High-A Carolina Mudcats left-handed pitcher T.J. House had a disappointing season last year, but Monday night he had a great 2012 debut with seven shutout innings. Tony recently sat down with House and talked about his season last year and what he did to fix some of the struggles he went through.
Lonnie Chisenhall amps up his offense in Columbus, while Rob Bryson showcases one of the best bullpen arms in baseball. Another prospect finds himself at the top of ATF once again, profiling perhaps the best talent in the system. Jim Pete brings a spring, wintry mix at yesterday's minor league performances.
It was a cold night in Columbus Tuesday, with temperatures dropping into the high-30s, but on the diamond, the Columbus Clippers managed to stay hot. The Clippers (5-1), won their fifth game in a row—second straight on a walk-off hit—beating the Indianapolis Indians (2-3), 5-4, in front of 4,245 fans at Huntington Park. In the bottom of the 12th inning, Clippers’ first baseman Russ Canzler hit a line-drive single to left field, bringing home pinch runner Chad Huffman to give Columbus the win.
The Akron Aeros failed to receive a quality start for the first time in the 2012 season, as the Altoona Curve used strong hitting and pitching to win 6-1. Akron left-hander Eric Berger, who worked mostly out of the bullpen in 2011, was dominant early as he struck out the first five hitters he faced. Berger faced just one batter over the minimum before Altoona scored six runs in the fourth inning, their total for the game.
In their attempt to take the series against the Wilmington Blue Rocks in the second game the Mudcats lost a close one 3-2. Right-handed pitcher Danny Salazar took the mound for the Mudcats and went into the game on a strict pitch limit as he is still in the process of being stretched out. He is the only member of the Mudcats on the Cleveland Indians 40-man roster. Salazar had a less then stellar outing as he ended up going three and two thirds innings and gave up three runs on four hits and three walks.
The Lake County Captains dropped the second game of their three-game series against the Great Lakes Loons on Tuesday night, 5-4. The Captains jumped on the board first as leadoff hitter center fielder LeVon Washington reached base on a bunt single and advanced to second on a throwing error by Great Lakes third baseman Jesse Bosnik. Washington moved to third on a groundout by shortstop Francisco Lindor and scored when designated hitter Alex Monsalve sent a single to right.
The Akron Aeros got off to a fast start this past week (or five days, really), going 3-1 in four games over the Binghamton Mets and Altoona Curve. There were obviously things that did not go well, but anytime a team takes three-of-four on the road, it’s a good thing. Jimmy P. has his first Aeros notebook of the season and touches on how the team and some players have played in the early going.
Tony and Jim return to the cyberwaves tonight with another edition of Smoke Signals at 10:00PM. Tonight they will touch on some good things happening with the Tribe with the extension to Carlos Santana and the good first starts for Justin Masterson, Ubaldo Jimenez and Derek Lowe. Of course, they will touch on the bad things happening like an anemic offense and a closer blowing games!
Today the Cleveland Indians announced that they have signed catcher Carlos Santa to a five year contract extension which also includes a club option for 2017. Considering he is an All Star caliber talent and has only scratched the surface with his offensive potential, the Indians are locking in his arbitration figures and potentially buying out one free agent year with the club option for 2017.
The Indians have reportedly signed catcher Carlos Santana and will announce the deal some time on Tuesday. The multi-year deal will lock him up through his arbitration years and possibly buy out one or two years of free agency. With Santana and Asdrubal Cabrera in the fold, who will the Indians target next?
Another night of good action down on the Indians farm last night. Not only did all four affiliates win, but there were lots of very good performances by many Tribe prospects, namely lefty T.J. House, outfielder LeVon Washington, and outfielder Tim Fedroff. We recap their performances as well as several others in the daily ATF rundown.
The top of the Akron Aeros lineup was hot Monday night, and left-hander Giovanni Soto kept the Altoona Curve quiet, allowing just one run over five innings in a 5-1 win. Strong pitching has been the key to Akron’s early season success so far. The Aeros had allowed just three runs in their first three games of 2012 – the team’s lowest total since 2007. Soto logged another strong starting performance, striking out six batters while allowing just two hits.
The Mudcats opened a three game set with a 6-0 win against the Wilmington Blue Rocks on Monday night. Lefty T.J. House took the mound for his first start for the Mudcats and was up against Greg Billo for the Blue Rocks. House would turn in the best starting pitching performance for the Mudcats in the early going of the season as he went seven scoreless innings only giving up two hits and had nine strikeouts. In five of the seven innings he pitched he faced the minimum.
The Captains got the bats going early to give the pitching staff more than enough cushion to win the opening game of the three game series, 8-0. Right-hander Gustavo Gomez started the game for the Loons and the Captains started the game swinging again. Left fielder LeVon Washington walked to lead off the game and then shortstop Francisco Lindor singled to put runners on first and second with no outs. Right fielder Luigi Rodriguez singled to drive home Washington and the Captains led 1-0 after the top half of the first inning.
Another game, another late-inning rally for the Columbus Clippers. With two outs and the Clippers trailing, 3-2, to the Indianapolis Indians in the bottom of the ninth inning, shortstop Gregorio Petit came to bat with runners on first and third. Petit drove what he said to be a slider from Indians’ reliever Tim Wood to deep left field, scoring both runners, and giving the Clippers (4-1) a dramatic 4-3 walk-off win in front of 7,507 fans at dime-a-dog night at Huntington Park in Columbus on Monday.
The first week of the season is in the books, or first half week we should say. Kevin is back with his weekly Clippers notebook that recaps the week that was for the Indians' Triple-A affiliate. Matt LaPorta has had a good showing so far, and he talks about him a little and a few others.
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!