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Around the Farm - May 10, 2012

Around the Farm - May 10, 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.

T.J. McFarland (SP, Akron): 7.0 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 K.

McFarland was at his best last night as he cruised through seven innings on 88 pitches (57 strikes) and got 11 groundball outs to only 4 flyouts.  He is now 6-1 on the season with a 2.18 ERA in 7 starts, and he has been a beacon of consistency all season. He is not a sexy prospect with dominating stuff and he will never wow you when he pitches, but he will compete every time out, get hitters to pound the ball into the ground, and when his night is over he will more often than not find a way to put up a quality start.  He is locked in right now and is really putting the pressure on the Indians to push him up to Triple-A. At the moment there is no open spot in the rotation, and it is possible right-hander Steven Wright would get the first call to fill a rotation need in Columbus, but McFarland is definitely in the conversation.

Matt LaPorta (LF, Columbus): 0-for-3, BB.

It is not often that a player that is 0-fer on the night and did nothing special is highlighted, but Matt LaPorta has been the hot topic the first five weeks of the season so he is the exception to the rule. He has cooled off considerably of late as in his last 8 games he is just 5-for-27 at the plate and has not homered. And not surprisingly, he has cooled off because the Clippers have been on the road and away from Huntington Park. He is showing some pretty crazy home and away splits so far this season as he is hitting a blazing .397 with 9 HR, 20 RBI and 1.363 in 17 home games, but on the road he is hitting a frigid .255 with 0 HR, 1 RBI and .650 OPS in 13 games. I do not know what, if anything, you can take away from that, but LaPorta has always hit well at Huntington Park over his three year career there. Unfortunately, he has not really hit anywhere else, including Progressive Field. Also, apparently there were some fireworks last night as he was thrown out stealing in the seventh inning and somehow he and Scranton-WB pitcher Manny Delcarmen were both ejected after the play.

Cody Allen (RP, Columbus): 2.0 IP, 2 H, 2 R/ER, 1 HR, 2 BB, 2 K.

“You see, you see! He’s not a machine….he’s a man!” So goes the famous quote that Duke yelled to Rocky after he cut the invincible, machine-like Russian Ivan Drago in Rocky IV. In a lot of ways Allen has been like Drago this season as he has obliterated everyone in his path, and last night’s game was his first hiccup this season. Usually when a reliever gives up 2 runs and 4 baserunners like that in 2 innings this early in the season, their overall numbers take a hit and look ugly. But Allen still has a 1.89 ERA, .159 BAA, 0.68 WHIP, 0.9 BB/9 and 12.3 K/9. Oh, and by the way, those two walks last night were the first two he has allowed all season.

  • Cord Phelps (2B, Columbus): 1-for-5, R, 3 K. Just when you thought Phelps might be coming out of his funk, he goes for the hat trick with 3 strikeouts. He is suddenly no longer getting on base via walks either.
  • Chad Huffman (RF, Columbus): 3-for-4, R, 2B, RBI, BB, K. Huffman continues his solid season by reaching base in 4 of 5 plate appearances. He has been MUCH more consistent so far this season.
  • Jose Lopez (DH, Columbus): 3-for-5, R, 2B, RBI. Boy, Lopez has not suffered any kind of hangover from being sent to the minor leagues as in 5 games he is 11-for-19 at the plate and has 3 games with 3 hits or more.
  • Andy LaRoche (3B, Columbus): 2-for-4, 2 2B, 2 K. With Chisenhall on the shelf, LaRoche has had a chance to play a lot more, and he has taken advantage of it hitting .355/.394/.548 in his last 9 games.
  • Corey Kluber (SP, Columbus): 6.0 IP, 5 H, 1 R/ER, 3 BB, 4 K. Another solid outing for Kluber who really is starting to put some things together this season. The walks are still a little troublesome, but he’s making strides.
  • Juan Diaz (SS, Akron): 3-for-5, 2 R, HR, 2 RBI, K. Diaz is slowly performing better thanks to some work of late on his setup at the plate. He now has hits in 9 of his last 10 games and has 2 straight multi-hit games.
  • Jared Goedert (3B, Akron): 1-for-3, R, RBI, BB. Goedert was back at his customary third base position last night, and reached base in 2 of his 4 plate appearances. He’s like a robot out there right now with the bat.
  • Chun Chen (1B, Akron): 3-for-4, 2 R, 2B. This was a much needed game for Chen as he was stuck in a brutal six-game slump where he was 1-for-18 at the plate.
  • Nick Weglarz (LF, Akron): 0-for-4, 2 RBI, 1 K. Weglarz has teased a few times this season with the power (like on Wednesday night with 2 HR), but to date he is still hitting just .202/.295/.333 in 24 games.
  • Bryan Price (RP, Akron): 2.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K. Price is a guy that probably should be pitching in Triple-A because of his pedigree and his good performances at Akron the past three years, but is stuck in prospect purgatory because of an abundance of ML veteran depth arms right now that are blocking him.
  • Carolina offense: 51 AB, 5 H, 2 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 6 BB, 21 K. In both games of yesterday’s doubleheader in Myrtle Beach the Mudcats had a grand total of 5 hits and struck out 21 times. You are not going to win very many games with that kind of anemic offensive showing.
  • Ronny Rodriguez (SS, Carolina): 1-for-6, HR, RBI. Rodriguez tagged his second homer of the year and was the only Mudcats player who played both games that did not strikeout.
  • Mike Rayl (SP, Carolina): 7.0 IP, 5 H, 1 R/ER, 0 BB, 3 K, 1 HR. Rayl is on a roll right now as in his last 6 starts he has allowed only 6 runs in 36.2 innings (1.47 ERA).
  • Shawn Armstrong (RP, Carolina): 0.2 IP, 0 H, 1 R/ER, 3 BB, 1 K. Armstrong was his own worst enemy as he did not allow a hit but lost the game because he walked three guys. It was also the first run he has given up all season (1 R, 20.2 IP), though as dominating as he has been the walks (12) will eventually catch up with him (like last night).
  • Will Roberts (SP, Carolina): 4.0 IP, 10 H, 4 R (3 ER), 0 BB, 4 K. Things were not so good the second time around for Roberts as he made his second start for Carolina and was tattooed for 10 hits in 4 innings.
  • Kyle Petter (RP, Carolina): 1.2 IP, 2 H, 5 R/ER, 4 BB, 1 K. Petter has been a train wreck since coming up to Carolina a few weeks ago as he has now allowed 16 hits and 12 walks in just 12.0 innings over 7 appearances.
  • Todd Hankins (LF, Lake County): 2-for-4, R, 3B. Hankins has not had a chance to play every day, but he is playing a little more of late. His leadoff triple in the 1st inning last night led to the first of only two Captains runs on the night.
  • Alex Lavisky (C, Lake County): 1-for-3, R, HR, RBI. Lavisky has really struggled at the plate his last 12 games going 7-for-43 (.163), but his homer (2) was the game winner for the Captains last night.
  • Cody Anderson (SP, Lake County): 6.0 IP, 6 H, 1 R/ER, 2 BB, 5 K. Anderson continued his strong start to his season with another quality start. He has now allowed 1 run or less in 5 of 6 appearances.
  • Grant Sides (RP, Lake County): 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K. Sides has been very good since being called up from extended spring training April 14th. He has not allowed a run in his last 7 outings and in 11.2 innings has allowed just 3 hits.
  • Jeff Johnson (RP, Lake County): 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K. Since struggling in his first 3 outings (2.2 IP, 10 ER), Johnson has really settled in where in his 8 outings since he has gone 10.1 innings and allowed 2 earned runs on 4 hits and has 16 strikeouts.

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.

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