Bill Hass on Greensboro Grasshoppers Baseball:Still searching for a spark

from Bill Hass, with his Bill on Baseball Blog, at……

Still searching for a spark

Maybe the Hoppers will find a spark in Savannah.

The club begins a four-game road trip Monday night at the site where it won the 2011 South Atlantic League championship. Of course, only outfielder James Wooster, catcher Wilfredo Gimenez and pitcher Greg Nappo were around from the current team to remember what it felt like.

Following Sunday’s 6-1 loss to Greenville, the Hoppers found themselves sitting at 16-21 in the second half. That game wrapped up a 2-5 home stand, by far the worst of the season. After going 26-8 in NewBridge Bank Park in the first half, the Hoppers are 11-13 at home in the second half.

All of which has manager David Berg expressing frustration.

“Maybe we’re not as good as we thought we were,” he said. “We’re almost to August and we’re missing cutoff guys, throwing to the wrong bases, the pitchers are not going after guys. We’ve gone way too long with too little energy (in the second half).”

While Berg didn’t expect the team to maintain the pace it set while winning the Northern Division in the first half, he wasn’t ready for the dropoff, either. The Hoppers are 62-45 overall, but since they bolted to 30 wins in their first 40 games, they have been 32-35 since. After terrific records in April and May, they had a losing record in June and are 11-16 in July.

It’s really up to the players to fix things. It’s not likely there will be significant roster changes, although Berg hinted a couple of pitchers could be brought in. They apparently won’t be from independent leagues like last year, when James Leverton, Brett Zawacki and Alex Caldera all joined the team in the second half and made significant contributions.

One who might be added — and this is strictly a guess on my part — is Jay Rogers, who was 5-5 here last season but has been on the DL most of this season, although he has made five starts in the Gulf Coast League. If he’s ready, it would make sense for him to return.

Scott Lyman is the scheduled starter tonight in Savannah.

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