This has been a season of roster craziness for the Scranton Wilkes-Barre Yankees and with September call-ups on their way; the roster isn’t getting any more consistent.
This is true for any Triple-A team. There are always players coming up and going down trying to prove themselves ready for the big leagues or out of necessity. Because of this, the SWB Yankees are happy to have a couple of consistent and valuable arms in their bullpen.
Pitchers going up and down, getting hurt or games just being rained out have caused the team to be put in a pinch about what to do with their team. When those times have occurred though, it has been Lance Pendleton and George Kontos to the rescue.
When you think of long relievers, you think of some of the least talented pitchers on the team or just a guy that a team can throw out there to eat up innings when the score deficit is high. That is not the case with these guys.
If the SWB Yankees need someone to start a game, to come in after a pitcher gives up a lot of runs, or even close a game out, Manager Dave Miley hasn’t hesitated to go to Pendleton or Kontos.
Kontos has been the better Triple-A pitcher of the two. He has pitched to a 4-4 record with a sparkling 2.73 ERA. Kontos has pitched 87 innings and started four games. You can’t ask for better numbers out a “long reliever.”
I really like Kontos because of the number of go-to pitches he has. He relies mostly on his slider to get hitters out, which is easily his best pitch, because he can throw it for a strike in any count.
Kontos has been slowed down in the past because of an arm injury but I believe he is fully recovered. I also think that it was the best thing that happened to his career.
When Kontos came back from his injury his velocity was way down which forced him to learn how to become more of a pitcher. Now, Kontos has his velocity back up and it goes very nicely with his new found control.
Lance Pendleton is a different story. Pendleton’s numbers aren’t as good as Kontos’ but he is still solid. He has a 3-4 record, 3.15 ERA, 65.2 innings pitched, and ten games started.
Pendleton relies on his control, which is good. It gets the job done and done well.
Many of you may remember Pendleton from his call up to New York earlier this season. His Big League experience is what will set him apart from Kontos if it is between the two of them to be called up.
Pendleton did a very nice job for the Yankees but I can’t really say I think he’ll be a good major league pitcher. It could have been just beginner’s luck when he was there or I could be completely wrong but I just don’t believe his stuff can translate to a successful Big League career.
Either way, Kontos and Pendleton have been great and versatile options for the SWB Yankees this season.
Tommy Romanelli is a Wyoming Area grad and a sophomore at LCCC. He writes for pinstripesplus.com His thoughts on the SWB Yankees will appear in The Dispatch throughout the season.