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Around the Farm: May 1, 2014

Tomlin's complete game, Frazier's first home run highlight the night on the farm

Around the Farm: May 1, 2014
Josh Tomlin (Photo: Brittany Chay)
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Around the Farm takes a quick look at some of yesterday’s performances by Cleveland prospects throughout the system. The positions listed below are where the player was playing in yesterday’s game.

Note that Akron was off Thursday.

Josh Tomlin (SP, Columbus): W (2-1), 9.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 10 SO

Josh Tomlin (Photo: MiLB)Some nights you just have it. Thursday was certainly one of those nights for Tomlin, as the right-hander filled the zone (70 of his 89 pitches were strikes) and mowed down the Durham Bulls. Not normally a strikeout guy, Tomlin managed to get double-digit strikeouts for only the second time in his professional career (he also did it on May 19, 2007 while with Lake County). Though Thursday was easily his best performance of 2014, Tomlin's other starts have not been bad; the right-hander has not gone fewer than six innings in any start and owns a 2.06 ERA and 3.49 FIP in 35.0 innings. Some of that could be the 29-year-old using his command and experience to carve up Triple-A hitters, but with the struggles in the major league rotation, Tomlin's making a compelling case to get a look in Cleveland in the near-future.

Clint Frazier (CF, Lake County): 1-for-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 2 SO

Clint Frazier (Photo: MiLB)Finally, the first home run of the season for the power-hitting Frazier. The center fielder's first taste at Lake County has not been the smoothest ride, as it took Frazier 14 games to get that first home run. Plus, Frazier has 15 strikeouts in those 14 games, a rate a little higher than ideal for the center fielder. But even though he is struggling a little bit, Frazier should continue to see his offense improve as the season goes on. Frazier's .711 OPS is solid, but it should get even better as his .289 BABIP rises. That mark is only slightly below-average, but the center fielder's swing and hitting ability should lend itself to higher-than-normal BABIPs in time. That potential BABIP increase -- plus assuming the development of more power -- would put Frazier's offense closer to the elite level expected of him based on his scouting reports.

  • Nyjer Morgan (CF, Columbus): 2-for-5, 2 2B, 2 SO. Even with this strong showing, Morgan is only up to a .522 OPS in Columbus. Part of that is the result of a .216 BABIP, but Morgan's 13 strikeouts in 13 games are not helping, either.
  • Tim Fedroff (DH, Columbus): 1-for-5, 2 SO. Though this night is not great on the surface, it extended Fedroff's on-base streak to 16 games. That streak is supporting Fedroff's .400 on-base percentage, but with only one extra base hit, Fedroff's offense still has a few holes.
  • Justin Sellers (SS, Columbus): 2-for-5, 1 2B. With a five-game hitting streak and hits in seven of his last eight games, Sellers has improved his OPS to .661 in 20 games this season. Thursday's double is Sellers' fifth extra base hit on the season.
  • Carlos Moncrief (RF, Columbus): 1-for-3, 1 R, 1 3B, 1 SAC. Moncrief's ascension from his ice-cold start to the season continued Thursday. Since April 19, Moncrief has increased his OPS by 206 points, bringing it up to .657.
  • Ryan Rohlinger (2B, Columbus): 1-for-2, 1 R, 1 RBI, 1 HBP, 1 SF. Meet a contender for Columbus' new starter at second base. Some guy named Jose Ramirez left the job behind after being called up to Cleveland.
  • Ryan Merritt (SP, Carolina): W (4-0), 6.0 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 5 SO, 1 HR. A little bit of natural regression for Merritt, as he went from one earned run allowed on the season to four. The left-hander still has a 1.19 ERA, however, and holds some strong peripherals with a 23:7 SO:BB in 30.1 innings.
  • Elvis Araujo (RP, Carolina): H (2), 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 SO. Araujo seems to have found a good home in the bullpen as the left-hander owns a 12:3 SO:BB in 8.1 innings and has only allowed a run in one of his seven outings.
  • Louis Head (RP, Carolina): S (6), 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 SO. With 17 strikeouts in 9.2 innings and a 0.93 ERA, Head continues to make the case that he is ready for a bigger challenge in Double-A.
  • Todd Hankins (2B, Carolina): 2-for-4, 1 R, 2 2B, 1 RBI, 1 SO. Hankins' .222 BABIP is currently holding down his overall line (.167/.280/.321 line), but that .154 ISO is some pretty decent power from the 23-year-old.
  • Jerrud Sabourin (1B, Carolina): 1-for-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 2 SO. After posting one extra base hit in 12 games in Akron, the Sabour-Tooth Tiger has one in each of his first two games in Carolina.
  • Ollie Linton (RF, Carolina): 3-for-4, 1 R, 1 RBI, 1 CS. The 28-year-old Linton is obviously a little old for a prospect, but the outfielder is doing what he is supposed to and performing well in Carolina (.828 OPS in 14 games).
  • Dace Kime (SP, Lake County): ND, 2.1 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 SO. Kime left Thursday's game early after being hit on the forearm by a line drive. IBI's Hayden Grove (who was on site shooting video for an upcoming IBI on Site) reported that Kime is expected to be fine and the cold likely made it hurt a little more.
  • Alexis Paredes (RP, Lake County): 3.1 IP, 1 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 1 SO. Paredes came in after Kime's injury and stumbled a bit, allowing two runs. The walks now give Paredes eight in 16.1 innings, though the right-hander also owns a 2.76 ERA.
  • Ben Heller (RP, Lake County): 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 SO. After starting slow, Heller has not allowed a run in his last six outings and has 13 strikeouts in 9.2 innings.
  • Dorssys Paulino (SS, Lake County): 1-for-4, 1 2B, 2 SO, 1 E. A bit of a mixed bag for Paulino as the shortstop gets his seventh double of the season, but also his 30th strikeout and 13th error in 24 games. Paulino has at least one strikeout in each of his last eight games.
  • Paul Hendrix (2B, Lake County): 1-for-2, 2 BB, 1 SO. On a night where the Captains had four hits and three walks, Hendrix accounted for three of those times on base. The 22-year-old now owns a .417 on-base percentage in 16 games this season.

If you want to follow Jim on Twitter, he’s @JimPiascik. If you want to e-mail him, you can do so at If you want to read his Master's thesis on college athletes and Twitter, you can do so here.

User Comments

May 3, 2014 - 8:20 AM EDT
Troy's right - Tomlin's stuff will never play in the bigs. Those 32 consecutive starts of at least five innings were just a fluke.
May 3, 2014 - 12:17 AM EDT
Too many pitches in the first. Org policy that if a pitcher throws 35 pitches in an inning he be taken out.
May 3, 2014 - 12:02 AM EDT
Did Sulser get injured tonight? I saw in the box score he only pitched one inning .

May 2, 2014 - 11:35 PM EDT
Seriously, Shut up, Troy. Trolls like you serve no real purpose in life.
May 2, 2014 - 4:47 PM EDT
Frazier at this point has Russel Branyan upside which is not what you want in a top 5 pick. Paulino can't hit or field . He has been overmatched two years in a row in the Midwest league. The 29 year old soft tossing Tomlin had a great nite using junk and control to confuse AAA hitters but Major League hitters will tee off on his off speed stuff. Tomlin is a modern day Ken Schrom . Really tough being a Tribe fan reading reports like this. As bad as The Indians have been this year, the minor leagues have virtually no talent on the horizon other than Lindor, Ramirez and Bauer. Zero pitching prospects throughout the system other than marginal relievers.
May 2, 2014 - 1:59 PM EDT
When given a chance to start Sulser took the chance and ran with it. Similar fastball to Martin, but difference is how well he changes speeds with it and has three secondary offerings which are solid but not great whereas Martin really only has two pitches.
May 2, 2014 - 1:36 PM EDT
Big Tomlin fan ever since he was drafted. He's a solid innings eater with a high QS %, gives the team a chance for a W every time hes out there, very consistent. Call him up already...

As for J.Martin. Yes, he was a SR signing, but still must have been a preferred one out of all the available SRs. What's the difference between him and Sulser, who was a much later drafted SR? I just have a soft spot for performing guys that get overlooked because of prospect hierarchy
May 2, 2014 - 12:35 PM EDT
You guys know how I feel about Tomlin- he's a late blooming Greg Maddux. Great feel for pitching, great command, smart, great fielder, quiet but intense- all the things Maddux was. And he's healthy.
May 2, 2014 - 12:34 PM EDT
Bauer is the scheduled starter for Columbus tomorrow (Saturday) so I would expect we get some clarity on who the starter will be for Tuesday within the next 24 hours.

Josh Martin is interesting. The round he was taken doesn't mean much as he was a senior signing selected in the top 10 rounds to give the Indians more bonus pool money to play with. But there is some size there and the stuff is solid. Problem is there is nothing that truly stands out about him from a stuff standpoint....and he is in the bullpen....and is 24 years old....which goes back to my value article last week.
May 2, 2014 - 12:17 PM EDT
Tomlin practicing his strikeout game in case he gets called to Cleveland. Don't want to let the opposing team put it in play against those butchers
May 2, 2014 - 12:02 PM EDT
I realize he's not much of a spec, especially at 24yo in A+, but Josh Martin should get some love too and is another Mudcat deserving a promotion. 14:1 K:BB in 11.2IP, only 4H. He was a 2012 10th rounder, so they liked something about him. What's his prospect Status? Not even periphery?

Outstanding job by the coaching staff there btw. Team numbers are excellent on both sides considering the talent.

I'd keep Merritt at Carolina all season. Morimando and Sulser should be the only promotion probables because of repeating level/Age respectively
May 2, 2014 - 11:58 AM EDT
Would assume a decision on who Tuesday's starter will be is coming soon....Tomlin pitching last night is in line to start Tuesday on normal 4 days rest. Bauer last pitched this past should pitch this weekend for the Clippers...either he's skipped or he's out as an option for Tuesday...
May 2, 2014 - 11:32 AM EDT
Closers are really not developed in the minors. Whoever is closing games for the Indians at the various affiliates typically is just a guy in that role and not being developed as such.
May 2, 2014 - 11:24 AM EDT
When Head does get moved to Akron, will the Indians than try to develop Araujo as the closer in Carolina? If the Indains move Davies to Columbus they could let Duke Von Schamann become a starter to give more time before promoting Morimando or Merritt to Akron.
May 2, 2014 - 10:53 AM EDT
You're probably right, being so early in the season, but not near as interesting. Morimando needs to make a move sooner than later if he continues to pitch well. With his command much improved over last year, not much more to gain in High-A.
May 2, 2014 - 10:38 AM EDT
Actually, when Bauer (or Tomlin) are promoted next week the Indians could very well just activate Shaun Marcum from extended and insert him into the rotation at Columbus, which would mean no moves for anyone else in the system. If Marcum is not ready for some reason (he was up to 3 innings and 50 pitches a few weeks ago) then Davies would seemingly get pushed to Columbus. After this it is anyone's guess. Morimando could certainly move up to Akron, but the Indians could always just slide someone like Murata into the rotation in the short term.
May 2, 2014 - 10:32 AM EDT
Quite a few congrats are in order...

First and foremost to Ramirez for getting his second promotion to Cleveland. This kid can flat out play the game and has performed well at every level (including Cleveland last year). Second to Josh Tomlin. Very encouraging start from a guy that definitely deserves another shot with Cleveland, hopefully, at some point this year. If not for Bauer's fantastic start to 2014, he would be there next week. Finally to Frazier in knocking the monkey off his back and smashing his first bomb in full season ball. No doubt, this will become a more familiar occurrence throughout the year.

On another note...

Very interested to see how the promotions work out next week. Assuming the obvious that Bauer goes to Cleveland and Davies follows to Columbus. Morimando is the most likely choice for Akron, but it will be hard to keep Merritt in Carolina much longer than the All-Star break at his current pace. The backfill for Carolina is anyone's guess. Baker's injury along with Sisco's retirement and DeJesus move to the pen really open up opportunities in High-A. Anxious to see how it unravels...
May 2, 2014 - 9:57 AM EDT
I realize Carolina's had quite a few rain outs lately, but Araujo has only been used three times in the last two weeks. Is there anything going on with him?
May 2, 2014 - 9:48 AM EDT
Ha, yeah. Merritt goes out and gives up 3 runs over 6.0 innings and it's a "bad" start by his standards when it is actually still a quality start. He's been on some kind of roll. Still want to see what he does at the Double-A level before I completely jump on board with him, but the Indians are very hopeful about his future. Some interesting arms with Merritt, Morimando and Sulser there in Carolina, and should have been Baker there too had he not gotten hurt. Brown also kind of interesting there too.
May 2, 2014 - 9:05 AM EDT
Ryan Merritt gave up runs?? That's news. James Roberts has been a pleasant surprise for me. Not showing any power but the .413 OBP is nice. The org's scout in Cali has an eye for talent. The Mudcats have some hitters. Also encouraging to see Araujo finally seeming to blossom. Too bad they can't find a spot for Tomlin on the MLB roster.

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