The city of Defiance, Ohio is a bit of cliché. With a population just under 17,000 and the typical graduating class just over 100 students, Defiance is small-town, U.S.A. in its purest form. But the town has pumped out some baseball talent over the years, most recently Dace Kime whom the Indians selected in the 3rd round of the MLB Draft this past June. The IBI's Robert Fuller looks at where Kime started his career and where it is going.
Even the most emotionally distant type of Indians fan felt as if Christmas came on December 23rd when Nick Swisher signed with the Tribe. Swisher brought a couple of things, most notably being leadership, an infectious smile and an impressive track record of production stability. Unfortunately for Swisher, the hype of his signing as well as irrational expectations has created derision and criticism of his performance that may not be entirely fair. The IBI's Michael Hattery breaks down Swisher's performance this season.
With 12 games remaining in the 2013 season it appears as though the Clippers have run out of time. At 64-68, Columbus stands 7.5 games back of the Wild Card spot and even further in the International League West at 9 affairs. That said, there have been some good (and some bad) performances over the past week and the IBI's Ethan Day recaps the week that was for the Clippers in his weekly notebook.
The Indians were able to complete a much needed three-game sweep of the Los Angeles Angels on Wednesday with a strong pitching performance from Justin Masterson and a great relief effort by Rich Hill, Cody Allen, and Chris Perez picking up his 20th save on the season. The IBI's Michael Goodman takes a brief look at the game, but then dissects the remaining schedules for all the AL playoff contenders.
The ups and downs of a long baseball season can affect even the best players. There was a point when Carolina second baseman Joe Wendle and Lake County right-hander Dylan Baker were red-hot, yet of late, the pair had struggled. That was not the case Wednesday night as both broke out in big ways. To read about their night and everything you need to know about Wednesday in the minor leagues, join Jim Piascik as he takes you Around The Farm.
If the title of Wednesday’s Akron game at Erie was “The Return of Matt Packer,” then the sub-title might have been “Business As Usual.” Packer, the Aeros all-star lefty, dealt seven innings of three-hit, one-run baseball to earn his 11th win of the season, as the Aeros defeated the SeaWolves, 5-1, at Jerry Uht Park. The Aeros (61-68) took two of three games in the series.
What kind of kryptonite are the Corn Belters hiding in Normal? Coming off a season-high 11-game win streak, the Crushers have lost the first two games of their three-game series against the Corn Belters, who have discovered the formula for beating the Frontier League's hottest team. The Crushers lost 4-3 as a late attempt at a comeback was unsuccessful.
Another night of baseball, another night of sloppy play by the Mahoning Valley Scrappers, resulting in a 3-1 defeat at the hands of the Jamestown Jammers. Mahoning Valley has now lost six in row, due in part to poor defensive play.
Even the bright sun of Tinseltown couldn't out shine the blazing Tribe. A two-run homer by the Tribe first baseman and another quality start from ace Justin Masterson (14-9, 3.50 ERA) was more than enough against the last place Angles, as the Indians defeated the Halos 3-1 to sweep the three-game series. Join IBI's Indians beat reporter Jim Berdysz as he recaps the action.
The Lake County Captains fell to the Dayton Dragons 4-3 despite another solid outing from starting pitcher Dylan Baker on Wednesday night. Baker (7-6, 3.77) received a no-decision as he tossed six scoreless innings in his last outing. Lefty Amir Garrett (1-2, 5.61) received the start for the Dragons.
To most fans, right-hander Chris Perez is a hothead with a loud mouth who needs to learn how to shut up. While that may be true, what is going unseen is the evolution of Perez. Despite all of the off-the-field drama, there is a lot more to “Pure Rage” Perez than a grip-and-rip approach. Fans may view him as an idiot, but the truth is that Perez has constantly tweaked and adjusted his pitching style in order to be effective. Join Jim Piascik as he breaks down the evolution of Chris Perez.
The Lake County Captains continued their recent success with a handful of W’s last week, complete with one of their own being deemed Cleveland Indians Minor League Player of the Week. As the playoffs loom closer, the team now must press to produce offensively, which has been its Achilles all year. The IBI's Stephanie Metzger takes a look back at the previous week for the Captains.
It was the most exciting, frustrating, boring and astonishing night of baseball that most Cleveland fans probably will ever see. After the Indians tied the game at one in the seventh, the score would hold until the 14th inning as both teams failed to capitalize on opportunities. Drew Stubbs proved to be the hero as he broke through with a two-run homer in the 14th. Join the IBI's Jake Dungan as he recaps a late-night 4-1 Tribe win.
Jeff Isom has a lot of theories. One of them pertains to his starting pitchers, and it rang true on Tuesday night. Isom likes to say that out of ten starts, a pitcher will have his best stuff in two of them. In two others, they'll lack their usual good command. In the other six, they will be somewhere in between.
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!