BRISTOL - Michael Genaro, a second year player for the Bristol Blues, has been an excellent leader for the team’s pitching staff.
But while Genaro’s success has been a positive for Bristol, the rest of the Blues’ staff has been inconsistent, leading to four losses over the last five games.
Genaro has been the most consistent starter for Bristol, with a 2.25 ERA in 24 innings pitched, the most on the team.
“I’m definitely more comfortable than last year,” Genaro said. “Especially coming to this league as a Division III guy, you’re not used to the big crowds and the stadiums for the most part, so adjusting to that last year was a little bit different. Now it’s kind of worn off to where I can just throw my game now and be focused on what I’m trying to do, so I think that definitely helps. It is a different experience for sure.”
Emmet Sheehan has started one game, but looked good with 5 1/3 shutout innings against the Worcester Bravehearts.
Palmer is looking to get Sheehan another start soon.
Outside of those two, Jason Hebner has flashed the ability to be a strong starter. In his two starts this year, he allowed one run in 10 innings. But he hasn’t gotten the call since June 12. Hebner may get another look as well.
The inconsistencies on the roster have been big.
Justin Rouse just made his third start and lasted just one inning, his shortest start of the season.
Zach Dionne was moved from the rotation to the bullpen, as command has been an issue for him, with a team-leading 17 walks.
Nick Rascati was bumped back for rest purposes. His last start was his worst of the season, allowing two earned runs in 2 2/3 innings pitched.
With so many different guys still trying to find their stuff and spots in the rotation or bullpen, Palmer and his staff have their work cut out for them.
“It’s summertime and I know it’s a little more relaxed than it is at school, but they got to stick to their plans and the routines they have at school to be prepared to pitch for us,” Palmer said. “If we have to, we’ll look at it and shuffle up the rotation a little bit to get better starts than we have lately and go from there.”
Mike Delease is another guy that could get a look. He was a starter for the Central Connecticut State University baseball team.
With a lot of time remaining in the season, it’s not time to panic for Palmer.
“We set the rotation early and the guys who have thrown well we’ve kind of rolled with,” Palmer said. “You don’t want to pull a guy after one start. But once you get two or three starts into it, then you start to make some adjustments to the rotation, especially with us competing for a playoff spot. So hopefully we can figure it out.”
If the Blues don’t get the pitching staff rolling it could be a tall task making a title run this summer.
Seeing what works and what doesn’t is the objective for Palmer right now and something new may be in store to get the staff rolling.
“We’re at the point in the summer where we have to step back and remind ourselves that these guys are coming off of 40-50 game seasons and now we’re 20 games into it,” Palmer said “Their bodies are still adjusting to it. So what me might do as a coaching staff is bump everybody a start to give them extended rest from one start to the next.”