Indians’ all-stars welcome long trip
Spokane tops NWL with eight selections
Marcus Greene stood on the field at Avista Stadium early Sunday evening, pondering the prospect of traveling 460 miles for one baseball game after playing catcher for 3 1/2 hours in the blazing sun.
Bring it on, Greene said.
“It’s all right,” said Greene, one of eight Spokane Indians selected for tonight’s Northwest League All-Star Game in Eugene. … “I think I’ll have two days off, besides the game, in between those days. It’s going to be fun and I think I’ll be able to get my rest, too.”
The Indians led the league in all-star selections, a far cry from last year when three Spokane players made the trip for the game in Everett.
Other Indians on the team are outfielders Luke Tendler and Eduard Pinto, infielders Jose Trevino and Seth Spivey, starting pitcher Richelson Pena, and relievers Johnny Fasola and Shane McCain.
“I thought we got everybody we expected and McCain was a little bit of a surprise,” Indians manager Tim Hulett said. “I know he had good numbers, but the guys out of our pen haven’t thrown a lot of innings, so you never know how that’s going to work out. But he’s very deserving of it.”
McCain (1-0, 0.42 earned-run average) is working on a streak of 19 consecutive scoreless innings. He has struck out 27 and walked one in 21 2/3 innings.
“You just keep throwing it and regardless of what the result is, you have to focus on the process,” McCain said Thursday after his latest outing, three shutout innings against Hillsboro. “I’ve been fortunate to have some great defense behind me.”
McCain’s bullpen partner, Fasola, is 0-1 with a 1.96 ERA and four saves. He has struck out 32 and walked two in 18 1/3 innings.
Pena (4-3) ranks eighth in league ERA (3.40) and innings pitched (50 1/3) and ninth in strikeouts (44).
Greene leads the league in on-base percentage (.446) and ranks eighth in batting average (.318).
“I’ve been working hard in the offseason, coming back from my knee injury, my surgery,” Greene said. “I’m just going to keep playing like I have been and just keep the team moving forward.”
Spivey leads the league in batting at .349. He’s tied for third with 59 hits, tied for fourth with 36 runs, fifth in on-base percentage at .433 and eighth in slugging at .491.
“We could have had our whole starting lineup at the (game), but eight guys shows a lot about this club,” Spivey said.
Trevino leads the league in homers (nine) and hits (61). He’s third in runs (41), tied for third in runs batted in (40) and doubles (15), and fourth in slugging (.537).
Tendler ranks second in RBIs (41), hits (60) and slugging (.562), is tied for third in doubles (15), fourth in batting (.337), tied for fourth in homers (seven) and runs (36), and seventh in on-base percentage (.409).
Pinto is third in league batting at .342 and eighth in on-base percentage at .395.
The Indians, despite the third-best overall record in the league (29-22), limped into the all-star break having lost 14 of their last 21. Most Indians are getting a rest, but Hulett said the all-stars are getting something else.
“That will be an energy thing for them and it will be a big boost for them,” Hulett said. “It’s good for them to go. … They can rest at the end of the season.”