A month is not nearly enough time to analyze winners and losers of Major League trades, but after more than four weeks with him on the roster, the Cleveland Indians have to be feeling pretty good about the return that they have gotten from left-hander Andrew Miller.
Miller was not the only player moved, as the Indians had to give up four players, two of whom were top prospects in the organization, in order to acquire the services of the reliever for the rest of this season and each of the next two years.
The All-Star southpaw has been everything that the Indians could have dreamed of when they pulled the trigger on the July 31 trade that brought Miller to Cleveland.
The trade deadline is proving to be far more active than some might have expected for the Cleveland Indians as the team announced the blockbuster addition of reliever Andrew Miller from the New York Yankees for minor leaguers Clint Frazier, Justus Sheffield, Ben Heller, and J.P. Feyereisen.
The deal came on the heels of another reported trade that would have sent Milwaukee catcher Jonathan Lucroy to Cleveland, but the Brewers backstop exercised the no-trade clause in his contract as the Indians were one of eight teams that he could block a move to.
Various reports have speculated how and why the deal fell apart. There were reports that Lucroy wanted the Indians to decline his team option for the coming season, enabling him to cash in on the free agent market a year sooner. Other reports from Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY Sports claimed that he would not be the starting catcher on the club for 2017 and would have instead been used between catcher, first base, and designated hitter, something that Lucroy did not want.
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…
Two very different All-Star games took place on Wednesday with two very distinctly different results as the Double-A Eastern League and Triple-A International League participated in their own midsummer classics.
The Double-A All-Star Game pitted the Eastern and Western Division clubs against one another from Akron’s own Canal Park. The Triple-A contest featured the International League versus the Pacific Coast League from BB&T Ballpark in Charlotte, North Carolina.
The Eastern League of Professional Baseball announced on Wednesday four roster additions for next week’s Eastern League All-Star Game in response to several recent promotions around the league.
Two members of Akron’s bullpen, J.P. Feyereisen and Louis Head, were added to the Western Division team, replacing two former members of the RubberDucks, starting pitcher Shawn Morimando and reliever Perci Garner. The pair had been recently promoted to the roster of the Triple-A Columbus Clippers.
If the Cleveland Indians’ three-game sweep at the hands of the Kansas City Royals felt bad this week, the current eleven-game stretch for their Double-A Akron affiliate must feel like torture.
The RubberDuckies have not won. Baseball hasn’t been lots of fun.
The Lake County Captains got THIS close a number of times. Games were decided by one or two runs. They ended both seasons with a winning record, but were still just short of making it to the playoffs for the second year in a row. Despite missing the postseason, it would be a mistake to call this a disappointing season for the Captains.
“It was a great year for a lot of first year guys in this league” Manager Shaun Larkin said of the team. “We saw a lot of guys get better in their individual areas. I thought we played well as a team. There’s a lot of grinding in a full year, and that’s all you can ask for – guys playing for each other the whole time. We gave ourselves a chance to win more often than not. We gave it a run in the first half, gave it a run in the second half up until about a week and a half ago. We had a winning record in both halves, we weren’t one of those teams who was hot one half and not the next.”
Larkin, in his first season as a manager, can now say that he’s been part of the only two Captains teams in the history of the franchise to end the season with winning records in both halves (2003 and 2015).