Weglarz Hopes To Stay Healthy In 2012
Progressing to the big leagues is not easy task, but for minor leaguer Nick Weglarz, staying healthy may be his biggest obstacle.
Weglarz is entering his seventh season within the Indians minor league system, and his fourth as a member of the Akron Aeros. The 24-year old, left handed, outfielder was selected in the 2005 amateur draft by the Cleveland Indians in the third round, 94th overall.
Prior to the draft, Weglarz attended Lakeshore Catholic High School in Port Colborne, Ontario. As a Canadian, Weglarz had the opportunity to be part of Team Canada’s baseball team in the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, China. During his run in the Olympics, Weglarz hit .400 in the preliminary games, and .450 in the Olympic qualifier against Taiwan.
Weglarz’s made his largest advancement in 2010 when he was called up to Triple-A Columbus for fifty games. During that time he maintained a batting average of .286 with 50 hits, six home runs, and 20 RBI’s. He also drew 28 walks and struck out 43 times.
But 2011 was plagued by injury for Weglarz as he only appeared in 41 games for the Aeros. When asked about his goals for this season he responded like most of the others, “Stay healthy. If I do that, I know I can get back to the way I played in 2010,” Weglarz said.
Through eight games, Weglarz is batting .133 with four hits in 40 at bats. He has two RBI’s, has drawn two walks, and has struck out 13 times. Although his start of the season has not begun in the exact fashion he has expected it to, when asked about the depth of the Indians outfield he responded, “You can’t look ahead like that. I got to keep my focus here on what I’m doing.”
Although the Indians have now added veteran outfielder Johnny Damon to the roster I still believe Weglarz has the opportunity to make a jump to at least Triple-A Columbus again this season, and quite possibility make it to the Tribe when rosters expand in September. That is to say, without any significant injuries to current Indians’ outfielders, which would speed up the progress.
Minor League Roundup
As of April 18th, the Columbus Clippers are 8-6 overall, and are tied for first place. Their latest win came against Indianapolis by a score of 5-1 on Tuesday, but dropped the competition yesterday 4-3. Righty Corey Kluber is off to a 3-0 start with a 2.81 ERA. He lasted 6.0 innings, allowed 6 hits, one run, one walk, and struck out seven.
As of April 17th, the Akron Aeros are 7-4 overall, and are tied for first place in the Eastern League. Outfielders Jared Goedert and Tim Fedroff have gotten off to pretty hot starts. Goedert current has an eight game hitting streak, and Fedroff just lost a seven game hitting streak that dated back to the beginning of the season on Sunday when he was only able to reach base safely on an error. Goedert is currently sixth in the Eastern League in batting with a .385 average.
The Carolina Mudcats are 6-6 overall, and could end the day in a four way tie for first place with a Salem Red Sox loss. Carolina as a team is 2nd in RBI’s (50) as of April 17th.
Finally, the Lake County Captains are 3-10 overall, and in eighth place. Although the Captains have now lost nine straight contests, outfielder Luigi Rodriguez lost an eight game hitting streak on Tuesday after going 0-3. He is batting .382 with 13 hits on 34 appearances and 7 RBI’s. Francisco Lindor is tied for third in the Midwest League in hits with 17.
The latest transactions occurred on April 13th when Luke Carlin was placed on the seven day disabled list with a right hamstring strain, Michel Hernandez was transferred from Akron to Columbus, Justin Toole was transferred from Carolina to Columbus, and Jordan Casas was activated from the seven day DL in Carolina.
Photo: Cleveland Plain Dealer