RubberDucks Notebook: Linton wants to show his abilities
The RubberDucks (57-46) started their second half of the season on a rough note, dropping five of their last six. This includes a five-game skid they have headed into tonight’s game against Richmond. Akron currently sits back four and a half games from the EL Western first-place Flying Squirrels (60-41).
Player Spotlight: Ollie Linton
Injuries are a natural part of baseball that can’t be avoided, but in many players’ cases, they are major setbacks that stop their momentum in the field and groove at the plate. Akron has already lost three key players to injury, including Tyler Naquin, Joe Wendle, and Bryson Myles. However this week’s spotlight focuses on someone who has been plagued by the injury bug for most of his career, Ollie Linton.
The 28-year-old outfielder was drafted in the 13th round of the 2008 MLB draft by the Arizona Diamondbacks. It only took a couple of years for Linton to settle in, as he batted over .275 for three straight seasons from 2008-2011. He was also a reliable defensive player all over the outfield due to his quickness and agility, making two Southern League All-Star teams in back-to-back seasons.
However things started going downhill for the California native in 2012 when he went down with a major injury.
“It happened midway through spring training when I was with the D-Backs,” said Linton. “I had an eight centimeter tear in the middle of my bicep femoris, which is right in the middle of my hamstring.”
He continued to say that being hurt kept him out for an entire year,
“It was tough to come back because it was my second one. It was my left leg in 2012 and my right leg in 2013. It was one of those injuries where you just had to wait because it was too low to have surgery on, so I just had to wait for it to reconnect and strengthen and go from there.”
Because of his injuries, the Diamondbacks let him go.
“It was a tough pill to swallow. I worked hard all season to try to get back.”
Luckily for Linton, the Indians called him up to be a part of spring training while he was at his job.
“I was actually working a home and appliance trade show down in Chicago when I got the call.”
Despite the recent hardships, all Linton has asked for is a chance to show his abilities and contribute to the team,
“I’m just looking for any opportunity to help the team win and compete.”
He has done that this season so far, as he is batting .302 with 19 hits and seven RBI in only 22 games.
Unfortunately, Linton suffered from appendicitis recently and has been recovering since. However, just as he’s done it before, I’m sure he expects to come back stronger and better than ever.
To Columbus: Francisco Lindor, SS
The Indians front-office had apparently seen all they needed to see from the 2011 first-rounder as he was officially promoted to Triple-A Columbus today. Lindor batted .278 with six home runs and 48 RBI for the RubberDucks. He also had 25 stolen bases.
To Arizona: Bryson Myles, OF
The 24-year-old outfielder was sent to the Arizona League on rehab assignment. In four games with Arizona, Myles is batting .467 with two home runs and six RBI. He has seven hits, including three doubles. Just looking at the numbers you can see that he hasn’t missed a beat. This past week was his first baseball action since June 8th.
Francisco Lindor, SS
The highly touted Indians prospect went 0-for-1 with a strikeout and a walk in his EL All-Star game appearance.
Shawn Armstrong, RHP
The sharp late-game reliever came in to the game in the third inning, allowing an earned run on thanks to a solo shot from the EL Eastern’s Derrik Gibson. He struck out one as well.
Joseph Colon, RHP
Despite being named to the team, the 24-year-old did not make an appearance in the game.
Erik Gonzalez, SS
With the departure of Francisco Lindor came the promotion of Gonzalez from Carolina. This is the shortstop’s second stint with the RubberDucks this season and it will likely be a permanent stay this time around. In six games with the team this year, he is batting .296 with one home run and four RBI.
Shawn Morimando, RHP
Another player shipped from the Mudcats was right handed starter Shawn Morimando. Similar to Gonzalez, Morimando has also gotten a taste of Double-A ball when he made a spot start for the team at the end of May. The 21-year-old southpaw received a no decision in his return appearance four days ago. He pitched six innings, allowed two earned runs and struck out one. Like Gonzalez, he will probably be a permanent addition to the RubberDucks.
The 23-year-old catcher was placed on the 7-day DL for the second time this season.
The RubberDucks (57-46) continue their three-game series tonight against Richmond (60-41). Akron will then travel to Reading to take on the Fightin Phils in a four-game set (41-58).
Spencer Davies is a student at the University of Akron studying Sports Management with a minor concentrating in Mass Communication. He has interned for the Cleveland Indians minor league affiliate Akron RubberDucks, IMG College, and has shadowed Fox Sports Ohio's Sam Amico. He is currently an on-air sports personality at WZIP-FM and works for the Akron Beacon Journal. Follow Spencer on Twitter @SpinDavies.