Friday, April 19, 2013
A year ago right now, the GreenJackets were 6-8 and on their way to the bottom of the South Atlantic League standings.
A year later, a complete 180 with Augusta leading the league and dominating on the mound.
Being a San Francisco Giants affiliate, the Jackets have a strong focus on pitching, and it's showing so far.
Augusta's staff leads the league in earned run average, hits against, shut outs, runs against, and they're second in strike outs by a single one.
This year's crop of hurlers was supposed to excel, and the expectations have been high from the start.
"We knew they were going to be good," Manager Mike Goff said. "Our rotation we knew was going to be good. There were some question marks in the bullpen early, but those guys have stepped up and been tremendous. They've made my job very easy as far as any guy I throw out there in any situation, ahead or behind, they've been outstanding."
Starter Martin Agosta added, "Learning some of these new guys,watching them through Spring Training and seeing some of them in the AZL where I pitched last year, these guys are good. You're a professional baseball player. You're supposed to do big things, and I expect nothing less from them."
The only downside of this team so far is that the offense isn't quite clicking the way they want it to.
Augusta's the only team in all of Minor League Baseball without a home run, and they're tenth in batting average. No problems though. They're coming along one hit at a time.
"We're just kind of focusing on getting the next guy up," said short stop Matt Duffy. "When you think about how to get the next guy up, guys are going to start stringing together good at bats. Guys are going to string together hits. More runs are going to come. More guys are going to start hitting once we starting clicking more, and we already gel together pretty well as a team."