Fishing for Mudcats: Fishing for Runs
First and foremost, Happy Father’s Day to all the Dad’s out there who are celebrating with your kids today. There’s nothing more “Father’s Day” to me than a little bit of baseball, a little bit of U.S. Open Golf, and a whole lot of relaxing.
Well, some of us have to write a bit, but you get what I’m talking about.
To those that spend even a few extra minutes to stop by and give my Mudcats’ column a ride today, thanks a lot. For those that come a bit later, I hope you had a fantastic Sunday.
Today’s “Fishin’” will be a bit abbreviated, as Father’s Day activities are soon to commence.
It was another enigmatic week for Carolina, as they continued to hit the ball, and continued to lose. Carolina continues to lead the league in hitting, and while they aren’t last in runs, they are only six runs out of last place, and 72 out of first. They are last in home runs with 29 in 69 games, and tied for last in RBI. They just don’t come up with the big hits.
When you combine lack of scoring with a league worst 4.50 ERA, you can spell trouble. The Muddies got solid performances from their dueling aces in Shawn Morimando and Cody Anderson, but past that, the starting rotation was seven shades of terrible. While there were good performances from half their pen, the other half were garbage-like as well.
This team seems to have one-trick ponies with regards to the offense and the pitching. This really hasn’t been a very good team.
Let’s get fishing….so I can go fishing…
Where we stand after Week #10:
|2013 Carolina League Current Standings|
|Carolina League Northern|
|Potomac Nationals (WSH)||41||27||0.603||-||22-12||19-15||W1|
|Lynchburg Hillcats (ATL)||35||32||0.522||5.5||19-14||16-18||L1|
|Frederick Keys (BAL)||34||34||0.5||7||16-16||18-18||L1|
|Wilmington Blue Rocks (KC)||33||36||0.478||8.5||17-15||16-21||W1|
|Carolina League Southern|
|Myrtle Beach Pelicans (TEX)||39||29||0.574||-||24-11||15-18||W1|
|Winston-Salem Dash (CWS)||37||32||0.536||2.5||21-15||16-17||L1|
|Salem Red Sox (BOS)||32||36||0.471||7||18-16||14-20||W1|
|Carolina Mudcats (CLE)||22||47||0.319||17.5||14-23||008-24||L1|
Week #10 Games:
|June 2013 (all times local unless noted)|
|9 vs. Myrtle Beach, L 4-6 (WP: W. Lamb; LP: F. Valera; SV: R. Rojas)|
|10 vs. Potomac, Postponed: Wet Grounds|
|11 vs. Potomac, W 11-3 (WP: C. Anderson; LP: B. Schwartz)|
|11 vs. Potomac, L 1-3 (WP: R. Ray; LP: N. Pasquale)|
|12 vs. Potomac, L 11-13 (WP: R. Mirowski; LP: M. Radeke; SV: R. Wort)|
|13 @ Myrtle Beach, L 1-3 (WP: J. Eickhoff; LP: S. Morimando; SV: R. Harvey)|
|14 @ Myrtle Beach, L 7-10 (WP: F. Mendoza; LP: M. Peoples)|
|15 @ Myrtle Beach, W 8-2 (WP: M. Goodnight; LP: N. Martinez)|
|15 @ Myrtle Beach, L 1-5 (WP: J. Van Meter; LP: R. Nixon)|
This Week’s Transactions:
|6/15/2013||Carolina Mudcats activated OF Luigi Rodriguez from the 7-day disabled list.|
|6/15/2013||Carolina Mudcats placed C Charlie Valerio on the 7-day disabled list. left thumb sprain|
|6/13/2013||C Alex Lavisky assigned to Carolina Mudcats from Akron Aeros.|
|6/9/2013||Carolina Mudcats activated LF Bryson Myles from the 7-day disabled list.|
|6/9/2013||Carolina Mudcats placed OF Luigi Rodriguez on the 7-day disabled list. Strained left shoulder.|
Offensive Player of the Week: Joseph Wendle:
Six Muddies hit over .300 this week, and all of them played substantial minutes. Tyler Naquin, Jerrud Sabourin, Joey Wendle, Francisco Lindor and Tony Wolters all hit over .333. Wendle, Sabourin and Naquin all hit over .346.
Why did I pick Wendle over Naquin and Sabourin? He led the team with four doubles, five extra base hits (tied for the team lead with one homer), nine hits, eight RBI, a .615 slugging, and a 1.015 OPS. He was second on the team with seven runs scored, had two stolen bases, and had a .400 OBP.
Mr. Wendle is back indeed.
Wendle is now hitting .312 on the season, but isn’t qualified for the hitting title yet because he missed a month of baseball from April 20th through May 21. Since June has kicked into full gear, so has Wendle, coming in with a .321/.418/554 slash, and is hitting a spectacular .392 with runners in scoring position. That’s a rare feat on a team that can’t score runs.
His ceiling appears to be limited, but he is making a bit of a name for himself as a hitter at the lower levels. This is another one of those guys to watch because he does continue to hit. Will it carry to the next level? That remains to be seen, but he does have a professional approach, and he also has five homers on the year. I don’t see him as a big power guy, but he may have just enough to be interesting.
He’s certainly not one of the top middle infielders in the system, but he is a guy that may be a part of the conversation by the end of the season.
The best of the rest:
Offensively, this team has to be a nightmare in many ways for every team that faces them. Tyler Naquin again led the team in runs and average, hitting a robust .348 on the week. He also drove in six batting lead-off for the most part. His issues continue to be strike outs, as he led the team with seven, against only four walks. Still, his OBP was at .464, and while that’s clearly not sustainable, the point here is that if he can figure out ways to get on base, the strikeouts become less of an issue. He also had three stolen bases. He’s hitting .292 with runners in scoring position.
Naquin is second in the league in hitting at .311, and I’m bullish on the guy. While other folks argue over the term “elite,” I still say this kid has plenty of time to mold himself into a major leaguer. I’m consistently amused at the stat geeks that talk about how he’ll just be a fourth outfielder in the bigs when they haven’t even seen him play. Sorry, there’s a long way to go, and perhaps actually seeing the kid play once or twice would help there.
He’s a good ballplayer, but there is a lot of space between High A and the Major Leagues. Was he a #15 pick? Who knows. For every guy in the 15 range that makes it to the bigs, I can literally find you hundreds that never sniffed the show. Naquin has a shot…so I’ll hold off to see where it goes. Life is different in Double A, that is for sure.
Jerrud Sabourin continues to hit the ball well in Carolina, and comes in third in the league in hitting with a .308 average. He hit .346 this week, tying Wendle with nine hits. There are similarities in ceiling with Sabourin and Wendle, with the big difference being Sabourin’s position. He’s a corner infielder, which means power is nearly a must. He did hit a homer this week, but he didn’t manage a double. There has to be more than a singles hitter there. He only has a .232 RISP, which shows you his struggles as a corner infielder
Lindor rebounded from some struggle to go 8-for-24, with six runs, four RBI and four walks, against only two K’s. You have to love that pro bat. He also rolled out five stolen bases. He has no power to speak of, but still had a .448 OBP. That will clearly be Lindor’s role in the offense: the table-setter. He has the average back up to .300
Tony Wolters has found his groove offensively. Since Junehas started he’s hitting.341, with a .341/.431/.432 slash. When you combine it with his move to catcher, you can see that he’s one of those kids that just works his tail off. He really has made himself into an intersting wich sd
In the Mud:
There really isn’t a lot to talk about here. Sure, Bryson Myles only hit .235, but he’s still coming back from a long layoff. If he’s still struggling or injured in July, then we’ll talk. My guess is that as soon as he’s ready for everyday time in the outfield, Naquin will be heading to Akron. This may be the last full week we talk Naquin.
Zach MacPhee only hit .238, but he’s not really a guy you look to that will carry a team offensively. Bo Greenwell also only hit .241 on the week, but it’s quickly becoming apparent what his future holds with the Indians.
Jordan Smith continued his season treading water this week by only hitting .259. The power just isn’t there, and he’s only hitting .242 with runners on, and .217 when they get to second.
Pitcher of the Week: Cody Anderson
Both Shawn Morimando and Anderson were fighting tooth and nail for this award again, but at the end of the day, it has to go to the team’s all-star pitcher, and the guy that was nearly perfect this week, and that’s Cody Anderson.
Anderson went five innings this week, giving up only a hit, while striking out four. Morimando really wasn’t close in that he gave up three runs and three walks in his outing.
As much as I like Morimando, especially because he’s a lefty, he really isn’t the same sort of upside pitcher that Anderson is. While both are close in ERA (Anderson is third in the league with a 2.65, and Morimando is fourth with a 2.73), Anderson just has more dominating stuff.
Anderson is tenth in the league with 66 K’s, which is 18 more than Morimando. He’s also only walked seventeen batters, which is 15 less than the lefty.
His outing this week presents the biggest difference though. I’ve never seen Morimando look like a guy that could throw a no hitter. Anderson has those moments, and while I don’t know how that’s going to translate to the upper levels or the bigs, he’s shown tremendous progression.
I’m not yet sure we’ve seen even close to his best.
The best of the rest:
Don’t get me wrong with Morimando. He’s got some upside to, and he’s shown progression as well. I still can’t get the “finesse lefty” outta my head though. He just doesn’t seem to have the out stuff that it takes to be a decent big league lefty. I also don’t see him as a command guy either. Yes, the Indians need some lefties in the rotation, but I could see Morimando moved to the pen in the next couple of years as a loogy. We shall see. It’s not like there are starters ready to push him out of any rotation.
In the Mud:
Mason Radeke continued to get jackhammered in High A. In two starts totaling 5 1/3 innings, he’s given up 10 earned runs. J.D. Reichenbach gave up three earned in 2 1/3. Grant Sides continued down his path of no return with three runs in 2 2/3. His ERA is sitting at 7.34. Michael Peoples had two starts, and gave up four in the first, and seven in the second. Francisco Valera gave up five runs and eleven hits in 4 1/3. The bad pitching IS. JUST. SO. BAD. There’s really no middle ground for the staff…and that’s been a killer in the first half of the year. Hopefully that will change.
Next Week’s Fishing Expedition:
|June 2013 (all times local unless noted)|
|16 @ Myrtle Beach, 6:05 PM|
|21 @ Potomac, 7:05 PM|
|22 @ Potomac, 6:35 PM|
The View Astern:
Alex Lavisky was sent to Carolina. I held out hope for Lavisky over the past two seasons that he could develop into a steal for the Indians in the lower rounds. It has never really come to fruition. The Cleveland native is a solid defender, but the bat just isn’t there. He’s got career minor leaguer written all over him, and he’ll be playing behind Wolters at catcher, and likely find time at DH as well. There’s some power there, and there’s still some interest, but not as a legit prospect. Lavisky had a broken toe, and didn’t play for much of the beginning of the year.
The team either has to get healthy, or they have to get some fresh players in the mix from the draft or because of it. They just haven’t been very good.
#WASHTIME?!? In all honestly, I hope the kid’s okay. He’s only 21, so there’s still hope he can become a solid player. He just has to stay healthy…or get healthy…or…
Happy Father’s Day Everybody…
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.
always appreciate your comments...and always welcome all thoughts...;)
So many interesting players and such a lousy team. Thanks for your insights about that.
Covering the minors has been a passion of mine for years and years and years. While I understand the development of a player, I also try to include the quest for a team to develop amid all the call-ups and send-downs that we see from year. The towns in which these teams play care more about the teams, then the players. I try to include that piece in my pieces, and will never apologize for that. While most folks only give two cents about the players developing into major leaguers someday...I want my stuff to be a bit more than that...it's just the way I look at the minors.
That said, sometimes numbers indicate a false sense of offense...
Yes, this team hits the ball, and yes, they fail to drive runs home. It's only the Carolina league, but often these trends carry with players from league to league.
Quite often, winning creates winners. Not always...but at times.
Lindor and Anderson are a lock...I also believe Naquin is as well...to a lesser extent. Morimando is a question mark to me.