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Around the Farm: August 20, 2012

Around the Farm: August 20, 2012
August 21, 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 during yesterday’s ballgame.

Juan Diaz: SS, Columbus Clippers: 2-for-5, 1 R, 1 Grand Slam, 4 RBI, 1 K:

Diaz continues to make himself more and more interesting as the season progresses. When the Indians initially traded for Diaz and Zeke Carrera, I was intrigued with his size, thinking that if he ever developed power he could turn himself into a prospect. He’s appeared to have done just that. In 2006, he didn’t hit a home run in the Dominican Summer League. In 2007, he hit one. In 2008, he hit three. In 2009, he hit five. In 2010, the year he was traded to the Indians, he hit eight. In 2011, he hit nine. Yesterday’s bomb was his 13th, and while that’s not exactly Ruthian, you can see that the 6’4” shortstop has really started to hit his size. So, what does this really mean? With Asdrubal Cabrera in Cleveland, it doesn’t mean a whole lot. But, if Cabrera gets injured, or if the Indians decide to deal Cabrera at any point post 2012, the Indians have a guy that can be a stop-gap at the position until a Ronny Rodriguez or Tony Wolters are ready to bridge their own gap to Francisco Lindor. He’s not a long term candidate (Diaz), but definitely is a guy, at this point, who could cover a rebuilding year.

David Huff: SP, Columbus Clippers: W (6-6), 8 IP, 2 H, 1 R/ER, 1 BB, 5 K, 1 HR:

Don’t look now, but David Huff has put together two outstanding starts in a row, and three out of his last four (with a 9-run, 4 2/3 IP implosion in the middle). During the past two games, Huff has gone 15 innings, giving up six hits and three earned runs, while walking three and striking out eight. This is certainly a good sign for Huff, who has been extremely hittable this season. He’s given up 138 hits in 123 1/3 innings, with 23 of those hits being home runs. As a matter of fact, 17 of those homers have come in his last ten starts over a 59 2/3 inning stretch. He’s given up two over his last two starts. I’m not sure if this is based on a drop in velocity, movement, or both, but Huff hasn’t been the same pitcher he was a couple of years ago. It seems like years since he was a big league pitcher, but remember, he made 26 starts in Cleveland overall in 2010 and 2011. He doesn’t seem close right now, but does seem to be on the right track.

  • Cord Phelps: 2B, Columbus: 1-for-4, 2 R, 1 2B, 2 BB, 1 K: Phelps continued his solid play of late, getting on base three more times on Monday, upping his OBP to .386 (.444 over his last ten games).
  • Luke Carlin: C, Clippers: 2-for-5, 1 R, 1 2B: The Clippers Crash Davis (minus the homers) threw up another nice ballgame on Monday night, giving him a three game hit streak, and hits in five of his last six games.
  • Vinny Rottino: RF, Columbus: 3-for-3, 2 R, 2 2B, 2 RBI, 2 BB: You can say what you want about Rottino as a 32-year-old “prospect,” but he certainly excels at the Triple A level. He has really dialed in his offense over the past two games, going 5-for-8, with three runs scored, and may be making on last push to make it onto the big league roster. I don’t think Rottino will figure into the Indians plays unless there is injury though, as there are other similar guys that they should look at first, with regards to future roster potential. Rottino his hitting .299 overall in the International League, and .292 with the Clippers.
  • Tyler Sturdevant: RP, Columbus: 1 IP, 1 H, 1 K: Sturdevant has been dominant of late, with six shutout appearances, covering six innings of work, in a row. During that stretch, he’s given up only three hits and three walks, while striking out six. He finally may be 100% after his injury issues to start the season.
  • Jordan Henry: RF, Akron: 2-for-3, 1 BB, 1 K: Henry, who’s been struggling all season, is showing a bit of that old potential, hitting in six of his past eight games, including three multi-hit efforts. His overall average is up to .260.
  • T.J. House: SP, Akron: L (7-4), 1 IP, 3 H, 4 R/ER, 3 BB, 1 K: House got torched, and I’m not sure if there was anything behind it other than just a bad day, as House has been pitching extremely well of late. This was the House of old, who would lose his mechanics, and not find the plate. I’m happy they yanked him before it really snowballed, but as is, it will be interesting to see if he can forget it come the next start.
  • Shawn Armstrong: RP, Akron: 2/3 IP, 2 BB, 2 K: Well, he struck out his only two outs, with two walks in between. His ERA is stellar, at 0.56, but he has 10 walks in his last ten games, against 10 K’s. Not a good ratio at all.
  • Bryce Stowell: RP, Akron: 1 2/3 IP, 1 BB, 1 K: Stowell had a nice, solid outing on Monday night in mop-up duty. His talent isn’t questioned, but his health, and now, his consistency are. He needs to have a stretch to end the season where he’s not giving up runs…to build momentum for another push to the bigs in 2013.
  • Cole Cook: RP, Akron: 1 2/3 IP, 2 H, 1 BB: Well, Cook didn’t blow anyone away here, allowing three base runners in just under two innings, but he did continue his extremely under-the-radar good season in his march through the system. Look, he’s not a cannon arm, but he’s clearly a guy that the Indians like a bit, as he’s played at every level this year.
  • Preston Guilmet: Closer, Akron: 2/3 IP, 2 H: Guilmet got some work in, and was solid as always. It’s his sixth straight shutout appearance after giving up runs in back-to-back games.
  • Lake County Offense: 2-for-29, 4 BB, 6 K: I have to imagine that as a pitcher, you’d feel pretty good in shutting down this line-up. Lansing’s pitchers did just that, allowing singles by Yhoxian Medina and Bryson Myles. To make matters worse, Jose Ramirez got beaned in the knee, and had to come out of the game.
  • Shawn Morimando: SP, Lake County: 3 2/3 IP, 6 H, 7 R/4 ER, 3 BB, 6 K, 1 HR: Morimando struggled in a game in which Lansing’s pitching and Lake County’s offense didn’t give him a chance.
  • Louis Head: RP, Lake County: 4 1/3 IP, 2 H, 1 R/ER, 1 BB, 4 K, 1 HR: Head’s only mistake was the home run, as he locked the game down for the Captains for much of the game.
  • Andrew Campbell: LF, Mahoning Valley: 1-for-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 BB: Campbell hit a two-run homer in the ninth inning of a lost cause game, but it was his first professional homer.
  • Erik Gonzalez: 3B, Mahoning Valley: 1-for-3, 1 R, 1 HR< 2 RBI, 1 BB: Gonzalez crushed a two-run homer of his own in the ninth inning, as the Scrappers got all their runs in the ninth, and on the homers.
  • Ryan Merritt: SP, Mahoning Valley: L (3-4), 5 1/3 IP, 4 H, 6 R/2 ER, 2 BB: The Indians are kings of pitchers that give up a ton of runs, but man unearned. The Scrappers had five errors on the day, and you don’t win many games doing that.
  • Anthony Santander: LF, AZL Indians: 2-for-4, 1 R, 2 2B, 1 RBI: Santander was the only Indians’ player with multiple hits, as he rapped out two doubles on the day. The Baby Indians only had five hits total, as Santander moved his average over the .300 line, to .304 on the season.
  • Eric Haase: C, AZL Indians: 1-3, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 BB, 1 K: Haase is hitting .378 over his last ten games, and is an interesting possibility going forward as an offensive catcher. His average is up to .308, and as he makes the move to full season Lake County next year, can hopefully continue the progress, and add power to the equation. He has two this season, and while he’s not projected to become a power guy, a bit more makes him much more valuable.
  • Dylan Baker: SP, AZL Indians: 4 IP, 4 H, 2 R/ER, 2 BB, 4 K, 1 HR: Baker pitched well in his four innings, as this loaded pitching staff continues to perform to expectations. There are a boatload of potential starters here, and they are all starting to pitch well.

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

August 22, 2012 - 9:57 AM EDT
Huff finally recuperated from his hamstring injury-good to see him finishing strong.
August 21, 2012 - 5:02 PM EDT
Naquin has a lower back strain. No ETA on any return, but the Indians will probably play it safe and just hold him out the rest of the season. That's speculation from me there.
August 21, 2012 - 4:51 PM EDT
Whats up with Tyler Naquin? Hurt?
August 21, 2012 - 11:27 AM EDT
FYI, for those wondering, House came out after one inning not because he was hurt, but because of the Indians' 35-pitch rule. Anytime a pitcher throws 35 pitches in an inning they are taken out (after they face the batter).
August 21, 2012 - 10:23 AM EDT
When I was a lad "bean" was another word for head, which meant that being "beaned in the knee" made no sense. I know that language naturally evolves and grows, but I don't see what's gained in this case.

Anyway, thanks, Jim, for your thorough and reliable coverage of our minor leaguers.

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