five bases -- in 13 attempts. He should probably stop running sometime soon.

The next question, of course, is how Tony Franklin, will shuffle the deck come Tuesday at Reading, where yours truly will be in attendance. If I were in his shoes (they would be too big), this is how I would fill out the lineup card:

LF - Christian
CF - Krum
2B - Joseph
C - Romine
RF - Brewer
1B - Vechionacci
DH - Gonzalez
SS - Nunez
3B - Snyder

Both Justin Snyder and Matt Cusick have spent time at third base this season, albeit a small sample size in each case, but, as their manager says, they're baseball players, and baseball players aren't limited to certain roles. I expect to see both of them spend time at the hot corner for the remainder of the season.

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