Another so-so week for the affiliates. The Clippers took a six-game winning streak into the All-Star break (and now trail by just two games in the divisional race), but none of the other stateside teams managed a winning record.
Current team records (as of Sunday night):
Columbus Clippers: 50-41 (individual 2015 stats)
Akron RubberDucks: 47-44 (individual 2015 stats)
Lynchburg Hillcats: 41-45 (individual 2015 stats)
Lake County Captains: 42-43 (individual 2015 stats)
Mahoning Valley Scrappers: 7-15 (individual 2015 stats)
Arizona Indians: 7-11 (individual 2015 stats)
DSL Indians: 16-21 (individual 2015 stats)
It's All-Star week for Columbus and Akron. In Tuesday's showcase games 1B Jesus Aguilar, OF Tyler Holt and RH reliever Shawn Armstrong will all be representing the International League, while 3B Yandy Diaz, OF Anthony Gallas, 2B Todd Hankins and RH relievers Jeff Johnson and Josh Martin have all been selected to play for the Eastern League.
Angling for Position Players
The Clippers have been on a tear lately, with Lonnie Chisenhall. Tyler Naquin and Michael Martinez all hitting well. Jose Ramirez was rewarded for a terrific run at the Clippers with a recall to the Indians.
The super-consistent Yandy Diaz continues to deal for the Ducks, with Anthony Gallas also remaining in great form. CF Jordan Smith also had a terrific week, with 12 hits.
OF Bradley Zimmer was promoted from the Hillcats on Monday night, while Ronny Rodriguez is currently representing the Dominican Republic in the Pan Am Games in Canada.
Mike Papi has completely turned his season around over the last six weeks or so. After a disastrous start to the season, he is now hitting a highly respectable .248/.383/.362 on the year.
It was a quiet week for Clint Frazier and Luigi Rodriguez, but Nellie Rodriguez hit a couple of dingers on Sunday. Bradley Zimmer went 0-2 playing CF for the US team in the Futures Game.
Lake County (A)
Unfortunately, both Bobby Bradley and Yu-Cheng Chang have been slumping. The latter has been really struggling badly since suffering a concussion after being hit by a pitch last month.
State of the Rotation
Pitching-wise, the highlight of a great week for the Clippers was a complete game shutout (albeit with one unearned run) from Michael Roth. The recently promoted Will Roberts has settled in well and had a couple of good outings last week.
After a poor outing earlier in the week, Ryan Merritt bounced back spectacularly at the weekend with a superb seven-inning complete game no-hitter.
An already strong Akron rotation was strengthened by rehab appearances from former MLB players Josh Tomlin and Charles Brewer in the last few days.
The Hillcats rotation hasn't been good all year, but there have recently been some encouraging signs. Mitch Brown has shown signs of improvement, lasting 6+ IP in each of his last two starts, and both Michael Peoples and Dace Kime pitched well last week.
However, the somewhat surprising star in recent weeks has been D.J. Brown, who went eight innings last week. It was the third time in a row that he has gone at least seven innings (for a combined three runs in total).
Lake County (A)
The unheralded Jordan Milbrath had an amazing week going 13.0 IP, 6 H, 1 R/0 ER, 4 BB, 12 SO over two starts. His seasonal ERA is still over 5.00, but he's been striking guys out at an excellent rate all year, which is most encouraging.
Justus Sheffield and Thomas Pannone also pitched well in their starts.
Shawn Armstrong has been superb over the past month. He hasn't conceded a run since June 8 (15 IP), and a call-up to the Indians may not be far way.
With Kyle Crockett being recalled to Cleveland, Trey Haley was finally promoted for his AAA debut, three years after making it to AA. It's been a long haul for Haley, but his high-90s fastball might still get him to the bigs.
Jeff Johnson, Enosil Tejeda and Josh Martin continue to form a superb fulcrum for the Ducks bullpen. All have ERAs below 1.40 and WHIPs of 1.05 and below.
The previously reliable Justin Brantley hasn't been faring well of late, having given up three runs in each of his last two outings.
Former Phillies farmhand Perci Garner made his organizational debut at the weekend, pitching two innings in relief. Garner started 16 games in AA last year, but was plagued by walks (6.8 BB/9).
Lake County (A)
The foursome of Justin Garcia, Cameron Hill, Nick Pasquale and Caleb Hamrick continues to do a great job — all four have ERAs below 1.70 and WHIPs below 1.25.
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%; the only repeat winner to date)
Week 7 (May 25-31): Cody Anderson (36%)
Week 8 (June 1-7): Nellie Rodriguez (45%)
Week 9 (June 8-14): Bobby Bradley (76%)
Week 10 (June 15-21): Ronny Rodriguez (46%)
Week 11 (June 22-28): Greg Allen (27%)
Week 12 (June 29-July 5): Jose Ramirez (51%)
Tribe minor league weekly review/updates: Apr 9-19 (season preview), Apr 20-26, Apr 27-May 3, May 4-10, May 11-17, May 18-24, May 25-31, June 1-7, June 8-14, June 15-21, June 22-28, June 29-July 5, July 6-12
2015 prospect write-ups: Bradley Zimmer, Michael Clevinger, Bobby Bradley/Yu-Cheng Chang/Francisco Mejia/Justus Sheffield, Giovanni Soto