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Indians Indians Archive Minor Happenings: Lofgren Back In The Zone
Written by Tony Lastoria

Tony Lastoria
You know the drill by now.  Tony Lastoria spends each baseball season visiting all the Indians minor league affiliates, talking to players and coaches and watching ball games.  He then cranks out Minor Happenings for us each week, by far the most comprehensive compilation of information on the Cleveland Indians farm system, and a huge asset to this website.  This week, Tony hits on the great starts to the season for Jeremy Sowers and Chuck Lofgren and talks about the guy he sees as the Indians future third baseman.

Minor Happenings"Minor Happenings" covers the important developments and news in the Indians farm system. While most of the information in this report is from my own research and through interviews I have conducted with organizational personnel, some information in this report is collected and summarized from the various news outlets that cover each team.

I am in the midst of a two week break from my visits to the affiliates, but will kick the visits back up the weekend of May 16/17 when I go to Lake County, the weekend of May 24/25 when I go to Akron, and then on Friday May 30 when I go to Buffalo. As always, I will conduct several interviews with players during those visits for articles to post on the site, and also talk to coaches and scouts to get some info on how players look.

Also, congrats to site owner Rich Swerbinsky on the birth of his second child (baby girl). Between quarterbacking the site while he was out and being under the weather with a nasty virus that is going around I was not able to post a couple articles on some players I talked to in my recent visit to Akron. So, coming down the pipeline I have an article on Akron left-hander Chuck Lofgren that is ready to post and will be up on the site sometime over the weekend. I also will have an article on Akron catcher Chris Gimenez which will post next weekend. And, I have a special piece coming this Tuesday that talks about the release process in the minors. I interviewed three former Tribe prospects to give an inside look on the process of what happens, what it feels like, and where they go from here.

Indians Minor League Player Of The Week

Jeremy Sowers (Left-handed pitcher, Buffalo)
2-0, 0.64 ERA, 2 starts, 14 IP, 8 H, 1 R, 6 BB, 8 K

Jeremy SowersUsually, I like to avoid non-prospects in this report, which is what Sowers is as he is no longer considered a rookie. That said, his dominating week of pitching justifies his mention here, and wins him the weekly award in a tightly contested race between left-handers throughout the system. In addition to Sowers, left-handers Chuck Lofgren, David Huff, and Ryan Miller all had outstanding weeks.

In his last start on Tuesday, Sowers shut out the opposition over seven innings and allowed just three hits and two walks while striking out two. He pounded the zone all night as 70 of his 107 pitches went for strikes. In his other start last Thursday, Sowers allowed just one run in seven innings. On the year Sowers is now 2-2 with a 2.21 ERA in six starts for Buffalo, and four of his six starts have been quality starts. One of his starts he only pitched 4.2 innings giving up one run but was removed early so as to be sure he would be ready for a spot start against the Yankees a few weeks ago.

Honorable Mentions: Ryan Miller, LHP, Lake County (1-0, 1.64 ERA, 2 starts); Chuck Lofgren, LHP, Akron (1-1, 1.38 ERA, 2 starts); David Huff, LHP, Akron (2-0, 1.93 ERA, 2 starts); Wes Hodges, 3B, Akron (.391 AVG, 1 HR, 10 RBI); Nick Weglarz, OF, Kinston (.375 AVG, 2 HR, 4 RBI)

Previous Winners:

4/24 to 4/30: Jose Constanza (OF - Akron)
4/17 to 4/23: Hector Rondon (RHP - Kinston)
4/10 to 4/16: Wes Hodges (3B - Akron)
4/3 to 4/9: Kelvin De La Cruz (LHP - Lake County)

Director's Cuts

I missed an opportunity to get some quotes from Indians Farm Director Ross Atkins this week, but did catch him on SportsTime Ohio's new show "Minor League Magazine" which debuted this past Tuesday. From what I know, this will be a weekly show every Tuesday at 6:00pm, although I am not 100% on that. They will spend 30 minutes recapping the system, taking to Atkins, doing a player feature, and other things every week. The first show was very well done, and you should expect bigger and better things as it gets off the ground. And before anyone asks, yes, there is a good chance I will have some part in the show, but not likely in-Ross Atkinsstudio. Anyway, here are the comments on the show Atkins made on several prospects in Lake County and Akron:

On Dallas Cawiezell: "He came to Lonnie Soloff and our strength and conditioning staff to do an extensive evaluation on strength and conditioning to find out what these guys are physically made of. They picked up the phone and said "how do you say his name, and who is this guy?" He is a specimen. Some guys are just bigger and stronger and standout in a uniform, but when you get in and evaluate this guy thoroughly he really is bigger than the rest. We are hoping for durability and power, and thus far we have seen it."

On Karexon Sanchez: "Karexon plays third base but can actually play the middle. He plays a lot of second base and he can stand at shortstop. He is extremely athletic, a good runner, has a plus arm, and his hands are coming. Playing defense will be something he has to be good at, but the bat is there. He has a couple of triples, a couple of doubles, and a couple or home runs already and an OPS over .900. At 20 years old in that league and coming out of Venezuela and thrown under those lights in that nice stadium [in Lake County] he is answering the call. People talk about Robinson Cano when they look at him, now that is a special player and a lot of projection, but you can dream on a 20 year old with those tools. So, we are excited about Karexon."

On Mike Pontius: "I'll tell you what, this is scouting at its best. This guy came late round in the 40s and out of high school from Missouri. He was a football player who decided his senior year he wanted to commit to playing baseball. He has made an unbelievable transition. He has legitimately gone from being a project to being an incredible prospect. He is somebody who throws 95 MPH with a knee-buckling breaking ball, and has the intensity, focus and drive we are looking for. He brings a little bit of that football mentality to the field, but he is one of those guys we are all pulling for. Just a great scouting story, and a great development story."

On Wes Hodges: "Wes is out of the 2006 Draft out of Georgia Tech. Coming into his first full season he went right to the Carolina League and pretty much was a standout there. Now in the Eastern League he had six home runs in his first month of play. He committed to an offseason strength and conditioning program where he took 15 pounds of weight off. He is one of the guys where he is already becoming his own coach. He understands the power of 162 games and what that means to his body and went into the offseason and did something about it. He is off to a great start and we are projecting him to have an even better year this year at an even higher level. That's rare as we usually expect guys to make one step and keep the same numbers. What we are seeing from him, he is going to be even better. We are excited about Wes."

On David Huff: "I think he is a Tom Glavine [type]. He has exceptional feel for his fastball, he has feel for his secondary pitches, has amazing confidence, is a great athlete, and is extremely strong and durable. He is similar to Wes where in 2006 he was pitching at UCLA and now is pitching in the Eastern League. That's significant. [The Eastern League] is a good brand of baseball where you make a mistake they hit it and he is making very few of them. He has 25 innings and 25 punchouts. He is very young and has a great career ahead of him and he is inevitably going to be in the big leagues soon."

Lofgren Back In The Zone

It is amazing what the flip of the page on a calendar can do for a baseball player. It is one of those superstitious things for players Chuck Lofgrenwho have a rough month that believe with the start of a new month things will get better. This has certainly been the case with Akron left-hander Chuck Lofgren as in two starts in May he is 1-1 with a 1.38 ERA, compared to his five starts in April where he was 0-2 with an 8.24 ERA.

Lofgren has been sensational his last two starts, and the turnaround can be credited to the hard work he put in after his April 25th start when he hit rock bottom by going 4.2 innings and giving up seven runs. After that poor outing, Lofgren went through some of his video archives and compared video from this season to that of his great 2006 season when he went 17-5 with a 2.32 ERA and found he has been rushing his delivery. Ever since then he has made a conscious effort to be much more deliberate with his move to the plate, and the results in his last two starts show the hard work has paid off.

The Indians also had made some mechanical adjustments in Lofgren's delivery during spring training to get him to locate his stuff down more in the zone in spring training. He had been slow to adapt to the changes, but finally seems to be grasping them. There were some additional changes and Lofgren even chimed in with his thoughts on his slow start, which I will reveal in detail in an article on him sometime over the weekend.

Hodges Is The Future At Third

Akron third baseman Wes Hodges is showing an electric bat early in the season. In 104 games last year at Kinston, Hodges Wes Hodgeshit .288 with 15 HR, 71 RBI and an .840 OPS, and so far this year in 32 games (through Wednesday) at Akron this season he is hitting .289 with 7 HR, 30 RBI and an .866 OPS. His seven home runs are 2nd in the Eastern League and his 30 RBI put him at 3rd in the league, and he is on pace to hit over 30 HR and pile up over 100 RBI on the season.

Hodges' improved power numbers are attributed to him finally being 100% healthy as last year he was still recovering from a stress fracture in his foot he suffered at Georgia Tech before being drafted. He has also done a better job of understanding how pitchers are attacking him and is making good adjustments at bat to at bat.

Also, the Indians found that his hip flexors were tight, which hindered his ability to get down low on groundballs. So, this past offseason Hodges spent a lot of time working out and doing Yoga to slim down and become more flexible so he could improve defensively. As a result, Hodges looks like a new man where his lateral quickness has really improved, he is moving well, and his overall defense has improved significantly at third base.

The Amazing Captains

The Lake County starting pitching rotation has been phenomenal so far this year. The ace of the staff has been left-hander Ryan Miller who has dominated South Atlantic League hitters. To date, in six starts Miller is 5-0 with a 1.09 ERA and in 33 innings has allowed 21 hits and 13 walks while striking out 36. If he puts up another two to three starts like he has already, he could be packing his bags for Kinston. Miller's 89-91 MPH fastball has shown more life this year, and his slider is quickly developing into a swing-and-miss pitch at the next level.Ryan Miller

Left-hander Kelvin De La Cruz is an up-and-coming prospect and at age 19 he is more than holding his own in the league. To date, in six starts he is 1-2 with a 2.12 ERA and in 29.2 innings has allowed 25 hits and 11 walks while striking out 28. De La Cruz has a real good feel for his 92-93 MPH fastball, and his changeup has the makings of a plus pitch. He has the size, intelligence and the pitches to grow a lot in the coming years.

Left-hander Ryan Morris is off to a spectacular start as well, going 4-0 with a 2.84 ERA in six starts. In 31.2 innings Morris has only surrendered 24 hits and 7 walks while striking out 16. Morris is a fierce competitor on the mound, and his makeup is off the charts. He features a four-seam fastball that consistently clocks in at 87-91 MPH, and has natural sink. This year Morris has done a good job keeping the ball down and using his changeup to setup his fastball.

The rest of the rotation is rounded out with right-hander Santo Frias who is 1-0 with a 4.58 ERA in four starts, and right-hander Chris Archer who is 1-4 with a 2.96 ERA in six starts. Frias hurt his arm near the end of the season last year and did not throw in the offseason, and is finally returning to form. His fastball sits around 90-92 and his slider has the makings of a very good major league pitch. Archer has held opposing hitters to a .117 average, but he has struggled with his control as he has walked 29 batters in 24.1 innings. Archer has a live arm and electric stuff, but his location and command is a work in progress.

Brown Out

First baseman Jordan Brown hit the disabled list last Friday with patella tendonitis in his left knee. The injury is not considered to be serious and more a nagging thing where the Indians felt best to rest it. Brown will likely be out another week or two. To date, Jordan BrownBrown is hitting .271 with 0 HR, 10 RBI and a .719 OPS in 96 at bats at Buffalo, and his 11 doubles lead the International League.

Brown is a notorious slow starter, as in his MVP season in 2006 at Kinston he hit .232 with 0 HR, and 9 RBI in his first 28 games before finishing up at .290 with 15 HR and 87 RBI. This year he has adjusted well to his first taste of Triple-A, but he has been a little inconsistent as he has piled up many multi-hit games but just as many 0-fers as well. Brown has felt comfortable at the plate, so hopefully when he returns 100% from the knee injury he can get in a groove and into one of his hot streaks.

Brown's intelligence at the plate has shown itself early at Buffalo as he is starting to pickup trends from other teams on how they are attacking him. Brown studies the game charts after every game and has found that some teams are pitching him backwards by throwing him off-speed stuff in full counts. He is also quickly realizing that Triple-A pitchers usually can throw three or four pitches for strikes at anytime, so he has had to tighten up the mental approach even more to keep his patient approach at the plate and wait for a pitch to drive when he is in a hitter's count.

Go-Go A No-Go

Akron outfielder Ryan "Go-Go" Goleski had two outstanding seasons in 2004 (.295, 28 HR, 104 RBI) and 2006 (.306, 27 HR, 106 RBI), but ever since his wrist injury in the 2006 offseason and being taken in the Rule 5 Draft that same offseason his career has Ryan Goleskibeen in a downward spiral ever since. Last year, Oakland - who had drafted him in the Rule 5 Draft - returned Goleski to the Indians at the end of spring training. Goleski was not happy about coming back to the Indians and the crowded outfield situation he was coming back to, and that combined with him still recovering from his wrist injury helped pave the way to a very disappointing 2007 campaign at Akron where he hit .257 with 9 HR, 73 RBI and a .701 OPS. Goleski is healthy now and is now playing his third straight season at Akron, but his problems continue to linger at the plate as in he is hitting .229 with 3 HR, 8 RBI and a .704 OPS in 105 at bats so far this year. He has piled up the strikeouts (28) which are a team high.

Goleski has developed some bad habits since recovering from the wrist injury and the Indians are working with him to try and correct them. He also is probably putting too much pressure on himself to try and impress the organization by trying to hit more home runs, which has resulted in his swing getting long. This same thing happened to Ryan Garko in 2006 at Buffalo when the Indians passed him over for a major league job and he ended up trying to hit more home runs so the Indians would notice him more. This resulted in him regressing a little as a hitter and he put up a so-so year that season at Buffalo. Goleski has to feel the same way as he is at Akron for a third consecutive year, and even after an outfield spot was opened up at Buffalo with the promotion of Ben Francisco to Cleveland, the Indians chose instead to fill the void with minor league free agent Bronson Sardinha instead of promoting someone like Goleski. So, it is easy to see why Goleski may be a little frustrated.

Goleski's frustration seemed to come to a head on Tuesday night when he was ejected in the ninth of the game after a heated exchange when he was called out on strikes with the bases loaded and one out and Akron down 3-0. After being ejected, he got into the face of the home plate umpire and continued to vent his frustrations where he got close enough that his helmet ended up hitting the bridge of the umpire's nose. Eastern League President Joe McEacharn was in attendance and saw the ugly display, so a suspension is probably going to be handed out soon for Goleski. Goleski was held out of the lineup on Wednesday to cool off, but you have to wonder if his being passed over for a promotion to Buffalo led to the blowup. Francisco was officially called up on Tuesday, and Sardinha was signed the same day, so I think this is not just a coincidence that Goleski blew up in the first game since the announced roster moves.

Fryman Getting Prepared

Short-season Single-A Mahoning Valley manager Travis Fryman can't get enough of baseball these days. While he is getting ready for his managerial debut on June 17th, Fryman has been seen around Canal Park in Akron and Classic Park in Eastlake watching Travis Frymansome of the Indians' young farmhands. Fryman took the Mahoning Valley managerial gig because the season only lasts for a little over two months and strictly in the summer, so it would not take him away from his family too much. That said, he certainly has the itch to still be involved in the game since he retired from it after the 2002 season.

Fryman worked a lot with some of the very young and raw minor leaguers when he was down in spring training, and has continued that work during extended spring training. Two weeks ago I caught him at Canal Park during my visit there, and he was doing some work there and Lake County as a roving scout and instructor working with the infielders. He specifically worked with third basemen Wes Hodges, Jeff Hehr and Karexon Sanchez.

Gimenez Now A Full-Time Catcher

Akron catcher Chris Gimenez is still working on his transition to being a full-time catcher. Recently, roving minor league catching coordinator Tim Laker was in Akron for about a week to specifically work with Gimenez in improving his game calling and Chris Gimenezmechanics behind the plate. Laker even passed on a small notebook to Gimenez which Laker had jotted down notes over his 18-year professional career and then re-typed them into the notebook. The book has everything from situational tips to various other pieces of information on working behind the plate. These notes have helped Gimenez in his transition to catcher, which is something he is now doing full time this year.

Gimenez has the physical side of the catching game down, but it is the mental side he is still working on. He is continuing to work on things like game calling and understanding the opposing batter's weaknesses and his pitcher's strengths. Last year, Gimenez caught but also played other positions on the field, but the Indians are focused on seeing how he develops as a catcher and for now will only be playing him at catcher this year. By concentrating just on one position it will allow Gimenez to better pick up the nuances of the game from behind the plate, and also help him maintain consistency when he steps into the batters box. So far, the results behind the plate and at the plate have been positive. On the year, Gimenez is hitting .292 with 3 HR, 9 RBI, and a .953 OPS.

Transactions Rundown

As mentioned above, Buffalo first baseman Jordan Brown went on the disabled list last Friday with a patella tendonitis in his left knee. The injury to Brown allowed the Indians to callup first baseman Michael Aubrey from Double-A Akron. In 25 games at Akron,Michael Aubrey Aubrey hit .282 with 2 HR, 16 RBI and had a .787 OPS. With the promotion of Aubrey to Buffalo, the Indians activated outfielder Stephen Head from the Akron disabled list.

With the callup of outfielder Ben Francisco to Cleveland on Tuesday, the Indians signed minor league free agent outfielder Bronson Sardinha to a minor league deal and assigned him to Triple-A Buffalo. Sardinha played his first seven years of professional baseball in the Yankees system, and in 844 career minor league games has a career .266 average with 80 HR and 416 RBI.

On Tuesday, Lake County right-handed reliever Mike Pontius was promoted to Kinston, and right-hander Joanniel Montero was sent down from Kinston to Lake County. In nine appearances at Lake County, Pontius was 0-0 with a save and a 0.00 ERA, and in 21.1 innings did not allow a run and only gave up 7 hits and walked 6 while striking out 29. In just two appearances at Kinston, Montero was 0-0 with a 6.75 ERA.

Kinston right-hander Erik Stiller was promoted to Akron late Wednesday night, and right-hander Sung-Wei Tseng was sent down to Kinston. In nine appearances out of the Kinston bullpen, Stiller was 1-0 with a 2.79 ERA and in 19.1 innings allowed 15 hits, 9 walks, and struck out 27. In nine appearances out of the Akron bullpen, Tseng was 0-0 with an 8.80 ERA and in 15.1 innings allowed 21 hits, 6 walks and struck out 12.

Bisons Hall Of Fame Inductions

Former Buffalo outfielder Dave Clark and manager Brian Graham have been elected to the Buffalo Baseball Hall of Fame. In the Bisons' Modern Era, Clark ranks first in batting average (.327) and slugging percentage (.594) and second in on-base percentage (.405), and is tied for 10th in the Modern Era with 41 homeruns. His .340 batting average and .621 slugging percentage in the 1987 season are still Modern Era records, and in 809 minor league games hit .302 with 114 HR, 463 RBI and an .896 OPS. Clark retired in 1999, and since has become a very successful minor league manager compiling a 368-326 record in five seasons as a manager in the Houston Astros system. He was named the 2003 Carolina League Manager of the Year, in 2006 was named the Eastern League Manager of the Year, and currently is manager of the Triple-A Round Rock Express.

Graham was the manager at Buffalo for three seasons from 1995 to 1997 and ranks first in the Modern Era with 253 wins, and his .586 winning percentage is third in the Modern Era (253-179). He was named Minor League Manager of the Year by USA Today's Baseball Weekly in 1996. In all, Graham was a manager or coach in the Indians system for 13 seasons from 1987 to 1999. He began his managing career on Mike Hargrove's staff at Single-A Kinston in 1987 before making his managerial debut with Single-A Watertown of the NY-Penn League in 1989. In nine total seasons as a manager from 1989 to 1997, Graham had a record of 709-491 (.591) and never had a losing record in any year. He guided his teams to eight playoff appearances and five division titles. Currently, Graham is working as a Special Assignment Coach in the Baltimore Orioles minor league system.

Affiliate Notebook

Buffalo BisonsBuffalo Notes (15-19, 4th place): Indians GM Mark Shapiro said this week that outfielder Shin-Soo Choo is about three to four weeks away from joining the Indians. Choo is still recovering from Tommy John surgery on his left elbow, and is ramping up his playing time to be able to handle the outfield and is about a week away from the start of a rehab assignment at Buffalo. ... In five games (three starts) for Triple-A Columbus (Nationals), lefty Jason Stanford was 2-2 with a 10.05 ERA and in 14.1 innings allowed 19 hits, 16 earned runs, 9 walks and struck out 12. After being released by the Nationals, Stanford returned to Buffalo and is back in the groove. In three appearances (two starts), Stanford is 1-1 with a 1.15 ERA and in 15.2 innings has allowed 14 hits, 2 earned runs, 6 walks and struck out 6. ... On Sunday, right-hander Adam Miller struggled with his command throwing 96 pitches but only going 3.2 innings. He allowed 11 hits, 4 runs, 1 walk, and struck out 4. On the season in three starts he is 0-0 with a 2.84 ERA. ... In first baseman Michael Aubrey's Triple-A debut on Friday, he collected a two-run double going 1-for-4 on the night. ... With Aubrey now at Buffalo, he is now one of eight former first round draft picks on the roster. The others: Jason Tyner (1998), Matt Ginter (1999), Aaron Herr (2000), Bronson Sardinha (2001), Brad Snyder (2003), Adam Miller (2003), and Jeremy Sowers (2004). ... Jordan Brown's most recent player journal on posted last week. ... Outfielder Brad Snyder is hitting .219 with 4 HR, 15 RBI, with a .721 OPS.

Akron AerosAkron Notes (15-18, 3rd place): On Wednesday night, left-handed starter David Huff went seven innings and allowed only one run on four hits and no walks while tying his career high with eight strikeouts. At one point in the game he retired 15 straight hitters. Huff is one of the hottest pitchers in the system as in his last five outings he has only allowed four runs and 15 hits in 30.2 innings for a 1.17 ERA. On the season Huff is now 2-1 with a 2.52 ERA. ... Akron right-handed closer Randy Newsom is a perfect 7-for-7 in save opportunities, and his seventh save on Wednesday night set a new franchise record as it was Newsom's 25th career save at Akron. On the year, in 13 appearances Newsom is 1-0 with a 1.42 ERA holding opposing hitters to a .159 average. ... Shortstop Josh Rodriguez's batting average has been creeping up the past few weeks. After starting the year hitting .154 two weeks into the season, Rodriguez is now up to .262 on the season. In his last ten games, Rodriguez is hitting .378 with 0 HR and 5 RBI. ... On Monday, outfielder Jose Constanza collected two hits in the same inning, which was the first time an Akron player has done that since Heath Hayes on May 25th, 1999. On the season, Constanza is hitting .263 with 0 HR, 15 RBI, 9 stolen bases, and a .686 OPS. ... On Monday, first baseman Matt Whitney hit a towering solo home run down the left field line. The home run was his first in 24 games and 85 at-bats. On the season, Whitney is hitting .248 with 3 HR, 9 RBI, and a .721 OPS. ... Catcher Chris Gimenez's 22 walks are 2nd in the Eastern League.

Kinston IndiansKinston Notes (13-17, 3rd place): On Tuesday, right-hander Jeanmar Gomez notched the first win of the year for a Kinston starting pitcher. On the season, in 29 starts the Kinston starters are now 1-11 with a 5.74 ERA. Right-hander Steven Wright is the only starter in the rotation pitching well, as he is 0-2 with a 3.08 ERA and in 26.1 innings has allowed 22 hits and 7 walks while striking out 23. ... Right-hander Luis Perdomo is off to a hot start and could be in line for a callup to Double-A Akron very soon. In 12 appearances, Perdomo is 1-0 with 6 saves and a 0.00 ERA, and in 18 innings has allowed only 6 hits and 7 walks while striking out 13. ... On Monday, right-hander Carlton Smith finally put up a good start going 7.1 innings and allowing one run, five hits, two walks and striking out three. On the season, in six starts Smith is now 0-1 with a 6.10 ERA. ... On Tuesday, infielders Jared Goedert and Adam Davis connected for their first home runs of the season. Goedert followed that up with his second home run of the year the next day, and to date he is hitting .310 with 2 HR, 18 RBI, and a .777 OPS. ... First baseman/third baseman Beau Mills is hitting .233 with 3 HR, 17 RBI, and a .768 OPS. ... Shortstop Carlos Rivero is hitting .252 with 0 HR, 11 RBI, and a .600 OPS.

Lake County CaptainsLake County Notes (20-13, 1st place): On Friday, infielder Karexon Sanchez's 11 game hitting streak was snapped when he went 0-for-4. On the season Sanchez is hitting .269 with 2 HR, 19 RBI, and a .735 OPS. He is currently in a slide as in his last ten games he is hitting .143 (5-for-35). ... On Sunday, left-hander Kelvin De La Cruz only gave up one run on six hits in 5.2 innings but still suffered the loss. On the season, in six starts he is 1-2 with a 2.12 ERA and in 29.2 inning has allowed 25 hits, 11 walks and struck out 28. ... On Thursday, right-hander Jonathan Holt gave up two runs in the top of the 10th inning in a 3-1 Captains loss. To date, Holt is one of the only Lake County pitchers struggling in the early going as he is 0-3 with a 6.61 ERA and in 16.1 innings has allowed 24 hits, 2 walks, and struck out 12. ... In a 13-8 loss Monday, the Captains' great pitching was battered for really the first time this season as they yielded season-high totals of runs (13), hits (17) and walks (10). ... In 13 appearances, right-hander Dallas Cawiezell is 1-1 with a 1.08 ERA and in 16.2 innings has allowed 11 hits and 5 walks while striking out 13. ... Right-handed closer Vinnie Pestano is a perfect 8-for-8 in save situations, and in 12 appearances he has a 0.71 ERA allowing 9 hits and 4 walks while striking out 13 in 12.2 innings. ... Outfielder Matt Brown continues to lead the Captains offense, and is hitting .304 with 3 HR, 23 RBI, and an .821 OPS.

Photos courtesy of Carl Kline, Ken Carr, Lake County Captains, Kinston Indians, Akron Aeros, and Buffalo Bisons

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