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Around the Farm: November 3, 2014

Around the Farm: November 3, 2014
Francisco Lindor (Photo:
November 4, 2014
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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.

Note, the Puerto Rico Winter League was off and no Indians appeared in the lone Venezuela Winter League game on Monday.

Arizona Fall League

Francisco Lindor (SS, Peoria Javelinas): 1-for-3, R, BB. Lindor has not had a multi-hit game since back onOctober 20th, but he did manage to reach base in two of his four plate appearances in this game which is the first time he has reached base two or more times in a game since his three hit effort on October 20th. A lot of people say that he should just be shut down for the offseason, but it is important to note that the playing time in the AFL is not grueling, and his AFL season ends in about 10 days anyway. Good showing statistically or not, the point all along was to go out to Arizona to gain valuable experience to sort of accelerate that transition to being Major League ready next season.

Grant Sides (RP, Peoria Javelinas): 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K. Sides continued his impressive AFL showing with another scoreless outing. He has now pitched in eight games out in Arizona and has accumulated 9.1 scoreless innings and hasn’t even allowed an unearned run. He has allowed just three hits, walked four batters and piled up 11 strikeouts. Small sample size alert…..but against lefties he has allowed just one hit in 19 at bats (.053 BAA) and racked up eight strikeouts.

Dominican Winter League

Tyler Naquin (CF, Gigantes de Cibao): 1-for-4, BB. Naquin has bounced around in the batting order the past few games batting seventh and ninth for a game each before settling into the second spot in the order on Monday night. He did well in a tablesetting role reaching base twice in his five plate appearances, and has now reached base eight times in his last 16 plate appearances (.500 OBP) over his last four games.

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

November 12, 2014 - 5:07 PM EST
I personally think Murphy is more trade-able then Bourn just based on the financial numbers. Mariners need a bat, missed out on VMart as he is re-signing, moving on to Cruz etc, Murphy might end up being a consolation prize if they miss out on the top tier FAs.
November 4, 2014 - 10:15 PM EST
@Tony As you can tell from my prior posts I am in favor of doing what you suggest, just not until we have seen what our replacement OFs can do. Neither Ramsey or Naquin is ML ready IMO. They deserve the same consideration as Urshela and Lindor which really do not look ML ready at this time either. And you just cannot ignore Cleveland's financial situation. Win or lose, Cleveland will be far closer to the bottom of ML attendance and revenues than the top. If things work out and the Indians are patient, there are internal organizational possibilities for the defense and speed issues that plague the Tribe at this time.
November 4, 2014 - 6:29 PM EST
The Toronto Blue Jays are looking for a CF who hits LH, a middle IF'er who is primarily a 2B but can play some SS to spell Jose Reyes and have the funds to make a deal for Bourn happen. Because of the type of deal this is.. a deal with much better prospect involved would be needed. The Jays get a middle infielder (Jose Ramirez ) and Bourn for Aaron Sanchez. This could be seen as making sense for the Blue Jays as they fix two holes in their ML squad for the coming 2015 season. The addition of Aaron Sanchez will be a lot like the Indians getting Trevor Bauer last year.. Sanchez's talented, but, hasn't really put it all together.. With Mickey working with him.. he could become another TORP type or he could take as long as Fausto or Cookie to get to where they're at..

November 4, 2014 - 6:21 PM EST
@MT88... The simple answer to the question is yes...Yes to James Ramsey and one of CC Lee or Austin Adams.. The returning SP can be any one of Marco Gonzales, Alex Reyes (+) or any SP on the ML roster not named Jaime..
November 4, 2014 - 4:49 PM EST
If I am the Indians I do everything possible to find a team to take on the remainder of Bourne's contract. Even throw in a few million if needed.
November 4, 2014 - 4:17 PM EST
MLB Trade Rumors describes the current market as thin on outfielders, so Bourn's contract might be tradeable.
November 4, 2014 - 3:24 PM EST
Sean, yeah, I believe the schedule came out in August or somewhere around there.
Sean Z
November 4, 2014 - 3:19 PM EST
Nevermind, I see it is out already. Trying to plan my first trip to Wrigley... would think MLB would do a better job of marketing or promoting the schedule similar to NFL and NBA.
Sean Z
November 4, 2014 - 3:16 PM EST
Curious, when does the 2015 schedule come out?
November 4, 2014 - 2:43 PM EST
The option for Swisher in 2017 vests if he gets 550 plate appearances in 2016 and passes a physical. I don't think, unless he comes back and has two great years in 2015 and into 2016, there is any way they let that thing vest. This is a big year for him coming up.

Also, as to Naquin, he's just viewed as the better ML center fielder by the organization defensively. Ramsey has the better bat, but is why if there are two openings in CF and RF that I see Naquin in CF and Ramsey in RF.
November 4, 2014 - 2:41 PM EST
Adam, I have Walters in 2B by default because Lindor and Urshela are at SS/3B. I would expect Walters to get some time at SS/3B but mostly play 2B and OF. With Ramsey, Naquin and Moncrief in the OF and Aguilar at 1B.....the only everyday position (excluding catcher) is second base, so that is where Walters should see most of his playing time. But, I expect him to fill in for the others as well and move around the diamond. Also, if the Indians move Bourn and open a spot in LF after Brantley moves to CF, in no way would I want Walters as the starter in LF. He is nowhere close to an everyday player right now if you ask me. He has some potential for sure, but he's not a guy a contending team plugs in out there. He should be depth only. If you trade Bourn, do so because you can better use the money on a bat that can help you right now.
November 4, 2014 - 1:51 PM EST
Do you see Walters figuring into the OF mix? I'm pretty sure you have him slated to 2B in Columbus to start the year, but it seems to me he might have more of an opportunity to break through if he's in LF or RF. In the event they trade Bourn, they could move Brantley to CF and put Walters in LF.
Canadian Joe
November 4, 2014 - 1:28 PM EST
Interesting question MT. Think it might hinge on whether they move Bourn. Maybe the Cards take Bourn and someone else for a depth starter. That would be better.
MT88 in WI
November 4, 2014 - 1:08 PM EST
Gonna ask this question for the group... If the Cardinals wanted to reaquire Ramsey (due to Oscar Tavares passing away), would you be willing to add in one of the RH relief arms (say CC Lee or another from the minors) to Ramsey in order to acquire one of the young Cardinal starters they have???

November 4, 2014 - 1:01 PM EST
Pls excuse the bad writing, difficult to do on my phone while riding a bicycle (stationary!). 8--)
November 4, 2014 - 12:59 PM EST
"Jump over"? Are you saying that you are going to rate Naquin higher as a prospect, or is that what you think that's how the Tribe orders/values them? Myself, I see Ramsey as having already "jumped over" Naquin...
Sean Z
November 4, 2014 - 12:42 PM EST
What is the option year for Swisher's deal? I read that it is likely to be reached in 2016 for the 2017 option. Is it 550 ABs and passing of a physical, because if that is the case, another 2 years like Swish just had and we won't have to worry cause he won't sniff 550 ABs in 2016.

Agree on Bourn and can't imagine a young, cheaper option will be any poorer than MB was these past two years. He's had maybe a few week stretches in the two years where he's been as advertised.
November 4, 2014 - 11:17 AM EST
If the Indians were to trade Bourn, I would think they move Brantley to center field. Holt is not an everyday option and is a borderline ML player. And neither Naquin or Ramsey are ready to help out there from the outset. The Indians like Naquin more in CF, so I can see them inserting him there later in the year or sometime in 2016. Ramsey profiles a little more as their solution in RF, though he could certainly jump over Naquin in CF depending on what happens in 2015.
November 4, 2014 - 10:57 AM EST
I do not see Naquin replacing Bourn even if Bourn is dealt this winter. I think the Indians would prefer to go with Holt, Ramsey, or a combination of the two way before they'd think about Naquin as their everyday CF. Ramsey has a lot more upside in his bat and while he doesn't have Naquin's arm, that isn't as big a deal in CF as it would be in RF. Ramsey put up 41 XBH including 16 HR in just 95 games between AA and AAA last year. Naquin has just 25 XBH at the AA level between 2013 and 2014, in the same number of games.
November 4, 2014 - 10:50 AM EST
And yes, Tony, I completely agree. As I said before, CA will show his worth if he can unload Bourn this off-season and get anything back. But the main thing is to get some roster/budget flexibility. They're hamstrung right now by Bourn and his faulty hamstrings! 8--)
November 4, 2014 - 10:45 AM EST
I'm not so sure about Naquin. Of course the Tribe will do all they can to develop him into a ML player (as well as showcase him well for other teams), whether that's for us or for someone else. Obviously, they have a lot invested in him...but my hunch is that if you polled the FO you might find out that they are way more excited about Ramsey than Naquin. The problem with Naquin is that he has no pop. And maybe he's a late bloomer (a la Brantley), but looking at his body and his swing, its pretty hard to see it coming. Ramsey on the other hand, has it.
November 4, 2014 - 9:00 AM EST
Tony, I totally agree. We don't need anything for him. Simply let another team claim him. Even throwing in $5-7M toward his salary this year, and $3-4M next year would be fine. I'm perfectly fine with Holt in CF. I think his defense and base running will be great out there, and his offensive skill set will be perfectly acceptable (if not even league average) in the 9 spot in the order.

As for Swish, you're right - he isn't going ANYWHERE. No one is taking that on. With some rehab/conditioning this winter, he should make a decent DH, and I'm fine with that.
November 4, 2014 - 8:49 AM EST
I would love to see the Indians trade Bourn this offseason. It just frees up so much with their roster in 2015 and beyond, and also allows them some roster and financial flexibility to make a FA/trade splash everyone wants. As for Swisher, they are stuck with him.
November 4, 2014 - 8:36 AM EST
I think Tony is right on that Naquin is the guy they have planned to replace Bourn. I wonder who they will get to replace Swisher. They have time to figure that out though

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