On-Deck with the Captains: 5/15/13 - 5/21/13
The Captains went 3-4 this past week but the losing record is misleading of the progress the team has made. The team’s offense has started to catch on and even the likes of Claudio Bautista and Dorssys Paulino, who have been miserable at the plate, have started to swing better bats. Bautista smashed a grand slam last Wednesday and Paulino has hit an improved .250 over the last week to push his average over the Mendoza at .201.
Ryan Merritt, SP
1 G, 1-0, 7 IP, 2.57 ERA, 7 H, 2 R, 7 K, 0 BB
This outing was an immense contrast to Merritt’s previous one. Back on May 13, he issued six walks and struck out two. On Saturday, Merritt regained his control and didn’t offer any free passes. His ability to minimize the damage is also notable, considering only two runs crossed the plate, despite the seven hits he allowed. Merritt has been one of the Captains’ most reliable starters and his command has been a huge component of his season.
Jack Wagoner, RHP
2 G, 0-0, 2.2 IP, 0.00 ERA, 2 H, 0 R, 2 K, 0 BB
Wagoner is easy to overlook sometimes as he’s one of the team’s quieter, under-the-radar relievers, but his performance speaks volumes. He’s posting a 2.93 overall ERA and has really only had one bad outing this entire season. He hasn’t allowed a run over his last five appearances and his command has been consistent, as he’s only issued three walks through 13.2 innings of relief.
Richard Stock, C
5 G, .467 BA, .467 OBP, 1.183 OPS, 7-for-18, 4 R, 6 RBI, 3:0 K:BB
Since he joined the team last week, all Stock has done is hit. His presence has made it difficult for manager Scooter Tucker to leave him out of the line-up and his bat has been a huge boost to the team’s struggling offense. Stock hit well last year too, posting a .295 average with the Mahoning Valley Scrappers, but one thing that’s noticeable about him is he doesn’t walk much. He walked just three times through 21 games last year and has yet to draw a walk this season.
Walking the Plank
Dylan Baker, SP
2 G, 0-1, 9.1 IP, 6.41 ERA, 9 H, 9 R, 7 ER, 6:9 K:BB
Thursday’s outing was the uglier of the two during Baker’s week as he struggled with control and walked six. On Tuesday, he pitched well enough that he could have earned the win, but the bullpen blew the lead. Consistency has been an issue for Baker, as he dominates one day and struggles five days later, but his true Achilles seems to be the walks, as he currently leads the team with 15.
Josh Martin, RHP
2 G, 0-1, 3.1 IP, 15.75 ERA, 4 H, 5 ER, 1 HR, 3:1 KK:BB
The one hit Martin allowed on Thursday was costly, considering it was a home run, but Tuesday’s outing had a harsher impact. Martin received a blown save on Tuesday as he allowed three hits and four runs (all earned) in just 1.1 innings. Martin’s had a couple tough outings this year, but he’s still working on developing a third pitch change-up.
Logan Vick, OF
6 G, .208 BA, .292 OBP, .597 OPS, 4-for-21, 3 R, 1 RBI, 2:3 K:BB
After his hot start, Vick has cooled off a bit as of late. The timely hits have come to a halt and the walks have faltered through his last 10 games. Still, Vick leads the team in walks with Nellie Rodriguez as they both have 24.
3: Dorssys Paulino’s extra base hits. Paulino has struggled at the plate this year and only three of his 27 hits have been doubles. He has yet to hit any triples or home runs. That said, Paulino’s bat has come to life as of late as he’s making better contact with the ball. Paulino hit a double on Saturday that Scooter Tucker said featured the best swing he’d seen Paulino make all year.
0-4: The Captains’ record in Friday games. To be fair, two of their scheduled Friday games were rained out.
2: The team’s longest winning streak. Not sure if this can even be considered a “streak”, but this epitomizes the effect of a struggling offense and inconsistent pitching staff.
Taking on Water
Mitch Brown remains of the 7-Day DL. He hasn’t pitched since May 1.
No Captains were reassigned this week.
Robbie Aviles was assigned to Lake County from the Mahoning Valley Scrappers roster. He made his Captains debut on Sunday, where he tossed four scoreless innings.
Francisco Valera was reassigned to Lake County from the Columbus Clippers.
On the Horizon
The Captains are in Lansing for a brief three-game series before they return home for six games with the West Michigan WhiteCaps and Bowling Green Hot Rods. Bowling Green currently leads the Eastern division of the Midwest League with a 27-16 overall record. They have arguably the best pitching staff in the league, which presently posts a league-leading 2.74 ERA.
Stephanie is a crime and general assignment reporter for The Morning Journal in Lorain, Ohio. She’s an alumna of Cleveland State University with a degree in Journalism and Promotional Communication. You can follow her on Twitter @7thInningSteph.