Around the Farm: November 12, 2014
Urshela’s near-cycle highlights the night on the farm
Around the Farm (ATF) takes a quick look at some of yesterday’s performances by Indians prospects throughout the system. This is a special fall and winter ball version of ATF that recaps all the offseason action by Indians players in the Arizona Fall League (AFL) and the Caribbean Leagues. The positions listed below are where the player was playing in yesterday’s game.
Here is the rundown of what Cleveland players in fall and winter ball did yesterday:
Venezuelan Winter League
Giovanny Urshela (3B, Aguilas del Zulia): 3-for-5, 2 R, 1 3B, 1 HR, 2 RBI. You cannot stop Urshela; you can only hope to contain him. After a few down games and days off about a week ago, Urshela has come out firing on all cylinders again and finished a double shy of the cycle.
Carlos Moncrief (DH, Aguilas del Zulia): 1-for-3, 1 R, 1 RBI, 1 BB. Though he was not as good as Urshela, this was another solid night for Moncrief, who owns a strong .818 OPS in 20 VWL games.
Elvis Araujo (RP, Aguilas del Zulia): H (2), 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 SO. Whether it is with Cleveland or another organization, performances like this (and the rest of Araujo’s time in Venezuela) are why the left-hander is going to get a real shot at making a major league roster.
Ramon Rodriguez (RP, Caribes de Anzoategui): 1.0 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 0 SO. Rodriguez was brought in for some mop-up duty Wednesday, but the struggled a bit. The 20-year-old’s 1.98 ERA looks nice, but his 4:7 SO:BB in 13.2 innings is cause for concern.
Arizona Fall League
Tony Wolters (2B, Peoria Javelinas): 2-for-4, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 2 BB, 1 SO, 1 CS. The power may still be developing for Wolters -- this double is only his third extra base hit in 15 AFL games -- but the 22-year-old is controlling the strike zone (7:7 SO:BB) and continues to grow on defense.
Nick Maronde (RP, Peoria Javelinas): BS (1), 2.0 IP, 2 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 0 SO, 1 HR. Maronde’s rough time out in Arizona continues, with the left-hander now up to 13 runs on 20 hits in 14.0 innings despite a solid 11:5 SO:BB.
Louis Head (RP, Peoria Javelinas): 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 SO. Head, on the other hand, is still pitching well and is now down to a 2.45 ERA and 12:3 SO:BB in 11.0 AFL innings.
Puerto Rican Winter League
Roberto Perez (C, Indios de Mayaguez): 0-for-1, 1 R, 1 RBI, 4 BB. The power Perez showed in 2014 may be new (and might not stick around), but this kind of willingness to take a free base has always been a part of the 25-year-old’s game.
Giovanni Soto (RP, Gigantes de Carolina): 2.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 0 SO. Cleveland may have three major-league caliber left-handed relievers already on the roster, but Soto’s bounce back 2014 and time in Puerto Rico could have him in the majors at some point next year.
Dominican Winter League
Jose Ramirez (SS, Toros del Este): 2-for-4, 1 R. Ramirez’s wretched luck on balls in play appears to be turning of late, with the 22-year-old posting seven hits in his last five games.
Carlos Santana (DH, MLB All-Stars): 0-for-3. Another hitless outing for Santana, but given this trip is more about cultural exchange and fun than on-the-field results, the 28-year-old seems to be doing just fine.
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Araujo was able to show some minor stretches of potential that were few and far between. He never realized or exploited his opportunities.. and was injured and hurt a lot.. Good person.. good work ethic.. not entirely his fault..
Giovanni Soto.. the miserable return for Jhonny P.. not ready to lose this guy yet.. He has a major league arm.. He should be given at least this season to show what he can become.. A solid bet would see him plying his wares as the third lefty out of the pen by the 2015 ASB.. Yeah.. I know.. it's optimistic..
Scotty Barnes.. good arm.. good deception.. not good enough everything else.. If he was rostered..he'd be one of the first guys to lose their 40 man roster spot when a slot was needed.. Keeping him would be worse than letting him go.. Perhaps the SF Giants will reacquire..
Carlos Moncrief.. if a reasonable deal cannot be made to bring a RH bat.. Moncrief and Urshela are two guys (along with a heaping helping of Tyler Holt) who need to be given an opportunity to make a good showing.. Spring training for both these guys is going to be HUGE, especially if they can really impress Tito and Co....
Third in the MVP for Michael Brantley..good for him and the Tribe.. This post season has been pretty good for the Indians, so far..
Two open spots available (One is the Indians) for a second year league.
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As for Arajuo, I didnt want see them lose him, but I'm not convinced he'd be much different than KDLC. I could see an argument made to roster him, and DFA Maronde or Barnes.
I think some people need to accept the fact that there just aren't that many "big right handed power bats" out there, that are out there that are available, and are out there that are fits on this roster.
You want right handed power? Go get Mark Reynolds again. Ok, let's not do that.
I'd actually be ok with Drew Stubbs returning for another season for his defense but he had some rediculously bad splits away from Coors Field.
I know it's not fun or even ideal, but seriously the Indians need Swisher & Raburn (not to mention Kipnis) to rebound.
Signing Billy Butler is an interesting idea that I had the past week too, but thought it was too crazy to consider. But when I saw how low the money and years will be I thought he was a good gamble to take on a RHB. He's in his prime and still crushes lefties, so at worst he helps the Indians lineup vs LHP. 2-3year contract for under 10mil per? That looks like a bargain for a career .800 OPS bat.
Of course, he's a butcher in the field, so he's only a DH/part time 1B and it would probably mean the end for Aguilar without getting a real chance, although there are scenarios where both could be in future lineups (2016+).
People want that RH power bat, but Butler might be as good as it gets for the Indians. He lost his power, but is still very good vs LHP and is an experienced middle of the order bat. Checking 2 out of 3 of what we want within the budget is as good as it gets in this market. I'd rather gamble 9-10mil on him than the same amount on Murphy/Raburn. The more I think about it, the Indians should be players for Butler. His career line in 250 ABs at PField reads .272/.348/.400/.748.
I think the chances that his bat+contract becomes a valuable trade chip at some point are much better than becoming an albatross
Why not sign Butler to DH, move Swisher to RF and pray that he can play the position.with the hope that someone from Moncrief, Zimmer, Ramsey, and Naquin would be ready if he couldn't.
They have a lot of left-handed and right-handed pen depth in the minors which is great. So if you ask me, go out and get one legit arm for the pen and go get the needed depth for the rotation.....and then concentrate any and all efforts into finding a bat for right field that fits their need and payroll structure.
Cleveland needs to be adding to its pen not the opposite. Not with how quickly injury creeps up with both the main arms and even in the depth ranks.
I believe Wolters has a break out year this season and becomes more of a legit catching prospect.
Soto is one of the options the Indians are considering for roster protection. The deadline is next week and I will have a piece on who they are expected to add. I'm still uncertain if Soto will be added or not.....and even if not added he's no lock to be picked up in Rule 5 - though is a candidate for sure.
First time he struggles and the same people proclaiming him the future will be calling him another bust.
Tony - what is the Tribe going to do about Soto? No way this kid makes it thru Rule 5.