West Virginia Power hopes for refunds from Lexington Legends | West Virginia Power
West Virginia Power’s first road trip in the Atlantic League didn’t turn out as hoped for manager Mark Minicozzi – there wasn’t much to like about a three-game sweep at the hands of the Lexington Legends – but the Power will have a chance of redemption.
After a day off Monday, Lexington is making the trip back to Charleston for games on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday to open a six-game home stand for the Power at Appalachian Power Park.
“A lot of things have gone wrong. It was a pretty ugly weekend, ”said Minicozzi after Power (4-5) tied for third place with Gastonia Honey Hunters in the four-team South Division of the Atlantic League. “We do not like [the Legends], and they … well, they probably love us because they beat us three times. It’s time for us to reciprocate here.
“We play them  time. It’s going to be a heated rivalry. “
This rivalry resumes at 7:05 am Tuesday when local product Arik Sikula makes his third start of the season. Sikula (1-1, 4.91) comes off a six-innings, one-run performance against the Long Island Ducks last week in which he earned his first victory in the Atlantic League.
“He told me he wanted to be the ace of our team,” Minicozzi said of Sikula, “and he showed me he could be that kind of guy.”
David Kubiak (0-0, 1.80), who allowed a run and a hit in five innings in his only start, is the scheduled starter for Power on Wednesday, followed Thursday by Elih Villanueva (1-1, 7, 36).
Lexington (7-3) occupies first place in the South Division. The Legends’ best-known player is former Cincinnati Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips, who is hitting .389 with two homers in just 18 batting appearances.
Lexington’s leading hitter in the first 10 games is Ben Aklinski, who is hitting .435 with four homers and nine RBIs.
Power’s best hitter? It’s clearly outfielder Rubi Silva, who hits .436 and shares the league lead with five homers and 13 RBIs.
“He was definitely the catalyst for our attack,” Minicozzi said of the 31-year-old Cuban.
Silva isn’t the only power hitter to swing a hot stick early in the season.
Former Pittsburgh Pirates outfielder Jose Tabata is hitting .414, second baseman Scott Kelly is at .385 and outfielder Teodoro Martinez is hitting .361.
The negative side of the Atlantic League’s statistical ledger is the fact that Power ranks (eighth) last in average home attendance with 1,215 per game.
The Power was a bit understaffed, in terms of pitching, at Lexington. This was due in part to the absence of reliever Erik Manoah, the older brother of former WVU pitcher and current Toronto Blue Jays, Alex Monoah.
Minicozzi said Erik Manoah, 25, signed a minor league contract with the Minnesota Twins. He was a mainstay during his brief stint in Power’s reliever box, allowing no runs, no walks, just two hits with six strikeouts in four innings spanning three relief appearances.
“He came here and showed he can pitch at the next level,” Minicozzi said. “He has a bright future.
Minicozzi added that several players on the roster are also of interest to MLB teams.
While Manoah is gone, the government eagerly awaits the arrival of several signed international actors who are on the verge of resolving their visa issues.
Minicozzi said Edwin Espinal, a 27-year-old corner infielder from the Dominican Republic who played for Power in 2014 when the team was affiliated with MLB, got his visa approved and should arrive Thursday. Also expected on Thursday is Eleardo Cabrera, 25, a pitcher who can also play on the outfield. He’s from Venezuela.
Later, Power await the arrival of several players that Minicozzi hopes to play key roles.
Arnaldo Hernandez, a 25-year-old Venezuelan pitcher who has climbed to Class AAA 2019 in the Kansas City Royals system, is about a week away, according to Minicozzi, who expects Hernandez to be part of the rotation. starting point of the Power.
Minicozzi especially anticipates the arrival of a few signed hitters who should strengthen the Power lineup.
Rymer Liriano, a 29-year-old outfielder from the Dominican Republic who spent part of two seasons (2014, 2017) in the major leagues, is “probably at 10 days,” Minicozzi said.
Leonardo Reginatto, a 31-year-old Brazilian infielder with 2018 MLB experience in the Twins system, is also awaiting visa clearance. Minicozzi considers him a top hitter for Power.
“Whenever we have all of these guys here, we’re going to have some pretty special training,” Minicozzi said.