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Fishing for Mudcats: "road to nowhere leads to me..."

Fishing for Mudcats: "road to nowhere leads to me..."
June 13, 2012
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From the Bait Shop:

Preface: Stats used for this article were from Tuesday, June 5th, through Monday, June 11th
The team played well this week, but what could have been a transcending week, turned into something a little less than spectacular.
Offensively, the team continues to look pretty good. There’s nothing overtly spectacular about the lineup, because they can’t seem to put things together. From week-to-week, this team always has someone step up, but rarely is it the same player, and rarely is it back-to-back. If they can ever all get on the same page, the team could be dangerous. This week, they had a respectable .258 average, with six doubles, triples and home runs. They drove in 27 of their 28 runs, with 19 walks and 50 strikeouts.
The pitching was the standout this week, with both the starters and relievers putting forth a solid effort. The bullpen topped the rotation this week, pitching 28 innings, giving up only 22 hits and seven runs, with ten walks and 18 strikeouts. The rotation pitched two more innings, but gave up 11 more hits and five more earned runs. They did walk three less batters (7), with one more strike out. Their ERA is a solid 3.60, but was a run and a half more than the pen’s stellar 2.25.
Let’s get fishing…

Where We Stand After Week #10:

Overall Record: 30-33 (4-3 this week), 4th Place in the Southern Division, 8 games behind Winston-Salem.

Week #10 Games:

5 @ Wilmington, L 2-5 (WP: S. Marimon; LP: M. Rayl)
 6 @ Wilmington, W 5-2 (WP: W. Roberts; LP: S. Runion; SV: J. Flores)
 7 @ Wilmington, W 12-1 (WP: M. Goodnight; LP: Y. Ventura)
 8 vs. Myrtle Beach, W 5-1 (WP: K. Blair; LP: R. Henry)
 9 vs. Myrtle Beach, L 0-3 (WP: N. Tepesch; LP: J. Cooper)
 9 vs. Myrtle Beach, L 1-8 (WP: Z. Osborne; LP: F. Jimenez)
 10 vs. Myrtle Beach, W 3-1 (WP: M. Rayl; LP: K. Hendricks; SV: J. Flores)
 11 @ Lynchburg, 7:05 PM PPD

This Week’s Transactions:

No Transactions Listed

The Offense

The Good…

Tyler Cannon really is an unheralded ballplayer on this team, but boy is he doing some special stuff so far. He moved back to the catcher position to support Jake Lowery after Dwight Childs moved on, and he’s starting to turn heads. This past week, Cannon played in more games as a catcher than Lowery, and was far more effective offensively. Cannon went 6-for-12, with four runs scored, a team leading three doubles, a homer, and a team leading six RBI. Could the Indians have made Cannon a special prospect by this move? One week does not a star make, so let’s see if he can replicate.
Tony Wolters continues his High A revitalization, rebounding from a bit of a mini-slump to start off the month of June.  Over the past seven games, Wolters has gone 9-for-27, with two runs, two doubles, two triples and five RBI. Overall, he has his average back up to .230, and seems to be evening out his performance. I’m not sure how BIG a prospect he is at this point, but he certainly has a high learning curve.
Perhaps this is the week of surprises and under-the-radar guys, because Delvi Cid popped out a .462 average. Okay, so this all stems from one 4-for-5 day, but still, getting six hits from Cid and a homer in one week is icing.
Justin Toole is another one of those sleeper candidates, but maybe he shouldn’t. This week, Toole was a DH, first baseman, left fielder and a third baseman. On top of that, he went 7-for-19, with four runs, two triples and three RBI. He definitely has the look of a major league utility player, and if continues to hit like this, it may be in the cards. He certainly has looked good heading to Columbus on a couple of equations.
While Wolters may get more press, Ronny Rodriguez may be having a better year and bigger resurgence. He went 8-for-23, with a team leading six runs, one double and one homer. Rodriguez is another middle infielder to watch down the road. The question is whether or not he’s better than Wolters.

…The Bad and the Ugly…

Jesus Aguilar may be the best offensive player on the team. Okay, he normally is. This past week, not so much. Aguilar managed only one hit in 20 at bats, with only one RBI, three walks and five K’s. I know there’s a belief that he’s “working on things, and that’s why there’s a drop in power.” Sorry, but power is power. Aguilar is my favorite player on this team, but there are still some holes to look at moving forward. If working on something takes away all his power…then WORK ON SOMETHING ELSE.
Giovanny Urshela may be in the midst of a lost season after missing a month of games. This week, Urshela went 1-for-19, with an RBI, a walk, and six RBI. He’s not exactly the biggest gun offensively, but there are signs that there is more to this kid than a solid glove. Let’s hope he can start finding his swing as the summer warms up.

The Pitchers:

The Good…

So, I’m going to go a little old school here, and give this week’s prize to Tyler Sturdevant. Sturdevant made his 2012 debut with Carolina this week with three appearances in which he went four innings, giving up one hit and one walk, while striking out only one batter. Sturdevant is one of the best bullpen arms in the system, and now that he’s healthy, it will be interesting to see if he can get up to Triple A this season. One step at a time.
Shawn Armstrong is on the same page as Sturdevant. While he’s struggled a bit with Carolina, he’s more or less locked and loaded. This week, he went three innings, giving up three hits and a walk, while striking out two. He didn’t give up a run, or even come close to it. He’s another guy that could end up moving a couple of more levels this year if there’s room.
Petter has been absolutely locked and loaded over the past four weeks, and this week was no different. He made two appearances, going 3 2/3 innings, giving up two hits and four walks, while striking out three. Walks were an issue, and have been all season with the Muddies (19 vs. 24 K’s), but one step at a time. He’s not an elite arm, but is certainly one to watch.
Kyle Blair is another one of those golden eggs this week, as he went without giving up a run. Talk about your enigma, as Blair seems to bounce back from good to bad with regularity. This relief effort (piggy-back) saw Blair go five innings, giving up three runs and three walks, but striking out two. There’s no way he’s elite at this point, but there’s something there.
Dale Dickerson finally put together a super week. He made two appearances, going 2 1/3 innings, giving up only a hit. Dickerson isn’t a name on the list of elite, or even on the list below, but I would consider him one to watch. He could figure things out and make a name for himself, but I don’t think he’s ever going to move ahead of a few other pitchers.
Michael Goodnight had one of his best starts with the Muddies this past week. He went six innings, giving up two hits, one run and one walk, while striking out five. Goodnight and Rayl seem to be in that land of the middle here in Carolina, where they can’t figure out if they could make the major league club as a #4 or #5 starter, or just be fill. More starts like this could fix that.

…The Bad and the Ugly…

The only pitcher to mention here is one J.D. Reichenbach, who put up a wonderful 21.60 ERA, including a 2/3 inning stint in which he gave up four earned runs. For those counting at home, that was a one-day ERA of 53.97. I like Reichenbach as one of those Eric Berger-like bounce-around guys.

Week #10 Awards:

Hitter of Week 10: Tyler Cannon
Pitcher of Week 10: Tyler Sturdevant
Player of Week 10: Tyler Cannon

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
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
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

Here Comes Week #11:

June 2012
12 @ Lynchburg, 7:05 PM 
13 @ Lynchburg, 7:05 PM 
14 @ Salem, 7:05 PM 
15 @ Salem, 7:05 PM 
16 @ Salem, 6:05 PM 
17 @ Salem, 4:05 PM

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

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