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Three Up, Three Down

June 15, 2009
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In this week's edition of 3U3D, we take a look at the Tribe's last two 1st round draft picks, a pair of streaking Aeros, a defensive catcher showing he can stick a little, a struggling SS and a RP from the School Up North.

Three Up:
  • Alex White got the start for UNC against Arizona State on Sunday in the CWS, and the righthander did not disappoint. White went 9 innings, struck out 12, walked 3 and gave up just one earned run. Oh, and he threw 131 (!) pitches. While I am sure Mark Shaprio and company didn't appreciate the pitch count, they had to have liked what they saw out of their 1st round draft pick. White worked ahead in the count for most of the day and did an excellent job of using his fastball to set up his other pitches. His splitter had great down action. ASU really didn't get anything going on him all day except for the 2nd inning, and even after giving up a run White came back to get a strikeout to get out of a jam. Tribe fans got a nice treat Sunday, as we were able to watch 2nd round pick in the game Jason Kipnis as well. Kipnis went 1-4 with a double off of White in the 1st inning.

  • Beau Mills and John Drennen are both riding modest hitting streaks right now for the Aeros. Mills is in the midst of a 6 game hitting streak while Drennen has hit in 7 straight. Both are and identical 10 for their last 24 (.416). Mills has a HR and 4 RBI during his streak, bested slightly by Drennen's HR and 6 RBI. Surprisingly, the slower Mills has one SB while the CF Drennen has none.

  • Wyatt Toregas has made his name more behind the plate than at it, but the defensive-minded catcher has been hitting well lately. Toregas is hitting .324 in his last 10 games, with 2 HR and 7 RBI's. Chris Giminez got the call to Cleveland because of his versatility, but Toregas profiles very well as a #2 catcher in the bigs. He is an excellent receiver with a great feel for the game, and as he is showing with his .822 OPS in Columbus this year, he will hit enough to be effective. This is his 2nd time through AAA, and should be a September callup this year. The Indians have as much depth at the catcher position as anyone in baseball, with Martinez, Shoppach, Giminez, Toregas and Santana in the organization.

Three Down:

  • Last year's 1st round draft pick Lonnie Chisenhall is cooling off after a red-hot start for the K-Tribe. Chisenhall is hitting just .217 so far in June with 2 HR, and his OBP is .260. This can be at least partially explained by his BABIP numbers. Chisenhall hit .372 on balls in play in May, an almost unsustainable average. So far in June, his BABIP is .250. His liner rate dropped from 22% to 11%, so the BABIP naturally followed. His liner rate in 2008 for Mahoning Valley was 21%, so look for Chisenhall to get back on track before too long. His season numbers are still very good (.287/10/46), especially in the pitcher-friendly Carolina League.

  • The well-documented struggles of Carlos Rivero continue at AA Akron, as a slow-start has manifested itself into a season-long slump for the SS. Rivero is hitting just .122 so far this June, and is below the Mendoza Line at .198 on the season. His season OPS is a paltry .537, and he has hit only 1 HR so far this year. Rivero is just 21 years old and has yet to repeat a level in his minor league career. Expect that to change if this keeps up.

  • After giving up just 3 runs in his first 8 appearances (14 IP) for AA Akron, Zach Putnam has been touched up for 9 runs in his last 4 2/3 innings including an ugly 8 ER in 2/3 of an inning against Reading. Moved to the bullpen to fast-track his arm through the system, Putnam began the season in Kinston as a starter after graduating from That School Up North. He remains a long shot to make the bullpen for the Indians this year, but with a strong 2nd half could put himself in the mix out of Goodyear next spring.

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