I had a chance to see the Manatees over the long holiday weekend as they paid a visit to Clearwater. It’s been a pretty miserable 2016 campaign for the Sea Cows and they dropped another one on Saturday night, losing to the Threshers 8-5. I had the opportunity to talk to several folks from the Clearwater side who have seen Brevard play this season prior to the game and it was a bit disheartening to hear them use words like sloppy, lazy and undisciplined to describe the Manatees play. Things didn’t get much better once the game started as the ‘Tees were their own worst enemies. Here are a few of my notes from Saturday’s game.
Eric Hanhold – Hanhold works quickly with a fastball that was mostly sitting in the low 90’s. He was victimized by some awful defense behind him and it seemed to get to him early in the game. He finally settled down in the third inning, and pitched fairly well the rest of the way, but the damage had already been done. His fastball has some nice movement to it as does his slider but he gave up a pair of long home runs that were compounded by the extra runners on base.
Omar Garcia – Garcia was on base three times with a walk and two singles. His first hit was a line drive with his second coming on more of a soft liner. He flies around the bases, scoring from second on a single in the first inning and then coming home all the way from first on a double in the seventh. He played solid defense in center field and covers a lot of ground.
Blake Allemand – In fairness to Allemand, he was playing out of position at shortstop on Saturday night, but he committed two errors and probably should have been given a third. He’s a try-hard guy, but just isn’t a capable shortstop and his shoddy defense had a big effect on the final outcome. His seventh inning double knocked in a pair of runs, but he didn’t do much with his four other at-bats.
Elvis Rubio – Rubio lined a 2-2 pitch back up the middle for an RBI single in his first plate appearance and showed good awareness on the bases, taking second on the throw home. His other at-bats were mostly unmemorable including a swinging strikeout in the third. His arm from left field is average but didn’t look all that accurate in limited opportunities.
Clint Coulter – Coulter was plunked in the back in his first trip to the plate, then flew out to center his second time up. He showed off his big-time power potential in the sixth, lifting a home run to left center that just kept going and going and followed that up by showing good patience to take a walk in his final trip to the plate. I know he’s had his struggles at the plate this year, but he looked like he was seeing the ball pretty well and the ball just has a different sound coming off his bat. For those wondering why he was sent back to Brevard this season, I would guess his defense has a lot to do with that. He doesn’t get good jumps in right field and he had a brutal miscue in the bottom of the first when he lazily let a ball go right by him, turning a routine single into three bases for the Threshers.
George Iskenderian – Iskenderian was up and down, finishing 2-for-4 with a pair of strikeouts. He crushed a ball to left center field in the fourth for a home run and got the benefit of a nice hop in the eighth when what looked like a double play ball hopped off the lip of the grass and into the outfield for a base hit. Defensively he was sound at second base, making the plays that came his way.
Dustin Houle – Houle was much more aggressive at the plate than the last time I saw him, jumping at the first pitch on several occassions. He laced a double to left in the seventh and showed good instincts on the bases, getting a nice secondary lead and taking third on a pitch in the dirt. He put together another nice plate appearance in the eighth with runners on second and third, working the count full before drawing a walk to load the bases. His reputation as a strong defender held up in this game as he showed a quick release and a strong arm behind the plate.
Malik Collymore – The Brewers were aggressive with Collymore, jumping him past Wisconsin when Brevard needed an outfielder and he appeared a little bit over-matched, striking out in three of his four at-bats. He chased too many pitches out of the zone and seemed to have trouble with breaking stuff especially. He served as the Manatees designated hitter so I didn’t get to see him at all defensively.
Josh Uhen – Uhen came out of the bullpen throwing smoke in his first inning of relief. I didn’t see a gun on him, but he was popping the catcher’s mitt and made quick work of Clearwater in the seventh. He came back out for the eighth but had struggles with his command which got him into some trouble.