LEADING OFF: The Curve were off Monday and begin a three-game series tonight at Binghamton at 6:35 p.m. Curve LHP Joely Rodriguez (1-3, 5.22) will be opposed by B-Mets RHP Hansel Robles (1-1, 3.51).
SAFE AT FIRST: Rodriguez is a member of the Pirates' 40-man roster and had a superb 2013 season, posting a 2.70 in 140 innings between two Single-A stops. He's had a much tougher time in Double-A, with his high ERA the result of allowing 38 hits in 29 1/3 innings for a 1.568 WHIP. He also has only 10 strikeouts, so he's not fooling many hitters.
STEALING SECOND: 3B Jarek Cunningham has his average up to .242, which is significant. Cunningham is in his third season with the Curve, and he hit .217 and .216 in the first two. He has been remarkably consistent staying in the .220 range for months at a time but seldom getting much higher. Last year he reached as high as .240 for the last time on June 22 (.242) before dropping, and in 2012 he last reached .240 on May 21 before dropping. He needs to stay above that level for at least the next few days, if for anything to prove to himself that he can.
ROUNDING THIRD: Triple-A OF Gregory Polanco had his first slump of the season in recent days, going 1-for-16 over a four-game stretch. That dropped his average from .395 to .357. He responded Monday by going 2-for-4 with a homer and three RBIs. Still, the 1-for-16 stretch is proof that no matter how good a prospect is, he inevitably will face adversity each step up the ladder that he has to prove he can overcome.
HEADING HOME: The Curve return home Friday for three games against Binghamton and four against Akron.
- Cory Giger