As there is rain in the forecast for every city that Indians' minor league affiliates play in tonight, this post may be premature. There is at least a 50-50 chance that no Indians' minor league team will play tonight.
That being said, it is the official opening of the MiLB season and with that comes the excitement of prospects breaking out and our minor league teams having great seasons.
Who will be this year's Francisco Mejia and will Mejia, himself, continue to look like a star?
Who will break through to the majors and what impact will they have on the Indians' season?
Although it doesn't mean everything, who the Indians tab as their opening night minor league starters does give a glimpse as to who they think could be the best pitching prospects on each team. Here are our opening day starters:
Columbus: Mike Clevinger
Akron: Julian Merryweather
Lynchburg: still TBD
Lake County: Micah Miniard
Wow, everyone but Clevinger is a huge surprise to me and the fact that Lynchburg hasn't named a starter yet is really interesting. Could it be the result of an injury to their opening night starter and now they are scrambling to see who they will plug in there (bullpen day?). Could it be that they will start with a piggy-back situation and they just don't know which of the two guys will actually start the game? Some other reason?
Merryweather and Miniard are clearly highly regarded prospects but I would have thought that other guys (Civale or Bieber at LC, Kaminsky at Akron) might have been better choices. The former two have some warts on their game and don't seem to be as polished at the latter three.
In any case, rain or potential red flags on these pitching staffs based on who is tabbed to start the openers can't blunt my enthusiasm for the start of the minor league season.
Go Clippers, Rubber Ducks, Hillcats and Captains!