Around the Farm: August 8, 2012
Around the Farm takes a quick look at some of yesterday’s performances by Indians prospects throughout the system. The positions listed below are where the player was playing in yesterday’s game.
Jeanmar Gomez: SP, Columbus Clippers: W (6-2), 8 IP, 5 H, 5 K:
It’s time to get Gomez back to Cleveland, rather than just babying him in Columbus. He’s had back-to-back shutout appearances, going 15 innings and giving up only eight hits, while striking out 13. In his eight overall games since returning to minor league baseball, he’s been simply impressive. He’s only gone less than six innings once (5 1/3), and less than seven innings twice. He’s struck out 47 batters in his eight games, and walked only seven. Five of those walks came in two of his starts, as he has four starts in which he didn’t walk even one. At this point, they need to see what they have in the lanky righthander. Is he a big league pitcher, or is he a guy that they need to work into a deal for something else down the road. Either way, quit wasting him away in Columbus, when the big league starters have been so utterly horrible.
Roberto Perez: C, Akron Aeros: 3-for-4, 1 R, 1 2B, 2 RBI:
Perez was the offensive star of the night (make note of that, because that phrase hasn’t been uttered much with regards to Perez), driving in two, with two run-scoring singles. Perez really is a factor in this organization in the upper levels, and ultimately could be a guy to play in Cleveland as a defensive back-up to Carlos Santana, should they move Marson at some point. While Marson likely has more offensive capabilities than Perez (that’s really saying something, isn’t it), both are at least equal behind the dish. Perez has also had the knack over the years of having games similar to this one. He can come up with big hits and big games, albeit far and few between.
Paulo Espino: SP, Akron Aeros: W (7-2), 6 IP, 3 H, 1 R/ER, 4 K:
Espino isn’t a major prospect in this system, but he’s been pitching like one. Espino rolled out his fourth quality start in a row, going 26 1/3 innings during that stretch, and giving up 22 hits, five runs and four walks, while striking out 26 batters. The 25-year-old isn’t a major prospect in the system, but has provided the Tribe with glue for the upper levels over the past couple of seasons. This year, he’s settled into a starter’s role, and really hit a groove. He won’t ever be a major league regular as far as a starter goes at this point, but perhaps could earn his way into a spot start here and there, or even a bullpen role at some point. Not a major prospect, but that enigmatic key sort of player in every system that can swallow innings, and be really good at it against this level of competition.
Giovanny Urshela: 3B, Carolina Mudcats: 3-for-4, 2 R, 2 2B, 1 HR, 1 RBI:
When this kid finds his bat, look out. He’s 8-for-13 in his past three ballgames, with three doubles and back-to-back home run nights. He has three RBI, and only one K. His offensive repetition is getting better by the game, as he has five multi-hit games in the past nine, which is no small feat in the pitching heavy Carolina League. He has his average up to .272, with nine homers and 50 RBI. The nine dingers tie for his career high, and the 50 RBI are a career high as well. His average is up nearly 40 points from last season, as the third baseman begins to become a little bit more than a defensive first guy.
- Cord Phelps: 2B, Columbus: 3-for-5, 1 R, 1 K: Phelps has a seven-game hit streak in which he’s gone 10-for-26, with four runs, three doubles, two homers and two RBI. Phelps is kind of a nowhere man at this point in his career with the Indians, as there are other options that the Indians will look at before Phelps during the September call-up period.
- Lars Anderson: 1B, Columbus: 1-for-3, 1 2B: Anderson got his second hit in five games with the Clippers, and his first double. It’s good to see the kid transitioning well to his new team, as the Indians really dealt for what they needed at the deadline, a minor league, left-handed, struggling prospect. Well Done.
- Dan Wheeler: RP, Columbus: S (2), 1 IP, 1 H, 1 K: I almost forgot that this guy was still on the team. Funny thing is, he’s been one of the better relievers in Columbus of late. He hasn’t given up a run since July 14th, a stretch of nine games and nine innings. During that stretch, he’s given up only five hits and one walk, while striking out six.
- Nick Weglarz: LF, Akron: 2-for-4, 2 R, 1 2B, 1 RBI: Weglarz hasn’t had a bad season in the least, but it still hasn’t been worthy of consideration for a return to the 40-man roster going forward. He had a double and scored, and had an RBI single in Wednesday night’s contest.
- Shawn Armstrong: RP, Akron: H (2), 1 IP, 1 H, 1 BB, 1 K: Armstrong is doing his very best Cody Allen impression, and while he certainly hasn’t been as dominant as Allen, he’s been pretty darn good. He’s only given up one run with Akron in 11 1/3 innings, giving up eight hits and walking six (his only real flaw), while striking out 14. He’ll be in Cleveland at some point next season.
- Jose Flores: RP, Akron: 1 IP, 1 K: My old friend from Carolina made his third appearance with Akron, and was solid. Good velocity guy, but bad mechanics that causes some struggle on many an occasion…for those that don’t remember.
- Loek Van Mil: RP, Akron: 1 IP, 1 K: Van Mil had given up a run in each of his past two games, and in four of his past nine. He’s not exactly regressing into oblivion or anything, but he’s not exactly standing out. Well, as much as a 7’1” guy doesn’t stand out…that is.
- Jesus Aguilar: 1B, Carolina: 1-for-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 3 RBI: Aguilar has been quiet of late, but his three-run blast in Wednesday night’s game gave the Muddies a 3-2 lead in their back-and-forth ballgame.
- Ronny Rodriguez: SS, Carolina: 1-for-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 K: Rodriguez went yard for the second night in a row, to deep center in this one.
- Rob Nixon: RP, Carolina: 3 IP, 3 H, 1 BB, 3 K: Nixon, who has been terrible in Carolina this year, was a stabilizing force last night. His three innings of shutout ball allowed the Muddies to take and keep the lead, and DROPPED his ERA to 11.30.
- Grant Sides: RP, Carolina: BS (1), L (2-1), 1 2/3 IP, 5 H, 3 R/ER, 2 BB, 3 K: I still think that Sides is the best relief pitcher, and perhaps the best pitcher overall, for the Muddies right now, but certainly not last night. He blew up, giving up three runs in the ninth, to allow Salem to dump Carolina.
- Jose Ramirez: 2B, Lake County: 2-for-4, 1 R, 2 2B, 1 RBI, 1 K: Have bat, will hit…seems to be Ramirez’s motto this year. He’s hitting .486 over his last nine ballgames, with six multi-hit games.
- Jordan Smith: RF, Lake County: 2-for-4, 1 R, 1 2B, 2 RBI: Smith has a ho-hum-for-him six-game hit streak, and has hits in seven of ten, as he continues to make mince-meat of Midwest League pitching. His two-run double gave him 59 RBI for the year. It must stink hitting behind Ramirez and Lindor.
- Francisco Lindor: SS, Lake County: 1-for-4, 2 R, 1 BB, 1 SB: Lindor continues to really play an excellent brand of baseball. There are folks that have been knocking his numbers, but the kid that shows up every day is a game-changer.
- Leonardo Castillo: 3B, Lake County: 2-for-4, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 K: Castillo followed up his two-hit ride on the ATF train with another two-hit ride on the ATF train, and he has five such two-hit games in his last ten.
- Cody Anderson: SP, Lake County: 3 IP, 1 H, 3 K: Anderson is locked into three inning starts, as the Indians monitor his late season work, and he was once again dominant. Don’t forget, Anderson was an all-star this year, and is an interesting watch going forward.
- Cody Penny: RP, Lake County: 3 IP, 2 H, 1 R/ER, 2 K, 1 HR: Penny was making his Midwest League debut, and other than the home run, looked very good…in the back-to-back Cody experience. Perhaps the Indians need to draft a few more Cody’s in their future.
- Logan Vick: LF, Mahoning Valley: 3-for-3, 1 BB: Vick had his first three-hit professional ballgame as he starts to ease his way into his major league career. He’s struggled at the dish, so it was encouraging to see him get on base all four times up.
- Luis DeJesus: SP, Mahoning Valley: L (4-1), 5 IP, 6 H, 4 R/ER, 1 BB, 3 K: Dejesus hit his first bump in the road this season with the Scrappers, as it was the first time the star-righthander gave up more than two runs in a contest.
- Tyler Booth: CF, AZL Indians: 3-for-4, 1 R, 2 2B, 1 RBI, 1 BB: Booth has some talent, and showcased it with a three-hit, lead-off performance for the offense-loaded AZ Tribe.
- Eric Haase: C, AZL Indians: 2-for-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI: Haase has three two-hit ballgames in his last four, and four in his last ten. He hasn’t shown much power, but he does have a nice bat for a catcher.
- Felix Sterling: RP, AZL Indians: 4 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 7 K: For those doubting Sterling’s ability, this is what he can do when he’s pitching well. He’s a dominant sort, and the most encouraging thing about the kid is his mental make-up, which makes me wonder if they may not consider him in a bullpen role down the line. He’s gotten utterly shelled in Lake County, and he still can come out and pitch games like this. Definitely a nice look at what could be a major prospect.
- Dylan Baker: SP, AZL Indians: 3 2/3 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 3 K: Baker was solid again, but not helped by a defense led by the concrete hands of one Dorssys Paulino and his three errors. That kid can hit, but boy does he need help with the glove. Baker has a 2.13 ERA so far this season, and is the better Dylan/Dillon…for now.
Jim is currently the senior editor and Columnist, as well as the host of IBI's weekly online radio shows, Smoke Signals and Cleveland Sports Insiders. You can follow Jim on Twitter @Jim_IBI, or contact him via e-mail at email@example.com.
I think Haase has some power. In his last 10 games, he's got a .206 ISO, and he should develop more power with age. I have more concern with his plate discipline and defense. With 5 errors, 10 passed balls and a 21% caught stealing rate in 18 games, I wonder whether he'll be able to stick behind the plate.