Ryan Hines, Sports Editor of the Daily Standard, covers all the Grand Lake Mariners home games and was gracious enough to reply to several questions regarding the Great Lakes League, the Mariners, and most importantly, the 3 Indiana University players on the team. Ryan provided some great responses, and we appreciate him taking the time to answer questions for the Hoosier faithful.
Grand Lake League/Mariners
Can you tell us a little about the Grand Lake Mariners organization as well as the Great Lakes Summer Collegiate League (GLSCL)?
The GLSCL is a charter member of the National Alliance of Summer Collegiate Baseball (www.nacsb.org), which is recognized as the premier organization in summer collegiate wood bat baseball. The GLSCL is funded in part by Major League Baseball and is only one of eight summer collegiate leagues in the country so designated. All players in the GLSCL are members of college teams that have completed their freshman years and have at least one year of college eligibility remaining.
The Mariners have been in the GLSCL since 1990 and the league opened play in 1986. Only Lima has been in the GLSCL longer than Grand Lake has. Last year the Mariners were just 14-26, but are currently 21-9 this season and in second place in the league. The postseason tournament will include the top six of 10 teams in the GLSCL
1) Looking at Brian’s stats for the summer, it is clear that he has hit for average, gotten on base and been a big threat on the basepaths. Based on what you have seen out of him so far this summer, what would you say is Lambert’s greatest strength on a baseball field?
2) Where has Brian been hitting in the batting order for you guys this summer? Do you think he has the tools to be an everyday leadoff hitter for the Hoosiers next season?
Lambert is as good a leadoff hitter that Grand Lake has had in my seven years of watching the Mariners play each summer. He works the count well and been a pretty solid contact hitter with good speed. I think that he could be a very good leadoff hitter this season for Indiana.
1) IU lost its starting catcher and arguably its best hitter to the draft this year, and I don’t think many people really thought of Michael as a potential replacement behind the plate. However, Michael was a starting catcher in the league’s all-star game. It is clear that he can swing the bat, but how has he played defensively behind the plate?
2) Outside of his stats, what has impressed you most about Michael this summer?
Earley has only caught a few games for the Mariners this summer. He has played mostly at third base or outfield with his best position being probably third base. I was shocked to see him start the All-Star Game behind the plate, but the times he has caught this season, he has done an okay job. I like the attitude that Earley brings to the ballpark every day. He plays hard every game and has been playing everyday without complaining about a sore toe that has slowed his offensive numbers of late. He has batted in the three-hole for the Mariners almost all season and is probably the third or fourth-best hitter on the team. He has played with the Mariners for several years now and has served the team well as a utility player.
1) While Lambert and Earley were both league all-stars, Tyler has struggled mightily at the plate this summer based on stats alone. Is there any indication he may be emerging from this prolonged slump sometime soon?
2) Tyler was primarily IU’s starting 2B last year, but with the team’s starting shortstop leaving school early for the draft, he may be a candidate to replace him at short. That being said, where has Tyler been playing in the field for the Mariners this summer? Has he seen any action at shortstop? If so, how did he look?
Tyler hasn't been getting much playing time as of late because of his struggles offensively. He never struggled with the glove at second base and I haven't seen him play any shortstop for Grand Lake yet. The Mariners have Jared Hoying (Toledo) starting at shortstop nearly every game and he is a candidate for the GLSCL Most Valuable Player. Zach Tanner (Iowa) has been the backup at shortstop for Hoying.