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

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Strikeouts, Schmidt and Stuff

-- I had a little free time today, so I combed the MiLB portal looking at some of the Thunder's numbers this year. One that jumped at me was the 1,042 strikeouts Trenton hitters had accrued this year.

The franchise's all-time worst was 1,047 punchouts, and this year's version is just five away with 21 games left on the slate. I find that pretty darn astounding.

The mark gets even more perplexing when one realizes that the team has spent the last month and change without Cody Johnson and Brad Suttle -- windmills both -- and that Melky Mesa, another prime culprit, had played just 87 games entering Wednesday's action.

-- Another reason the Thunder have struggled down the stretch? Infield defense, or a severe lack thereof. Corban Joseph and Jose Pirela have combined for 51 errors this season at second base and shortstop, respectively.

-- Yesterday, I ran down the list of people I thought might start Friday's homestand-opening game against the Bowie Baysox. I listed Kei Igawa, Cory Arbiso and Jeff Marquez as possibilities, but apparently I didn't count on one of the more obvious choices: Josh Schmidt.

Schmidt, who is, mercifully, on the precipice of minor league free agency, has been sent back to Trenton, according to Donnie Collins of the Scranton Times-Tribune.

As is tradition, Schmidt has bounced between Trenton and Scranton this season, and has put forth a 7-4 record, a 2.20 ERA and a .199 average against. He's allowed just 40 hits in 57.1 innings this year and has fanned 62 against 24 walks.

If he starts on Friday, I wouldn't be surprised to see him stick in the rotation for the rest of the year. He's filling the shoes of Dellin Betances, who will make his first Triple-A start tomorrow, against Durham.

The difference between Schmidt and Betances is not unlike that between Joba Chamberlain and former Yankees reliever Edwar Ramirez.

-- John Brebbia, the Yankees' 30th-round selection in this year's draft, out of Elon, was assigned to Staten Island today.

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