Cleveland Indians Executive Chef Josh Ingraham to represent Ohio in World Food Championships

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Cleveland Indians Executive Chef Josh Ingraham never stops pushing boundaries in the kitchen by constantly coming up with innovative and interesting creations. His latest — “The Un Meatball Sandwich” — a dish that he originally created for a guest at the Terrace Club at Progressive Field. “The Un Meatball Sandwich” features a bacon wrapped meatball with sweet potato angel hair and cranberry demi-glace; and is now an award-winning entree!

Ingraham entered the recipe in the Taste of America Challenge, winning a slot to represent Ohio in the World Food Championships this coming November in Orange Beach, Alabama. When asked about the opportunity, Ingraham said, “I’m thrilled to go and proud to have the chance to represent our team at Progressive Field.”  At the World Food Championships, Ingraham will compete against 65 of the country’s top culinarians.

 

We can’t wait to see and taste what he comes up with next!

-TribeVibe contributor Hailey Ellis

Down on the farm: Weekly check-in on Cleveland Indians minor-league affiliates

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Highlighted by a historic hitting streak and some familiar names in new places, it was another busy week for the Tribe’s Minor League affiliates. As usual, all numbers are through Thursday’s games.

Triple-A Columbus went 5-2 last week, extending its lead in the International League West division to eight games.

Yandy Diaz and Giovanny Urshela both saw their hitting streaks come to a close last week. Diaz’s league-leading 28-game streak ended Thursday as the 24-year-old Cuban went 0-for-3 with a walk. Urshela’s career-long 21-game streak ended with an 0-for-4 performance on Monday.

Catcher Guillermo Quiroz batted .500 (9-for-18) with three doubles, two homers, five RBI and four runs scored in four games this week. Infielder Erik Gonzalez, who was optioned to Columbus on August 5, went 11-for-26 (.423) with five doubles, three homers, five RBI and eight runs scored.

First baseman Jesus Aguilar also went deep three times last week, and now leads the IL with 23 home runs on the year.

Double-A Akron went 3-3 to avoid its third straight losing week. The RubberDucks are third in the Eastern League’s Western division, seven games off the pace at 55-60.

Greg Allen continues to impress in Double-A, as the 23-year-old outfielder hit .391 (9-for-23) with two doubles, three walks, three strikeouts and six runs scored in six games last week. Allen, who was promoted to Akron on July 25, is still the Advanced-A Carolina League’s leader in runs (93), stolen bases (38) and OBP (.424).

Julian Merryweather turned in the best start of the week for Akron, as he limited the Hartford Yard Goats (COL) to two runs, just one earned, on one hit with seven strikeouts and no walks over a season-high 8.0 innings of work in the ‘Ducks 3-2 win.

Advanced-A Lynchburg had a down week, going 2-4, falling to three games back of the Potomac Nationals (WSH) in the Carolina League’s Northern division.

Shortstop Dorssys Paulino led the Hillcats offense with a .375 average (9-for-24) last week, as he doubled twice, homered once, scored four times and drove in four runs in six games.

Left-hander Luis Lugo turned in the best outing of any Lynchburg starter last week, holding the Nationals scoreless on three hits with five strikeouts over 6.0 innings in a no-decision.

Catcher Francisco Mejia played in just two games last week, but extended his hitting streak to 48 games, hitting 4-for-8 (.500) in the process.

Class-A Lake County went 3-3 last week, and sit in sixth place, 12 games back, in the Midwest League Eastern Division.

Outfielder Sam Haggerty was white-hot at the plate, going 13-for-24 (.542) with a pair of doubles, one home run, three RBI and seven runs scored in seven games.

Right-hander Triston McKenzie made his Midwest League debut on Friday, August 5, suffering the loss at Great Lakes, and did not factor in the decision in his second start for the Captains on Thursday (also at Great Lakes). The 6-foot-5 hurler is 0-1 with a 4.50 ERA (6ER/12.0IP) in two starts with Lake County.

Short-season Mahoning Valley also went 3-3 this week, and is 6-4 in the month of August.

Outfielder Todd Isaacs put together a great week for the Scrappers, going 7-for-15 en route to leading the New York-Penn League with a .467 average last week. The 20-year-old also collected one double and three home runs while driving in five runs and scoring six.

Brady Aiken, Cleveland’s first round pick (#17 overall) in the 2015 First-Year Player Draft, made his NYPL debut on Wednesday. The 19-year-old southpaw allowed three runs on four hits, including one home run, and two walks with one strikeout over 3.0 innings of work in a no-decision against the Batavia Muckdogs.

The AZL Indians struggled to a 1-5 record this week, marking their second straight losing week.

Cleveland’s first round pick (#14 overall) in this year’s draft, outfielder Will Benson, seems to be hitting his stride. After batting just .200 (19-for-95) in his first 27 pro games, Benson went 8-for-18 (.444) with one double, two triples, one home run, two RBI and six runs scored in five games last week.

Left-hander Francisco Perez turned in two great outings last week, combining to allow just two runs on five hits and one walk with 10 strikeouts over 11.0 innings of work. This season, Perez is third in the AZL with 43 strikeouts, and ranks second with a 0.95 WHIP.

–TribeVibe contributor Robert Davidson

PHOTO GALLERY: Cleveland Indians beat Los Angeles Angels; Rock N Blast rocks Progressive Field crowd

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The Indians tied a club record with eight stolen bases, Jose Ramirez and Mike Napoli extended their hit streaks the Tribe beat the Angels, 13-3 on Friday night in front of 27,014 at Progressive Field.

The Tribe has outscored Los Angeles, 27-7, in this four game series’ first two games, and leads the Tigers by five games in the American League Central (six in the loss column).

The Tribe stole eight bases, tying the club’s single-game record set in 1917. Rajai Davis and Jose Ramirez each stole three bases; Davis leads the AL with 31 and is fourth in baseball. Ramirez now has 17 steals this year, tied for seventh in the AL. Francisco Lindor (15) and Jason Kipnis (11) also stole bases.

Notes:

  • Ramirez extended his hit streak to 16 games, during which he’s hitting .453 (29-64) with 14 runs, seven steals and 10 RBI. He hit his eighth homer, a solo shot, in the seventh
  • Mike Napoli extended his hit streak to 12 games, during which he’s hitting .432 (19-44)
  • Kipnis went 4-for-5 and is batting .365 since the All-Star break
  • Brandon Guyer had three hits, including a homer, walked and drove in five – the latter being a career high; in his first 14 ABs with the Indians, he has seven hits and three walks
  • Carlos Carrasco allowed three runs in seven innings, striking out eight

First-place Indians heat things up this weekend

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The first-place Indians return to Progressive Field on Thursday, August 11 to face the Angels, Red Sox, White Sox and Blue Jays in an 11-game homestand at Progressive Field – the longest homestand of the 2016 season. This homestand includes some of the season’s hottest promo items and events including a Bob Feller bobblehead courtesy of Meritech, Indians fedora courtesy of Cleveland.com, Francisco Lindor home white jersey courtesy of Liberty Ford and two nights of Rock N’ Blast presented by FirstEnergy.

Indians #TribeSocial Night set for August 17

The Indians will hold their 2016 Social Media Night on August 17 as the team takes on the White Sox. Participants will be able to enjoy the game and receive exclusive opportunities, including a player Q&A, early entry for BP and more! Additionally, fans will receive $5 loaded value on their ticket and a new “Rotation of Domination” T-shirt before they become available in the Progressive Field Team Shop.

Tickets for #TribeSocial Night include a game ticket in section 117 and can be purchased at Indians.com/socialmedianight for $24 (plus pre-order fee). Purchase deadline is Friday, Aug. 12.

 

ANGELS SERIES/PROMOTIONS/EVENTS:

Thursday, August 11 vs. Angels @ 7:10PM

*ALL GATES: OPEN at 6PM (Right Field Gate/Family Deck open at 5PM)

Broadcast Information: SportsTime Ohio-HD, WTAM/WMMS/IRN

Ceremonial First Pitch: Cleveland native and four-time Olympic Gold Medalist Harrison Dillard will throw the ceremonial first pitch with his granddaughter, Izmailia Sougoufara. Dillard competed in the 1948 and 1952 Olympics in track and field.

Friday, August 12 vs. Angels @ 7:10PM

*ALL GATES: OPEN at 5PM 

Broadcast Information: SportsTime Ohio-HD, WTAM/WMMS/IRN

Sugardale Dollar Dog Night: The Indians will have 11 Sugardale Dollar Dog Nights throughout the 2016 season. Fans can also enjoy Sugardale samplings pregame at Gateway Plaza.

Pregame in the District presented by Budweiser: Pregame in the District presented by Budweiser features $2 Budweiser cans from 5-7PM in the Right Field District.

Rock N’ Blast “One Louder” Fireworks presented by FirstEnergy: Rock N’ Blast fireworks presented by FirstEnergy celebrates live music experiences and legendary concerts in history. Rock N’ Blast celebrates its 11th anniversary with a “One Louder” theme.

Block Party:  Block Parties include live pregame entertainment featuring music on the RTA stage, DJs, giant cornhole, Jenga and pong. Block Parties are perfect for the entire group to get pumped to cheer on the Tribe.

Alumni Ambassadors: Indians alumni Gary Bell and Chad Ogea will be available to sign autographs from 6:00-6:30PM in the Right Field District.

Ballpark App: Download MLB.com’s Ballpark app presented by KeyBank and stay up to date on all things Tribe. Ballpark features mobile check-in offers from KeyBank, New Era and other partners, an interactive concourse map, exclusive team videos and more. Fans can also easily manage their tickets digitally through the app, and gain access to the Indians mobile-only entrance at the Right Field Gate.

Saturday, August 13 vs. Angels @ 7:10PM

*ALL GATES: OPEN at 5PM 

Broadcast Information: SportsTime Ohio-HD, WTAM/WMMS/IRN

Bob Feller Bobblehead courtesy of Meritech: 12,500 fans will receive a Bob Feller bobblehead courtesy of Meritech.

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Rock N’ Blast “One Louder” Fireworks presented by FirstEnergy: Rock N’ Blast fireworks presented by FirstEnergy celebrates live music experiences and legendary concerts in history. Rock N’ Blast celebrates its 11th anniversary with a “One Louder” theme.

Block Party:  Block Parties include live pregame entertainment featuring music on the RTA stage, DJs, giant cornhole, Jenga and pong. Block Parties are perfect for the entire group to get pumped to cheer on the Tribe.

Budweiser Clydesdales: The Budweiser Clydesdales will deliver the ceremonial first pitch baseball on-field during pregame.

Alumni Ambassadors: Indians alumni Gary Bell  and Chad Ogea will be available to sign autographs from 6:00-6:30PM in the Right Field District.

CLE Clothing Co. Coupon:  Fans will receive a coupon to Cleveland Clothing Co. after the game.

Sunday, August 14 vs. Angels @ 1:10PM

*ALL GATES: OPEN at noon (Right Field Gate/Family Deck open at 11AM)

Broadcast Information: SportsTime Ohio-HD, WTAM/WMMS/IRN

KeyBank Kids Fun Day: KeyBank Kids Fun Day allows kids to enjoy both the action on and off the field with various opportunities including Jungle Terry and more. A Tribe player also will participate in a Q&A with kids on the Family Deck at 11:45AM; this Q&A happens each Sunday home game at Progressive Field.

Kids Run the Bases presented by Cleveland Clinic Children’s: Young Tribe fans will have the opportunity to run the bases like their favorite players after the game! All kids (12 & under) can stay immediately after the game to take part.

 

RED SOX SERIES FOCUS/PROMOTIONS/EVENTS:

Monday, August 15 vs. Red Rox @ 1:10PM

*ALL GATES: OPEN at noon

Broadcast Information: SportsTime Ohio-HD, WTAM/WMMS/IRN

April 7 postponed game: The Cleveland Indians and Boston Red Sox will make-up the April 7 postponed game on Monday, August 15 @ 1:10PM at Progressive Field.

 

WHITE SOX SERIES FOCUS/PROMOTIONS/EVENTS:

Tuesday, August 16 vs. White Sox @ 7:10PM

*ALL GATES: OPEN at 6PM (Right Field Gate/Family Deck open at 5PM)

Broadcast Information: SportsTime Ohio-HD, WTAM/WMMS/IRN

Dunkin Donuts coupon:  Fans will receive a coupon to Dunkin Donuts after the game.

Wednesday, August 17 vs. White Sox @ 7:10PM

*ALL GATES: OPEN at 6PM (Right Field Gate/Family Deck open at 5PM)

Broadcast Information: SportsTime Ohio-HD, WTAM/WMMS/IRN

Kluber’s Kids: This new program, presented by Cleveland Clinic Children’s, hosts a Cleveland Clinic Children’s patient and their family every homestand. Guests have a pregame experience that includes watching batting practice and meeting Corey Kluber.

Thursday, August 18 vs. White Sox @ 7:10PM

*ALL GATES: OPEN at 6PM (Right Field Gate/Family Deck open at 5PM)

Broadcast Information: SportsTime Ohio-HD, WTAM/WMMS/IRN

Cleveland RBI Senior Softball team: The Indians will hold a pregame presentation for the Cleveland Baseball Federation RBI senior softball team to celebrate the team’s eighth straight regional championship.

CLE Clothing Co. coupon:  Fans will receive a coupon to Cleveland Clothing Co. after the game.

 

BLUE JAYS SERIES FOCUS/PROMOTIONS/EVENTS:

Friday, August 19 vs. Blue Jays @ 7:10PM

*ALL GATES: OPEN at 6PM (Right Field Gate/Family Deck open at 5PM)

Broadcast Information: SportsTime Ohio-HD, WTAM/WMMS/IRN

Sugardale Dollar Dog Night: The Indians will have 11 Sugardale Dollar Dog Nights throughout the season. Fans can also enjoy Sugardale samplings pregame at Gateway Plaza.

Pregame in the District presented by Budweiser: Pregame in the District presented by Budweiser features $2 Budweiser cans from 5-7PM in the Right Field District.

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Indians Fedora courtesy of Cleveland.com: 10,000 fans will receive an Indians fedora courtesy of Cleveland.com.

Fireworks presented by Wayside Furniture: The Indians will have ‘Rat Pack’-themed postgame fireworks presented by Wayside Furniture.

Block Party:  Block Parties include live pregame entertainment featuring music on the RTA stage, DJs, giant cornhole, Jenga and pong. Block Parties are perfect for the entire group to get pumped to cheer on the Tribe.

Alumni Ambassadors: Indians alumni Marquis Grissom and Jaret Wright will be available to sign autographs from 6:00-6:30PM in the Right Field District.

District Ticket: Our $13 District Ticket, presented by SportsTime Ohio, is back! Fans can grab one only at Indians.com for a Standing Room Only ticket, and their first drink (12-ounce beer, bottled water or Pepsi product) is on us!

Saturday, August 20 vs. Blue Jays @ 7:10PM

*ALL GATES: OPEN at 5PM 

Broadcast Information: SportsTime Ohio-HD, WTAM/WMMS/IRN

Francisco Lindor Home White Jersey courtesy of Liberty Ford: 12,500 fans will receive a Francisco Lindor home white jersey courtesy of Liberty Ford.

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Fireworks presented by Pierre’s: The Indians will have ‘Southern Rock’-themed postgame fireworks presented by Pierre’s.

Block Party:  Block Parties include live pregame entertainment featuring music on the RTA stage, DJs, giant cornhole, Jenga and pong. Block Parties are perfect for the entire group to get pumped to cheer on the Tribe.

Alumni Ambassadors: Indians alumni Marquis Grissom and Jaret Wright will be available to sign autographs from 6:00-6:30PM in the Right Field District.

Sunday, August 21 vs. Blue Jays @ 1:10PM

*ALL GATES: OPEN at noon (Right Field Gate/Family Deck open at 11AM)

Broadcast Information: SportsTime Ohio-HD, WTAM/WMMS/IRN

KeyBank Kids Fun Day: KeyBank Kids Fun Day allows kids to enjoy both the action on and off the field with various opportunities including Jungle Terry and more. A Tribe player also will participate in a Q&A with kids on the Family Deck at 11:45AM; this Q&A happens each Sunday home game at Progressive Field.

Kids Run the Bases presented by Cleveland Clinic Children’s: Young Tribe fans will have the opportunity to run the bases like their favorite players after the game! All kids (12 & under) can stay immediately after the game to take part.

Olympic gold medalist Harrison Dillard to be recognized on August 11 at Progressive Field

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In the midst of the 2016 Rio Olympics, it’s only appropriate to recognize Cleveland native and four-time Olympic gold medalist Harrison Dillard.

The Indians will recognize Dillard with a pregame presentation on Thursday, August 11 vs. the Angels. Additionally, Dillard will accompany his granddaughter, Izmailia Sougoufara, on the mound as she throws out the ceremonial first pitch.

Dillard competed in track and field in the 1948 and 1952 Olympics. He won gold in 1948 in the 100 meter race and 4×100 meter relay. Then in 1952, he took gold for the 110 meter hurdles and 4×100 meter relay.

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In later years, Dillard was hired by Bill Veeck to work with the Cleveland Indians as a speed coach during spring training.

Dillard is also a U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame inductee, James E. Sullivan Award winner and has been honored with a statue at his alma mater, Baldwin Wallace University.

Diving, track, archery, weightlifting: Cleveland Indians players would make fine Olympians

Michael Phelps and Katie Ledecky aren’t the only ones making a splash in the Olympic scene this year. In fact, some of Cleveland’s own are pretty well-versed in the Games, too.

Warning: more cheesy Olympic puns to come.

Diving Team

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Take a look at the Indians outfield and you’ll find some of the game’s finest divers. As a team, the Indians have recorded 26 outfield assists, tied for the fifth most in the Majors this year. Rajai Davis leads the pack with eight assists of his own, tied for seventh among all American League outfielders.

Our outfielders are equally good at plate, as Cleveland’s outfield is batting a collective .293 this year, the best average in the AL and 2nd in the MLB. Lonnie Chisenhall’s .298 average is the fifth-highest among AL outfielders.

Track and Field

Sure, Usain Bolt is pretty fast, but can he steal second quicker than Rajai Davis? Probably. Still, Davis leads the American League with 28 stolen bases this season, which ranks fourth in MLB. His success rate of 90.3 percent is also the best in baseball.

The Tribe’s offense has combined for 80 stolen bases, which is tied for the most in the league and tied for fourth in the Majors.

Gold Medal Worthy: Rajai practically creates his own runs.*

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*Well, with the help of that wild pitch.

Archery

Cleveland’s pitching staff is on target. Indians hurlers have tallied 924 strikeouts this year, the third-most in the AL, while their average of 8.43 strikeouts-per-9.0 innings is the fourth-best in the league. The staff’s 22.4 strikeout percentage also ranks second in the AL.

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Two members of the Tribe’s rotation are among AL strikeout leaders, as Corey Kluber’s 153 punchouts are fourth-most in the league, followed by Danny Salazar, who ranks eighth with 133. Kluber also leads all AL pitchers in fWAR (4.4).

Gymnastics

Francisco Lindor doesn’t need bars or a balance beam to be a world-class acrobat. He’s flipped his way into 64 percent of Cleveland’s double plays this year, having helped turn 56 of the team’s 87 total.

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His 320 assists are the second most among MLB shortstops and his 160 putouts are the third most. Lindor’s worth more than a collection of web-gems, too – his .303 average is the third-highest among all MLB shortstops.

Powerlifting

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The Indians have notched 144 homers this season, averaging 1.32 home runs per game, the fourth most in the league. Mike Napoli leads the Tribe with 28 bombs, which ranks fourth in the AL and fifth in MLB. It’s also the most home runs by an Indians player in a single season since Grady Sizemore finished the 2008 campaign with 33.

Carlos Santana is not far behind with 24 of his own, tied for 12th in the league, while Jason Kipnis (22) and Francisco Lindor (13) have each set single-season career highs.

You might not see these guys in Rio, but maybe Tokyo 2020?

-TribeVibe contributor Kailey Adams

11th annual Rock N’ Blast this weekend at Progressive Field

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If you haven’t made it to the ballpark yet this summer, now is the time! The first-place Cleveland Indians will return home on Thursday, August 11 for the longest homestand of the season — 11 games!

This weekend begins with the 11th annual Rock N’ Blast fireworks shows presented by FirstEnergy on Friday, August 12 and Saturday, August 13 at Progressive Field!

Make it a weekend to remember with your friends and family! Head to the ballpark to enjoy the Tribe’s award-winning Rock N’ Blast display after the Indians take on the Angels. This year’s Rock N’ Blast “One Louder” celebrates live music experiences and legendary concerts in history. The show features nearly 25 minutes of “live concert” experience, including synchronized scoreboard graphics and a dazzling fireworks display that extends around (and on the roof of) Progressive Field.

Each Rock N’ Blast night also features some of the summer’s hottest events and promos:

Friday, August 12 vs. Angels

  • Sugardale Dollar Dog Night
  • Pregame in the District presented by Budweiser ($2 cans from 5-7PM in the Right Field District)
  • Block Party

Saturday, August 13 vs. Angels

  • Bob Feller bobblehead (12,500 fans) courtesy of Meritech
  • Block Party presented by T-Mobile

 

BUY TICKETS

Columbus Clippers’ Giovanny Urshela named International League Player of the Week

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The International League announced today that Clippers third baseman Giovanny Urshela has been named the IL Batter of the Week.

Urshela torched IL pitching last week (August 1-7), leading the league with a .500 average, 14 hits, 12 RBI, six extra-base hits (four doubles and two homers) and 24 total bases. The Cartagena, Colombia, native also extended his hitting streak to 20 games, the second-longest active streak in the IL, turning in five multi-hit performances along the way.

The 24-year-old infielder is batting .273 in 94 games for Columbus this season, but has come on particularly strong since the All-Star break. In 23 games since the break, Urshela is hitting .364 (36-for-99) with eight doubles, four homers, 18 RBI, 12 runs scored and just nine strikeouts.

This is the second IL Batter of the Week nod for Urshela this season (April 25-May 1), and the third for the Clippers (Yandy Diaz, July 18-24).

Urshela’s 20-game hitting streak is tied for the second-longest streak in the IL this season, second only to teammate Yandy Diaz’s active 25-game streak.

The Clippers (64-52) hold a 6.0-game lead over the second-place Indianapolis Indians (PIT) in the IL West. Columbus’s game in Louisville tonight marks the half-way point of a seven-day, seven-game road trip before the Clip Show returns to Huntington Park on Friday to open a 10-day, nine-game homestand.

–TribeVibe contributor Robert Davidson

Down on the Farm: Weekend check on Cleveland Indians minor-league affiliates

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Amid the madness of last week’s MLB Trade Deadline, many Indians prospects blocked out the noise and put together some impressive performances.

Triple-A Columbus went 4-3 last week, splitting a crucial four-game series with Indianapolis to maintain a five-game lead over the Pittsburgh affiliate.

Yandy Diaz and Giovanny Urshela continued their impressive hitting streaks as both recorded hits in all six games played last week. Diaz, who leads the International League with a .343 average, went 9-for-24 (.375) with two doubles, four walks, six runs scored and three RBI, while Urshela went 10-for-27 (.400) with three doubles, one home run, three runs scored and seven RBI. Diaz’s 23-game streak is the longest in the IL this season, while Urshela’s 18-game streak is the third-longest.

New Clipper Bradley Zimmer also impressed in his first full week with the club, going 9-for-25 (.360) with one home run, five walks, five runs scored and two RBI. In 10 total games with Columbus, Zimmer is batting .306 (11-for-36) with seven walks and a .419 OBP.

Double-A Akron did not fair as well last week, going 1-5 with five straight losses to end the week. 

Greg Allen and Luigi Rodriguez put together two of the more effective weeks for Akron offensively, coming on strong after they were both called up from Advanced-A Lynchburg on July 25.

Allen hit safely in each of the six games he appeared in last week,  going 7-for-20 (.350) with a double, two homers, four RBI and six runs scored. Over his last six games, dating back to last Thursday, Rodriguez is batting .300 (6-for-22) with a double, two homers, three RBI and three runs scored.

Left-hander Rob Kaminsky, acquired from St. Louis at last season’s trade deadline, turned in the best performance of any Akron starter. On Sunday, Kaminsky held the Bowie Baysox scoreless on three hits with six strikeouts and two walks over 6.0 innings of work in a no-decision. The 21-year-old southpaw went 3-2 with a 2.45 ERA (10ER/36.2IP) in six July starts after going just 1-3 with a 4.15 ERA (14ER/30.1IP) in June.

Advanced-A Lynchburg continued its winning ways last week, going 5-3, as the Hillcats took three out of four games from the first place Potomac Nationals. 

Catcher Francisco Mejia extended his historic hitting streak to 46 games, tied for the eighth-longest hitting streak in the history of Minor League Baseball, and the longest streak since 1954. The catcher’s streak began with 24 straight games with a hit for Lake County, the longest streak in the Midwest League this season, and has continued with 22 straight games in Lynchburg, the second-longest streak in the Carolina league this season.

Left-hander Sean Brady turned in one Lynchburg’s best starts this week, limiting the Potomac Nationals to two runs on eight hits with seven strikeouts and no walks over 6.2 innings in the winning effort on Monday. Since June 28, over his last seven starts, Brady is 6-1 with a 1.80 ERA (9ER/45.0IP) and 39 strikeouts to just nine walks in that span.

Class-A Lake County struggled to a 2-5 record this week, falling to seventh place in the Midwest League Eastern division, 10 games back.

While many of the Captains’ first-half standouts have been promoted to Lynchburg, outfielder Jodd Carter and catcher Martin Cervenka have come on strong in recent weeks.

Since joining Lake County on July 28, Carter is batting .406 (13-for-36) with two doubles, one RBI and five runs scored in eight games. Cervenka, who has spent most of the season with Lake County, is batting .339 (21-for-62) with two doubles, a home run, nine RBI and eight runs scored in 17 games since rejoining the club on July 16.

Short-season Mahoning Valley has hit its stride, moving into third place in the New York-Penn League Pinckney division after a 4-3 week.

Triston McKenzie continued his dominance of the NYPL, as he allowed just one unearned run to the Williamsport Crosscutters on one hit, two walks and one hit batter with eight strikeouts over 5.0 innings last Sunday. McKenzie leads the NYPL with a 0.55 ERA (3ER/49.1IP), 1.07 earned runs per 9.0 innings fewer than the next best qualified hurler.

Right-hander Michael Letkewicz also turned in a banner week out of the bullpen, earning two wins and a save over three appearances. He allowed just one run on one hit, two walks and two hit batters with two strikeouts over 5.2 innings of work.

The Arizona League Indians have struggled in the second-half of their schedule, now sitting in fourth-place in the AZL central division at 3-5. 

Third baseman Nolan Jones continues to impress in his first professional season, as he went 9-for-18 (.500) with two runs and two RBI in four games this week. Jones is batting .358 (19-for-53) with two doubles, five RBI and seven runs scored in 16 games with the AZL Tribe.

Jose Vicente also put together a solid week, going 8-for-19 (.421) with three doubles, one triple, three RBI and three runs scored in five games. Vicente, a catcher and first baseman, is batting .319 (36-for-113) with eight doubles, one triple and two home runs with 24 RBI, the second-most in the AZL this season.

Check TribeVibe each weekend to see how the Indians’ Minor League affiliates fared in the previous week.

–TribeVibe contributor Robert Davidson

New face Anna Bolton: Indians Translator and Player Engagement Coordinator

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Even though Anna Bolton is still settling into her new position with the Cleveland Indians, Cleveland and Progressive Field (plus the many road cities she visits) are already home.

Bolton joined the Indians organization in May as the MLB Translator & Player Engagement Coordinator for the team — a position that MLB mandated for all teams this year.

When Bolton, who is never seen without a smile, isn’t at Progressive Field, she’s traveling with the team, but we were lucky enough to catch-up with her to learn more about her background and role with the Indians.

Indians: Tell us a little bit about your background and previous experiences.

Anna Bolton: I was a teacher before I began working with the Indians’ major league team. I taught middle school ESOL (English to Speakers of Other Languages) and Dual Language Kindergarten and First Grade in North Carolina, Virginia, and Florida.  

I also have spent a lot of time in the Dominican Republic, which is where I learned most of my Spanish. I first visited the country when I was 15 years old and have returned numerous times on mission trips, vacation, for a college semester abroad and lived in Santo Domingo for most of 2010. While living in Santo Domingo I ran children’s programs, frequently traveled to Haiti to participate in earthquake relief efforts, and taught English and American Culture in the Indians Dominican Academy.

In the Indians Academy, I taught Latino prospects who had signed with the team as International Free Agents. Young signees usually spend a year or two in the Dominican Academy preparing to come to the US to play in our minor league system.  There were about 35 players living at the academy and attending my classes, and they included Danny Salazar, Jose Ramirez, and Erik Gonzalez.

Indians: What got you interested in foreign languages/translating, and when did you decide to pursue it as a career?

AB: When I first went to the Dominican Republic as a 15 year old, I knew a little bit of Spanish from school and was able to communicate to some extent with Dominicans, but was often frustrated because I was unable to speak fluently and understanding them was often difficult. I knew that I was going to return to the DR, so this motivated me to seek out jobs and volunteer opportunities that allowed me to work with Latinos and speak Spanish.

I kind of got into translating and interpreting by accident.  As I am often the only bilingual person in a room of Spanish and English speakers, I frequently am asked to interpret. I always have enjoyed and seen the value in facilitating conversation for people who would otherwise not be able to communicate, so translating and interpreting eventually became a natural career choice.

Indians: What are some of your main responsibilities with the Indians?

AB: I am always available to interpret when the media is around for pre-game and post-game interviews. I have had conversations with the native Spanish speaking players about how I can be an asset for them during interviews. For some, I interpret everything in the interview. For others I just stand nearby to interpret questions that they don’t understand and answers that they prefer to give in Spanish, or feed them a word when they can’t think of it in English. A few native Spanish-speakers who always give interviews in English have asked me to just listen in and give them feedback afterwards on what they can improve on. 

In addition, our Spanish-speaking players know that I am available to answer questions or help them with anything from our travel itinerary on the road to getting their walk-up music to the scoreboard crew. I also translate documents for the Executive Offices from English to Spanish, work with all players’ wives and families, and play a role with both the Communications and Community Impact Departments.

Indians: What is your favorite part of your position?

AB: There are so many great aspects of this job and I am thankful that I have this opportunity to work in baseball and for such a great organization.  There are many things that I love about it, but my favorite is that I have daily opportunities to make life a little bit easier for our Spanish-speaking players. I like that they know that I am available for them if they need help doing, saying or understanding something and that I am able to relieve some of the stress that comes with living and working in a foreign country.

Indians: What has been the most rewarding part of your new role?

AB: Because of the language barrier, fans often do not have the opportunity to get to know Latino players on MLB teams the same way that they know English-speaking players. I love that I am able to give fans a chance to hear the more in-depth responses that they are able to give in their first language, and that fans are able to see a bit more of their personalities.  It is also rewarding to know that Spanish-speaking players feel more comfortable giving interviews and communicating when I am around.  

Indians: What has been your best or most memorable experience with the Indians so far?

AB: Since I used to be their teacher, I have truly enjoyed seeing Jose Ramirez, Erik Gonzalez and Danny Salazar flourish this season. It is difficult to describe the pride that a teacher feels when seeing a student reach life-long goals, but I am fortunate to be a part of this with all three of these players that I have known since they were teens. Witnessing first-hand Danny’s joy after he made the All-Star team, interpreting for Jose during his first ever post-game on-field interview and welcoming Erik to the Indians after he got called up from AAA are moments that I will always cherish and be grateful for.

Indians: Since you travel with the team, what have been some of your favorite places you’ve visited? Where do you like to go in road cities?

AB: My favorite two cities that I’ve traveled to with the team so far are Seattle and Toronto. Seattle is a fascinating city and Safeco Field is a beautiful ballpark. We stay at a hotel downtown near the water and there are so many attractions within walking distance. Toronto is huge and I didn’t have as much time to explore the city as I hoped due to that infamous 19 inning game, but our hotel is only a couple blocks from the field and I enjoyed walking to work each day and the parts of the city that I was able to see.

When we play night games, I am usually free during the mornings and early afternoons on the road. I try to find a good local place for breakfast, take a yoga class and see a few sights before heading to the field for the evening.

 

See Anna in action here — translating Jose Ramirez’s first ever post-game on-field interview! 

 

-TribeVibe contributor Hailey Ellis

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