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Cleveland Indians

A weekly look at the Tribe's minor leagues

By sstorm Published: May 1, 2009

There may not be a whole lot to cheer about with the Indians these days, but let's check out what some of the team's minor leaguers are up to with the season just about a month old.

TRIPLE  A COLUMBUS

The Clippers are 9-12 and in last place in the International League West Division:

* The Indians called up left-handed pitcher Rich Rundles Wednesday to replace Tribe designated hitter Travis Hafner, who was placed on the 15-day disabled list with right shoulder soreness. Rundles went 0-1 with a 1.50 ERA in seven appearances with the Clippers.

* Outfielder Matt LaPorta was named the International Batter of the Week for April 20-26. LaPorta hit safely in all seven games with four multi-hit efforts, batting .520 with a league-leading 13 hits, 10 runs scored and a .613 on-base percentage. LaPorta is near the top of the League in most offensive categories, including batting average (tied for seventh, .368), home runs (tied for fourth, five), hits (tied for sixth, 25), slugging percentage (third, .706), triples (tied for fourth, two) and runs scored (tied for first, 20).

* First baseman/ designated hitter Michael Aubrey is batting a league-leading .438 (21-for-48) with four doubles, two home runs, 11 RBI and seven runs scored. 

DOUBLE A AKRON

The Aeros are off to a franchise-best 16-4 mark and are in first place in the Eastern League Southern Division:

* A handful of Aeros are among the league's statistical leaders. Second baseman Josh Rodriguez is tied for the league lead with 14 walks and is fourth with a .460 on-base percentage...Center fielder Jose Constanza leads the league with nine stolen bases...Catcher Carlos Santana is tops in the league with six home runs and 19 RBI. ...Right-handed closer Vinnie Pestano leads the league with nine saves.

* Right-handed pitcher Hector Rondon has gotten off to a red-hot start at 4-0 with a 1.17 ERA. In 23 innings he struck out 22 and has lasted at least five innings in each of his starts this year.

* A surprise candidate for another solid start to the season is left-handed pitcher Chuck Lofgren, who is 1-0 with a 1.13 ERA in his first three starts. He has limited the opposition to a .111 average against and ranks fifth in the Eastern League in ERA.

HIGH CLASS A KINSTON

The K-Tribe is 11-10 and tied for first place in the Carolina League Southern Division:

* For the second straight week, Kinston teammates swept the Carolina League weekly awards as third baseman Lonnie Chisenhall and right-handed pitcher Eric Berger received the Players of the Week awards for April 20-26.

* Chisenhall had back-to-back five RBI games and homered in three consecutive contests. Although his 11-game hitting streak was snapped last Sunday, he posted three multiple-hit efforts and scored six runs during the seven-game span. In 20 games this season Chisenhall is batting .274 with four home runs and 20 RBI.

* Berger did not allow a run over two outings last week, helping the K-Tribe defeat Myrtle Beach and Lynchburg. He limited opponents to four hits and two walks while striking out 13 batters in 10 innings. Berger leads the Carolina League with 26 strikeouts and ranks second with a 1.42 ERA.

* First baseman/designated hitter Matt McBride is riding a 13-game hitting streak during which he's batting .462 (24-for-52) with five doubles, five home runs, 19 RBI and 13 runs scored. Six of his last eight games have been multi-RBI efforts. On the season, McBride ranks first in the Carolina League with 10 doubles, 57 total bases, 25 RBI and a .722 slugging percentage. He also ranks second in on-base plus slugging percentage at 1.187. His .405 (32-for-79) batting average and five home runs are tied for second in the league.

LOW CLASS A LAKE COUNTY

The Captains are 8-12 and in sixth place in the South Atlantic League Southern Division:

* Outfielder Adam White is batting .300 (15-for-50) in 17 games with 10 stolen bases, which is tied for second in the South Atlantic League.

* First baseman/designated hitter Nate Recknagel is hitting .319 (15-for-47) in 12 games, recording at least one hit in 10 of those games.

* Right-handed pitcher Alexander Perez hasn't won in his first four starts, but has limited opponents to five earned runs in 22 2/3 innings for a 1.99 ERA with 23 strikeouts (tied for sixth in the league).

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