June 2, 2008 June 1, 2008Posted by atlanticleaguenews in Uncategorized.
ALB Interview – Brian Lawrence: Over the next few days, we’ll have interviews with Lancaster’s Matt LeCroy and Camden’s Ryan Drese.
But first, here’s a chat with Riversharks P Brian Lawrence.
AtlanticLeagueBaseball.com: You were up with the Mets in the big leagues late last season, and now you’re in the Atlantic League this year. How can a guy with your level of experience not find a job after just being in the show last season?
Brian Lawrence: “Basically, I went to spring training and got released and had nowhere to go. This was my best option as far as somewhere to play. It turns out that the facilities are nice, and it’s a solid league. It’s a place to pitch, and hopefully I can turn things around here.”
ALB: With the track record that you have, were you surprised you had to come here? I mean, everybody needs pitching…
Lawrence: “You would think. I was surprised I couldn’t at least get a minor league job somewhere. But, I didn’t. So, like I said, this was my next best option. So I came to the Atlantic League to pitch.”
ALB: You pitched in six games for the Mets last season, but it seems like a lot of people remember you strictly from that. Even in this area, is it a little surprising to you that most people seem to know you as a Met?
Lawrence: “It’s weird to me, because I spent so many years in San Diego and did well there. I actually pitched pretty well in Shea Stadium as a Padre. But whatever. I’m happy to have the success I had early, and hopefully it will continue. But it is the East Coast. People on the East Coast don’t really pay attention to the people on the West Coast, so I guess it isn’t that surprising. But it is what it is, I guess.”
ALB: How do you feel like you’re throwing the ball right now?
Lawrence: “I’m throwing pretty well. I’m giving up a few more runs than I would like, but overall I feel good. I’m healthy and all my pitches are there, so it’s just a matter of time before I get locked in and get situated with the league. It is different, these hitters have a different approach and I kind of have to get back to that. But I’m looking forward to pitching well.”
ALB: So how big of an adjustment is it going from facing a big league lineup to facing an Atlantic League lineup?
Lawrence: “It’s a lot different here. Big league hitters are a lot more patient. I feel like a pitcher like myself can get ahead of them a lot easier than I can here. These guys are swinging right away and you’ve got to be careful with that type of hitter. So it is different, and I feel like I probably would have better success in the big leagues than I probably will here with my style of pitching. But I’ve still got to get outs here, so I hopefully can make the adjustment here and move along.”
ALB: Guys are starting to get picked up now…Brandon Knight just left Somerset a couple days ago and so on. Do you have a sort of timetable as far as when you think that’s going to happen for you?
Lawrence: “Well really, I don’t know. It’s been this long and I haven’t had any bites yet. I hope I can move along and continue my sort of comeback to the big leagues. I’m just going to plan on pitching here until that comes about. I can’t really put a timetable on it. I hope it happens tomorrow, but I don’t know when it’s going to happen or even if. I’m just going to take pride in trying to make myself better here every day, and where I go by the end of the season, we’ll see.”
ALB: What kind of expectations did you have of this league when you signed, and how would you say your experience has matched up to those expectations so far?
Lawrence: “I really had no expectations, because I really didn’t know that much about this league. I never even looked at independent ball before. But once I realized I needed a place to pitch and I had to look at some options, everybody said this was the best league. Both talent-wise and facility-wise. I think there’s solid pitching here, solid hitting here. Defensively, I think is where most of the guys struggle in this league. I’ve seen some really bad defense. But overall, good pitching, good hitting and you see some good ballgames.
Minix Signs With Phillies: Just before he was set to leave to pitch in Italy, Somerset Patriots P Travis Minix instead was picked up the Philadelphia Phillies and assigned to Double-A Reading. All this according to Ryan Dunleavy of The Courier News.
Minix had been one of the best relievers in the league, posting an 0-0 record with a 1.59 ERA and a WHIP slightly under one.
With each day, the Phillies are getting closer and closer to their ultimate goal of having a minor league system filled with Atlantic League players.
The team signed right-handed pitcher Brock Till, who has Triple-A time with the Cincinnati Reds, including 10 games this season. They also activated southpaw Andy Van Hekken, who left to play in Mexico.
Hayes Suspended: Jason Guarente is reporting that Lancaster skipper Von Hayes has been suspended for two games for an incident in Newark. According to someone who was at the game, Hayes needed to be physically restrained by Danny Gonzalez and made physical contact with the umpire numerous times.
The treatment of umpires in this league has always been something that’s been a constant source of amazement — guys slamming bats down or spiking their helmets or engaging in long, animated conversations with these guys seems to be the norm.
Now, that’s certainly not to say that the umpiring in this league is consistently good, but it’s interesting to see what these guys take sometimes.
15 K’s!: Newark’s Pat Stanley struck out 15 Lancaster batters on Saturday, establishing a new franchise record and coming one short of the Atlantic League record, set by Somerset’s Ray Davis.
Historically, pitchers have been signed right after high strikeout performances — York’s Ryan Baerlocher in 2007, Somerset’s Brandon Knight in 2008 — so it could be local guy Stanley on the way out after this game. – Mike Ashmore
Perez Signs With Rockies: York Revolution infielder Kenny Perez reached a deal to play for the Colorado Rockies today. This season, Perez was hitting .248 with 15 RBI for the Revolution. – Scott Stanchak