Around the Farm: September 1
Grady Sizemore: CF, Akron: 3-3, 1 2B:
Good news from the minor league front on Sizemore. The Tribe's starting centerfielder got his first start in the field for the Aeros, and made the most of it. Sizemore played his scheduled six innings for the second straight night, as the Tribe brass analyzes when the Tribe's lead-off hitter can return. The 3-for-3 performance is a sure sign that Sizemore is closer to returning to the Tribe than many people expected. It should be interesting to watch what the Indians do with Akron heading out of state. Will Sizemore return to the Indians earlier than expected on Friday night against Kansas City, or will he head to Columbus or Lake County to complete his rehab stint? Keep your eye on transaction lines today, and right here at IPI for an update on 24's status.
Adam Abraham: DH, Kinston: 3-5, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI:
During my halfway report, I predicted that Abraham was going to explode during the second half of the season and make himself a player to take notice of in the organization. Well, I was wrong on the explode part, as Abraham went into an offense funk. While Abraham had been 0-for-11 in his last three games, his three hits last night represent his fifth multi-hit game in his last ten. Last night's performance, however, was his biggest game of the season. He hit a walk-off homer to give the K-Tribe a tenth-inning victory, and moved the Indians into first place by a half a game over Winston Salem. Abraham is clearly saving his best performances for the end of the regular season.
- Kyle Bellows: 3B, Akron: 2-4, 1 R: Bellows followed up his three-hit, Wednesday night performance with another multi-hit game, and has gone 5-for10 in the process. Waiting until the last week of the season to have the bat wake up isn't a good way to get promoted.
- T.J. McFarland: SP, Akron: 7 IP, 8 H, 4 R/3 ER, 2 BB, 6 K: McFarland pitched a solid game in his last start for the Aeros in 2011, but wasn't bailed out at all by an offense that couldn't put anything together. The big lefty has put together a decent close to the season, and over his last ten games, has a 3.34 ERA, and has gone six innings or more in seven of his last ten starts.
- Tyler Sturdevant: SP, Akron: 1 IP, 1 K: Sturdevant served notice in 2011 that he's one of the live arms that needs to be talked about when discussing the future of the Tribe bullpen. He did have a couple of implosions since being called up to Akron, but has only given up five earned runs in his last 14 2/3 innings.
- Jesus Aguilar: 1B, Kinston: 2-4, 1 R, 1 K: Aguilar has hit safely in four straight games, and is an impressive 6-13 over the streak. Aguilar is smoking left-handed pitching for Kinston, batting .293 on the season. His ten-game line is an impressive .306/.375/.556. Welcome back Jesus.
- Roberto Perez: C, Kinston: 2-3, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 1 BB: Perez's double scored the tying run for the Indians in the fourth inning. The light-hitting catcher picked the right time for an offensive turnaround. He was 0-for-his-last-12.
- T.J. House: SP, Kinston: 6 1/3, 3 H, 2 R/ER, 3 BB, 8 K: House has pitched like utter garbage since mid-July, so it was nice to see the power-throwing lefty end the regular season with a big-time performance. House has struck out 17 batters in his last two games, but is sporting a not-so-healthy 1-5 record, with a 6.89 ERA over his last ten games.
- Trey Haley: RP, Kinston: 1 2/3 IP, 1 H, 1 BB, 3 K: Haley continues to showcase better control as he moves through the system out of the bullpen with another outstanding performance. His wildness did make things interesting in the seventh inning. Haley hit Miguel Abreu to start off the seventh inning, which visibly irritated Abreu. After the inning was over, Abreu made a beeline to Haley, clearing the benches.
- Kyle Landis: W (9-2), RP, Kinston: 2 IP, 1 H, 2 K: Landis has quickly regained his footing with the Indians in winning his ninth game in relief, while sporting a healthy 2.05 ERA. How good was Landis for most of the year? He's given up seven runs in his last five appearance. Don't be concerned about Landis, however. He missed all of 2010, and is likely struggling a bit with his stamina. His performance last night is a good sign that he's working through it.
- Ronny Rodriguez: SS, Lake County: 1-5, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI: Rodriguez hit his 11th homer on the season, driving in the only two Captains' runs. Rodriguez is an intriguing infield prospect, but he has to improve his .269 OBP as he progresses through the system. If he can become more selective, he has a chance to play in the majors down the road.
- Brian Heere: RF, Lake County: 2-4, 2 K: Heere has been a quiet performer for the Captains this season, but is closing things out strong. He has back-to-back multi-hit games, and has gone 4-for-7 in the process. He's a much better hitter this season against lefties, hitting at a .288 clip, but has really struggled from the plate overall. He does have an advanced approach to hitting, striking out only 59 times this season, while drawing a walk 38 times.
- Kirk Wetmore: SP, Lake County: L (0-1), 3 2/3 IP, 3 H, 5 R/1 ER, 5 BB, 1 K: Wetmore deserved better, but five Captains' errors really did him in.
- Clayton Ehlert: Closer, Lake County: 1 IP, 1 K: Ehlert is swallowed up in this system in reference to the closer role because of the more prominent Preston Guilmet and Cory Burns at Kinston and Akron respectively. Still, Ehlert can't be overlooked. He's saved 14 games in 36 appearances, with a 1.75 ERA. Over his past ten, he's only given up one earned run. Unfortunately, the Captains haven't given him many games to save since the beginning of July.
- Bryson Myles: CF, Mahoning Valley: 2-4, 2 R, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 1 BB: Myles continued his torrid close to the regular season with another multi-hit effort. Myles' ten game line is a solid .324/.439/.353. There's no power there yet, but you gotta love that .439 OBP. This kid is for real, and he's apparently saving his best for last.
- Francisco Lindor: SS, Mahoning Valley: 1-4, 1 K: The Lindor watch continues, as the shortstop got his second professional hit in his third game.
- Jake Lowery: DH, Mahoning Valley: 3-5, 2 R, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 1 K: Lowery is returning to his early season form with a huge night that included a two-run jack. Lowery possesses an advanced bat, and could move quickly through the system.
- Alex Lavisky: C, Mahoning Valley: 1-3, 1 R, 1 2B, 2 RBI, 1 BB: Lavisky is hitting .199 at the Low A affiliate, so it's not like this is a breakout game or anything, but it's good to see the kid driving in some runs. He's had a bad season, and one I'm sure he can't wait to put to bed. Let's hope Lavisky can improve quickly in 2012.
- Danny Jimenez: SP, Mahoning Valley: 6 IP, 4 H, 2 R/ER, 2 BB, 3 K: Jimenez has put together five straight outstanding starts in a row, going 3-0 over 26 2/3 IP. His ERA over that time period is a paltry 1.36.
- Tony Dischler: RP, Mahoning Valley: 1 IP, 1 H, 3 K: Dischler has put together four straight shutout appearances over his last six innings pitched.
Jim is currently the senior editor and Columnist, as well as the host of IBI's weekly online radio shows, Smoke Signals and Cleveland Sports Insiders. You can follow Jim on Twitter @Jim_IBI, or contact him via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.