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Cleveland Indians minor league weekly review and daily updates (May 25-31)

What's happening down on the farm? A weekly guide to the Tribe's 2015 farm system, incorporating daily roster and game updates in the comments.

Jhoulys Chacin, the next Tribe starting pitcher?
Jhoulys Chacin, the next Tribe starting pitcher?
Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

A so-so week for the affiliates ended with a combined 13-13 record. The Hillcats continued their recent resurgence with a 4-2 record and the RubberDucks went 3-3, but the Clippers and Captains both stumbled to 3-4.

Current team records (as of Sunday night):
Columbus Clippers: 25-19 (individual 2015 stats)
Akron RubberDucks: 19-24 (individual 2015 stats)
Lynchburg Hillcats: 19-25 (individual 2015 stats)
Lake County: 23-21 (individual 2015 stats)

Angling for position players

Columbus (AAA)

Considering the "strength" of the Clippers' line-up, loaded with prospects and fringe MLB players, this was rather a disappointing week offensively, as they only managed more than four runs once in seven games. However, Tyler Holt was his usual consistent self (9-23 with a double, four walks and three steals) and James Ramsey continued his excellent recent form, going 7-20 with three doubles, a HR and seven(!) walks.

Some injury news: Yan Gomes went 4-12 in four games during a rehab assignment before returning to MLB on Sunday, while as of Sunday night, Francisco Lindor had missed three of the previous games with "general soreness". Giovanny Urshela returned on Thursday after another spell on the DL with a back injury, and earlier in the week Zach Walters also returned to the Clippers after a brief, disappointing stint with the Tribe (basically subbing for Mike Aviles while the latter was away due to a family emergency).

Akron (AA)

The Akron line-up continues to suffer from a lack of power (Erik Gonzalez still leads the team with just 3 HR with Todd Hankins and Anthony Gallas the only others to have hit more than one). As you would perhaps expect, the recently demoted Destin Hood leads the team in OPS, but really this is very much an offense that is fuelled by consistent contributions from up and down the team rather than star hitting power.

Lynchburg (A+)

Bradley Zimmer continues to impress after a short mini-slump a couple of weeks back. He added two more homers this week and leads the organization with eight. His center field counterpart Clint Frazier has also been hitting really well thiis month and added a couple of HRs of his own last week, doubling his season's total to four. Luigi Rodriguez didn't have quite such a good week, but still managed to blast a couple of homers of his own.

Lake County (A)

The good news is that Bobby Bradley is back playing everyday after his oblique injury. Bradley currently lead the team with an .865 OPS, but the week''s outstanding performers were Claudio Bautista (14-33 with 2 HRs) and Greg Allen (10-29 with 2 HRs).

State of the rotation

Columbus (AAA)

The big development this week was the return of TJ House to the Clippers' rotation, with Shaun Marcum announced as the Trbe's new No.5 starter. House may get another chance with the Indians before too long, but he does now face real competition from both Jhoulys Chacin (the ex-Rockies starter who on Sunday pitched eight scoreless innings in his third start for the Clippers) and Michael Roth (who has been terrific in his first season with the Tribe).

Incidentally, Roth was the main subject of David Laurila's invariably excellent Sunday Notes column this week: "Mike has, for lack of a better term, some funkiness to him. All of a sudden, Boom!, here’s the ball. Hitters don’t see the ball early against him. By the time they pick it up, it’s on them a little bit. It’s unorthodox the way his arms and hands work – and his legs." Columbus pitching coach, Charles Nagy.

Akron (AA)

Miraculously, the RubberDucks have now managed to maintain the same five-man rotation through 43 games. Cody Anderson (1.93 ERA/1.10 WHIP) has been the pick, while Shawn Morimando and Mike Clevinger have both recorded 43 strikeouts through nine games and Ryan Merritt continues to eat innings. Will Roberts has been much improved lately, and has now gone 7.0 IP in back-to-back games.

Lynchburg (A+)

Adam Plutko continues to excel at Lynchburg . He has now spent basically a whole calendar year at the A+ level in total (3.13 ERA/1.04 WHIP) and a promotion seems overdue. The rest of the rotation is somewhat suspect. Dace Kime seems to be settling in, and Luis Lugo has shown promise, but Mitch Brown and Michael Peoples are struggling right now.

The Indians organization parted ways with SP Mike Rayl this week, Rayl was once a fairly promising prospect, reaching No.17 in the Indians' rankings at Baseball America prior to the 2012 season, but his career was completely derailed by injuries and he has pitched only 23 innings since the end of that year.

Lake County (A)

It was a disappointing week for the Captains' rotation, which continues to be very hit and miss. Anderson Polanco conceded four runs in each of his two starts, Sean Brady four in his start, Thomas Pannone three in his, while Justus Sheffield gave up five in just 4 IP in his last start and three in 5 IP earlier in the week. Jordan Mibrath was the pick of the bunch with a good 6 IP/2 ER/4 SO game.

Writing 'pen

Columbus (AAA)

The Clippers' bullpen was reinforced last week when Anthony Swarzak was DFA by the Indians and accepted a AAA assignment (Austin Adams also returned after another brief stint in the bigs). Swarzak has accrued 2.2 IP so far in three games, allowing just a solitary hit. To make room on the roster for Swarzak, Bryan Price was placed on the temporarily inactive list, where he was joined on Saturday by Giovanni Soto due to the birth of his child. Nick Maronde also made a bullpen appearance last week after seven rather disappointing appearances as a starter.

Akron (AA)

Jeff Johnson (0.53 ERA/0.82 WHIP), Josh Martin (0.66 ERA/0.73 WHIP) and Enosil Tejeda (0.71 ERA/0.87 WHIP) all continue to impress in the Akron bullpen. Conversely, Louis Head (14 walks in 20 IP) and especially Grant Sides (18 walks in 20.1 IP) need to improve their control to make it to the next step.

Lynchburg (A+)

The Hillcats' bullpen remains very sketchy. Justin Brantley (2.42 ERA/1.04 WHIP) has been the lynchpin, while Ben Heller (just one hit and one walk in his last 5.1 IP) and Robbie Aviles (0 ER in his last 9 IP) seem to be turning things around after terrible starts, but overall this has not been a strong unit.

Mason Radeke was released last week. Like Rayl, his career has been totally blighted by injuries and he had only managed to pitch 16.1 innings since the end of 2012.

Lake County (A)

Although J.P.Feyereisen blew a save last week as his career unearned run streak ended at 31 IP, he bounced back in style on Sunday to bail out the Captains with a crucial one-run 1.2 IP save. Cameron Hill (0.95 ERA/0.68 WHIP) and Nick Pasquale (0.64 ERA/1.07 WHIP) have also been doing a terrific job in the bullpen.

Minor league players of the week (as voted by LGT)

Week 1 (Apr 9-19): Bradley Zimmer (72% of the vote)

Week 2 (Apr 20-26): Dace Kime (33%)

Week 3 (Apr 27-May 3): Tyler Naquin (76%)

Week 4 (May 4-10): Shaun Marcum (45%)

Week 5 (May 11-17): Francisco Lindor (51%)

Related articles

Tribe minor league weekly review/updates: Apr 9-19, Apr 20-26, Apr 27-May 3, May 4-10, May 11-17, May 18-24

LGT community top 20 prospects

"Fringe five" and other intriguing prospects

Dark horses on the farm — the hitters

Dark horses on the farm — the pitchers

2015 prospect write-ups: Bradley Zimmer, Michael Clevinger, Bobby Bradley/Yu-Cheng Chang/Francisco Mejia/Justus Sheffield