Four Mudcats to play in Carolina League All-Star Game
By SAMUEL EVERS
Monday, June 11, 2018
The host Carolina Mudcats will have four representatives at the 2018 Carolina League All-Star Game, which will be played on June 19 at 7 p.m. at Five County Stadium.
Southpaw pitcher Cam Roegner, catcher Max McDowell, right-handed pitcher Marcos Diplan and second baseman Tucker Neuhaus all made the cut. Mudcats manager Joe Ayrault will be in charge of the Southern Division team; Lynchburg’s Rougie Odor will manage the Northern Division.
Trey Supak and Keston Hiura were also named to the team, though both were promoted to Double-AA Biloxi, Miss. within the last few weeks and are not eligible to play.
Here is a little bit more about each of the four Mudcats that will be playing next Tuesday.
Cam Roegner: Roegner, who leads the Carolina League in ERA, got back on track in his last start after his two previous ones were uncharacteristically shaky. This past Sunday, against the Winston-Salem Dash, the 24-year-old went a career-high eight innings and allowed no runs with three hits, lowering his ERA to 1.64 while picking up his sixth win of the year. At one point this season, the groundball pitcher brought his ERA all the way down to .68.
“The biggest thing with Cam that we talked about in spring training was pitching around his head. He had a lot of head tilt, shoulder tilt. Sometimes he would leave balls arm side,” said Carolina pitching coach Bob Milacki of Roegner’s success in late-May. “Now he’s getting out on his front side, creating better angles with his pitches. He’s commanding to both sides, the glove side of his plate, which makes all of his pitches better. That’s probably the biggest thing with him this year.”
Marcos Diplan: Diplan, the Mudcats’ opening day starter, is the only member of the team on the Milwaukee Brewers’ 40-man roster. The 21-year-old was added before the season began as a measure of protection from the Rule 5 Draft, a rule designed to disallow teams from holding on to coveted prospects whom other teams could use as major leaguers.
So far this season, he’s compiled a 3.20 ERA and a 2-2 record over 56 ⅓ innings of work. Hs best work this season has come over his last five starts, where he’s allowed only four earned runs and dropped his ERA by almost a run.
In an outing on May 31 against Lynchburg (Va.), he struck out 10 in 5 ⅔ innings.
Max McDowell: McDowell is in the Carolina League All-Star Game for one very obvious reason: He leads the minor leagues with 32 runners caught stealing. He’s also second in the minors in caught stealing percentage (.552) among catchers with at least 30 attempts.
“He’s saved numerous runs,” Ayrault said of McDowell earlier in the season. “He’s leading our organizing in blocking, and that's huge for a pitcher because when they have a runner on third base and he's back there, they’re not afraid to bury that breaking ball.”
Tucker Neuhaus: The Carolina second baseman entered Monday night’s game having started 56 of the 62 games played so far. He’s hitting .246 on the season with a .708 OPS and his six home runs are good for fourth on the team.
The rest of the Southern Division’s team:
Down East: Edgar Arredondo, Andretty Cordero, Chuck Leblanc, Anderson Tejeda, Leody Taveras and C.D. Pelham.
Winston-Salem: Dylan Cease, Bernardo Flores, Matt Foster, Luis Basabe and Joel Booker.
Buies Creek: Brandon Bielak, Ronnie Dawson, Brandon Bielak and Abraham Toro.
Myrtle Beach: Aramis Ademan, Johnny Pereda and Tyler Peyton.
The Northern Division:
Potomac: Tres Barrera, Carter Keiboom, Jake Noll, Will Crowe, Tyler Mapes and Sterling Sharp.
Salem: RHP Matthew Gorst, RHP Daniel Gonzalez, C Roldani Baldwin, INF Jerry Downs and DH Santiago Espinal.
Lynchburg: Sam Hentges, Dalbert Siri and Conner Capel.
Frederick: Ryan McKenna, the league’s top hitter with a .367 batting average, Cristian Alvarado, Alex Wells and Preston Palmeiro.
Wilmington: D.J. Burt, Khalil Lee, Kort Peterson and Bryan Brickhouse.