Loons’ winning streak snapped at six games

Bowling Green Hot Rods 3B Kevin Padlo hit his 16th home run of the season Friday. (Steve Roberts Photography)

Bowling Green Hot Rods 3B Kevin Padlo hit his 16th home run of the season Friday. (Steve Roberts Photography)

The Hot Rods beat the Loons 5-2 at Bowling Green Ballpark on Friday, ending Great Lakes’ winning streak at six games.

Hot Rods third baseman Kevin Padlo hit his 16th homer of the season, tying him with former Beloit Snappers first baseman Chris Iriart for second-most in the Midwest League. Wisconsin Timber Rattlers shortstop Isan Diaz leads the league with 19 home runs.

Bowling Green has a healthy lead in the race for a second-half Eastern Division playoff berth. The Hot Rods are a half-game behind the Cubs in the second-half standings, but South Bend already clinched a postseason berth by winning the Eastern Division in the first half of the season. The Lugnuts are 7.5 games behind the Hot Rods, while the Loons and the Lake County Captains trail Lansing by 1.5 games.

Griep sets Rattlers record for saves

RHP Nate Griep set a new Wisconsin Timber Rattlers single-season record for saves Thursday when he notched his 20th of the year.

Griep’s mark eclipses that of former Timber Rattlers closers John Thompson and Greg Holle, who each had 19 saves in a season (in 1995 and 2011, respectively).

Griep has a 2.31 ERA with 45 strikeouts and 16 walks in 50.2 innings (43 games) this season.

More ex-MWLers make MLB debuts

Three former Midwest League pitchers made their major-league debuts Friday.

Ex-Timber Rattlers lefty Brent Suter made his debut in a start for the Milwaukee Brewers. He took the loss after giving up four runs on seven hits and three walks in 4.1 innings versus the Seattle Mariners. He struck out two.

Suter pitched 23.2 innings (six games/three starts) for the 2012-13 Timber Rattlers, going 0-1 with a 1.90 ERA, two saves, 24 strikeouts and eight walks.

At Coors Field, Felix Pena and Rob Zastryzny made their MLB debuts for the Chicago Cubs in the team’s 11-inning loss to the Colorado Rockies. Pena, a righty, struck out two in a 1-2-3 9th inning. Zastryzny, a lefty, pitched a scoreless 10th inning despite giving up two singles and a walk.

Pena pitched 10 innings in six relief appearances for the 2012 Peoria Chiefs, giving up five runs and five walks while striking out 10. He returned to the Midwest League the following season, going 4-7 with a 3.92 ERA, one save, 77 strikeouts and 32 walks in 103.1 innings (21 games/17 starts) for the 2013 Kane County Cougars.

Zastryzny briefly pitched for the 2013 Cougars, giving up one run and four walks while striking out six in 9.2 innings (three games) for the 2013 Cougars.

Future SB Cubs set NWL record

The Eugene Emeralds, a Class-A short-season affiliate of the Chicago Cubs, set a new Northwest League record by winning their 15th consecutive game Friday. (The 2011 version of the Emeralds, who were affiliated with the San Diego Padres, held the previous NWL record of 14 wins in a row.) The team is 45-15.

Shortstop Zack Short and third baseman Wladimir Galindo each drove in three runs for the Emeralds. Winning pitcher Pedro Silverio scattered two hits and two walks while striking out six in five scoreless innings.

Those are some players you may see in the Midwest League next season because South Bend is the next level up from Eugene. Galindo leads the team with 8 HR, 35 RBI and 39 runs scored in 52 games, and is batting .249. An Emeralds pitcher of note is lefty Manuel Rondon, who is 6-0 with a 1.11 ERA, 39 strikeouts and 16 walks in 48.2 innings (10 starts).

LHP Manuel Rondon is 6-0 with a 1.11 ERA in 10 starts for the Eugene Emeralds this season. (Photo by Ryan Kang/The Register-Guard)

LHP Manuel Rondon is 6-0 with a 1.11 ERA in 10 starts for the Eugene Emeralds this season. (Photo by Ryan Kang/The Register-Guard)

Posted in 2016 Playoffs, Beloit Snappers, Bowling Green Hot Rods, Eugene Emeralds, Great Lakes Loons, Kane County Cougars, Lake County Captains, Lansing Lugnuts, Midwest League, Northwest League, Peoria Chiefs, South Bend Silver Hawks, Wisconsin Timber Rattlers | 1 Comment

Hot Rods, Rays extend PDC through 2018

The Bowling Green Hot Rods and the Tampa Bay Rays extended their player-development contract through the 2018 season, the teams announced Wednesday.

The Hot Rods have been affiliated with the Rays for their entire existence, beginning when Bowling Green was established as a South Atlantic League club in 2009. The team moved to the Midwest League the following year.

The team has reached the Midwest League playoffs three times (most recently in 2013) and is in strong contention for a second-half berth this year.

Twenty-four former Hot Rods players have reached the major leagues, including eight who made their big-league debuts this season.

Tampa Bay Rays LHP Blake Snell is one of the former Bowling Green Hot Rods players who made his MLB debut in 2016. (Photo by Craig Wieczorkiewicz/The Midwest League Traveler)

Tampa Bay Rays LHP Blake Snell is one of eight former Bowling Green Hot Rods players who made his MLB debut in 2016. (Photo by Craig Wieczorkiewicz/The Midwest League Traveler)

Posted in 2013 Playoffs, Bowling Green Hot Rods, Midwest League, South Atlantic League | Leave a comment

Ex-Rattler Haniger collects 3 RBI in MLB debut

Former Wisconsin Timber Rattlers outfielder Mitch Haniger drove in three runs in his MLB debut Tuesday. (Photo courtesy of the Arizona Diamondbacks)

Former Wisconsin Timber Rattlers outfielder Mitch Haniger drove in three runs in his MLB debut Tuesday. (Photo courtesy of the Arizona Diamondbacks)

Former Wisconsin Timber Rattlers outfielder Mitch Haniger had a memorable major-league debut for the Diamondbacks on Tuesday, going 2-for-4 with 3 RBI in Arizona’s 7-5 loss to the New York Mets.

Haniger batted seventh and played left field. He struck out and grounded out before hitting a two-RBI triple for his first major-league knock. He doubled home another run in his fourth and final at-bat of the game.

Haniger was drafted by the Milwaukee Brewers in the first round of the 2012 amateur draft. He started his professional playing career in the Midwest League, batting .294 with 6 HR, 33 RBI and 8 SB in 55 games with the 2012-13 Timber Rattlers. The Brewers traded him to the Diamondbacks for outfielder Gerardo Parra in 2014. (Parra also is a Midwest League alumnus. He batted .320 with 6 HR, 57 RBI and 24 SB in 110 games with the 2007 South Bend Silver Hawks.)

Before his promotion to the big leagues, Haniger split the 2016 season between Double-A and Triple-A. He cumulatively batted .325 with 24 HR, 86 RBI and 10 SB in 119 games.

Haniger was the second former Timber Rattlers player to make his major-league debut Tuesday. Earlier that day, pitcher Damien Magnifico made his debut for the Brewers. Read how he did here.

Aybar, Scivicque traded

The Atlanta Braves traded infielder Erick Aybar to the Detroit Tigers for infielder Mike Aviles and catcher Kade Scivicque. Less than 24 hours later, the Braves designated Aviles for assignment.

Aybar was the starting shortstop for the 2003 Cedar Rapids Kernels. He batted .308 with 6 HR, 57 RBI and 32 SB in 125 games. In 97 games with the Braves this season, the 11-year MLB veteran batted .242 with 2 HR and 26 RBI.

Scivicque played 42 games for the 2015 West Michigan Whitecaps. He batted .242 with 5 HR and 17 RBI. He played 105 games with the High-A Lakeland Flying Tigers this season, batting .282 with 6 HR and 41 RBI.

Alvarez keeps ‘Nuts hitless

Great Lakes Loons RHP Yadier Alvarez kept the Lansing Lugnuts hitless during the first five innings of his team’s 12-0 win Tuesday. He struck out eight, walked three, and threw a wild pitch.

Ibandel Isabel and Logan Landon each had three hits (including a solo home run) and three runs batted in for the Loons. Brendon Davis also had three hits for Great Lakes, and drove in two runs.

Los Angeles Dodgers prospect Yadier Alvarez pitched five hitless innings Tuesday. (Photo courtesy of the Great Lakes Loons)

Dodgers prospect Yadier Alvarez pitched five hitless innings Tuesday. (Photo courtesy of the Great Lakes Loons)

Posted in Cedar Rapids Kernels, Florida State League, Great Lakes Loons, Lakeland Flying Tigers, Lansing Lugnuts, Midwest League, South Bend Silver Hawks, West Michigan Whitecaps, Wisconsin Timber Rattlers | Leave a comment

Magnifico makes major-league debut for Brewers

Former Wisconsin Timber Rattlers pitcher Damien Magnifico was called up to the big leagues Tuesday. (Photo courtesy of the Milwaukee Brewers)

Former Wisconsin Timber Rattlers pitcher Damien Magnifico was called up to the major leagues Tuesday. (Photo courtesy of the Milwaukee Brewers)

Former Wisconsin Timber Rattlers RHP Damien Magnifico made his major-league debut for the Milwaukee Brewers in the first game of the Brew Crew’s Tuesday doubleheader against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field.

Magnifico, who throws a power fastball that can reach about 97 mph, was called up to the big leagues Tuesday after the Brewers placed reliever Michael Blazek on the disabled list with a right elbow injury. He pitched the 8th inning of the game, with debut nerves apparent at first before he settled down.

Magnifico walked the first batter he faced, Ben Zobrist. He hit the next batter, Addison Russell, and then threw a wild pitch that allowed the runners to advance to second and third with no outs. He got the next three batters to fly out, with Zobrist scoring in the process.

The Cubs won the game 4-0.

Magnifico started the 2013 season with the Timber Rattlers, going 5-1 with a 3.83 ERA, 46 strikeouts and 24 walks in 54 innings (11 games/eight starts). Before his promotion to the majors, he pitched in Triple-A this season, going 6-6 with a 3.18 ERA, 17 saves, 54 strikeouts and 29 walks in 56.2 innings (47 games) for the Colorado Springs Sky Sox.

Damien Magnifico pitched for the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers in 2013. (Photo by Brad Krause)

Milwaukee Brewers RHP Damien Magnifico pitched for the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers in 2013. (Photo by Brad Krause)

Posted in Colorado Springs Sky Sox, Midwest League, Pacific Coast League, Wisconsin Timber Rattlers | Leave a comment

Belen, De La Cruz named MWL players of the week

Fort Wayne TinCaps third baseman Carlos Belen is the Midwest League offensive player of the week. (Photo by Craig Wieczorkiewicz/The Midwest League Traveler)

Fort Wayne TinCaps third baseman Carlos Belen is the Midwest League offensive player of the week. (Photo by Craig Wieczorkiewicz/The Midwest League Traveler)

Fort Wayne TinCaps third baseman Carlos Belen and South Bend Cubs RHP Oscar De La Cruz respectively were named the Midwest League offensive player and pitcher of the week for August 8-14.

In six games during that period, Belen batted .400 (10-for-25) with three home runs and six runs batted in. Overall this season, the San Diego Padres prospect is batting .232 with 10 homers, 22 doubles, seven triples and 58 RBI in 95 games with the TinCaps.

De La Cruz made one start last week, pitching five hitless innings against the Dragons at Dayton’s Fifth Third Field. The Chicago Cubs prospect struck out six, walked one, and hit a batter.

In three Midwest League starts, De La Cruz is 1-0 with a 0.61 ERA (one earned run), 22 strikeouts and three walks in 14.2 innings.

Posted in Dayton Dragons, Fort Wayne TinCaps, Midwest League, South Bend Silver Hawks | Leave a comment

Allen’s hitting streak ends, but TinCaps win game

Fort Wayne TinCaps catcher Austin Allen's hitting streak came to an end Saturday. (Photo by Craig Wieczorkiewicz/The Midwest League Traveler)

Austin Allen’s hitting streak came to an end Saturday. (Photo by Craig Wieczorkiewicz/The Midwest League Traveler)

Fort Wayne TinCaps catcher Austin Allen went 0-for-3 Saturday, ending his franchise-best hitting streak at 24 consecutive games. But his sacrifice fly in the bottom of the 9th inning tied the score, setting up pinch-hitter Tyler Selesky’s walk-off single to beat the Bowling Green Hot Rods 2-1.

Allen set the new Fort Wayne record Friday, surpassing the previous mark of 23 consecutive games by Sean Burroughs in 1999. He remains tied with former Lake County Captains catcher Francisco Mejia for the longest hitting streak in the Midwest League this season.

The longest hitting streak in Midwest League history is 35 games, achieved in 1977 by Waterloo Indians second baseman Tony Toups. He batted .285 with 16 HR, 82 RBI and 12 SB in 133 games with Waterloo, and played his final season in professional baseball the next year.

TinCaps reliever Corey Kimber got the win in Saturday’s game after pitching 3.2 hitless innings. Hot Rods starter Jose Mujica got a no-decision despite giving up only five hits while walking none in seven scoreless innings.

Mejia’s streak up to 50

Francisco Mejia, now with the Lynchburg Hillcats of the High-A Carolina League, extended his hitting streak to 50 games Saturday — with an assist from the official scorer.

Mejia originally went 0-for-4, reaching base on an error in the 3rd inning and on a walk in the 9th inning. More than an hour after the game ended, the error was changed to a double, reviving the catcher’s hitting streak.

The Hillcats issued a statement after the ruling was changed, saying video showed “the ball was struck far enough away from the backhand of the third baseman and hit with enough force and topspin to prevent (him) from making the play with ordinary effort. Based on this, the official scorer changed the error to a hit.”

Mejia is now tied for the fourth-longest hitting streak in Minor League Baseball history and the fifth-longest in professional baseball history (including Joe DiMaggio’s 56-game hitting streak for the New York Yankees). It is the longest hitting streak since Roman Mejias’ 55-gamer in 1954 and is 19 games shy of the record set by Joe Wilhoit in 1919.

Clinton’s win streak ends

The Bees beat the LumberKings 1-0 in Burlington on Saturday, ending Clinton’s winning streak at eight games.

LumberKings starter Ronald Dominguez pitched a complete game, striking out nine while giving up only one run on six hits and no walks in eight innings. Matt Thaiss drove in the game’s only run.

The LumberKings have a five-game lead over the Cedar Rapids Kernels in the Western Division. The Bees and the Quad Cities River Bandits are tied for third place, eight games behind the LumberKings.

Earlier in the day, the Bees announced their player-development contract with the Los Angeles Angels was extended through the 2018 season.

Posted in Bowling Green Hot Rods, Burlington Bees, Carolina League, Cedar Rapids Kernels, Clinton LumberKings, Fort Wayne TinCaps, Lake County Captains, Lynchburg Hillcats, Midwest League, Quad Cities River Bandits | Leave a comment