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Guardians Farm Report: Vargas Hits 101 MPH In First Rehab Outing With Akron

Here is a recap of what happened with the Guardians minor league teams last night

All four Cleveland Guardians full season minor league affiliates were in action on Sunday while the Arizona Complex team and Dominican Summer League squads had the day off. 

Triple-A Columbus Clippers

St. Paul 11 Columbus 10

Columbus would slug four home runs Sunday including a grand slam but still drop the series finale to St. Paul in a 11-to-10 slugfest.

Cleveland Guardians Franmil Reyes playing in his final rehab game for the Clippers hit a mammoth solo home run in the ninth inning. Reyes has looked terrific during his five rehab games with Columbus going 9-for-21 good for a .429 average with a couple home runs and six RBI's. He is set to return to the Guardians lineup on Tuesday in their upcoming series with Minnesota.

Clippers Alex Call would provide the grand slam in the game for the Clippers in a six-run seventh inning that at the time cut the Saints lead to one run at 10-9. For Call it was his seventh big fly of the season.

Columbus other two home runs came off the bats of Mitchell Tolman whose solo shot in the fifth inning was his eighth of the year and David Fry. For Fry his solo home run in the second inning gives him 11 on the season which is now ties him with George Valera for the second most across the Guardians farm system.

Columbus with the loss falls to 38-28 on te season.

Top Performers:

  • Franmil Reyes 3-5 2R HR 2RBI 
  • Alex Call 1-4 R HR RBI BB SB 
  • David Fry 3-5 2R HR RBI 
  • Nolan Jones 1-3 R RBI 2BB 
  • Mitchell Tolman 1-2 R HR RBI BB 
  • Tyler Freeman 1-5 2R 
  • Nick Mikolajchak 1.0(IP) 0H 0R 0ER 1BB 3SO

Double-A Akron RubberDucks

Akron 4 Hartford 3

Already up 1-to-0 in the top of the third inning the RubberDucks would two runners on for Jonathan Engelmann who would promptly deposit a three-run home run over the left field wall to give the team a 4-0 lead. The Ducks would fail to plate any more runs across the rest of the game but didn't need to as they would hang on to win by a 4-to-3 final over the Yard Goats.

One exciting development from the game was the return of 22-year-old pitching prospect Carlos Vargas pitching for the first time in a game since September 2, 2019, while then with Short-Season Mahoning Valley. 

Vargas missed the 2020 season due to the covid pandemic and then underwent Tommy John surgery injuring his elbow during spring training of 2021. 

Vargas entered the game in the fourth inning following starter Gavin Williams who made his second Double-A start going three innings allowing one run while striking out six on the day for Akron.

Carlos would strike out the first batter he faced on a nasty 92-mph slider. Two batters later he would light up the radar gun posting a 101-mph fastball across the plate. He would go on to actually pick up the win for his one scoreless inning of work on the day. The win moves Akron to 36-27 on the year.

It will be interesting to see what the Guardians do moving forward with Vargas as he was being groomed for a starter before missing all that time. At least for the rest of the 2022 season he could gradually be eased back in a relief role for now. Their is no doubt he has electric stuff and that's why Cleveland added him to their 40-man roster.

Top Performers:

  • Jonathan Engelmann 2-4 2R 2B HR 3RBI 
  • Ray Delgado 2-4 
  • Brayan Rocchio 1-4 R 
  • Chris Roller 1-3 BB 
  • Gavin Williams 3.0(IP) 4H 1R 1ER 2BB 6SO 
  • Carlos Vargas 1.0(IP) 1H 0R 0ER 0BB 1SO (W)

High-A Lake County Captains

Beloit 7 Lake County 3

Lake County would trail 7-to-0 in the game before finally plating their first run of the game in the eighth inning on a solo home run by Angel Martinez. For Martinez the solo blast was his fourth big fly on the season.

Still in the eighth inning the Captains would push across two more runs on an opposite field double by the recently promoted Milan Tolentino that would produce the eventual final score of 7-to-3.

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The loss in the series finale drops the Captains to 32-30 on the season.

Top Performers:

  • Angel Martinez 1-5 R HR RBI 
  • Milan Tolentino 1-4 2B 2RBI 
  • Petey Halpin 1-3 R BB SB 
  • Gabriel Rodriguez 2-3 BB 
  • Joe Naranjo 3-5 
  • Alexfri Planez 1-4 R 
  • Randy Labaut 3.0(IP) 1H 0R 0ER 1BB 3SO

Low-A Lynchburg Hillcats

Lynchburg 4 Down East 3

Lynchburg trailed 3-to-1 in the eighth inning but would load the bases in the bottom of the eighth inning for the teams RBI leader outfielder Jorge Burgos. Burgos would add to that leading total clearing the bases on his 13th double of the season giving the Hillcats a 4-to-3 lead.

Reliever Tyler Thornton would enter the top of the ninth inning and slam the door shut to earn his first save of the season by striking out the side.

The win over the Wood Ducks moves the Hillcats record to 33-30 on the season.

Top Performers:

  • Jorge Burgos 2-4 R 2B 3RBI 
  • Luis Durango 2-3 R 
  • Junior Sanquintin 1-4 RBI 
  • Reid Johnston 4.2(IP) 6H 1R 1ER 2BB 3SO 
  • Tyler Thornton 1.0(IP) 0H 0R 0ER 1BB 3SO (SV)

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