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Around the Farm: June 2, 2012

Around the Farm: June 2, 2012
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Around the Farm was originated here at Indians Prospect Insider, and 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.

Matt LaPorta (1B/LF, Columbus): DNP

It is not often you will see a player that did not play get the headline in Around the Farm, but when you are talking about Matt LaPorta, exceptions are made. LaPorta has dominated ATF the first two months of the season, but he will no longer be a daily staple in the column because he has been recalled to Cleveland. With Johnny Damon leaving the team for a few days to go on paternity leave, the Indians decided it was time to get LaPorta up as he would be assured of the opportunity to play every day. He should be in the lineup today when the Indians take on the Twins, and probably will remain in the lineup for all three games of the upcoming Detroit series, though Damon may be back for the last game of the series. Whether he plays good or bad, I am not sure three games will be enough to evaluate LaPorta, so it will be interesting to see what the Indians do with LaPorta once Damon returns. The Indians may simply just option LaPorta back to Columbus, but they could also send infielder Juan Diaz down or even designate Shelley Duncan for assignment. Who knows, maybe Damon enjoys being a new daddy so much that he decides to retire. In any case, it will be interesting to see in a small sample size of three to four games if LaPorta is any different. He is still a decent ML player as he did okay last season, but everyone expects so much more. His power potential from the right side is a welcome sight….just pray that he has figured some things out and is a little more consistent as a performer. The Indians could really use a shot in the arm with him playing up to his potential.

Luigi Rodriguez (CF, Lake County): 0-for-5, 4 K.

I’m starting to get a little concerned with Rodriguez. He got off to a hot start and was lighting up the scoreboard in April as he hit .349 with 2 HR, 13 RBI and .944 OPS in 20 games that month. He responded with a poor May where he hit just .222 with 0 HR, 5 RBI and .538 OPS in 26 games for the month. What really stands out is how his patience has taken a step back and he is not making as much consistent contact. He struck out 19 times in 83 at bats in those 20 games in April (1 K per 4.4 AB), but in 113 combined at bats in May and June (27 games) he has struck out 36 times (1 K per 3.1 AB). So far his overall line of .270/.330/.367 in 47 games has been a disappointment as in a return to Lake County and with his pedigree as a prospect so much more was expected of him.

  • Jared Goedert (LF/DH, Columbus): 3-for-6, 2B, 2 K. Goedert had three total hits in the doubleheader on Saturday, which was half of the hit total for the entire Clippers team for the day as they combined to score 1 run on 6 hits in the two games.
  • Chad Huffman (RF, Columbus): 1-for-5, RBI, BB, 2 K. Aside from Goedert, the only other offensive contributor all day for the Clippers was Huffman. His RBI in the 3rd inning of game two proved to be the only run for either team and the only run on the day for the Clippers.
  • Beau Mills (1B/DH, Columbus): 0-for-6, 3 K. With the 0-fer, Mills is now below the Mendoza line as he is now hitting .196 with 7 HR, 18 RBI and .665 OPS in 33 games.
  • Corey Kluber (SP, Columbus): 6.0 IP, 3 H, 3 R/ER, 1 BB, 4 K. Kluber pitched well as he threw 52 of his 78 pitches for strikes (66.7%) and limited the Red Wings to just four baserunners in his six innings of work. The Red Wings just took advantage of every opportunity they got.
  • Chris Seddon (SP, Columbus): 6.1 IP, 6 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 7 K. Both Seddon and Kluber combined to pitch 12.1 innings and allowed 3 runs. They really saved the bullpen as only righty Chris Ray made a brief two thirds of an inning appearance in game two.
  • Tim Fedroff (CF, Akron): 1-for-5, 3B, RBI, K. Fedroff did not do a lot of damage, but his big triple with two outs in the seventh inning almost got Akron back in the game. With LaPorta moving up, do the Indians make any moves to fill his void at Triple-A? If they do, then Fedroff would be a great candidate to move up.
  • Matt Lawson (2B, Akron): 2-for-3, R, 2B, 2 RBI, 1 walk. It has only been 6 games, but Lawson is hitting a very good .357/.421/.429 since his return. Considering some of the guys the Indians have had play the infield this year, it is interesting that the Indians had him stuffed at extended spring training and not at Akron to begin with.
  • Paolo Espino (SP, Akron): 5.0 IP, 7 H, 5 R/ER, 2 BB, 5 K, 1 HR. This was Espino’s worst outing of the young season. He has split his time between Akron and Triple-A Columbus, and is showing some of the Espino fans out there how limited he is with his ML potential.
  • Bryan Price (RP, Akron): 2.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K. Another stellar outing out of the bullpen for Price. He is really a Triple-A pitcher that is stuck in Double-A at the moment because the Indians do not have the space or an opportunity to get him to Triple-A right now, though I would think that will change soon.
  • Tyler Holt (CF, Carolina): 1-for-4, K. Holt has struggled over his last 10 games as he is hitting just .211/.348/.263. He may not be getting a lot of hits of late nor hitting balls with authority, but he is getting on base because of his good approach.
  • Carolina offense: 3-for-28, 0 R, 1 2B, 1 BB, 7 K. The Carolina offense could not get anything going and their scoring opportunities were few and far in between. They had just one at bat all night with a runner in scoring position, and failed to bring the runner home.
  • Michael Goodnight (SP, Carolina): 6.0 IP, 8 H, 3 R/ER, 2 BB, 5 K, 1 HR. Goodnight pitched good enough to get the win, but the lack of any run support by his offense meant he needed to be near perfect last night with  his pitching. The game was a big improvement from his previous two outings where he went 13.0 innings and allowed 9 runs.
  • J.D. Reichenbach (RP, Carolina): 2.0 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 BB, 2 K. Reichenbach is a lefty, though has not been used in matchup situations, which is something that is not done in the minors. He has pitched just 4.1 innings against left-handers and owns a 4.15 ERA and .278 BAA, but he has pitched a whopping 25.1 innings against right-handers and owns a 3.91 ERA and .271 BAA.
  • Francisco Lindor (SS, Lake County): 0-for-4, RBI, 1 K. Lindor is in a funk offensively as he is now just 7-for-41 (.171) in his last 10 games, though he did have a quality at bat in the 7th inning. With a runner on third and one out, he battled to put the ball in play and pulled a ball to second base for a groundout which scored the runner from third.
  • Jerrud Sabourin (1B, Lake County): 2-for-4, K. He may not be piling up the RBIs and extra base hits, and he may not be pounding the ball all over the field, but Sabourin is really seeing the ball well right now. This was his 7th multi-hit game in his last 10 games, and he is 17-for-36 (.472) over that stretch.
  • Alex Lavisky (DH, Lake County): 0-for-4, 4 K. Both Lavisky and Luigi Rodriguez got the golden sombrero on Saturday night with 4 strikeouts. Lavisky had as many strikeouts last night as he had in his last 11 games coming into the game.
  • Felix Sterling (SP, Lake County): 5.0 IP, 5 H, 3 R/ER, 2 BB, 4 K, 1 HR. Sterling was much better last night than his previous two outings where he was pounded for 18 runs in 3.0 innings. I’m still stunned by that line over two games. He showed better control and his fastball had some life often touching 94 MPH.
  • Lake County bullpen: (4.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB,  4 K). Rob Nixon and Luis DeJesus both pitched 2.0 innings and both were on top of their games last night. Nixon showed some power as he consistently sat at 93-94 MPH, while DeJesus was at 86-88 MPH but had hitters off balance with some good secondary stuff. 

Follow Tony and the Indians Baseball Insider on Twitter @TonyIBI. Also, his new book the 2014 Cleveland Indians Baseball Insider which profiles the Indians' Top 100 Prospects and more is available for sale.

User Comments

June 4, 2012 - 12:39 AM EDT
Justin, definitely cause for concern with Luigi. He is a raw prospect that could boom/bust for sure, so when you see a guy like him struggling some in a repeat season you begin to reassess. But I am also one who is patient and looks at the entire picture, so hopefully he finishes strong.

Jim, I agree on LaPorta. This has to be a longer term move as I can't see them sending him right back in 3 days. If they do that it really shows little support/belief in him by the org. Have to think maybe Damon is going to call it quits (Indians may already know) or someone else is being shipped out. I can't help but thing this paternity leave for Damon ends up his excuse to step away on his own.
June 3, 2012 - 9:49 PM EDT
Thanks for pointing out Luigi's recent struggles. How worried about him are you? I know both he and Lindor have been in a funk...
June 3, 2012 - 10:48 AM EDT
Yeah Tony, while I don't think the Indians have an "all or nothing" approach with LaPorta, I do believe that the only reason he gets called up is if it's a long-term thing. At some point psyche has to play a part, and I don't think you bring LaPorta up for a couple of days, so my guess is that there is something else afoot here...IE...Duncan's days are numbered, or Damon's are. If they bounce LaPorta down again, I think that sends the message about how they feel about him. Of course, there are no absolutes in baseball, and things can change over time, but it would be a message, no doubt, that they don't believe he's reached the point of sticking (or ever will), and are utilizing him like a spare part.

Again, no absolutes, but the next several days will speak volumes about how the front office views LaPorta going forward this season, and perhaps, as long as they control him...

I do think Duncan is an "Acta guy." Not sure how that plays into it...
June 3, 2012 - 9:47 AM EDT
Shadow, extremely early as it is 6 games, but a good start. I don't see much of a future in him beyond AA/AAA as his potential and his value to teams is limited....but I always hope for the best with any player and hope he can keep playing well.

Jim, it will be interesting to see how LaPorta is handled because Damon is expected to be back in a few days. I'd still prefer him on the team at least over Duncan.

Troy, you may be right on Lindor. He's scuffling some in his last few games, but he's actually playing better than the numbers suggest. I think the long season is going to start wearing on him some (may already be), so the All Star break in two weeks is going to come at a great time for him and others like Wolters, Rodriguez, etc.
June 3, 2012 - 7:32 AM EDT
So much for the talk of moving Lindor up to Carolina. He needs to spend the year where he is at in the midwest league
June 3, 2012 - 6:35 AM EDT
The IPI offices have cleared...the candles are put out...Matt LaPorta is coming to Cleveland...heaven help us all...

On a serious note...good luck Matt, we all sincerely hope that you are ready to take it to the next level...
June 3, 2012 - 5:51 AM EDT
Lawson can play the game. I don't want to say I told you so; but they really haven't given him a chance since he was hurt last year most of the time he was at Akron. He just needed a break from the game and then they tried to bury him in extended spring training; but you can't keep a good man down!!!!!

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