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May 12, 2018 at 7:00 AM

Cup of Coffee: Chatham and Dalbec stand out for Salem

5/12 Cup of Coffee: It was a mixed bag on the farm last night, with solid outings from Chandler Shepherd and Denyi Reyes being offset by the struggles of Trey Ball and Darwinzon Hernandez. The Pawtucket offense erupted in support of Shepherd and Steven Wright, and C.J. Chatham and Bobby Dalbec did their best to carry Salem but it was not enough.


The PawSox pummeled the Chiefs, scoring eight runs before recording their second out. Two-run doubles from Ivan De Jesus Jr. and Tzu-Wei Lin led the way in the first, and Rusney Castillo later added two sacrifice flies and an RBI single as part of his 2-for-4 night. Lin ended the night with two doubles, while Ramon Flores went 3 for 3 with a walk. Every starter had a hit and the 12 runs were a season-high for the PawSox.

On the mound, Chandler Shepherd allowed one run over five innings to improve to 2-2 on the year. Steven Wright was the first man out of the bullpen as he tossed a scoreless sixth, and Ty Buttrey walked two and struck out two in two shutout innings. As Senior Staff Writer James Dunne noted on Twitter, Wright threw 89 pitches on Tuesday so it's possible this was just his side work and does not necessarily mean he is transitioning to the bullpen. 


Kyle Hart was activated from the disabled list before the game and went the first six innings while allowing only one run, though he did walk five and allow five hits. The Rumble Ponies blew it open against Trey Ball, who was lit up for four runs in two innings. After a hot start, Ball has now allowed multiple runs in five straight games, with an ERA of 13.06 in that span. 

The Sea Dogs only managed six hits, with both Jeremy Rivera and Chad De La Guerra picking up a hit and a walk, and Josh Ockimey went 1 for 3 but also committed his fifth error in 20 games. 


It was a tough loss for Salem as they allowed two runs in the ninth to tie the game and then lost it in the 10th. Darwinzon Hernandez has struggled with his control all year but he was completely lost on Friday, walking four while recording only one out before being pulled. He has now walked 23 batters in only 22 1/3 innings this year. Jared Oliver struck out six and Hunter Smith had three scoreless innings to keep the game close, but Yankory Pimentel blew the save and then took the loss in the 10th. 

The top prospects played a big role for Salem as C.J. Chatham went 3 for 4 with two doubles, a steal, and a walk in his first multi-hit game since being promoted earlier in the week and Bobby Dalbec went deep for the second straight night. Santiago Espinal extended his hitting streak to 10 games with a 1-for-5 performance and he also added his fifth stolen base. 


21-year-old Denyi Reyes continued to be a bright spot for the Drive, lowering his ERA to 2.72 as he did not allow an earned run over five innings. He has now struck out 45 in 39 2/3 innings while walking only four. Jagger Rusconi launched his first home run of the year, and Zach Sterry and Kervin Suarez each had two hits. 


Player of the Night: It has been a rough 13 months for C.J. Chatham as he lost most of the 2017 season to injury and then was placed back in Greenville after the rest of the system seemingly got aggressive placements. He didn't last long in the South Atlantic League as he was promoted after hitting .307 over 19 games. The former second-round pick is on his way to having a strong season, and if he stays healthy he has a chance to make it into the system's top 10 by the end of the year.

Photo credit: C.J. Chatham by Kelly O'Connor