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Cleveland Indians

A weekly look around the Tribe's Minor Leagues

By sstorm Published: May 15, 2009

With the Indians' brass continuing to try and solve the team's bullpen problems internally through its farm system, a handful of minor league pitchers have changed roles. Meanwhile, the parent club continues to stumble along, in desperate need of needing pitching help in both the starting lineup and the bullpen.

At Triple-A Columbus, the Clippers are 16-19 and have moved up to fourth place in the International League West Division, 2 1/2 games behind division-leader Louisville.

* WHO'S HOT - Over his last 16 games 3B Andy Marte is hitting .373 (19-for-51) with four doubles, a triple, three home runs and 14 RBI while having reached base safely in each of his last 17 games.

* DID YOU KNOW - Indians DH Travis Hafner is scheduled to begin his rehab assignment (right shoulder) tonight in Columbus at Huntington Park against Lehigh Valley.

* MORE PITCHING MOVES - RHP Vinnie Chulk was outrighted to the Clippers Thursday and accepted his assignment...With the free-agent signing of veteran RHP Luis Vizcaino also on Thursday, LHP Jeremy Sowers was optioned back to Columbus.

* WELCOME ABOARD - RHP Blaine Neal, 31, was signed as a minor-league free agent and assigned to Columbus Monday. Originally a fourth--round pick by the Florida Marlins in 1996, Blaine last pitched in the major leagues with Boston and Colorado in 2005 and has appeared in 113 big league games with four teams.

At Double-A Akron, the Aeros lost their first series of the season this week when Bowie took two games of the three-game series that began Monday, which marked Akron's first back-to-back loses of the season. Still, the Aeros remain in first place in the Eastern League Southern Division, holding a franchise-best mark of 24-7 with a 3 1/2 game lead over second-place Erie.

* WHO'S HOT - OF Nick Weglarz owns five multi-hit games in his last 10 games and has batted .438 (14-for-32) with five doubles, two home runs and 15 RBI over that span...RHP Jeanmar Gomez is 3-0 with a 0.45 ERA since being called up from high Class-A Kinston.

* WHO'S NOT - The Aeros are batting just .177 (11-62) with runners in scoring position over their last seven games, including going 1-12 in Tuesday's loss. Akron opened the season as one of the best clutch-hitting teams through the first 22 games, hitting .285 with men in scoring position. They have now dropped to sixth in the Eastern League at .258.

* ROSTER MOVES - RHP Randy Newsom and LHP Ryan Edell returned to the Aeros from Triple-A Columbus this week while 1B/OF Matt McBride was called up from high Class-A Kinston Tuesday.

* PROSPECT UPDATE - RHP Hector Rondon was moved to bullpen Tuesday after going 5-0 with a 1.23 ERA in his first five Double-A starts...C Carlos Santana left Tuesday's game with tightness in his right (throwing) forearm. He is listed as day-to-day.

* TV TIME - The Aeros' Monday-night game against Bowie was recorded by SportsTime Ohio and will be shown on STO May 18th at 7 p.m.

At high Class-A Kinston, the K-Tribe is an even 17-17, and are in second place in Carolina League Southern Division, just 1 game behind division-leader Salem.

* WHO'S HOT - INF Lonnie Chisenhall has hit safely in 13 of his last 14 games, batting .390 (23-for-59) over that span with seven doubles, a triple, three home runs, 14 RBI and 16 runs scored.

* WHO'S NOT - Kinston is mired in a season-high four-game losing streak and struck out a season-high 14 times in 4-3 loss Thursday that gave Wilmington a series sweep.

* LEAGUE HONORS - For the fourth week in a row, the K-Tribe has claimed the league's Batter-of-the-Week award, as Chisenhall took the honors for the period May 4th-10th. He batted .533 (16-for-30) with two home runs, 12 RBI, 12 runs scored and a .900 slugging percentage.

* DID YOU KNOW - Kinston has now garnered six of the first eight Carolina League Weekly Awards...This is Chisenhall's second CL honor on the young season, as he also claimed the award for the week of April 20th-26th.

At low Class-A Lake County, the Captains are 15-17 and remain in seventh place in the South Atlantic League Southern Division, but just 3 games behind division-leader Delmarva.

* WHO'S HOT - RHP Alexander Perez has struck out a team-high 30 batters in 34 1/3 innings. In allowing just seven earned runs, he owns a 1.85 ERA...C Adam Abraham is batting .344 (11-for-32) over his last 19 games with three doubles and three RBI.

* WHO'S NOT - IN five games (two starts) RHP Paulo Espino is off to a 2-1 start, but owns a hefty 6.75 ERA. In just 13 1/3 innings he has given up 10 runs on 19 hits.

LEAGUE HONORS - LHP T.J. McFarland earned his first win of the season and was named the South Atlantic League Pitcher of the Week for the period May 4th-10th. Over two starts, McFarland limited opponents to just one run on seven hits (0.82 ERA) while walking four and striking out four over 11 innings.

* DID YOU KNOW - The Captains saw their season-high four-game winning streak snapped with a 5-0 defeat by Hickory. The loss marked Lake County's second shutout of the year, as the Captains have gone 1-4 versus the Crawdads.

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