Around the Farm: July 22 (the Abner Abreu is back edition)
Abner Abreu: RF, Kinston: 4-4, 2 R, 1 3B, 1 HR, 5 RBI:
If you aren't on the Abner Abreu bandwagon, I'm thinking that this game may just be the one that pushes you over the edge. Abreu is back, and in a big way. Tonight, the rail-thin slugger showed just what kind of special talent that he has, driving in five runs, including a game-winning, two-run jack in the seventh inning. What's really special about this kid though is that he can fly. He hit his fifth triple last night, to go along with his 11th home run, and he raised his batting average to .244. No, it's nothing special, but he was hitting about .200 at the Carolina League all-star break in late June. In his past ten games, he's got a line of .438/.513/.969, with eight runs, three doubles, a triple, four homers, and 12 RBI. He's also struck out only six times, while walking an equal six times, which for those that follow Abreu know, is a minor miracle. It's a small sample-size, but this is the kind of prodigious talent this kid has. What's hard to believe is he's still only 21-years old. Now, if he can just build some consistency, the Indians could be developing a future star.
Jeanmar Gomez: SP, Columbus Clippers: 7 IP, 6 H, 1 R/ER, 2 BB, 5 K, 1 HR, W (10-3):
This guy just never stops performing, and has absolutely served notice to the major league team that should anyone falter, he's ready to pitch. His overall ERA this season is 2.32 with Columbus, and he won his tenth game tonight with a dominating performance. In his last ten starts with the Clippers, Gomez is 6-2 in 69 1/3 IP, giving up 57 hits and 21 walks, while striking out 54 batters. He has a 1.95 ERA during that stretch. It's going to be hard to keep him out of the rotation, which should be interesting since Alex White seems to be progressing towards a return engagement later in the season. You have to start wondering if Gomez isn't becoming premium trade bait.
- Tim Fedroff: CF, Columbus: 2-5, 1 R, 1 2B, 2 RBI: Fedroff is back in center, and back leading off after Jason Kipnis was called up to the bigs. He celebrated with two hits, and is hitting .289 over his past ten games.
- Cord Phelps: 2B, Columbus: 2-4, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 1 CS: Phelps continues to hit the ball well in Columbus, and now has a six-game hit streak in which he's hitting .391, with four runs, a homer and four RBI.
- Nick Johnson: 1B, Columbus: 2-3, 3 R, 1 2B, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 BB: Beau Mills gets called up to Columbus, and Johnson absolutely goes off. He's 3-for-4, with four runs, a double, two RBI in his past two games, hitting a homer in each.
- Beau Mills: DH, Columbus: 0-4, 1 K: Mills spent the day traveling, so it's no surprise that he struggled in his first game out. He'll be an interesting watch though, having seemingly saved his career with big numbers in Akron.
- Michel Hernandez: C, Columbus: 2-3, 1 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI, BB: Talk about taking advantage of an opportunity. After hitting .400 with Akron in a short stint after a late June free-agent signing, he's now hit safely in all four of his games with Columbus, including two multi-hit efforts. He's batting .400 for the Clippers.
- Mitch Talbot: RP, Columbus: 2 IP, 2 H, 2 R/ER: Talbot has about 25 more days to prove he can pitch out of the pen. Don't be surprised if the Indians throw him in as an add-on if they make a deal, and some team is sap enough to take him.
- Jordan Henry: CF, Akron: 2-5, 1 R, 1 2B, 3 RBI: Henry isn't drowning this season, but it's nowhere near the numbers he's put up in the past. Tonight's game was typical of his performance last season, so hopefully it's a sign of things to come.
- Matt McBride: 1B, Akron: 2-5, 1 R, 1 2B: McBride returns to the Aeros, essentially swapping with Beau Mills, and has a two hit performance. Going back to June, he's on an eight-game Akron hit streak, and is 7-16 in his last three games with the Aeros.
- Kyle Bellows: 3B, Akron: 2-4, 1 R, 1 RBI: Bellows is having a lost season, hitting .220 on the year, so these games are too few and far between.
- Raul Padron: C, Akron: 2-4, 2 R: Padron was the other Catcher picked up in late June/early July, and you have to wonder if he and Michel Hernandez are competing. They both have been at the top of the hitting stats in all the organization in the three-plus weeks they've been here.
- John Drennan: LF, Akron: 2-4, 1 R, 2 2B, 1 RBI: Drennan has three multi-hit games in four nights, and appears to finally be getting over his early "issues."
- Joe Gardner: SP, Akron: 5 2/3 IP, 5 H, 4 R/ER, 2 BB, 3 K, 2 HR, W (7-7): This is about as good as it gets for Gardner these days. This is his fourth straight game giving up 3+ earned runs (19 in four games). He's just not elite in this organization at this point.
- Rob Bryson: RP, Akron: 1 1/3 IP, 3 K: This just might be the shortest stint in the history of Akron. He's been unhittable in his two appearances at Akron, going 2 1/3 IP, and striking out three total. Yeah, he hasn't walked a batter either. Going back to Akron, he's pitched in 12 total games and 16 1/3 innings, giving up only six total hits, an earned run and three walks, while striking out 20 batters. He may just be the best bullpen arm in the system. Don't be surprised if he's in Columbus in early August. He could leapfrog some folks...he's that good. Imagine if he turns out to be the best player in that Sabathia trade.
- Casey Frawley: SS, Kinston: 2-5, 1 RBI: A two-hit game for Frawley these days is as frequent as a unicorn sighting. He's a scrappy ballplayer, but hitting .209 just isn't going to keep you a job in a system in which Lake County and Mahoning Valley seem to be laced with prospects chomping at the bit.
- Jeremie Tice: 1B, Kinston: 2-4, 3 R, 1 2B, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K: Tice has been hitting the cover off the ball during a current 12-game hit streak. In his past ten games, he has a .371/.450/.743 line, and has hit three homers in his past four games.
- Tyler Cannon: DH, Kinston: 2-4, 1 R, 2 RBI: Cannon has back-to-back 2-4 nights, perhaps showing signs of bursting out of a Kinston-made slump.
- Justin Toole: 2B, Kinston: 2-4, 1 R, 1 RBI, 1 K, SB (15): Toole is hitting .270, which is like hitting .400 in Kinston, but has been forgotten after a spell on the DL. He can hit, and has utility written all over him. I'm just not sure if it's at the major league level.
- Jose Flores: RP, Kinston: 2 1/3 IP, 2 H, 1 K: Flores has been outstanding since mid-June, other than his last outing, in which he gave up four runs. What a rebound night for the big righty.
- Kyle Landis: RP, Kinston: 1 1/3 IP, 1 K, W (4-0): Landis continues to flourish in Kinston with his fourth win against no losses, and a svelte 1.03 ERA. He's giving up only one run in his last ten games over a 14 1/3 inning span. How about Bryson moving up to Columbus, and Landis getting a much deserved promotion to Akron.
- Preston Guilmet: Closer, Kinston: 1 IP, 1 K, S (25): He's going to close at the big league level, and if he can continue to replicate his unique delivery, he'll be extremely effective. Seriously folks, if you haven't seen him pitch, watch how he hides the ball. He's just wicked.
- Lake County Offense: 1-28, 1 R, 1 BB, 8 K: That's right folks, one night after scoring 16 runs, they are one hit, and only put up one at bat over the minimum. Ouch...
- Mike Rayl: SP, Lake County: 6 IP, 6 H, 1 R/ER, 1 BB, 4 K, 1 HR: Rayl has been horrible over his last three outings, giving up 14 runs in 12 innings pitched, so tonight was a breath of fresh air.
- Cody Elliot: CF, Mahoning Valley: 2-6, 1 R, 2 RBI, 1 K: Elliot is burning up the lead-off spot for the Scrappers. During his current five-game hit streak, he's gone 10-25, with eight runs and three RBI's. Those are perfect lead-off numbers.
- Jake Lowery: 1B, Mahoning Valley: 2-5, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K: Lowery gets some time in at first base, with Lavisky finally starting to hit the ball. Lowery's 5-for-9 in his last two games.
- Alex Lavisky: C, Mahoning Valley: 1-3, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 1 K: Lavisky has hit in nine of his last ten games, and finally has righted the ship on a season-going-bad.
- KC Serna: 2B, Mahoning Valley: 3-5, 2 R, 1 3B: Serna hadn't had a hit in his two previous games, but busts out of the mini-slump with a three-hit performance tonight.
- Todd Hankins: DH, Mahoning Valley: 3-3, 3 R, 1 2B, 3 RBI, 1 BB: This is his third straight multi-hit game in which he's gone 7-13, with six runs, a homer and four RBI. He's brought his average up to .254 overall.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.