Around The Farm: June 4, 2013
Carrera, Chisenhall, Phelps all impress in Tuesday night game action
Ezequiel Carrera (Columbus, CF) – 4-5, 3 R, 1 2B, 1 K, 2 SB – While Carrera is a Quad-A player, and one unlikely to have much of a future with the Indians organization, tonight’s performance is hard to overlook. He got on base, ran the bases well, and got home safely, almost without fail. This one tops even his 3-for-6 performance on Memorial Day in Louisville. While Carrera has shown himself capable of such incredible nights, his inability to carry over even a little of that magic to the games in between will likely keep him from making it as a major leaguer.
Lonnie Chisenhall (Columbus, 3B) – 2-2, 2 R, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 3 BB – Lonnie the Chiz is en fuego at the Triple-A level. He continues a recent extremely hot stretch of play (8-14 with 6 RBI since May 31) with a 4-RBI night. Between his utter dominance of the International League (.500/.574/.868 slash line in his last ten games and .382/.535/.628 overall this year in the IL) and his subpar performance in the major leagues (.213/.253/.351), it’s hard to tell where his proper level of baseball is right now. Maybe the Japan leagues?
Cord Phelps (Columbus, 2B) – 3-4, 1 R, 1 3B, 5 RBI, 1 BB – Phelps extends his hitting streak to four games (a stretch in which he is 7-for-17) with this three-hit, five-RBI performance. While Phelps’ overall stats (.261/.335/.485) are not much to write home about, his last ten games have seen him post a .356/.408/.667 slash line. While it may be too late for him to salvage a serious chance at the major leagues, continuing this recent run of form may help him solidify a long-term AAA veteran/AAAA player status.
Jake Lowery (Akron, DH) – 3-5, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 HR, 1 RBI – Lowery has, oddly enough, performed far better at Double-A Akron (.341/.356/.568) than he did at Advanced Single-A Carolina (.195/.340/.366). With Lowery 13 games into his Double-A stint and having spent 12 games in the Carolina League, the two stat sets are roughly comparable. While the call-up may have seemed puzzling at the time, it certainly makes a lot more sense right now. If he can keep up this kind of performance, he may insert himself into the discussion for a roster spot in Triple-A Columbus come next April.
Jesus Aguilar (Akron, PR-1B) - 1-3, 1 R, 1 RBI, 2 K, Game-winning RBI – the RBI Machine keeps on humming, this time in game-winning fashion. Aguialr’s twelfth-inning base hit scored Jose Ramirez for the winning run and raised Aguilar’s RBI total to 42 in 52 games (a pace which could easily see him go over 100 by the season’s end). The most interesting thing about this performance is that Aguilar wasn’t even supposed to play tonight. He originally had the night off, but entered the game as a pinch runner for Adam Abraham in the sixth inning.
- Matt Lawson (Columbus, SS) – 0-2, 3 R, 2 BB, 2 K, 1 Sac Bunt – Lawson hasn’t exactly been hitting the cover off the ball, but even a hitless effort couldn’t keep him from scoring three times on a night when the runs were flowing like tap water.
- Chun Chen (Columbus, 1B) – 1-4, 1 BB, 2 K – Chen extends his hitting streak to three. Once this guy figures out Triple-A pitching, he could be dangerous.
- Danny Salazar (Columbus, SP) – ND, 4.2 IP, 7 H, 5 R (all earned), 2 BB, 4 K – A second tough outing in a row for Salazar, who escaped a second Triple-A loss of the season due to the herculean efforts of the Clippers offense.
- Scott Barnes (Columbus, RP) – W (3-2), 1.1 IP, 1 H, 2 R (both earned), 3 BB,3 K, 1 HR allowed, 1 WP – While tonight’s outing was more towards the “Mr. Hyde” end of his wildly inconsistent season, Barnes still picks up the win on a crazy night at Huntington Park.
- Preston Guilmet (Columbus, CP) – S (15), 1 IP, perfect, 2 K – The IL saves leader extends his lead with a perfect ninth inning.
- Tyler Holt (Akron, CF) – 0-6, 3 K – Tyler Holt has had his share of bad nights at the plate this season, but 0-6 with a hat trick? Whoa! That is a rat fiesta (and then some)!
- Will Roberts (Akron, SP) – ND, 6 IP, 5 H, 2 R (both earned), 1 BB, 4 K, 1 HR allowed – Another solid outing from Will Roberts, but a tight game kept him from capitalizing on it with a win.
- Bryce Stowell (Akron, RP) – 2 IP, perfect, 4 K – Another case of a pitcher on the “good outing” half of a “good outing”/”bad outing” rotation. Stringing together multiple good outings on a more consistent basis would be nice to see.
- Jose Flores (Akron, RP) – W (5-1), 2 IP, 3 BB, 2 K – Jose “Right Place, Right Time” Flores does it again. Picking up five relief wins at the two/fifths mark of the season requires an almost impossible mixture of supreme luck and supreme talent. While it may be better to be lucky than good, it’s best to be both, and Jose Flores is.
- Tyler Naquin (Carolina, CF) – 1-4, 1 R, 1 K – While he scored the Mudcats’ lone run of the night, this actually qualifies as something of an off night for the all-conquering Naquin, whose four-game multi-hit streak came to an end tonight.
- Joey Wendle (Carolina, 2B) – 1-3, 1 RBI, 1 BB – Wendle picks up the lone Mudcats RBI of the night (his 17thin 27 games).
- Francisco Lindor (Carolina, SS) – 1-3, 1 Sac Bunt – Given Lindor’s poor recent form (.146/.182/.195 in his last 10 contests), any night on which he gets a hit is a welcome sign. I know that winning isn’t really supposed to matter in the minor leagues, but I’m beginning to wonder if spending too much time amidst the Five County Stadium goat rodeo has begun to take a mental toll on Lindor, leading to this current slump. Maybe a change of scenery to semi-competitive Akron, along with the challenges of adjusting to Double-A pitching, could be just what the psychologist ordered to get Francisco’s mental game back on track.
- Jerrud Sabourin (Carolina, 1B) – 1-4 – On a night like tonight, a hit merits inclusion in ATF. Also, if you expected the Undrafted Wonder to go unmentioned while in the top half of Mudcat offensive performances on the night, you forgot who writes ATF on Tuesday nights.
- Michael Peoples (Carolina, SP) – ND, 6.1 IP, 4 H, 1 R (earned), 2 BB, 4 K – Michael Peoples’ second outing of the season represents a marked improvement over his 2013 season debut, but a lack of run production from the offense prevents him from picking up the W.
- J.D. Reichenbach (Carolina, RP) – L (3-3), 0.2 IP, 1 H, 2 R (both earned), 2 BB (1 intentional), 2 K, 1 WP – In the night’s pitching equivalent of Tyler Holt’s aforementioned effort, J.D. picks up a well-deserved third loss of the season. A .500 record is perfect for how Reichenbach has pitched this year. When he’s good, he’s unstoppable. When he’s bad, well, it’s time for the rodents to party.
An observation about Cord Phelps is that he currently is doing well, but that "it may be to late for him to salvage a serious chance at the major leagues." However, if you look at a guy like Marco Scutaro, he didn't get a decent major league shot until he was 28, and then managed to put together a terrific major league career. In fact, he still is a key player on a club that could repeat as the champion. If you look at Marco's minor league performance you see some similarities. Phelps overall slash line in the minors is .283/.371/.442/.813, while Scutaro's was .290/.370/.433/.803. Fielding at 2nd base in the minors, Phelps has a fielding % of 9.82 and range factor of 4.42, while Scutaro was a fielding % of .975 and range factor of 4.64. Both also had limited time and performance at SS too.
I'm not claiming Phelps will be Scutaro, but wouldn't write it off yet either.
So he definitely started to lose his effectiveness in the 5th, but I didn't feel like it was as bad of an outing as the box score made it look.