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Around the Farm: April 16, 2012

Around the Farm: April 16, 2012
April 17, 2012
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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.

Lonnie Chisenhall: 3B, Columbus Clippers: 3-for-5, 1 R, 2 2B, 1 HR, 2 RBI:

Lonnie Chisenhall is hitting .380, with four homers, eight runs, five doubles, eight RBI, two walks and eight strikeouts. He has a .404 OBP, and a 1.124 OPS after 12 games to start the international league season off for Columbus. Chiz has a four game hit streak going, with multiple hits in each game. During the four games, he’s gone 9-for-18, with three runs, four doubles, a homer and three RBI. Over his last seven games, he’s had six multi-hit games, and gone 14-for-27. Chisenhall is hitting the ball better than he has ever hit since joining the organization, and while it’s a small sample size, it’s a good sign that the third baseman is reacting to his demotion as the spring ended. Yeah, I know he has holes, but there comes a time when you just have to bring a guy up. If he keeps hitting like this, it will be sooner, rather than later. Let’s see if Chisenhall can maintain this hot start for a couple more weeks. If he does, things could get really interesting in Cleveland.

Trevor Crowe: LF, Columbus Clippers: 3-for-4, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 3B, 1 RBI, 1 K, 1 CS (3):

There are some that are absolutely sick and tired of seeing Crowe’s name caw-ing at them every night. Clearly, he could care a less. Clearly, he’s back. Tonight, Crowe continued his torrid pace to start the 2012 minor league season as though he were trying to show off two seasons in one, especially after missing most of the 2011 season due to injury. Crowe has two straight three-hit games, and three-strait multi-hit games in which he’s gone 8-for-11, with three runs, three doubles, a triple, an RBI, two walks and two K’s. Overall, the outfielder/DH is hitting .469, with a .553 OBP and a 1.396 OPS. Now, I’m not Aaron Cunningham, nor do I want to be at this point. Why? He has a Crowe breathing down his neck, and deservedly so. I’d say he’s ironed out the kinks.

Adam Abraham: DH, Akron Aeros: 2-for-3, 2 R, 1 BB:

There are flashier names in the system, nobody is a harder worker or a better professional than this guy. Abraham was the leader of last season’s Kinston Indians, who found their way into the Carolina League championship game, even though they may not have been one of the top two teams in the league. Why? They were the hardest working team in the league, just like Abraham. This season, Abraham has permanently moved to first base/DH, from third base, and the Tribe is hoping that he can focus more on his offense. When he’s on, he’s a doubles machine. Tonight was his first multi-hit, multi-run game, but he may have started to come out of his opening season slump.

  • Matt LaPorta: DH, Columbus: 1-for-3, 2 BB, 2 K: The LaPorta watch  continues, as the 1B/LF/DH has hit in nine of ten games.
  • Justin Toole: SS, Columbus: 2-for-4, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 1 K: Little did we know that the only thing that Toole needed to do to start hitting was move up two levels to Triple A. In two starts, he’s gone 4-for-7. Of course, he was 4-for-5 in Carolina, so perhaps he’s just planning on hitting a ton wherever he goes.
  • Kevin Slowey: SP, Columbus: L (1-2), 5 1/3 IP, 10 H, 6 R/ER, 3 BB, 5 K: This is two bad starts in a row for Slowey, who was brought in to be the fifth starter for the big league club. As it stands now, he may not be a top-3 starter to get a call-up should the Indians need to make a move for a starter.
  • Hector Ambriz: RP, Columbus: 2 IP, 1 K: Ambriz gave up a run in his first outing, but in his last three, going 4 2/3 innings, his given up only one hit, and two walks, while striking out four. Not a big name, but one that could see some big league action this year.
  • Jared Goedert: LF, Akron: 2-for-4, 1 R, 1 K: Out of nowhere, Goedert has put together a seven-game hit streak, with back-to-back two hit ballgames. Overall, he’s hitting .371 as a super-utility guy in Akron. He could be re-developing his game for another run at the bigs.
  • Chin-Hsiu Chen: 1B, Akron: 3-for-4, 1 R, 1 2B: Chen has been lost in the shuffle since moving to first base, only hitting .250 on the season. I’m not sure he has enough offense to play first in the bigs, but perhaps Tribe management sees more than I do. It’s not like we have offensive juggernauts ahead of him.
  • Ryan Rohlinger: 2B, Akron: 1-for-3, 1 R, 1 HR, 3 RBI: Rohlinger doesn’t look like a big power guy, but he’s hit double-digit home runs in ever year in the minors since 2007.
  • Bryce Stowell: RP, Akron: W (1-0), 3 IP, 2 H, 7 K: Yeah, Stowell is back. In three games so far this year, Stowell has gone five innings, giving up two hits without a walk, while striking out 11 total. Tonight, the power righty went three innings, showing that his arm is sound, and ready for promotion. Boy, this club is loaded with potential bullpen guys.
  • Cody Allen: RP, Akron: 2 IP, 1 H, 2 K: Allen has simply been the best reliever in the system so far this year, and is slowly becoming one of my favorites pitchers. He's now pitched in eight total innings, splitting them equally between Carolina and Akron, throwing two innings in each outing thusfar. Overall, Allen's given up only two hits, while striking out 12. He's not given up a walk. In Akron, the righty has actually been more dominant against left handed batters, with three of his four Akron K's coming against lefties. With Stowell, Guilmet, Bryson, Langwell and Landis joining him, this bullpen may be the best in the entire system (yeah, I said it). (--thanks goes out to James for catching me on this one--)
  • Preston Guilmet: RP, Akron: 1 IP, 1 H, 1 R/ER, 1 HR: Guilmet has only made three appearances so far this season, and he’ll need more work to get rolling. This was the first run given up by the Aeros’ closer this season.
  • Tyler Holt: CF, Carolina: 2-for-4, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 CS: Holt continues to put up numbers that scream for him to move up to Akron. I know that they are continuing to work on his approach at the plate, but he’s ready for the next step. He has been caught stealing four times this season so far, against only one stolen base.
  • Jeremie Tice: DH, Carolina: 2-for-4, 1 2B, 2 RBI: Manager Edwin Martinez expects the Muddies DH to have a big offensive year, and Tice is starting to prove his manager right. He drove in the Mudcats only two runs tonight, and has a quiet three game hit streak going.
  • Alex Monsalve: C, Lake County: 1-for-2, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 2 BB: Monsalve finds himself back in ATF for a third straight night, with a modest three-game hit streak. He broke his multi-hit streak at two, but made up for it with his lone hit a long ball. He’s really working on his approach at the plate, walking for the seventh and eighth times tonight, against only six K’s all year.
  • Felix Sterling: SP, Lake County: 6 IP, 2 H, 2 R/ER, 3 BB, 4 K, 1 HR: Sterling had another solid outing in his third start of the season. He still hasn’t given up more than two runs in a game, and appears to be settling into the season nicely. He did struggle finding the zone tonight with the three walks, but the Indians have to like what they see so far.

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

User Comments

April 17, 2012 - 11:47 AM EDT
Never hurts to quote the great Pete Franklin!!!

I would love to see those three continue to hit over the next month, and NOT get called up until then...

Imagine a late May, early June infusion of Crowe, LaPorta, Chiz, Damon and Sizemore, not to mention Chen Lee and Hagadone...should injuries or other issues pop up...

I'm not sure how they'll translate, but the potential is outstanding...
April 17, 2012 - 10:15 AM EDT
there is no doubt that the Indians have a wealth of pitching however pete franklin always said " just when you think you have enough go out and get more." the name of the game is baseball but the gist of the game is pitching. A strikeout is an out by high K/inning illustrates overpowing stuff at the level. If you have pitching to trade you can always find a trade partner.
and if chiz, laporta and crowe are even close to what we are seeing maybe the cupboard isnt so bare in the upper reaches of our farm system. and the lower levels everyone knows are loaded!
April 17, 2012 - 8:50 AM EDT
Yo Troy...thanks for the comment. Here's the thing about Damon, and I'm going to talk about this tonight on Smoke Signals, but he answers more than just the outfield issues. Let's say he doesn't come up until May. I think many of us think that it's likely Duncan comes back to earth to some degree, and equally possible that Damon can get some playing time as the DH (I'm not going to say out loud why I think that, because I don't want to jinx the guy who is looking like it's 2006 all over again). At 1.25 million, it's a low risk pick-up, and I honestly believe at this point that if it doesn't look like there's a spot for him, they'll just release him. The Damon move is not looking like security to me, more than anything else.

I think if you look back to what everyone was saying about Kipnis last year, it likely sounded similar to Chiz. I concur, that in a perfect world, you want more walks and a better glove, and with Hannahan playing great, you have time to vet that out with Chiz. The good news is that if he's finally got his swing in check, because he did struggle at times last year, he's back on track as a potential superstar.

Stowell and Allen as a potential set-up and closer combo in Cleveland. Boy, stop and really look at the potential bullpen down the road, and there's reason to get real excited. Imagine a bullpen that consists of Vinnie Pestano, Nick Hagadone, Chen Lee, Cody Allen, Bryce Stowell, Rob Bryson, and another as of yet unknown lefty. I've excluded several big names that could take the place of any of these guys I've mentioned as well. I think of Boston's pen during their series years and have many, many reasons to get excited. As good as the mafia has been, this new crew could really be something...

Of course...the future is a funny thing...
April 17, 2012 - 8:33 AM EDT
James...thanks for catching the omit. I was looking at the relievers for Akron last night, and some time between Stowell and Guilmet, I completely forgot about Allen, who has clearly been the most dominant reliever in the system over the first 2 1/2 weeks. Look at that pen in Akron though. Is there a better one, top-to-bottom, in the entire system, including the Tribe? You have Cody Allen, Bryce Stowell, Matt Langwell, Kyle Landis, Bryan Price, Preston Guilmet and Rob Bryson. There's a couple on that list that don't have as good as chance as the rest, but only because Columbus has Hagadone and Lee as prospects, and other good arms, like Accardo and Hermann that will get shots. With that said, Akron could have a pitching jam in a week or so with folks coming off the DL around the system, so you could see the Indians making some decisions with regards to some vets to get a couple of these guys up to the next level.
April 17, 2012 - 8:30 AM EDT
With Crowe rising from the dead and Shelly Duncan in Cleveland who needs the washed up has been Damon????

Chiz needs to draw more walks and play better D before coming to Cleveland. Great to see him hitting this well FINALLY!

Stowell and Allen a future set up and closer combo in Cleveland??
April 17, 2012 - 12:48 AM EDT
How about two more scoreless innings with 2 more strikeouts for Cody Allen? If Myles can get it going and Dillon Howard starts pitching (and well) its a pretty good start to the season for Tribe prospects.

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