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Around the Farm: May 28, 2013

Whitenack continues to struggle and House tosses a complete game

Around the Farm: May 28, 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.

Note: Lake County was rained out on Tuesday.

Robert Whitenack (SP, Akron): 4.0 IP, 4 H, 7 R/ER, 8 BB, 4K, 1 HR.
This was a very ugly outing from Whitenack who has just not looked good this season. He has now made four combined appearances between High-A Carolina and Akron and is 0-2 with a 10.54 ERA and has allowed a staggering 17 hits and 14 walks in just 13.2 innings pitched. The Indians thought enough of this guy to claim him off of waivers earlier in the year, but whether or not he is coming off of injury, you have to wonder what they saw. He has since been put on waivers by the Indians themselves, cleared, and outrighted to the minors, but you have to wonder how much longer he will stick with the Indians after performances like this.

T.J. House (SP, Columbus): 8.0 IP, 9 H, 5 R (3 ER), 0 BB, 4 K, 1 HR.
An interesting outing for House as he threw a ton of strikes with 70 of his 101 pitches finding the zone and he did not walk anyone, yet he was maybe around the zone too much as he was touched up for several hits. Nonetheless, he managed to pitch a complete game, just the third in his career. His results in Triple-A have been mixed to date as he is 1-3 with a 5.53 ERA in 7 starts, and most of his issues have come against right-handed hitters as they are hitting .289 with 7 homers and he has a 6.40 ERA against them.

  • Ezequiel Carrera (CF, Columbus): 1-for-4, 2 R, BB, 2 K, 2 SB. A well-played game by Carrera as he did what leadoff hitters should do reaching base two times in five plate appearances, stole two bases, and scored two runs.
  • Cord Phelps (2B, Columbus): 2-for-4, 2 RBI, SB. Slowly but surely Phelps is turning his season around. After a brutal April where he hit .175 with a .511 OPS in 11 games, he has bounced back with a nice .277/.901 May.
  • Chun-Hsiu Chen (1B, Columbus): 0-for-3, BB, 2 K. After a hot start with Columbus where he collected 7 hits in his first 3 games and 14 at bats, he is now 3-for-24 in his last 6 games.
  • Lonnie Chisenhall (3B, Columbus): 1-for-3, BB, K. Chisenhall has done a solid job since his demotion to Columbus hitting .289 with 4 HR, 10 RBI and .944 OPS in 11 games. He also has a much better 6:10 walk to strikeout ratio compared to the ugly 3:22 one he had in Cleveland.
  • Jose Ramirez (SS, Akron): 2-for-4, BB, K. Ramirez is having a fine season in Akron this year, and his numbers are down a little thanks to a hip flexor injury which affected him for a few weeks earlier this month.
  • Tyler Holt (CF, Akron): 0-for-1. Holt had to be removed in the middle of his second at bat after fouling a ball of his right knee. He tested it out and had to be removed from the game.
  • Adam Abraham (3B-LF, Akron): 0-for-4, 2 K. Abraham appeared in his first game with Akron after being reassigned from Triple-A Columbus where he hit .247 with 1 HR, 7 RBI and .660 OPS in 21 games. The hope is that he will get much more playing time at Akron than he was in Columbus.
  • Jake Lowery (C, Akron): 2-for-4, 2 2B, RBI. Lowery has done an admirable job filling in at catcher in Akron and provided more offense than was expected. Sometimes it is these kind of spurts which can be huge confidence builders and get a player back on track, and let’s hope this is the case with Lowery.
  • Cole Cook (RP, Akron): 4.0 IP, 3 H, 2 R/ER, 1 BB, 3 K. I didn’t really buy into Cook’s resurgence last season across several levels of the farm system, though I was intrigued by his comeback season. This season, however, he has morphed back into the inconsistent pitcher he was in 2011 and has been touched up pretty well.
  • Tyler Naquin (CF, Carolina): 2-for-4. Naquin has been a model of consistency all season and has really put together a solid season hitting .305 with a .818 OPS in 48 games. He is not an impact prospect, but he is well on his way to being a solid complementary player in the big leagues, and might find himself promoted to Akron by the All Star break.
  • Tony Wolters (C, Carolina): 1-for-3, 2B, BB, CS. A solid nice at the plate reaching base in two trips, though he has a rough night on the bases as he was caught stealing once and was picked off once. So far so good with the catching!
  • Ryan Battaglia (1B, Carolina): 1-for-2, BB. A solid showing so far in Carolina for Battaglia as he is 7-for-21 at the plate with 3 doubles and 6 RBI in limited action.  His opportunities are limited, but he is making the most of them.
  • Francisco Valera (SP, Carolina): 3.0 IP, 5 H, 4 R/ER, 2 BB, 4 K, 1 HR. Valera made a spot start and has really been bouncing around the organization a lot of late as he was in Columbus for a short time before coming back to Carolina. He’s pitching inventory in the organization.
  • Fabio Martinez (RP, Carolina): 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 4 BB, 1 K. Martinez was dominant in that he did not allow a run or hit in his two innings, but again, he struggled with his control as he walked 4 batters. Overall, he threw just 14 of 37 pitches for strikes. He throws very hard, but has no idea where it is going, a trait that is tough to overcome at this stage in his career.
  • Grant Sides (RP, Carolina): 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 5 K. A near perfect outing for Sides and a much needed one for him. He has really struggled for most of the season, but on Tuesday night he was his old self and hopefully it will jump start him to get him back pitching like the high end relief prospect many think he can be.

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

May 30, 2013 - 9:29 AM EDT
Rich, I'm pretty sure you're referring to Tony Cingrani, who spent a month in the Show already this year, and had a lot of success (6 GS, 33IP, 41K, 3.27ERA). He is an outstanding pitching prospect.
May 29, 2013 - 10:16 PM EDT
I was at the Clippers game in Louisville. House induced a ton of ground balls but got hit around a bit. Two of the runs were unearned due to a throwing error by Chisenhall, but House was unable to work out of trouble, giving up a double off the center field wall to a guy hitting .151. Yeah, he was right-handed.

House was topping out at 89 mph. He didn't look like much of a prospect.

Louisville started a 23 yo lefty who struck out 10 Clippers in five innings. He had a game earlier this year where he struck out 14 in six innings. He should be in the Show soon.
May 29, 2013 - 12:32 PM EDT
Thanks, I've charted a few starts of Bauer/Carrasco this one I do I'll shoot over to you.
May 29, 2013 - 11:18 AM EDT
Steve, nope, do not have such date. Though I know the Indians track it (and freely don't share it).;)
May 29, 2013 - 11:03 AM EDT
@tony anyone at your site charting the starts by Clippers? I would be interested in how many strikes are called/whiff/foul ball/put in play. A guy could pound the strike zone but opposition just fouling balls off indicating lack of put away pitch.

Just wondering if you or the Clippers have the data to share?

May 29, 2013 - 10:26 AM EDT
Yeah, it's kind of an odd stat.....but it is one tracked by Check out the splits for House:

I think they simply just track the at bats, outs and which righ-handed hitters score to develop an ERA for righty vs. lefty. Pretty simple actually, though I am unsure how valuable the stat is. Although, it does sort of show how many right-handers vs. left-handers are scoring on him.
May 29, 2013 - 10:16 AM EDT
Okay - Love the information you put on here but this is driving me nuts... an ERA against right handed hitters? I don't understand how this can be separated out when an earned run frequently results from more than one batter. Please explain - thanks

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