Papi Puts Up, Merryweather Wins First, Streaks, and More in This Week’s ‘Duck Tales
Bob Toth | On 08, Jul 2016
The RubberDucks have endured a lot this season, including a revolving door of players bouncing back and forth between Triple-A Columbus above them and both High-A Lynchburg and Single-A Lake County below them. If you’re having a tough time keeping track of who is on the roster, you aren’t alone.
All of the comings and goings may have hurt the ‘Ducks’ results on the field, but they have the talent to overcome that and may have done just that after a brutal June. After going 8-22 in the month, including a 12-game losing skid against Bowie, Reading, Harrisburg, and Erie, they have started July with a 5-2 mark, including a four-game winning streak this week that included taking the first three against Altoona before dropping the finale on Thursday night. In taking three of four, the ‘Ducks reclaimed the top spot in the Eastern League’s Western Division and will hold onto a half-game lead over the Curve as they head to Harrisburg to play the final three games of the first half against the Senators.
In other ‘Ducks tales…
PAPI’S BIG WEEK
Mike Papi has had his best week of the season while with Akron over this past week. He hit just .181 with a .303 on-base percentage after joining the RubberDucks on June 1 entering the first week of July. After an 0-for-4 last Friday, he had back-to-back two-hit games at Erie to conclude the road trip with a triple, a homer, and two RBI. After drawing two walks on July 4 against Altoona, he went 2-for-3 with a grand slam, six runs batted in, and three runs scored on July 5. He walked twice more in Wednesday’s win to give him five straight games with at least a walk. In total, he has seven hits, seven walks, two triples, two homers, eight runs, and nine RBI in July.
Three RubberDucks All-Stars carried modest hitting streaks with them through the week.
Clint Frazier extended his hitting streak to eight straight with a single on Thursday night in the finale against Altoona. The Eastern League All-Star is hitting .286 for the season after his 1-for-4 at the plate to wrap up the club’s four-game set with the Curve.
Nellie Rodriguez got the night off on Wednesday with a five-game hitting streak in tow, but made it six straight with a double against the Curve the following night. Bradley Zimmer’s five-game hitting streak ended with a 0-for-3 with a walk in the same game. He finished Tuesday’s game just a triple short of the cycle.
KAMINSKY CELEBRATES THE FOURTH WITH A WIN
Left-hander Rob Kaminsky, getting closer to the one year anniversary of joining the Indians organization, made his fourth straight solid start on the mound for Akron. Facing Altoona in the series opener and the RubberDucks’ return home, he lasted five and two-thirds innings, allowing just one run on four hits with six strikeouts and two walks while earning the win.
Over his last four starts, he is 2-1 with a 2.28 ERA and 0.97 WHIP in 23 2/3 innings. He has allowed just six runs (all earned) on 18 hits with five walks and 16 strikeouts.
MERRYWEATHER WINS HIS FIRST
Right-hander Julian Merryweather, making his third professional start at the Double-A level, put together a solid game to earn his first win while with the ‘Ducks. He went six innings on the night, allowing four runs (two earned) on eight hits. He walked one and struck out three.
It was a solid improvement over his first two outings for Akron. He was hit hard for nine runs on ten hits on June 26 at home against Trenton, then allowed two runs on four hits in five innings at Erie last Friday, but walked six.
TWO NEW ALL-STARS
On Wednesday, relievers J.P. Feyereisen and Louis Head were named as replacements for the Western Division team in the Eastern League All-Star Game. The duo replace a pair of former teammates, starting pitcher Shawn Morimando and reliever Perci Garner, who were both promoted to Triple-A Columbus.
REVOLVING DOOR OF ROSTER MOVES
If you are having a hard time keeping track of who is on the Akron roster this week after a flurry of roster moves, you are not alone.
Former Washington Nationals reliever Craig Stammen joined the RubberDucks on Thursday. He had appeared in three games for the Indians’ Arizona League team, giving up one run on two hits with three strikeouts in each of his first two appearances before a hitless and scoreless outing on July 3 with two more strikeouts. He got his first taste of action away from Arizona when he made his ‘Ducks debut on Thursday, giving up a walk and striking out a batter in a scoreless inning of relief.
Ivan Castillo temporarily left the RubberDucks roster, transferred to Columbus on July 4 before being returned to the club on July 6. Pitcher Nick Maronde flipped spots with him, moving from Columbus to Akron on July 4 before being assignment back to Columbus on July 6. Reliever Cortland Cox did the same, moving from Lake County to Akron on July 4, only to go back to Eastlake on July 6.
Photo: Michael Chritton/Akron Beacon Journal