Weather has played a big part in limiting action in the opening week of the International League but most teams have played four or five games. The Indianapolis Indians (PIT) have the best record in the league at 4-0, despite getting word that their expected ace, Jameson Taillon, is going to miss the season with Tommy John surgery. The Indians are being led by strong starting pitching from Brandon Cumpton, Jake Brigham and Casey Sadler while the offense has been led by Brett Morel (claimed off waivers from Toronto in the spring), Chris Dickerson and, of course, Gregory Polanco who, through four games, is hitting .400/.438/.667.
The Durham Bulls (TBA) are the league’s best hitting team with a .267 average and seven home runs. Rochester Red Wings (MIN) and the Charlotte Knights (CWS) are the worst.
In two different categories, the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Rail Riders (NYY) and the Syracuse Chiefs are the best pitching team. Syracuse has the league’s best WHIP (0.98) and K/BB ratio (26/8) while the Rail Riders have the best ERA at 1.23. As for the worst pitching team, the Gwinnett Braves have the highest ERA (5.56) and WHIP (1.62).
Who’s hot: Ernesto Mejia (Gwinnett Braves, ATL) has four home runs already with a 1.701 OPS.
Bang for the Buck: Buffalo’s Juan Francisco (TOR), signed just last week, hit two home runs and went 3/6 in his first (and only) game with the Herd.
Empty Average: James Beresford of the Rochester Red Wings (MIN) is 5/10 but has only hit singles, has only one run scored and one RBI and hasn’t walked.
Who’s hot: Trevor Bauer (Columbus Clippers, CLE) and Jake Brigham (Indianapolis, PIT) both struck out nine batters in six innings of work. Hector Daniel Rodriguez (Gwinnett Braves, ATL) struck out nine in just five innings.
Who’s not: Scott Diamond (Rochester Red Wings, MIN) got lit up with five runs (four earned) in just two innings against Buffalo in the opener on Thursday. Tyler Cloyd (Columbus, CLE) got rocked for seven runs (six earned) in three and two-thirds innings.
Bullpen Savior: Buffalo’s Neil Wagner (TOR) has two saves in two appearances with two and a third innings pitched. He gets the mention due to his four strikeouts.
The Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Rail Riders have one of the better pitching rotations in the minors but if you want to see their MLB affiliate be sure to click here for Yankees tickets.