On-Deck with the Captains: 5/29/13 - 6/4/13
The Lake County Captains were on the road most of the past week, and it was a successful road trip as they crafted their first multi-game win streak with four straight. The team went 5-2 for the week, including a split double-header complete with a walk-off against Bowling Green last Wednesday and a series win in Dayton.
Things may be looking up for the Captains, though some roster moves sent a few guys down to join the Mahoning Valley Scrappers, who start their season June 17.
Mason Radeke, SP
1 G, 1 GS, 1-0, 5 IP, 0.00 ERA, 1 H, 7:1 K:BB
One can’t ask for much more from a starter, especially from a guy making his season debut. Radeke joined the Captains from extended spring training, though he had plenty of experience with Lake County last year. What’s notable about Radeke is his control, as he doesn’t walk many guys yet strikes out plenty. If his performance remains this strong, he may not be in Eastlake very long.
C.C. Lee, RHP
2 G, 0-0, 2 IP, 0.00 ERA, 1 H, 4:1 K:BB
To quote Captains’ manager Scooter Tucker, “What was there not to like?” Tucker said this after Chen-Chang Lee’s first appearance on May 29 and the statement probably holds true after Lee’s second outing. Tucker said Lee commanded his breaking pitch well and noted that Lee didn’t pitch like someone taking the bump for the first time this season. Of course, Lee has experience over many guys in the low-A Midwest League, considering he spent time in AAA-Columbus the last two years before undergoing Tommy John surgery last June.
Yhoxian Medina, INF
5 G, .353 BA, .389 OBP, .918 OPS, 6-for-17, 2 R, 1 RBI, 1:0 K:BB
Medina joined the team last Thursday and has made his presence known so far. Medina was reassigned to the Captains from high-A Carolina, where he hit .232 through 23 games. Medina strikes out way more than he walks (19:2 on the year so far) and his hits are seldom of the extra-base nature. That said, his bat has been fairly consistent so far and may be an indication of strides he’s made since last season.
Walking the Plank
Dylan Baker, SP
1 G, 1 GS, 0-1, 4.1 IP, 14.54 ERA, 9 H, 7 ER, 2:3 K:BB
After a pair of back-to-back solid outings toward the beginning of the month, Baker’s performance has hit a decline. His last outing on Sunday was one of the uglier showings. The weather can no longer be deemed an excuse for poor performance, so it seems there are some underlying kinks to be worked out.
Luis DeJesus, SP
2 G, 2 GS, 1-1, 10 IP, 10.50 ERA, 13 H, 10 ER, 4 HR, 5:3 K:BB
It would be unfair to ignore the good outing DeJesus posted on Monday, but it would also be irrational to ignore the four home runs he gave up through just two starts. As mentioned in previous notebooks, the home runs have been the biggest issue for DeJesus. He gave up three in one game last Wednesday and continues to lead the Midwest League in home runs surrendered by double – three players are tied for second with seven.
Jorge Martinez, OF
6 G, .042 BA, .042 OBP, .083 OPS, 1-for-20, 1 R, 1 RBI, 7:1 K:BB
Last week, Martinez was listed here as one of the hotter hitters. I’m not sure what happened, but it’s been a dramatic difference this week. Martinez is impatient at the plate, which is evident as he’s struck out 38 times in comparison to the seven walks he’s drawn, and his .229 on-base percentage is the lowest on the current roster.
0: The number of Captains ranked within the Midwest League’s top 40 leaders in batting average. Logan Vick falls just below 40 with a .269 average, as the four Captains with higher averages have not played in enough games to be considered eligible for the rankings.
7: The number of saves the team has recorded. This is the lowest number in the league, in contrast with South Bend who leads the league with 21. It’s tough to record saves when a team starts out from behind in the first place, which has been a significant problem. As Scooter Tucker mentioned, “We’ve made it more than a habit to trail early.”
13: Days remaining until the Midwest League All-Star Break. It’s hard to believe the season is nearing its halfway point and with the upcoming draft and start of short-season ball, the Captains roster may see some changes.
Taking on Water
LeVon Washington was added to the 7-day disabled list last week, but the move was merely precautionary as he has been recovering from the flu.
After a disappointing start, Nellie Rodriguez was reassigned to the Mahoning Valley roster. Rodriguez hit his long-awaited first home run of the season last week, but Tucker mentioned the first baseman is working on cleaning up his swing. Tucker said Rodriguez is cleaning up his bat path, as he had a long swing that made him a “tweener” – a guy who can’t catch up to fastballs and is committed to the offspeed stuff.
On the Horizon
The Captains headed to South Bend for a four-game series that starts on Wednesday. The 38-17 Silver Hawks are the best in the Midwest League record-wise, which is a reflection of their league-leading team batting average (.274) and league lowest team ERA (3.28).
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.