The New Orleans Baby Cakes (8-12) made it through the week with some bright spots shining through. The team still has not been able to string together a winning streak, but their top performers from two weeks ago are starting to find company as the Cakes have started to click.
In last week’s report, Matt den Dekker seemed to be the only one with any pop in his bat, while Brandon Barnes was the only other offensive contributor of note. This past week saw No. 29 prospect Destin Hood’s bat come alive. He is now batting .296 with three home runs and twelve runs batted in through 20 games. While his strikeout rate is still high, he has been able to get on base consistently.
Since coming back down from The Show, No. 9 prospect JT Riddle has batted .313 with two home runs and three RBIs, while also crossing home plate three times. His offense will kick start the Cakes until he goes up again (if he does). Barnes has also continued to produce, batting .278 and also stealing a team-leading five bases.
Pitching Has Been Solid
Vance Worley has shown why he was once a productive big league pitcher. In two starts this past week, Worley pitched 12.2 innings and gave up only one earned run while striking out five. Worley has only given up four runs in four starts this season, but has been cursed with a lack of run production. The lack of run production has saddled him with a 1-2 record even with his 1.66 ERA.
Nonetheless, Worley has been impressive and it wouldn’t be a surprise if the Marlins take notice and pluck him away from the Cakes if they run into rotation troubles. Worley has been there before and the way he has pitched shows he may be able to do it again.
Relievers Javy Guerra and No. 16 prospect Drew Steckenrider have both pitched incredibly in relief. Steckenrider gave up only one hit in three appearances this past week, giving up no runs. Guerra pitched twice, throwing a total of four innings and gave up only three hits, while also refusing to surrender a run.
While Worley has pitched lights out to start games, these two relievers have been unsung heroes toward the end of games. Relief help has been huge in keeping the Cakes in games when their starters have been sub par.
This Coming Week
This coming week will see the Cakes play the team below them in the standings, the Nashville Sounds, for the first time this season. The series is a four-gamer in Nashville. After that, they will be back at home against the Iowa Cubs, a team they have seen twice already this season. The Cakes will look to take advantage of the four-game set in Nashville to get them closer to .500 and the division lead.
Team Leaders (After Week 3)
Batting Average: Hood, .296
Runs: Barnes, 13
Home Runs: den Dekker and Hood, 3
RBI: den Dekker, 13
Total Bases: den Dekker, 36
Stolen Bases: Barnes and Lombardozzi, 5
Wins: Copeland and Mortensen, 2
ERA: (Min. 15 Innings): Worley, 1.66
Strikeouts: Copeland, 20
Innings Pitched: Worley and Nicolino, 21.2
Saves: Cunniff and Ellington, 1