Just one week into the season, the Auburn Doubledays lineup is still seeing some new faces.
The latest, JR Higley, is another outfielder on a rehab assignment.
Higley, wearing No. 12, will lead off as the designated hitter tonight, and will start playing defense tomorrow night.
Higley has played four games for both Potomac and Syracuse this year, going 1-for-10 each time. In Potomac he scored two runs and added an RBI, but struck out five times. In Syracuse, he added a run.
The last time he was in the New York-Penn League was in 2009 for the Vermont Lake Monsters. In 53 games he had a .271 batting average wit20 RBI and 22 runs scored. That same year he played 11 games, going .300, with Hagerstown.
Higley is the second outfielder to come to Auburn on a rehab assignment this season, joining Destin Hood, who is expected to return to Harrisburg (Double-A) tomorrow.
Hood has gone 3-for-14 in four games for Auburn, and has scored three times.
- Brett Mooneyham, fresh off his senior year at Stanford University, has arrived in Auburn after signing with the Nationals organization Friday.
The left-hander, who was this year's third round pick (No. 111 overall) is expected to get in a game within the next 7-10 days.
"We'll get him on the pitching program," Doubledays manager Gary Cathcart said. "He won't be in a game for a while since he hasn't been in a game for two weeks. We'll start easing him in like we do the rest of them -- get him on the mound a few times in the bullpen, get him a live batting practice out here with some hitters and see where he's at."
Mooneyham was the No. 2 starter for Stanford this season, going 9-10 with a 4.67 ERA. Over 154 1-3 innings, he struck out 171 and walked 116.
- Outfielder Brandon Miller is still being held out of the lineup after fouling a ball off of his foot Thursday.
In Williampsort Miller was wearing a walking boot. He was on the field for batting practice today today without one, but did not participate.
"We're waiting to see a surgeon this week," Cathcart said. "He might have another issue besides fouling the ball off his foot, so we have to wait and see. We have to get him checked out before he starts activity."
Auburn avoided being swept by Williamsport in their first three-game overnight road trip of the season this weekend.
After losing the first two games 13-8 and 3-2 Friday and Saturday, the Doubledays responded with a 6-5 10-inning win Sunday.
"There was a lot of good stuff, and obviously at this level, a lot of not so good stuff," Cathcart said. "We lost a tough one the night before (Saturday)…We catch that ball in the 10th inning and it might be a triple play. It was a sinking fly ball to right with both runners moving from first and second. It went from being a potential triple play to the game being over."
Cathcart, who has always stressed development, said the trip overall went "Ok."
"The kids are competing," he said. "There's a lot to learn and a lot for them to process at this level and still try to play the game. We expect some mistakes early on."
We're now one week into the season, so it's not too early to talk about the standings, right? Just agree with me.
The six team Pinckney Division is separated by just three games heading into Monday night. State College is No. 1 with a 5-2 record, while 2-5 Mahoning Valley is currently in the basement.
Auburn and Williamsport are both one game behind with 4-3 records, while Batavia and Jamestown, both 3-4, are two games behind.
Williamsport took two out of three games from Auburn this weekend, and will play at Falcon Park in the second half of this six-game homestead.
The Pitching Matchup
Gregory Baez will take the hill for the Doubledays. He was the starter for the home opener, and didn't get a decision in the 8-7 win over Batavia. Baez went four innings, allowing nine hits, five runs (all earned), one walk and one home run. He struck out two.
Baez will be up against Mason Hope (0-0). Last Wednesday against Mahoning Valley, he went four innings, giving up four hits, a run and one walk. He struck out five.
Blake Monar was listed on the Doubledays website as the probably starter for Monday, but he will pitch against the Jammers Tuesday.
Auburn's starting lineup:
1. JR Higley (DH)
2. Tony Renda (2B)
3. Destin Hood (CF)
4. Shawn Pleffner (1B)
5. Angelberth Montilla (RF)
6. Stephen Perez (SS)
7. Carlos Lopez (3B)
8. Wander Ramos (LF)
9. Craig Manuel (C)
Jamestown's starting lineup:
1. Anthony Gomez (2B)
2. Yeison Hernandez (SS)
3. Viosergey Rosa (1B)
4. Matt Juengel (DH)
5. Austin Nola (3B)
6. Kentrell Dewitt (LF)
7. Jose Behar (C)
8. Cameron Flynn (RF)
9. Juancito Martinez (CF)