The Hot Rods currently have three pitchers with five wins in at least ten starts and the trio threw really well this past week.
Felipe Rivero has become one of the Hot Rods pitchers that opposing teams do not want to face.
"He's been dynamite for us," pitching coach Bill Moloney said about Rivero's performance this season.
Rivero started for the tenth time this season, May 29, against the Fort Wayne TinCaps. This was the last game of the longest road trip for the Hot Rods this season. Rivero went a total of six innings, allowing just four hits and one earned run. He also had seven strikeouts in the game giving him a team-high 55 for the season.
His 55 punch-outs are also good enough to be tied for third in the Midwest League. Rivero has a record of 5-3 with a miniscule ERA of 1.89, which is also third in the league. His WHIP sits at a tidy 1.04, a mark which is tied for fourth in the league.
Unlike Ryan Carpenter, who is 4-0 at home and 1-2 on the road, Rivero has been better on the road, posting a home record of 1-2 and a 4-1 record away from Bowling Green.
Moloney likes that Rivero throws strikes and doesn't walk a lot of hitters.
"His fastball and changeup have been a good combination for him," Moloney said.
Ryan Carpenter also pitched well this week and attributes his success this season to working fast on the mound and attacking hitters.
"It makes the hitters uncomfortable," Carpenter said.
His last start came against the Lansing Lugnuts who seemed to have his number in his last outing. This time around at home, on May 31, the outcome was much different.
Carpenter went four shut out innings, giving up just two hits along with four strikeouts.His night was cut short by a rain delay that caused the game to be suspended and continued the next day.
Carpenter is 5-2 in 11 starts with a 3.59 ERA. He also has fanned 52 this season, good enough for second on the Hot Rods' staff and tied for fifth in the Midwest League.
Right-hander Jake Floethe continues to impress as well for the Hot Rods. In a game against the Dayton Dragons on June 2, Floethe lasted six innings, striking out six which tied his career high for the fifth time. In Floethe's previous start against Fort Wayne he had only lasted four innings.
"He rebounded nice," Moloney said. "He had good stuff tonight."
Moloney also said Floethe needs to focus on fastball control in order to be successful.
"He's making pitches he needs to," Moloney said. "That's a good sign."
Williams also likes that Floethe is making pitches he has to when he's on the mound.
"When he gets in trouble he can make that pitch to get an out," Williams said.
Floethe has five wins in 11 starts this season. He currently holds a 3.27 ERA.
The Legend Continues
Outfielder Josh Sale continued to produce for the Hot Rods this past week. Concerns arose when he had to sit out for a while due to hamstring troubles, but he looks to not have missed a beat.
Since returning, May 29, Sale has been 5-for-13, with two home runs and two runs batted in.
One of his homers came on May 30 against the Lansing Lugnuts. The Hot Rods were down two going into the bottom of the ninth when Todd Glaesmann and Sale hit back-to-back dingers to tie the ball game and send the game into extra innings. The Hot Rods later lost the game in the top of the tenth.
Sale's quick bat continues to impress the Bowling Green coaching staff and is a major factor in his power. He currently has seven home runs, which leads the team.
Red-Hot Hot Rod
Second baseman Ryan Brett has been out-of-his- mind good the last week and he currently leads the Rays organization in hits with 62. Brett started off the game on June 2 against the Dayton Dragons with a big home run, his fourth on the season and first at home. He is currently 10-for-25 since May 27, good enough for a .400 batting average.
"He's swinging the bat well," Williams said about his lead-off hitter.
Brett's .320 AVG on the season is fourth overall in the Midwest League. In May, Brett has really turned it on with an average of .343, after he hit .295 in April.
Brett's success has come from relaxing at the plate.
"When I get tense that's when I swing at bad pitches," Brett said. "I just try to stay relaxed and pick my pitch to hit."The young Hot Rod second baseman looks to have a promising future if he continues to hit as he has at every level of the system thus far.
The Hot Rods continue their home series with Dayton until June 4. They then go on the road until June 10. Their first away series will be against the Lansing Lugnuts, then they move on to Dayton to face the Dragons.
Austin Nichols is the Bowling Green beat writer for Rays Digest. You can follow him on Twitter at @Nichols_HotRods.
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