Off to a sizzling 5-1 start, your Tennessee Smokies look to continue their winnning ways this Wednesday, April 14 against our East Tennessee rivals, the Chattanooga Lookouts, Double-A affiliate of the Los Angeles Dodgers. Throughout the 2010 season, we will be bringing you a preview of the visiting teams and their top prospects as they visit Smokies Park!
Chattanooga lost three-of-five games to the Huntsville Stars in the season opening series. SS Dee Gordon and RHP Chris Withrow, the #1 one and #2 ranked prospects, respectively, in the Dodgers' farm system, lead the Lookouts into East Tennessee. Gordon, son of former major league pitcher Tom Gordon, had a remarkable season in 2009 with the Great Lakes Loons (Low-A), posting a .301 average with a league-best 73 stolen bases, and 12 triples. He received all of the top honors in the Midwest League for 2009, as he was named MVP, Prospect of the Year, and Topps Player of the Year. Carrying over his late season success from 2009 with the Lookouts (3.95 ERA in six starts last year), the hard-throwing Withrow threw six strong innings in the Lookouts' 2010 season opener, allowing two earned runs while striking out four.
The Lookouts also feature outfielders Andrew Lambo and Trayvon Robinson, both top 10 prospects for the Dodgers, according to Baseball America. Lambo had a disappointing season with the Lookouts in 2009, but he impressed scouts in the Arizona Fall League by hitting .330. Robinson is a speed-burner, tallying 47 stolen bases last year. With twelve career home runs in four minor league seasons, Robinson surprised opposing pitchers in 2009 with newfound power, swatting 17 home runs between High-A Inland Empire and Chattanooga.
The Smokies and new manager Bill Dancy dominated Mississippi in the season-opening series, taking four of five games from the M-Braves. The Smokies benefited from consistent and quality pitching, as the staff posted a combined 2.80 ERA for the series. Former first-round pick Andrew Cashner dazzled on opening night, striking out the first seven Braves he faced. Reliever David Cales collected two wins in the series while Dustin Sasser, Jake Muyco, and Marcus Mateo each collected a save. Speedster Tony Campana swiped four bags to seize the early season lead for stolen bases in the Southern League.
The probable pitching matchups for the Chattanooga series are as follows (Chattanooga pitcher is listed first):
Wednesday: RHP Chris Withrow (0-0, 3.00) vs. RHP Andrew Cashner (0-0, 6.23)
Thursday: LHP Alberto Bastardo (1-0, 1.80) vs. LHP Jeremy Papelbon (0-0, 6.75)
Friday: RHP Mario Alvarez (0-1, 12.27) vs. RHP Austin Bibens-Dirkx (0-0, 3.60)
Saturday: LHP John Koronka (0-1, 1.80) vs. RHP Hung-Wen Chen (1-0, 1.80)
Sunday: RHP Jesus Castillo (0-1, 0.00) vs. RHP Craig Muschko (0-0, 3.00))
Tickets for this week's homestand can be purchased here on the Smokies Web site, via phone at (865) 286-2300, or at the Smokies Park ticket office. Remember, if you purchase your tickets at least four (4) hours prior to game time, you will receive a $1 discount on each ticket purchased!