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Around the Farm: April 28, 2014

Around the Farm: April 28, 2014
Will Roberts (Photo: Akron RubberDucks)
April 29, 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.

Note, Triple-A Columbus and High-A Carolina were rained out.

Will Roberts (SP, Akron): 6.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 7 K. This might have been Roberts’ best outing as an Indian as he completely shut down the opponent over six innings. He threw 91 pitches (56 strikes) and had everything working well for him which lead to his season high in strikeouts and a season low in hits allowed. With the win he moves to 3-2 with a 4.03 ERA in five starts this season, and in 29.0 innings he has allowed 33 hits, 8 walks and has 18 strikeouts. He’s not going to wow anyone with strikeouts or exceptional stuff, but he has a good pitch to contact approach and is a starter the Indians like as a potential back of the rotation guy in the future.

Anthony Santander (DH, Lake County): 3-for-4, 2 R, 2B, HR, 2 RBI. This was no doubt Santander’s best game of the season. Over his last two games he is 5-for-9 at the plate with two doubles and a homer, his third, fourth and fifth extra base hits of the season. It has been a slow process for him to return from a shoulder injury which has kept him out of the field and limited him at the plate, but the Indians have maintained that playing him and having him hit will not hinder his recover from injury which is why he has been in there. He is hitting just .167 with a .528 OPS in 19 games, but if he is truly getting healthy and his confidence is returning, he could be a volcano waiting to erupt offensively.

  • Giovanny Urshela (3B, Akron): 1-for-3, R, RBI, BB. Urshela continues his good showing reaching base in two of his four plate appearances. He has a 3:1 strikeout to walk ratio this season, which is a little better than the around 4:1 ratio he has had in previous seasons.
  • Joe Wendle (2B, Akron): 0-for-4, K. Wendle has had a rough go of it in the early going in his first exposure to Double-A hitting just .190 with a .620 OPS in 24 games. But he’s too good a hitter to struggle much longer, and his .233 BABIP shows a turnaround could be coming.
  • Bryson Myles (LF, Akron): 0-for-3, 2 K, HBP. Myles was hit by a pitch in the eighth inning and Justin Toolecame in to run for him and stayed in the game in left field for the ninth inning. Hopefully the removal was for precautionary reasons and nothing more.
  • Tony Wolters (C, Akron): 2-for-4, RBI, K. Wolters has a nice multi-hit game and is off to a nice start this season hitting .288 in 20 games. One thing of concern is only 3 of his 21 hits have gone for extra bases and his approach has slipped a little in the early going as he has a 5 walks to 19 strikeouts.
  • Jordan Smith (RF, Akron): 0-for-4, K. Smith puts up another 0-fer and you have to believe that frustration is going to start to settle in for him – if it hasn’t already. He’s as tough as they come mentally, and he will probably eventually get it going, but a .194 average and .479 OPS in 21 games is rough.
  • Enosil Tejeda (RP, Akron): 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K. Tejeda bounces back from his last outing where he allowed his first homer in FOUR years with an exceptional outing needing just 11 pitches to mow through the inning.
  • Shawn Armstrong (RP, Akron): 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K. Armstrong looks to be past his setback last season where a self-inflicted hand injury ruined his season. In nine appearances he has now thrown 9.1 innings and has allowed 1 run on 6 hits, 3 walks and has a whopping 14 strikeouts.
  • Kyle Crockett (RP, Akron): 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K. Crockett is now up to 18 appearances and 19.2 innings in Double-A without allowing a run. He has simply shut down hitters at the level allowing just 10 hits and 3 walks over those 19.2 innings and has 18 strikeouts. Triple-A should be in the near future.
  • Nellie Rodriguez (1B, Lake County): 1-for-3, R, HR, 2 RBI, BB. Rodriguez ripped his fourth homer of the season, though there are some concerns with that high strikeout rate where he has 26 strikeouts in 77 at bats.
  • Richard Stock (C, Lake County): 2-for-4, K. It is nice to see Stock getting some development time behind the plate this season as this was already the seventh time he has played a game as catcher. Unfortunately, he has not gotten much action at DH because Anthony Santander has held that role.
  • Josh McAdams (RF, Lake County): 0-for-4, 4 K. I am not sure how much longer the Indians will stick with McAdams in Lake County. He’s overmatched at the moment and could use some time in Arizona to take a step back and get himself going later in the year with a return to Lake County or go to Mahoning Valley.
  • Cody Ferrell (LF, Lake County): 0-for-3. After a red hot start Ferrell has come back down to Earth and is hitting .273 with a .870 OPS in 22 games. He is just 4-for-26 over his last eight games and is 1-for-13 in his last four games.
  • Adam Plutko (SP, Lake County): 5.0 IP, 6 H, 3 R/ER, 3 BB, 4 K. Congrats to Plutko on his first win as a pro. His outings to date have lacked consistency as he has allowed three runs or more in three of his five starts, but some of that is due to a higher than expected walk rate. He has 31 strikeouts in 22.1 innings.
  • Kenny Mathews (RP, Lake County): 3.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K. Mathews put forward his best outing since his season opener on April 5th when he also threw three scoreless innings. In six appearances he has thrown 12.2 innings and allowed 5 runs (4 earned) on 9 hits, 4 walks and has 12 strikeouts.
  • Trevor Frank (RP, Lake County): 1.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R (0ER), 0 BB, 1 K. It got a little interesting in the bottom of the ninth, but Frank notched his third save of the season getting out of a first and third with one out and second and third situation with two out situation where the tying run was on third base each time.

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 30, 2014 - 12:48 PM EDT
No doubting the arm with McAdams. That's one of his best attributes and it is great to see him showcasing it. Unfortunately, there has been little to no progress shown over the last two years with the approach and the power has yet to show. No harm in taking a step back to Mahoning Valley or Arizona - something which probably will happen at some point - in order to continue to work on his limitations in a lower stress environment and maybe where he is not as overmatched.
April 30, 2014 - 12:33 PM EDT
How bout them 6 outfield assists by McAdams. I think he's fine.. he'll cGuome into his own soon enough. Remember he was on the DL for 9 games
MT88 in WI
April 29, 2014 - 8:46 PM EDT
Your welcome Tony...
April 29, 2014 - 5:23 PM EDT
@Walter.. Thanks for the heads up.. JRam in CF, LF, 3B, SS, 2B, etc.. and his experience at the ML level last year may give him entre into becoming an integral part of a multiple roster change when Yan Gomes goes on the Paternity list.. EJ loses his spot.. Kottaras or Roberto Perez are put onto the 40 man and brought up.. Mrs Gomes gives birth.. Yan returns.. Perez/Kottaras are optioned/designated and someone has to replace EJ's old spot That can be JRam who is already on the 40 man. Being able to play all the spots Ej could.. gives the Indians the versatile guy for the 24th roster spot.....
April 29, 2014 - 2:14 PM EDT
I like the Tony Phillips reference Mike. Just so you know, I am stealing it for today's Hot List. ;)
April 29, 2014 - 1:33 PM EDT
I like the idea of JRam playing all over the place. If he does it well enough I can see him as a Tony Phillips type of player and getting 550 AB by playing all over the place and giving others a day off or a day at DH. Hope it works...
April 29, 2014 - 12:52 PM EDT
Just FYI...Jose Ramirez is playing CF in Game 1 today for the Clippers.

April 29, 2014 - 12:07 PM EDT
Thanks Tony, was wondering because unlike Milbrath, Mathews was used for only one inning half of his games so far. Good to know. Really like him. Could be the next solid JC finding the Indians have drafted. This seems to be their strength in their recent drafts: talented, but relatively cheap JC specs in the mid rounds (5-15). Anderson, Merritt, Morimando, Peoples, now Mathews. That's a good BA on JC arms in those rounds. Makes me hopeful for the younger specs Pannone and C.Cox, who are still in the pipeline. They seem to have an eye for advanced JC arms with some upside left. Good compromise in the College vs HS debate too. Hey, keep drafting them
April 29, 2014 - 11:33 AM EDT
Plutko had decent outing until that one bad inning. Needs to get more consistent before being considered for Carolina. Good to see Santander to start to heat up. How long does his injury keeps him at DH?
April 29, 2014 - 11:31 AM EDT
Technically, guys like Mathews and Milbrath are starting. They are in piggyback situations where they are going 3-5 innings in relief of a starter going 4-5 innings. The Indians view those the same as the guy starting.
April 29, 2014 - 11:21 AM EDT
Akron has an impressive sub 3 team ERA to go along with a league leading 1.15 team WHIP. Not a lot of superstars in that pitching staff, but a lot of BORs and BP arms, who will give the Indians much needed depth for years to come.

If Urshela keeps this up, he could be promoted to AAA at some point this season, as he's repeating the AA level and there's really no prospect blocking him in Columbus.

Kenny Mathews is an interesting spec and I would like to see him start games. He was a 7th rounder, has performed and is still young, so it's strange to see him in the pen. Do the Indians develop him as a LOOGY or long relief? Strange how they've used him so far this season

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