There’s been plenty of action surrounding the Myrtle Beach Pelicans as of late, both on the field in Myrtle Beach and around baseball.
The team is in strong contention to be able to compete for another Mills Cup Championship in the Carolina League, and with the Cubs system continuing to feed the Pelicans top prospects, the group is poised to be impressive through the month of September.
Starters shine bright
Myrtle Beach starting pitching has been brilliant throughout the entire 2017 season, a trend that has continued after the All-Star break. The numbers have been astounding for the team’s top arms.
Both Justin Steele (21 years old) and Thomas Hatch (22 years old) have been anchors for this year’s squad, posting numbers that have gotten significantly more noteworthy as the weeks have gone on.
Last weekend, Steele threw a six-inning game in which he allowed just one earned run, lowering his season era to an eye-popping 2.32 through 77.2 innings thrown. Hatch has been almost equally as impressive – he threw five innings of one-run ball on Monday to take his ERA down to 3.43 on the year.
With Adbert Alzolay (7-1, 2.98 ERA) and Ryan Kellogg (3-5, 4.71 ERA) taking the ball in the rotation as well, Myrtle Beach appears set to be strong for the remainder of the year.
Short, Berg join the roster
Recently added to the team, both relief pitcher David Berg and shortstop Zack Short are expected to make immediate contributions on the field.
Short was added to the roster on June 26th when the Cubs sent Andruw Monasterio to single-A South Bend. At 22 years old, he could be quickly rising up the system after being taken in the 27th round of the 2016 MLB Draft. After starring at Sacred Heart University, he worked a .393 on-base percentage with South Bend through 66 games.
Berg returns to the team after playing an integral part of the Pelicans’ 2016 championship run. He’s been battling injuries this season and has posted a 5.11 ERA but looks to return to last year’s form in this stint with Myrtle Beach. Last season he allowed just a .208 average against in 12.2 innings pitched.
Trying to rise up the
Though Myrtle Beach has stumbled out of the gate, their victory in the Carolina League’s first half gives them a bit of breathing room moving forward.
After this weekend’s series at Frederick against the Keys, the Pelicans will return home for 11 of the team’s next 14 games. Winston-Salem will come to town for a four-game set from the 12th through the 15th; the 20th to the 26th will see the Down East Wood Ducks and the Carolina Mudcats take the field in Myrtle Beach.
The Buies Creek Astros (9-4 second half) have taken the early lead in the Carolina League Southern division, but Myrtle Beach’s upcoming homestand most certainly represents a key opportunity to gain ground.