W.Va. Power: Bats start cold in first series
The arms appear to have come north from Florida but the bats are still a little behind for the West Virginia Power.
The Power (2-2) wrapped its four-game series in Kentucky with the Lexington Legends on Sunday with a 5-2 loss. Through four games, West Virginia is batting a South Atlantic League-worst . 195 (tied with Lexington) while the team earned run average (3.06, fourth in the SAL) is among the league’s best.
The Power got pitching wins from Cody Dickson (three hits allowed, seven strikeouts, zero walks in five innings pitched) and relief pitcher Clario Perez (one hit, one run allowed in two innings pitched) while Luis Heredia and Will Kendall each took weekend losses at Lexington.
Recently converted catcher Wyatt Mathisen, now at third base, and shortstop JaCoby Jones led the Power with five hits each against the Legends. All five of Mathisen’s hits were singles while Jones had two doubles among his five hits. No West Virginia player hit a home run or triple during the first four games.
First baseman Edwin Espinal has the early club lead with three runs batted in, with outfielder Barrett Barnes just behind him with two RBI.
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THE POWER were on the wrong end of one baseball rarest occurrences Sunday —a triple play.
It happened in the second inning. Jones led off with a single, followed by an Erich Weiss single that advanced Jones to second.
Mathisen got the triple play started with a ground ball back to Lexington pitcher Luis Santos, who fired to second base to start a double play. The Legends turned two successfully, however first baseman Samir Duenez fired home to try and catch Jones, who was attempting to score from second. The play at the plate was close but Jones was called out to end the inning.
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THE PITTSBURGH PIRATES announced top prospect and former West Virginia Power pitcher Jameson Taillon will have Tommy John surgery with an expected recovery time close to one year.
Taillon, the No. 2 overall draft pick in 2011 by the Pirates (one selection behind Washington’s Bryce Harper and one pick prior to Baltimore taking Manny Machado), began experiencing pain in his pitching elbow late in spring training after being assigned to minor league camp. He was told to take two week to rest, but the pain remained when he resumed throwing.
The surgery will be performed by David Altchek in New York at a yet to be determined date.
“It’s very unfortunate for Jameson, but he’s a hard worker and he’ll have a good system of support both with his family and our organization,” Pirates general manager Neal Huntington told the media Sunday at PNC Park. “Having surgery is not a bulletproof solution to the problem, but it’s proven that a large percentage of pitchers return from the surgery and eventually perform at their previous level.”
Taillon made 23 appearances for the Power in 2011, posting a 2-3 record with 97 strikeouts and a 3.98 earned run average in 92.2 innings pitched. He was on track to start the season with Triple-A Indianapolis and possibly make his major league debut this season prior to Sunday’s announcement.
Contact sportswriter Tom Bragg at email@example.com or 304-348-4871. Follow him on Twitter @TomBraggSports.