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Around The Farm: July 4, 2013

Merritt's scoreless outing, Paulino's power highlight night on the farm

Around The Farm: July 4, 2013
Ryan Merritt (Photo: Lianna Holub)
July 5, 2013
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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.

Ryan Merritt (SP, Lake County): W (5-8), 7.0 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 4 SO, 1 E

Merritt is not an overpowering pitcher (he only has 6.32 SO/9), though you could be forgiven for mistaking him as such Thursday night. The left-hander cruised, tossing seven shutout innings two starts after throwing eight shutout innings. Of course, Merritt had a five-run clunker in between those two, but Merritt is showing he is capable of some strong pitching. He limits walks quite well (1.53 BB/9) and, of course, gets a bump for throwing from the left side. With a 3.57 FIP to go with his 3.73 ERA, I could see the 21-year-old getting a taste of High-A ball late in the season to prime him for 2014.

Dorssys Paulino (SS, Lake County): 2-for-5, 2 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI

In April, Paulino did not have a single extra-base hit. In May, the shortstop got some power going -- hitting eight doubles and a triple -- though the over the fences power remained hard to come by. June saw Paulino's first home run -- two in fact -- along with five doubles and two triples.

Now, in July, Paulino has already hit two doubles and a home run in his first three games. Paulino did not make an immediate Mike Trout-like adjustment to full season ball, but that should come as no surprise. Players like Trout are rare; a series a failures and adjustments similar to Paulino's path are much more common. Paulino is still showing growth as the season goes on, and really, that is all we can ask for from him.

  • T.J. House (SP, Columbus): L (1-9), 3.2 IP, 6 H, 4 ER, 4 BB, 1 SO. Things continue to get worse for House in Triple-A as this was his shortest outing to date. He is getting plenty of groundballs, but a 50:36 SO:BB in 73.2 innings is hard to overcome.
  • Chen-Chang Lee (RP, Columbus): 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 SO. Lee's third outing in Columbus was his cleanest, as he did not allow any runs or walks. The Futures Game participant will hopefully get a shot with the Bullpen Mafia sometime after the All-Star break.
  • Ezequiel Carrera (CF, Columbus): 2-for-4, 1 SO. The Clippers only managed four hits Thursday (four on the Fourth!), with Carrera pacing the offense. The two hits only raised Carrera's line to .243/.315/.379, though.
  • Nate Spears (3B, Columbus): 1-for-3, 1 2B, 1 SO. Players like Carrera and Spears getting a ton of playing time in Triple-A illustrates how prospect-barren the level is for the organization. Luckily, most of the position players in Akron are doing well and could push for spots in late 2013 and early 2014.
  • Jake Lowery (C, Akron): 3-for-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 5 RBI. The BABIP may not be sustainable, but there is no doubt Lowery is hitting the ball well right now. He will regress, but the catcher is flashing some real power since being called up to Double-A.
  • Carlos Moncrief (RF, Akron): 2-for-5, 3 R, 1 3B, 1 RBI, 1 SO. I know Cleveland tends to be a little more conservative with their prospects and this is Moncrief's first year in Double-A, but I really want to see him pushed. With his age a little advanced, I think we might as well see what Moncrief can do in Triple-A.
  • Brett Brach (SP, Akron): ND, 3.1 IP, 6 H, 6 R (5 ER), 2 BB, 3 SO, 1 HR, 2 WP. Brach's main value comes from pitching effectively and hauling innings at this level, so another subpar outing is not good to see.
  • Trey Haley (RP, Akron): S (3), 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 1 SO. The control clearly is not all the way there yet, but with how bad Haley has struggled this year, making it through two scoreless innings is a step in the right direction.
  • Joe Wendle (2B, Carolina): 2-for-4, 1 SO. Like Columbus, Carolina also only had four hits on the Fourth. Two came from Wendle as he continues his assault on Carolina League pitching (.318/.394/.574).
  • Jerrud Sabourin (1B, Carolina): 2-for-3, 1 SO. The other two hits were the Sabour Tooth Tiger's, as he moved to .300/.386/.392 on the year. Sabourin continues to simply show up and hit the ball.
  • Joseph Colon (SP, Carolina): L (0-1), 3.0 IP, 4 H, 3 ER, 0 BB, 2 SO, 1 BK, 2 HBP. Colon struggled in his second start back after missing time with a right forearm strain, allowing all three runs, balking once, and hitting two batters. Maybe this is just Colon knocking off some rust.
  • Owen Dew (RP, Carolina): 3.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 2 SO. Dew has looked much better after returning from a right shoulder strain about two weeks ago, only allowing one run in eight innings. Hopefully this is the start of something for Dew and he can stay healthy.
  • Erik Gonzalez (3B, Lake County): 3-for-5, 3 R, 1 HR, 3 RBI. I continue to only get Gonzalez's great games on nights I do ATF. Maybe if he only played on Wednesdays and Thursdays...
  • Logan Vick (CF, Lake County): 2-for-3, 2 R, 2 BB, 1 CS. With getting on base four times Thursday, Vick raised his on-base percentage to .400. At this point, I think the 22-year-old does not have much more to prove in Lake County and should get pushed to Carolina in the near future.
  • Robert Whitenack (SP, Mahoning Valley): L (1-2), 4.0 IP, 9 H, 7 R (3 ER), 2 BB, 1 SO, 1 HR, 3 WP. Whitenack throws hard, but as has been the case this year, he just cannot seem to control it.
  • Kerry Doane (RP, Mahoning Valley): 3.0 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 0 B, 3 SO, 1 HR. Doane, on the other hand, controlled things much better. Outside of the home run, this year's 24th round pick made it through his fourth consecutive solid outing since turning pro.
  • Cody Ferrell (CF, Mahoning Valley): 1-for-3, 2 R, 1 HR, 1 BB, 1 SO, 1 PO. Ferrell's home run was the inside-the-park variety, arguably the most exciting play in all of baseball. The undrafted outfielder continues to make you wonder why he went undrafted as he moves to 5-for-12 in his first three games.
  • James Roberts (DH, Mahoning Valley): 2-for-3, 1 R, 2 RBI, 1 BB. Roberts may not have an extra-base hit yet, but the 15th round pick currently owns a .419 on-base percentage. Not a bad start to a career.
  • Kieran Lovegrove (SP, AZL Indians): W (1-0), 5.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 4 SO, 2 HBP. It may only be the Arizona League, but seeing a 1.93 ERA and 3.27 FIP from Lovegrove in his first 14.0 innings is an encouraging start to the right-hander's season.
  • Martin Alcantara (RP, AZL Indians): 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 4 SO. Alcantara may have some issues with allowing runs, but 10 strikeouts in 7.2 innings is not too bad.
  • Ordomar Valdez (2B, AZL Indians): 2-for-3, 2 R, 1 2B, 1 3B, 1 RBI. Valdez may not be a big guy (5'9", 150 pounds), but he showed plenty of pop Thursday night.
  • Clint Frazier (DH, AZL Indians): 2-for-4, 1 R, 1 3B, 1 RBI, 1 SO. Frazier played the whole game, though he took another day off of playing in the field. Still, another glimpse of his plus power is a nice consolation prize.

If you want to follow Jim on Twitter, he’s @JimPiascik. If you want to e-mail him, you can do so at If you want to read his Master's thesis on college athletes and Twitter, you can do so here.

User Comments

Jim Piascik
July 5, 2013 - 12:48 PM EDT
I just like still using the term a little ironically. Which, of course, doesn't come through in text. Haha.
July 5, 2013 - 12:45 PM EDT
Yeah, I think they can put the term Bullpen Mafia to bed. Bullpen has been a huge disappointment this season.

As for McFarland, I like him, but I don't think the Indians missed much not rostering him. He is a fungible reliever who has been used well by the Orioles this season. He's actually worse against lefties this year than Hagadone and the league looks to have figured him out the past month-plus.
July 5, 2013 - 12:37 PM EDT
Feel bad for House, but can't help wondering if wrong TJ went on the 40 man...and who in front office should be held accountable!!??
July 5, 2013 - 12:11 PM EDT
I think if I see the term Bullpen Mafia one more time for this year i'm going to be ill.
July 5, 2013 - 10:34 AM EDT
If Paulino has a strong second half, then I think he should go to Carolina next season. That's a big 'if', but that kind of in-year improvement shows maturity and work ethic.
July 5, 2013 - 10:15 AM EDT
The Indians were probably over-aggressive with pushing Paulino and some others to Lake County to start the year.....but he will hopefully be better for it in the long run. It will be interesting if the Indians push him to Carolina next year or keep him back in Lake County another year to catch up at the proper level. Prior history suggests he will go to Carolina no matter what.
July 5, 2013 - 9:09 AM EDT
Nice outing by Ryan Merritt, man it would be nice if some of these young arms develop.

I think Dorssys Paulino is facing some unrealistic expectations by some. At 18, Paulino should be getting a taste of AZL or MV action. He performed nicely there last yr, and that is why he is in LC this yr. Truth be told, he is a level above where he would be traditionally.

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