A disappointing, rain-affected week for the affiliates ended with a combined 11-12 record. The Hillcats continued their recent resurgence with a 4-2 record, while the RubberDucks also had a good 4-2 week, but the Captains went 2-3 and the Clippers slumped to 1-5.
Current team records (as of Sunday night):
Columbus Clippers: 26-24 (individual 2015 stats)
Akron RubberDucks: 23-26 (individual 2015 stats)
Lynchburg Hillcats: 23-27 (individual 2015 stats)
Lake County: 25-24 (individual 2015 stats)
Angling for position players
James Ramsey had another great week and finished the month with a line of .296/.402/.500. Giovanny Urshela also hit homers in back-to-back games and played all six days, hopefully finally putting his back injury in the rear-view mirror.
Catcher Brett Hayes accepted an assignment back to Columbus after his six-week spell with the Indians, while Jerry Sands was briefly promoted to the Indians only to be DFA on Sunday. It remains to be seen whether Sands will return to the Clippers, as he might be claimed or elect free agency this time around.
Like Ramsey, Erik Gonzalez had a great May as a hitter and he ended the month with a line of .291/.320/.504. On the downside, he has already made 13 errors at shortstop. Todd Hankins had yet another solid week, while Destin Hood has hit .295/.360/.526 in 22 games since his demotion from Columbus.
The Lynchburg offense has really been finding its groove lately, and managed to rack up an amazing 21 runs in two games at the weekend. The powerhouse quadrivarate of Luigi Rodriguez, Clint Frazier, Bradley Zimmer and Nellie Rodriguez has been doing most of the damage, but Paul Hendrix was also terrrific last week, with eight hits in the last four games including three doubles and a HR.
Lake County (A)
Repeating at Lake County, the 21yo 2B Claudio Bautista had a phenomenal May, hitting .364/.417/.527 in 26 games. He is currently blocked by Paul Hendrix at Lynchburg, but another good month might force the Tribe to make a roster move sooner rather than later.
Having seemingly recovered from his oblique injury, Bobby Bradley had a great month, hitting .281/.378/.484. Utility infielder Ordomar Valdez only played 16 games in May, but hit .353/.393/.451, while Greg Allen also had an excellent month, hitting .288/.370/.433 in 25 games.
State of the rotation
After his stellar start the week before, Jhoulys Chacin managed to get through another 7.2 IP last week, albeit at the cost of four runs, as he inched ever closer to another shot at the majors. TJ House went scoreless through 5.2 IP in his second outing of the week, after struggling in the first one, but Michael Roth was blitzed for seven earned runs on Thursday.
Toru Murata turned in another very good 7 IP start on Wednesday, while Nick Maronde returned to the rotation due to Jordan Cooper beings placed on the DL, although he simply hasn't been pitching well enough to suggest that his spot is secure.
Adam Plutko finally earned a well deserved promotion to Akron for the double-header on Wednesday, but was unfortunately only able to pitch three (good) innings before the rains came. No corresponding move has been made as yet, so the Ducks have six starting pitchers on the roster right now. In view of this, it seems quite plausible that Cody Anderson might be promoted to Columbus this week.
The loss of Plutko leaves the Hillcats without their ace starter at this level. None of the current rotation (Lugo, Kime, Peoples, D.J. Brown and Mitch Brown) has an A+ ERA below 3.95.
Lake County (A)
By and large it was a tough week for the Captains' rotation, but Thomas Pannone pitched well in 4 IP last Monday an again in 3 IP in yesterday's suspended game.
With Scott Atchison going on the DL on Thursday, Austin Adams has continued his merry-go-round with another trip to the bigs, where he hit 100 MPH in a save on Sunday.
C.C. Lee was a fairly regular feature for the Tribe last season, but has become something of a forgotten man as a result of a poor Spring Training and April (4.50 ERA). However, he bounced back with a 1.64 ERA and 18 strikeouts in 11 IP during May and might be the next man up if Adams struggles.
Giovanni Soto continues to look good, but probably won't be called up until the Tribe requires another LHP.
The Akron bullpen has been solid all season, with closer Jeff Johnson, Josh Martin and Enosil Tejeda all outstanding. RHP Grant Sides went to the 7-day DL on Wednesday.
Justin Brantley continues to look like the pick of the Lynchburg relievers, although he now has some more competition. Having finally conceded a run after 31 IP in his professional career, J.P. Feyereisen was promoted to Lynchburg last week, where he endured a tough debut but then bounced back with a fine outing on Sunday.
Lake County (A)
Cameron Hill and Nick Pasquale continue to excel in a pretty decent Captains bullpen. With the promotion of Feyereisen and Julian Merryweather going to the 7-day DL, the Captains called up a couple of pitchers from extended Spring Training: Dominic DeMasi and Caleb Hamrick, neither of whom was scored upon in their only outing so far.
Hamrick was an 8th rd pick in the 2012 draft and put up decent performances in short-season ball in 2012 and 2013. However, the 21yo struggled to a 6.64 ERA/1.788 WHIP in 99 IP at Lake County last year.
The 22yo DeMasi was a 31st rd pick in last year’s draft and pitched in 15 games to a 4.91 ERA/1.745 WHIP in Mahoning Valley last season.
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%)
Week 6 (May 18-24): Bradley Zimmer (42%)
2015 prospect write-ups: Bradley Zimmer, Michael Clevinger, Bobby Bradley/Yu-Cheng Chang/Francisco Mejia/Justus Sheffield, Giovanni Soto