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Around the Farm: August 31, 2012

Around the Farm: August 31, 2012
September 1, 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.

T.J. McFarland: SP, Columbus Clippers: (W, 8-6), 6 IP, 3 H, 1 BB, 3 K:

In what was assuredly his last start of the minor league season, McFarland went out and pitched a gem. McFarland has essentially been Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde at the Triple-A level this year, so it was good to see him go out with a positive start. As a sinker baller who pitches to contact, he will never be anything more than a back-of-rotation starter, but he should definitely be on the Tribe’s 2013 radar given the season he posted at Akron and Columbus. His BABIP of .314 shows that he’ll always need stellar performances from his defense, so it will be interesting to see how he does moving forward. He is left-handed, so he’ll continually get opportunities. Who knows, maybe he could find himself with the Tribe as a September addition. He could not possibly be any worse than the team’s current roster, right? 

Russ Canzler: 1B, Columbus: 4-for-5, 3 R, 2 2B, 1 HR, 6 RBI:

Canzler launched his 22nd home run of the season and notched six RBI to bring his season total to 79. I’ve not been a fan of Canzler as I’ve heard stories about his slow bat speed, and he seems to have absolutely no patience at the plate (46 walks compared to 128 strikeouts). Regardless, at some point, you have to give the guy a shot, and judging from Manny Acta’s post game comments, that time is now. If this was indeed Canzler’s last game with the Clippers, he certainly went out with a bang. He does seem to have slightly above average power, and it’s hard to believe he can be any worse than the recently designated for assignment Shelley Duncan. With September here, it could be now or never for the right-handed hitting Canzler.

Jesus Aguilar: DH, Akron Aeros: 3-for-4, 2 R, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K:

As the season draws to close, Aguilar only continues to heat up more and more at the plate. On Friday, he was one of two Aeros to collect three hits. All hits were singles, which shows that he’s not always trying to swing for the fences and is content to take what pitchers give him. Also, Friday’s game was a nice rebound for Aguilar as he scuffled Thursday by striking out three times. With the postseason around the corner, it will be interesting to see how Aguilar performs. Don’t be surprised if he has a big part in how the Aeros perform throughout the playoffs. On more than one occasion, the right-handed slugger has shown that he can carry teams when his bat is right. Let’s hope that is the case here in these next couple weeks.

  • Juan Diaz: SS, Columbus: 3-for-4, 1 R, 2 2B, 4 RBI, 1 BB: After another impressive performance at the plate, Diaz has now raised his average to .317. It’s hard to tell if he’s just riding a hot streak or if he really may have discovered some legitimate bat magic. Regardless, the steps that he has made this year can only be considered positive ones.
  • Tim Fedroff: LF, Columbus: 2-for-4, 2 R, 1 BB: Another player who may find himself in Cleveland in the next few days. Fedroff has had a brilliant campaign between Akron and Columbus this year, and there is perhaps no player more deserving of a taste of the Show than the left-handed hitting Fedroff.
  • Cord Phelps: 2B, Columbus: 2-for-6, 2 R, 1 K: Phelps breaks out of his slump a little bit with a two-hit performance. Still, in his last 10 games, the switch-hitter is batting just .200.
  • Jared Goedert: DH, Columbus: 1-for-4, 1 R, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K: Much like Canzler, Goedert’s bat speed has been criticized by many this season. Regardless, the right-handed hitter has been tremendous all season, and he definitely deserves a shot at the bigs. Between Akron and Columbus, he has driven in 76 runs and hit 19 home runs. Those kind of numbers at least deserve a look.
  • Vinny Rottino: RF, Columbus: 2-for-5, 2 R, 1 2B: Rottino boosted his average back up to .300 and has really been a nice pickup for the Clippers. As stated before, he’s a minor league lifer, but he certainly does a good job at it.
  • Aaron Cunningham: CF, Columbus: 0-for-5: After 19 games with the Clippers, Cunningham’s average is at .172, which is actually worse than the .175 he posted in 72 games with the Tribe this year. I know it may sound harsh, but does there come a time where maybe it becomes apparent that a guy is just no longer capable of playing this game at a competitive level?
  • Ryan Rohlinger: SS, Akron: 3-for-5, 1 R, 2 2B, 3 RBI: Rohlinger came up in a big way by recording his 13th and 14th double of the season.
  • Chun Hsiu-Chen: 1B, Akron: 1-for-5, 1 R, 1 K: Chen did get a hit Friday, but the right-handed hitter has still struggled immensely as of late. In his past 10 games, he’s hitting only .194 compared to his season average of .311.
  • Toru Murata: SP, Akron: (W, 3-1), 6 IP, 4 H, 8 K: Murata was never really considered much of a prospect, but it’s hard not to be impressed with what he’s done since moving to Akron’s rotation. In his last 10 appearances, the right-hander owns a 1.38 ERA.
  • Tony Wolters: SS, Carolina Mudcats: 1-for-4, 2 K: You know it was an ugly game for the Mudcats when this is the kind of performance that you have to highlight. The team collected just five total hits, one of them going to Wolters.
  • Ronny Rodriguez: 2B, Carolina: 1-for-4, 1 2B, 1 K: Rodriguez notched his 19th double Friday, and his average now sits at .267.
  • Josh Martin: RP, Carolina: 2 IP, 1 H, 1 BB, 1 K: Martin pitched better in his second appearance with Carolina than in his first. After giving up a solo shot in his first appearance, Martin was nearly perfect for two innings Friday.
  • Justin Toole: LF, Carolina: 1-for-4, 1 3B: I do like Toole just because all the tools he possesses, pun intended, which was on display a week ago when he played all nine positions. On Friday, his speed was on display as he legged out his third triple of the year.
  • Jose Ramirez: 2B, Lake County Captains: 2-for-3, 3 R, 2 BB: Given his lack of power, opinions are mixed on how much of a prospect he actually is. Still, in 64 games with the Captains, Ramirez has now hit .352. I’ll take those numbers any days.
  • Jerrud Sabourin: 1B, Lake County: 1-for-5, 3 RBI, 1 K: Sabourin collected just one hit Friday, but he made the most of it. With two outs in the bottom of the eighth inning, he hit a three-run single to give the Captains a comfortable advantage.
  • Bryson Myles: LF, Lake County: 2-for-4, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K: Myles hit his 19th double Friday, and his season average sits at a very respectable .289.
  • Jake Lowery: DH, Lake County: 3-for-4, 3 R, 2 2B, 1 3B, 1 K: Lowery was an extra-base hit machine Friday as he notched three of them. IPI’s 2012 25th ranked prospect has still been a pretty big disappointment this season with his average sitting at just .234.
  • Daniel Jimenez: SP, Lake County: 5 2/3 IP, 7 H, 3 R/ER, 3 BB, 4 K: There were things to like and also dislike about Jimenez’s start. He kept the game close, but the walks are somewhat discouraging. In nine games and seven starts with the Captains, the left-hander has a 5.28 ERA.
  • Enosil Tejeda: RP, Lake County: Make that 16 straight appearances for Tejeda without allowing a run. The young right-hander has been brilliant since allowing three runs in his first appearance, and his ERA now sits at 1.29.
  • Erik Gonzalez: RF, Mahoning Valley Scrappers: 4-for-5, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 RBI: After really struggling out of the gates, Gonzalez has been on fire as of late. In his last 10 games, he’s hitting .324.
  • Dorssys Paulino: SS, Mahoning Valley: 1-for-4, 1 2B, 1 BB, 1 K, SB, error: Paulino recorded his fourth double in 10 games with the Scrappers, and his season average sits comfortably at .289.
  • Joseph Wendle: 2B, Mahoning Valley: 2-for-5, 1 R, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 1 K: Wendle recorded his fourth home run Friday and continues to be one of the Tribe’s best surprises from the 2012 draft class. He is now hitting .325 with 35 RBI.
  • Hunter Jones: LF, Mahoning Valley: 2-for-4, 2 R, 1 RBI, error: Jones has had a rough season, but he was one of the Scrappers’ bright spots Friday as he collected two hits.

Steve can be reached via email at

User Comments

September 4, 2012 - 9:12 AM EDT
Makes sense that guys like Fedroff and Goedert will not be called up. Bottom line, they want to get looks at LaPorta and Canzler and Carrera in LF and also LaPorta/Canzler at DH/1B. With Hannahan and Chisenhall at 3B, it leaves no room for at bats for Goedert and Fedroff. They are not going to call up guys just to call them up. Guys like Rottino are going to get limited opps and are just filler, which is why they are called up instead. Fedroff and Goedert absolutely deserve a callup, but the reason is legit as to why they are not being called up.
September 3, 2012 - 12:47 PM EDT
Fedroff has already been told by Ross Atkins that he will not be brought up at all this year.
September 2, 2012 - 6:50 PM EDT
Good for Thomas Neal....he was well deserving of the call to Cleveland. Just as much as Fedroff. As has always been stated, whether a guy is at Double-A or Triple-A does not usually matter to the Indians as they will pull from either spot and they see little difference from the two leagues. Calling up Neal now gives them an opportunity to get a few looks at him.....and I still think that Fedroff will be called up once Columbus' season ends.

Also, Neal is a right-handed bat, and one they valued last year to pick up. He came off the roster in April because he was still recovering from a shoulder injury which other teams knew about, so a factor into why he was not claimed and why he was suddenly on waivers. I am not sure how much he is truly valued, and if he were truly an option he would have been pushed up months ago. But perhaps something has changed and they want to see him get 30-40 plate appearances at the big league level and see if he is worth letting go of this offseason (he would of been a minor league free agent had he not been rostered). They still have time on Fedroff as he is not eligible for free agency.....and they can roster him in November if need be or later this month once Columbus' season is over. Goedert also deserves a shot, and I think he comes up with Fedroff.

Bottom line, they can't gut Columbus and call up everyone at once. We should see another 2-5 players added after Monday.
September 2, 2012 - 12:10 PM EDT
This Seth agrees completely with promoting Neal, though Fedroff also deserves a promotion. (Too many Seths, Jims and Rich's commenting on IPI ... gets confusing) Goedert I think is not a valid option ... he always gets hot for a while, gets everyone excited and then goes on an equally long brutal cold streak. He's like Matt McBride, except not quite as good. Fedroff and Neal are more interesting players.
September 1, 2012 - 9:48 PM EDT
Let's be real.. Neal is a couple months younger than Fedroff and by no means has shown he is better defensively OR offensively. In fact Fedroff is faster and all in all has higher stats. I'm not saying Neal is a bad player by any means, but how do you promote a guy you released and by pass guys who have proven themselves all season in a higher level. Fedroff is guy we drafted and paid $750,000 to, how do you not at least see what he can do? Another waste of money I suppose?
September 1, 2012 - 9:37 PM EDT
I saw the second half of the Captains' game last night. That was the most fun I have had at a ballgame since 1995. Ramirez may not ever have much power, but he can play, both offense and defense. His dash from first to score on a routine ground ball single in the eighth was really exciting. Myles and Smith both made diving catches in the outfield with Myles's catch being as pretty as any you will ever see.
September 1, 2012 - 7:08 PM EDT
I caught part of an Indians radio show today and Ross Adkins was talking about a variety of players. When the topic of Neal came up, Ross was speaking in glowing terms noting how well Neal played in the field defensively and his numbers at Canal Park which he characterized as spacious and tougher on hitters.

A few weeks ago the question was raised if only 1 guy could get called between Fedroff, Goedert and Neal, who should get it. I suggested Neal because he was younger, right handed and played better D in the OF. we will see how it works out.
September 1, 2012 - 6:07 PM EDT
Totally agree Rob. They had opportunities to do the right thing and they still keep getting it wrong.
September 1, 2012 - 5:35 PM EDT
If your computer spits out Duncan, Lillibridge, Hannahan, Kotchman, Cunningham, Damon, Lowe, Wheeler, etc...then yeah shove it up your ass. In your "Window" year you lose 90+ games, and injuries are not even a factor. These guys should be fired immediately and be forced to work a nacho stand.
September 1, 2012 - 5:09 PM EDT
"F the whole front office, shove your computers up your Ivy League asses!!"

I agreed with most of what you said until this. Should all the 'Ivy Leaguers with computers' in the front offices of winning teams do the same? I know it's been a tough stretch, but I hope fans can avoid such simple-minded rants. You sound like Moneyball's caricature of Grady Fuson.
September 1, 2012 - 3:19 PM EDT
Agree completely Seth, beyond bizarre as usual. Not sure why kotchman and hannahan were not just let go in August to free up more time. Plus contenders with late inning defensive needs could have used their gloves for "real" games. Wouldn't it be nice to see Steven Wright making a couple of September starts as well, just to give fans something interesting? F the whole front office, shove your computers up your Ivy League asses!!
September 1, 2012 - 2:36 PM EDT
Goedert is a right handed batter. Neal was released earlier and started off terrible. These guys did just as good in AA or better. How do you go from having no interest in Neal to promoting him and by passing guys who have proven themselves all season in AAA. These guys have had to sit and watch Cleveland struggle all season with guys like Duncan ahead of them and aren't even given the opportunity to show what they're capable of. Why keep them if they're not valued?
September 1, 2012 - 2:24 PM EDT
1st is a matter of batting right handed (in Neal's case). 2nd its a matter of being on the 40 man roster or not.

Have to admit I am surprised they added Neal to the 40 man roster ( which is now full).

Anyone know how Neal's spot in Akron is being filled? Perhaps Fedroff will be "demoted" so he can continue to play into mid September & then the Tribe can decide on other moves at that point.
September 1, 2012 - 1:21 PM EDT
How do you not give Fedroff the call up? He's more deserving than anyone. What more does the kid need to do? Neal hasn't proven anything in triple A. Rottino or Goedert is more deserving than Neal.
September 1, 2012 - 10:48 AM EDT
No mention of Kyle Blairs/Carolina- 4 inning shutout . last 4 outings we very good. His injuries hampered him most of the year while trying to play through them.
September 1, 2012 - 7:08 AM EDT
I like Diaz a lot better than most. I was hard on the kid earlier this year because I had him as my sleeper pick two years running, and never seemed to take the next step. I love his size, and while his tools aren't plus, they aren't far off. He's still young, and he's playing the wrong position in this organization, but he really could have a major league career. I think his calling card is his power...which is still developing. He'll never hold off the guys behind him (three SS in the top five prospects), but he could get time in the bigs prior...
September 1, 2012 - 7:03 AM EDT
Thomas Neal heading to the big league's about freakin' time...
Remembering Beau Allred
September 1, 2012 - 6:58 AM EDT
Shaponetti...go fire yourself.

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