Wahoo Minor League Update 06-02-2016
By Justin Lada

Triple-A Columbus Clippers (29-23, 1st place International League West Division)

SS/INF Erik Gonzalez built on his solid April with an even better month of May. He knocked in 12 runs in 28 games thanks to 11 extra base hits on his way to a .795 OPS for the month. He also had 10 multi-hit games in the month.

INF and now somewhat outfielder Ronny Rodriguez had 20 RBI and he slugged .440 in the month of May. Rodriguez did however strikeout 20 times and walked just four, but that’s been his M.O. throughout this minor league career. On an interesting note, Rodriguez’s two homers are at the hitter friendly confines of Huntington Park, but his OPS is better on the road (.753) is better than at home (.692).

OF Bryson Myles was temporarily promoted to Triple-A earlier in the month and now appears to be in Columbus for good. He’s off to a solid start with a .787 OPS in 11 games.

If anyone was hoping for Giovanny Urshela playing so well that he’d force the Indians to call him back up in place of Juan Uribe. Numbers may not dictate that decision anyway but his numbers aren’t forcing the issues either. He did hit .288 in the month of May but posted just a .656 OPS with just three extra base hits.

It may just be an adjustment at a new level for Yandy Diaz, but 12 strikeouts and six walks, while a nice mark for some, are reverse extremes for the Cuban infielder. Even though his usually sky-high OBP is down at Triple-A, he’s now slugging .500 there with 10 extra base hits. He’s even played a few games at second base, which means the Indians are at least interested in seeing the different ways he could help them at some point.

On an additional note, Indians 2010 eighth round pick Alex Lavisky from St. Edward High School in Lakewood asked for and was granted his unconditional release from the club after playing just two games this season.


Before making his major league debut at the end of May, LHP Ryan Merritt threw 29 innings in four starts, earned two wins and had an 18-4 K/BB mark.

It wasn’t a great month of May for TJ House but he did have back-to-back starts where he pitched five and six innings and allowed just two runs. He had nine strikeouts but five walks.

RHP Ben Heller was promoted to Triple-A after allowing one run in 16 ⅓ innings at Double-A. He’s logged four games at Triple-A. RHP Joe Colon was also activated from the suspended list.

Double-A Akron (36-16, 1st place Eastern League West Division)
OF Clint Frazier missed a week with a minor hamstring issue but still managed to post a ridiculous .350/.475/.588 slash line, three homers 19 strikeouts but 18 walks. He’s second in the EL in average (.317), fourth in OBP (.400), fourth in SLG (.433).

1B Nellie Rodriguez had six homers in April and blasted five more runs and knocked 23 runs. His 11 HR are second in the league. His 70 strikeouts are the most in the league as well.

OF Bradley Zimmer broke out for seven homers after a bit of a power outage in April (two). While he raised his OBP from .348 to .379, he’s still third in the league in strikeouts but also sixth in OPS (.893).

C Jeremy Lucas had four homers and a 1.004 OPS in April but hit just .194 with an OPS of .658 in May. He did have 11 strikeouts but also 10 walks.

OF Taylor Murphy received a bump to Double-A a little earlier than expected to fill in for some injuries and other roster shuffles. He’s played so well and had an 11 game hitting streak that he’s stuck. Since joining the talented outfield in Akron he has three, three hit games and and four two-hit games.

LHP Shawn Morimando had four wins in six May starts. He walked 10 in 39 innings. He’s only struck out 47 in 66 innings but has won nine games.

LHP Rob Kaminsky was activated off the DL and threw 12 ⅔ innings in three May starts.

After not making an actual start in April, DJ Brown made five in May and continues to do a solid job. The 6-foot-6 right hander struck out 26 and walked eight in 31 ⅓ innings.

RHP Justin Brantley, Michael Brantley’s cousin, was released at the end of the month.

High-A Lynchburg (33-19, first place Carolina League North)

OF Greg Allen hit his first two homers of the season in May and was a perfect 11-11 in stolen base attempts in the month. He also posted a .400 OBP which topped his .390 OBP in April.

OF Mike Papi was sent to Double-A after an .820 OPS between April and May with seven homers.

RHP Julian Merryweather was in the midst of a breakout year before an injury knocked him out mid start at the end of the month. Despite the two runs allowed in that two inning, his 1.01 ERA still leads the league.

LHP reliever David Speer posted a 0.71 ERA in May, identical to his 0.71 April ERA.

LHP starter Justus Sheffield posted a 2.43 ERA in May with two wins. He struck out 22 in 29 ⅔ innings and walked 10.

Low-A Lake County (31-22, 3rd place Midwest League East)

The Captains lost their division lead but it sure wasn’t OF Ka’ai Tom’s fault. He posted a .337/.461/.446 slash line. He drew 18 walks, only struck out nine times and drove in 10 runs.

OF Nathan Lukes had another outstanding month in the middle of the Captains order with a .320/.376/.510 with seven steals.

2B Tyler Krieger notched nine extra base hits in May and drove in 17 runs to keep his nice start going. He’s starting to settle in at second base finally as well but appears to be a ways away from playing shortstop again.

RHP Matt Esparza was one of few Captains pitchers in the month of May not to really struggle. He struck out 27 and walked just eight 31 ⅔ innings in six starts. His ERA is now just above four after a slow start.

After a nice start in the closers role for RHP Kieran Lovegrove, he posted an 8.18 ERA in May after walking six in 11 innings. He only walked one in 10 in April.

Lefty reliever Billy Strode struck out 13 in 11 innings with no walks in May. Lefties are hitting .174 off of him and he’s allowed just four hits to them all season.

Brock Hartson threw a six inning complete game but allowed six runs in that start. He also allowed two run in another outing but those were the only runs he allowed the entire month in 26 ⅔ innings.

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​POSTED 06/02/2016 13:44
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