The International League has lost two of its top offensive players in the last couple of weeks. First Toledo’s J.D. Martinez, who still leads the league in home runs with 10 despite not having played since April 19, was promoted to the Detroit Tigers. Now Ernesto Mejia of the Gwinnett Braves, who is tied for second in the IL in home runs (7), third in OPS (1.104) and is sixth in batting average (.354), has been released by Atlanta in order to sign with the Seibu Lions of the Pacific League in Japan.
Mike Montgomery of the Durham Bulls (TB) was probably an easy decision for the Pitcher of the Week award in the International League. Montgomery, 24, made two starts and had tremendous results, throwing 13 1/3 innings with just two runs against and that week included a phenomenal 8 1/3 innings of no-hit, one-walk ball while striking out nine as part of a no-hitter (that Brad Boxberger finished) on April 26.
The Player of the Week was the Gwinnett Braves’ (ATL) Joey Terdoslavich who hit .500 with three doubles and a home run over seven games. The switch-hitter, 25, is hitting .326/.389/.488 so far this season.
The Pawtucket Red Sox still lead the North Division with a 16-11 record but they’re not running away with anything. With a 6-4 record over their last 10 games, they’ve only got a 1.5 game lead on the Buffalo Bisons and Rochester Red Wings and no one in the division is more or fewer games away from the .500 mark over the last ten games and none have a winning or losing streak longer than two games. There is plenty of parity in the North. Pawtucket actually trails Buffalo for the best ERA in the league with Rochester not far behind for third.
The Durham Bulls continue to push their lead in the South Division with an 18-9 record and a 2.5 game lead over Gwinnett. Things have leveled off for all of the teams in the South as well with all of the teams hovering around even for the past ten games. Durham’s ERA is now the fourth best in the league but they still have the most strikeouts by 77 over Rochester, their next closest competitor in that category. The Bulls are getting the offense when they need it, having the best OPS in the league. Second place Gwinnett has the second best batting average in the International League and are near the top in most offensive categories.
The Indianapolis Indians (PIT) are cruising to the best record in the league with a 17-8 record and a 5.5 game lead in the West Division over Louisville and Columbus. They’re leading the league in OBP and are second overall in OPS and their pitching has been solid but unspectacular.
Gregory Polanco has been drawing rave reviews but even his manager thinks there’s some work to be done, according to John Wagner at MiLB.com. Polanco is leading the IL in batting by a long shot, hitting .400 with a 1.089 OPS and doesn’t appear to be slowing down. Wagner quotes manager Dean Treanor as saying that his base running needs to improve and his 50% stolen base percentage is a good sign of that.
Norfolk’s Jemile Weeks, who was just called up to the big squad in Baltimore, was just behind Polanco in the OBP category, getting on base at a .451 clip. He’s 3/8 in his first taste of the majors this season with two singles and a triple.
My interesting stat of the week comes from Buffalo’s Liam Hendriks. The Aussie right-hander has 21 strikeouts with no walks this season, giving him the most Ks without allowing a free pass. He’s also only allowed 14 hits in 21 2/3 innings with a 1.25 ERA and 0.65 WHIP.