Depth gives Indians an edge

Seth Spivey was joking Monday when he said that the entire Spokane Indians lineup could have been selected to the Northwest League All-Star Game. But Spivey, one of eight Indians named to the team last week, wasn't too far off. Just about every player on the Indians' roster would be a welcome addition on any other NWL roster. Read story

The Indians recently lost outfielder Zach Cone, who was promoted to Hickory, North Carolina, and is still tied for the league lead with eight homers. Despite the loss of Cone, the Indians still have the NWL's homer leader because Jose Trevino also has eight.

The Indians also played 10 games without outfielder Eduard Pinto (injured wrist). Pinto is the league's No. 2 batter at .350 and No. 7 in on-base percentage at .403, but Spokane soldiered on until Pinto returned on Monday to lead off and play right field.

"It’s nice to have Pinto back," Indians manager Tim Hulett said. "He hadn’t played for about 10 games, so it’s good to see him back. I don’t think there are any issues with his wrist."

Spokane was 4-6 without Pinto in the lineup, but playing on the road had much to do with that subpar stretch. The Indians have won 16 of 20 games at Avista Stadium but are 12-12 on the road.

Spivey was Monday's hero, and he certainly has put up impressive numbers this season. Spivey leads the league in hitting at .368, is tied for first with 53 hits, is second in on-base percentage at .448, ranks sixth in slugging at .514 and is seventh in runs with 30.

But the heart of Spokane's lineup is dominating league statistics, starting with outfielder Luke Tendler and infielder/catcher Trevino.

Tendler is tied with Spivey with 53 hits and ranks among the top 10 in these categories: average, third, .338; runs, tied for fourth, 31; doubles, tied for third, 13; RBIs, fourth, 33; total bases, second, 85; slugging, second, .541; and on-base percentage, sixth, .417.

The Indians accomplished Monday's 6-2 win without Tendler, who rested.

"We might give him a couple of nights," Hulett said.  "He played a lot of games down the stretch, probably 30 or 35 in a row, which is unusual for us. We need to give him a little mental rest more than anything."

Tendler has played 41 games, but Trevino played his 43rd on Monday. Trevino's top stats this year: average, tied for 12th, .301; runs,  third, 36; hits, tied for first, 53; doubles, sixth, 12; homers, first, eight; RBIs, first, 37; total bases, first, 95; and slugging, third, .540.

Catcher Marcus Greene has been durable, playing his 39th game on Monday. Greene is fourth in the league in on-base percentage at .432, tied for eighth with 29 runs and tied for 12th with a .301 average.

The hitters often overshadow the Indians pitchers, but their numbers are also solid. Nick Gardewine is tied for the league lead with five wins; Derek Thompson has four wins, ranks fifth with 45 strikeouts and is ninth in ERA at 3.38; Richelson Pena also has four wins and ranks seventh in ERA at 2.84; Reed Garrett just earned his fourth win on Sunday; and Johnny Fasola has four saves, which is tied for fifth.

Hulett plans to give the bullpen more work in the second half to take some burden off the starters and provide necessary innings for the relievers. An example is Adam Parks, who has been limited to 14 1/3 innings but shut down Vancouver in the ninth inning on Monday to drop his ERA to 1.26.

"Parks hadn’t pitched for a while, either, and he did a nice job," Hulett said.

But then again, most Indians do.


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Chris Derrick
Chris Derrick is a sports reporter. His primary coverage areas are the Spokane Chiefs, Spokane Indians, and high school softball and volleyball. He also contributes to the SportsLink Blog.





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