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The K-Tribe Chronicle: As the Hamstring Turns

The K-Tribe Chronicle: As the Hamstring Turns
May 2, 2011
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(Photo: Kinston Indians)
From the Reservation:

I've realized something quite disturbing in my life, and I'm really not sure that I can or will do anything about it. The Cleveland Indians organization is my royal wedding. It became readily apparent to me this past Monday, as my wife was telling me her plans to get up at 3:00 in the morning to watch the pre-wedding show, then stay up until 10 or noon or whenever the coverage was over.

Of course, I only caught a couple of words of the entire conversation, because while she was telling me this, reports out of Kinston came out that Drew Pomeranz was hurt, and had to come out of the game. Was it serious? Was it his shoulder, his hamstring or did his arm fall off? Did someone run into him while he was covering a base? WOULD HE EVER BE THE SAME AGAIN?

On Friday morning, the alarm went off, so I decided to do a quick check of the blogs to see if anything was going on. Sure enough, rumors were abound that Atom Miller would be making his return to Kinston. Wow, Miller was returning from surgery that repaired the pulley-system in his finger. Now, I have no clue what a pulley system in a finger looks like, but visions of moving couches in and out of my old apartment's second floor window came dancing into my head.

Topping that off was the news that Alex White would be making his first start with the Tribe, and Drew Pomeranz wouldn't miss a start, and would be on the hill Sunday. The Clippers were on an incredible streak of their own, with a 11 game win streak. The K-Tribe bullpen has a 16 1/3 innings streak without giving up a run.

Wait a second, the Cleveland Indians have the best record in baseball? C'mon, a royal wedding can't touch this...

We better get driving before I start talking about Kate Middleton...

Where We Stand after Week 3:

Overall Record: 9-14(3-4 the past week, third place in the Carolina League Southern, 7 1/2-games back)

Week 3 Games:

25 vs. Salem, L 3-7 (WP: J. Bayer; LP: T. Murata; SV: C. Cabral)
26 vs. Salem, Postponed: Rain
27 vs. Salem, L 6-16 (WP: M. Herold; LP: C. Cook)
27 vs. Salem, W 6-0 (WP: G. Soto; LP: T. Ebert)
28 vs. Salem, L 3-4 (WP: A. Batista; LP: T. House; SV: C. Cabral)
29 @ Lynchburg, W 2-0 (WP: B. Brach; LP: M. Crim; SV: P. Guilmet)
30 @ Lynchburg, L 0-4 (WP: D. Delgado; LP: A. Miller; SV: J. Lowey)

May 2011 (all times local unless noted)

1 @ Lynchburg, W 3-1 (WP: T. Turek; LP: Z. Spruill; SV: P. Guilmet)

This Week's Transactions:

04/30/2011 Francisco Jimenez assigned to Kinston Indians from Lake County Captains.
04/30/2011 Marty Popham assigned to Akron Aeros from Kinston Indians.
04/29/2011 Kinston Indians activated CF Delvi Cid from the 7-Day disabled list.
04/29/2011 RHP Adam Miller assigned to Kinston Indians from Indians Extended Spring Training.
04/29/2011 SS Kyle Smith assigned to Kinston Indians from Lake County Captains.
04/29/2011 RF Greg Folgia assigned to Lake County Captains from Kinston Indians.
04/29/2011 Kinston Indians released SS Ron Rivas.

The Offense:

Three UP...

1. I'm not sure if Casey Frawley is a serious prospect, or just one of those kids, like Wes Hodges, that comes ready to play every single day. Frawley had an outstanding week, with a six game hitting streak that was broken during today's game. During the streak, Frawley went 9-for-21, with five runs, two doubles, a triple, a homer and three RBI. He's a shortstop by trade, and carries a solid bat. Again, Frawley doesn't project to be a major player by prospect standards, but he does have decent pop, and he's a solid fielder. If he continues to hit like he did this week, he'll make a name for himself soon enough.

2. Bo Greenwell always gets off to a torrid start, and this season has been no different. Greenwell rarely does enough to make you think superstar, but he's always hitting, is an improving fielder, and is a plus base stealer. Greenwell is currently on a five-game hitting streak, in which he is 6-for-17, with two runs, two doubles, three RBI, three walks and three K's. Overall, Greenwell is hitting .313 for the season, with a .367 OBP. He is a testament to the depth that this system has.

3. Alright, everybody take a seat. Abner Abreu just might be breaking out of the doldrums. Abreu's knock used to be his slow starts, but his injury two years ago has more or less made people forget his terrible springs. Enter 2011, and sure enough, Abreu has struggled out of the gate. Then came this week. Abreu has hits in six of his last seven games, with a current four-game hit streak. He's hitting 8-for-22 during the streak, with six runs, two doubles, two homers, four RBI, 1 walk and 7 K's. He's also stealing bases this year. He has six overall, counting two today. Abreu is currently hitting .273, and while that isn't all-star material by any stretch, he's starting to smoke the ball. Perhaps the only thing he needed was spring.

...and Three DOWN...

Last week, I had Ron Rivas and Joey Mahalic here, and their both gone. I'm almost afraid to add anyone to the list.

3. Adam Abraham had a terrific start to the season, but things have really tapered off quickly for the corner infielder. He's six for his last 33, with 2 runs, one double and three RBI. Of course, his lifetime average is closer to his current .250, so perhaps this really isn't a slump, but just the player that he ultimately is.

2. If Chase Burnette wants to be anything more than minor league fodder, he has to show some pop. Well, so much for that. He hasn't hit a home run yet this season. Burnette is currently mired in a 4-for-20 slump, scoring two runs, with one double and one RBI. You just have to hit better in this organization.

1. Roberto Perez certainly isn't known for his offense. Still, you have to do a lot better than two for your last fifteen, and four for your last 29. He has a chance to be a major leaguer someday because of his defensive abilities, but nearly every organization has a similar player. If he doesn't hit better than .151, then others are going to take his place.

The Pitching:

Three Up...

1. Brett Brach isn't the best pitcher on this team, but it's quite possible that he's next on the list behind Drew Pomeranz. Brach has been nothing short of spectacular in his two starts with Kinston. This week's start was better than last. He went 5 1/3, with one walk and 4 K's. In ten innings as a starter, he's only given up one earned run, and has become a stopper on this team. He's currently 2-0 as a starter, and would be a candidate to move up soon if not for a stacked system.

2. Kinston hasn't needed a closer until this week. Preston Guilmet must have felt useless prior. Still, he hadn't given up a run prior to this week. In his last four games, he has three saves in 4 IP, while striking out three, without walking a batter. Overall, Guilmet has pitched in eight games and 9 1/3 innings, with 9 K's and no walks. He still hasn't given up a run.

3. Toru Muratu quietly signed with the Indians prior to last Christmas. At his signing in Japan, he said, "If I'm going to do this, I figured I'd step onto the biggest stage, the Majors." I sure hope he knew that the minors came first. Regardless, he struggled in two relief appearances, but turned into perfection during his first start this week. He went four innings, giving up only one hit, while striking out seven without a walk. I don't know that anyone figured this kid into the equation until that start. He's 25, so he's not young, but perhaps they have something there. He has a 92 MPH fastball, with good movement. His best pitch is his slider, but he does also throw a cutter and a split-finger with movement. He also has a curve and change. He's got a lot of "stuff," so let's hope it continues to translate.

note to the readers...I've got no three down for the pitchers this week. Instead, I have a fourth goes to...

4. Atom Miller is back! Okay, so he got lit up like a Christmas tree, but he's back! I can't begin to tell you I know what a pulley-system for your finger is, but it sounds like a one-in-a-million sort of injury, and a one-in-a-million sort of return. He's back, and his velocity is in the mid-90's. Could he return to the form that made him the top-prospect? I doubt it...but he's I suppose that anything can happen. Here's to you Adam Miller. Trust me when I say that the Indinas fan-dom is behind you 100%.
Week 1 Awards:

Offensive player of the week: Abner Abreu

Pitcher of the week: Toru Murata

Player of the week: Toru Murata

Here comes week 4:

April 2011

2 @ Salem, 7:05 PM
3 @ Salem, 7:05 PM
4 @ Salem, 11:05 AM
5 vs. Potomac, 6:30 PM
6 vs. Potomac, 6:30 PM
7 vs. Potomac, 6:30 PM
8 vs. Potomac, 1:30 PM

The Rearviewmirror:

Ron Rivas, whatever will I do now that you are gone. You have been this columns whipping boy for the better part of a year-and-a-half. You came to Kinston in 2009 as a hopeful offensive prospect trying to learn the ropes defensively, and it never really came together. On defense, you had more errors than the entirety of several small professional leagues across the country. Offensively, well, you weren't that much better. While I had some fun with you here, I did quietly hope that you would succeed, and find a way to hit .400 so I could finally shut up. It never happened, and your time with the Tribe has disappears. Good luck Mr. Rivas, in all your future endeavors...just try not to drop them when you get a chance..

Follow Tony and the Indians Prospect Insider on Twitter @TonyIPI. Also, his latest book the 2011 Cleveland Indians Top 100 Prospects & More is available for purchase for $20.95 to customers in the US (shipping and handling extra).

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