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. …
It has been some tough sailing for the Lake County Captains over the last two weeks, but the offense took out some frustration on Saturday night, putting up 13 runs on 17 hits in a 13-3 victory over the Quad Cities River Bandits. It evened the road series at one game each before Sunday’s 2:15 PM ET finale.
The win brought the Captains record up to 11-17. A team of streaks for much of April, they won five straight in the third week of the month before dropping nine of their last ten to conclude the first page of the regular season schedule. The Captains sit in the seventh spot in the eight-team Midwest League Eastern Division, seven and a half games out of first place.
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.
Despite giving it a remarkable run late, Mahoning Valley saw its Pinckney Division title hopes lost as the State College Spikes officially eliminated the Scrappers on Saturday night with their win over Auburn.
That the Scrappers were even in a position to be the last team eliminated in the division is astounding, given the horrible start to the short-season schedule for Mahoning Valley in 2016. At 35-33 after Monday night’s 6-5 win in extra innings, the Scrappers have done well to overcome that start and put together a promising season full of growth.
The Scrappers have two more games with Williamsport on the schedule to wrap up August before hosting State College in the final three home games of the season. They will finish the year on the road, playing two against West Virginia.
In other notes from the Scrappers’ scrapbook…
The Mahoning Valley Scrappers’ hopes of staying above the .500 mark and tracking down a wild card spot hit a bit of a bump in the road as play has resumed following the brief All-Star festivities last week.
The third place Scrappers (30-31) traveled to Batavia, splitting a doubleheader on Wednesday with the Muckdogs while splitting the final two games of the series on Thursday and Friday. They returned home over the weekend to host State College, the top team in the Pinckney Division, who reminded the Scrappers of that fact by taking two of the three contests.
Mahoning Valley will finish up the week with three in Brooklyn starting Tuesday night before returning home this weekend for three against West Virginia from Niles. The season is rapidly coming to its conclusion, as they will journey to Williamsport for three to wrap up the month before a week of September play.
In other news and notes from the Scrappers’ scrapbook:
The only thing that could slow down the Mahoning Valley Scrappers in the last week was Mother Nature, and she succeeded twice in doing so.
The Scrappers are playing their best baseball of the short season. They are 9-4 in August and riding a five-game winning streak. Coupled with a four-game streak earlier in the month, they have pulled into third place in the New York-Penn League’s Pinckney Division with a 27-27 record, nine games in back of State College and 12 games away from being eliminated from the division crown. The week was won by taking two games at home against Batavia before wet grounds cancelled the finale. After winning the opener against Williamsport on Friday, Saturday’s game was washed out before the Scrappers took a doubleheader on Sunday.
After the All-Star break this week, Mahoning Valley will travel to Batavia for four games in three days starting Wednesday before returning to Niles for three with State College starting Saturday night.
In other news and notes from the Scrappers’ Scrapbook:
There are plenty of stories of top draft talents across each of the big four professional leagues whom fail to reach their potential in their respective sports. There is so much risk involved in selecting young men with minimal high school and/or collegiate experience and having the confidence that they have the skill set and mental makeup to reach the top tier of their game.
The Cleveland Indians are hoping that the risk involved in selecting Brady Aiken in the middle of the first round in the 2015 draft proves well worth it.
On Friday, the Indians signed their first-round pick of the 2015 draft in left-handed pitcher Brady Aiken, who famously was 2014’s number one all-around draftee choice of the Houston Astros, but did not sign after failing to come to terms with the Astros last year, and then undergoing Tommy John surgery this past March. Despite his health concerns, the Indians still took a chance on Aiken, who last year became the first number one pick not to sign since Tim Belcher in 1983.
According to reports, Aiken is already in Arizona rehabbing his elbow at the time of his signing.
Last year, Aiken was reportedly offered $6.5 million to sign with the Astros, but tensions grew high when doctors discovered an “irregularity in the ulnar collateral ligament” in Aiken’s throwing arm, according to Sports Illustrated. The Astros came back offering less money, which Aiken turned down, instead deciding to see how he would fair in this year’s draft.
The Cleveland Indians announced the selection of left-handed pitcher Brady Aiken with the club’s first selection (17th overall) in the 2015 First-Year Player Draft. Later in the first round they selected right-handed pitcher Triston McKenzie and finished the evening by selecting left-handed pitcher Juan Hillman in the second round.
The selection marks the second consecutive year Aiken has been selected in MLB’s First-Year Player Draft, having been tabbed with the first overall pick by the Houston Astros last June. Aiken, 18, is a 2014 graduate of Cathedral Catholic High School (San Diego, CA), where he compiled a 7-0 record with a 1.06 ERA in 11 starts in his senior season. Brady was a 2014 Perfect Game USA first Team All-American and led Team USA to the gold medal at the 18U World Cup in Taiwan in September 2013, including a win in the championship game vs. Japan (7.0IP, 1R, 10K). He was the fifth LHP selected first overall and the first since David Price (Tampa Bay) in 2007.