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Around the Farm: July 25, 2014

Around the Farm: July 25, 2014
Justin Masterson (Photo: Columbus Clippers)
July 26, 2014
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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.

Note, rookie level Arizona was off on Friday.

Justin Masterson (Columbus, SP) - 6.2 IP, 4 H, 5 R (all earned), 6 BB, 4 K, 1 WP -Masterson looked a lot more like Injured Masterson than even the worst of Healthey Masterson in this outing, where he got bombed by Triple-A hitting.  While giving up a lot of runs in a rehab start may be nothing more than a pitcher working on getting his timing back on a given pitch or pitches, I don't know how to explain six walks other than him not yet being well enough to pitch, especially since his injury involves his plant foot and hampered his control when he tried to pitch through it..  While I understand that the Indians can't take things too slow with Masterson as he is a free agent at the end of this season,  rushing him isn't helping anyone, either.

Jeremy Lucas (Carolina, C) - 4-5, 2 R, 1 HR, 4 RBI - Lucas has a huge night at the plate highlighted by his first-inning grand slam.  This outing puts Jeremy's slash line in his 10 most recent ballgames to .333/.409/.590 with 2 home runs and 7 RBI.  Hopefully, he can keep this recent run of form up and earn a return trip to Akron (where he played five games last year for the then-Aeros). Either way, he has really had a solid season this year and has been a mainstay in the Mudcats lineup.

  • Giovanny Urshela (Columbus, DH) - 3-4, 1 K, Picked Off 1 time - Gio comes back from a couple of rough nights to highlight a difficult night at the plate for the Clippers.
  • Matt Carson (Columbus, CF) - 2-4, 1 R, 1 H, 1 RBI - Carson had the only other multi-hit effort of the night for the Clippers and accounted for half of the team's scoring with his seventh inning solo shot to left.
  • C.C. Lee (Columbus, RP) - 1.1 IP, 2 H, 4 K, 2 WP - Lee comes back from a stretch of three bad outings to return to his usual form, albeit with a couple of balls getting past the catcher.
  • Bryan Price (Columbus, RP) - 1 IP, 1 H, 1 BB, 1 K - Price holds the opposition scoreless for the first time in almost two weeks.
  • Bryan LaHair (Akron, DH) - 2-4, 1 2B, 2 RBI - Surprisingly, on a night where the RubberDucks won 5-0, Bryan had the lone notable hitting performance of the evening (the remainder of the offense was spread pretty thinly between the rest of the lineup).
  • Duke von Schamman (Akron, SP) - 7 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K, 1 HBP - Following an outing that represented an improvement from his recent struggles, The Duke of Canal Park improves even further and dominates the Reading (Phillies) lineup.
  • Elvis Araujo (Akron, RP) - 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 0 K - Elvis makes it four straight scoreless outings. He looks to be settling in now at the Doube-A level.
  • Yhoxian Medina (Carolina, SS) - 2-6, 1 R - Yhoxian keeps hitting, as he is now at a .306/.359/.389 slash line in his last 10 games.
  • Yandy Diaz (Carolina, 3B) - 1-4, 2 R, RBI, BB - Yandy scores twice to break a four-game scoreless streak on an all-around solid night at the plate.
  • LeVon Washington (Carolina, LF) - 2-5, 1 R, 1 K - LeVon makes it back-to-back multi-hit nights after an eight game stretch in which he only batted .161 (5-for-31).
  • James Roberts (Carolina, 2B) - 2-5, 1 RBI, 2 K, 1 E - Roberts' rakeage continues,  He is now hitting .342/.350/.474 in his last 10 games.  Concerns still remain with his discipline (58:26 K:BB ratio on the season and 8:1 in his last 10 games) and his defense (he committed his 24th error of the season in his 86th game Friday night).
  • Ryan Merritt (Carolina, SP) - 5 IP, 7 H, 7 R (all earned), 1 BB, 5 K, 2 HR allowed - Ryan seems to be alternating respectable and terrible outings.  The offense is all that saved him from taking the loss on the night.
  • Ben Heller (Carolina, RP) -  H (2), 1 IP, 1 H - A solid inning of relief undone by...
  • Rob Nixon (Carolina, RP) - 0.2 IP, 4 H, 3 R (1 earned) - This was not one of Nixon's best showings of the season, though he did not get a lot of help from the defense as well.
  • Nellie Rodriguez (Lake County, 1B) - 1-4, 1 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI - Nellie-Rod was one of only three Captains to get a hit Friday night, but his was a big one.  Nellie's fourth inning solo homer gave the Caps a lead that they would not relinquish.
  • Mitch Brown (Lake County, SP) - W (3-8), 6.1 IP, 3 H, 1 R (earned), 2 BB, 8 K, 3 WP, 1 HBP - Mitch makes it two solid outings in a row and earns his third win of the season.
  • James Stokes (Lake County, RP) - H (1), 1.2 IP, 1 H, 1 K - Stokes makes it five straight scoreless outings and seven out of his nine full-season Single-A outings en route to his first hold of the season at a full-season level.
  • Trevor Frank (Lake County, CP) - S (10), 1 IP, 2 H, 3 K - Frank strikes out the side for his 10th save of the season.
  • Austin Fisher (Mahoning Valley, SS) - 2-5, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 RBI - Fisher has his second straight multi-hit game after a seven game stretch (not counting a game in which he did not make a plate appearance) in which he hit only .227 (5-for-22).
  • Bradley Zimmer (Mahoning Valley, CF) - 3-5, 1 R, 2 2B, 1 RBI, 1 SB - Zimmer has a big night after two hitless nights.  Maybe he can go on another three-game (or longer) multi-hit game streak.
  • Leo Castillo (Mahoning Valley, 1B) - 2-5, 1 R, 2 RBI - Leo continues to hit extremly well as of late, posting a .326/.370/.535 slash line with 13 RBI in his last 10 games.
  • Kieran Lovegrove (Mahoning Valley, SP) - 3.1 IP, 1 H, 4 BB, 2 K - Lovegrove makes it three scoreless outings in a row but unfortunately doesn't pitch enough innings to earn the individual win.
  • Jordan Carter (Mahoning Valley, RP) - W (1-1), 3.2 IP, 1 H, 1 K - None of what I wrote above is to be construed in any way as saying that Carter's first professional win on the night was anything but deserved.  He has been pitching very well since a couple of rough outings to start his pro career.
  • Jose Zapata (Mahoning Valley, RP) - 2 IP, 3 K - Zapata makes it five straight scoreless outings.

User Comments

Andy
July 26, 2014 - 2:51 PM EDT
Mitch Brown with 7 groundouts and 0 flyouts to go with the 8 K's, not too shabby other than the 3 WP's - that gives him a staggering 22 WP's on the season. He's had 5+ K's in 8 of his last 10 starts and a 56:16 K:BB in those last 10 starts. That's really encouraging in general but especially given his early season struggles.
Homer
July 26, 2014 - 2:35 PM EDT
Jake Peavy and his near 4.75 era got the Red Sox the Giants number 2 and 7 prospects in return. Edwin Escobar a young LHSP and Heath Hembree a RHRP, a nice return, IMHO. I think Masterson has trade value, but it's definitely way down. If they can straighten him out, I think they'll move him in August if they continue to falter...unless they get overwhelmed with an offer.

How good would Brett Gardner look in a Tribe uni?
Homer
July 26, 2014 - 2:30 PM EDT
Meant Lee and Adams could be used as throw ins, to get a deal done.

Rosenthal on Twitter says, Indians are getting calls for ACab, talking vets and young players in return for ACab. Maybe they could get a useful young corner OF...or young SP in return.
Walter
July 26, 2014 - 2:27 PM EDT
I know Masterson is dominating talk on the minor league report. But changing the subject it was good to see Duke Von Schammann have his best outing since early May. Hope he could get more consistent. Another good outing was by Mitch Brown.

Bradlley Zimmer had another good game. My question is wil he stay at MV or will he get a taste at LC before the season ends?
shy
July 26, 2014 - 2:00 PM EDT
Adams and Lee definitely have trade value. They are young, have electric stuff, and soft contracts. However they are not players that contenders would acquire for a playoff run, specially Adams since he has no experience whatsoever. If they can move Axford now to a contender then one of them could come up for some second half OJT. There's probably a contender willing to take a chance on Axford as an additional bullpen arm, not a closer. Masterson unfortunately has no trade value at present.
Homer
July 26, 2014 - 12:29 PM EDT
I doubt that this club will move Bourn or Swisher, even if they paid half of the remaining salary...They didn't do it with Hafner, I doubt they will now.

As for moving Murphy, and Raburn I think they should be available. I don't know if they could find any takers for Pestano and Outman, but they'd be out there or throw ins for me. Same with Adams and Lee, the Tribe has BP arms to spare and they'll probably hang on too me of these guys too long, while they loose legit talent (that's my fear).
Homer
July 26, 2014 - 12:24 PM EDT
I don't see moving ACab as selling, he's a luxury at this point. So trading him, IMHO, should be on the agenda. I think it would be a great move for the Tribe to pickup an additional comp pk. I love the fact that they were willing to go over their pool on the international mkt last yr per BA (barely) and with this most recent draft. These are areas the Tribe cannot afford to be passive.

The Blue Jays are supposed to be looking for a RP. Axford might be a nice option for them, he's been a decent BP arm outside of a few blow ups.

As for Masterson, who knows where things go with him. Is the knee that serious? Is his mechanics that messed up? Does he have any trade value? Is he worth gambling on with a QO this offseason? I think I'd move him, but it will take two good prospects that are close to big league ready.
shy
July 26, 2014 - 12:08 PM EDT
Masterson needs to take a year off and find God. Whether that's in Sugarland or Zwaziland I don't know. Now is the time to sell A Cab, Kipnis, Axford, clean house Raburn, Murphy, and send out to pasture Swisher- maybe the Giants or Dodgers would pick him up at a contract discount to have a little xtra playoff mojo. The Indians are not good enough at the plate or in the field to stick w the better teams down the stretch. Pitching is a strength, I think they need to get them some run and defensive support to keep it that way. Too many bullpen arms- Adams, Lee, Armstrong, Price, Pestano, Sturdevant. Chips and Salsa.
Tondo
July 26, 2014 - 11:42 AM EDT
Trade ACab. JRam/Aviles looks good enough for me to play out this season and April/May of next, maybe add some defensive first vet to the mix just in case.

Contenders like the A's should be interested. They only have Lowrie, Sogard and Punto for their MIF. They have comp balance round B pick to trade away. Would that be too much for a rental? That would be another 800k of draft budget around pick 70.
The Reds could be another team interested, they also have a comp B pick. The Marlins, by all reports, want to buy, so maybe even their comp A pick could be added. They already have shown the willingness to move those picks, when they traded one to the Pirates before this year's draft for a reliever, though he was controllable.

Maybe a swap of picks (comp A against Indians B) plus some rookie ball flyer?

Anyway, it's time to sell and promote from within. I don't think Holt and Aguilar can possibly do worse than Raburn and Swisher...
Homer
July 26, 2014 - 10:57 AM EDT
This is not a playoff caliber team. They are playing to their level fringe / almost good enough, but not there yet. It's that simple.

If they can get something for Masterson, ACab and Axford, I say trade them. There is no sense in holding onto these guys who likely have no future here. Is Masterson worth a $14M gamble this offseason...I have my doubts, but if he performs like he has in the past he will have a great yr next yr following the worst of his career.

Maybe the Tribe should shut Masterson down or slide him into the bullpen. It seems throwing an inning or two at a time would be a lot easier on his knee.
LeaguePark
July 26, 2014 - 10:32 AM EDT
The reality is that this team lacks the talent to make the playoffs. It's that straightforward.
art
July 26, 2014 - 10:15 AM EDT
Struggling while hurt doesn't help, even if only in the minors.
nubballguy
July 26, 2014 - 9:36 AM EDT
Just as they did with McAllister, they need to just let Masterson stay in Columbus on as extended a "rehab" assignment as is necessary. He will def not be helping the team with where he seems to be at the moment. If he is able to right himself, then bring him up in August and you can still trade him by the August 31 waiver deadline if that's what you want to do.
Beyond the lack of control, any word on his velocity? It's sad to see him strugglng and losing his effectiveness like this, much like Pestano.
Walter
July 26, 2014 - 9:22 AM EDT
I think the Indians might trade him during the waiver period in August. The stubbornness of Masterson and Indians by no taking care of the knee injury in April has cost both big time. He basically has hurt his FA value and for the Indians his trade value.

The main question next year, if you do not trade him, do you give him the QO? Based on his history he would be in for a good year for 15. ( Good 11, Bad 12, Good 13, and Bad 14).
James
July 26, 2014 - 9:09 AM EDT
The only reason to rush Masterson is to get him back on the mound before the trade deadline, but it seems to me like they need to abandon hopes of a trade and let him figure things out with a couple more starts.

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