Weekend Dish: July 30

See also: Friday’s Daily Dish

Ryan Harvey is going to be sad to see July end, but he’s finishing the month with a flourish.

Harvey slammed four home runs against three different Clearwater pitchers on Friday night, leading Daytona to a 10-9 win. Harvey hit a solo shot home run off Luke Lockwood in the second, and another solo shot off of Lockwood in the sixth. He then hit another solo homer off of Adam Shafer in the eighth, and followed with the game-winner when he hit a walk-off three-run homer against Pat Overholt to give Daytona the victory.

“I was surprised they pitched to me there,” Harvey told the Daytona Beach News-Journal. “First base was open, and then he threw me a fastball. I wasn’t going to let that go by.”

Harvey has struggled for most of the season in his first exposure to high Class A. He was hitting only .204 as July began, and he was even struggling to hit for power, the tool that got him drafted sixth overall in 2003.

But in July, Harvey has managed to tweak his swing to speed up his bat. He’s hitting .319 in July with nine home runs, after hitting just seven in the first three months of the season.

“I’ve been working on loading my hands,” Harvey said. “I’ve been trying to keep it short and simple. I guess it’s working.”

While Harvey has rediscovered his power stroke, he still has plenty of work to do at the plate. The scouting report on Harvey coming into the season was that his long stroke struggled to catch up to fastballs, and he needed to improve his two-strike approach.

The concerns about the two-strike approach remain. Harvey has struck out 100 times in 363 at-bats with just 15 walks, and he’s hitting .234/.268/.421. However, he is now tied for third in the league in home runs with 16 and ranks fourth with 66 RBIs. He’s hit .287 with a .533 slugging percentage and 11 home runs in June and July, but he’s got a 3-55 walk-strikeout ratio in 195 at-bats in that span.

Welcome To The Bigs

When Brent Clevlen was told to go see manager Duffy Dyer, he wouldn’t have been crazy to have thought he was headed back to high Class A Lakeland. After all, Clevlen was hitting only .224/.307/.350 for the Seawolves, and he had recently had a stretch where he had struck out in 10 consecutive at-bats.

But Clevlen was given good news instead. When Craig Monroe had to leave Friday’s game with a leg cramp, the Tigers were left with an extremely shorthanded outfield. Because he was already on the 40-man roster, Clevlen was the logical choice to get the call to Detroit as a temporary fill-in–none of the Tigers’ Triple-A Toledo outfielders are on the 40-man roster.

Clevlen went 2-for-3 Sunday in his Detroit debut. He’ll likely be back in Erie before too long, and when he returns, he’ll continue to try to turn around what has been a disappointing introduction to Double-A.


• High Class A Lancaster outfielder Carlos Gonzalez returned to the lineup two days after he was knocked out when he hit in the back of the neck by a Jose de la Cruz fastball Thursday night.

Gonzalez laid on the plate for several minutes, according to Antelope Valley Press. He eventually left the game under his own power, but was sent to the emergency room, where he as checked out and cleared early Friday morning.

“Everything in his body shut down from his neck down,” trainer Rob Knepper told the Antelope Valley Press. “He knew where he was at, he knew he played for Arizona, he answered all my questions. But at first he wasn’t talking, so we weren’t sure.”

Gonzalez was held out of Friday’s game as a precaution, but he returned to action on Saturday, going 0-for-5. He went 0-for-1 with a walk Sunday and left the game early with tightness in his back. His status for returning to the lineup is considered day-to-day.

• West Michigan outfielder Mike Hernandez
came within a triple of hitting his third cycle of the season on Friday
night. Gonzalez already had a pair of cycles this season, but on Friday
night he was forced to settle for setting a Whitecaps record with seven
RBIs in the club’s 13-6 win over Clinton. Hernandez, a nondrafted free
agent signed out of Oklahoma State over the offseason, is hitting

Kevin Kouzmanoff was promoted to Triple-A Buffalo after hitting .389/.449/.660 at Double-A Akron. Kouzmanoff was called up after Andy Marte’s promotion to Cleveland left an opening in Buffalo. Kouzmanoff hit a home run in his Buffalo debut on Satuday.

• A report in Cuba’s La Presna news refutes rumors that highly-touted infielder Yuliesky Gourriel, veteran shortstop Eduardo Paret and other players had defected last week. Gourriel was quoted by La Prensa after returning with the Cuban national team from a tournament in Columbia. Gourriel and Cuba were preparing for the Olympic qualifying tournament scheduled to begin Aug. 21 in Cuba, an event that will feature a prospect-laden Team USA that will attempt to qualify the U.S. for the 2008 Games in Beijing.

Chris Hobdy, the Dodgers
seventh-round pick in the 2005 draft, was arrested last Wednesday and
charged with multiple counts of burglary and petty theft, according to
the Vero Beach News Journal.

Hobdy was on the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League Dodgers roster, but he had not made an appearance this season.

players at the Dodgers’ Dodgertown complex complained of missing credit
cards and cash over the course of several weeks. Eventually, police set
up cameras in one of the Dodgertown suites, which according to the
arrest affidavit, showed Hobdy entering the room and stealing money.
According to the affidavit, Hobdy admitted to stealing the cash and
credit cards from his teammates.