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Around the Farm: June 22, 2012

Around the Farm: June 22, 2012
June 23, 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.

Note: High-A Carolina was rained out last night and rookie level Arizona had a scheduled off day.

Nick Weglarz (LF, Akron): 1-for-2, R, 2B, 2 RBI, 2 BB, K.

I don’t know what has gotten into Weglarz of late, but I like it. He has been an IPI favorite since the inception of this site years ago and was an annual Top 10 prospect, but has fallen on hard times of late because of injury woes the past few seasons. When he was DFAed on May 10th he was hitting .202 with a .628 OPS and his career had hit rock bottom, but in the 11 days he was inactive while he went through the DFA process he must have found something within himself because since his return on May 21st he is hitting .293 with 7 HR, 20 RBI and 1.057 OPS in 29 games. That 1.057 OPS is tops in the entire Eastern League since May 21st, which puts into better context just how impressive he has been offensively the past month. Hopefully he can keep this rolling through the remainder of the season as he can really use a bit of good fortune for a change, and if he does finish strong, then his days as a Major League option may not be as over as we all thought a month ago.

Luigi Rodriguez (CF, Lake County): 4-for-5, 2 R, 2B, HR, 2 RBI.

Now that is more like it. Rodriguez underwhelmed in the first half hitting .276 with 4 HR, 24 RBI and .726 OPS in 60 games, numbers that were not terrible but not close to what was expected from a high level prospect repeating at Low-A for the second consecutive season. He got off to a great start this season hitting .349 with a .944 OPS in 20 games in April, but since then his performance has slid considerably. A lot of his struggles are tied to his over aggressiveness at the plate where he is getting himself out way too often by expanding the zone and not putting up consistent quality at bats. He is still one of the Indians’ top prospects, and hopefully this game is the beginning of a hot stretch of play for him and he has a big second half.

  • Cord Phelps (2B, Columbus): 2-for-4, 2B, 2 RBI. Phelps keeps plugging away in Columbus and continues to play second base every day. After a tough May (.238 AVG, .690 OPS) he has really come back strong in June (.301 AVG, .929 OPS).
  • Russ Canzler (RF, Columbus): 2-for-3, R, HR, 2 RBI, BB. Remember how hot Matt LaPorta was in April where he seemingly had a homer and RBI every night? That’s Russ Canzler of late as in his past 10 games he is hitting .389 AVG, 5 HR, 18 RBI, 5 BB, 6 K, and 1.326 OPS.
  • Gregorio Petit (SS, Columbus): 2-for-4, R, 2 2B. Petit has played well of late in Columbus hitting .264 with a .818 OPS in June; however, it is interesting that the Indians still have Juan Diaz in Akron playing shortstop seeing as how he is on the 40-man and all.
  • Chris Schwinden (SP, Columbus): 4.0 IP, 9 H, 7 R (6 ER), 0 BB, 2 K, 1 HR. Schwinden has pitched in 3 games since being picked up off waivers and has not been very impressive. I’d have to think he could go right back on waivers if a roster spot is needed soon.
  • Matt Langwell (RP, Columbus): 3.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K. Langwell is a guy that often gets overlooked because of the presence of so much relief pitching depth in the system, but he is having another fantastic year with a 1.43 ERA, 2.9 BB/9 and 8.3 K/9.
  • Jeremie Tice (RF, Akron): 1-for-3, RBI. Tice made his Double-A debut and his sac fly that scored Weglarz in the 6th inning ended up being the winning run. He had been playing some left field in Carolina, so it is interesting to see the Indians expand his use into right field.
  • Chun Chen (1B, Akron): 1-for-5, R, RBI, K. 1-for-5, R, RBI. Chen has been a model of consistency since May 21st, the last game he had more than two hits in a game. After that game he was hitting .331 and in 31 games since then he is hitting now hitting .311 on the season. During that 31-game stretch he has had five 2-hit games, 22 1-hit games, and 7 no-hit games.
  • Roberto Perez (C, Akron): 1-for-2, 2B, 2 BB. Perez reached base in 3 of his 4 plate appearances and continues to show an ability to get on base (.353) at the Double-A level this season.
  • Steven Wright (SP, Akron): 6.2 IP, 4 H, 3 R/ER, 3 BB, 7 K, 1 HR. Yet another good outing for Wright, his 11th quality start in 13 total starts for Akron this season. The two starts he did not have a quality start he left injured (foot) in one and in the other he was in his first start since coming back from the injury and was limited by a strict inning/pitch count.
  • Tyler Sturdevant (RP, Akron): 1.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K. This was Sturdevant’s first Double-A appearance of the season as he continues to work his way back to form from his right shoulder injury he suffered in the spring. He has now thrown 8.1 shutout innings in 6 total appearances this season.
  • Alex Monsalve (C, Lake County): 2-for-4, 2 2B. It has taken awhile, but Monsalve is finally showing the bat that the Indians have been so high on as in his last 14 games he is hitting .388/.464/.551.
  • Bryson Myles (DH, Lake County): 1-for-3, BB, K. Myles has been battling hamstring issues all season and had not played in a week, so he is easing his way back into game action and this is a good start to his second half.
  • Jose Ramirez (2B, Lake County): 0-for-4, R, BB. Ramirez was thrown right into the action as he hit leadoff in his Low-A debut. He swapped zip codes with Robel Garcia, and will now get regular playing time at second base for the Captains.
  • Felix Sterling (SP, Lake County): 4.0 IP, 6 H, 4 R (2 ER), 3 BB, 5 K. Sterling has really struggled of late, a byproduct of poor command and a dip in velocity. In his last 8 outings he has now gone 28.2 innings and allowed 37 hits, 37 runs (31 earned runs), and 17 walks. Ouch.
  • Rob Nixon (RP, Lake County): 3.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 3 K. Nixon has had a solid season. On the positive side he is getting some swing and miss with his low 90s fastball that is consistently hitting 93 MPH, but on the negative side he is a max effort guy and has had trouble with his command.
  • Tyler Naquin (CF, Mahoning Valley): 0-for-4, K. So the guy is human after all. Naquin followed up his stellar pro debut on Wednesday with a clunker in his second game as a pro on Friday night. That’s baseball.
  • Charlie Valerio (C, Mahoning Valley): 2-for-4. Valerio had 2 of the Scrappers 5 hits on the night. He is really putting up some good swings right now as when I saw him on Wednesday night he was right on everything and hit the ball hard to all fields.
  • Juan Romero (DH, Mahoning Valley): 0-for-3, BB, 3 K. A lot of people at the game on Wednesday night asked me about Romero after his 3 homers in his first 2 games, and I told everyone this: He has unbelievable power, an unbelievable arm, and he is a human windmill. He now has 9 strikeouts in 18 at bats.
  • Robbie Aviles (SP, Mahoning Valley): 4.0 IP, 5 H, 3 R/ER, 2 BB, 1 K. Not the start that Aviles probably had in mind, but considering it was his first outing in a “real” pro environment with fans and everything, as well as coming off Tommy John surgery, I am sure he will take it.
  • Josh Martin (RP, Mahoning Valley): 4.0 IP, 4 H, 1 R/ER, 0 BB, 4 K. Martin is piggybacking with Aviles while the Indians figure out how to sort out the Scrappers rotation. At some point Martin is expected to be a regular starter in the rotation and haul innings on his own.

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 25, 2012 - 12:23 PM EDT
Wright is nowhere close to a roster spot. He is pitching very well and the Indians love his knuckleball, but there are still several things he is working on to make it consistent. Still in a learning process. He is an option but likely not until next year.
June 23, 2012 - 7:29 PM EDT
Chris Schwinden may be DFA's on thursday as gomez is pitching self out of cleveland and we may need roster spot for steve wright with knuckleballers throwing strikes is the most important part. Whether at akron , c-bus, or cleveland it makes no difference no one will h it him effectively with the knuckler dancing, and he wil be rested for thursday nights start. it wont hurt to get him up here and let marson and carlos get used to the knuckle ball 'between now and then. 1.99 era at akron is impressive and it cant hurt gomez' 'is getting lit up time to shuffle the cards.
June 23, 2012 - 2:49 PM EDT
Well...Beau Mills getting dealt certainly helps Weglarz, but I do think it will take more than a Trevor Crowe or Tim Fedroff or Ezequiel Carrera call-up to make it happen. Honestly, it would have to be a guy like Canzler or LaPorta...and even then, I just don't know.

Weglarz is back for now...but for how long? Look at Mills last year. As good as Wegz is playing it that different from Mills?
June 23, 2012 - 12:30 PM EDT
I've long heard that for a person to move up a level and opportunity must exist at that level.

For Weglarz to get back to Cbus (if the Tribe was inclined) what role is there/ where would he play?

Part of me thinks if Crowe replaces Cunningham in Cleveland a spot is opened but would it be enough???
June 23, 2012 - 9:18 AM EDT
Yeah, one would think there would eventually be some movement to Columbus for Weglarz at some point if he keeps this up. Although I struggle to figure out just how far he has fallen out of consideration by the org even in light of his good showing of late. As for Sterling, as I understand it, he only pitched in the bullpen the one game before the break in order to get him into a game before the break.
June 23, 2012 - 8:34 AM EDT
I had come to the conclusion that Weglarz had lost some of his abilities due to his many injuries. Weglarz's recent hitting streak has proven me wrong, I'm glad to say. Assuming he continues to hit, I hope he's considered for Columbus in the near future.

If Sterling has lost velocity, presumably due to a tired arm,I would have thought the Indians would have kept him in the BP a little longer.

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