Lyerly Still Adjusting To Double-A

Lyerly is hitting .200 in his last ten games

Rob Lyerly has played pretty well since being called up to Double-A but he certainly has encountered some difficulties playing at a higher level. Lyerly is currently hitting .253, an average that dropped drastically after he went through a 0-21 slump.

"I went through a pretty rough stretch there," Rob Lyerly said. "When you're struggling you're facing some good arms; you're missing some pitches you could hit, and then their making good pitches, and nothings falling, so it was pretty rough."

During the stretch Lyerly's strikeout rate was sky high and it just seemed like nothing was going his way. He broke out of the slump with a two-hit game against the Altoona Curve earlier this week, and has since gotten six hits in his last 25 at-bats [six games] while hitting a home run and driving in four runs but is still only hitting .240 over that stretch.

"I've been getting better pitches to hit and putting some decent swings on them the last couple of days," he added.

Lyerly is still adjusting to the Double-A level and his manager believes he has played up to par thus far.

"He's doing okay," Trenton's manager Tony Franklin said. "He's handled himself in a pretty good manner. I don't think he's over-matched, and that's the first thing that comes to mind when kids come from Tampa; you wonder whether or not they're going to be able to compete and be ove-matched, and by no means is he over-matched."

Franklin wasn't surprised that the young infielder went through a rough stretch, citing that every player goes through some rough patches.

"You're going to hit some peaks and some valleys," he added. "You try to not let your valleys go for a long period of time. You've just got to remember what you were doing when you were going well."

Lyerly did just that and is now hopefully past that rough stretch, but acknowledges he's still adjusting to playing in Double-A.

"I've done okay," he said. "It's a blessing for me to be brought up here and I just thank God for the opportunity and I've made some adjustments, and there are going to be a lot more and hopefully I can keep playing better.

"The pitchers make a lot more deception up here; they mix pitches better, hit their spots better, their offspeed's better, so they've gotten a lot better and I've just got to make the adjustment."

Defense is also an adjustment still being made by Lyerly. He has been the everyday first baseman for the Thunder, but he primarily played third base while playing in Tampa earlier on in the season.

"I've played infield for a while," he added. "I've been back and forth between third and first the last couple of years. I'm doing okay, not perfect, I need to get better but that's part of the adjustment, to try and make more plays and make the team better.

"All I can do is go out there and keep working, hopefully they keep working me at every position they could possibly see me playing at, I don't want to get one spot and I want to be as versatile as possible."

Lyerly will most likely finish the year in Trenton and the time up here this season will definitely benefit him in the long run.

"He probably will end up back here," Franklin admitted. "I think him having the chance to see the league for a number of games and even a number of months, he'll come back here and have a pretty good season next year, but he's done well.

"He's starting to hit a little bit again, and hopefully by the end of the year, he finishes strong and he's real hot."

"Everything" was the quick response given from Lyerly when asked what he'd like to work on going forward.

"I want to have a better approach at the plate, I want to make more plays, I want to be more athletic, I want to steal more bases, I just want to help the team win and I feel like if I could hit for a better average, hit for more power, and drive more guys in I'll be able to help the team in every aspect."

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