Dayton, Ohio-The first half of the 2017 Midwest League season has come and gone. 70 games have been played and 70 remain in the regular season. The Dragons 41-29 record in the first half was good enough to finish in second place in the Eastern division and that secured them a place in the playoffs come September. West Michigan (45-22) finished in first place in the Eastern division. In the Western division Kane County (39-28) finished in first and behind them was Cedar Rapids (39-31) in second place.
The second half of the season will not come without changes to the Dragons roster. Following the All-Star break several player movements have been made.
Promoted from Dayton to Daytona- OF T.J. Friedl, 3B Brantley Bell, SS Luis Gonzalez, 1B James Vasquez, & RHP Ryan Hendrix.
Extended Spring Training to Dayton- INF Kevin Franklin and Gabriel Ovalle, RHP Lucas Benenati, and OF Malik Collymore.
Optioned from Daytona to Dayton- RHP Sandy Lugo
Optioned from Dayton to Billings- RHP Matt Blandino
The Dragons will kickoff the second half of the season on Thursday night when they start a four game homestand with the Lake County Captains (27-42) starting at 7pm. RHP Andrew Jordan (3-5, 4.96) will take the mound for the Dragons against LHP Brady Aiken and the Captains.
Brady Aiken has a very interesting story. He was the number one pick in the 2014 MLB Draft by the Houston Astros. Two days after being selected in the draft Aiken and the Astros agreed to a deal that would give him a 6.5 million dollar signing bonus pending a physical. Brady’s physical did not go as planned because of an elbow issue and the Astros lowered their signing bonus offer to 3.1 million. Aiken eventually decided to pitch at the IMG Academy (FL) in 2015. In just his first start with IMG he left the game with an elbow injury that led to Tommy John Surgery. The Astros hunch paid off for them concerning his elbow. Subsequently, Brady Aiken was selected 17th overall by the Cleveland Indians in the 2016 MLB Draft. Aiken is entering his second year of professional baseball with the Indians system.
The Dragons are (2-2) vs Lake County this season but are (0-2) at home against the Captains.