Kaminsky Cruising Along, Zimmer Gets Four Hits, and More in This Week’s ‘Duck Tales
Bob Toth | On 22, Jul 2016
In the first edition of ‘Duck Tales since the Eastern League All-Star break, Akron struggled to get going after the break in action to host the Midsummer Classic at Canal Park. Play resumed the following Thursday as Erie took three out of four before the RubberDucks hit the road for a seven-game road trip.
With the first stop in Richmond on Monday, they fell 6-2, but Julian Merryweather and Michael Peoples earned wins to give the ‘Ducks a series win over the Flying Squirrels. Play moved to Altoona on Thursday as the Curve hosted Akron in the first game of a four-game set.
It is a big series this weekend for the ‘Ducks as they headed into play on Thursday night locked in a virtual three-way tie for first place in the Eastern League’s Western Division with the Curve and the Harrisburg Senators. A win in the opener over Altoona broke up that tie some, with the RubberDucks improving to 54-45 on the season.
In other RubberDucks news and notes…
FOUR-HITTER FOR ZIMMER
Top prospect Bradley Zimmer was seeing the ball well against Richmond on Wednesday as he supplied Akron with four hits and two RBI as they defeated the Flying Squirrels, 7-3. Zimmer’s single up the middle in the top of the seventh inning scored a pair of runs to break a two-all tie.
It was the first four-hit game in Zimmer’s professional career. He was just 5-for-26 (.192) in his previous nine games. He reached base safely four times on Thursday, as two walks and a pair of singles pushed his season average up to .253.
KAMINSKY REMAINS HOT
Rob Kaminsky took home the win on Thursday night over Altoona. The 21-year-old left-hander acquired last season from the St. Louis Cardinals at the trade deadline is playing through his best stretch of games in the Indians organization.
He allowed one run on six hits with a pair of walks and six strikeouts in six innings on Thursday. In his previous start last Saturday against Erie, he took the loss despite giving up just one run on seven hits in a season-high seven and two-thirds innings on the mound. He struck out six, walked none, and the lone run of the game was a fourth inning solo home run.
Kaminsky has now made seven consecutive starts with at least five innings pitched and two earned runs or fewer allowed. He is 4-2 in those starts, allowing ten runs in 42 2/3 innings (2.11 ERA) with a 1.03 WHIP in that span.
HIGH QUALITY PEOPLES
In Wednesday afternoon’s win, Peoples earned his eighth victory of the season while making his longest outing of the year. He retired the first eleven batters in order until a two-out single in the fourth.
He worked seven and two-thirds innings, giving up eight hits and three runs in the process. He struck out a pair and issued no free passes.
FRAZIER IN A FUNK
Clint Frazier is in his first extended slump of the season. With a 1-for-5 effort at the plate on Thursday with two strikeouts, he has just four hits in 30 at bats (.133) since the All-Star break.
Unlike other players around the Eastern League, Frazier’s All-Star break was a little busier than most, as he played in the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game on Sunday, July 10, before returning to Akron to play in the Eastern League All-Star Game on Wednesday, July 13. Despite the busy schedule, Frazier indicated during the break that the lack of an actual break during the All-Star break would not be an issue for the 21-year-old slugger.
“I feel good physically,” said Frazier following the All-Star Game. “The whole offseason I trained to make the Futures Game, to have success, so I trained my body to be able to deal with the long course of a season.”
His average had fallen to .274 with a .354 on-base percentage through his first 85 games before Thursday’s game with Altoona.
FEYEREISEN’S SCORELESS STREAK
Reliever and Eastern League All-Star J.P. Feyereisen has racked up some strikeouts while keeping the opposition from touching home plate in his last ten appearances.
Since allowing a pair of runs on June 16, the right-hander has made ten appearances entering Friday night. He has allowed just one unearned run in 12 innings over that span, giving up eight hits and six walks while striking out 18 batters.
BAUTISTA’S HITTING STREAK
Twenty-two-year-old infielder Claudio Bautista has made good use of his playing time when he has had it. He has only started six times in July entering action on Thursday night, but had hit safely in each of the last five games.
He has hit .158 for the RubberDucks in ten games this season after hitting .263 in 58 games for Lynchburg earlier in the year.
2017 SCHEDULE RELEASED
Year 21 of Double-A baseball in Akron will resume on April 6 next season as the RubberDucks open the season at home against Bowie. The team will be home for eleven Friday-Sunday games as well as three holidays (Memorial Day, Father’s Day, and Labor Day).
“Our fans have been unbelievable supporting us throughout this all-star season at Canal Park, and we think next year’s schedule is even better,” Akron General Manager Jim Pfander shared in a press release on Thursday. “The schedule is loaded with big weekend matchups, day games, and holiday dates, along with Canal Park’s always-fun atmosphere, wacky promotions, and tons of fireworks – our fans are sure to love it!”
NO MORE WASH TIME
Outfielder LeVon Washington was released by the RubberDucks on Tuesday, July 19, bringing an end to his long and disappointing stint in the Indians organization.
Washington did not appear in a game this season for Akron after being assigned to the Double-A level for the first time in his professional career at the beginning of the season. Injury had him out of the picture, which had been the case time and time again throughout his career. He broke into the pro game in 2010 when he was drafted in the second round by Cleveland, one season after he was a late first round pick by the Tampa Bay Rays out of high school.
“Wash Time” played no more than 79 games in any one year (2011) and had been limited by injury. He played in 48 games for Lynchburg last season in his third stint at the High-A level.
Left-hander Nick Maronde was assigned to the Columbus Clippers on July 17. He had previously rejoined the RubberDucks on July 14.
Catcher Eric Haase was activated from the seven-day disabled list when the second half of the Eastern League season resumed on July 14. Shortstop Eric Stamets was transferred to Columbus the same day to take the roster spot of Erik Gonzalez.
Photo: David Monseur/MILB.com