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Around the Farm: April 27, 2014

Around the Farm: April 27, 2014
Roberto Perez (Photo: IBI)
April 28, 2014
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Around the Farm takes a quick look at some of yesterday’s performances by Cleveland prospects throughout the system. The positions listed below are where the player was playing in yesterday’s game.

Roberto Perez (C, Columbus): 1-for-3, 2 R, HR, 2 RBI, BB, K. Perez remains red hot to open the season as he is now hitting a blistering .405 with 4 HR, 11 RBI and 1.248 OPS in 15 games and has a nice 9-8 walk to strikeout ratio. Those kind of numbers are what you expect out of a frontline hitting prospect, so it is a surprise to see the big numbers from him in the early going considering he is much more revered for his defense. He had just two homers all of last season in 99 games (.200 AVG, .623 OPS) and 14 for his career, so the power in the early going is a huge surprise. This doesn’t appear to be a sudden emergence of power and more a player who has been extremely lucky in the early going (.448 BABIP), but even if the power surge is a mirage what is nice is the return of his advanced approach this season. His play of late may get him a callup to Cleveland this week as Yan Gomes is expected to be away from the team for the birth of his child.

Trevor Bauer (RHP, Columbus): 7.0 IP, 5 H, 2 R/ER, 1 BB, 7 K, 1 HR. Bauer put forth his worst outing of the season to date in five combined starts between Cleveland and Columbus and gives up two runs over seven innings. What a bum. In all seriousness, he is a hot pitcher and for me at least I like to ride hot pitchers, which is why the Indians need to seriously think about how much longer they stick with either Carlos Carrasco or Danny Salazar in the starting rotation. I’m all for giving guys an ample amount of time to prove themselves, but when you have a pitcher as hot as Bauer you almost have to find a way to get him on the team as he might provide the spark the team needs. Of interest, Bauer and Salazar are now lined up and pitching the same day.

  • Nyjer Morgan (CF, Columbus): 0-for-5, K. It is really too bad what has happened to Morgan. He was off to a nice start the first two weeks of the season in Cleveland before the rug was pulled out from under him. He’s had trouble getting up ever since hitting .162/.220/.270/.490 in 10 games with Columbus.
  • Carlos Moncrief (RF, Columbus): 2-for-4, 2 R, HR, RBI, 2 SB. Moncrief showcased his power-speed combo in this one and is starting to turn things around as he is 10-for-23 over his last 7 games.
  • Audy Ciriaco (3B, Columbus): 2-for-4, R, HR, 3 RBI, 2 K. Ciriaco drilled his first homer of the season and to date has proven to be a serviceable versatile infielder off the bench in Columbus.
  • Nick Hagadone (LHP, Columbus): 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 2 K. Hagadone continues to tease as he blows away two hitters for a strikeout yet yields two walks. He now has 6 walks and 13 strikeouts in 10.2 innings, but until he gets the walks under control he’s not going to be an option in Cleveland.
  • Austin Adams (RHP, Columbus): 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K. Adams finished the game and put up his third straight scoreless outing. He’s actually pitched better than his 5.40 ERA suggests as he has a really low walk rate and is averaging almost a strikeout an inning.
  • Giovanny Urshela (3B, Akron): 3-for-5, R, 3 2B, 2 RBI, K. Maybe my favorite performance by Urshela this season as I love when a guy gets the hat trick with doubles in a game. I love the improved power he is showing this season (.557 SLG, .253 ISO) and hope he keeps it up.
  • Bryan LaHair (1B, Akron): 2-for-4, R, BB. LaHair has a nice showing in his second outing with Double-A Akron. His reassignment to Akron is more about giving him at bats and time at first base since those opportunities are being gobbled up by Jesus Aguilar at Columbus.
  • Ronny Rodriguez (DH, Akron): 0-for-3, RBI, K. It is still early and it is important to not get too worked up over a slow or hot start, but it is time to start worrying a little about Ronny Rod. Since returning from a temporary departure from the team he is 1-for-18 at the plate and hitting .118 on the season.
  • Joseph Colon (SP, Akron): 6.0 IP, 3 H, 2 R/ER, 4 BB, 5 K, 0 HR. Since a rough opening start of the season where he allowed 5 runs in 4.2 innings, Colon has been a model of consistency his last four times out going 6.0 innings each time and allowed 2 runs or less each time.
  • Tyler Sturdevant (RHP, Akron): 1.1 IP, 2 H, 1 R/ER, 0 BB, 2 K. While he allowed a run in this contest, Sturdevant has pitched well over his last five outings going 5.0 innings and has allowed 1 run on 3 hits, 2 walks and has 6 strikeouts. He also recorded his first save of the season.
  • Erik Gonzalez (SS, Carolina): 2-for-4, K. Is there a more confident player in the Indians organization right now than Gonzalez? This is a guy coming off a good season, getting rostered in the offseason and now viewed as a prospect – and now he is hitting to boot. I guess I would be bursting with confidence too.
  • Anthony Gallas (DH, Carolina): 2-for-4, R, HR, 2 RBI, K. Gallas ripped his fourth homer of the season with a solo shot in the ninth inning. He’s really having a solid season at Carolina hitting .286 with 4 HR, 10 RBI and .845 OPS – though that 3-19 walk to strikeout ratio is of huge concern.
  • Jerrud Sabourin (1B, Carolina): 4-for-4, R, 2B. Sabourin needed this game after struggling so much at the plate at Akron where he was hitting just .152 with a .371 OPS in 12 games. His reassignment to Carolina is a prime example of the “Determining Value” article I posted on Friday.
  • Michael Peoples (SP, Carolina): 3.0 IP, 6 H, 5 R (4 ER), 2 BB, 5 K. After two solid outings to open the season, Peoples has followed them up with two poor outings totaling 6.0 innings his last two times out and has allowed 11 hits, 9 runs (6 earned), 4 walks and has 7 strikeouts.
  • Carlos Melo (RP, Carolina): 0.0 IP, 1 H, 3 R/ER, 3 BB, 0 K. It’s time to move on from the Melo experiment. The Indians picked him up at the end of last summer because they were intrigued with his extremely high velocity arm – but he just can’t throw strikes (11 BB, 6.2 IP).
  • Lake County offense: 7-for-42, 2 R, 1 2B, 2 RBI, 6 BB, 18 K. The game went 12 innings and of the 36 outs the Captains made, 18 of them were by strikeout. Three players struck out three times and seven played struck out at least twice. The game was a microcosm of the inconsistency from the lineup all season.
  • Clint Frazier (CF, Lake County): 0-for-4, 2 BB, 2 K, A. Frazier has had a rather ordinary first 10 games with Lake County – some might even go so far as to say disappointing. He’s shown a nice approach with a 8-9 walk to strikeout ratio so he is not forcing things, but everyone is waiting for the thunder to be unleashed as he has just two extra base hits.
  • Anthony Santander (DH, Lake County): 2-for-5, R, 2B, K. Santander was the only Lake County player to have a multi-hit day – in fact, it was his first multi-hit game of the season. He now has hits in his last three games and four of his last five though is still just DHing.
  • Caleb Hamrick (SP, Lake County): 5.2 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 4 BB, 5 K. A much needed solid outing for Hamrick. He did an exceptional job of keeping runs off the scoreboard and put forth his best outing of the season by far. The walks are still a concern as he has 12 in 21.2 innings this season.
  • Jordan Milbrath (RHP, Lake County): 4.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 5 K. Milbrath continues his breakout campaign with another stellar showing. He might have been a sleeper prospect coming into the season, but he is not anymore as everyone is asking about him now.
  • Wander Beras (LHP, Lake County): 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K. Beras is 25-years old and doing what he should be doing as an older player in Low-A with a 1.86 ERA and .129 batting average against.

Follow Tony and the Indians Baseball Insider on Twitter @TonyIBI. Also, his new book the 2014 Cleveland Indians Baseball Insider which profiles the Indians' Top 100 Prospects and more is available for sale.

User Comments

April 28, 2014 - 10:12 PM EDT
Rich, Perez is a below average hitter. His recent good performance is great to see, but the swing and bat are unlikely to translate well to the big leagues. He can always surprise, but chances are he's an up and down depth catcher and maybe at most a decent backup.
April 28, 2014 - 8:06 PM EDT
Tony, I just saw where Hoynes reported that Roberto Perez had Bell's palsy all last year and if affected his vision and hitting. Now he's recovered and is hitting over .400. How much of that is luck and how much is being able to see the baseball?

As I recall, he never hit much prior to last year, so even before the illness he was well below average with the stick. Or maybe the issue has been bothering him for years?

Is there any chance this guy is emerging as a legitimate major league bat to go along with his defense?
April 28, 2014 - 1:17 PM EDT
They don't "have" to DFA either guy if added...could always DFA Johnson, bring up Sellers and Kottaras and then option Sellers back down when Gomes is back. Take away Santana's catcher's mitt for good and let Kottaras sit on bench in Johnson's place...
April 28, 2014 - 12:51 PM EDT
And just to be clear....they don't have to DFA Perez if added....but would have to DFA Kottaras if added.
April 28, 2014 - 12:47 PM EDT
They don't HAVE to DFA the catcher they bring up....but that guy is going to go right back down. Considering it is just a 2-3 day situation I am betting Francona goes with the guy with ML experience and a guy he knows for those 2-3 days and it also is not a spot they have to clog the roster. By rostering Perez they would then option him out but he then is taking up a 40-man spot the rest of the year....whereas right now he is not and they can keep him as an option in the meantime.
Joe Chengery
April 28, 2014 - 12:40 PM EDT
If they're going to DFA the catcher they bring up, let it be Kottaras, then. Definitely don't want to lose Perez, especially now- as mentioned before, he's only 25. If he is even decent or solid with the bat at the ML level, he's at the very least a solid backup at the ML level, and could be for years to come (and could let Santana permanently give up catching, be the emergency catcher, though I am questioning whether he should just give up 3B too- his offensive collapse ifs really hurting the Indians' offense).
April 28, 2014 - 11:50 AM EDT
I know Kottaras has not played well since signing with the Indians, but I believe his opt out date is April 30th and the Indians will side with his ML experience for the 2-3 days he needs on the roster.....especially since whoever the catcher that is added may be DFAed rather quickly. I think Johnson or Sellers are the most likely guys to be DFAed for the catcher.
April 28, 2014 - 11:41 AM EDT
Wouldn't mind seeing Johnson DFAed for Perez (or Kottaras). Think either could stick around even after Gomes is back from leave...
April 28, 2014 - 11:40 AM EDT
It doesn't really matter who starts and who piggybacks, they just want the guys to get the work in and pitch their 4-5 innings. I would imagine at some point they adjust things, but whether Milbrath and Von Schamann start and go 4-5 innings or piggyback and go 4-5 innings it doesn't make much difference to them.

I'm all for Aguilar and Bauer to Cleveland now. Though I expect both will be on hold for at least another two weeks. The key date in Bauer's service time is coming up on or around May 5th where the Indians get an extra year of control by keeping him in the minors until then....and with that so close it should allow Carrasco 2-3 more starts to show what he can do. He has to pitch a lot better than he has, even much better than his last start which was better but still a subpar outing as he gave up four runs.
April 28, 2014 - 11:23 AM EDT
What are you talking about Hiram?
April 28, 2014 - 11:10 AM EDT
Well deserved short promotion for R.Perez if it happens. Would be one of those rare underdogs making it. Great story.

Who gets kicked off the 40? Sellers looks like the most expendable at this point. I just hope Perez won't turn into an instant DFA candidate the moment somebody else needs to be rostered. Hope he stays on that 40 for years. He might be what we hoped Marson would become.

Like you Tony, I believe in playing and promoting the hot hand. That's why I want Aguilar and Bauer on the Indians 25 NOW. With Salazar's good outing last night, it's step up or shut up time for Carrasco, especially for a slumping team that was supposed to contend this season.

Release Melo and promote Aviles or T.Frank or put Peoples in the BP and promote Milbrath or Plutko to the Mudcats rotation.

Would also like to see them release one of Banwart/Cloyd/Davies who are clogging up the SP spots in the system. Release Cloyd, promote Davies to Columbus, Morimando to Akron
April 28, 2014 - 10:10 AM EDT
Where's Tony Lastoria??
April 28, 2014 - 9:12 AM EDT
Good to see Hamrick have a good outing. He followed Lugp who had good outing on Sat. Milbrath should be a starter just Von Schamann. Don't understand why they are the end part of piggyback.

Do you expect Gonzalez staying the full year at Carolina or will he reach Akron later this year? With Lindor as the heir apparent to the SS position in Cleveland, will the Indians use Gonzalez in trade or change him to different position?

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