In this week’s second edition of Minor Happenings, Tony takes a look at the impressive pro debut by Clint Frazier out in Arizona, where he is excelling/struggling, and where the numbers can also be misleading. He also provides several comments from the front office on some lesser talked about players at Lake County such as Luis Morel, Jeremy Lucas, Richard Stock, Joe Sever and others, and provides insight into Jose Ramirez’s big league future, Francisco Lindor’s season being over, the breakout year for Erik Gonzalez and much more.
With the Indians just 2.5 games back in the AL Wild Card race, it's clear that this season is far from over. The Tribe will likely stay in contention all through September and a big reason for that is the team's starting rotation. The rotation has been especially impressive, and while it's played a key role in the team's success this year, it will probably play an even bigger role in the team's chances for contention in future years. Join the IBI's Steve Orbanek as he ponders that thought in this week's edition of Orbiting Cleveland.
As of August 22nd the Indians sit two and a half games behind Oakland in the wild card race and five games behind Detroit in the American League Central. According to Baseball Prospectus the Indians playoff odds sit at 33.2%. While the Indians are still in the division race, the IBI's Michael Hattery compares the Indians to the team they are chasing for the second wildcard, the Oakland A's.
Even though Danny Salazar has come up to the major leagues and gotten results, the organization has not done the best job of developing starting pitching in recent years. There are a few pitchers making waves now, but long-term success will rely on more than one or two arms. Joseph Colon is one of those guys Cleveland needs to develop in order to have more starting depth and he showed what he is capable of Thursday. To read all about Colon's night and everything else you need to know about the minor leagues, join Jim Piascik as he takes you Around The Farm.
The city of Defiance, Ohio is a bit of cliché. With a population just under 17,000 and the typical graduating class just over 100 students, Defiance is small-town, U.S.A. in its purest form. But the town has pumped out some baseball talent over the years, most recently Dace Kime whom the Indians selected in the 3rd round of the MLB Draft this past June. The IBI's Robert Fuller looks at where Kime started his career and where it is going.
Even the most emotionally distant type of Indians fan felt as if Christmas came on December 23rd when Nick Swisher signed with the Tribe. Swisher brought a couple of things, most notably being leadership, an infectious smile and an impressive track record of production stability. Unfortunately for Swisher, the hype of his signing as well as irrational expectations has created derision and criticism of his performance that may not be entirely fair. The IBI's Michael Hattery breaks down Swisher's performance this season.
With 12 games remaining in the 2013 season it appears as though the Clippers have run out of time. At 64-68, Columbus stands 7.5 games back of the Wild Card spot and even further in the International League West at 9 affairs. That said, there have been some good (and some bad) performances over the past week and the IBI's Ethan Day recaps the week that was for the Clippers in his weekly notebook.
The Indians were able to complete a much needed three-game sweep of the Los Angeles Angels on Wednesday with a strong pitching performance from Justin Masterson and a great relief effort by Rich Hill, Cody Allen, and Chris Perez picking up his 20th save on the season. The IBI's Michael Goodman takes a brief look at the game, but then dissects the remaining schedules for all the AL playoff contenders.
The ups and downs of a long baseball season can affect even the best players. There was a point when Carolina second baseman Joe Wendle and Lake County right-hander Dylan Baker were red-hot, yet of late, the pair had struggled. That was not the case Wednesday night as both broke out in big ways. To read about their night and everything you need to know about Wednesday in the minor leagues, join Jim Piascik as he takes you Around The Farm.
Even the bright sun of Tinseltown couldn't out shine the blazing Tribe. A two-run homer by the Tribe first baseman and another quality start from ace Justin Masterson (14-9, 3.50 ERA) was more than enough against the last place Angles, as the Indians defeated the Halos 3-1 to sweep the three-game series. Join IBI's Indians beat reporter Jim Berdysz as he recaps the action.
To most fans, right-hander Chris Perez is a hothead with a loud mouth who needs to learn how to shut up. While that may be true, what is going unseen is the evolution of Perez. Despite all of the off-the-field drama, there is a lot more to “Pure Rage” Perez than a grip-and-rip approach. Fans may view him as an idiot, but the truth is that Perez has constantly tweaked and adjusted his pitching style in order to be effective. Join Jim Piascik as he breaks down the evolution of Chris Perez.
The Lake County Captains continued their recent success with a handful of W’s last week, complete with one of their own being deemed Cleveland Indians Minor League Player of the Week. As the playoffs loom closer, the team now must press to produce offensively, which has been its Achilles all year. The IBI's Stephanie Metzger takes a look back at the previous week for the Captains.
It was the most exciting, frustrating, boring and astonishing night of baseball that most Cleveland fans probably will ever see. After the Indians tied the game at one in the seventh, the score would hold until the 14th inning as both teams failed to capitalize on opportunities. Drew Stubbs proved to be the hero as he broke through with a two-run homer in the 14th. Join the IBI's Jake Dungan as he recaps a late-night 4-1 Tribe win.
Tuesday night featured two good performances by players of distinctly opposite value to the Indians organization. At High-A Carolina infielder Paddy Matera continues to impress and has done a nice job filling in after signing as a free agent a few months ago, and at rookie level Arizona first round pick and young phenom Clint Frazier had another big night. The IBI's Arthur Kinney takes us Around the Farm to recap the night.
The 2013 Cleveland Indians Baseball Insider book featuring the Indians' Top 100 Prospects and more is now available. Also, previous editions from 2008-2012 are also available at a discounted rate. Just click on the book image for more information. Thanks again for all the support!