At 26-37 in the second half of the season after going 3-6 this week, and 9.5 games out of first, Lakeland is down and out, but, from the positive angle, guys like Jordan Lennerton and Avisail Garcia are hitting better now than they have all season.
First baseman Jordan Lennerton, while continuing his late-season hot streak, is making a good argument for a promotion to double-A Erie at the end of the year. As mentioned last week, Lennerton is considered to be the best defensive first baseman in the whole organization, so, if his bat stays hot, there's nowhere to go for him but up.
In the nine games (four that were seven innings) played this week, Lennerton deposited two bombs over the fence while driving in seven Lakeland runs.
He collected 12 hits in 34 at-bats, and is now sitting solid with a .270 batting average.
Despite a solid week, Lennerton was overmatched by a fellow teammate this week. A few slots down in the order, outfield Avisail Garcia, who has had an overall rough season, reminded scouts why he's considered the #12 prospect in the organization by TigsTown.
Over the past week, Garcia, who, like Lennerton, is considered great defensively, hit three homers and matched Lennerton with 7 RBI.
He's also swiped 14 bases over the course of the season, and if he can increase his OBP (which is at a low .296) and give himself more opportunities to distract opposing pitchers and catchers, the 20-year old Garcia can also eye double-A.
While the offense had its pair of success over the past week, so did the defense.
Starting pitcher Jared Wesson had his best couple of starts of the season, both coming against Dunedin.
In Dunedin on the 25th, Wesson posted six shutout innings while striking out five and only allowing one hit. He collected the win.
And on the 31st, while hosting Dunedin, he posted a complete game (seven-innings) shutout while dicing through the Blue Jay lineup with six strikeouts.
In his past 13 innings, Wesson had allowed three hits.
In 26 starts for Lakeland this season, he's 14-10 with a 4.38 ERA.
Tyler White, the welcome reliever from the GCL, in 22.2 Lakeland innings, has allowed one earned run and has earned a .4 ERA. That's all accurate.
White's become a stopgap for a somewhat struggling Lakeland bullpen. He eats up innings (has gone four-plus innings out of the pen) and shuts down offenses (.190 BA against).
On the 29th, White went 4.2 innings in a 9-3 loss to Lakeland. Over those 14 outs, he struck out eight Threshers and allowed two hits.
Looking four days ahead and to the end of the season
There are only four days left in Lakeland's season. In those four days, they play five games against Tampa.
On the 28th Lakeland acquired Benny Paulino and Eric Heckaman from the GCL.
SS Wiliam Bergolla was assigned to double-A Erie.