Thursday, April 3, 2014

Cleveland Indians affiliate preview: Carolina Mudcats

Manager: Scooter Tucker

Last year: 57-83

What to watch for: Tucker managed a 54-83 team in Lake County last season and for the second straight year, the Indians aren't giving him much to work with. Only two Mudcats -- outfielder LeVon Washington (second round, 2010) and right-hander Jacob Lee (ninth round, 2012) -- were drafted in a single-digit round. Injuries have stalled Washington's career and Lee returns to Carolina after posting a 6.10 ERA in 11 outings. Infielder Erik Gonzalez, a member of the Indians' 40-man roster, is the only Mudcat considered one of the organization's top-20 prospects by Baseball America. ... Lake County's roster includes many Midwest League returnees, so the Mudcats should receive help as the season progresses. At least Tucker is surrounded by familiar faces. Pitching Steve Karsay and hitting coach Tony Mansolino also worked in Lake County last season. Tucker is a patient man, which should help him handle this challenge.

-- Guy Cipriano | @newsheraldguy

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