American Association All-Star Break Review: Chicago Dogs

American Association All-Star Break Review: Chicago DogsIn American Association Daily, this is the unofficial All-Star break in the American Association, so Robert Pannier takes a look at Chicago Dogs and how they have performed to this point in the season and how they have performed to this point in the season and take a look at what to expect as the American Association heads to its stretch run.

A Look at the Chicago Dogs: Summary

Record: 24-8, Sixth (10.5 out of First in North Division)
Team Batting: Avg: .263 (T-9th), HR: 42 (9th), R: 254 (9th), SB: 37 (11th)
Team Pitching: ERA: 4.09 (7th), Saves: 15 (T-7th), WHIP: 1.37 (5th)

American Association All-Star Break Review: Chicago DogsTeam Leaders
Batting: Edwin Arroyo (.315)
Home Runs: Trey Vavra (11)
RBI: Trey Vavra (39)
Runs Scored: Jonathan Moroney (35)
Stolen Bases: Kenny Wilson (7)

Pitchers:
Wins: Jared Carkuff, Josh Goossen-Brown (4)
ERA: Jared Carkuff (1.36)
Saves: Kaohi Downing (11)
IP: Josh Goossen-Brown (66.2)

The Chicago Dogs Highlights

While this has not been his finest hour as a manager, no one can argue with the job that Butch Hobson has done in making moves that have helped this team to stay competitive. They are just 10.5 games out of first place in a division where no one has really caught fire yet. The team is 11-11  in July and will have an opportunity to make up some ground with seven games left against the RedHawks, six against the Saints, and four against the RailCats, They have a legitimate chance of getting into this race.

Trey Vavra and Edwin Arroyo have played extremely well this season. Vavra has rejuvenated his career, and Arroyo has done an amazing job since coming over from the Empire league. The two are both hitting above .300 and have combined for 57 runs scored and 65 runs driven in, plus both have an on-base percentage just below .400. No doubt both of these players will be hot commodities near the trade deadline if Chicago is out of the race by that point.

The Chicago Dogs Low-Lights

In the inaugural season of the Chicago Dogs, this was supposed to be an exciting year, but a tough start doomed this team when the Dogs lost 14 of their first 15 games. That was tough to overcome even in a North Division that has been mediocre for much of the year. While still having a chance to make a run in this division, Chicago is going to have to prove that they can win three or four series in a row.

While a few players have had a hot bat this season the offense, in general, has underperformed. They are in the bottom half in virtually every offensive category and are in need of a real offensive resurgence, which could turn around their season.

Top Player – Trey Vavra

Trey Vavra is a guy who can legitimately stake a claim as the league’s most valuable player. Hitting .309 with 11 homers and 39 RBI in 58 games, Vavra has been consistent and a real force at the plate since day one. He has allowed Hobson to build around his infielder, and that has led to the emergence of Arroyo and Moroney. Vavra is first on the team in doubles (14), extra-base hits (25), and games played.

op Pitcher – Jared Carkuff

Jared Carkuff has become a guy that the coaching staff can rely on to come in for tough situations and get people out. It has been his devastating fastball that has made him deadly, striking out 38 batters in 26.1 innings pitched while walking just four batters. How the right-hander has not been picked up by an affiliate club is beyond imagination.

Prognosis

We are going to learn a lot about Chicago’s chances right away. They start this week with three against Fargo-Moorhead, then have three in Kansas City before welcoming Wichita for four. They then go to Winnipeg and to Fargo for a combined six games before welcoming the Goldeyes for three and then going to Sioux City for two. That is a grueling 21 games, but if they can come away from there 14-7 they have a real shot at earning one of those two playoff spots in the division.

By Robert Pannier

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