Gary Southshore RailCats Mid-Season Review: RailCats Round-Up
The Gary Southshore RailCats enter the mid-season break in first place in the Central Division of the American Association, four games ahead of the Lincoln Saltdogs. They have gone just 5-5 over their last ten, but no one in their division is particularly hot, taking the pressure off the team, and allowing them to right the ship in their time, and not having to frantically figure out how to solve their issues, which may have caused them to make some rash decisions.
The RailCats are having quite the productive season at the plate, hitting .293 as a team, fourth in the AA. They are fourth in runs scored with 351 in 68 games, but have shown a real shortage of power, hitting just 31 home runs, ranked 11th in the league. On the mound they are tied for fifth with a 4.22 ERA and are seventh in opponent batting average at .270. Their six complete games leads the league.
Top RailCats Player: Four players are having an absolutely phenomenal season at the plate, and a case can be made for anyone of them that they are the best player on the team so far this season. C Craig Maddox is hitting .320 and just won the Home Run Derby at the All-Star game. OF Drew Martinez is hitting a whopping .352, fifth in the league, and has 46 runs and 38 RBI. OF Josh Romanski is hitting .317, and has scored 38 runs and driven in 43. The three of them deserve some mention of how great a seasons they are having. While these three are putting up big numbers, the RailCats Round-Up selects Daniel Pulfer as the top player so far this season.
Pulfer is having an all-around great season. He is batting .328 with six home runs and 46 RBI. His home run and RBI total both lead the team. He has also hit six triples and scored 59 runs, ranked second in the AA. Adding to his numbers is the fact that he has walked 36 times in 67 games and stolen eight bases. He has clearly been the team’s best all-around player.
Top RailCats Pitcher: Right-hander Dustin Crenshaw has been a straight up stud at the top of their rotation. The 6-5, 245 pound righty has made 16 starts, and is 7-4 on the season with a 2.85 ERA, which is third in the AA. Crenshaw has some very impressive numbers this season. He has pitched 107.2 innings, yielded 102 hits and walked just 18. He has struck out 53 and has two complete games, including a shutout. He has a very respectable 1.12 WHIP.
Season Outlook: The RailCats are in the perfect position to take this division and make some noise in the playoffs, but they are going to need some more consistent hitting throughout their lineup, and they need one of their 3-5 starters to step up and show that he is ready to win games in key situations. This is a team that is pretty deep, and Crenshaw can beat any pitcher in the league most nights. They have the hitting, but could use a power bat to keep them from having to manufacture runs all the time. Look for them to take this division by at least four games, but will probably be out in the first round of the playoffs.
By Robert Pannier
Senior Baseball Editor
Member of the IBWAA