including Byron Kerr of MASN Sports, that Syracuse Chiefs infielder Jeff Kobernus will be promoted to the major leagues. In a corresponding move, the Nationals have designated righthander Yunesky Maya for assignment.
This marks the first time that Kobernus, a 2010 Hagerstown Sun, is reaching the major leagues.
The 24-year old 2nd baseman appeared in 43 games for the Chiefs this season, posting a .333/.478.420 slash line. In addition, Kobernus leaves the Chiefs with an International League-leading 21 stolen bases.
Kobernus' climb to the major leagues has not been one without obstacles. A 2nd round choice by the Nationals in the 2009 draft, Kobernus made his full-season debut with the Suns in '10. He appeared in just 74 games, but showed promise with a .279/.316/.346 line and 21 stolen bases.
After a healthy, All-Star season with Potomac in 2011, Kobernus flourished with the Harrisburg Senators in 2012. Earning another All-Star selection, he batted .282/.325/.333 line and 42 steals in an injury-shortened 82 game season. He was selected by the Detroit Tigers in the Rule 5 Draft in December and appeared in line to make the club until late-March, when the Tigers sent him back to the Nationals.
With this promotion, Kobernus becomes the first former Sun to reach the majors for the first time in 2013. He is the third member of the '10 Suns to make the major leagues, following catcher Sandy Leon and centerfielder Eury Perez.
Friday, May 24, 2013
Wednesday, May 22, 2013
|Photo by Brenda Hawbaker.|
With the Greensboro Grasshoppers in town, the Hagerstown Suns won their seventh-consecutive series. This three-game stretch included a blowout victory, late-inning heroics, and solid production from a recently-returning player.
- Monday night's 12-3 victory was highlighted by the performance of catcher Craig Manuel. Appearing in just his second game with the Suns after suffering an injury in mid-April, Manuel went 2 for 4 with a homerun and 5 RBIs. He followed that game up by going 2 for 3 at the plate during the Suns' 5-4 win on Tuesday, before taking Wednesday off.
- Tuesday's contest marked one of the Suns more exciting triumphs thus far in 2013. Trailing from the 3rd inning on, the Suns entered the 9th down 4-2. With 1 out, and Stephen Perez and Pedro Severino on second and third respectively, Khayyan Norfork delivered a single to drive in both runners. Norfork advanced to second as an attempt was made to throw out Perez at home, which was followed by an infield single from Shawn Pleffner. This brought Wander Ramos to the plate with a chance to send the Suns home with a win. Ramos bunted the first pitch he saw and successfully executed a suicide squeeze that allowed Norfork to score (above) and give the Suns a victory. It was the Suns second walk-off win of the season.
- Wednesday marked the only loss in this series, when the Suns dropped a 6-2 game to the Grasshoppers. Starter Kylin Turnbull gave up 5 runs in the 3rd inning, all of which were unearned because of throwing errors by Perez and Tony Renda. Turnbull would last 4 innings, allowing 5 hits in the process. At the plate, the Suns mustered 7 hits, with Ramos' 2 for 3 day making the only multi-hit performance of the game.
- Centerfielder Will Piwnica-Worms had a solid series, going 3 for 11 with a double and 2 RBIs. In his 10 last games, Piwnica Worms is batting .323/.475/.613 with 2 homeruns and 7 RBIs.
Beginning Thursday, the Suns (26-16) will play the Lexington Legends for four games at Municipal Stadium, before returning to the road on Monday to begin a seven-game road trip. They currently hold a 2-game lead over the Hickory Crawdads for first place in the South Atlantic League Northern Division.
Tuesday, May 21, 2013
|Photo by Zach Spedden|
Sammy Solis (2010-'11) will pitch for the first time in over 20 months tonight when the Potomac Nationals take on the Frederick Keys. Byron Kerr of MASN was the first to report this story.
Solis, a 2nd round choice in the 2010 draft, last pitched in September of 2011 before suffering a torn elbow ligament. After undergoing Tommy John Surgery, Solis missed all of 2012 and the first few weeks of this season.
Prior to his injury, the lefthander was emerging as one of the Washington Nationals' top pitching prospects. In '11, Solis went 8-3 with a 3.26 ERA, 1.27 WHIP, and a 93:23 K:BB ratio in 96.2 innings pitched between Hagerstown and Potomac. Despite the injury, Solis entered the season as the Nationals' 8th best prospect, as ranked by Baseball America.
According to Kerr, Solis will gradually increase his workload over his next three starts in Potomac. Slated for three innings tonight, he is expected to throw four in his next outing, followed by a five-inning start.
If his initial return goes smoothly, Solis is a candidate to join AA Harrisburg before the end of the season.
News and Notes
- The Hagerstown Suns returned home last night and walloped the Greensboro Grasshoppers (Miami Marlins) by the score of 12-3. Catcher Craig Manuel went 2 for 4 with a homerun and 5 RBIs, while Brandon Miller drove in 3 runs of his own. In addition, righthander Dixon Anderson earned his 4th win with six shutout innings. The Suns now hold a 2.5 game lead over the Hickory Crawdads for first place in the South Atlantic League Northern Division.
Friday, May 17, 2013
|Miller (20) has been heating up for the Suns. Photo by Zach Spedden|
In 13 games this month, Miller has posted a .295/.415/.659 slash line with 4 homeruns, 10 RBIs, and a 1.074 OPS. Another example of Miller's vast improvement from April, when he batted just .200/.217/.411, has been his patience at the plate. After compiling a BB:K ratio of 1:37, he has posted a 9:11 figure this month.
As the Suns' leader in homeruns (8) and SLG (.493), Miller's recent success has undoubtedly influenced the club's surge in May. The Suns have won 10 of 13 this month, while averaging 5.3 runs per game, catapulting themselves to a three-game lead in the South Atlantic League Northern Division.
Miller's continued success will be crucial to maintaining the Suns' lead as the first half's stretch run begins. He entered the season with high expectations as the 22nd best prospect in the Washington Nationals' farm system, according to Baseball America, and is recovering from a bad month to solidify his place in the Suns' lineup. For a club that ranks seventh in the league in homeruns, Miller's bat will be crucial to clinching a first half title.
Thursday, May 16, 2013
After 24.2 innings of effective relief work for the Hagerstown Suns, righthander David Fischer (left) has been promoted to the High-A Potomac Nationals. This is according to the South Atlantic League Transactions page, which also notes that catcher Craig Manuel (right) will return to Hagerstown from AA Harrisburg, while lefthander Nick Lee has been promoted from Extended Spring Training to take Fischer's place in the Suns' bullpen. In addition, catcher Erik Fernandez has been demoted from Hagerstown to Extended Spring Training.
During his time with the Suns, Fischer emerged as one of the club's more reliable relievers. In 9 appearances, he posted a 3.65 ERA, 1.14 WHIP, 28:8 K:BB ratio, and notched 3 saves. Fischer will leave Hagerstown with a scoreless innings streak of 10.2 innings, a stretch we made note of yesterday afternoon.
Taking Fischer's place on the Suns' roster is Lee, who began the season in Extended Spring Training. The 22-year old spent all of 2012 with the Short Season-A Auburn Doubledays, striking out 62 batters in as many innings pitched, while posting a 3.77 ERA in 13 games (11 starts). There is no official word on Lee's role with the Suns, though Fischer's promotion makes it likely that he will be slotted in the bullpen.
Manuel rejoins the Suns, whom he last appeared for on April 15. In 9 games, prior to an injury that sidelined him until May 13, Manuel went 6 for 31 (.194) with 3 RBIs. After being activated, Manuel was assigned to Harrisburg, where he logged an at-bat before returning to Hagerstown. Though he will likely resume his role as the Suns' primary catcher, Manuel figures to share playing time with Pedro Severino, who has a .271/.284/.314 slash line in 75 plate appearances this season.
To make room for Manuel, Erik Fernandez has returned to Extended Spring Training. Originally assigned to Hagerstown to fill in for Manuel, Fernandez went 5 for 26 (.192) with 3 RBIs in 10 games with the Suns. His most notable contribution to the team came on Sunday, May 12, when he hit a walk-off single to help defeat the Delmarva Shorebirds in extra innings.
All photos by Dale Swope.
Wednesday, May 15, 2013
|Photo by Hagerstown Suns.|
- Outfielder Will Pwinica-Worms (above) carried the Suns' lineup. Over those contests, Pwinica Worms went 5 for 11 with 2 homeruns and 5 RBIs, including a grandslam during the Suns' 8-7 loss on Tuesday. His homerun during Monday's 9-4 win was his first of the season.
- The Suns also received a solid series from 1st. baseman Shawn Pleffner, who belted a homerun during Wednesday's 6-0 victory. Overall, Pleffner went 4 for 11 with 3 runs scored against Greensboro.
- Pedro Encarnacion earned his 3rd win of the season on Monday in a 5 inning, 8 hit, 3 run (1 earned), and 3 strikeout performance. In his last three starts, the righthander has a 2-1 record, 0.56 ERA, and a 10:3 K:BB ratio.
- Grasshoppers' 1st. baseman Viosergy Rosa was a dangerous foe to the Suns' pitching staff. Rosa went 7 for 13 with 2 RBIs, including a homerun off Brian Rauh on Tuesday. He is currently tied for second in the South Atlantic League with 9 homeruns.
- After losing his turn in the rotation for two consecutive starts because of bad weather, righthander Ronald Pena had a solid outing today. In a no-decision, Pena blanked the Grasshoppers in 5 innings pitched, while scattering 5 hits and walking 1.
- Reliever David Fischer continued his excellent run of late when he earned his first win on Wednesday. With 3 scoreless innings, Fischer extended his scoreless streak to 10.2 innings, a span during which he has 14 strikeouts.
With this series wrapped up, the Suns (22-14) will visit the Kannapolis Intimidators (14-22) for four games beginning on Thursday. Following their stop in Kannapolis, the Suns will return home to face the Greensboro Grasshoppers.
Monday, May 13, 2013
During their rain-shortened series against the Delmarva Shorebirds, the Hagerstown Suns took two of three games. Originally slated to be a four-game set, this stretch marked the Suns first series win against the Shorebirds in 2013 and bolstered their lead in the South Atlantic League Northern Division.
- Rightfielder Brandon Miller had a strong series, going 3 for 10 with 3 RBIs, including a two-run homer during the Suns 4-3, walk-off victory in game 2 of Sunday's double header. Miller has been coming on strong for the Suns of late, as he has batted .294/.368/.588 in his last 10 games.
- Game 2 was perhaps the most resilient effort by the Suns this season. Dueling the 9-strikeout performance by Shorebirds' starter Josh Hader, Ivan Pineyro allowed 3 runs in 5 innings of work with 4 strikeouts. Following Pineyro was David Fischer, who threw 2 scoreless frames before making way for Bryan Harper. Harper blanked the Shorebirds in 2 innings of work and struckout 3 batters to earn his 2nd victory of 2013.
- Overall, the Suns' lineup gave its strongest performance of the series in a 12-7, game 1 loss on Sunday. Wilson Ramos hit his 4th of the year, while Mike McQuillan went 2 for 4 with a run scored. The most notable performance, however, was that of Tony Renda, who went 2 for 4 and hit the first homerun of his professional career.
- During that loss, the Suns' pitching staff was unable to shutdown the Shorebirds' bats. Kylin Turnbull had his worst start since returning to Hagerstown, allowing 9 runs (6 earned) on 9 hits in 3 innings of work. Though Ronald Pena and Cody Davis kept the Shorebirds at bay over the next 3 innings, Brian Rauh came on in the 7th and surrendered 3 runs. While 1st. baseman Nik Balog went 4 for 4, it was Torsten Boss who did the most damage. The 2nd. baseman hit two homeruns, off Turnbull and Rauh respectively, while driving in 6.
- Thursday marked righthander Dixon Anderson's 3rd win of the season, as the Suns defeated the Shorebirds 3-1. Anderson overcame a shaky 1st. inning to strikeout 5 batters in 6 frames, while allowing 1 run on 7 hits. With that victory, Anderson is 3-1 on the season with a 1.80 ERA.
Beginning tonight, the Suns (20-13) will play a three-game set against the Greensboro Grasshoppers (15-20) at NewBridge Bank Park in Greensboro. Following that series, they will travel to Kannapolis, NC to take on the Kannapolis Intimidators for four games.