Laredo Lemurs Mid-Season Review: Lemurs Lair
The Laredo Lemurs leave out of the mid-season break trailing the Wichita Wingnuts by 8.5 games in the South Division of the American Association, and that may have completely soured their chances of making the playoffs. However, they enter the second half just 2.5 games behind the St. Paul Saints for the Wild Car berth, and have a very good chance at grabbing the final playoff spot. St. Paul continues after the break with Wichita, while Laredo plays the last place Amarillo Sox, which should give them a chance to get ahead.
Laredo has an outstanding group of hitters, and is leading the league in batting average at .306. They are the second highest scoring team with 391, and are leading in home runs with 81, 17 ahead of the Winnipeg Goldeyes. While they have an outstanding hitting team, they have shown they can pitch as well. The Lemurs are fourth in the American Association in ERA at 4.20, and fifth in opponent batting average at .266.
Top Lemurs Player: This is one of those situations where a serious case can be made for two different players as the top Lemur. John Alonso is having a monster year, hitting .366, second best in the American Association. He has 13 home runs and 45 RBI, and those are great numbers, but the reality is that Travis Denker is the top player on the team, and he should be recognized as so.
Denker led the AA at the mid-season break with 20 home runs and 66 RBI. His 66 RBI also lead the league. Throw in the fact that he is hitting .325 and it is easy to see why he is the best choice, but there is a lot more to him than this. The slugging infielder has 41 walks, which puts him in fourth place with a .424 on-base percentage. He has 35 total extra base hits and has scored 57 runs, third best in the league. He is the catalyst for the team, and it is easy to see why he is the top Lemurs player.
Top Lemurs Pitcher: After moving from the bullpen, Jeremy Strawn has become one of the most dominant pitchers in the league, and this is why he is the Lemurs top pitcher to this point. In his five starts he has gone 4-0, with a complete game. He got hit hard in a win over Wichita, but in the other four starts he did not give up a run, and in the fourth he gave up just two in seven innings. Overall for the season he has pitched 39.1 innings, given up 35 hits and nine walks, while striking out 31. He has a 2.95 ERA and is showing signs that he can be the team’s No. 1 starter down the stretch.
Season Outlook: The Laredo Lemurs are not going to catch the Wichita Wingnuts, but they are just 2.5 games out of the Wild Card entering the second half, and have to feel good about their chances. They have a great lineup and a quality pitching staff that shut a team down any night. There is good reason why they have the fifth best record in the American Association, and they have the ability to beat any team on any night.
By Robert Pannier
Senior Baseball Editor
Member of the IBWAA