Scrappers getting ready for All-Star Game

NILES – After the Scrappers’ 3-1 loss to the Williamsport Crosscutters Sunday, the team will have a much needed two-day hiatus from baseball as the New York-Penn League All-Star Game will take place Tuesday in Brooklyn, N.Y.

Catcher Francisco Mejia (.280, 77 RBIs), outfielder Taylor Murphy (.265, league’s fifth best on-base percentage with .371), outfielder Greg Allen (.259, leading the league in stolen bases with 22), and pitcher Sean Brady (2.85 ERA in 60 innings) will represent the Scrappers.

One player who has been particularly hot as of late this season is Indians’ first round-pick Bradley Zimmer. He has only played in 36 of the team’s 62 games as he joined the team late and missed some time with an injury. With the year he is having, he would almost certainly be a lock for the All-Star Game if he played more games this season. He is batting .321 with three home runs, 23 RBIs and eight stolen bases. Currently, he is 10 plate appearance shy of qualifying for the league leaders in batting average. If he was qualified, he would be fourth in the league. If he plays everyday going forward and averages four plate appearances per game, he will be qualified after eight more games.

For many of the players, especially those who are struggling, two days away from baseball is thankfully welcomed. Zimmer, who is hitting .524 in his last six games after missing the first two weeks of August with an injury, wishes he could keep on rolling.

“I love this game (and) obviously I want to come out and keep playing, but it’ll be nice to have a couple days off,” he said.

When the Scrappers get back on the field Wednesday in Williamsport, Zimmer will look to carry over his success by keeping the same approach that has him on this hot streak.

“(I’m going to do) just the same thing I’ve been doing,” he said. “Just come out here with the same mind set and not try to really change anything of do too much. I think the rest will kind of take care of itself and hopefully we’ll finish up (the final two weeks) strong.”

Sunday’s game wasn’t all bad news as the Scrappers did manage to rack up nine hits. Six different players reached base with a hit, including second baseman Steven Patterson, whose first inning double put him in a tie for the league lead in the category with 18. However, Williamsport’s Derek Cambell matched Patterson with a double of his own in the fourth to regain the lead.

The Scrappers will spend the next five games on the road, returning for the season’s final homestand Monday, Aug. 25.