Fairel/Mesaraco Carolina debut
Although it would have been a lot nicer to have won the game, having these two guys join the team is something to really appreciate. The Mudcats have the highest team ERA in the Southern League. That's not a mystery if you see them play frequently, starters don't last. Fairel went a solid seven in his first start and really was in command the entire time. Other than Cochran, there is no one established as reliable yet. Webb and Fairel will add a lot here. Fairel threw 92 pitches in seven innings, 54 of which were strikes. I really look forward to seeing him pitch again.
Mesoraco was impressive. He was 1-3 with a solo shot. The kid did take a hard hit when a runner scored from third and he was waiting for the throw on his knees in front of the plate. He dropped the ball so the runner was safe. He got up slowly and strolled out to the mound to gather himself. We were sitting just behind the plate and I know it shook him up but after the stroll to the mound he was back. Everything he does behind the plate, he makes it look easy. He looks very relaxed during a game. Listed at 6'1" and at 220, he brings a little bit of size to the position as well.
I think Kingspoint asked about wheather or not Mesoraco would take signals from the dugout. The first time through the lineup, yes and no. Between batters he would look into the dugout for a minute and then generally did not look over again until the next batter was headed for the plate. It was like he was getting a download on the upcoming batter. As the game progressed and situations warranted, he looked to the dugout more frequently, sometimes for every pitch. Having Fairel on the mound probably made this simpler than it would have with another starter. The last two innings he caught Reuben Medina. Medina has been inconsistent for a while now. To Mesoraco's credit, he went out in one situation and talked to Medina...the guy was struggling...and it appeared to help.
It was an absolutely beautiful day for baseball and it would have been nice had Fairel gotten a win but I'm sure he made Tom Brown and David Bell very happy. West Tenn has the second highest team batting average in the league.
The guys headed out yesterday afternoon and will be in Jacksonville for a 1 o'clock first pitch today. Guess I'll tune this one in on the radio on the deck with a Bass Ale or two.