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Around the Farm: May 4, 2014

Around the Farm: May 4, 2014
D.J. Brown (Photo: IBI)
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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.

D.J. Brown (SP, Carolina): 6.2 IP, 7 H, 2 R (1 ER), 1 BB, 4 K. Brown was the tough luck loser as the Mudcats lost 2-1. He pitched very well pitching into the seventh inning and threw 59 of his 85 pitches for strikes (69.4%). Since moving into the starting rotation for the injured Dylan Baker he has made four starts and is 2-1 with a 1.59 ERA, and in 22.2 innings has allowed 17 hits, 2 homers, 3 walks and has 13 strikeouts. He has always been an intriguing arm for the Indians and a guy that they felt had a chance to start, and now that he has been given the chance he is running with the opportunity. Not to get carried away it will be interesting how he progresses the next several weeks and whether he can stay strong and effective.

Giovanny Urshela (3B, Columbus): 1-for-4, R, HR, RBI. Welcome to Triple-A kid. In his first start and his first at bats at the level Urshela yanked a homer to left field in his second at bat of the game. His encouraging season continues as he is now hitting .298 with 6 HR, 20 RBI and .928 OPS in 26 combined games between Double-A Akron and Triple-A Columbus. If the improved power and approach continue then perhaps he might be an option for the Indians at third base at some point next season. Lord knows the Indians could at least really use his defensive abilities – the bat at this point would be a bonus.

Francisco Lindor (SS, Akron): 2-for-3, R, 2 BB, K, SB, CS. After a hot start the first week of the season and then a little lull in his performance, Lindor has been red hot over his last 10 games hitting .417 with a 1.115 OPS and has his season line up to .301/.376/.466/.842 in 27 games. He has also chipped in with 8 stolen bases, a solid 12-18 walk to strikeout ratio and of course has played stellar defense. How the Indians handle him the next few months bears watching as there is no doubt he can help them at the Major League level, but they also don’t want to force him up too soon and they also have to figure out what to do with Asdrubal Cabrera.

  • David Cooper (DH, Columbus): 2-for-4. Cooper has a much needed multi-hit day, his first in 11 games on April 18th. While he has a nice 7-6 walk to strikeout ratio he is not making much consistent, hard contact hitting just .215 with a .038 ISO. His chances of getting back to the majors are looking slim.
  • Jesus Aguilar (1B, Columbus): 2-for-4. While the Indians continue to struggle to put up runs and show much power, you have to wonder how long that can avoid calling up Aguilar. We are now 28 games into his season and he is hitting .340 with a .270 ISO and nice 17-22 walk to strikeout ratio.
  • Carlos Moncrief (RF, Columbus): 2-for-4, RBI. Moncrief looks to slowly be coming out of his early season funk. He has not been overly hot but has been consistent over his last several games and his batting line continues to improve almost every night.
  • T.J. House (SP, Columbus): 7.0 IP, 5 H, 4 R (3 ER), 2 BB, 9 K, 1 HR. I think people are starting to catch on that House is a legit starting option for the Indians. I have been leading that bandwagon since the end of last season, and he is helping his cause with a 2.12 ERA and five very good starts to open the 2014 season.
  • Austin Adams (RP, Columbus): 1.0 IP, 3 H, 2 R/ER, 0 BB, 1 K, 0 HR. Adams’ inconsistent season continues. He’s actually thrown a scoreless outing in seven of his 11 appearances, but when he gets scored on it is often more than just one run. He’s really struggled with runners on base compiling a 10.29 ERA and .333 BAA over 7.0 innings.
  • Tyler Holt (LF, Akron): 2-for-5, R, 2B, 2 K, SB.  Holt has quietly had a good season as he is hitting .317 with 8 RBI, 8 stolen bases and .741 OPS with an 11-13 walk to strikeout ratio in 21 games. This is now his third season at Double-A Akron and he is long overdue for an opportunity at Triple-A Columbus.
  • Joe Wendle (2B, Akron): 2-for-4, R, 2B, 2 RBI. A much needed good game for Wendle who has otherwise been really scuffling over his last 10 games hitting .171 with a .514 OPS – though those numbers are not too far off from his .192 average and  .596 OPS on the season.
  • Ronny Rodriguez (1B, Akron): 1-for-4, 2B, RBI. This was Ronny Rod’s sixth game already at first base this season. He’s played three games at third base, three games at second base and just two games at his natural shortstop position. You have to wonder if the constant movement around the field has affected his play as he is hitting .154 with a .382 OPS in 18 games.
  • Joseph Colon (SP, Akron): 5.0 IP, 4 H, 1 R/ER, 2 BB, 1 K, 1 HR. Another solid outing for Colon. If he can just stay healthy all season then perhaps he will solidify himself as one of the Indians top starting pitching prospects. You have to log his ability to haul innings and get a high amount of groundballs.
  • Francisco Valera (RP, Akron): 1.1 IP, 4 H, 3 R/ER, 1 BB, 1 K, 1 HR. Valera was used for the first time in a week and promptly gave up the lead upon entering the game in relief of Colon. In 9.1 innings he has now allowed 8 R/ER and with a 2.25 WHIP and .390 BAA. Those are some rough numbers.
  • Enosil Tejeda (RP, Akron): 1.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K. An IBI favorite, Tejeda mowed them down and has pitched like a guy pissed off at the world for giving up his first homer in four years April 23rd. Since that outing he has thrown 2.1 scoreless innings over three appearances and allowed one baserunner and racked up five strikeouts.
  • Shawn Armstrong (RP, Akron): 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K. You know, I (we) typically like to limited ATF to around five to six players at most per team, but I had to mention Armstrong simply to point out his impressive numbers to date (0.84 ERA, .162 BAA, 10.2 IP, 4 BB, 15 K).
  • Todd Hankins (2B, Carolina): 2-for-4. An encouraging outing for Hankins and a continuation of his better play of late. In his last three games he is 5-for-12 at the plate.
  • Anthony Gallas (LF, Carolina): 2-for-4, R, K. Gallas’ fourth multi-hit game in his last five games. He is now up over the .300 mark hitting .301 in 24 games and 11 of his 28 hits have gone for extra bases. I’m all for a promotion to Double-A Akron though that looks unlikely anytime soon with Bryson MylesJordan Smith,Tyler Naquin and Tyler Holt all sharing time there. He would need an injury to crop up to clear a path for him to Akron.
  • Alex Monsalve (DH, Carolina): 2-for-4, 2B, RBI, K. Monsalve has all of the physical gifts you want in a catcher, but over his pro career to date he has yet to show any consistency with his offense and defense. Even with the multi-hit game he is hitting just .229 with a .598 OPS in 22 games this season.
  • Grant Sides (RP, Carolina): 1.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K. I have to give Sides a lot of props. He really struggled over the second half of 2012 and all of 2013 and looked to be on the outs in the organization, but at least in the early going this season he has been lights out with a 0.90 ERA in six appearances.
  • Louis Head (RP, Carolina): 1.0 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 BB, 2 K. Head’s numbers to date are of the Nintendo variety as he has a 0.84 ERA in nine appearances, and in 10.2 innings has allowed 4 hits, no homers, 4 walks and has 19 strikeouts. Akron should be in his very near future.
  • Clint Frazier (CF, Lake County): 1-for-4, BB, 2 K. While he is performing at an average or slightly above average level hitting .246 with a .752 OPS, Frazier has been playing better of late with hits in five of his last six games and hitting .333 over that span.
  • Dorssys Paulino (DH, Lake County): 1-for-4, K. Paulino got a much needed mental health break from the field this past weekend as he sat out Friday’s game and was the DH on Saturday and Sunday. Considering he has 13 errors in 26 games, I would say the break was needed.
  • Nellie Rodriguez (1B, Lake County): 1-for-2, R, 2B, 2 BB, K. Rodriguez continues to show some solid pop with a .191 ISO and .357 on-base percentage, but he still needs work on the bat-to-ball (.245) and discipline (32 K, 94 AB).
  • Paul Hendrix (SS, Lake County): 2-for-4, R, HR, 3 RBI, K. Hendrix launched a three-run homer in the bottom of the third that accounted for most of the Captains offense on the day. He’s actually off to a solid start this season hitting .293 with 2 HR, 9 RBI and .907 OPS in 19 games.
  • Mitch Brown (SP, Lake County): 4.0 IP, 3 H, 5 R (4 ER), 5 BB, 3 K. There is always something behind the scenes that often explains a pitcher’s struggles, and perhaps that is the case with Brown. But a 6.57 ERA and 16-19 walk to strikeout ratio is not what anyone envisioned from him six starts into the season – especially when repeating the Low-A level.
  • Kenny Mathews (RP, Lake County): 4.1 IP, 2 H, 1 R (0 ER), 2 BB, 2 K. Mathews has only pitched out of the bullpen but he is someone the Indians want to stretch out and start. Perhaps he and Brown flip flop, but it doesn’t matter as the Indians view starters and piggyback guys the same.

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 6, 2014 - 9:47 AM EDT
Sorry if I'm bursting your bubble Rocky. Not trying to kill your dream, just being a realist. Tribe seems very committed to Santana at 3B whether we like it or not.

I would love to see some great defense on the infield. Urshela and Lindor would bring back memories of Fryman/Vizquel on the left side. But unless you're expecting some big shakeup, where Santana is traded or the Tribe has a major change of heart on his case for Urshela is a utility role....

...which IMO wouldn't be a bad move with him. He played a bit at SS last year for the Aeros. Fully believe he could play it more if needed and could be a decent 2B if given time there.

Earliest I expect to see Lindor is September. Tribe just can't afford to rush him out of desperation and risk destroying his Tribe career like they did with Phillips and so many others. You can easily go with Aviles who is an average-to-plus defender at short. If the FO is "smart" they'd resist the urge to promote Lindor til he's a complete, or near complete, player.
May 5, 2014 - 11:00 PM EDT
Urshela and Aguilar are both going to be playing some 3B in AAA and both happen to bat RH. I hope there are days where Aguilar plays 3B and Urshela plays 1B or even LF while Cooper is DH, like an arms race for a RH corner utility bench player with some pop.
May 5, 2014 - 10:39 PM EDT
Every time I post about Urshela & Lindor in the infield for the Tribe some know-it-all sagely advises that it won't be happening "soon". Maybe never. Hell of a precise time frame. Go out on a limb, why don't you. If the FO is smart, if Frankie & Gio keep hitting, it's going to happen, to the great benefit of the team. Now give yourselves a thrill naysayers, say nay.
May 5, 2014 - 3:26 PM EDT
time to bring luis dejesus back in from arizona and give him another shot. everybody else does just saying. his not a power pitcher but he can pitch
May 5, 2014 - 2:21 PM EDT
Unless the Tribe moves Santana (or maybe Chiz) to the OF I don't see Ursehla at 3B in Cleveland anytime soon.
May 5, 2014 - 2:20 PM EDT
See that Kerry Doane has been called up to LC. Whitehouse was put on the Mahoning Valley roster. I'm assuming the sent him back to AZ for extended spring training.
May 5, 2014 - 1:26 PM EDT
The dream of Urshela & Lindor manning the left side of the IF for the Tribe is getting closer. Death to bouncing objects!
May 5, 2014 - 1:20 PM EDT
M.Brown actually cruised through the first two innings and then collapsed. Not sure this is a trend and it could be many factors, but his BAa is significantly higher with runners on, so maybe he struggles from the stretch or he gets nervous, maybe he's just a reliever and gets hit the 2nd time through?
Whatever the issues, Kenny Mathews is clearly outperforming him, so I would like to see them flip flop on their piggyback and see happens.

Tejada is one of those longshot guys that keeps producing. He's an easy spec to root for and I hope he makes it to Columbus in the 2nd half, but he's probably just the 4th option from the BP for a call up behind Crockett, Armstrong and Sturdevant. At some point management has to consider clearing some room by releasing org soldiers like Murata and B.Brach, who will be FA minors anyway after the season.
Dr. Silverman
May 5, 2014 - 1:02 PM EDT
Mitch Brown has the exact same shitty pitching line every outing. My prognosis... he sucks
May 5, 2014 - 12:57 PM EDT
Mitch Brown has 9 wild pitches to go along with his 10.2 H/9 and 5.8 BB/9. Hopefully that's due to some correctable delivery issues, otherwise he's likely to be sent down to MV once their season starts up.
May 5, 2014 - 12:36 PM EDT
You got me Tondo!:)

I have some video of Tejeda. Not a guy who will blow anyone away but the curveball is a pretty good pitch. He's one of those sneaky fast guys where the fastball is merely average but gets up on guys quickly.....and he locates so well.
May 5, 2014 - 12:32 PM EDT
Any video on Enosil Tejeda? He seems to have the stature, the make-up and the ability to spin the ball and miss bats of one of my favorite Giants- Sergio Romo. Everybody said he's too small, doesn't throw hard enough to close and that he will break down, but Bochy has gone against the naysayers and the numbers have proven him right. Does Tejeda have the no-dot slider?
May 5, 2014 - 11:23 AM EDT
Good to see TJ House get recognized finally. As for the bandwagon conductor comment ,Tony: I had House ranked 12th in July 2013 (board post), ahead of guys like R.Rod and Paulino, which was unheard of then (probably still now with some upside airheads). Beat this ! ;-p

Some very nice early SP results from Columbus, Akron and Carolina. System is much better than some naysayers think
May 5, 2014 - 10:43 AM EDT
Really hard to tell based on a few innings, especially with relievers, but Adams has really focused on improving that command. It's something the Indians have a lot of their power armed guys working on in the upper levels, and we are seeing some solid improvement overall. Of course, as you work to get more on the plate you also make more mistakes out over it so I am sure that is what has lead to the jump in HR allowed in the early going - though I believe it to be a small sample size issue more than anything right now.
Joe Chengery
May 5, 2014 - 10:29 AM EDT

That was this site- I remember the discussion. :-)

I'm glad to see House- I was down on him because he had fallen off and people talked about him as a four-five starter when he was considered a two-three at one time. If he keeps pitching more like he has for most of this season, a two-three guy wouldn't be out of the question.

As for Adams, if I remember correctly, isn't' this his first exposure to AAA? That, and perhaps working on improving his command (he was erratic at AA at times last year) might be what the Indians are working on with him. I'll be curious to see if the numbers and consistency improve as the year goes along.

Was a little surprised to see Urshela's name in the AAA lineup, but a pretty solid first game. May he keep it going (both offensively and defensively).
May 5, 2014 - 9:40 AM EDT
Big fan of House here too. Hoping he does get a start or two this year at least. Believe there was an article on this site (may have been another though) before the season about how teams that never start a single lefty almost never make the playoffs...well, maybe House can get this team going then! ha

As far as Adams...that lower BABIP could be a bit misleading though. May single rough times ahead but also could just be a result of the much higher HR rate. HRs don't factor in to BABIP....assuming his HR rate can normalize his BABIP would rise as a result, probably leveling out closer to a normal .300 level.

Haven't seen him pitch this year unfortunately, so question i have...has his control really improved as much as the walk rate suggests? or is he just now missing more over the middle of the plate (hence the jump in HRs) instead of missing off the plate (resulting in the high walk rate)?
Canadian Joe
May 5, 2014 - 9:38 AM EDT
Good to see Aviles getting a shot at LC tonite. Has thrown well this year, and is possibly catching up to the potential he showed before shoulder surgery. Would be a nice addition to the depth chart.
May 5, 2014 - 9:28 AM EDT
Big fan of House. Unfortunately, for him to get a shot in Cleveland this year it will take a couple or injuries or some really bad performances.....but I believe he will get a shot at some point - perhaps even to be the second starter in a doubleheader and the 26th man for the day.

Adams is interesting. He is actually walking less guys but is less effective as his strikeouts are down and home runs are up. The league also has a low BABIP against him which could spell more trouble for him down the road once that begins to level out.

Armstrong could certainly move up to AAA at any point but I think the Indians will leave him where he is at for the time being. He's having success and it is something to build off of. I'm not too concerned about Crockett. He can go right from AA to the bigs if needed.
May 5, 2014 - 9:18 AM EDT
I don't know when or where but the Indians are going to have to bring up Jesus Aguilar. Also, I would look to get Armstrong and Crockett in AAA now in case they are needed later on in the season to replace Axford(not dissatisfied) but I do want to protect myself. Indians can lean on farm system a bit this year so it's just a matter of time
May 5, 2014 - 9:07 AM EDT

Could AAA be in Armstrong's near future??
May 5, 2014 - 9:03 AM EDT
I am somewhat disappointed with Adams. That arm could do well with the Indians but can't seem to put it together
May 5, 2014 - 8:59 AM EDT

you were talking about TJ House all offseason and he's making you look like a prophet

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