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Mudcats Notebook: Gallas is leading the Mudcats charge

Mudcats Notebook: Gallas is leading the Mudcats charge
May 14, 2014
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This week, the Carolina Mudcats managed a 4-3 record, with two victories against both Lynchburg and Salem.  Carolina also dropped two games to the Red Sox and one to the Hillcats.

While several players shined offensively, many of the pitchers had difficult weeks on the mound.

This week, the Mudcats will enjoy the comforts of home with the completion of a series against Lynchburg before the Salem Red Sox come to Zebulon for a four game set.  After an off day on Monday, Carolina will travel to Wilmington, Delaware to close out the week.

Player Watch

No Carolina Mudcats player had won the Carolina League Player or Pitcher of the Week award in 2014.  That is, until outfielder Anthony Gallas was named the league Player of the Week for May 5-11.

A spectacular week at the plate sealed the award for Gallas, as he went 13-27 (.481) with six doubles, a home run, four RBIs, and seven runs scored.

Gallas, while proud of the accomplishment said it’s a long season and you can’t get caught up in personal accomplishments early in the season, comparing it to any other week of baseball.

“It’s no different from any other week here,” said Gallas.  “The season is long.  You can’t get too high, you can’t get too low.  I’m proud of it, but mostly because we did well on the road trip.”

Gallas has enjoyed a resurgent season after missing most of 2013 with a hip injury.  On the year, the Cleveland, Ohio native is hitting a team high .349 with a team leading six home runs and 20 RBIs.  Gallas also leads the team with 23 runs scored on the season.

Gallas said that having to take baby steps and watch the season from the sidelines helped refocus his approach and drive him to be a better player.

“Honestly, it was a whole offseason process,” said Gallas.  “From baby steps, which was actually how I was walking for a little while, to ultimately getting here this season.”

The hip injury caused doubt in Gallas’ mind as to whether he would even be with the organization this year, but he said that has driven him to prove what he can bring to the team.

“I didn’t really know if I was going to be here, so that drove my approach and like it was my last," Gallas said.  "I think that has helped me to approach it all a little differently.”

The Kent State alum is no stranger to adversity, as he went undrafted out of college before signing with the Indians. 

Gallas said this continues to drive him to prove he is supposed to be a professional baseball player.

“I kind of got that chip on my shoulder right when I came in,” Gallas said.  “I’ve learned to shake that off a little bit.  We’re all here together, whether a guy got $2.5 million, or me, who didn’t get anything.  It’s all the same.  Everyone gets opportunities and you just have to take advantage of them.”

Gallas is showing this year, that he is taking advantage of every opportunity he is given.

Player of the Week

Anthony Gallas (OF): 14-28, 2 HR, 5 2B, 10 RBI, 6 R, 4 BB, 2 K

Gallas had a spectacular week at the plate, recording a team high 10 RBIs and two home runs, which stretched his team lead to six on the season.  For his efforts, Gallas was named the Carolina League Player of the Week for the week of May 5-11, the first award bestowed upon a Mudcats player in 2014.  In seven games, Gallas recorded multiple hits in five games with back-to-back three hit performances.  Over a two game span, he also reached base in eight consecutive plate appearances.

Swimming Pretty

Jeremy Lucas (C): 5-20, 9 R, 8 BB, 3 RBI, 1 K

While Lucas might have struggled to put the bat on the ball this week, he found other ways to reach base, such as walking a team high eight times.  This led Lucas to be the most prolific run scorer for the Mudcats, scoring what was easily a team high nine runs.

Erik Gonzalez (SS): 11-33, 5 R, 6 RBI, 1 3B, 2 BB, 3 K

Gonzalez was able to bounce back nicely from his first difficult week at the plate by collecting 11 hits after collecting only two hits the previous week.  Though he has cooled off considerably since batting nearly .350 for the first three weeks of the season, he has begun to regain his form after a difficult stretch at the plate.

Jerrud Sabourin (1B): 10-24, 3 R, 2 2B, 5 RBI, 2 BB, 5 K

Since being sent to Carolina from Double-AA Akron, Sabourin has been the same consistent offensive force he was for the Mudcats last summer.  This week was no different, as he collected 10 hits over the week and consistently was able to move runners over and find himself on base, all while playing solid defense at first base.

Torsten Boss (2B): 7-16, 4 R, 1 HR, 3 2B, 4 RBI, 3 BB, 1 K

Boss has had a difficult season thus far, having been traded just days into the season and quickly being forced to acclimate to a new team.  Subsequently, he has struggled at the plate, but has begun to turn things around as of late.  This week, Boss more than doubled his season hits total, scored one-third of his runs, collected four of his five RBIs and cracked his second home run.  Clearly, Boss is beginning to heat up at the plate, which can only be a good thing for the Mudcats.

On the Hook

Cole Sulser (RHP): 2 GS, 0-1, 8.1 IP, 14 R, 7 ER, 13 H, 5 BB, 6 K

After a remarkable debut in the Carolina League in which Sulser allowed only one run on one hit over five innings, Sulser has quickly become one of the weakest links to the Mudcats rotation.  Though Sulser clearly has had some bad defense being played behind him as seen by the seven unearned runs scored off of him this week, he needs to figure out what was working in his first outing in order become the pitcher he has shown flashes of being.

Carlos Melo (RHP): 3 G, 2.0 IP, 4 ER, 5 H, 4 BB, 1 K

Melo is the hardest thrower the Mudcats have, consistently hitting 95-97 on the radar gun, but regularly seems as though he has no idea where his pitches are going.  This week was more of the same as he allowed a total of nine base runners in only two innings over three outings this week.  While Melo has good outings, he unfortunately tends to have more outings that are just plain bad.

James Roberts (3B): 3-18, 3 R, 1 RBI, 6 BB, 5 K

In a week with so many high powered offensive performances, Roberts was the odd man out this week.  Generally the model of consistency, Roberts was only able to collect three hits, and went hitless in three games.  While he did walk six times throughout the week, Roberts struggled at the plate and is “on the hook” this week.

Elvis Araujo (LHP): 1-0, 2 G, 1.1 IP, 4 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 1 K

While the big, lefty was able to pick up his first victory of 2014, his struggles in the ninth inning of Sunday’s win over Salem nearly allowed the Red Sox to finish a comeback to steal the game.  In one-third of an inning, Araujo allowed three runs on four hits and a walk with the Mudcats up by five.  He has made great strides after switching from starter to reliever, but Araujo still struggles with command from time to time.

Fish Swimming Around

The only transaction affecting the Mudcats this week was the assignment of INF Todd Hankins back to Carolina after spending a week with Triple-A Columbus.

Fish on the Line

Outfielder Ollie Linton was placed on the disabled list with a hip flexor injury.  The injury is not thought to severe, and Linton should only be out for a short time.

Zachary is a senior at NC State where he is majoring in communication-media, with minors in journalism and theatre.  You can follow him on Twitter @RealZachFrancis.

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