Dan Glickman writes about baseball at The Baseball Continuum and the Rochester Red Wings, particularly at Pickin’ Splinters. He’ll provide mostly-weekly updates on the AAA Nationals affiliate during the second half of the 2022 season and potentially beyond.
As the season nears the end, here are a few bits and pieces as the year’s final series begins.
- The Red Wings continue to end the season on a hot streak, winning three of five games played in Buffalo (the final game was canceled due to rain and won’t be made up). That means they’ve won seven of their last 10, all against teams above .500 that had been in the playoff race until relatively recently. While it was far too little, far too late for the Red Wings as far as attempts to get a winning season, it is by far the best they’ve played since the all-star break. What this means I’ll get to in a little bit later.
- Logan Verrett, who I discussed in my last post, also continues to impress. He went six innings in his start against Buffalo on Friday, allowing just one earned run, striking out four, and walking nobody. Verrett deserves another shot at the big leagues, as mentioned last week. Whether that’s with the Nationals or with some other team ultimately will be up to him and the Nationals, but he can eat innings- an important thing to have at any level of baseball.
- For years, September baseball didn’t exist in the minor leagues. The only teams that would be playing would be those in the playoffs. The regular season would end in the first week or so of September, and that’d be that. Some players would get called up for September 40-man rosters; others would go home, and some might head overseas to play. No more. Ever since MLB’s (correctly) maligned takeover of the minors, the games now run through September, with the playoffs greatly reduced at the end. The result is a mixed bag.
- On the one hand, it means more games, which is always good! But on the other hand, September baseball can sometimes be a real drag. Kids are back in school, so crowds are smaller. The weather can also get ugly- as I mentioned, Buffalo lost their season finale to rain on Sunday. Above all, though, it is surreal: the rhythms of minor league baseball for so long had September for the playoffs. I don’t think we’ve quite adjusted to it yet.
- Speaking of next year: the Red Wing’s good finish may speak well for how they may do next year. Admittedly, some players will likely move on to other teams, be called up to Washington, or move on in another way. But, there will also presumably be some other players arriving from AA, looking to climb that one last rung to the show. I’ll look deeper next week as I do a season wrap.
- If you get the chance, check out the Washington Post article on Red Wings’ radio announcer Josh Whetzel, who has done some games for the Nationals this season. He will, with luck, have an MLB job next year. It’ll be some MLB team’s gain.