It was another decent week for the affiliates, but only really because Akron and Lynchburg went 5-1. None of the other four stateside affiliates managed a winning record. The Hillcats have actually been on an incredible tear in the past three weeks, taking 17 out of their last 20.
Current team records (as of Sunday night):
Columbus Clippers: 63-52 (individual 2015 stats)
Akron RubberDucks: 61-54 (individual 2015 stats)
Lynchburg Hillcats: 59-55 (individual 2015 stats)
Lake County Captains: 56-54 (individual 2015 stats)
Mahoning Valley Scrappers: 22-25 (individual 2015 stats)
Arizona Indians: 15-24 (individual 2015 stats)
DSL Indians: 31-29 (individual 2015 stats)
Angling for Position Players
Within the space of a few days at the end of last month, the Clippers' offense was decimated as they lost Ramirez, Chisenhall, Sands and Holt (to the MLB) and Naquin (to injury), and it has started to show as they were shut out in their last two games. It's not clear when Tyler Naquin will return from his concussion, but at least they will have Tyler Holt back on Tuesday.
The somewhat forgotten Zach Walters finally had a strong week with ten hits, including three doubles.
3B Yandy Diaz continues to go from strength to strength. Not content with terrific on-base skills, he has recently added power to his game, with four homers in the last 10 games. After some early struggles, Bradley Zimmer seems to have finally settled in at Akron, with four extra-base hits including two homers last week.
The 21yo 1B Nellie Rodriguez was promoted from the Hillcats on Sunday night.
Top prospect Clint Frazier continues to stay hot, with five doubles and only four strikeouts last week. Dorssys Paulino and LeVon Washington also continue to show good form, while it will be interesting to see what happens in the wake of Nellie Rodriguez's promotion. Is it possible that Bobby Bradley might fill the void at 1B with a promotion from the Captains?
Lake County (A)
The 19yo Bobby Bradley continues to power his way through the Midwest League, with two more homers bringing his total to 20. Greg Allen and Anthony Santander also continued their very consistent production last week.
State of the Rotation
With the injury to Will Roberts and potential promotion of one of their number (Josh Tomlin?) to the Indians this weekend , the Clippers' rotation is in a state of transition. They were even forced to go with a "bullpen" game on Sunday, which ended in fairly disastrous fashion.
Shaum Marcum and Michael Roth both pitched very poorly over the weekend, and it may be time for the organization to promote one or more of Mike Clevinger, Adam Plutko, Ryan Merritt or Shawn Morimando from Akron to shore things up.
It was another very good week for the Akron rotation, highlighted by Mike Clevinger's scoreless 6.2 IP, while Adam Plutko gave up one run in 6 IP.
The Hillcats added two starters to the rotation at the end of July (Rob Kaminsky and Jayson Aquino). Both made excellent debuts last week, with Kaminsky pitching a scoreless 5.1 IP, and Aquino striking out six in four innings at a cost of one run. Their "piggyback" partners in those games, Michael Peoples and D.J.Brown, also pitched well.
I guess when the dust settles the rotation would be Kaminsky, Lugo, M.Brown, Aquino and one from Kime, D.J.Brown and Peoples. Kime pitched horribly on Wednesday (his second shocker in the last four), so even though it may be his job to lose, he could just do so.
Lake County (A)
Overall, it wasa pretty terrible week for the Captains' rotation, but at least Justus Sheffield (one ER in 6 IP) had another very good outing
With the promotion of Shwan Armstrong to the Indians, former Cubs closer Carlos Marmol is arguably the potential "next man up" from the Clippers' bullpen. Marmol hasn't conceded a run for a month (8 IP) and now has a seasonal ERA of 1.89.
Unfortunately, Trey Haley's wild ways seem to have returned, as he has now walked five batters in his last two outings, while Giovanni Soto has also been struggling of late.
Although FTC ("future Tribe closer") Jeff Johnson finally blew a save in conceding his first run for two months, he bounced back with two more saves last week. Enosil Tejeda has also been pitching superbly all year and deserves another shot at AAA before the end of the season.
With Michael Peoples and D.J.Brown both performing superbly in "piggyback" roles last week, and Grant Sides perfoming well since his demotion form Akron, the Hillcats' bullpen has a much more reslilent look these days. Neither Trevor Frank, Justin Brantley nor J.P.Feyeresien is performing as well as one would have hoped, however.
Lake County (A)
Cameron Hill, Justin Garcia and David Speer continue to "spearhead" a fairly deep bullpen for the Captains.
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 first repeat winner)
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%)
Week 13 (July 6-12): Ryan Merritt (35%)
Week 14 (July 13-19): Clint Frazier (69%)
Week 15 (July 20-26): Ivan Castillo (60%)
Week 16 (July 27-Aug 2): Bobby Bradley (38%; the second repeat winner)
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, July 13-19, July 20-26, July 27-Aug 2, Aug 3-9