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Fishing for Mudcats: "It's a Dog Eat Dog World..."

Fishing for Mudcats: "It's a Dog Eat Dog World..."
August 22, 2012
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From the Bait Shop:

Here is this week’s ‘Fishing With Mudcats,’ focusing on games from Tuesday August 14th through Monday August 19th.

It's a Dog Eat Dog World out there...and the Mudcats are wearing Milk-Bone underwear...

This was the make or break week for Carolina, with only 22 games left. This was the week that they had to make a run. Well, they did. They went on a losing run, losing five of six games, dropping double digits behind first place, and essentially closing out there first season as the Carolina Mudcats.

The offense dropped the ball, as every prospect of any consequence had a bad week. The team only hit three homers, scored 19 runs, had eight extra-base hits, and walked only eight times. They struck out 49 times, and just looked lost as a team. The only three players to hit over .300 were table-setters, and that's a killer for a team desperate to make a move.

The pitching side of things weren't much better, as the starters really struggled in four of their six starts, but their overall ERA was over 5, and as the big league Indians can tell you, that's not going to get you anywhere.The bullpen was better, getting solid performances from several arms, but there are a few pitchers that have been dead-weight in 2012, and it will be interesting to see what happens to these guys heading into 2013.

With that said...let's get fishing...

Where We Stand After Week #20:

Second Half Record: 32-38 (1-5 the past week, 59-67 Overall), 4th Place in the Southern Division second half

Week #20 Games:

August 2012

14 vs. Frederick, L 2-5 (WP: D. Jones; LP: W. Roberts; SV: D. Walters)
 15 vs. Frederick, L 2-8 (WP: T. Berry; LP: J. Cooper)
 16 @ Myrtle Beach, L 4-5 (WP: J. Reyes; LP: J. Reichenbach)
 17 @ Myrtle Beach, W 4-3 (WP: M. Rayl; LP: R. Henry; SV: J. Johnson)
 18 @ Myrtle Beach, L 2-7 (WP: L. Jackson; LP: M. Goodnight)
 19 @ Myrtle Beach, L 2-5 (WP: Z. Osborne; LP: F. Martinez; SV: B. Rowen)

Week #20 Transactions:

08/14/2012 Justin Toole assigned to Carolina Mudcats from Akron Aeros.
08/14/2012 Marcus Bradley assigned to Carolina Mudcats from Lake County Captains.
08/14/2012 Jesus Aguilar assigned to Akron Aeros from Carolina Mudcats.
08/18/2012 Cole Cook assigned to Akron Aeros from Carolina Mudcats.
08/18/2012 Antwonie Hubbard assigned to Carolina Mudcats from Lake County Captains.

The Offense:

Week #20

Player

AB

R

H

2B

3B

HR

RBI

BB

SO

AVG

Alex Monsalve

13

1

1

0

0

0

1

1

1

0.077

Anthony Gallas

24

2

5

0

0

0

1

1

5

0.208

Delvi Cid

17

4

6

1

0

1

1

1

6

0.353

Dwight Childs

7

0

0

0

0

0

1

0

5

0.000

Giovanny Urshela

22

0

4

1

0

0

0

0

3

0.182

Justin Toole

26

0

8

0

0

0

1

0

6

0.308

Marcus Bradley

12

1

2

0

0

0

0

0

3

0.167

Ronny Rodriguez

24

2

6

1

1

1

4

0

5

0.250

Todd Hankins

14

1

3

0

0

1

2

2

5

0.214

Tony Wolters

20

3

3

0

0

0

2

1

8

0.150

Tyler Cannon

21

2

9

1

0

0

1

2

2

0.429

Totals

200

16

47

4

1

3

14

8

49

0.235

The Good…

Tyler Cannon is one of my favorite players on this team, and I’m happy to see that he’s raking offensively. He was the only dominant offensive player on the team, and I have to say that the term dominant absolutely fits in the land of the hyperbole, as he only rolled out two runs, a double and an RBI. Still, he hit .429, and his lack of anything else was more due to the fact that there was little if nothing else from anyone else. Cannon has a bit to offer, but he’s never going to be a primary offensive weapon. Instead, he’s a guy that will make his money playing all over the place pretty well, getting on base, and letting the rest of the guys do something with him. If he’s your primary offensive weapon, your week likely isn’t going well.

Justin Toole returned to Carolina on his tour of the Indians system as a roving utility guy, and blistered Carolina League pitching. Well, what I meant by that is that he had an RBI…and a whole bunch of singles. Still, he hit .308, so there’s that. Toole is a more advanced version of Cannon, but when Toole hits .300, it’s time to jump up and down and thank your lucky stars. Toole isn’t a bad player, and it’s clear that the Indians like his utility ability…but it’s not MAJOR LEAGUE utility ability. He’ll be in the system awhile, playing at a variety of levels, and hopefully, putting together weeks like this…getting on base…and having the primary guys I’m about to put to task drive them home.

Delvi Cid has been one of the hottest hitters in Carolina for over a month. Since July 19th, Cid is hitting .333, which is leading the team over that stretch, and he’s the only Mudcat hitting over .300. In 25 games, Cid scored 17 runs on six doubles and a surprising two homers and six RBI. This kid doesn’t have an advanced bat in the least, rolling out only four walks, with 25 K’s. His OBP is an impressive .379 during that stretch, but imagine what he could do if he walked even ten times more. Like Cannon and Toole, if Cid is your leading hitter, your team is in trouble. Again, this isn’t a slight to Cid, but he’s a pop-gun hitter, and generally bats ninth.

…the Bad and the Ugly…

It’s always interesting to look at minor league players, especially the young guys like Tony Wolters. When you look at players like Wolters, you always have to take into account the age of a kid. Sometimes it doesn’t matter how much talent you have, when you are young, you are going to have ups and downs. Wolters has been the living epitome of that this season….but to be honest…it’s been mostly ups. So, he only hit .150 this week. He’s proven time-and-time again that he’s going to be reliable over time…but this week…not so much. I’m a big Wolters fan, and while I don’t see him as a long-term answer to the Indians, you never know. Could he develop a little more pop? Could he be a major league component? The fact that he makes us talk about that year-after-year is a testament to the type of player he is.

Here’s what I can tell you about Giovanny Urshela. If he’s going to roll out a massive offensive week or two, he’s going to follow it up with a dog week or two. Why? While it’s clear that he’s improving his offense, there’s just no repetition with his swing at this point. Will that change over time? It likely will, and that will depend on how far he moves up through the system. While his defense is never really a question, it’s his offense that will take him to the next level.

Alex Monsalve has really struggled thusfar in Carolina, and while he’s still not getting regular time, I have to admit that I was hoping for more pop early. As it stands, Monsalve is still only 20, and will get a full season in Carolina next season to really find out if there’s something to this kid. Urshela and Monsalve are those mid-level prospects with upside, and if they ever figure it out…can make a major splash.

The Pitching:

Week #20

Player

IP

H

R

ER

BB

SO

HR

ERA

Antwonie Hubbard

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

0.00

Cole Cook

3.333

4

2

0

2

4

0

0.00

Fabio Martinez (H, 1)

1.333

0

2

2

3

1

0

13.50

Francisco Jimenez

4.667

9

4

4

2

4

0

7.71

Grant Sides

3.667

2

2

1

4

3

0

2.45

J.D. Reichenbach (L, 5-6)

2

3

1

0

1

2

0

0.00

Jeff Johnson (S, 1)

4

2

1

1

0

5

0

2.25

Jordan Cooper (L, 6-7)

3.667

7

5

4

1

4

0

9.82

Kyle Blair

3.333

5

5

4

2

4

1

10.80

Michael Goodnight (L, 2-12)

3.667

3

3

3

4

1

0

7.36

Mike Rayl (W, 10-8)

6

6

3

3

2

6

0

4.50

Rob Nixon

3.667

2

0

0

0

5

0

0.00

Will Roberts (L, 4-8)

13

10

5

5

2

11

1

3.46

Totals

53 1/3

53

33

27

23

50

2

4.56

Starters

30

34

20

19

11

26

1

5.70

Relievers

23 1/3

19

13

8

12

24

1

3.09

 

The Good…

Rob Nixon rolled out his second straight outstanding week, and he really was the one Muddies reliever…well…pitcher…that dominated. Nixon only gave up two hits in his two appearances, and mowed down five in 3 2/3 IP. I like Nixon, and was shocked that he got shelled in his first few weeks. He’s gotten it back though, and is pitching really well.

Will Roberts had two starts, and his final one of the week was outstanding. He’s not had a great year in Carolina, but his August 19th start may have been his best of the season. Perhaps he was still on his high from his 22nd birthday on the 17th. Roberts has some upside, not as a top-of-the-the rotation type of guy, but perhaps as an innings eater. He’s pitched in 26 innings over his last four games, and none less than six innings.

…the Bad and the Ugly…

Kyle Blair just isn’t good right now, and it really is starting to feel like I’m kicking a dead horse. I’m not sure if it’s a mental thing, or if it’s a mechanics thing, or if it’s a bit of both, but Blair just gets hit and hit hard nearly every time he takes the mound. I doubt they’ll give up on him, but they may not be far away.

Fabio Martinez isn’t very good. I know that sometimes you have to throw something up on the wall to see if it sticks…but Martinez would miss the freakin’ wall.

Jordan Cooper made two appearances, a start and in relief, and just wasn’t very good during the start. He gave up four earned runs (5 total) and five total. Cooper’s just been back-and-forth this season with the Muddie, but still has a decent ERA…close to 4.00.

Michael just hasn’t had a very good season, and has had a terrible couple of weeks. Over his last two starts, his only gone eight total innings, giving up ten hits, eight runs and nine walks, while striking out only six batters. He’s only pitched in 129 1/3 innings, which is right around his yearly total of 135 1/3 innings from last year, so stamina shouldn’t be an issue, but each season is different, and perhaps the Carolina heat was part of the equation.

Week #20 Awards:

Hitter of Week #20: Tyler Cannon
Pitcher of Week #20: Rob Nixon
Player of Week 20: Rob Nixon

The Archives:

Hitter of Week 1: Tyler Holt
Hitter of Week 2: Jesus Aguilar
Hitter of Week 3: Jake Lowery
Hitter of Week 4: Giovanny Urshela
Hitter of Week 5: Jesus Aguilar
Hitter of Week 6: Ronny Rodriguez
Hitter of Week 7: Tyler Holt
Hitter of Week 8: Tony Wolters
Hitter of Week 9: Jesus Aguilar
Hitter of Week 10: Tyler Cannon
Hitter of the First Half: Jesus Aguilar
Hitter of Week 12: Jesus Aguilar
Hitter of Week 13: Jesus Aguilar
Hitter of Week 14: Tony Wolters
Hitter of Week 15: Bo Greenwell
Hitter of Week 16: Carlos Moncrief
Hitter of Week 17: Delvi Cid
Hitter of Week #18: Tony Wolters
Hitter of Week #19: Giovanny Urshela
   
Pitcher of Week 1: Cody Allen
Pitcher of Week 2: T.J. House
Pitcher of Week 3: Mike Rayl
Pitcher of Week 4: Shawn Armstrong
Pitcher of Week 5: Dale Dickerson
Pitcher of Week 6: Francisco Jimenez
Pitcher of Week 7: Shawn Armstrong
Pitcher of Week 8: Kyle Petter
Pitcher of Week 9: Kyle Blair
Pitcher of Week 10: Tyler Sturdevant
Pitcher of the First Half: Shawn Armstrong
Pitcher of Week 12: Grant Sides
Pitcher of Week 13: Michael Goodnight
Pitcher of Week 14: Mike Rayl
Pitcher of Week 15: Matt Packer
Pitcher of Week 16: Danny Salazar
Pitcher of Week 17: Michael Goodnight
Pitcher of Week #18: Mike Rayl
Pitcher of Week #18: Mike Rayl
 
Player of Week 1: Cody Allen
Player of Week 2: T.J. House
Player of Week 3: Jake Lowery
Player of Week 4: Shawn Armstrong
Player of Week 5: Jesus Aguilar
Player of Week 6: Francisco Jimenez
Player of Week 7: Tyler Holt
Player of Week 8: Tony Wolters
Player of Week 9: Jesus Aguilar
Player of Week 10: Tyler Cannon
MVP of the First Half: Jesus Aguilar
Player of Week 12: Jesus Aguilar
Player of Week 13: Jesus Aguilar
Player of Week 14: Mike Rayl
Player of Week 15: Mike Greenwell
Player of Week 16: Carlos Moncrief
Player of Week 17: Delvi Cid
Player of Week 18: Mike Rayl
Player of Week #19: Giovanny Urshela

Here Comes Week #20:

August

21 @ Potomac, 6:05 PM 
21 @ Potomac, TBD 
22 @ Potomac, 7:05 PM 
23 @ Potomac, 7:05 PM 
24 vs. Salem, 7:15 PM 
25 vs. Salem, 6:15 PM 
26 vs. Salem, 2:00 PM 

The View Astern:

The Mudcats are now over 10 games behind the first place Winston-Salem Dash, with barely over two weeks to play, and nine games behind the second place Salem Red Sox. They could still finish in second and make the playoffs, but folks, that ship has sailed. The Mudcats are done, and while they aren’t officially out of it, this team just doesn’t have the horses this year to make a run over their last 16 ballgames. It’s time to say goodbye to their first season in Zebulon as the Carolina Mudcats, and start peering forward at three items of interest:

  1. Which Mudcats might be considered for a playoff run in Akron, if any, and…
  2. Which Mudcats will be heading to Akron in 2013.
  3. How soon before the talented crew at Lake County officially take the field here in Carolina. What a season 2013 will be, when Lindor and Co. roll into Carolina…

As for a playoff run, the only position I see on the team for a potential burst of a call-up would be shortstop, with Ryan Rohlinger and Davis Stoneburner manning the position. Neither is a "prospect" at this point, and a guy like Ronny Rodriguez could be added to give the team some playoff pop, and get him a valuable peak at next year. Wolters could also be a guy that they might ponder with, but my guess is that Rodriguez would get the nod first. Past those two, there doesn't seem to be a guy that could make an impact this late over the guys that are already there. There may be a couple of pitching options, such as Mike Rayl, who is pitching well, or Cole Cook, who has played at every level, but there really isn't a standout option at this point. I even think Rodriguez is a stretch, but a possibility.

As to who is heading to Akron next year, give me a couple of weeks, and in my year-end review...we'll take a look at each position...and talk about who's coming, who's going, and who's staying....

Have a beautiful end to your week 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 jpete@indiansprospectinsider.com.

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