Texas Rangers vs. Cleveland Indians
Game #71 of 137 / Home Game #38 (16-21)
Pitching Probables: MB-LH Victor Payano vs CAR-LH Ryan Merritt
Sunday June 22, 2014 | Five County Stadium | Zebulon, N.C. | 2:00 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)
Monday, June 23 vs Myrtle Beach (TEX): CAR-RH Michael Peoples vs MB-LH Luis Parra – 7:00 p.m., WDWG FM 98.5, AM 960 WRNS, carolinamudcats.com, TuneIn app
Tuesday, June 24 vs Myrtle Beach (TEX): CAR-RH Cole Sulser vs MB-LH Chad Bell – 11:00 a.m., AM 960 WRNS, carolinamudcats.com, TuneIn app
Wednesday, June 25 at Salem (BOS): CAR-RH Adam Plutko vs SAL-TBA – 7:05 p.m., WDWG FM 98.5, AM 960 WRNS, carolinamudcats.com, TuneIn app
Thursday, June 26 at Salem (BOS): CAR-LH Shawn Morimando vs SAL-TBA – 7:05 p.m., WDWG FM 98.5, AM 960 WRNS, Pirate Radio AM 1250 & AM 930, carolinamudcats.com, TuneIn app
Friday, June 27 at Salem (BOS): CAR-LH Ryan Merritt vs SAL-TBA – 7:05 p.m., WDWG FM 98.5, AM 960 WRNS, carolinamudcats.com, TuneIn app
#32 – Ryan Merritt
Born: 2/21/92 in McKinney, TX | Resides: Celina, TX
Opening Day Age: 22
Acquired by Indians: 16th round selection in 2011
Features: FB, CV, CH
Fourth season in professional baseball
– Pitched three innings against Potomac on June 12 – game was cancelled in 3rd due to rain
– Selected as a 2014 Carolina League All-Star
– Started Carolina/California League All-Star Game in Wilmington (1-2-3 inning, 14 pitches)
– Owns 8 quality starts in 2014, Mucats are 7-1
– Carolina average 3.0 runs a game when Merritt pitches
– June 6th outing the longest start since 8.0 IP on June 8, 2013 (1-0 win over Bowling Green)
– Pitched 15.1 consecutive innings without allowing an earned run from April 11-May 1
– Finished April with a 3-0 record and an incredible 0.37 ERA across four starts (24.1 innings)
– Allowed only 14 earned runs over his final 53.2 innings to end 2013
– His 18 walks in 126.1 innings with Lake County was 2nd fewest in Midwest League
– Was named Indians Minor League Player of the Week for May 6-13, 2013
– Drafted out of McLennan Community College
– In 88 innings in college, he had 88 strikeouts with a 1.23 ERA
– Had offers from several Big 12 schools, including Baylor, Texas A&M and Texas
– 2nd team All-State coming out of Celina High School (TX) with a 0.98 ERA
– Also hit .455 in high school
– Has four siblings: Joseph, Wes, Seth and Hannah
The Series vs Myrtle Beach — The Mudcats host the Myrtle Beach Pelicans for the second time this season. The Pelicans took the first set by winning three-of-four. Myrtle Beach has proved a tough matchup for the Mudcats since the clubs began play in 2012. The Pelicans boast a 16-8 record in Zebulon and lead the overall series 34-14. Carolina owns one series win against the Pelicans that came in 2012.
Last Time Out — The Carolina Mudcats sunk the Frederick Keys behind 17 hits in a 12-2 rout on Saturday night. The Mudcats won the series by winning two-of-three. Todd Hankins set the tone with a two-run shot in the first inning. Hankins finished 2×5 with a home run and a season-high four RBI. LeVon Washington paced the offense with four hits. Luigi Rodriguez finished with three hits, including a home run and a double, and drove in two. Shawn Morimando earned his seventh win by limiting the Keys to two runs on six hits across six innings. Clayton Cook finished the game for his first career save.
Today’s Pitching Probables — Ryan Merritt makes his first appearance since starting the Carolina/California League All-Star Game. The southpaw pitched a quick first inning for the CL, retiring the Cal League hitters on 14 pitches. Merritt’s final start of the first half was rained out in the third inning of a scoreless outing. He makes his second start against Myrtle Beach. Merritt was left with a no decision after allowing a run on three hits over five innings. Victor
Payano throws for the Pelicans today. The left-hander has struggled with his command, walking a league-high 58 batters. That’s 23 more than the next closest hurler. Payano is 3-3 with a 5.16 ERA.
“Money”mando — One would be hard-pressed to find a pitcher that’s been more dominant over the last month than Shawn Morimando. The left-hander has dealt six straight quality starts and sits atop the CL alongside Myrtle Beach’s Sam Wolff with seven victories. The Virginian is 2-0 in June with a 1.85 ERA in five starts. The Frederick Keys have suffered at the hands of Morimando as he owns a 4-0 record against the Orioles affiliate and a 1.09 ERA across 24.2 innings.
Quality Starts — Carolina starters own 31 quality starts in 70 games. The Mudcats are 19-12 when a starter pitches a quality outing. Shawn Morimando owns nine quality outings this year and Ryan Merritt sit second on the team with eight. The club has received a quality start in four of their last six games.
Rack ‘Em, Stack ‘Em — The Mudcats collected 44 base hits in their three games with Frederick. In Saturday’s romp the club set a new campaign-best with seven extra-base hits and tied their season-high with five doubles. The Mudcats bookended the series with 17 hits, marking a another best. The 12 runs scored on Saturday night finished one shy of matching their highest output of 13 against Lynchburg on May 13. For the year, Carolina’s offense has scored 10 or more runs eight times.
Hankins’ Heroics — Todd Hankins continues to be as hot as the North Carolina temperatures. After hitting a disappointing .149 in April, Hankins has soared his average to .267 on the year by hitting .318 in May and .339 through 15 games in June. The versatile athlete, who’s played mostly in center fielder of late, is 14×37 (.378) in his last nine games. He sits second on the team in home runs (5) and RBI (31). Hankins also enjoys the friendly confines of Five County Stadium, owning a .321 home average and all of his home runs have come in Zebulon.
Muddy’s Tales — The Mudcats welcome the Myrtle Beach Pelicans for three games beginning Sunday, June 21. The 2 p.m. matinee features Kids Run the Bases, presented by Amerigas, following the game. The series continues on Monday with a 7 p.m. start and concludes with Dollar Dog Day and a special 11 a.m. first pitch on Tuesday, June 23 . Tickets can be purchased by calling (919) 269-2287 or by visiting carolinamudcats.com.
Chasing History — Ryan Merritt finished the first half of his 2014 campaign with an impressive work- sheet. 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 (1.22). Nor- ris was promoted to Double-A New Hampshire on June 15. Merritt’s ERA also betters 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 Mud- cats 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.
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).
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).