On-Deck with the Captains: Hendrix takes over as shortstop
It was an interesting week for the Lake County Captains. From a sudden roster move to an 18-inning game complete with pitching position players, last week wasn’t dull, despite a four-game losing streak.
Hendrix has hit .268 this season with a trio of home runs, 10 RBI, a .398 OBP and .863 OPS. The Texas native spent last season with the short-season Mahoning Valley Scrappers, where he hit .258 with 13 RBI, a .330 OBP and .663 OPS.
Hendrix said he’s seeing the ball well at the moment and feels comfortable in the batter’s box. As for defense, he said he can handle most infield roles, but shortstop is his preference.
“That’s where I played my entire life, so that’s where I’m most comfortable,” he said.
Hendrix said he remained in extended spring training briefly to work on hitting, but he’s had no issue adhering to Lake County.
“As long as you have your mindset right, it’s not too hard to jump in,” he said.
Mindset hasn’t been an issue for Hendrix, despite the team’s losing record. He said the team doesn’t feel deflated by its early-season struggles and thinks they’ll start winning if they remain positive.
“If we get down on ourselves, it doesn’t help at all,” Hendrix noted.
Clint Frazier, OF
7 G, 33 AB, .321 BA, .390 OBP, .518 SLG, .910 OPS, 3 R, 4 RBI, 1 HR, 12:5 K:BB
Kenny Mathews, LHP
2 G, 5 IP, 1-0, 0.00 ERA, 1 R, 0 ER, 3 H, 2:2 K:BB
Mathews has been reliable so far and his long relief outing May 4 was huge. So far, Mathews has really only had one bad outing, and his control has been notable. He’s only walked six through 17.2 innings of work, a nice compliment to the 14 hitters he’s struck out.
Jordan Milbrath, RHP
2 G, 2 GS, 11 IP, 0-1, 0.00 ERA, 6 R, 0 ER, 11 H, 6:3 K:BB
Jordan Milbrath may not be human. The tall right-hander has now made four consecutive starts during which he has not allowed an earned run. In fact, the only earned runs he’s allowed all came in one outing on April 16. Through his remaining six appearances, he retains a 0.00 ERA.
Walking the Plank
Claudio Bautista, 2B
6 G, 31 AB, .121 BA, .121 OBP, .181 SLG, .308 OPS, 1 R, 3 RBI, 11:0 K:BB
After what seemed like a decent start to the season, Bautista has started to struggle. His lack of walks is concerning and just seven of his 22 hits have been for extra bases. It’s probably too soon to be too concerned about him though, considering he hit well last season in Mahoning Valley and he’s still adjusting to Midwest League pitching. Facing the West Michigan rotation last week probably didn’t help, as it’s one of the best in the league.
Cody Ferrell, OF
6 G, 22 AB, .083 BA,.292 OBP, .083 SLG, .375 OPS, 2 R, 0 RBI, 9:2 K:BB
It was a rough week for Cody Ferrell, though it wasn’t entirely his fault. Ferrell had a fantastic start and his since cooled off significantly, which has been disappointing considering he had three home runs in his first eight games. He also had a tough week on the mound. He tossed the final inning of the team’s 18-inning game May 5 (and hit 0-for-7) and took the loss as he walked in the winning run. Of course, Ferrell is a position player, so it’s not fair to blame him entirely.
Mitch Brown, RHP
1 G, 4 IP, 0-1, 9.00 ERA, 5 R, 4 ER, 3 H, 3:5 K:BB
Mitch Brown’s most recent outing may not have been as bad if it hadn’t been for all the walks. He started out well in his outing, but had trouble locating his fastball as the day went on. Brown’s had one good outing, which was his first, this year, and it seems the issues he battled last season have carried over.
Shortstop Ivan Castillo joined the team May 6 to replace Dorssys Paulino.
Right-hander Luis DeJesus returns to Lake County from extended spring training.
Right-handed reliever Kerry Doane was assigned to the team May 4. He tossed three scoreless innings on May 5.
Dorssys Paulino returned to extended spring training May 5. Word has it he’ll work on a position change to the outfield, though he was seen taking ground balls at second base at Classic Park before his departure. Paulino has struggled defensively at shortstop, logging 13 errors in 26 this season. Last year, he led the Midwest League in errors.
Reliever Alexis Paredes was reassigned to the Mahoning Valley Scrappers roster May 6.
Taking On Water
Dace Kime was hit by a comebacker May 1 that pulled him from the game after 2.1 innings of work. All seemed to be fine though, as he made his scheduled start May 6 without any reported issues.
On the Horizon
The Captains return home for a three-game series with the Bowling Green Hot Rods May 8-10. Typically the Hot Rods are a squad to be feared, as the Tampa Bay Rays organization has had some solid pitching prospects there the past few years, but the team has struggled so far, posting a 15-17 record. They are, however, riding a six-game winning streak.
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.