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Captains Notebook: Heller showing dominant form in pen

Captains Notebook: Heller showing dominant form in pen
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The Lake County Captains (32-44) crafted a successful week, giving them a solid start to the season’s second half. Posting a 5-1 record, the team holds the best second-half record in the Midwest League and seems to have found some new life after an underwhelming first half. The offense has found ways to produce and the pitching staff has managed to lock down some close games. Here’s how the first week of the Captains’ second half went:

Smooth Sailing

Ben Heller, RHP
3 G, 4 IP, 0-0, 0.00 ERA, 2 H, 11:1 K:BB

Ben Heller’s strikeout-to-walk ratio speaks for itself. Heller has been nearly lights out and hasn’t allowed a run since May 31. He also had a five-game stretch during which he failed to yield a hit. Over the course of the season, Heller has fanned 54 in relation to the 15 he’s walked through 32.2 innings.

Justin Brantley, RHP
2 G, 4.1 IP, 1-0, 0.00 ERA, 2 H, 6:1 K:BB

Justin Brantley joined the team June 9, and he’s already shown that the Brantley bloodline is full of baseball talent. His cousin, Michael, and uncle, Mickey, have already established that, but Justin has made an impressive showing so far. Brantley’s a reliever, which is an adjustment from his days at Siena College as a starter, but so far it seems the transition hasn’t bothered him.

Grant Fink, INF
6 G, 21 AB, 7H, .353 BA, .436 OBP, .733 SLG, 1.170 OPS, 1 HR, 3 2B, 8:3 K:BB

Fink has created an interesting pattern. He started out the season strong, then fell off the table, causing his average to plummet. In similar fashion, Fink’s second half to the season has been impressive. It’ll be interesting to see how he handles the remaining half and to see if he falters after a month again.

Walking the Plank

Carlos Melo, RHP
2 G, 1.1 IP, 0-0, 45.00 ERA, 4 R, 4 ER, 4 H, 4:4 K:BB

It’s hard to be tough on a guy who’s barely pitched more than an inning, but Melo’s two outings haven’t been pretty. To be fair, his outing June 25 wasn’t as bad as the 9.00 ERA in the box score suggests, considering he tossed a full inning and struck out three. It was his June 22 appearance during which he yielded three runs in one-third of an inning that hurt him.

Dorssys Paulino, OF
6 G, 23 AB, 3 H, .125 BA, .158 OBP, .292 SLG, .450 OPS, 5:0 K:BB

Paulino can be described as a streaky guy at the plate, but overall, he’s had a subpar offensive year. Of course, he’s also undergoing a position change that puts a little more on his plate than other guys. Defensively, Paulino’s transition to the outfield from shortstop has been decent. He makes some mistakes throwing the ball around, but he doesn’t appear lost in left field.

Boarding Ship

Reliever Chris Melo joined the Captains from the short-season Mahoning Valley Scrappers roster June 21.

Leaving Port

No Captains were reassigned to other rosters last week.

Taking On Water

Right-hander Robbie Aviles was placed on the seven-day disabled list June 21.

On the Horizon

The Captains complete their three-game series with the Bowling Green Hot Rods before they stop in Dayton for a four-game set with the Dragons to finish out the month.

Stephanie is a crime and general assignment reporter for The Morning Journal in Lorain, Ohio. She’s an alumna of Cleveland State University with a degree in Journalism and Promotional Communication. You can follow her on Twitter @7thInningSteph.

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