Around the Farm: April 16, 2014
Bauer, Merritt's dominant starts highlight the night on the farm
Around the Farm takes a quick look at some of yesterday’s performances by Cleveland prospects throughout the system. The positions listed below are where the player was playing in yesterday’s game.
Trevor Bauer (SP, Columbus): W (1-0), 6.0 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 9 SO, 1 WP
Including his spot start in the majors, each of Bauer's first three outings have gone six innings. In
those 18.0 innings, Bauer has 26 strikeouts while only allowing five walks, 11 hits, and three runs (two earned). Three starts is a little premature to declare Bauer all the way back to the ace-in-waiting some people (i.e., myself) called him when Cleveland acquired the right-hander, but Bauer is certainly much better off than he was in 2013. In retrospect, maybe we should have always expected a massive mechanics overhaul to make 2013 a wash from a performance perspective. But now with the benefit of more time to refine his motion, Bauer's velocity is back, he is throwing in the zone more, and is just dominant. With results like this, Bauer could find himself at the front of the big league leauge rotation in the suddenly not-so-distant future, which is a much better outlook than the right-hander had at the end of 2013.
Ryan Merritt (SP, Game 1, Carolina): W (2-0), 5.2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 6 SO
With only one run allowed through 17.1 innings, what should be Merritt's first extended time in High-A (the left-hander started two games in 2013) has made a good impression. Merritt's 14:6 SO:BB and 2.62 FIP also point to someone who is pitching quite well, even if the 0.52 ERA is a (obviously) not something that will continue long-term. It will be interesting to see if the left-hander can get stingy with the walks again; after posting a 1.26 BB/9 in 2013, Merritt has seen that rate run jump up to 3.12 so far in 2014. Merritt is the type of pitcher who needs to limit walks to be successful, something he will need to start doing again as his early season fortune begins to regress back toward the mean.
- Austin Adams (RP, Columbus): H (2), 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 SO. After back-to-back outings with runs allowed, Adams regrouped Wednesday night to toss two scoreless innings. The right-hander also struck two batters out, doubling his total to four through 7.1 innings.
- Carlos Moncrief (RF, Columbus): 1-for-3, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 1 CS, 1 PO. Moncrief's debut at Triple-A has not been the best (even after Wednesday, the outfielder owns a .499 OPS), but reaching base twice in a game is a solid start to a potential season turnaround.
- Justin Sellers (SS, Columbus): 1-for-2, 1 BB. In his first game back from a brief stay in the majors (during which he did not appear in a game), Sellers also reached base twice. The Clippers did not manage any extra base hits Wednesday, but won 3-1 anyway.
- Cody Anderson (SP, Akron, Game 1): ND, 3.0 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 2 SO, 1 WP. The raw stats are not bad, but Anderson needed 73 pitches to only get through three innings. It was not a good start, but though the right-hander labored, he managed to limit the damage.
- Giovanni Soto (RP, Akron, Game 1): SV (1), 2.0 IP, 0 H, 1 R (0 ER), 2 BB, 1 SO. Not the most dominant outing for Soto, but the left-hander made it through another two scoreless innings. Soto has thrown 8.2 innings so far in 2014, matching his total for all of 2013.
- Tyler Naquin (CF, Akron, Game 1): 2-for-4, 1 R, 1 SO. This is Naquin's third two-hit game on the season, though the outfielder still only has a .239/.286/.304 line through 12 games.
- Giovanny Urshela (3B, Akron, Game 1): 1-for-1, 1 R, 1 BB, 1 HBP. A nice round line from Urshela, reaching on a hit, a walk, and a hit by pitch. This was Urshela's first walk since April 5, though the way the third baseman has been swinging the bat, he has not needed any walks to produce at a high level.
- Joseph Colon (SP, Akron, Game 2): L (0-2), 6.0 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 4 BB, 4 SO, 1 HR, 1 WP. A few too many walks from Colon here, but after a bad first start in 2014, the right-hander has put up back-to-back one-run, six-inning outings. The eight walks in 16.2 innings needs work going forward, however.
- Kyle Crockett (RP, Akron, Game 2): 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 SO. Now 15.2 innings into his Double-A career, Crockett is yet to give up a run. I cannot imagine the left-hander will be in Akron much longer; he has bigger and better things on the horizon.
- Akron Offense (Game 2): 2-for-22, 0 R, 1 BB, 5 SO. Two singles and no runs; on the second half of this getaway day doubleheader, the Akron bats packed up early.
- Jason Giambi (DH, Akron, Game 2): 0-for-2, 1 BB, 1 SO. Through three rehab outings in Akron, Giambi went 0-for-8 with four strikeouts and two walks. Good thing these games do not count for the 43-year-old; they could start counting as soon as Friday, when Giambi may come off of the disabled list.
- Elvis Araujo (RP, Carolina, Game 1): S (1), 1.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 SO. Following a transition to the bullpen, Araujo has six strikeouts, one walk, and no runs allowed through 4.1 innings. So far the left-hander is taking well to his new role.
- Erik Gonzalez (SS, Carolina, Game 1): 3-for-4, 2 R, 1 2B, 1 3B, 1 RBI, 1 SO, 1 SB. Gonzalez doubled his extra base hit total in game one (and then went 2-for-3 with a double in game two), pushed his overall line to .370/.414/.500 in 13 games. The infielder is still working on reigning in his 10:4 SO:BB a bit, though.
- Logan Vick (CF, Carolina, Game 1): 1-for-2, 1 R, 2 BB, 2 SB, 1 CS. At the conclusion of game one, Vick still did not have a extra base hit and his batting average sat at .097. Adding two walks -- bringing his total to 10 in 10 games -- helps, however, as Vick waits for his .167 BABIP to stabilize.
- Jacob Lee (SP, Carolina, Game 2): ND, 3.1 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 4 SO. Typically a reliever, Lee did a solid job in game two of Carolina's doubleheader. The right-hander struck out four in 3.1 innings and now has a 2.08 ERA and 7:1 SO:BB on the season.
- Josh Martin (RP, Carolina, Game 2): W (2-1), 2.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 3 SO. Martin's first bad outing of 2014 came last Friday, and in his next appearance Wednesday night, he wiped away those memories. After issuing his first walk of the season, the right-hander *only* has 11:1 SO:BB and only three hits allowed in eight innings.
- Louis Head (RP, Carolina, Game 2): S (4), 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 SO. Lee and Martin have looked good so far in 2014, but the best Carolina reliever has been Head. After striking out the side Wednesday, the right-hander has 13 strikeouts, a 1.42 ERA, and a 0.99 FIP in 6.1 innings.
- Jeremy Lucas (DH, Carolina, Game 2): 2-for-3, 1 2B, 1 RBI. Lucas may be bouncing between catcher, first base, and designated hitter in 2014 (six, four, and two games respectively), but the one constant for the 23-year-old is his offense (.967 OPS in 12 games).
- Cody Ferrell (CF, Lake County, Game 1): 2-for-3, 1 CS. The caught stealing is less-than thrilling, but the two hits pushed Ferrell's OPS to 1.017 following the first game.
- Nellie Rodriguez (1B, Lake County, Game 1): 1-for-2, 1 BB. Two home run games are much sexier, but games like this are what will support the first baseman's .316/.435/.605 line throughout the season.
- Dace Kime (SP, Lake County, Game 1): L (0-3), 4.0 IP, 4 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 1 SO, 1 WP, 1 HBP. There is a lot not to like with this line, but after allowing 14 runs (12 earned) in his first 6.1 innings on the season, Wednesday's start is a step in the right direction for Kime.
- Alexis Paredes (RP, Lake County, Game 1): Both Paredes and Kime performed well despite five Lake County errors (two from shortstop Paul Hendrix, two from catcher Eric Haase, and one from second baseman Claudio Bautista). Paredes now owns a 3.00 ERA and 8:4 SO:BB through nine innings.
- Lake County Offense (Game 2): 2-for-21, 0 R, 3 BB, 10 SO. Like Akron, the Lake County offense also struggled in game two as the Captains lost both games with identical 4-0 scores. Rodriguez and Ferrell were the only two Captains with hits in game two, with Rodriguez adding two more walks.
- Jordan Milbrath (SP, Lake County, Game 2): L (1-1), 4.1 IP, 5 H, 4 ER, 2 BB, 4 SO, 1 WP. After 11.0 earned run-less innings to start the season (there was one unearned run in there), Milbrath stumbled at the end of this outing. Still, the right-hander has a nice 2.35 ERA and 2.81 FIP through 15.1 innings.
- Ben Heller (RP, Lake County, Game 2): 1.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 3 SO, 1 BK. Heller got out of the fifth inning Milbrath started without allowing any more runs on the way to a strong outing. This makes two scoreless outings in a row for the right-hander after starting the year with two score-filled outings.
- Trevor Frank (RP, Lake County, Game 2): 1.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 SO. Not an exciting outing for Frank, but after allowing his first runs of the season his last time out on Saturday, a scoreless inning is nice to see.
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Still too soon to panic...but starting to worry more about Salazar than Carrasco. It's one thing for the #5 to struggle...quite another for a guy many were viewing as a guy to become the Ace of the staff...
Clint Frazier is activated for tonight game. Sent Martinez down to MHV. I wonder if his days with Indian organization is coming to end.
Carrasco is out of options so talking about the minors and development is pointless. Carrasco has shown several positives in his two starts. Definitely a lot of negatives too though. Needs to turn it around, no question there.
I was kind of disappointed that LC got shut out from yesterdays DH. In second game they came close to being no-hit. Then I saw the Yankees/Cubs scores from there DH. I guess its more embarrassing seeing a major league team being shutout twice. To answer your question I guess some would feel that the Cubs are a minor league team.
Another angle... I would argue Drew Pomeranz has a better chance of being a successful SP than Carrasco. And looky where Drew is pitching right now, out of the bullpen and DOMINATING. He will probably get one more legitimate crack at starting down the road..
Carrasco gets 3-4 more starts. Sink or swim time. If he can't hack - then BETTER options to WIN need to be utilized... Are all of you so used to losing you're willing to let Carrasco lose games for us just so he can develop more? That is what the minors are for - development. The majors are for winning and I don't care who that is, as long as they are the ones wearing the Cleveland uniforms.
Very well said my friend
Does this mean a change of scenery might do CC-Lite some good?.. maybe.. But, you don't give up on mid nineties arms until you absolutely have to.. Putting him into the pen.. might be the best place for now.. keeping him on the ML roster is the key. He could become better than Jeremy Guthrie.. time will tell..
In the interim.. the struggles of CC-Lite and the conjoining struggles of Danny Salazar.. seem to have a possible solution:
Trevor Bauer straight up for CC-Lite who goes to the pen.. Make this move within ten days..
Here's where it gets odd.. Guys in the minors.. are overtly hungry when it comes to swinging at anything.. The little Cowboy throws a LOT of pitches near the plate.. enough that these hungry kids will swing hard at anything.. Couple poorer defense with around the plate pitching.. and the results Tomlin has shown may not be as representative as what you'd see in MLB.. At the ML level..his stuff is much more effective as ML hitters spit on called strikes that kids swing hard at.. and the defense is solid. He could be the answer.. he was effective in the past as a back of the rotation starter.. that may be what's needed if Masterson, Bauer, Kluber Z-Mack keep putting up quality starts...
@Walter: did you infer that the Cubs were a minor league team?. you could get some yeah votes on that...
Giving up on CC-Lite would be reliving the Jeremy Guthrie example from above..
Worst case is you send a guy like Wood down and decide right away you need another reliever...well you have Pestano, Hags, Barnes, etc ready to come up. Not like you are void of options.
Everyone is saying that Carrasco need 3 or 4 more starts to see if he could hold down at starting spot or lose it. Then how come we can not apply the same principle to Chisenhall. Let him have about 3-4 weeks of consistent playing time to see if what we are seeing now is real or a mirage.
Tony how does a guy break his leg warming up before a game? What happened?
This is a no-brainer. Stick with Carrasco for three more weeks and then make a decision. Unless more rainouts and freeze-outs force Carrasco to miss more starts.
He did have that one stretch of 5-6 starts right before he got hurt where he looked like a #2 starter. That, and the fact that he's all we have left from the Cliff Lee deal (unless Knapp makes a miracle comeback) means he will continue to get opportunities.
I think they should give him four consecutive starts, each five days apart, before doing anything. It's not like they can send him to Columbus until he works out his mechanical issues.
you totally missed the connection that I was trying to make with Ubaldo last year. The point was that both SP's went thru adjustments with their delivery and it simply takes time. In Carrasco's last start for example he and Tito admitted that he lost the adjumstent that h was making his delivery and it was noticeable in the decline in his velocity and command. Like Ubaldo last year it was some who wanted Ubaldo replaced some said in the bullpen and some said outright cut after the Boston game last year. Also, Ubaldo had TWO straight years of HORRIBLE pitching and to say he was inconsistent is putting it mildly.
Another thing that is false is that Carrasco did have sustained success before he was injured. He was probably ahead of Masterson before the surgery. I say this to be consistent and fair we need to give this a chance and stop talking about Bauer every single time Carrasco has a poor performance because Bauer is every bit as capable of coming up here and being inconsistent as well. Give it til June which is till one month earlier than Ubaldo got: After July 4, Ubaldo's ERA was 4.67.
What you just said is ABSOLUTELY FALSE!!! You need to look at Ubaldo's first six starts last year and see what he did and you will see what you said is WRONG!!! It's just amazing that after two starts you and others want to get rid of one guy and then promote another one so early in the season considering what we went thru with Ubaldo last year in the adjustments it took and the length of time it took to get consistent. Not only do you want to get rid of Carrasco but you want to promote a guy after two starts that has been every bit inconsistent. Do you remember what Bauer did in ST?
I'm not getting into what you feel or anything else. I do know that he struggled last year because coming off injury, not trusting his stuff and having to look over his shoulder after every start. I do know also, that BEFORE he was injured he was ahead of Masterson on the totem poll. I'm not here trying to convince you one way or another but I am saying that you and others ranting after two starts of Bauer and Carrasco is too premature and it's kind of out there, IMO.
I'm appalled and disgusted because we went thru the same thing with Ubaldo last year and people aren't showing the same consistency and acting as though it didn't happen. We need to give Carrasco the time necessary to show what he can do over an extended period of time to be fair to him and to the team and not jump on the first bandwagon that comes up after a couple of bad starts.
Funny, how the first bandwagon was Tomlin and he's been ok but now after TWO starts Bauer who struggled in ST, struggled in AAA and Struggled in ST last year is the answer. GIVE ME BREAK!!
I'm a huge Bauer fan btw
Not saying Carrasco is better than Salazar at all...but all the focus has been on how bad Carrasco has been and how we need to replace him. Don't think we should completely ignore Salazar's struggles though. Not at all uncommon for a guy struggle in their sophomore campaign. We've seen guys need sent down for a bit and it's really helped out (Asdrubal comes to mind). Not suggesting you send him down now, as like Carrasco you gotta give him more starts and again could end up these two starts will end up the outliers on the year and Salazar takes off after this.
Re: Bauer...Thanks, you are on top of it.
I like Carlos Carrasco too, I think he's better suited for the bullpen. He struggled last and has this yr - he has a track record of struggles as a SP. I hope I'm completely wrong, but I'm not so sure I am. Btw, I agree it's too early to pull the plug, he has to have time (8-10 starts) to gain confidence and develop a rhythm. If you like we can play pretend the elephant in the room doesn't exist...or...we (fans) can say, I'm concerned it's not going to work out, maybe he's better suited in a different role, who knows maybe his next few outings he turns it around and pitches like Jimenez did last yr. I was wrong about him, I hope I am about Carrasco.
There is no excuse for a team to get shut out twice in DH like what happened to the Captains. However cant be to hard on them regarding this point, since the Yankees did the same thing to the Cubs yesterday.
He started the year with 0.025 days of service time. Was up for a day so believe that gives him 0.026 (not sure exactly how the extra man double header rule works with regards to service time).
Would need to keep him down a good month this year to get that extra year. If he is down past the All-Star break you probably avoid Super Two., I don't think the Tribe will worry about that as much this year though...if they feel come May that Bauer is their best option he'll be up regardless of Super Two status. Don't think we see him full-time (barring an injury) in the bigs til closer to Memorial Day though. Gives Carrasco enough starts to get a final determination plus gets you that extra year for Bauer.
Believe me, I want Carrasco to succeed as a starter. For a team that has a finite budget, they need a guy like him to live up to his abilities. Unfortunately, some guys never realize their potential, and right now Carrasco looks like a long shot to achieve that potential - at least with the Indians. His time is running out.
I'm a huge Bauer fan and have bee since he was with the DBacks but we need to be fair to others in the process of Bauer's great work. It's a long season and all of these guys are going to be needed at some point. Give Carrasco 10-12 starts and then evaluate. If you're going to give him 3-4 starts then you shouldn't have let him in the rotation but then again Tito and the FO have given jobs to ppl without them earning it in the first place so this would be just another example.
If Carrasco continues a I think he might Bauer may arrive sooner rather than later. I'm not sure what his big league clock looks like, but I expect the Tribe to monitor that carefully...they'll bring him up (if he continues to pitch like this) when they can get a maximum return from him.