Do you know the name James Karinchak? If you’re a Cleveland Indians fan, it may be time to get acquainted.
After nearly eight months away, pitcher Kyle Dowdy has returned to the Cleveland Indians organization.
The 26-year-old right-hander cleared waivers over the weekend after being designated for assignment by the Texas Rangers on Thursday after the club acquired right-handed pitcher Shane Carle from the Atlanta Braves for cash considerations.
Dowdy was offered back to the Indians per Rule 5 protocol and the Indians were willing to bring him back. He will head to Double-A Akron where he will work with the RubberDucks.
For left-handed pitcher Adam Scott, baseball has always been a part of his life. “There is a picture of me with a baseball in my left-hand, and a Teddy Bear in the other,” said Scott in a June interview with Did The Tribe Win Last Night.
Born and raised in Canandaigua, New York, a small town on the north end of the Finger Lake bearing the same name as the town, he grew up less than 30 miles southeast of Rochester. It was the perfect place for the now 6’4”, 220 lb. left-hander to build his baseball acumen in a sports oriented family.
“My mom’s favorite story is one about me where there is some plastic tee that would wobble back and forth, never fall down. Before I could walk, I would swing, hit the ball, crawl over, get it and keep doing that,” said Scott, enthusiastic about this family story and his own distant memory of it.
Two top Indians prospects will make their Progressive Field debut early during Major League Baseball’s All-Star Weekend in July as Lynchburg third baseman Nolan Jones and Columbus outfielder Daniel Johnson have been named participants in the SiriusXM Futures Game scheduled for play on Sunday, July 7.
Jones has spent the first half of this season at High-A Lynchburg and was named to the Carolina League All-Star team earlier this month. Johnson joined the Triple-A Columbus Clippers late in May after spending nearly two months of his season with the Double-A Akron RubberDucks.
In the Minor League, most players live in simple accommodations. A short-term apartment shared with teammates, a room in the home of a host family, or a hotel room if their stay with a team is not expected to last long. For right-handed pitcher Robert Broom, his seasonal residence is none of these things. Instead he lives in an old RV.
Broom is not the first player to do this. In 2015, pitcher Daniel Norris of the Detroit Tigers garnered a great deal of notoriety by living out of his VW van.
Broom’s situation is a bit different.
The first half of the Lynchburg Hillcats’ 2019 season came to a conclusion on Sunday afternoon, June 16. The Hillcats were facing their Northern Division rivals, Wilmington, for the seventh consecutive day. They had been eliminated from first half contention the previous weekend in Potomac and were now facing the victors of the Northern Division.
The late afternoon contest would be the second of the four-game homestand to go into extra-innings. Never leading Wilmington, the Hillcats would post three runs in the ninth to tie the game at five, and push it to a tenth inning. Unlike Friday evening, where Lynchburg would win with a run scoring walk-off single from Steven Kwan, Wilmington would send the Hillcats to their third straight defeat thanks to a run-scoring balk called on reliever Yapson Gomez that was hotly contested by manager Jim Pankovits.
The Indians made a handful of minor roster moves on Saturday, highlighted by a waiver claim of pitcher Jordan Stephens from the Chicago White Sox.
A 26-year-old right-handed pitcher, Stephens was added to the 40-man roster as a result of the waiver claim and optioned to Double-A Akron. To make room on the 40-man for Stephens, outfielder Bradley Zimmer was transferred from the 10-day to the 60-day injured list while rehabbing his right shoulder injury.
Mike Clevinger’s rehab start in Akron on Tuesday night was much more in line with the Indians’ hopes than his first game back with the Columbus Clippers while recovering from a right upper back/Teres major muscle strain. Now, he is in line to return to the Show next week.
The 28-year-old’s next start is tentatively scheduled for Monday, opening Cleveland’s four-game series in Texas against the American League Wild Card contending Rangers. Clevinger’s return marks an impressive turnaround time from an injury that was supposed to prevent him from throwing for six to eight weeks, not counting the additional time needed to build up strength and rehab.
Akron’s Ka’ai Tom received an early birthday present from the Eastern League on Monday when he was announced as the league’s Player of the Week for games played between May 20 and May 26.
Tom, who turns 25 on Wednesday, put up a .450 week at the plate last week with a .542 on-base percentage to earn the league’s top weekly honor, doing so for the second time in his career (he previously took home the New York-Penn League’s honor in August of 2015).
The 2019 season has been a wild ride for right-hander Zach Plesac, and things are just getting started for the 24-year-old right-hander.
Indians manager Terry Francona announced on Sunday that Plesac will be added to the 25- and 40-man rosters on Tuesday to pitch in the middle of three games against the Red Sox during the Tribe’s road trip to Boston.
Baseball is a game where rhythm matters. The hitter is trying to get into a pattern where he can predict the trajectory and rotation of a pitched ball, and the pitcher is trying to throw the hitter off to get him to swing and miss, or to ineffectively make contact with the ball, inducing a pop-up, or a weak fly, or a groundout. For the 2019 High-A Lynchburg Hillcats, Eli Morgan has been one of the most effective pitchers at keeping opposing Carolina League hitters off-balance and unable to generate a consistent rhythm in the batter’s box.
Morgan, now in his third year out of Gonzaga University, was an 8th round selection by Cleveland in 2017. The right-handed 5’10”, 190 pounder finished the previous season pitching 143.1 innings, the most he had ever thrown in a baseball season.
The Akron RubberDucks opened the 2019 slate with a 5-0 loss to the Altoona Curve on Thursday night.
The ‘Ducks were limited to just two hits in a tough start to the season, with 25-year-old second baseman Tyler Krieger accounting for both hits. He was stranded at third after a first inning one-out single, reached safely in the third on an error, struck out in the sixth, and singled in the ninth before being forced out at second.
Opening Day starter Sam Hentges was charged with all five runs scored by the Curve (four of which were earned). The left-hander allowed six hits and walked four while striking out six over four and one-third innings in his first start since being added to Cleveland’s 40-man roster.