By Javaris Jamar Javarison-Lamar | JavarisJamarJavarison-Lamar@3Wolves.net
We've hit the 1/2 pole in the BBA with the All-Star game in Vancouver. This was my first one, and the Mounties and the city of Vancouver hosted a great party. There were so many pre-game festivities the Mounties put on leading up to the game. Something this reporter will remember for a while. For the game itself, the Johnson league came back to win 10-5 powered by a 6th run outburst in the bottom of the 7th. Your Wolves were represented by two players:
SS - Allende pinch ran in the 7th, played 2 innings at SS and collected a hit and scored a run.
CL - Barracas was credited with the loss and a blown save to boot. He P 2/3 of an inning giving up 3 hits, 4 Runs (all earned) and left the game with a 54.00 era. (which would be tied for 3rd best on the Wolves roster).
Back to the games that matter. The Wolves were above the .500 mark (albeit for only a week) for the second time this season (since April), but soon sank back below and sit at one game below .500 at 51-52, 11 games back of the leader and 3 games out of the last Frick WC spot.
"Its good to be playing some meaningful games (even in late July). Lets hope we are having this same conversation come September." said Manager Lemoine.
This reporters view, this team is still years away from competing for a division crown, but does see some slight improvements made during this season.
Here is JJJ-L's Alpha and Omega Wolves Awards at the mid-season pole.
Alpha Wolf P
- Belchior Barracas - Despite his horrendous outing in the ASG, this 22yo 2nd year player has held his own in the bullpen this year as the Wolves primary closer, notching 27 saves (out of 28) posting a impressive 1.21 ERA, a WHIP of .80 with a 1.9 WAR. He has been a fun to watch this season.
- Natanel Barral - This ASG snub is top 5 in almost every Wolves' offensive category. His .316/.398/.499 slash is 2nd/2nd/3rd on the team. "Its hard to understand how this kid didn't get selected to go to Vancouver with Alle & Belch" said hitting coach Francis.
- Declan Hounsell - Picked up the in trade that shipped Dalrymple to Vegas. In his first full season with the team, this 21yo has taken over the Wolves' CF spot, having a team high 3.9 ZR in CF in 91 games. Not bad for a kid who played no higher that AA ball last season.
- Jaime Herrera - the 23yo has appeared in 20 games this season (starting 5) posting a team high 7.94 ERA. He also has a -0.8 WAR and a 1.71 WHIP. If the team has someone else in AAA to bring up, they should do it. This kid needs to back to South Bend to work on his mechanics. He's still young and affordable, and under team control, so I believe he will be around for a while.
- Desiderius Kirshbaum - The player "thrown" in with the same trade that brought Hounsell to the Wolves brought this 34yo veteran. While last year he did produce admiralty (.336/.381/.427), he was soon passed by the Wolves budding start Shimizu in RF. With this bloated 1.5m contract and a with a (.212/.250/.250) don't expect him to be back with the club next season. He's lost his starting RF spot, and is being outhit by Gagne for the teams DH spot.
- Natanel Barral - This is probably why this kid didn't get selected for the ASG. He's a HUGE target at 1B. He's one of the biggest players in the BBA at 6-8 240lbs. This helps out his fellow defenders with that great wing span, but unless the ball is hit right at this kid, he's got little to no lateral movement, although this Range Factor is a respectable 8.7. Editors note - this award was a coin flip with 3B Ross Quicker - who leads the team with 9 errors in 102 games at 3B, but his ZR of 0.1 and a range factor of 2.36 swayed this reporter.