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Around the Farm: April 8, 2014

Around the Farm: April 8, 2014
Dylan Baker (Photo: Carolina Mudcats)
April 9, 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.

Michael Bourn (Columbus, starting CF) - 0-4 - Bourn finally gets his second start of a rehab stint that has been stretched out far longer than anyone expected by a rainy start to the season in Columbus.  While the numbers aren't really all that important, it would be encouraging to see something better than 1-for-7 (.143) in two games at the Triple-A level before he returns to Major Leage play.

Jesus Aguilar (Columbus, DH) - 2-4, 2 R, 2 HR, 5 RBI, 1 K - The RBI Machine seems to have finally shaken off the fatigue from last season's 10-month grind, and in grand fashion.  His five-RBI night increases his season total to seven in his first five games of the season.  If he continues to perform this well at the All-Star Break, he will make it very hard on Chris Antonetti to not bring him up to The Show, assuming there's somewhere in the Tribe lineup to place him.

Dylan Baker (Carolina, SP) - W (1-0), 6 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 K - Dylan Baker flat out dominated the Frederick Keys lineup in his 2014 season debut.  For a guy who went only 7-6 with a 3.63 ERA in Low Single-A Lake County last year, a debut like this is exciting to see.  While it is early, an outing like this is a much more promising sign than many of the debuts we have seen from Indians farm system starting pitchers this season. Even more promising is this outing came after he missed the first few days of the season because he was recovering from a slight setback to his throwing program this spring which set him back about a week.

David Cooper (Columbus, 1B) - 2-4, 2 R, 1 RBI - While Cooper's numbers were not quite as gaudy as Aguilar's, he also got two hits and scored twice.  This was David's first multi-hit game of the season.  Hoprfully it isn't his last.

Travis Banwart (Columbus, SP) - W (1-0), 6.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R/ER, 1 BB, 3 K, 1 HR - Banwart bucks the trend of poor opening starts for Indians minor league pitchers and leads the Clips to their first win of the season.

Jordan Smith (Akron, RF) - 0-2, 2 R, 2 BB, 1 SB - A prime example of the importance of plate disciplne and speed on the basepaths.  While he failed to get a single hit, he scored two-thirds of the RubberDucks' runs in their 4-3 loss to the Altoona Curve by getting on base via the walk.

Tony Wolters (Akron, C) - 2-4, 1 2B, 1 K - Wolters had the lone multi-hit game of the night for Akron, raising his early season batting average to .467 in four games.  While it obvioiusly won't stay that high, it is still a good sign about what he is capable of this season at the plate.

Bryson Myles (Akron, LF) and Tyler Holt (Akron, CF) - 2 SB each - While their stat lines may not have been otherwise ATF-worthy, two players on the same team stealing two bases in the same game certainly is.

Anthony Gallas (Carolina, RF) - 2-5, 2 RBI, 2 K - Gallas has his first big offensive night of the season with this multi-RBI effort.

Erik Gonzalez (Carolina, SS) - 3-5, 2 R, 1 3B, 1 RBI, 1 SB - Gonzalez continues his trend of alternating good games and bad games at the plate with this very good outing.  While seeing such nights out of Erik is exciting, the key for him will be performing well more consistently than he has been thus far this season.

Mitch Brown (Lake County, SP) - ND, 4.2 IP, 6 H, 1 R (earned), 2 BB, 2 K, 1 WP, 1 HBP - We have 2014's first pitcher to pick up a no decision in a start he should have earned the win for.  Brown had a solid effort in his 2014 regular season debut Tuesday night in Clinton, IA, but came up one out short of being eligible for the win, which went to reliever Alexis Paredes, who picked up the win despite getting only one out.

Matt Whitehouse (Lake County, RP) - 3 IP, 5 H, 4 R (all earned), 1 BB, 5 K, 1 WP - The contagion of poor starting pitching debuts has now spread to the bullpen with this poor night from Whitehouse.  Hopefully this outting is just an aberration, or else he may get impeached from the Lake County bullpen (Sorry, the pun was too obvious not to make.).

Trevor Frank (Lake County, CP) - S (2), 1 IP, perfect, 1 K - On the other end of the bullpen performance spectrum was Trevor Frank, who pitched a perfect ninth to pick up his second save of the young season.

User Comments

April 9, 2014 - 12:08 PM EDT
Bourn sucks. Tony had it right when he said he's lucky someone came up with the WAR stat because it really inflates his value.
April 9, 2014 - 11:26 AM EDT
Performance of Murphy and Raburn will have a lot to do with whether a DH spot opens up. If they prove to be platoon guys or are struggling, they could be limited more and the DH spot fully opened up.
April 9, 2014 - 11:11 AM EDT
Performance may dictate Tony and I could be wrong but do you really see performance being a case with Swisher, Bourn, and to a lesser degree Murphy? I just dont see Swisher going anywhere no matter what he does on field. Bourn has too much money tied up in his contract and if he underperforms what value would he have for trade purposes? Would another Major League club be willing to take on a 30+player with a contract like his? Putting Nyjer aside what about Naquin arriving within the next year? Best case scenario is you have Aqullar, Moncrief, Lindor and Naquin having monster years all ready to play in Cleveland, coupled with the worst case scenario of Swisher, Bourn, and Murphy having horrible years and for good measure Chisenhall having a great season. I would not want to be Antonetti
April 9, 2014 - 9:42 AM EDT
Injuries, performance, trades and so on often dictate things and resolve roster issues. As for Aguilar, the DH spot in Cleveland is open if they need him to get to Cleveland. Not ideal to use a young player there, but I could see them getting him some 1B time a game or two a week. One thing is certain and that is the Indians have some options right now with their bats.....a good problem to have.
April 9, 2014 - 9:41 AM EDT
One of the more impressive things about Baker is that he had 140+ IP last year in his first full season. He looks to be all sorts of studly.
April 9, 2014 - 9:07 AM EDT
Great to see Baker have a good debut in Carolina last nite. I hope he has a breakout year. I'm assuming he will be in Carolina most of the year, unless he has an exceptional year.

Is this the year that we could see many of the Indians pitching prospects have break out years?
April 9, 2014 - 9:07 AM EDT
I saw two players this spring that looked like men once they were in the batter’s box Aquilar and Moncrief We haven’t had anyone in our lineup that had the looks of players who could change the outcome with one swing. If these guys along with Lindor are ready this season which players get moved? Aquilar is a first baseman and I can’t see him moving Swisher anywhere nor is Swisher going anywhere anytime this year or next. Murphy is signed through next season and where does Raburn and Chisenhall fit into this? I read where Tony was not impressed with the Bourn signing, but he is another one of those clubhouse guys Tito likes. This team has chemistry and how do you make any changes without disrupting team chemistry. There were talks last year about moving Cabrera and I read it upset some in the clubhouse. This could be very touchy moving forward.
April 9, 2014 - 8:51 AM EDT
April 9, 2014 - 8:48 AM EDT
Indians could have a lot of tough decisions looming (which is a good thing for once). If Aguilar is tearing it up, he's the right-handed run producing bat they desperately need to finish off the lineup. I really believe that once Cabrera is subbed out for Lindor and if Aguilar is the real deal that this lineup is going to take off in Cleveland and be much more consistent.

As for Bourn and Morgan, this is great. Morgan is (hopefully) going to pressure Bourn into playing better. I will tell you right now, and I have said this before, there is not much different between the two as fact I would even say Morgan is slightly better. Yet the Indians are paying Bourn $13M a year and Morgan $1M a year. And it's not like there is $10M worth of defense and running to separate them. A complete overpay of Bourn....never was a fan of that signing.
April 9, 2014 - 8:42 AM EDT
Getting out of the desert did wonders for Aguilar's bat.

What are the Indians going to do if Bourn tells them his hammy is 100% and he's ready to go? Nyjer is tearing it up.

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