When a team is going bad, it seems like everything that can go wrong will. That’s exactly what was happening when the Cyclones slid into an eight-game losing streak that started on July 10, and put the team below the .500 mark for the first time this season. Watching a team that is struggling so badly is no fun, not only for the fans, but for the reporters who cover the games as well.
You see, as the season goes on, I’ve gotten attached to the Cyclones and I want to see the players succeed and the team do well.
But when the Clones’ bats are asleep at the plate, and when their normally stellar pitching can’t save the team, it is hard to be optimistic.
All of that seems to have changed with the addition of the Mets’ first-round draft pick Michael Conforto, who adds depth to the lineup with his bat. Cyclones hitters are finally putting the bat on the ball and making good decisions while running the bases — and scoring runs in bunches — things they have not been doing in a long time. The day Conforto was added to the roster, things turned around. The Cyclones had 12 hits including a three-run home run from current leadoff man Adrien Abreu, his first of the season. Conforto, meanwhile, went one-for-four with a run scored. His professional debut wound up being a 6–0 win over the Williamsport Crosscutters.
And teammates and management say Conforto brings more to the team than hits.
“Sometimes number-one picks don’t fit in, but his personality is so affable and pleasant — he mingled well with everyone.” said manager Tom Gamboa.
And his presence at the plate is earning raves, particularly when it comes to pitch selection.
“We have guys chase balls in the dirt, swinging at balls over their head,” Gamboa said. “Now they are getting a chance to see a reason why a guy was drafted number one. He doesn’t swing at bad pitches and he takes the ‘pitcher’s strikes’ that are harder to hit. So there is more of a chance that the pitcher will eventually make a mistake.”
To recap: the kid can hit, and he is a solid outfielder and a good person. I’m excited to see what other qualities the 21-year-old will reveal in the coming months.
It is quite possible the addition of Conforto was exactly what the Cyclones needed to turn the season around. And that means more fun for the fans and, kinda selfishly, me.
©2014 Community News Group
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