Two days of baseball action in one post, today. Some excellent pitching performances and continued strong hitting in the lower part of the system.
Friday night, T.J. McFarland put together his best start since being promoted to AAA, going seven innings while allowing just one run (8H, 2BB, 2K, 12:1 GO:AO). Saturday, Chris Seddon continued his strong, season-long effort to get consideration from Cleveland by pitching eight innings of one-run ball. Ezequiel Carrera was 5-7 with two walks and two doubles in the two games. Carrera is 18-44 (.409) in the 11 games since the AAA All-Star break.
Akron shortstop, Juan Diaz, homered in both games, bringing his season HR total to ten. Diaz is yet another fringy prospect who has been hitting the ball better after a terrible start to the season--after a .212/.280/.258 line in April, with only 3 extrabase hits (no HRs), Diaz as hit .299/.373/.567 with nine extrabase hits (4 HRs) in July. At 6'4", Diaz is a big SS, but known more for his defense than offense. His ten HRs eclipse his previous single season high of nine set last year and could make him slightly more interesting to follow. Paolo Espino went eight strong innings on Saturday (6Ks, 0BBs), while Giovanni Soto pitched well, but was unable to repeat his no-hit performance on Friday. Shawn Armstrong, in his third appearance with Akron, recorded five outs without a run, striking out three on Friday, giving him five scoreless innings in Akron with just two hits, one walk and eight Ks to show for it. Like Cody Allen, Armstrong is on his third stop up the system already this year, with no sign of any struggles.
Danny Salazar (4IP, 2H, 2BB, 5K), Jordan Cooper (4IP, 0H, 0BB, 4K) and Grant Sides (1IP, 0H, 2BB, 2K) combined to shutout Lynchburg on Friday. On the hitting front, Tony Wolters continued his hot hitting (.366/.400/.488 in the past ten games), as did Bo Greenwell (.400/.426/.533) and Carlos Moncrief (.361/.477/.667).
Francisco Lindor had two hits, including a double, Friday night, but not enough to keep the Captains ahead. Over his past ten games, Lindor has raised his line with a .297/.435/.514 line, including five doubles and a HR. All the walks Lindor has been picking up have been nice, but it is even nicer to see Lindor putting the ball in play for extra-bases more frequently.
Jacob Lee, who has dominated out of the pen so far this season, pitched five perfect innings with five Ks in his first start, leading the Scrappers to a narrow victory. Juan Romero provided the offense with a 2-run HR (#6).
The AZL Indians continue to be carried by Dorssys Paulino and Jorge Martinez, who are 15th and 10th, respectively, on the AZL OPS leaderboard this season.