The July 4th celebration has already kicked into gear for a lot of people today, and there are few better ways to celebrate the holiday than to watch baseball and take in some fireworks. Jim and Tony return this week with another edition of Smoke Signals and at a special time today at 11:00 am EST, and discuss the recent road trip and upcoming homestand, the injury to Chisenhall and today's expected return of Hafner, the flaws in the lineup and rotation, and the power bats in the minors.
Rob Bryson was once thought of as an elite arm, and showed why last night in his most dominating performance to date. Giovanny Urshela may not be a top prospect, but his current offensive stretch may turn a few heads. At the top of ATF is a guy who may be the most important prospect in the system. Check out just who that is with our daily dose of Around the Farm, after the jump...
After scoring 32 runs against the Orioles in a four game set over the weekend, the Indians returned home to Progressive Field on Monday night in the hopes of continuing their good play from over the weekend. But even with another good outing from Ubaldo Jimenez, it was not enough as Jerad Weaver shut the offense down and the Indians lost 3-0. Adam McGavin shares his "second thoughts" and more on the game.
Richmond left fielder Nick Liles hit a two-run single in the 11th inning to put the Flying Squirrels ahead, as the Akron Aeros lost 9-5 Monday night at Canal Park. Richmond grabbed an early lead in the first inning off Aeros starter Steven Wright and never trailed in the game. The Squirrels increased the lead to 4-0 after scoring three runs in the third, the first of which came from a homer hit by Richmond designated hitter Johnny Monell. Richmond added another run in the fourth to make the score 5-0.
Monday night the Mahoning Valley Scrappers stole another one on the road against the Williamsport Crosscutters with a 12-6 win and raised their winning streak to five games in a row. Another hot night in Williamsport, Virginia led to another hot start for the Scrappers as they scored five runs in the first inning. With Monday night's win the Scrappers moved to 8-7 on the season, their first time being over .500 since the third game of the season.
A pair of base running blunders proved to be costly for the Lake County Captains as they fell to the Fort Wayne TinCaps 5-4 on Monday. Right-hander Mason Radeke (5-1, 2.96) took the bump for the Captains for the first time against Fort Wayne’s Cody Hebner (6-3, 4.13). Radeke was formerly a starter in the Lake County bullpen this season, though he started last season for the Mahoning Valley Scrappers, where he went 2-0 in nine games.
After a successful homestand, the Clippers began a four-game roadtrip Monday night, and started it off with a win. Columbus (42-42) defeated the Toledo Mud Hens, 4-1, in game one of a four-game series in Toledo. The Clippers, coming off a six-game set at Huntington Park in which they went 4-2, have now won seven of their past nine games. Monday, Columbus had a three-run sixth inning that separated them from the Mud Hens on way to victory.
The Carolina Mudcats (7-4) beat up on the Potomac Nationals (6-5) on Monday as they took the second game of the series 11-1. Led by first baseman Jesus Aguilar and third baseman Giovany Urshela the Mudcat offense was almost unstoppable scoring at least one run in all but one inning. Both hitters were a triple away from a cycle. Aguilar went 4-for-5 with two home runs and drove in six while Urshela added in three hits of his own with a homer and two RBI.
After struggling to put together consistent performances for more than a month, the Columbus Clippers have now recorded two-consecutive winning weeks. Columbus (41-42) went 4-2 over the past seven days, following up a 4-3 week from June 18 to June 24 with an even better one this week at Huntington Park. Andrew Holleran takes you "Sailing with the Clippers" in his weekly notebook...
There are big-time names out on the market that several teams will be looking at as the trade deadline approaches. Jeff Ellis will look at a couple of those names, but will throw out a few more that aren't being talked about at all. With the Indians struggling to find offensive help from the right-handed side of the plate, they'll have to get creative. Join Jeff to find out a few of those creative ideas...after the jump...
After falling behind the White Sox, the Indians began the toughest part of their schedule to date. With both teams matching each other blow for blow, last week Chicago beat out Cleveland to acquire Kevin Youkilis from Boston. Brian La Shier wonders if Cleveland’s hesitation in the bidding inadvertently strengthened its rival’s position.
We are now 11 days away from the July 13th signing deadline, and as expected some signings are starting to trickle in. Yesterday the Indians officially signed 15th round pick Nelson Rodriguez, a player that I noted had agreed to terms a week ago in this report. In today's update I give an update on a player flying into Arizona to sign his contract, talk about the demands of 4th round pick D'Vone McClure and how signable he is, and where the Indians may go if they are unable to sign him.
No matter what the outcome of this game, the Indians were guaranteed at least a split of the long series in Baltimore. Paced by another strong outing from their ace and more early offense, they were able to win the series outright and salvage a once-disastrous road trip. The White Sox also lost, and the Indians found themselves only a game and a half out of first place. Join Kevin Dean with his Second Thoughts of Sunday's ballgame.
Ryan Merritt got his second win in as many starts at Mahoning Valley. Tyler Naquin and Tyler Holt each had a 3-for-4 night playing centerfield. Both are trying to break the mold of the "Trevor Crowe-type" outfielder, and made some inroads on Sunday. The top player in tonight's ATF is the guy that took over the DH role from Jeremie Tice at Carolina. Nope, it's not Jesus Aguilar. Find out who it is, after the jump.
Mahoning Valley continued to ride high Sunday night as they won their fourth game in a row against the Williamsport Crosscutters. After a slow start to the season at 2-6, which included a 5 game losing streak, the Mahoning Valley Scrappers have battled back to a .500 7-7 record on Sunday night with its win over Williamsport. The bats were remarkably hot Sunday as eight of the nine Scrapper starters had at least one hit.
The Lake County Captains were washed away by the Fort Wayne TinCaps 4-0 in a six-inning game cut short due to the rain on Sunday. Left-hander Shawn Morimando (2-1, 3.67) took the bump for the Captains after receiving a no decision in his last start in Dayton. From the other dugout, righty Matt Wisler (2-4, 2.74) started for the TinCaps after receiving a loss in his last decision.
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!