Cleveland Indians vs. Kansas City Royals
Game #64 of 137 / Road Game #30 (14-15)
Pitching Probables: POT-RH Cole Sulser vs WIL-RH Christian Binford
Thursday June 12, 2014 | Daniel S. Frawley Stadium | Wilmington, Del. | 7:05 p.m. ET
Mudcats Radio Network: WDWG FM 98.5, AM 960 WRNS, Pirate Radio AM 1250 & AM 930, carolinamudcats.com, TuneIn App … Darren Headrick-play-by-play
UPCOMING SCHEDULE AND PROBABLE PITCHING MATCHUPS (ALL TIMES EASTERN)
Friday, June 13 at Wilmington (KC): CAR-RH Adam Plutko vs WIL-RH Luis Santos – 7:05 p.m., WDWG FM 98.5, AM 960 WRNS, carolinamudcats.com, TuneIn app
Saturday, June 14 at Wilmington (KC): CAR-LH Shawn Morimando vs WIL-LH Sean Manaea – 7:05 p.m., WDWG FM 98.5, AM 960 WRNS, carolinamudcats.com, TuneIn app
Sunday, June 15 at Wilmington (KC): CAR-RH D.J. Brown vs WIL-RH Glenn Sparkman – 1:35 p.m., WDWG FM 98.5, AM 960 WRNS, carolinamudcats.com, TuneIn app
Monday, June 16 OFF DAY – ALL-STAR BREAK
Tuesday, June 17 Carolina/California League All-Star Game – 7:05 p.m. at Wilmington, DE
#13 – Cole Sulser
Born: 3/12/90 in Poway, CA | Resides: Santa Ysabel, CA
Opening Day Age: 24
Acquired by Indians: 25th round selection in 2013 draft
Features: FB, SL, CH
– In final start of 2013 vs Auburn, carried a perfect game into 7th, allowed leadoff single
– Finished the year with back-to-back 10-strikeout performances
– Recorded 25 strikeouts with a 0.53 ERA in his last 17.0 innings
– Selected out of Dartmouth College
– Left Darthmouth second in all-time wins with 20
– Missed the 2012 season after undergoing Tommy John Surgery
– Earned a spot on the 2011 All-Ivy League team
– Graduated with two degrees: BA in Engineering Sciences and in Mechanical Engineering
– Able to play with his brother Beau
The Series vs Wilmington — The Mudcats end the first half by making their final trip to Delaware for 2014. Frawley Stadium has been tough on the Mudcats. The team is 2-4 against the Blue Rocks in The Small Wonder this season and 10-16 overall. Wilmington holds a slight edge in the all-time series, winning 27 of 53 meetings.
Last Time Out — The Carolina Mudcats and Potomac Nationals had their series finale at Five County Stadium rained out in the bottom of the third inning. Ryan Merritt dealt three scoreless innings, allowing one hit, but the outing will not count towards his season total. Todd Hankins doubled on a fly ball lost in the heavy rain drops in the bottom of the third, prompting stoppage of play. The teams had waited through a 32 minute rain delay before beginning the contest.
Tonight’s Pitching Probables — Cole Sulser makes his final start of the first half tonight. The right-hander is coming off a setback against the Winston-Salem Dash in which he allowed four runs on seven hits across five innings. The outing snapped a string of three straight quality starts for Sulser. The Californian is 2-5 with a 4.35 ERA. Due to Wednesday’s rainout in the Triad, Wilmington starts Christian Binford on an extra day’s rest. Binford is 2-0 in as many starts against Carolina. The right-hander has held the Mudcats to two runs over 12.2 innings for a 1.42 ERA. Overall, Binford is 3-3 with a 2.39 ERA.
Rain, Rain Go Away — The Mudcats had their third game of the season cancelled on Wednesday night. The team lost two games of the schedule thanks to consecutive rainouts in Frederick April 28-29. 2014 marks the first year since joining the CL in 2012 that Carolina is unable to play the full schedule of 140 games. 2010 was the last campaign in which the Mudcats had three cancellations.
Bat Magic — The Mudcats offense has sparked to life as of late. The Mudcats are averaging 5.5 runs per game over their last four outings. Erik Gonzalez, Jeremy Lucas and Joe Sever enter the final series of the half with six-game hitting streaks. Gonzalez owns a .341 batting average over his last nine games with 14 hits in 41 at-bats. The shortstop has drive in 10 during that stretch. Yandy Diaz is 8-for-16 in his last four games, including a 5-for-5 performance on Sunday, June 8. Overall, the club is hitting a collective .419 in their last five outings.
Gallas Gets the Call — Outfielder Anthony Gallas was promoted to Double-A Akron. The 2014 Carolina League All-Star finished takes a .276 batting average with him. Gallas led the Mudcats with eight home runs and 21 doubles. He departs with a share of the team lead for RBI (31). In a corresponding move, catcher Ryan Battaglia was transferred from Mahoning Valley to Carolina.
Chasing History — Ryan Merritt finished the first half of his 2014 campaign with an impressive worksheet. Through 12 starts, the southpaw has allowed just 14 earned runs across 76.0 innings. The Texan’s ERA sits second best in all of High-A behind the Dunedin Blue Jays’ Daniel Norris (1.32). It’s also ahead of Cody Anderson’s pace from last season. The Carolina League Pitcher of the Year for 2013, Anderson owned a 2.86 ERA through his first 12 starts last summer. Merritt’s current pace puts him second all-time among Mudcats qualified starters. Travis Wood’s 2009 campaign with Carolina still ranks tops. The left-hander finished with a 1.21 ERA in 19 starts, totaling 119 innings pitched. That summer, Wood won nine in a row from May 6-July 19.
Muddy’s Tales — The Mudcats host the Potomac Nationals for a three-game set beginning Monday, June 9th. It will be the final homestand before the All-Star break. The series with the P-Nats features Dollar Dog Night on Tuesday, June 10. All three games are scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. with gates opening at 6:15 p.m. Tickets can be purchased by calling (919) 269-2287 or by visiting carolinamudcats.com.
Welcome to the Tribe — The Cleveland Indians had four of the first 61 draft picks this year. With the 21st overall selection, the Tribe took Bradley Zimmer, an outfielder from the University of San Francisco. The club chose, and signed, left-handed pitcher Justus Sheffield from Tullhoma (TN) High School with the 31st overall pick. Outfielder Mike Papi from the University of Virginia went to the Indians with the 38th selection. Going 61st to the Indians was Grant Hockin, a right-handed pitcher out of Damien High School (CA).
Carolina All-Stars — The Mudcats had three players selected to the 2014 Carolina League All-Star team. LHP Ryan Merritt, infielder Erik Gonzalez and outfielder Anthony Gallas were named All-Stars. It is the first All-Star selection for Merritt and Gonzalez. It is the second for Gallas, his first being in 2011 in the Midwest League with Lake County. Merritt leads the league in wins (6), ERA (1.66), WHIP (0.97) and ranks second in innings pitched (76.0) and batting average against (.208). Gonzalez owned a 16-game hitting streak from April 8-24 and Gallas sits fourth in MiLB with 21 doubles.
Wakefield Elected to Southern League Hall of Fame — Tim Wakefield was named a part of the inaugural Southern League Hall of Fame class today. The knuckler spent 17 successful years in Boston, but came up through the minors with Pittsburg. Wakefield won 18 games with the Carolina Mudcats, but his most successful year came in 1991, the Mudcats’ inaugural season in the Southern League. Wakefield set some club records that still hold up today. He has the record for Wins in a Single Season (15), Complete Games in a Single Season (8) and Innings Pitched in a Single Season (183). Wakefield was also the club leader that year in ERA (2.93) and Strikeouts (123).