Clark named MWL pitcher of week, gets traded to Marlins

Bowling Green Hot Rods RHP Ethan Clark was named the Midwest League pitcher of the week Monday before the Tampa Bay Rays traded him to the Miami Marlins the same day.

Clark was honored for the week of June 19-25, a period that included three days off for the Midwest League All-Star break. He made one start, giving up only one hit and one walk while striking out a career-high nine batters in six innings against the Fort Wayne TinCaps on Saturday.

On Monday he was traded with fellow prospect Braxton Lee (a Double-A outfielder) to the Marlins for MLB shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria.

Clark went 3-2 with a 3.11 ERA, 50 strikeouts and 18 walks in 55 innings (12 games/nine starts) for the Hot Rods this season. He reportedly will be assigned to the Greensboro Grasshoppers of the South Atlantic League, which is Low-A like the MWL.

Ethan Clark pitched for the Princeton Rays in 2015 and 2016.

Siri named MWL player of week

Dayton Dragons outfielder Jose Siri was named the Midwest League offensive player of the week for the period of June 19-25. During that time he batted .444 (8-for-18) with three homers, three doubles, five runs scored, five runs batted in, one walk, and two stolen bases in four games.

Per Monday’s Dragons press box notes, Siri is batting .354 with eight homers in his last 27 games (since May 21), raising his batting average from .218 to .274 and his slugging percentage from .303 to .473. Over his last seven games, Siri is 13-for-31 (.419 BA) with four home runs and a slugging percentage of .968. Siri ranks second in the league in stolen bases with 23.

Siri most recently homered Sunday, in a game against the Captains. Lake County beat Dayton 15-6 in that contest, led by catcher Logan Ice’s two-homer, seven-RBI performance. The Captains also got a homer and four RBI from shortstop Luke Wakamatsu, and a homer and three RBI from centerfielder Junior Soto. Lake County’s Gavin Collins and Dayton’s Michael Beltre each had three hits in the game.

Posted in Appalachian League, Bowling Green Hot Rods, Dayton Dragons, Fort Wayne TinCaps, Greensboro Grasshoppers, Lake County Captains, Midwest League, Princeton Rays, South Atlantic League | Leave a comment

Braun, Villar rehab with Timber Rattlers

Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun played three games with the Timber Rattlers over the weekend. He homered in Saturday’s game. (Photo by Ron Page/USA Today Network-Wisconsin)

A pair of rehabbing Milwaukee Brewers played in Appleton over the weekend and helped the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers end their 12-game losing streak.

Superstar outfielder Ryan Braun and infielder Jonathan Villar suited up for the T-Rats for their four-game series against the Kane County Cougars. Braun went 2-for-8 with a home run, two walks, and two RBI in three games, and Villar went 8-for-13 with a triple, a double, a walk, and six RBI in four games.

The Timber Rattlers lost both games of the Friday doubleheader that opened the series, but won on Saturday and Sunday. Before Saturday’s victory, the Timber Rattlers hadn’t won a game since beating the Cougars on June 9. They are 5-18 this month.

Both Braun and Villar are expected to rejoin the Brewers on Monday. One other Brewers player has rehabbed with the Timber Rattlers this season — pitcher Matt Garza on May 30. Garza pitched two innings, giving up three runs (two earned) on four hits and a wild pitch.

Posted in Kane County Cougars, Midwest League, Wisconsin Timber Rattlers | Leave a comment

King Felix sets new record for wins by a Venezuelan pitcher

Seattle Mariners RHP Felix Hernandez, who briefly pitched for the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers, became the winningest Venezuelan pitcher in MLB history Friday.

King Felix has amassed 157 wins over his 13-year major-league career. That gives him one more than his fellow countryman, Freddy Garcia, who pitched in the majors from 1999 to 2013.

Hernandez made two starts for the Timber Rattlers as a 17-year-old in 2003. In 14 innings, he struck out 18 batters, walked three, and gave up three earned runs.

Garcia also pitched in the Midwest League, spending the 1996 season with the Quad City River Bandits when he was a Houston Astros prospect. He made 13 starts, going 5-4 with a 3.12 ERA, 50 strikeouts and 27 walks in 60.2 innings.

Posted in Midwest League, Quad Cities River Bandits, Wisconsin Timber Rattlers | Leave a comment

Blankenhorn, Erwin named MWL players of the week

Cedar Rapids Kernels 3B Travis Blankenhorn bats during the Midwest League All-Star Game earlier this week. (Photo by Craig Wieczorkiewicz/The Midwest League Traveler)

Cedar Rapids Kernels 3B Travis Blankenhorn and Beloit Snappers LHP Zack Erwin respectively were named the Midwest League offensive player and pitcher of the week for June 12-18.

In seven games during that period, Blankenhorn batted .407 (11-for-27) with one homer, three triples, one double, five walks, six runs batted in, six runs scored, and one stolen base.

The Minnesota Twins prospect was the starting third baseman for the Western Division team in the Midwest League All-Star Game on Tuesday. He went 0-for-2 at the plate.

In the first half of this season, Blankenhorn batted .259 with 8 HR and 40 RBI in 66 games with the Kernels. He also played 25 games with the Kernels last season, batting .286 with 1 HR and 12 RBI.

Erwin made two starts last week (both against the Quad Cities River Bandits). In the first one, he allowed only one hit and one walk while striking out seven batters in five scoreless innings. In the second start, he gave up one run on five hits in six innings, while striking out four batters and walking none.

The Oakland Athletics prospect has made five starts for the Snappers this season, posting a 1.25 ERA, 21 strikeouts and four walks in 21.2 innings.

Posted in 2017 All-Star Game, Beloit Snappers, Cedar Rapids Kernels, Midwest League, Quad Cities River Bandits | 1 Comment

Harrison homers twice to lead West to ASG victory

The 2017 Midwest League All-Star Game was held at Dow Diamond, home of the Great Lakes Loons, on Tuesday.

Wisconsin Timber Rattlers outfielder Monte Harrison homered twice to drive in three runs for the Western Division team in its 5-2 victory in this year’s Midwest League All-Star Game.

Not only did he single-handedly drive in more runs than the entire Eastern Division team, Harrison also was the only player with more than one hit in Tuesday’s contest. His effort earned him the game’s most valuable player award — and a bath of water poured on him by teammates during the presentation.

Wisconsin Timber Rattlers outfielder Monte Harrison hit two homers in the Midwest League All-Star Game.

The West team’s other two runs came off the bat of Cedar Rapids Kernels first baseman Lewin Diaz, who homered for a two-spot in the top of the 4th inning. Harrison’s homers came in the 7th (solo) and the 9th (two-run) innings.

Cedar Rapids Kernels first baseman Lewin Diaz (No. 44) is greeted by Kane County Cougars outfielder Marcus Wilson after Diaz homered in the 4th inning.

The East All-Stars were the first and last team to score. In the 1st inning, Lansing’s Bo Bichette singled, stole second base, and scored on Lugnuts teammate Vladimir Guerrero Jr.’s groundout to shortstop. In the game’s final frame, Loons shortstop Brendon Davis launched a 425-foot bomb to centerfield, pleasing the home crowd.

Great Lakes Loons shortstop Brendon Davis bats during Monday’s Midwest League Home Run Derby.

Before the game began, Loons outfielder Carlos Rincon threw out a ceremonial first pitch to Guerrero. Rincon won Monday’s Home Run Derby, beating Guerrero in the final round of the competition.

Carlos Rincon 1st pitch

Great Lakes Loons outfielder Carlos Rincon throws out a ceremonial first pitch before the start of Tuesday’s Midwest League All-Star Game.

Attendance was announced as 5,009.

*All photos by Craig Wieczorkiewicz/The Midwest League Traveler

Posted in 2017 All-Star Game, Cedar Rapids Kernels, Great Lakes Loons, Kane County Cougars, Lansing Lugnuts, Midwest League, Wisconsin Timber Rattlers | Leave a comment