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Indians minor league recap: Bradley Zimmer injures his hand while bunting

Julian Merryweather was phenomenal for the RubberDucks.

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If you needed anymore evidence that bunting is stupid, the Cleveland Indians’ top prospect, Bradley Zimmer, left yesterday’s Columbus Clippers game with an injury when he squared up to do the devil’s swing and a ball hit him on the fingertips. The good news is that nothing appears to be broken.

In much, much better news, Akron RubberDucks pitcher Julian Merryweather had a no-hitter through five innings, and he finished with one of his best outings in Double-A.

Columbus Clippers 7, Toledo Mud Hens 5

Box Score · Clippers improve to 67-52

The Columbus Clippers won — yay! Bradley Zimmer left the game with an injury — OH GOD WHY NO PLEASE.

As it turns out, thankfully, he appears to be okay. The Indians’ top prospect left the game in the fifth inning when he squared to bunt and the ball got him right on the fingertips. I have never personally experienced having this happened, but watching it — and seeing Zimmer’s reaction — I never hope to.


Zimmer was immediately taken out of the game and replaced by Collin Cowgill (who struck out), but nothing appears to be broken and manager Chris Tremie seemed optimistic, stating after the game, "I think it’s gonna be okay."

Prior to his injury, Zimmer was great in this game. He quite literally stole a run from the Toledo Mud Hens in the third inning. Leading off the frame, Zimmer bunted to get on base, advanced to second on a wild pitch, stole third base, then ran home on an errant throw to third. That’s first to third without a ball hitting a bat — pretty impressive.

The rest of the offense showed up as well, with Giovanny Urshela, Jesus Aguilar, and Ronny Rodriguez all adding two hits. Yandy Diaz had a hit, extending his hitting streak to 28 games.

Adam Plutko had a topsy-turvy 5.2 innings of work, striking out four, but walking two and allowing two earned runs off of five hits, including a home run. Shawn Armstrong did as Shawn Armstrong does, striking out two batters over two relief innings and walking one.

Akron RubberDucks 3, Hartford Yard Goats 2

Box Score · RubberDucks improve to 58-59

If you were already thanking Jonathan Lucroy for voiding the trade and leaving Francisco Mejia in the Indians farm system, you should be doing the same for Greg Allen. Allen was another part of the deal that never was, and he has the potential to be as good as — if not better than — Mejia, in the long run.

That potential was on display last night, as the 23-year-old outfielder was virtually perfect on the night, going 4-for-4 with a walk. He also stole a base, his 40th in the minors this season, 2nd with the Akron RubberDucks. In 14 games since his promotion to Double-A, Allen is slashing .310/.385/.466 with two home runs.

Starting pitcher Julian Merryweather had a no-hitter going through the first five innings, but it was broken up when the first batter in the sixth inning slapped a single to left field. Even still, Merryweather pitched a strong eight innings with seven strikeouts and no walks. After a rocky start in Double-A, Merryweather has been great over his last four starts — he has pitched a combined 25.0 innings and allowed just six earned runs with 20 strikeouts and five walks.

Lynchburg Hillcats 3, Potomac Nationals 6

Box Score · Hillcats fall to 72-44

The Lynchburg Hillcats, with Francisco Mejia riding the bench once again, fell to the Potomac Nationals thanks to a messy, six-run seventh inning.

The box score paints a painful image for the fateful inning, complete with a walk, two errors, and four singles on the Nationals’ way to their only runs of the game.

Catcher Sicnarf Loopstok had a great game, going 3-for-4 with a run batted in. Tyler Krieger, fresh off being added to MLB Pipeline’s top-10 second baseman prospect list, was 1-for-3, but he struck out twice. Lynchburg batters struck out seven times, combined, and walked just once.

Luis Lugo was great in his start, keeping the Nationals to three hits with five strikeouts and no walks. Jordan Milbrath absorbed the unearned runs, as well as the loss. He recorded only one out before being replaced by Justin Garcia in the seventh.

Mahoning Valley Scrappers 8, Batavia Muckdogs 4

Box Score · Scrappers improve to 24-27

It is certainly still too early to hit the Brady Aiken panic button, but the Indians’ top pitching prospect’s stat line was not the greatest in his debut with the Mahoning Valley Scrappers yesterday.

He pitched three innings and allowed three earned runs (including a home run) in that time. He also had just one strikeout to two walks. Aiken does not seem too worried about it, however. In a post-game interview he said he felt good and had a good first couple innings.

Offensively, the Scrappers continue to hit well. Gavin Collins had a three-hit day, including three runs batted in, while Erlin Cerda, Mitch Longo, and Alexis Pantoja each added two hits. Todd Isaacs, coming off his best offensive game of the season, was 1-for-5 with a double.

AZL Indians 7, AZL Giants 8 (F/5)

Box Score · Indians fall to 24-17

The AZL Indians’ game went final after six-and-a-half innings. If only the rain had come a couple innings earlier to prevent the AZL Giants from scoring seven runs in the bottom of the fourth, maybe they could have done better in the makeup game.

As it is, starting pitcher Cesar Ventura was tagged with all seven runs off of eight hits.

Will Benson went 2-for-3 with a home run, his fifth in the Rookie League. Nolan Jones was 0-for-2 on the day, but he drew a walk — his 17th of the season. Jones has a .420 on-base percentage.

DSL Indians 2, DSL Cubs1 1

Box Score · Indians improve to 23-34

The top third of the DSL Indians lineup hit well yesterday, combining to go 3-for-11 in the win. Two of this hits came from center fielder Ronny Dominguez.

Starting pitcher Juan Mota lasted five innings, striking out two and walking one. Juan Paredes pitched one eventful inning of relief in which he was given both a blown save and the game win.