The Indians snuck in a second deal prior to the trade deadline on Tuesday afternoon, acquiring outfielder Oscar Mercado from the St. Louis Cardinals for a pair of outfielders in the Cleveland farm system.
They may have come away on the losing side of the final score, but the three members of the Lynchburg Hillcats selected to participate in the Carolina League’s All-Star Game on Tuesday chipped in with solid individual performances.
Outfielder Conner Capel, starting pitcher Sam Hentges, and reliever Dalbert Siri made the three-hour trek south to Five County Stadium in Zebulon, North Carolina, for this week’s battle between the Northern and Southern Divisions of the Carolina League.
In the history of baseball, spanning 143 years, there are over 19,265 men who have played in the Major Leagues, according to baseball-reference.com. On the High-A Lynchburg Hillcats, two players have fathers who excelled enough to join that select fraternity, shortstop Luke Wakamatsu and outfielder Michael “Conner” Capel.
The experience of Capel’s father had a significant impact on his love of baseball and the direction of his professional career.
Outfielder Conner Capel once again caught the eyes of those in the Midwest League with another solid week of play for the Lake County Captains. He was recognized by his league on Monday with his second Player of the Week award of the season.
The 20-year-old Capel has made good use of his playing time for Lake County this season, putting on a strong display of power for the Class-A Captains. In his first full season in the organization after being selected in the fifth round of the 2016 draft by the Indians, the Katy, Texas, native is hitting .248 through 105 games with 20 doubles, six triples, 19 homers, and 52 RBI. His good week last week has continued on this week, as he has an eight-game hitting streak heading into action on Friday night.
That streak is his second longest of the season, trailing just a 10-gamer that ended earlier in the month.
An impressive three-week tear at the plate by Lake County’s Conner Capel has captured the eyes of those in the Midwest League as the second-year outfielder was named the league’s Player of the Week for games played between May 29 through June 4.
The Lake County Captains put to bed a five-game losing streak during the week by ripping off three straight wins to take their series against the Great Lakes Loons before starting their homestand against West Michigan with a 4-3 win. …
With a 1-0 victory on Monday night over the Bowling Green Hot Rods from Classic Park in Eastlake, the Lake County Captains pushed their season record back over the .500 mark at 6-5 and pulled within a game of first place in the Midwest League’s Eastern Division.
The current season-high three-game winning streak for the Class-A affiliate of the Cleveland Indians has seen some interesting extremes. After winning a 5-2 decision in Lansing on Friday, the club put up 17 runs in a 17-5 victory in the series finale on Saturday before an off day on Sunday. Back home in northeast Ohio for their second homestand of the season, it was a Logan Ice RBI-single through the right side of the infield in the sixth inning that broke the scoreless tie and proved to be the difference in the ball game.
The Captains will not be home for long, as they will hit the road following Wednesday’s third game with the Hot Rods. From there, Lake County will stop for four games at West Michigan and three with Great Lakes before coming back home to wrap up April with four at Classic Park with the Whitecaps.
In other news and notes from the Captains’ log:
Captains baseball is back as the Class-A Lake County squad opened the 2017 season on the road against the Dayton Dragons. While Mother Nature prevailed in the suspended opener, the Captains would win the continuation of the game, 9-1, the following day, giving new manager Larry Day his first career managerial win.
Day returned to the Captains after spending last season working as the hitting coach at High-A Lynchburg for Mark Budzinski, another former Captains skipper. He took over for Tony Masolino, who moved into Budzinski’s vacant seat with the Hillcats when he was moved up to lead the Double-A Akron RubberDucks.
Day is quite familar with the Lake County organization already, having previously worked as the Captains’ hitting coach in 2015.