It was another fine week for the affiliates, with the Hillcats going 6-1, the Captains 5-1 and the Scrappers 4-1. All of the full-season teams now stand at .500 or better.
Current team records (as of Sunday night):
Columbus Clippers: 60-49 (individual 2015 stats)
Akron RubberDucks: 56-53 (individual 2015 stats)
Lynchburg Hillcats: 54-54 (individual 2015 stats)
Lake County Captains: 54-50 (individual 2015 stats)
Mahoning Valley Scrappers: 19-21 (individual 2015 stats)
Arizona Indians: 13-20 (individual 2015 stats)
DSL Indians: 27-27 (individual 2015 stats)
Angling for Position Players
With the concussion injury to Tyler Naquin and the promotions of Tyler Holt, Lonnie Chisenhall, Jerry Sands and Jose Ramirez to the Indians, the Clippers' lineup has been decimated in the past week. Although they brought in OF Abraham Almonte in the Scrabble trade [Update — it looks like Almonte is actually headed straight to join the Indians in LA as cover for Lonnie Chisenhall], they have also had to promote OF Anthony Gallas and INF Justin Toole from Akron, but those two guys have some very big shoes to fill.
Nick Swisher is expected to play a couple of games for the Clippers this week, before his 20-day rehab allowance expires.
Ronny Rodriguez has been playing all over the diamond since his return from injury, and he was the outstanding offensive player last week for the Ducks, smacking four homers, a triple and a double in his ten hits. Rodriguez was actually 15 for his last 29 ABs over seven games before being held 0-4 on Sunday.
After a very promising first few games, Bradley Zimmer has struggled in the past couple of weeks. However, the transition from A+ to AA is widely considered to be the biggest in the minors (excluding AAA to MLB, of course), so some early adjustment issues are to be expected.
The 23yo SS Eric Stamets was acquired last week in the David Murphy trade and has been assigned to Akron for the time being.
Somewhat surprisingly, the Hillcats' offense has barely missed a beat since Zimmer was promoted to Akron, partly because Clint Frazier has really stepped up in Zimmer's the absence of his former CF running mate.
Former top prospect LF Dorssys Paulino has had a new lease of life since being promoted to the Hillcats, and was rewarded by being named Carolina League "Player of the Week". This marked the third week in a row that a Hillcat had taken the league honor, following Clint Frazier and Ivan Castillo. Perhaps it's Nellie Rodriguez's turn this week? Heck, even LeVon Washington has been getting in on the act recently, so who knows?
Unfortunately, Luigi Rodriguez injured his hamstring rounding the bases last week and has been placed on the DL.
Lake County (A)
Following his sensational four homers last week, 1B Bobby Bradley was named both to the MiLB.com "Prospect Team of the Week" and as the Midwest League "Player of the Week".
CF Greg Allen also had another terrific week with 13 hits, including two doubles and a homer, while the resurgent SS Yu-Cheng Chang smacked two homers and catcher Francisco Mejia notched up 11 singles.
State of the Rotation
Michael Roth returns to the rotation this week after a short stint with the Indians (in which he failed to make an appearance). In his absence Lynchburg's Antonio Romero made a successful spot start, but there are now six starters (Tomlin/Marcum/Murata/Grube/Roth/Roberts) battling it out for five spots.
Adam Plutko, Ryan Merritt and Shawn Morimando were again terrific this week, although Mike Clevinger was somewhat disappointing in his two starts
Unfortunately, Charles Brewer is suffering from an elbow injury and has been placed on the DL, with his spot taken by Jordan Cooper (who was activated from the DL at the same time himself). Cooper has struggled in his first two starts back and might find himself back in the bullpen if the Tribe decides to give Rob Kaminsky an early shot at AA.
The Lynchburg rotation receives a couple of interesting lefty reinforcements this week. Acquired in the Brandon Moss trade, the new No.3 prospect Rob Kaminsky is scheduled to make his debut on Thursday, while Jayson Aquino (who is actually on the 40-man) was acquired for cash considerations from the Pirates.
It's not really clear who will be moved to make room for those two newcomers. Mitch Brown and Luis Lugo have looked better of late, while D.J. Brown and Michael Peoples have been pretty consistent over the past couple of months, and Dace Kime was only promoted a couple of months back.
Lake County (A)
There were some fine efforts this week from the Captains' rotation. Sean Brady had a terrific outing, going 8 IP with just three solo homer mistakes, while Justus Sheffield and Jordan Milbrath both bounced back from poor performances last time out to record a very solid 6 IP..
The former Cubs closer Carlos Marmol has been terrific of late, while Trey Haley has made a promising start to his AAA career in his typically "effectively wild" fashion.
Kyle Crockett was promoted to the Indians on Monday, while Joe Colon has finally made it to AAA at the age of 25, following a slew of injuries over the past few years.
FTC ("future Tribe closer") Jeff Johnson is now a perfect 19-for-19 in saves with an ERA of 1.13 and a 0.91 WHIP. He hasn't conceded a run since June 12.
With the promotion of Joe Colon to Columbus, fellow RHP Ben Heller got the call to Akron as his replacement.
Despite the arrival of Grant Sides at the start of the month, the Hillcats' bullpen remains very vulnerable. Justin Brantley and J.P. Feyeresien have been disappointing recently, following their early season successes.
Lake County (A)
While the Lynchburg pen struggles, the Lake County one continues to thrive. Cameron Hill, Justin Garcia, David Speer, Nick Pasquale and Luke Eubank each have an ERA below 3.00 and a WHIP below 1.30 over 33+ IP.
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%)
Week 13 (July 6-12): Ryan Merritt (35%)
Week 14 (July 13-19): Clint Frazier (69%)
Week 15 (July 20-26): Ivan Castillo (60%)
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