Six members total between the Akron RubberDucks and Columbus Clippers earned the honor of playing in their respective league’s All-Star Games this week and several took advantage of the opportunity on a big stage to shine.
The International League faced off with the Pacific Coast League on Wednesday night from Tacoma, Washington. A four-run fourth inning by the PCL All-Stars would prove to be too much for the IL squad to overcome in a 6-4 contest. Columbus’ Richie Shaffer was one of the players to best utilize his time as his performance for the losing squad earned him the league’s All-Star Game MVP award.
All-Star games are the theme of the week as one day after Major League Baseball hosted its annual Midsummer Classic and several days after top prospects united for the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game on Sunday, both the International League and the Eastern League will play their respective games on Wednesday night.
The Indians’ top farm affiliate, the Triple-A Columbus Clippers, have just two representatives in Tacoma, Washington, for the Triple-A All-Star Game between the best of the International League and the Pacific Coast League. Richie Shaffer received the early invitation through voting, but middle infielder Eric Stamets was also asked to participate as a reserve.
The Cleveland Indians bullpen depth took a hit on Saturday as minor league right-hander Joe Colon was suspended for the remainder of the season for a violation of the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment program.
Colon tested positive for the banned selective Androgen receptor modulator LDG-4022. It marks the second consecutive season that Colon’s work will be limited due to a failed drug test. He missed the first 50 games of the 2016 season after a second positive test for a drug of abuse.
Columbus outfielder Richie Shaffer was selected as the International League’s Player of the Week on Monday for his efforts the previous week from June 5 through June 11.
Shaffer, who spent the week in the lineup in left field, right field, and designated hitter, tallied a dozen hits in 30 trips to the plate over the course of the week and hit the ball well, putting up a .414/.433/.828 slash in seven games.
A quality start by left-hander Shawn Morimando sent the Columbus Clippers to an 8-1 victory over rival Indianapolis on Friday night.
With less than a month to go until the All-Star break, the Clippers have climbed back within two games of the .500 mark at 29-31 on the season. Their surge towards a winning record has been made possible by a 6-2 record in June. The bats in general have come to life for the Clippers over the course of the last three weeks, as since the final week of May, they have put up six runs or more in eight of the 15 games played.
The Cleveland Indians made a minor trade earlier in the week, picking up veteran infielder Josh Wilson for cash considerations from the Texas Rangers.
Wilson, 36, had signed with the Rangers organization midway through April and had been playing for Texas’ Triple-A Round Rock affiliate.
This season has been a big year for prospect promotions all throughout the MLB. We’ve seen promotions of plenty of top prospects such as the Dodgers’ Cody Bellinger, and the Giants’ Christian Arroyo. The Indians have joined these teams today as they’ve called up their number one prospect, Bradley Zimmer.
Injuries on top of injuries have been the highlight for the Indians over the last few weeks. After seeing key players like Corey Kluber, Austin Jackson, and Brandon Guyer go down, the Indians are now placing Abraham Almonte on the 10-day disabled list. In lieu of this move, the Tribe has decided to call up Zimmer to replace the ailing Almonte.
The home woes continued for the Columbus Clippers this week as their roster is light several of its steady contributors in recent seasons.
At 16-19, the Clippers are just a game and a half behind the first place Toledo Mud Hens and a game in back of the second place Indianapolis Indians in the International League’s West Division, despite a shaky start. They have played the second-fewest home games in the IL this season, with just a dozen contests at Huntington Park this season, but that could be a good thing as they have gone 3-9 when playing hosts.
A left wrist injury has landed Cleveland Indians outfielder Brandon Guyer on the 7-day disabled list as the club made several roster moves on Sunday morning.
The Indians also designated utility man Michael Martinez for assignment in the roster shakeup. Cleveland brought up a pair of utility men from the minors as it recalled Erik Gonzalez from Columbus and purchased the contract of the Clippers’ Daniel Robertson to fill Martinez’s vacated spot on the 25- and 40-man rosters.
Guyer aggravated a lingering wrist issue with a swing on Friday and underwent an MRI on Sunday morning. He will see specialist Dr. Thomas Graham to review the results.
Yandy Diaz got the phone call from the Cleveland Indians a little earlier than some might have expected when he was recalled earlier in the week to help the team replace Michael Brantley in the lineup for at least a few days on the turf in Toronto while he recouped from a sprained right ankle. An impressive hitting display by Diaz after his demotion to Triple-A Columbus on April 21 certainly merited that quick second look at the hot-hitting utility man by the Tribe.
The bat has normally not been the problem for Diaz during his professional career, but an inconsistent start with the stick and lingering questions about his ability to play an adequate defense at the Major League level left him in need of regular playing time somewhere, and such an opportunity did not exist with the Indians a few weeks into the regular season schedule.
The Columbus Clippers have now lost five straight series, dating back to their three-game sweep of Indianapolis from April 10-12, and have fallen to 9-14 on the 2017 season.
Despite the rough opening month of the season, the Clippers are just three and a half games behind the Toledo Mud Hens in the International League West Division. The division has struggled as a whole, as only the Mud Hens are above the .500 mark to start the season. The Clippers are tied with the Louisville Bats and are a game and a half in front of the last place Indians, who are 7-15 to start the season.
Cleveland minor league reliever Steve Delabar was one of three players suspended on Monday for testing positive for substances in violation of the minor league drug program.
The veteran reliever of six big league seasons and a 2013 American League All-Star, Delabar signed with the Indians in the offseason on a minor league deal with an invite to spring training. He was dealt an 80-game suspension without pay for a positive test for Ostarine.