Rojas, Vinson named Midwest League players of the week

Andrew Vinson

Burlington Bees RHP Andrew Vinson is the Midwest League pitcher of the week. (Photo by Steve Cirinna)

Quad Cities River Bandits infielder Josh Rojas and Burlington Bees RHP Andrew Vinson respectively were named the Midwest League offensive player and pitcher of the week for July 17-23, and Clinton LumberKings shortstop Luis Rengifo was named to MLB Pipeline’s Prospect Team of the Week for that same period.

Rojas batted .435 (10-for-23) with three homers, 11 runs batted in, and nine runs scored in six games during that time. A Round 26 draft pick of the Houston Astros this year, he is batting .293 with 8 HR and 23 RBI in 20 games with the River Bandits.

Vinson made two starts last week, and he earned wins in both of them. In the first start (July 17 vs. the Lake County Captains), he gave up only two hits while striking out four batters in five scoreless innings. He did slightly better in the second start (July 22 vs. the Dayton Dragons), giving up only two hits while striking out five batters in five innings.

A Round 10 draft pick of the Los Angeles Angels last year, Vinson is 7-8 with a 4.88 ERA, 65 strikeouts and 21 walks in 79.1 innings (17 starts) for the Bees this season.

Rengifo batted .391 (9-for-23) with three homers, five runs batted in, and eight runs scored in six games during the July 17-23 period. The Seattle Mariners prospect is batting .250 with 11 HR, 41 RBI and 26 SB in 91 games with the LumberKings this season.

Siri’s hitting streak reaches 30

Last week’s Midwest League offensive player of the week, Dragons outfielder Jose Siri, went 2-for-4 against the Bees on Monday to extend his hitting streak to 30 consecutive games. Not only is that the longest hitting streak in Minor League Baseball this year, it is now the third-longest one ever in the Midwest League.

The only two Midwest Leaguers with longer hitting streaks were Tony Toups (35 games for the 1977 Waterloo Indians) and Robert Fick (32 games for the 1997 West Michigan Whitecaps). Siri will surpass Fick if he gets a hit in each of the three games Dayton plays in Lansing from Wednesday to Friday. If that happens, he will aim to break the MWL record during the following series in Fort Wayne.

Twins get Garcia from Braves

The Atlanta Braves traded LHP Jaime Garcia, catcher Anthony Recker and cash to the Minnesota Twins for RHP Huascar Ynoa on Monday.

Garcia pitched in the Midwest League in 2006, going 5-4 with a 2.90 ERA, 80 strikeouts and 18 walks in 77.2 innings (13 starts) for the Swing of the Quad Cities. He also made a notable rehab start for the Peoria Chiefs in 2015, striking out six batters while pitching the first five innings of a no-hitter over the LumberKings.

Jaime Garcia pitched the first five innings of a no-hitter in a rehab start for the Peoria Chiefs in 2015. (Photo courtesy of the Peoria Chiefs)

Posted in Burlington Bees, Clinton LumberKings, Dayton Dragons, Fort Wayne TinCaps, Lake County Captains, Lansing Lugnuts, Midwest League, Peoria Chiefs, Quad Cities River Bandits, West Michigan Whitecaps | Leave a comment

Former Midwest League MVP traded to Yankees

Former Lugnuts 1B Ryan McBroom, seen here during the 2015 Midwest League All-Star Game, was traded to the Yankees on Sunday. (Photo by Craig Wieczorkiewicz/The Midwest League Traveler)

The Toronto Blue Jays traded former Midwest League MVP Ryan McBroom to the New York Yankees on Sunday, getting infielder/outfielder Rob Refsnyder in return.

McBroom was the Midwest League MVP in 2015, when he batted .315 with 12 HR and 90 RBI in 127 games with the Lansing Lugnuts. This season he batted .243 with 12 HR and 54 RBI in 96 games with the New Hampshire Fisher Cats, Toronto’s Double-A affiliate in the Eastern League.

Refsnyder was designated for assignment last week after batting .241 with 2 HR and 17 RBI in 94 major-league games over the last three seasons.

Despite not having a Midwest League affiliate, the Yankees now have both the 2015 MWL MVP and the 2015 MWL Prospect of the Year in their farm system. They acquired the latter player, Gleyber Torres, in the Aroldis Chapman trade last July.

Torres batted .293 with 3 HR, 62 RBI and 22 SB in 119 games with the 2015 South Bend Cubs.

Posted in 2015 All-Star Game, Eastern League, Lansing Lugnuts, Midwest League, New Hampshire Fisher Cats, South Bend Silver Hawks | Leave a comment

Three recent Midwest Leaguers receive drug suspensions

Three minor-league pitchers who played in the Midwest League during 2016 or 2017 were suspended Friday for violations of baseball’s minor-league drug program.

Daytona Tortugas RHP Brian Hunter is suspended for 80 games after testing positive for the performance-enhancing drug Ipamorelin, which increases plasma growth hormone. The Cincinnati Reds prospect briefly pitched for the Dayton Dragons earlier this season, going 4-for-4 in save opportunites and striking out eight batters in six innings (five games).

Inland Empire 66ers RHP Greg Belton is suspended for 50 games after testing positive for Amphetamine. The Los Angeles Angels prospect pitched for the Burlington Bees most of this season, going 1-2 with a 4.55 ERA, three saves, 43 strikeouts and seven walks in 29.2 innings (17 games).

Rancho Cucamonga Quakes RHP Ivan Vieitez is suspended 50 games after testing positive for Ritalinic Acid, a prohibited stimulant. The Los Angeles Dodgers prospect spent the 2016 season with the Great Lakes Loons, going 4-4 with a 3.86 ERA, three saves, 43 strikeouts and 12 walks in 56 innings (28 games) during the regular season.

Posted in Burlington Bees, California League, Dayton Dragons, Daytona Cubs, Florida State League, Great Lakes Loons, Inland Empire 66ers, Midwest League, Rancho Cucamonga Quakes | Leave a comment

Former LumberKings outfielder traded to Cardinals

Tyler O’Neill played for the Clinton LumberKings in 2014. (Photo by Craig Wieczorkiewicz/The Midwest League Traveler)

The Seattle Mariners traded former Clinton LumberKings outfielder Tyler O’Neill to the St. Louis Cardinals for LHP Marco Gonzales on Friday.

O’Neill played 57 games for the LumberKings in 2014, batting .247 with 13 HR and 38 RBI. He played 93 games for the Triple-A Tacoma Rainiers this season, batting .244 with 19 HR and 56 RBI.

Gonzales has spent most of this season with the Triple-A Memphis Redbirds, going 6-4 with a 2.90 ERA, 57 strikeouts and 17 walks in 68.1 innings (11 starts).

Posted in Clinton LumberKings, Memphis Redbirds, Midwest League, Pacific Coast League, Tacoma Rainiers | Leave a comment

LumberKings pitcher traded to Marlins in five-player swap

Clinton LumberKings RHP Brandon Miller is one of four minor-leaguers the Seattle Mariners traded to the Miami Marlins for major-league reliever David Phelps on Thursday.

Miller went 9-4 with a 3.65 ERA, 94 strikeouts and 23 walks in 101 innings (18 starts) for the LumberKings this season.

In addition to Miller, the Marlins also received outfielder Brayan Hernandez and former LumberKings pitchers Lukas Schiraldi and Pablo Lopez. Hernandez played most of this year in the short-season Northwest League, while Schiraldi and Lopez pitched in the High-A California League.

Schiraldi pitched 74 innings for Clinton last year, going 6-4 with a 2.68 ERA, two saves, 98 strikeouts and 49 walks in 28 games (nine starts). The son of former MLB pitcher Calvin Schiradi, he pitched two innings of a combined no-hitter for the LumberKings.

Lopez spent the entire 2016 season in the Midwest League. He went 7-1 with a 2.13 ERA, 56 strikeouts and nine walks in 84.1 innings (17 games/13 starts) for the LumberKings, and also pitched in the postseason for them.

Posted in California League, Clinton LumberKings, Midwest League, Northwest League | Leave a comment