On-Deck with the Captains: 6/19/13 - 6/25/13
Second-half turnarounds are commonly mentioned in baseball, and the case is no different for the Lake County Captains. Since the All-Star break, the team has posted a 5-1 record with some solid outings from the starting pitching staff. The offense has added a number of home runs as they hit eight this past week, so it seems things may be starting to come together for the 28-45 squad.
Dylan Baker, SP
2 G, 2-0, 12.2 IP, 1.59 ERA, 6 H, 4 R, 2 ER, 11:3 K:BB
An Indians’ Minor League Player of the Week award and three-straight strong outings from Baker are an indication that things are falling into place for him. Captains pitching coach Steve Karsay mentioned to me earlier this season that Baker’s working on mixing pitches and pounding the strike zone, so perhaps that has been a difference-maker.
Ryan Merrit, SP
1 G, 1-0, 8 IP, 0.00 ERA, 5 H, 0 R, 4:0 K:BB
It doesn’t get much better than the outing Merritt crafted on Monday. The Captains couldn’t produce much against the Bowling Green pitching staff, which is no surprise considering the Hot Rods have some of the better arms in the league. Merritt’s outing was huge as he was able to keep his team in the game and carry them to a win.
Erik Gonzalez, 3B
6 G, .320 BA, .414 OBP, 1.014 OPS, 8-for-25, 7 R, 5 RBI, 1 HR, 6:4 K:BB
Gonzalez’s second half is off to a hot start after a rough first half in which he hit .247 through 63 games. Despite the lack of offensive production, Gonzalez has showed flashes of high potential on the field and at the plate. Though he ranks second on the team in errors committed, he seems to be making progress in the right direction.
Walking the Plank
Jack Wagoner, RHP
1 G, 0-0, 0.2 IP, 27.00 ERA, 2 H, 2 R, 0:2 K:BB
It was a small sample size, but it was ugly nonetheless. Wagoner has been solid for the most part this season, but Sunday was an exception.
Louis Head, RHP
2 G, 0-1, 2.1 IP, 7.71 ERA, 5 H, 2 R, 3:2 K:BB
This wasn’t a horrid week for Head, but it’s tough to ignore a blown save. That said, he hasn’t had many save opportunities considering the team often trails early. On Saturday, Head struggled in the 10th inning as he surrendered two runs on four hits. This was a rare outing though, as Head has been one of the most reliable arms in the Captains’ pen.
2.31: The starting rotation’s ERA since the start of the second half. Baker, Merritt and Jake Sisco can be accredited to lines of zeroes in three combined starts.
9: Eric Haase’s home run total. The catcher slugged two on Thursday as part of a 3-for-5 day. This leads the team as Erik Gonzalez follows with five.
18: The numbers of games back the Captains sit in the overall standings. They’re in the basement of the Midwest League as the South Bend Silver Hawks lead three games up.
Taking On Water
Outfielder LeVon Washington remains on the seven-day disabled list with dehydration issues. He has seen a specialist and is awaiting the results of some tests before he returns to the lineup.
Mitch Brown was officially reassigned to the Arizona League Indians last Thursday. He’s started one game there so far, allowing five runs on six hits through 3.2 innings.
Benny Suarez was reassigned to the triple-A Columbus Clippers Tuesday.
No players joined the Captains this week.
On the Horizon
The Captains finally return home to start a three-game series with the Great Lakes Loons. Luis DeJesus (2-7, 6.32) is scheduled to start Wednesday night’s game.
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.