Minor Happenings is now a bi-weekly feature on the IPI, and today we post the first early week edition of this popular site staple. Tony gives the 411 on fast-rising prospect RHP Cody Allen, provides lots of comments from Assistant Farm Director Carter Hawkins, has injury updates on close to a dozen players, and lots more!
Today the Cleveland Indians announced that they have signed free agent outfielder Johnny Damon to a minor league contract for the 2012 season.
Damon, 38, owns a 17-year career Major League batting average of .286 with 1643 runs scored, 516 doubles, 107 triples, 231 home runs and 1120 RBI in 2,426 games with six teams since debuting with the Kansas City Royals in 1995. He has also stolen 404...
Now in its second week (though only its first week with its new title), Launching Off with the Aeros is the only stop you need to catch up on how the Indians' Double-A affiliate the Akron Aeros fared, the best and worst Aeros of the past week, and their weekly and yearly stats. Simply put, it's got something for everybody.
Tonight is another edition of the popular on-line radio "Smoke Signals" hosted by Tony Lastoria and Jim Pete. They will discuss the recent Johnny Damon signing and what it means for the Indians, if he can help, and when he may be ready. They will also discuss the encouraging start for Derek Lowe, the troubling start to the season for Tony Sipp and Josh Tomlin, and rundown the highlights to date at all four minor league affiliates.
Second baseman Ryan Rohlinger slugged an opposite-field, three-run home run in the third inning Monday night, helping the Akron Aeros to a 6-3 win over the Bowie Baysox in the opening game of a three-game series at Canal Park. Rohlinger’s homer, his second of the season, came off Baysox starter Bobby Bundy (1-2) in the third inning, and gave the Aeros a 4-0 lead. After singles by Jared Goedert and Adam Abraham, Rohlinger drove a pitch into the right field bleachers. He now has five RBI’s on the season.
Adam Abraham is starting to see his hard work pay off in Akron, while Trevor Crowe continues to annoy those that demand he not be mentioned in the same breath of the Indians. Tonight's top spot goes to perhaps the top prospect in the organization right now. Check out IPI's original Around the Farm, our daily look at the minor league performances at every level.
The Lake County Captains lost their seventh consecutive ballgame with a 7-2 loss to the Bowling Green Hot Rods on Monday night in front of 1,212 fans at Classic Park. West Michigan scored two runs off of Captains starter Felix Sterling in the first inning. Shortstop Eugenio Suarez coaxed a one out walk and then designated hitter Dean Green hit a two run home run to deep center field, his third of the season.
The Carolina Mudcats first game outside of North Carolina this season wasn’t pretty. The Wilmington Blue Rocks defeated the Mudcats 9-2 at Frawley Stadium on Monday night. Carolina is on a down swing, dropping two of their last three games, bringing their season record to 5-5. For Carolina, the game didn’t begin as poorly as it ended. The Mudcats managed to gain an early 2-0 lead over the Blue Rocks in the top of the first inning.
The Columbus Clippers have lost back-to-back games for the first time this season. The Clippers (7-5) fell to the Louisvile Bats by a score of 7-4 on Monday night, losing for the third time in four games. Louisville used a four-run sixth inning to put distance between themselves and Columbus after the Clippers had scored two runs in the top of the fifth inning to cut the Bats’ lead to 3-2. Right-hander Kevin Slowey (1-2) was on the mound for Columbus, and took the loss, going 5.1 innings while letting in six earned runs.
Time to go "Sailing with the Clippers" again as Kevin Dean wraps up the week that was for the Indians' Triple-A affiliate. They are off to a good start at 7-4 and in first place in the Western Division of the International League, and Kevin gives all the updates on what is going on there.
Pros & Cons is a new IPI feature that will break down the value of some prospects in the Cleveland Indians' farm system and to kick things off we take a look at right-hander Jason Knapp. As noted in Minor Happenings on Friday, he is not pitching anywhere currently and Tony has the details on what he is up to and what is wrong. He also breaks down his value as a prospect going forward.
Alex Lavisky keeps lighting up Midwest League pitching like a pinball machine and Luigi Rodriguez continues to showcase five-tool talent, but the ATF star of the day is a corner outfielder that exploded on the scene last year with Mahoning Valley that you may not know about. Tune in to IPI's original Around the Farm for yesterday's minor league performances, after the jump.
On Sunday afternoon at BB&T Ballpark, the Winston-Salem Dash defeated the Carolina Mudcats 6-5 despite giving up two home runs. Carolina was able to take a 5-4 lead in the top of the sixth inning, but Winston-Salem took advantage of an ill-advised Mudcats pitching change scoring two runs in the seventh to put the game out of reach. The Dash got their offense rolling early off Mudcats’ left handed starting pitcher T.J. House.
The Akron Aeros finished their four-game home series with a 2-1 loss to the Trenton Thunder on Sunday, dropping the Aeros to 6-3 on the season. Starting for the Aeros was left-hander Eric Berger, an eighth-round pick out of the University of Arizona in 2008. Berger spent last season in both Akron and Columbus, though his time with the Clippers was a bit rough as he posted a 10.05 ERA in just over 14 innings of work.
The Bowling Green Hot Rods sent 16 men to the plate in the top half of the ninth inning and scored 11 runs en route to the 22-12 victory over the Captains on Sunday afternoon in Eastlake. Before the big inning, the score was 11-10 BG heading to the ninth. In the first inning, The Captains took the early lead. Luigi Rodriguez started the rally with a slap single to center. Rodriguez stole second base. Alex Monsalve was hit by the pich. Rodriguez stole third and Monsalve stole advanced to second on a wild pitch.
The Columbus Clippers (7-4) lost to the Bats (4-7) by a score of 5-3 on Sunday at Louisville Slugger Field. After falling to the Bats in the third game of the series, the Clippers will now go two-straight series' without taking a majority of the wins. Louisville scored five runs off Clippers’ ace Zach McAllister (0-1) and were able to hold on late for a win. For McAllister, it was his first bad start of the year. In his first two outings of the season, both no decisions, he gave up three runs and went scoreless for six frames, respectively. On Sunday he went six innings while striking out five batters.
The 2013 Cleveland Indians Baseball Insider book featuring the Indians' Top 100 Prospects and more is now available. Also, previous editions from 2008-2012 are also available at a discounted rate. Just click on the book image for more information. Thanks again for all the support!