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Washington Nationals: Minor Leagues - The Week That Was Down on the Farm

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Let's waste no time and jump right in to the week that was down on the farm...

By the Numbers

Syracuse Chiefs (2-4, 11-20 overall)

1B Tug Hulett .391 (9-23), 4 R, 4 RBI, 5 2B
Hot: SP Tom Milone 1-0, 2.45 ERA, 14.2 IP, 4 R, 18 K
Not: OF Jeff Frazier .056 (1-18), 2K
Not: RP Adam Carr 2 BS, 21.60 ERA, 1.2 IP, 5 H, 4 R, 3 BB

Harrisburg Senators (3-4, 16-15 overall)

Hot: OF Archie Gilbert .435 (10-23), 5 HR, 7 RBI, 8 R
Hot: OF Bill Rhinehart .316 (6-19), 4 HR, 9 RBI, 6 R
Hot: RP Hassan Pena 0.00 ERA, 4.2 IP, 1 H, 3 K
Not: 2B Steve Lombardozzi .212 (7-33), 4 R, 0 RBI
Not: RP Jimmy Barthmaeir 17.56 ERA, 4.1 IP, 9 H, 8 R

Potomac Nationals (1-6, 11-20 overall)

Hot: RP Pat Lehman 0.00 ERA, 1 Sv, 2 IP, 1 H, 1K
Not: C Sandy Leon .056 (1-18), 3 K
Not: OF Chris Curran .000 (0-10), 6 K
Not: 3B Justin Bloxom .120 (3-25), 9 K
Not: 2B Jeff Kobernus .111 (3-27), 10 K

Hagerstown Suns (4-2, 21-11 overall)

Hot: OF Bryce Harper .444 (11-25), 1 HR, 4 RBI, 6 K
Hot: 3B Blake Kelso .423 (11-26), 7 RBI, 7
Hot: RP Chris Manno 0.00 ERA, 1 Sv, 4 IP, 1 H, 0 BB, 5 K
Not: SP Chris McKenzie 31.50 ERA, 2 IP, 7 R, 7 H, 2 BB, 3 K

Under the Radar


After lumping all of the closers in here last week, I'm staying in the bullpen and highlighting Harrisburg Senators relief pitcher Cory VanAllen.

The 6'3" 26-year old lefthander was originally a 2006 5th round selection of the Nationals out of Baylor University. For the first four years of his minor league career, VanAllen was used primarily as a starter until last season when he was converted to a reliever full time and made 44 appearances between Potomac and Harrisburg.

This season, the Bakersfield, California native is sporting a miniscule 0.55 ERA while opposing batters are only hitting .186 off of him. The last three weeks has seen VanAllen really step it up and become a dominant setup guy in the Senators' bullpen as he hasn't surrendered a run in his last 8 appearances during that time period    .

But if you remember one stat, remember this one - - VanAllen has thrown a total of 6.1 innings this season while runners were in scoring position and not a single batter has gotten a hit off of him. None. Zero. Nada.

Pretty impressive from someone even manager Tony Beasley admits "has probably been more of a pleasant surprise then anything else." Harrisburg's skipper elaborated on how VanAllen has been so successful this season, "He's starting to get a good feel for his secondary pitches, but his fastball has been electric. He's been basically surviving on just a power arm...I think he has some deception because he's across his body in his setup and I think it allows him to hide the ball a little bit longer and hitters don't seem to pick it up quick and when they do it's on them."

Diamond Debuts


SP Brad Meyers (SYR) - Meyers picked up the win in his Triple-A debut for Syracuse despite not being as sharp as he's been in Harrisburg for the first month of the season. His line of the night: 5 IP, 5 H, 4 R, 5 K, 1 BB (his first batter of the season).

SP Cameron Selik (POT) - Selik was not very happy with his Potomac debut, but he only allowed 3 runs (2 earned) on 4 hits through 6 innings in a loss to Kinston.

RP Dean Weaver (POT) - Besides sporting a creepy mustache in his player profile picture, Weaver made his debut for Potomac last Wednesday night after extended spring training. In his first game, Weaver threw 1 hitless inning where he walked two against the Myrtle Beach Pelicans. However, his next outing three days later against Kinston wasn't as kind as he was roughed up for 4 runs on a triple, 2 base on balls, and a hit by pitch.

SP Robbie Ray (HAG) - Ray was stellar in his first outing of the season only allowing 1 hit and striking out 6 as he was limited to 5 innings. Even more impressive perhaps are these factoids about his night from Dave Sheinin's account in the Washington Post, "...he also never faced a three-ball count and never fell behind 2-0 in the count. He threw only 13 balls among his 59 pitches."

SP A.J. Cole (HAG) - After arriving in Hagerstown from extended spring training, the 2010 4th round draft pick was tagged with the loss in his debut as he only managed to last into the 4th inning scattering 5 hits and 2 runs against Lexington.

Performance of the Week

The Reading Phillies pasted the Harrisburg Senators over the Mother's Day weekend 13-6 and 15-6, but Archie Gilbert did all he could to keep the the Senators in both games as he hit went 7 for 9 including a pair of home runs in both games. For his efforts, Gilbert was named Eastern League Player of the Week.

Archie Gilbert (May 7): 4-5, 3 R, 2 HR, 3 RBI
Archie Gilbert (May 8): 3-4, 2 R, 2 HR, 2 RBI