GreenJackets deal with mounting injuries

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Over the course of a season, players tend to rack up nagging injuries and stints on the disabled list. For the Au­gusta GreenJackets, the injuries have taken a toll much sooner than expected.

The GreenJackets have placed four players on the seven-day disabled list in three days.

On Saturday, the team placed infielder Shayne Houck, first baseman Joe Rapp and outfielder Rafael Rodriguez on the disabled list. Houck pulled a hamstring, Rapp suffered a broken finger and Rodri­guez
sustained a concussion over the past week.
“We took a beating in the first week,” manager Mike Goff said. “We were playing with basically one fewer guy the entire road trip, which is tough to do.”

Before Monday’s game, Goff said left-hander Steven Okert would be placed on the disabled list with the intention of building arm strength and working on mechanics.

In corresponding moves, catcher Brad Moss and outfielder Andrew Cain were assigned to Augusta. Infielder Trevor Brown has been activated from the disabled list, and Justin Schumer will soon follow to replace Okert.

Brown is notable from the list of new names. The UCLA product was drafted in the 10th round in 2012. He can play multiple positions, ranging from catcher to second base. Goff said he expects Brown to remain with the GreenJackets the rest of the season.

STRONG PITCHING: The GreenJackets split six games between Savannah and Charles­ton over last week’s road trip. The seventh game, on Sunday, was suspended after 13 innings.

Goff said pitching continued to be the strength of the team through the second week of the season.

“They right now have been carrying us, keeping us in ballgames,” he said. “It gives us a chance to win every night. We just have to get our offense going and start putting some more runs on the board, and take some pressure off our staff.”

Entering the weeklong homestand against Lexing­ton and Kannapolis, the GreenJackets were second in the South Atlantic League with a 2.75 ERA. The staff ranks fourth in strikeouts with 102 while allowing the second-fewest hits in the league so far.

Joan Gregorio and Chris Stratton have been two key arms through two starts each. Gregorio has a 0.82 ERA with 13 strikeouts and only one walk through 11 innings. Stratton has a 0.90 ERA with 10 strikeouts and three walks in 10 innings.

“(Gregorio) was fantastic,” Goff said of his outing Thursday, where he threw six shutout innings with eight strikeouts. “He used his fastball very well both sides of the plate, which is something we’ve been harping on.”


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