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Indianapolis Indians 2022 Season Recap

December 2, 2022 - International League (IL) - Indianapolis Indians News Release


SEASON IN REVIEW: Behind first-year manager Miguel Perez and an entirely new coaching staff, the Indianapolis Indians took to Victory Field for the official return of the International League and a Victory Field era-high 150-game regular season. With nine IL West foes and two inter-division oppo- nents the Indians hadn't faced since 2019 on the schedule, Indianapolis finished the campaign with a record of 74-75, tied with St. Paul for fourth place in the division and 17.0 games back of Nashville (91-58). The sub-.500 record was the Indians' third consecutive and eighth in 17 seasons as Pittsburgh's Triple-A affiliate dating back to 2005. With a 41-34 record at home in Victory Field's 26th season, they clinched their 21st winning record since moving to the corner of West and Maryland in 1996. From July 23-Sept. 9, and thanks to a season-best 17-10 record in August, Indy led all of Triple-A with 28 wins. The lengthy campaign also saw a number of franchise records broken, Victory Field firsts and historic feats.

ATTENDANCE: The Indians ushered 534,610 fans through the Victory Field gates across 72 openings in 2022, good for third-most in Minor League Baseball behind IL counterparts Nashville and Lehigh Valley and the fifth-highest average (7,425). The Vic's season-high attendance of 13,911 on the Fourth of July was the fourth-highest single-game attendance in MiLB for the season. The 2022 season continued a reign of excellence for the Indians in this area, and with the exception of 2021 when attendance figures were stunted by the implementation of capacity requirements due to COVID-19, they have ranked in the top five of all MiLB teams in both total home attendance and average attendance since 2012.

RECORDS GALORE: In addition to setting new franchise records in roster size and strikeouts (more details below), the Indians pitching staff also set franchise records with 89 hit batters and 93 wild pitches and a Victory Field era record with 591 walks over 149 games.

86 Players - The Indians boasted a franchise-record 86 players on their roster in 2022, an increase from their previous record of 77 last season. Of the 86, 46 were pitchers. In addition, the Indians had eight different players appear at catcher, 10 at first base, 14 at second base, 13 at third base, 10 at shortstop, 18 in left field, nine in center field and 14 in right field. On average, the Indians 40 position players rotated across more than two different field positions each, with Hoy Park (2B, 3B, SS, LF, RF), Diego Castillo (1B, 2B, 3B, SS, RF), Ji-Hwan Bae (2B, 3B, SS, LF, CF), and Tucupita Marcano (2B, 3B, SS, LF, RF) each appearing at five different positions over the course of the season. Bae logged at least 150 innings at three of five spots (2B, 457.2 innings; SS, 177.1; CF, 161.0).

1,256 Strikeouts - Indianapolis' pitching staff tallied 1,256 strikeouts over 149 games (8.43 K/game) to break their previous franchise single-sea- son record of 1,244 strikeouts over 140 games (8.89 K/game) in 2019. Osvaldo Bido paced the squad with 122 strikeouts, the seventh-best mark in the International League. Bido was followed by Jerad Eickhoff with 107 strikeouts, and together they marked the first time two Indians pitchers surpassed the 100-strikeout mark in the same season since Mitch Keller (123) and Alex McRae (101) in 2019. In addition, Hunter Stratton racked up 80 of his 82 strikeouts in relief to rank fifth among IL relievers, trailing Memphis' Zach McAllister (90), Scranton/Wilkes-Barre's Zach Greene (84), Charlotte's Kade McClure (82) and Rochester's Alberto Baldonado (81).

THAT'S A NO-NO: On a chilly night in St. Paul on April 13, three Indians pitchers - Chase De Jong, Austin Brice and Yerry De Los Santos - iced the Saints offense from start to finish en route to a 5-0 shutout for Indianapolis' 15th no-hitter in franchise history and the first since 2012. De Jong retired the first seven batters he faced before issuing a one-out walk in the third inning. His only blemish over his final four innings pitched was another walk - a two-out free pass to Jake Cave in the fourth inning. He finished his 7.0 no-hit innings with nine strikeouts, six coming in his last 10 batters faced. Through 80 pitches, De Jong was relieved by Austin Brice for the eighth and Yerry De Los Santos closed out the feat in the ninth.

The Saints threatened to break up the effort with sinking liners in each of the final two frames, but strong defense by Cal Mitchell and Canaan Smith-Njigba saved the no-no. De Los Santos caught Jose Miranda looking for the final out of the game.

A NEW WAY TO WALK-OFF: With one out and the game knotted at 5-5 in the bottom of the ninth inning on June 9 vs. Columbus, Jared Oliva recorded the first walk-off steal of home in Victory Field history. After reliever Ben Krauth missed the strike zone with his 2-2 pitch, Clippers catcher Bryan Lavastida lobbed his return throw to the mound, and Oliva - with a healthy lead off third - dashed for home. Oliva's head-first slide beat Krauth's throw back to the plate, sending The Vic into a frenzy. The play also came in at No. 4 on SportsCenter's Top 10 that night. Since 2005, there have been 23 successful steals of home by Indians baserunners, 14 of which have come at Victory Field. Oliva was the first Indian to swipe home since Will Craig on 4/12/19 vs. Charlotte as part of a double steal with Bryan Reynolds.

TRIO OF TRIPS: During a nine-run third inning on June 11, Bligh Madris, Oneil Cruz and Canaan Smith-Njigba combined for the first three-triple frame by the Indians in Victory Field history. Only three other teams in professional baseball roped three triples in one inning this season, including Double-A Altoona (Brendt Citta, Matt Fraizer, Andres Alvarez) in the second inning on June 2 vs. Bowie. It was the fifth time since 1996 that the Indians recorded three triples in a game (also: 4/22/16 at Louisville, 5/28/15 vs. Toledo, 5/25/12 vs. Louisville, 6/3/10 at Gwinnett).

USING THE ALLEY: The Indians flashed their speed on the basepaths to league the lead in triples for the first time since 2016. Their 44 three-bag- gers, fourth-most among all Triple-A teams and sixth in all of professional baseball, were just short of tying the Victory Field era record of 45 accomplished in both 2011 and 2015. The speedy crew was led by Travis Swaggerty, who ranked third among International League leaders with eight triples. He was joined on the league leaderboard by Ji-Hwan Bae, who tied for fifth with six triples.

BACK TO THE FUTURES: On July 16, exactly one month after being promoted from Double-A Altoona to Indianapolis, Mike Burrows found himself at Los Angeles' Dodger Stadium as a member of the 2022 SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game National League roster. He took the fifth frame for the NL and fanned Twins prospect - and then-St. Paul infielder - Spencer Steer without allowing a run. He was the first player from Indianapolis to appear in the prospect-loaded contest since first baseman Will Craig in 2019 and was Indy's first pitcher to appear in the game since Mitch Keller started for the United States squad in 2018. Burrows was rated among Pittsburgh's top 15 prospects on MLB Pipeline and Baseball America for the duration of the season and was Altoona's ace to begin the campaign, going 4-2 with a 2.94 ERA (17er/52.0ip), 69 strikeouts, 1.10 WHIP and .199 average against. He ranked among Eastern League qualifiers in games started (T-1st, 12), ERA (6th), average against (6th), strikeouts (7th) and WHIP (10th) at the time of his June 16 promotion to Indy. In 12 games (10 starts) with Indy, Burrows went 1-4 with a 5.31 ERA (25er/42.1ip) and 42 strikeouts.

KEEPIN' IT CLEAN: The Indians recorded a 12-game errorless streak from Aug. 12-25, the longest among all 120 Minor League Baseball teams since Triple-A Albuquerque went 14 consecutive games without an error from July 8-24, 2021. The 12-game errorless stretch was tied for the third-longest in professional baseball with Miami (May 24-June 5) and Colorado (June 25-July 7) and trailed only San Diego (16 games, April 7-23) and New York [AL] (13 games, April 15-29). It was also Indianapolis' longest streak without an error since at least the 2005 season, besting its previous 11-game errorless streak from April 6-17, 2006.

PITCHER OF THE WEEK: On Sept. 12, Luis Ortiz was named the International League Pitcher of the Week (Sept. 5-11) after he tossed 6.0 no-hit innings on Sept. 8 at Omaha. The right-hander was promoted to Indi- anapolis from Double-A Altoona on Sept. 1 and excelled in his second career Triple-A start. He yielded a pair of unearned runs and three walks while striking out nine, firing 58 of his 90 pitches for strikes and flashing triple digits throughout the game. It was the first time in his professional career that he exited a start without surrendering a hit. The award was Indy's lone weekly recognition in the IL in 2022 and its first Pitcher of the Week honor since Mitch Keller took home the award for the week of July 8-14, 2019.

ROUND-TRIPPER: On Sept. 15 vs. Toledo, Jared Oliva added to his highlight reel of a season and smoked the first inside-the-park home run at Victory Field since Alen Hanson on July 1, 2015. It was the first in- side-the-parker of his career. He sent a towering fly ball over the head of a leaping Daz Cameron off the base of the wall in straightaway center field and raced around third by the time the relay from the outfield began.

It was the third stellar play he made during the 2022 season after executing a walk-off steal of home on June 9 vs. Columbus and robbing a home run on June 29 at Nashville, both which cracked SportsCenter's Top 10.

PROSPECTS PROMOTED: With the Triple-A regular season extended over a week past the end of the Double-A season, the Indians saw an influx of young talent added to their roster on Sept. 20 for their final nine games of the 2022 campaign. Joining the No. 47 prospect in Minor League Baseball, Quinn Priester (MLB Pipeline, Pirates No. 3) and No. 100 prospect Endy Rodriguez (No. 6), who are highlighted below, were Malcom Nunez (No. 12), Fishers, Ind. native and Indiana University product Matt Gorski (No. 22), Colin Selby and Aaron Shackelford. All six players made their Triple-A debuts at Victory Field that week vs. St. Paul, with Nunez launching his first Triple-A home run and 22nd of the season in just his second at-bat.

WELCOME TO ENDYANAPOLIS: Endy Rodriguez starred in his first taste of Triple-A action, hitting .455 (10-for-22) with two runs scored, two doubles, one triple, one home run, eight RBI and only three strikeouts in six games with Indianapolis. In his Triple-A debut vs. St. Paul on Sept. 20, Pittsburgh's Minor League Player of the Year ( Baseball America) went 2-for-3 with a double and RBI. Four of his six games with Indianapolis featured at least two hits and one extra-base hit, including a three-hit, four-RBI performance in his second game at Victory Field. Rodriguez was named the Young Bucs Honus Wagner Player of the Year after leading all Pirates farmhands with a .323 average, .407 on-base percentage, .590 slugging percentage, .997 OPS, 148 hits, 92 runs, 39 doubles, 95 RBI, 68 extra-base hits and 270 total bases in 125 total games between High-A Greensboro (88 games), Double-A Altoona (31) and Indy (6). He was also named to the Baseball America 2022 Minor League All-Star team and the High-A South Atlantic League Most Valuable Player.

HOLDING AN ACE: Quinn Priester dazzled in his Triple-A debut with 5.0 two-hit, scoreless innings to earn the win on Sept. 21 vs. St. Paul. In 15 starts with Double-A Altoona, his season shortened by an oblique injury to begin the campaign, the 22-year-old went 4-4 with a 2.87 ERA (24er/75.1ip), 75 strikeouts and 1.19 WHIP. Since June 9 when his season officially began, he led all qualifying Pirates farmhands in ERA (3.29), strikeouts (89), games started (19), innings pitched (90.1) and average against (.234) to be named the Young Bucs Bob Friend Pitcher of the Year by Pittsburgh.

MONTHLY AWARDS: The Indians selected six players of the month throughout the 2022 season, recognized from April through September. The winners and their monthly stats are listed below:

April - INF Mason Martin (20 games: .303 AVG (23-for-76), 10 R, 8 2B, 4 3B, 4 HR, 17 RBI, 3 SB, .349 OBP, .671 SLG, 1.020 OPS)

May - UTIL Ji-Hwan Bae (24 games: .322 AVG (29-for-90), 25 R, 6 2B, 3 3B, 3 HR, 18 RBI, 18 BB, 13 K, 5 SB, .427 OBP, .556 SLG, .983 OPS)

June - RHP Bryse Wilson (4 starts: 3-0, 2.49 ERA, 25.1 IP, 22 H, 7 R, 7 ER, 4 HR, 1 HB, 4 BB, 21 K, 1.03 WHIP, .227 AVG)

July - RHP Jerad Eickhoff (4 games/3 starts: 0-1, 3.15 ERA, 20.0 IP, 16 H, 8 R, 7 ER, 5 HR, 0 HB, 2 BB, 18 K, 0.90 WHIP, .213 AVG)

August - RHP John O'Reilly (8 games: 2-0, 0.66 ERA, 13.2 IP, 7 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 HR, 1 HB, 1 BB, 7 K, 0.59 WHIP, .149 AVG)

September - OF Jared Oliva (22 games: .351 AVG (27-for-77), 14 R, 8 2B, 2 HR, 11 RBI, 7 BB, 13 K, 5 SB, .405 OBP, .532 SLG, .937 OPS)

TEAM AWARDS: Six members of the 2022 Indians squad were honored with team awards prior to the final home game of the season. These awards - Team MVP, Pitcher of the Year, Gold Glove, Most Improved and Unsung Heroes (Pitcher and Position Player) - recognize players who had a considerable impact on the Indianapolis team during the season. The award winners are listed below:

MVP - Utilityman Ji-Hwan Bae was an everyday difference maker for the Indians. Rotating between second base (57 games/53 starts), third base (1 game/0 starts), shortstop (24 games/20 starts), left field (8 starts), center field (20 games/19 starts) and designated hitter (5 starts) over 108 total games, he consistently performed at a high offensive level and led all Indians qualifiers with a .289 average, .362 on-base percentage, .430 slugging percentage, .792 OPS, 121 hits, 81 runs scored and 30 stolen bases. He ranked among International League leaders in triples (T-5th, 6), average (8th), runs scored (T-8th) and stolen bases (T-8th). He was the first Indians baserunner since Alen Hanson (36) in 2016 to swipe at least 30 bases and is the fifth Indians batter since 1996 to hit at least eight home runs and steal 30 bases in a single season (also: Alen Hanson, 8 HR/36 SB in '16; Felix Pie, 8/38 in '13; Andrew McCutchen, 9/33 in '08; Cesar Crespo, 9/31 in '05).

Pitcher of the Year - Right-handed pitcher Cody Bolton excelled in a hybrid role with the Indians in his first Triple-A campaign coming off a season-ending knee injury in 2021. The right-hander, who entered the season as Pittsburgh's No. 30 prospect by Baseball America, went 4-2 with a 3.09 ERA (26er/75.2ip) and 82 strikeouts over 30 games (14 starts). After strictly working as a starting pitcher through the first three seasons of his career, Bolton shined out of the bullpen, going 4-0 with a 2.65 ERA (10er/34.0ip) and 40 strikeouts.

Gold Glove - Outfielder Jared Oliva strung together a streak of 90 consecutive games without an error from April 16-Sept. 27, the second-longest errorless streak in the International League this season, to be named Indy's Gold Glove Award recipient. The streak was the longest by an Indians fielder since Danny Ortiz (94 games, April 10-Aug. 3, 2016) and was Oliva's longest since not committing an error over his entire 2019 season with Double-A Altoona (114 games).

Most Improved - Right-handed pitcher Osvaldo Bido was a strikeout phenom following the All-Star break, compiling a 2-2 record, 3.19 ERA (17er/48.0ip) and 60 strikeouts in 12 games (nine starts). He struck out sev- en-plus batters six times this season, five of which came since July 24, including a career-high tying 10-strikeout performance on Sept. 20 vs. St. Paul. His late-season strikeout surge moved him into seventh among International League pitchers this season with 122, and his 60 punchouts in the second half tied with former Indians starter Josh Lindblom for the IL lead.

Unsung Heroes - Catcher Taylor Davis and right-handed pitcher Jerad Eickhoff were unmatched with their veteran presence and work ethic to provide clubhouse leadership all season. They both not only led a mix of journeymen and young prospects on the Indians pitching staff, but Davis also made a difference as a vocal presence at batting practice and in the cages pregame. When taking the field, Davis rotated between positions as needed and maintained consistency at the plate, hitting .273 (33-for-121) with 16 walks and only 21 strikeouts across 40 games. Eickhoff excelled over 28 games (20 starts) and led the Indians with six wins and 114.1 innings pitched.

MAJOR LEAGUE DEBUTS: The Indians sent 11 players to Pittsburgh for their major league debuts in 2022, the most since sending a Pirates affiliation-high (since 2005) 12 to the big leagues in 2016. The list of players, six position players and five pitchers, their debut performances and season totals for the Pirates are listed below:

RHP Beau Sulser (4/26 vs. MIL) - 2.2ip, 2h, 2r, 1bb, 4k

4 games: 3.72 ERA, 9.2 IP, 8 H, 9 R, 4 ER, 1 HR, 1 HB, 6 BB, 10 K, 1.45 WHIP, .211 AVG

LHP Cam Alldred (5/12 vs. CIN) - 1.0ip, 1h, 1k

1 game: 0-0, 0.00 ERA, 1.0 IP, 1 H, 1 K, 1.00 WHIP, .250 AVG

OF Cal Mitchell (5/24 vs. COL) - 1-for-4, 1 RBI

69 games: .226 AVG (48-for-212), 21 R, 11 2B, 5 HR, 17 RBI, 18 BB, 52 K, 3 SB, .286 OBP, .349 SLG, .635 OPS

RHP Yerry De Los Santos (5/25 vs. COL) - 1.0ip, 1h, 1bb, 2k

26 games: 0-3, 4.91 ERA, 3 SV, 25.2 IP, 22 H, 18 R, 14 ER, 3 HR, 1 HB, 11 BB, 26 K, 1.29 WHIP, .224 AVG

OF Travis Swaggerty (6/7 vs. DET) - 0-for-3

5 games: .111 AVG (1-for-9), 4 K, .111 OBP, .111 SLG, .222 OPS

OF Canaan Smith-Njigba (6/14 [1] @ STL) - 1-for-1, 1 2B

3 games: .200 AVG (1-for-5), 1 R, 1 2B, 1 BB, .429 OBP, .400 SLG, .829 OPS

C Jason Delay (6/14 [1] @ STL) - 0-for-2, 1 BB

57 games: .213 AVG (33-for-155), 17 R, 6 2B, 1 HR, 11 RBI, 9 BB, 50 K, .265 OBP, .271 SLG, .536 OPS

LHP Cam Vieaux (6/17 vs. SF) - 1.2ip, 1h, 3k

8 games: 0-0, 10.38 ERA, 8.2 IP, 15 H, 11 R, 10 ER, 2 HR, 1 HB, 5 BB, 15 K, 2.31 WHIP, .366 AVG

1B/OF Bligh Madris (6/20 vs. CHC) - 3-for-4, 1 R, 1 2B, 2 RBI, 1 SB

39 games: .177 AVG (20-for-113), 10 R, 7 2B, 1 HR, 7 RBI, 10 BB, 31 K, 2 SB, .244 OBP, .265 SLG, .509 OPS RHP Luis Ortiz (9/13 [2] @ CIN) - 5.2ip, 1h, 3bb, 5k

4 starts: 0-2, 4.50 ERA, 16.0 IP, 8 H, 9 R, 8 ER, 1 HR, 10 BB, 17 K, 1.13 WHIP, .136 AVG

UTIL Ji-Hwan Bae (9/23 vs. CHC) - 1-for-3, 1 BB, 2 SB

10 games: .333 AVG (11-for-33), 5 R, 3 2B, 6 RBI, 2 BB, 6 K, 3 SB, .405 OBP, .424 SLG, .829 OPS

GETTIN' HEALTHY: The Indians had 14 different players appear for them on 16 separate major league rehab assignments from Pittsburgh over the course of the season. Each player and the dates they appeared on a rehab assignment with Indianapolis are listed below:

Position Players - OF Anthony Alford (4/19-22), INF Kevin Newman (5/17-23; 6/21-7/8), INF Josh VanMeter (6/21-27), 1B/OF Yoshi Tsutsugo (6/21-7/5), OF Ben Gamel (6/23-7/5), OF Jake Marisnick (6/28-7/11), OF Greg Allen (7/12-22)

Pitchers - LHP Sam Howard (4/19-20), RHP Max Kranick (4/22-29), RHP Duane Underwood Jr. (5/6-10), RHP Heath Hembree (6/8-14), RHP Nick Mears (6/8-22; 8/2-20), LHP Dillon Peters (7/4-12), RHP David Bednar (9/13-22)


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