Around the Farm: July 6
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.
Drew Pomeranz, SP, Kinston: 7 IP, 3 H, 2 BB, 7 K, W (3-2):
I have to admit that I thought Pomeranz had seen his last days in Kinston after the Carolina/California League All-Star game at the end of June. Of course, I had it all wrong. Pomeranz stayed in Kinston to iron out some kinks, in particular, with his changeup. While I doubt that all the wrinkles are "ironed out," you'd have to believe that Pomeranz really made a statement tonight, with arguably his best start of the season. The big lefty pitched seven strong innings for the second time in his career, and in shutting out Lynchburg for seven innings, dropped his league-leading ERA down to 1.87. While he has had games in which he was clearly working on his game showing some chinks in his armor, tonight proved that when he's left to his own devices, he's a buzz-saw. What does this mean for Pomeranz? On July 10th, he'll pitch in the XM All-Star Futures game (with Columbus' Jason Kipnis) in Phoenix, Arizona. The Eastern League all-star game is on July 13th, and the season picks back up for the Aeros on the 14th in Harrisburg. I have a suspicion that Pomeranz just might be starting on the 15th (depending on how much time he sees in the Futures game, he could start on the 14th). So, if this was his last start in Kinston, well done Drew, and good luck to you on your way to the Tribe's starting rotation.
- Jason Donald: SS, Columbus: 2-4, 1 R, 1 K: Well, I dropped the hammer on Donald yesterday for his slumping ways, and he responded with another multi-hit game. Of course, I'm not suggesting I had anything to do with it. Donald was the only Clippers player with more than one hit in the game.
- Jason Kipnis: 2B, Columbus: 1-4: I suppose I'm going to put Kipnis in here nightly, as we watch his progression over the coming weeks. No errors tonight, and another hit. He's hit in eight of his last ten, and is batting .378 over the same time period.
- Tim Fedroff: CF, Columbus: 1-3, 1 RBI, 1 K: Fedroff was batting ninth tonight, trying to get him as close to lead-off as possible. He's not going to supplant Ezequiel Carrera yet, but I wouldn't doubt that he finds the nine hole as his temporary home for the time being.
- Justin Germano: SP, Columbus: 6 IP, 2 H, 7 K: Well, Germano took over for McAllister in perhaps his only start, and boy did he make the most of it. If not for Zack Putnam absolutely blowing it tonight, he'd have gotten the win. You have to wonder if a start like this could give the Tribe thoughts of moving Kluber out of his starting role. Great showing for a former member of the bullpen mafia.
- Zach Putnam: RP, Columbus: 1 1/3 IP, 4 H, 3 R/ER, 4 BB, 3 K, BS, L (4-2): Tick...tick...tick...BOOM! Putnam has been a psuedo-closer for the Clippers, and boy, this makes you really say hmmm with regards to his future with the club. There's no doubt he's talented, but he's giving up runs in four of his last six games. While his ERA is 3.43 overall, it's 4.97 in the last ten. Chen Lee has surpassed him.
- Tyler Cannon: 2B, Akron: 2-3, 1 2B, 1 RBI: Free at last...free at last...thank god almight, he's free at last. Cannon must be jumping for joy at leaving the pitching-happy Carolina League, and he showed it tonight with two of Akron's three total hits, and their only RBI. Nice debut for Cannon, who has a ton of offensive talent, and is another middle infielder to watch. It appears as though they are lining him up to take over for Kipnis, if they ever call him up.
- Joe Gardner: SP, Akron: 6 IP, 8 H, 4 R/ER, 2 BB, 6 K: This wasn't a total disaster for Gardner, but clearly this is a season that he'll likely forget. Last year, there were never any starts like tonight's, and let's be honest...this year it was a better start for him. It will be interesting to see how the big righty closes out the season, as he'll surely fall behind several other starters in the system. When that curveball is working, it just drops off a table. Still a top prospect, but he'll need to pick it up, or get lost in the shuffle.
- Bryan Price: RP, Akron: 2 IP, 1 BB, 3 K: Price has really gotten back into the picture with a solid 2011 season. Overall, Price is 2-2 with a 2.67 ERA in 18 appearances and 33 2/3 innings pitched. In his last ten games, he's got a 1.35 ERA in 20 innings, with 7 BB and 15 K's. While left-handed hitters are knocking him around a bit, righty's are only hitting .219. Would that make him a ROOGY?
- Rob Bryson: RP, Kinston: 1 IP, 1 H, 1 R/ER, 1 K, 1 HR: Well, Bryson had been perfect heading into tonight's game, and while he made what could be Pomeranz's last start interesting, he's still moving up the prospect charts. Overall, his ERA after tonight remains a miniscule 0.79.
- Preston Guilmet: RP, Kinston: 1 IP, 2 K, S (21): Well, I keep thinking that Guilmet isn't a top prospect. Of course, every time I think that, he comes out with a flippin' appearance like this. It really will be interesting to see how his game translates to Akron. If it's like Cory Burns before him, he'll be fine.
- Alex Monsalve: C, Lake County: 2-4, 2 K: Monsalve continues to hit the ball, and has his average up to .277. His stat line over the past ten is .308/.372/.615, and he continues to follow the same footsteps as Chun Chen last season as a breakout offensive threat from behind the plate. With only Doug Pickens and Roberto Perez ahead of him in Kinston, he may be making a move up soon, especially with Josh Lowery mashing in Mahoning Valley (yeah, including tonight...more on that in a bit).
- Bryson Myles: RF, Mahoning Valley: 2-4, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 K: Myles continues to make a case for an early call-up with another 2-hit performance. While he did get thrown out for the first time in his pro career, he continues to be a difference maker in the Scrappers' line-up. His nine-game hit streak was broken yesterday, but he picked up right where he left off last night. This was his third two-hit performance in his last four games. Yeah, this kid continues to show how real he is.
- Jake Lowery: DH, Mahoning Valley: 1-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 K: Lowery belted his third home run of the young season, while deferring his catching duties to Alex Lavisky for the night.
- Jordan Smith: 3B, Mahoning Valley: 2-3, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K: The ninth-round pick out of St. Cloud State is leading the team in batting now at .339 after back-to-back two-hit games.
- Madon Radeke: 6 IP, 7 H, 2 R/ER, 1 BB, 2 K, 1 HR: This was another pretty solid start for Radeke. While he hasn't blown the doors down for the Scrappers, he's given three nice starts out of the gate, which isn't bad for a 35th round pick.
Follow Tony and the Indians Prospect Insider on Twitter @TonyIPI. Also, his latest book the 2011 Cleveland Indians Top 100 Prospects & More is available for purchase for $20.95 to customers in the US (shipping and handling extra).
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 email@example.com.