MOOSIC — A rainout Friday night against the Norfolk Tides wasn’t the worst thing that could have happened to the banged-up Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders Friday night.
With three meaningful games left against the Tides this weekend, one of their best hitters in Ryan McBroom hitting the disabled list and a “TBA” listed as Saturday’s starter, Friday’s postponement gave the RailRiders a chance to recuperate.
While it will still be tough to replace McBroom, who’s out until at least Wednesday, the RailRiders do have a starter in place to split the doubleheader with Mike King and they’ll have some fresher legs when they take the field at 5:05 p.m. Saturday.
“It’s four less innings that we have to worry about,” RailRiders manager Bobby Mitchell said. “We understand what they’re going through too. (RailRiders general manager Josh Olerud) and those guys because it’s a Friday night and everyone’s here to watch the game. And we planned on — we went through a schedule of like three times we were going to start, but weather didn’t cooperate obviously.”
In the span of a week, the RailRiders have lost McBroom and infielder L.J. Mazzilli to the disabled list, Mark Payton’s been out with a bruise on his hip from a slide and successive wear-and-tear and Abiatal Avelino just jammed his shoulder Friday night and had to exit the game early.
At this point, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre is just trying to get to Monday’s off day, which will provide the team an opportunity to reset.
Despite the injuries to the lineup and a short bullpen, Mike King, spot starter Adonis Rosa and Erik Swanson still provide the RailRiders with an opportunity to take the four-game series even after Thursday’s extra-inning loss.
It’ll all start with King, who will take the mound first on Saturday. The 23-year-old right-hander has been impressive in each of his two Triple-A starts this season, posted a 1-0 record and 1.98 ERA.
King has pitched into the seventh inning in both of his starts up to this point.
“I really like him,” Mitchell said of King. “I don’t think hitters see the ball very well off him. We talked about it before, but he’s really prepared all the time. Does a lot of preparation on his own. Big-time pro and it’s impressive. You don’t see that very often.”
• McBroom was placed on the 7-day disabled list with a back injury. The move was retroactive to Aug. 15, which means the earliest he can return is Wednesday in Buffalo.
• Mitchell expects Payton to be ready to return to action after Monday’s off day. With the extra rest, Mitchell believes Payton will be able to play through his bruised hip at that point.
• Avelino’s strength wasn’t as strong in his jammed shoulder on Friday as it was after Thursday’s game. Mitchell said that the infielder is day-to-day moving forward but is “pretty sore” right now.
• Starting pitcher Jonathan Loaisiga was activated off of the RailRiders’ 7-day disabled list on Friday and was transferred to Double-A Trenton, where he made a start. Loaisiga pitched 1.1 innings, allowed a run on a hit and two walks and struck out a pair. He threw 41 pitches.
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