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Around the Farm: January 7, 2014

Around the Farm: January 7, 2014
January 8, 2014
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Around the Farm (ATF) takes a quick look at some of the daily performances by Indians prospects. This is a special fall and winter ball version of ATF that recaps all the offseason action by Indians players in offseason winter ball leagues.  The positions listed below are where the player was playing in the game.

VENEZUELAN WINTER LEAGUE (LVBP) PLAYOFFS - DAY 5

Toru Murata (Caribes de Anzoategui, SP): ND, 4.2 IP, 6 H, 3 R (all earned), 6 K, 1 HR allowed - This outing is a prime example of why KK:B ratio, while a highly useful tool in evaluating pitchers, is not the be-all, end-all, especially in small sample sizes.  Toru fanned six on the night while allowing no walks, but the reason he didn't pick up the loss was that Navegantes del Magallanes starter Carlos Zambrano was even worse.  To say that this outing was not exactly on the level of his LVBP regular season (2.38 ERA in five starts) would be an understatement.

Jesus Aguilar (Leones del Caracas, DH): 2-for-4, 2 R, 1 2B, 2 RBI, 1 K.  Aguilar makes his 2014 LVBP playoff debut and continues his RBI Machine ways with 2 runs driven in on the night in the Leones' 12-2 win over the Tiburones de La Guaira.  This effort brings his winter RBI total to 52 in 59 games.  Don't be surprised if he's first in line for a call up to The Show among the batters on the Clippers' opening day roster.

Aguilar returns

Jesus Aguilar was expected to be done with winter ball as of last week when his Caracas team finished their regular season. He had petitioned with the Indians to allow him to stay and play, but he initially was not allowed to stay. In an article published on Tuesday morning in Venezuela, Aguilar shared the following on Monday after practice:

"My intention is, I'm waiting for a reply from them. They have not called me or said anything. I called asking for permission and they said they would study the case but there is nothing concrete and I hope to hear from them soon.  I told them that I wanted to work in Venezuela and show them that what they want me to do that I can do it here and they agreed. We have a trainer here in Caracas who works with the organization of Cleveland and they agreed to the things we can do here and make the development program January 26 in Cleveland but I will be here until then. ... One of the things that motivated me is to keep close to my family. The organization wanted me out the first days of January and not return to Venezuela. I told them it was a little hard on me for everything that happened without seeing my family and the petition was a double sense to stay with my family and let me play again with the team and we are waiting. ... I know the minor league field coordinator (Ross Atkins) and he told me I had to speak to the manager (Terry Francona) for thought and I had to consult the situation with other team officials. To this day I'm not playing and when they call me to give me an answer I will let you know."

Later in the day on Tuesday afternoon Aguilar received the all clear from the Indians to continue playing. He had been with the team for the past week but not playing, and had been working out with the team, so he was easily inserted back into the lineup on Tuesday night. He is set to leave at the end of the month for the Winter Development Program in Cleveland.

User Comments

Roger
January 8, 2014 - 4:54 PM EST
after my posting earlier the baseball america top ten prospects in the indians system came out and one omision is jesus aquilar. i am sure he will be in the second ten however i see no reason he couldnt crack the top ten unless the indians have more prospects than i thought. apparently winter baLl numbers dont play in baseball america evaluations. The top 5 lindor, frazier, bauer, naquin and anderson i have no problem with but after those 5 is where i think he should be placed. That is my dimes worth
Walter
January 8, 2014 - 4:47 PM EST
I still think Aquilar will start the season in Columbus, I think a light went on and he also saw his former teammates in Ramirez and Salazar making it to Cleveland. I believe his goal is to make the big league club in 14.
shy
January 8, 2014 - 11:38 AM EST
Jesus is the most exciting hitting prospect the Indians have had in years. He's young- although he looks older than 23, and I think w what is going on in Venezuela and reading between the lines of the poor interview translation, he is someone who may be uncomfortable leaving his family there, so I say send em all a plane ticket and get em set up on the 271 somewhere.
Jim
January 8, 2014 - 9:09 AM EST
The Indians have absolutely begun to look at Aguilar differently, so it could be a real interesting watch in 2014. He's been working on bits and pieces of his swing, and they seem to all be coming together. This year is a big one for Aguilar, but he won't have a lot of time off...
Roger
January 8, 2014 - 9:01 AM EST
i sure hope jesus is what we have seen the last nine months. I keep referencing chris davis and his days with the rangers before he went to the orioles. I have no idea what the level of competition is in venezuela but i do know that the Eastern League is notorious pitchers league and he did get 105 rbi's in 130 games at akron. I suspect a light has gone on with jesus and he is coming faster than expected a year ago. What an addition he would be if these numbers translate to the big leagues. Carlos may not appreiate DH'ing most of the time but he strikes me as the cunsumate team player and will do what he has to make the tribe better. If what we are seeing from aquilar is remotely close to the real aquilar what a middle of the lineup that could be with him and santana in the middle of the order. and that isnt even taking into consideration the talents of kipmis swisher and brantley added to the equation. they could jump from 4th in runs to maybe 2nd or third and that takes a lot of pressure off a young pitching staff. I hate to get too excited but with aquilar and lindor it is hard to not get excited.
Matthew
January 8, 2014 - 6:41 AM EST
Aguilar was also HBP twice last night. I love his passion for the game and wanting to finish the season with his teammates and prove to the Indians how much he has improved down there. But getting beaned twice in the same game is probably the kind of thing the Indians were hoping to avoid when they wanted Jesus to end his season. I'm glad the Indians are allowing him to finish the season, but would hate to see him get dinged up.

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