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Around the Farm: June 24, 2013

Around the Farm: June 24, 2013
June 25, 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.

Joe Wendle: 2B, Carolina Mudcats: 2-for-4, 2 2B, 1 RBI:

Could Wendle be playing any better? Not only is he hitting the ball, but he’s also hitting the ball for power. Heading into Monday night, Wendle had back-to-back games with a home run. He wasn’t able to follow that up with another on Monday, but he did at to his slugging percentage with two doubles. He now has seven doubles and two homers over his past nine ballgames. He also has 11 RBI and nine runs over that stretch. He’s still not qualified in the league because of a month of games that he’s missed, but he is second on the team right now with a .311 average. He’s tied for seventh in doubles, and his seven homers actually lead the team right now, and he’s also seventh in the league there as well. Perhaps there is more to this kid than meets the eye.

Ryan Merritt: W (4-7): 8 IP, 5 H, 4 K:

It doesn’t get any more dominant that this. Merritt was good, and the lefty seems to throw games like this out there every so often. He had a really solid season going until the last three ballgames he pitched in. He gave up 14 earned runs over a 17 2/3 inning stretch. His ERA is now sitting at 4.21, which should let you know how good his year had been gong. He now seems to be back on track, so we’ll see where he can go with this.

  • Chun-Hsiu Chen: 1B, Columbus: 0-for-4, 3 K: The momentum is officially gone. He’s 0-for-his-last-15, and his average has dropped to .233 in Columbus. Perhaps there is more to this than meets the eye, but it certainly isn’t going to help his major league inspirations.
  • Juan Diaz: SS, Columbus: 1-for-2, 1 R, 2 BB, 1 K: Diaz couldn’t be having a worse season, but he does have a three-game hit streak. I can’t imagine that he’s going to be long for the Indians organization, unless he likes the utility role.
  • Nate Spears: 3B, Columbus: 2-for-4, 1 RBI, 1 K: Spears was 0-for-14 heading into Sunday’s game, but is now 3-for-7 in his last two games. Of course, he’s hitting a whopping .176, after hitting .167 in Akron. Solid stuff.
  • Joe Martinez: SP, Columbus: L (2-6), 6 IP, 5 H, 4 R/ER, 3 BB, 5 K: Martinez had been pitching better as of late, giving up only three earned runs over his previous two starts, covering 12 total innings. Prior to that, he’d been getting rocked with consistently. Today wasn’t good, but it wasn’t the depths of what he was doing through much of May.
  • Scott Barnes: RP, Columbus: 1 1/3 IP, 1 H, 2 R/ER, 3 BB, 1 K:  The Indians need a left-handed reliever. Barnes should be the guy. He just can’t seem to turn the corner, and at this point, you really have to wonder if he’ll ever figure things out. T.J. House got a chance today, and that’s directly a result of Barnes just struggling all the time.
  • Jose Ramirez: SS, Akron: 2-for-4, 1 2B:  I get it. Ramirez gets a pass because he’s considerably younger than most Double A prospect. Still, I keep turning to the box scores every day waiting for it all to click for the youngster. Perhaps Monday night was the day. We shall see.
  • Carlos Moncrief: RF, Akron: 1-for-4, 1 R, 3 K: These are the games that you look out for with regards to Moncrief. His problem, historically, has been his “free-swinging” tendencies. He struck out 158 times in 2011, with 76 walks. He followed that up with 126 Ks in 2012, with 46 walks. This year, he’s struck out 61 times with 32 walks. Things were looking different for Moncrief of late. Over his past nine games, he’d only struck out three times versus six walks. It’s a good sign, and hopefully a trend, and not just a streak.
  • Quincy Latimore: DH, Akron: 2-for-4, 1 K: Latimore isn’t going to turn many heads at this point with punishing offense. He’s picked it up a bit though, going 5-for-16 over his past four games.
  • Brett Brach: SP, Akron: L (4-4): 6 IP, 5 H, 4 R/ER, 2 BB, 2 K, 1 HR: Brach is a guy that never really goes through long stretches of bad pitching, but never seems to be good enough to be seriously considered for the major league level. He’s a great innings-filler for a minor league system though.
  • Trey Haley: RP, Akron: 1 1/3 IP, 1 BB, 1 K: Haley has really struggled this year. He went through a stretch from May 14th through June 16th in which he gave up 14 runs over a 3 2/3 innings. Since then, he’s had two outings, covering 2 1/3 innings, without giving up a hit or a run.
  • Luigi Rodriguez: LF, Carolina: 1-for-4, 1 RBI, 1 K: Rodriguez hit a walk-off single that gave the Muddies their first win of the second half.
  • Paddy Matera: 3B, Carolina: 2-for-3, 1 2B, 1 K: The Indians signed Matera from the independent league on June 5th, and he’s been hitting ever since. He’s hitting .317 for the Muddies, and has hits in eight of his last nine games.
  • Cody Anderson: SP, Carolina: 4 IP, 2 H, 2 BB, 6 K: Anderson struck out five of the first eight hitters, but was chased from the game after a rough fourth inning. He still managed a nice start, but wasn’t in the game long enough to get the win.
  • Joe Sever: 1B, Lake County: 2-for-3, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 1 BB: Sever had the Captains only two hits on the game, and his double drove in the only run.
  • Lake County Offense: 2-for-27, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 5 BB, 6 K: Lake County was absolutely dominated. There’s not much more to say about that.
  • Robel Garcia: 3B, Mahoning Valley: 2-for-4, 1 RBI, 1 K: Garcia seemed a prospect on the rise in 2011, but just hasn’t show the ability to move forward in the league. He’s never made it past Lake County.
  • Juan Romero: RF, Mahoning Valley: 2-for-3, 1 R, 1 2B: Romero came into the game while the players were just taking the field, and it paid off. He’s raking early on, and now has a four-game hit streak, and has gone 6-for-15, with four runs, two doubles and a homer.
  • Brett Myers: RP, Mahoning Valley: 1 IP, 1 K: Myers continued his march back to the Indians with a solid outing, albeit at the short season level. Promising is promising though, and he is only moving to the Tribe pen.
  • Blake Wood: RP, Mahoning Valley: Wood has looked good in all of his appearances since staring his rehab assignment. He scuffled a bit, giving up two hits in this game, but he still didn’t give up a run.

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

User Comments

July 1, 2013 - 11:47 PM EDT
Sore hammy for Ronny
July 1, 2013 - 11:17 PM EDT
why isnt ronny rodriguez playing
June 25, 2013 - 2:26 PM EDT
Minor correction: Merritt's ERA is now 3.79... was 4.21 coming in. I only say this because for some reason, Merritt really intrigues me and I have been keeping a closer eye on him.
June 25, 2013 - 11:16 AM EDT
Not time to push Wendle. Third base, shortstop and second base at Akron all have higher priority prospects. Plus, Wendle needs obvious work against left-handed pitching, consistency on defense, and other things. He probably plays the rest of the year in Carolina unless an injury crops up in Akron (or a promotion).
Optimus Maxload
June 25, 2013 - 11:03 AM EDT
Is it time to push Wendle? Any possibility he can play some 3rd base?
June 25, 2013 - 9:29 AM EDT
The Indians have pushed their prospects aggressively as anyone else. Look at how quickly Cody Allen made the bigs. Jason Kipnis too. I think sometimes people watch other systems from afar and see 1-3 guys pushed up quickly and thing that organization is doing it differently when in most cases they are not. Have there been instances where the Indians have probably been too slow to promote some guys? Yes. But a lot of times there are reasons for that. Lindor for example. He has stuff to work on and the Indians have two high profile shortstop prospects in Akron right now as well. A lot of times a guy is not moved up because there is no spot, but also things that they need to work on. Wendle cant be promoted because Ramirez/RRod are the regulars at SS/2B, and as Art mentioned, Wendle needs a lot of work against left-handed pitching and getting more consistent with his defense.
June 25, 2013 - 9:20 AM EDT
@ Chris

The Tribe has pushed a number of their top prospects and at least a level ahead of their 'normal' progression.

Ronny Rodriguez
Jose Ramirez
Francisco Lindor
Dorssys Paulino
Luis Lugo

All of these guys have been placed aggressively and most have performed well so far.
June 25, 2013 - 7:16 AM EDT
Don't think I've ever seen a right/left split of over 200 points before.

I have to say, ATF has been somewhat depressing this year. Just not many encouraging performances. Nobody seems to be lighting it up like Cody Allen last year. And some of the high profile prospects have taken dramatic steps backward, like Howard, Washington, even Paulino. Just not a whole lot to get excited about. Even Bauer has been struggling as he continues to tweak his mechanics and continually reinvents himself.

I really wonder whether Bauer will ever break through if he continues to overanalyze himself.

At least Lindor and Salazar seem to be coming along nicely, and Austin Adams and CC Lee should be nice additions to the BP after they completely work their way back from injury.

Hopefully some bats will wake up in the second half. At least the Indians are set for quite a few years at catcher and infield with Santana, Gomes, Chiz, Lindor, Kipnis, and Swisher. Bourn is locked down in center and they have McAllister, Kluber, Carrasco and Bauer in the rotation. They just need to extend Masterson and Brantley. And get a right fielder who can hit a little.
June 25, 2013 - 6:47 AM EDT
It seems like the Indians move prospects through the system very slowly, while teams like Texas and St. Louis push their prospects quickly (and it seems to work). Why do we work them so slow? (Wendle for instance). Its seems like it deludes the fans (and maybe the front office) and we waste 4 playing years from every prospect.
June 25, 2013 - 1:42 AM EDT
I believe the Carolina club faced a right handed pitcher, which means that Wendle is continuing his massive right/left split for this season. So far, he is hitting .354 against righties, but .147 against lefties.

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