Frazier’s Return, Papi Promoted, and More in This Week’s ‘Duck Tales
Bob Toth | On 03, Jun 2016
After winning 17 straight games at their Canal Park home, the Akron RubberDucks have suddenly come back down to earth at home after splitting a series last weekend with the Harrisburg Senators. Akron won the first two, but the club dropped the last two before taking its series opener against Altoona to end the month of May on a positive note. The RubberDucks lost their third game in four days with a 2-0 shutout on Wednesday in the middle game of their three-game set with the Curve.
The RubberDucks (36-16) will play 30 games over the next 30 days, with off days on June 6 and June 20, but a pair of doubleheaders on June 5 and June 25. Their schedule is split perfectly, with 15 games in Akron and 15 on the road. They remain the top club in the Eastern League’s Western Division, six and a half games in front of Altoona in the division prior to Thursday’s action and have a 20-5 record at home this season.
In other RubberDucks news and notes…
FRAZIER RETURNS TO ROSTER AND BASE PATHS
Clint Frazier returned from the seven-day disabled list on Tuesday and jumped right back into form after missing the minimum seven days with a right hamstring strain. He left his start on May 23 with a leg cramp after a double in his lone plate appearance, leading to his trip to the disabled list.
Frazier entered action on Thursday with hits in each of his last three games and has been a streaky player this season. Four different times he has put together hitting streaks of six games or more, including a pair of eight-gamers to start the season. He ended May by reaching base safely in 19 straight games, a streak he extended to 20 with two hits on Wednesday.
Prior to play on Thursday, Frazier was hitting .314 (second-best in the Eastern League) with a .400 on-base percentage for the season with 17 doubles, one triple, six homers, and 22 RBI.
KAMINSKY RETURNS FROM DL
Left-hander Rob Kaminsky returned from a three-week stay on the seven-day disabled list on Monday.
The 21-year-old started against Harrisburg that night, pitching two and one-third innings before handing the ball off to the bullpen. He allowed one earned run on three hits, walked one, and struck out four in his first outing since May 8.
He has now made seven starts this season, posting a 1-2 record with a 4.68 ERA in his limited work.
MORIMANDO MAKES IT NINE
Left-hander Shawn Morimando extended his winning streak on the mound to 9-0 with a win in two starts against Altoona in the last week. Last Thursday, he took a no-decision despite striking out a season-high eight batters and allowing no runs on three hits in seven innings. He did not walk a batter for the first time in a start this season.
He followed it up with six innings of work against the Curve, allowing two runs (one earned) on six hits with two strikeouts and a walk. He is now 9-0 in eleven starts on the season with a 1.64 ERA and 1.03 WHIP.
The Indians announced on Wednesday that Mike Papi, the club’s first round pick in the 2014 draft, has been promoted to Akron from High-A Lynchburg.
The 23-year-old outfielder hit .236 in 40 games with the Hillcats with a .370 on-base percentage. He had nine doubles and seven home runs there while driving in 18. He has 33 hits for the season and has drawn an additional 30 walks. He had played 30 games in the Lynchburg outfield, including 18 in right, eleven in left, and one in center.
In his first game with the RubberDucks on Wednesday, their new left fielder was 0-for-2 with a strikeout and a pair of walks.
Justin Brantley, the 25-year-old cousin of Indians All-Star outfielder Michael Brantley, was released from his contract by the Indians on Wednesday morning, making the right-handed reliever a free agent.
Brantley appeared in 12 games for the RubberDucks in 2016, going 1-0 with a 7.47 ERA and 2.23 WHIP. He appeared in 25 games in 2014 for Lake County and was 4-1 with a 1.31 ERA and followed it up with a 5-6 record last year in Lynchburg, posting a 2.84 ERA in 39 appearances.
Myles has hit .228 in 36 games for Akron with six doubles, a triple, six homers, and 16 RBI on the year. In eleven games in two trips to Columbus, he is hitting .265 with two doubles, a homer, and two RBI entering play on Thursday.
Smith spent ten days with the Clippers in April, appearing in six games and going .143 at the plate in his first stint in Columbus. In 34 games with Akron, he hit .240 with six doubles, a triple, three homers, and eleven RBI.
Relief pitcher Cole Sulser, who has pitched at three different levels this season for the Indians organization, was returned to Akron on Wednesday from Columbus. He was on the Clippers roster for a few days, making his first Triple-A appearance on Sunday with two innings of scoreless, one-hit ball while striking out a pair.
Photo: Tim Phillis/TCP Photography