-Abdulwahab al-Sakir for The Manama Papers, 13:37EET on 6/5/39
For the second consecutive week, the Manama pearls turned in a winning record, going 4-2 over their six games in the past week. This included two wins to complete a series sweep at Bucharest, a 1-2 series defeat in Jerusalem, and a 1-0 beginning to a three gamer in Istanbul. However, the GM, Mr. Lawton, had cause to be frustrated as yet another outfielder went down due to injury:
- OF Rhett Lawson (hamstring) is headed back to the injured list after just 5 days off it. He was pulled from the game against Istanbul last night after colliding with the Bosphorous' 2B Bilbo Baggins whilst being put out on a Fielder's Choice. Baggins, when asked why he defended the bag so stoutly, described it as "my own, my precious". Concerns over scout's assessment of Lawson as "durable" abound. Lawson will be replaced on the active roster by OF Rhys Nornabell, himself returning from a two week stay on the injured list for undisclosed reasons.
- LHP Gonzalo Fajardo (oblique) also finds himself on the injured list after a his sizzling hot start to the season. He'll miss two starts, with sometime-starter RHP Ronald Stewart in line to take the ball in his stead. He'll be replaced on the active roster by RHP Tullio Brunelleschi, a recent waiver claim.
- 1B/3B Eric Foster is headed to ABA Khartoum to make room for waiver claim IF Rivelino Teive. Foster has had a pedestrian start to the season, slashing .242/.273/.339, but it's better than Teive, who managed a poor .118/.333/.176 thus far. Mr. Lawton noted Teive's small sample size, excellent defensive abilities and elite OBP as good reasons to have him rostered ahead of Foster, at least as a trial run.
- Also on the bus to Khartoum is RHP Albert Ramirez, who's 10.8 BB/9 was just too high for the club to stomach, especially as scouts commented the 30 year old's control may be worsening. His replacement is RHP Ivan Lopez, who has a 0.96 WHIP through 15.2 innings at the ABA level this season.
- Completing the trio on their way out for performance reasons is 1B Kevin Brule, whose slot on the active roster was owed to his ability to hit lefties, a hole in first choice 1B Sandro Trujilo's game. However, Brule's splits against lefties are worse than Trujilo's thus far, despite receiving extra time hitting at DH through the first month of the season. Brule has been waived and DFA'd to make room for his replacement 1B Scott Hoover, another right handed bat expected to punish lefties, with his ABA slashline of .250/.284/.583 inspiring confidence. Poor plate discipline is a hole in his game, but it's hoped he'll help make the 1B slot in the lineup more lefty-proof.
1B Sandro Trujilo continues to swim in praise after another great week to kick off May. The Venezuelan was the best hitter on the team again, with a mighty .381 average and 1.171 OPS, the only play to be above 1.000 in that category this week, "so none of the other idiots are even getting honourable mentions," as Mr. Lawton so eloquently put it.
As for pitching, Mr. Lawton chose to single out the team's closer, LHP Jose Rodriguez, who delivered three clean innings for three saves in the past week. In the game against Istanbul the night prior, he finished off a team shutout in a 3-0 victory, also contributed to by starter LHP Jose Chavez and relievers RHP Alistair Grieves and LHP Juan Munoz.
Regarding the week ahead, Mr. Lawton expressed hopes of completing the shutout vs. Istanbul, and taking at least one of their games visiting Cairo. He also expects the team to win the first game against Baghdad in Iraq, which is where I'll be next time I write as this over a month long road trip continues. "It's a good thing I don't have a wife, because I'd have forgotten what she looks like by now," quipped Mr. Lawton as he made his exit.