Results tagged ‘ Ronny Rodriguez ’

Cleveland Indians affiliates Columbus Clippers, Akron RubberDucks, Lynchburg Hillcats prep for postseason

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Columbus slugger Jesus Aguilar

While the Indians are in the middle of a strong playoff push, our top three Minor League Affiliates are already playoff bound.

Triple-A Columbus, Double-A Akron and Advanced-A Lynchburg will all begin playoff action Wednesday, with Columbus and Akron each opening a best-of-five series, and Lynchburg beginning a best-of-three.

The Clippers will host the IL South Division Champion Gwinnett Braves for Games 1 and 2 before heading to Gwinnett for Game 3, as well as Games 4 and 5 if necessary.

Triple-A Columbus won its third straight International League West Division title, going 82-62 as they ran up an 11.0-game lead on the second place Louisville Bats.

They finished third in the IL with a .261 team average, but led the league with a .400 slugging percentage and finished second with a .720 team OPS.

Offensively, Jesus Aguilar is the player to watch for the Clippers. Despite a pedestrian .247 batting average, the 26-year-old first baseman led the league with 30 home runs, 92 RBI, 56 extra-base hits and 243 total bases. If Aguilar can continue to cash in behind table setters Yandy Diaz, Ronny Rodriguez and Giovanny Urshela, the Clippers offense should be in good shape against a G-Braves pitching staff that posted the second-highest ERA (4.05) in the IL.

Right-hander Adam Plutko will get the ball to start Game 1 for Columbus. Plutko is 6-5 with a 4.10 ERA in 15 starts with the Clippers since being promoted from Akron on June 16. The Clippers will then turn to southpaws Ryan Merritt (11-8, 3.70 ERA) and Shawn Morimando (5-2, 3.51) in Games 2 and 3, respectively.

Double-A Akron will head to Pennsylvania for Games 1 and 2 against the Altoona Curve, before returning to Canal Park for Game 3, as well as Games 4 and 5 if necessary.

The RubberDucks erased a pair of disappointing months in June and July as they won 19 of their final 23 games, including 11 straight from August 12-24, to win the Eastern League West Division by 0.5 games over the Curve.

Much like Columbus, Akron’s first baseman, Nellie Rodriguez, is the lynchpin of the RubberDucks’ offense. Rodriguez finished third in the EL in homers (26), fourth in extra-base hits (56) and total bases (233), and fifth in RBI (85).

Right-hander Julian Merryweather, who posted the second-best ERA (2.60) among Indians farmhands in 24 combined starts between Akron and Lynchburg this season, is slated to take the hill in Game 1 for the RubberDucks.

Merryweather, a fifth-round selection by the Indians in the 2014 draft, has gone 5-4 with a 3.89 ERA in 13 starts with Akron this year. Right-hander Michael Peoples (12-6, 3.68 ERA) will toe the rubber in Game 2, followed by left-hander Rob Kaminsky (11-7, 3.28 ERA) in Game 3.

Last, but certainly not least, the Lynchburg Hillcats head to Woodbridge, VA, to take on the Potomac Nationals in Game 1, before returning to Lynchburg for Game 2 and Game 3 if necessary.

Although Lynchburg first baseman Bobby Bradley was named the Carolina League MVP, the Hillcats league-leading 763 runs scored were truly a team effort.

Bradley led the league with 29 homers, 102 RBI and 75 walks, finished third with 53 extra-base hits and tied for third with 226 total bases. Outfielder Anthony Santander wasn’t far behind, as he led the league with 42 doubles and 62 extra-base hits, finished second with 247 total bases and finished third in homers (20), RBI (95) and hits (145).

Right-hander Matt Esparza will take the hill for Lynchburg in Game 1. Esparza has posted a 10-10 record with a 3.36 ERA in 27 combined appearances (26 starts) between Lynchburg and Lake County. The 22-year-old is 2-4 with a 3.92 ERA in seven starts for Lynchburg this year.

The Hillcats have yet to announce a probable starter for Games 2, as that will likely depend on who sees action in Game 1.

–TribeVibe contributor Robert Davidson

Tribe GM to Fan Correspondent @ClevelandChick: ‘I’m comfortable with high expectations’

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Our Spring Training Fan Correspondent @ClevelandChick had the chance to sit down with Indians General Manager Chris Antonetti and throw a few questions from Twitter at the Tribe executive. There were so many great questions from you and responses from Chris that there will be two parts to the Q&A! Below is the first half of their transcribed interview from Goodyear.

ClevelandChick: What’s been the biggest surprise in Arizona so far? Who will make the final roster choices?

Chris Antonetti: In terms of surprises, I think Scott Kazmir has been one of our more pleasant surprises. Candidly, we weren’t quite sure what to expect from Scott just because he spent so much time away from the Major Leagues. To his credit, he’s worked exceptionally hard; went to independent ball last year to try to rework his delivery, went to winter ball this year, and has come to camp and has thrown the ball really well. He’s in a good spot.

In the end, it’s my responsibility to make those decisions, but it’s a very collaborative process. We’ll certainly take input of not only our scouts, but Terry and his staff. They’ll be a big part of it.

CC: What’s the whole process for choosing the final roster?

CA: It’s really a process that evolves throughout the spring. We spend a lot of time talking about the roster composition and different combinations of players to build out the team. As players play or pitch, we get additional information that helps us make those decisions. The last thing we want to have to do is react to injuries. So if guys aren’t available, that could impact how we put the roster together.

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Indians prospects taking advantage of extended season in Arizona Fall League and elsewhere

Ronny Rodriguez has followed up a strong regular season by excelling in Arizona. – Photo by Ken Inness/MiLB.com

Update: Two Indians prospects, catcher Alex Monsalve and pitcher Trey Haley have been selected to play in the Arizona Fall League’s Futures Game. The game will take place on Saturday, November 3 at 8:00PM ET and will be broadcast live on MLB Network and MLB.com.

Although the Major League season ended Sunday night, many young players will continue to play through the winter as they aim to speed up their development by playing extended seasons. The Indians have a number of young players currently working on their game in the Arizona Fall League, while several others will be participating in Winter Leagues across Latin America.

The Arizona Fall League (AFL) began its 2012 season on October 9 and eight players from the Indians organization are taking part by representing the Scottsdale Scorpions in the extended season. Several players, such as shortstop Ronny Rodriguez and left-handed pitcher T.J. House, have excelled in the AFL as they look to improve on strong 2012 seasons in the minor leagues.

Rodriguez, 20, is rated the No. 5 prospect in the organization by MLB.com after showing impressive power (19 HR and 66 RBI) with the Carolina Mudcats (Hi-A) in the 2012 regular season. He is hitting .273 through 11 games in the AFL, with six RBI and three stolen bases.

House is coming off a promising season in which he was promoted from Carolina to Double-A Akron, compiling a 10-5 record and 3.56 ERA between the two teams. He has built on his 2012 regular season campaign with several strong performances in Arizona, striking out 18 batters over 17 innings of work, and posting a 1.59 ERA.

Both Rodriguez and House hope to follow in the footsteps of a number of current Indians players who have spent time developing their game in the AFL in recent years.

Jason Kipnis excelled in the AFL in the fall of 2010, and Vinnie Pestano appeared in the league in 2009. Both players went on to make their Major League debuts the following season.

The Arizona Fall League schedule ends on November 15, but similar leagues in the Dominican Republic, Venezuela, Puerto Rico and Mexico will take place throughout the fall and winter.

Notable current Indians have played in these leagues as well in recent years. Shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera played in the Venezuelan Winter League from 2007-2011, while catcher Carlos Santana and pitcher Rafael Perez each made appearances in the 2009 Dominican Winter League. Pitcher Esmil Rogers is expected to play in the Dominican this winter.

For more on the Indians prospects currently plying their trade in off-season leagues, read Tyler Emerick’s feature for MLB.com.

— TribeVibe Contributor Max Lom