The Lake County Captains are playing out the string as they finish their 2016 regular season on the outside of the Midwest League’s playoff picture.
A tough series with the Bowling Green Hot Rods from August 22 to 25 effectively spelled the end of the run for the Captains (71-68), who dropped five in a row in the series. They bounced back with three straight wins against Lansing before dropping the finale with the Lugnuts and went on the road to Dayton, winning the first game of the series before dropping the final two contests. They have split a pair with Lansing in the final games of the season, with a 1:00 PM start on Monday marking the final game on the 2016 calendar for the Captains.
In other news and notes from the Captains’ log:
The Captains received pitcher Ben Krauth and infielder Erlin Cerda from the Mahoning Valley Scrappers on Thursday. The left-hander Krauth was a 16th round pick by Cleveland in this year’s draft. He allowed one run (a solo homer) in two innings of work on Friday in his Class-A debut. Cerda began his 2016 season with the Captains in June before a transfer to the Scrappers four days later.
ARMSTRONG WAITING FOR HIS RETURN TO CLEVELAND
Right-handed reliever Shawn Armstrong was optioned to the Class-A Captains last week after the Indians burned through several bullpen arms in one outing. The 25-year-old has made a pair of appearances with the Captains, striking out five batters in two innings of perfect relief.
SHANE A STRONG SIX IN FINAL OUTING
Right-hander Casey Shane wrapped up his first full season at Class-A Lake County with a solid six innings against Lansing on Sunday. He did not allow a run and gave up just two hits, a walk, and a hit batsman while striking out four. He earned his ninth win of the season to improve to 9-12 with a 4.94 ERA in 27 starts for the Captains.
CALICA HITS FIRST CAPTAINS HOMER
Outfielder and eleventh round pick of the 2016 draft Andrew Calica hit his first homer at the Class-A level on Sunday in the Captains win over the Lugnuts. He had two hits in the game and drove in a pair of runs. Since his promotion from Mahoning Valley, Calica is hitting .371 with a .421 on-base percentage in nine games.
He hit .388 with a .491 OBP in 40 games with the Scrappers.
McKENZIE CLOSES OUT HIS SEASON
Nineteen-year-old right-hander Triston McKenzie took the loss on Thursday in his final start of the season for the Captains.
The 2015 draft pick finished his season with a 6-5 record in 15 starts with a 1.62 ERA and 0.96 WHIP, striking out 104 batters in just 83 1/3 innings of work. He was 4-3 with a 0.55 ERA in nine starts at Mahoning Valley and 2-2 with a 3.18 ERA in six starts with Lake County.
FITZSIMMONS RETIRES EVERY OUT VIA STRIKEOUT AGAIN
For the third time this season, Jon Fitzsimmons retired every out in his relief appearance via strikeout.
The 24-year-old right-hander who joined the Captains at the beginning of August made a memorable debut by recording six strikeouts in two innings of work against Dayton. In his next outing, he worked two-thirds of an inning and struck out both batters retired, but he allowed four earned runs courtesy of four walks.
On Friday, he worked two and one-third innings of relief, allowing one hit while striking out seven Dragons. In four and one-third innings of work against Dayton on his year, he struck out all 13 batters that he retired.
MEDINA’S SIX-GAME STREAK ENDS
Jose Medina saw his six-game hitting streak come to an end over the weekend with an 0-for-3 effort against Lansing with three strikeouts. The 21-year-old hit his eighth homer of the season and drove in four runs on August 27 against Lansing.
CASTRO, LINARES, AND VALDEZ HEADING TO THE PLAYOFFS
Shortstop Willi Castro and pitcher Leandro Linares will get a taste of the postseason at the High-A level as the pair were transferred to Lynchburg on Friday. Infielder Ordomar Valdez was assigned to the Columbus Clippers on Friday. The Clippers had previously won the International League West crown.
Juan De La Cruz was transferred back to Lake County from Mahoning Valley to take Valdez’s place on the roster.
MARQUINA TO DL
Right-hander Yoiber Marquina was placed back on the seven-day disabled list last Wednesday after leaving his previous outing after just a few pitches.
The Cleveland Indians and Lake County Captains announced on Saturday that the two organizations had agreed to extend their player development contract through the 2018 season.
The Captains have been an affiliate of the Indians since 1991, when the club was in Columbus, Georgia. The team moved from Georgia to Eastlake in 2003 and rebranded as the Captains.
“The Captains are excited and proud to extend our Player Development Agreement with the Cleveland Indians,” said Neil Stein, Lake County General Manager, in a press release. “Everyone we work with at the Indians from the front office to the field staff are outstanding and everyone is working toward the same common goal of prepping the players both on and off the field for life in the big leagues. We take great pride in our role of providing an environment, ballpark and playing field that will help the players reach their full potential as members of the Cleveland Indians organization.”
Photo: Tim Phillis/TCP Photography