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A look around the Indians minor leagues

By sstorm Published: May 6, 2009

With the parent-club Indians calling up players, demoting others and even turning starting pitchers into relievers in an effort to help right the ship, let's find some positives by checking in on the Tribe's minor league teams.

Triple-A Columbus

the Clippers are 11-15 and remain in last place in the International League West Division, 2 1/2 games behind division-leader Louisville.

-- MOVES-R-US - The Indians made a series of moves in the week since we last checked in on Columbus. On May 2nd the brass called up infielders Josh Barfield and Luis Valbuena and outfielder and No. 1 prospect Matt LaPorta, while sending outfielder Trevor Crowe back to Triple-A...Tuesday, scuffling left-handed pitcher Rafael Perez was sent down to Columbus to work on his mechanics and 39-year-old veteran Matt Herges was called up. The moves left Clippers right-handed Juan Salas as the odd-man-out as he was released to clear room on the 40-man roster for Herges...More moves are on the way as left-hander Jeremy Sowers will join the Tribe's starting rotation Thursday with fellow lefty Aaron Laffey moving to the bullpen.

-- WHO'S HOT HITTING - First baseman/designated hitter Jordan Brown is batting .324 (13-for-40) with four doubles and six RBI over his last 12 games, raising his season average to .324 (24-for-74).

-- WHO'S HOT PITCHING - Left-handed pitcher David Huff (4-0, 3.21 ERA) has recorded three consecutive quality starts for the Clippers and is now riding a six-game winning streak dating back to last year with Triple-A Buffalo.

Double-A Akron

The only thing able to halt the Aeros hot season-opening hot streak has been Mother Nature, as Akron has been rained out for four consecutive road games. Aside from the players having to find hobbies with all this unexpected spare time, the Aeros are off to a franchise-best 18-4 mark. They have maintained first place in the Eastern League Southern Division, holding a 4-game lead over second-place Erie.

-- WHO'S HOT HITTING - Catcher Carlos Santana leads the league with 18 walks, is tied for first with six home runs and his 19 RBI are third best in the league. Further, 10 of Santana’s 17 hits have gone for extra bases with four doubles and six homers.

-- WHO'S HOT PITCHING - Right-handed starter Hector Rondon is 4-0 with a 1.17 ERA that ranks fifth in the league. In 23 innings he has struck out 22 batters and allowed just three runs...Left-hander Chuck Lofgren ranks seventh in the league with a 1.29 ERA in four starts and has limited opponents to a .137 average against…Right-handed closer Vinnie Pestano is tied for the league-lead with nine saves.

-- SO LONG FRANK - Right-handed pitcher Frank Herrmann was promoted to Triple-A Wednesday after going 2-1 with a 2.93 ERA. Hermann worked at least six innings in four of his five starts and limited opponents to two runs or less in four starts. Hermann made two starts for Triple-A Buffalo last season, going 0-2 with a 1.38 ERA.

High Class-A Kinston

The K-Tribe is an even 13-13, having fallen two games behind Carolina League Southern Division-leader Salem.

-- HOT STREAK - First baseman Matt McBride is riding an organizational best 19-game hitting streak. During which he's batting .438 (35-for-80) with five home runs and 23 RBI. Among all minor leaguers, McBride is tied for first in hits (43), tied for second in RBI (29), third in total bases (70), tied for fourth in extra-base hits (17), tied for fourth in doubles (12) and ninth in batting average (.402).

-- MORE FOR MCBRIDE - For the third week in a row, the K-Tribe has claimed the league's Batter-of-the-Week award, as McBride took the honors for the period April 27th-May 3rd. Kinston has now garnered five of the first six Carolina League Weekly Awards.

-- WHO'S HOT - Third basemen Lonnie Chisenhall has hit five home runs on the season, three are grand slams. In 24 games he's batting .301 (31-for-103) with 26 RBI...OF Matt Brown is batting .323 (30-for-93) in 24 games, is riding an eight-game hitting streak and is hitting .440 (11-for-25) against left-handers.

Low Class-A Lake County

The Captains are 10-14 and in seventh place in the South Atlantic League Southern Division, 4 games behind division-leader Greensboro:

-- WHO'S HOT HITTING - First baseman/designated hitter Nate Recknagel is hitting a team-high .338 (22-for-65), which ranks 12th in the league. Of the 17 games he's played, he has hit safely in 14 of them.

-- WHO'S HOT PITCHING - Right-handed pitcher Joey Mahalic (0-1, 1.00 ERA) has given up just two earned runs in 18 innings and hasn’t allowed a run in his last two games spanning nine innings.


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