IBI Digest: 4/13/14 - 4/19/14
Recapping the week on Indians Baseball Insider
The Indians are still trying to find their groove in the early goings this season as inconsistency on pitching and offense continue to plague the team. Michael Bourn has returned to the lineup, however, with Jason Giambi soon to follow. Elsewhere in the major leagues, injurues continue to pile up with Matt Moore now the latest to undergo Tommy John surgery. In the minor leagues,Jesus Aguilar and Trevor Bauer have been the talk of AAA Columbus so far in 2014 while Giovanny Urshela and Bryson Myles continue to impress for the RubberDucks.
Here's what happened this week on IBI:
2014 IBI Top 10 Indians International prospects: For the first time, Tony Lastoria is ranking the top 10 prospects whom the Indians have signed as international free agents. Could Leonardo Linares, Yandy Diaz or Willi Castro work their way up in the overall prospect rankings? We shall see.
The IBI Hot List: 4/3/2014 - 4/13/2014: The IBI Hot List returns for the 2014 season as Tony Lastoria looks back at the top performances of the week from the Indians farm system. Bryson Myles and Jesus Aguilar have been two of the hottest hitters in the minor leagues to start the year while Logan Vick, Carlos Moncrief and Dace Kime have been off to slow starts.
2014 MLB Draft: Big Board 1.0: The draft is only a couple months away and Jeff Ellis debuts the first edition of his "big board" of 2014. This year's draft class already appears to be a much deeper one than the last few years and Jeff lists the current top draft prospects as how they may be taken in the first round.
Minor Happenings: Aguilar's timeline to Cleveland is improving: Minor Happenings returns for the first time in 2014 as Tony Lastoria takes a look at the top performances and interesting notes from the Tribe farm system. Jesus Aguilar's hot start is just what the Indians wanted to see in his debut at the AAA level as his timeline to the big leagues may be improving. Also, Dylan Baker, Yandy Diaz and LeVon Washington may be out for some time with injuries.
Storylines: Zimmerman out with thumb injury: Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman is out for at least a month after fracturing his right thumb during Saturday's game against Atlanta. Also, the Rangers have acquired pitcher Hector Noesi from Seattle in exchange for cash considerations. Andy Nichols has all the latest.
Around the Farm: April 12, 2014: Ryan Rohlinger and Jerrud Sabourin highlighted Saturday's minor league action for the Indians as Rohlinger had three walks and two RBI and Sabourin racked up three hits. On the other side of the spectrum, Bryan LaHair and most of the pitchers in Columbus had a rough night. Arthur Kinney recaps the highlights.
Second Thoughts Game #12: Indians 12, White Sox 6: The Indians offense, for once, was able to bail out Justin Masterson and the pitching staff as they struggled against the White Sox on Saturday. Regardless, the Tribe managed to double up Chicago with a 12-6 victory. John Grimm analyzes the win and the struggles of the pitching.
The WAR Room: The 2013 Columbus Clippers pitchers: Jim Piascik continues his WAR Room series by breaking down the pitchers of AAA Columbus from last season. Trevor Bauer had a bit of a forgettable season for the Clippers in his first year in the organization while T.J. House continues to establish himself as a possible sleeper option for the big league rotation.
Storylines: Boras upset by comments in ESPN article: Agent Scott Boras has now reacted to the comments in an ESPN article from anonymous MLB executives saying how much they would pay for Stephen Drew or Kendrys Morales. Boras states that this is a clear violation of the CBA. Also, Joe Blanton may be on the verge of retirement. Andy Nichols covers all the news and notes.
Second Thoughts Game #13: Indians 3, White Sox 4: The Indians nearly split the four-game series in Chicago, but one bad pitch to arguably the league's hottest hitter in Alexei Ramirez spoiled a dominant start for Corey Kluberand a comeback effort by the Tribe offense. Jake Dungan recaps the White Sox walk-off win to clinch the series.
Tribe Happenings: Issues starting to surface two weeks in: It may be only two weeks into the season, but issues are already starting to crop up with the pitching staff and hitting with runners in scoring position. Tony Lastoria discusses these issues as well as the looming roster decisions for the Tribe.
Storylines: Padres lock up Gyorko: Another young talent has been locked up with a multi-year contract extension. This time it's infielder Jed Gyorko being signed to a six-year extension by the Padres. Also, while the MLB total for international signing pools has risen, the amount for each team has decreased. Andrew Zajac reports.
Around the Farm: April 14, 2014: It was a good night for Indians newcomer Duke von Schamann in Akron while it was a flat-out nightmare for top infield prospect Dorssys Paulino in Lake County. Schamann pitched five shutout innings against Trenton on only 43 pitches. On the other hand, Paulino went 0-for-5 with three strikeouts and four errors. Tony Lastoria recaps the day's action.
Burning Tread with the RubberDucks: 4/8/14 – 4/14/14: Duke von Schamann has gotten things off on the right foot with his new team and organization as he has pitched well for Akron this past week. Also, Bryson Myles and Giovanny Urshela continue their hot starts to the season while the left-handers in the bullpen have been lights out. Jim Piascik covers all the RubberDucks highlights from the past week.
2014 MLB Draft: Weekend Rundown 4/11-4/12: As the college baseball season continues, Jeff Ellis provides updates on the top MLB prospects that the Indians could consider picking in the upcoming draft.
Storylines: Moore the latest to opt for Tommy John surgery: Injuries are suddenly a big problem in Tampa Bay as they have now lost one of their key pitchers in Matt Moore for the remainder of the season to Tommy John surgery. Also, Michael Bourn has been officially activated and Nyjer Morgan optioned to AAA to make room for him. Andy Nichols has all the latest news and notes.
Fishing for Mudcats: 4/9/14 - 4/15/14: There was good news and bad news with Dylan Baker in Carolina this week as he dominated in his debut for the Mudcats, but will not be making his next start anytime soon as he suffered a leg injury between starts and will be sidelined for some time. Zachary Francis discusses all the news and notes from Carolina this past week.
On-Deck with the Captains: 4/4/14 - 4/15/14: It's been a bit of a rough start for the Captains as they are now 4-7 to start the campaign. There have been some bright spots, however, as Jordan Milbrath has pitched shutout ball in two starts, including a complete game. Nelson Rodriguez has also been hot at the plate batting over .300 with three homers and six RBI. Stephanie Metzger recaps the past week in Eastlake.
Storylines: Morales may have missed chance at long-term deal: Kendrys Morales reportedly had an offer on the table from the Mariners last season for a three-year extension that he turned down. Plus, Carlos Santana claims that defensive adjustments have been the reason for his struggles at the plate so far this year. Andy Nichols reports.
Around the Farm: April 16, 2014: Trevor Bauer continues to impress as he dominated in his first start back with the Clippers after making his spot start with the Tribe against the Padres. Ryan Merritt also had a dominant start for the Mudcats to earn his second win of the year. Jim Piascik provides a recap of Wednesday's minor league action.
Second Thoughts Game #14: Indians 3, Tigers 2: Zach McAllister has been the Tribe's best starter since the opening series in Oakland as he pitched six quality innings against the Tigers relying mostly on his fastball. Despite the win, the offense and defense still has its problems to work out. Michael Goodman gives his thoughts on the win.
Storylines: Athletics make pitch to stay put: As the the A's continue talks with the league about possibly relocating and building a new ballpark, a proposal may be in the works for the team to stay at the Coliseum for the next ten years. Andrew Zajac has that and the latest on Joel Hanrahan, who pitched a showcase for several teams, including the Tribe.
Around the Farm: April 17, 2014: Jose Ramirez had a solid night on Thursday which is hopefully the start of a turnaround for the infield prospect as he has had a bit of a slow start to the year. Also, Adam Plutko pitched four innings of shutout ball for the Captains, but did not earn a decision. Jim Piascik has the daily recap from all the affiliates.
Second Thoughts Game #15: Indians 5, Tigers 7: Danny Salazar's command issues are becoming a bit of a concern as he struggled once again as the Tigers split the brief two-game series against the Tribe. One thing that has been working for the Tribe has been the bat of Lonnie Chisenhall and Jake Dungan doesn't believe he should be sent down anytime soon.
The WAR Room: The 2013 Akron Aeros/RubberDucks hitters: Looking back at 2013, the Akron RubberDucks (formerly the Aeros) had a nice offense for much of the season with Jesus Aguilar and Carlos Moncrief anchoring the middle of the lineup, Jose Ramirez wreaking havoc from the leadoff spot and Francisco Lindor eventually joining the lineup. Jim Piascik analyzes last year's hitters in Akron.
Storylines: Ike Davis finally lands in Pittsburgh: The first major trade of the 2014 season took place on Friday as the Mets dealt first baseman Ike Davis to the Pirates in exchange for minor league right-hander Zack Thornton and a player to be named later. Andrew Zajac discusses the trade and how Lonnie Chisenhall has made history.
Around the Farm: April 18, 2014: Francisco Lindor finally had an impressive night at the plate again as he has been off to a bit of a slow start offensively this season. The top Indians prospect recorded three hits against the Baysox on Friday in a 7-6 RubberDucks win. Arthur Kinney recaps the highlights from the farm system.
Small town country boy Merritt looking to make it big with Indians: Left-hander Ryan Merritt has been off to a decent start in 2014 for the Mudcats. Coming from a small town in Texas, Merritt was selected by the Tribe in the 16th round of the 2011 draft. He has his sights set on Cleveland to help the Tribe at some point in the near future. Daniel Kale sits down with Merritt to discuss his pro ball experience thus far and his goals moving forward.
Jake Dungan is a communications student at Stark State College and an intern with the Akron RubberDucks. Follow him on Twitter @MajorLeagueJake.