Around the Farm: June 17, 2014
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.
Erik Gonzalez (Carolina League All-Stars, 3B) - 1-4 - Erik was one of two fielders (Myrtle Beach Pelicans RF Chris Garia was the other) to play the entire game at one position for the Carolina Stars. While his All-Star game performance may not have been particularly impressive, his first half most certainly was. His season numbers are at .297/.338/.411 with 30 RBI and 8 SB in 50 games. The lone concern is his recent perfromance. He is only .238/.289/.310 in his last 10 ballgames. Hopefully, this is only a minor bump in the road for the express train to Cleveland that his career seems to be on right now.
Ryan Merritt (Carolina League All-Stars, SP) - 1 IP, perfect - This perfect inning is a microosm of the first half that earned him the starting honors in the Carolina/Califormia League All-Star Game. 6-2 in 12 starts (76.0 IP), 1.66 ERA, 0/97 WHIP, 59:16 K:BB ratio, .208 opponents' BA. These numbers don't just speak for themselves. They scream. See you in Akron soon, Ryan.
Eric Haase (Midwest League East Division All-Stars, backup C) - 0-1, 1 HBP - Hasse's offensive performance, along with pretty much all of those on the East squad, was forgettable. Also seemingly unimpressive were the first half numbers that got him into this game (.246/.335/.545 with 26 RBI in 44 games) - though the power numbers have been impressive. His recent performance, however, has been better (.278/.357/.528 with 2 HR and 8 RBI in his most recent 10 contests).
Jordan Milbrath (Midwest League East Division All-Stars, RP) - 1 IP, 4 H, 4 R (all earned), 1 BB, 1 HR allowed - Thankfully, Milbrath got this outing out of the way in a meaningless game. Like Haase, Milbrath's numbers seem pedestrian by All-Star standards (1-8, 3.67 ERA, 1.04 WHIP, 40:31 K:BB ratio, and .233 opponents' BA in 61.1 IP in 13 appearances - 10 of them starts).
Robbie Aviles (Midwest League East Division All-Stars, unused pitcher) - DNP - While Aviles did not appear in Tuesday night's game, he had the best first half numbers of any of the Lake County All-Star representatives, going 1-1 with a 2.16 ERA, 0.93 WHIP, 41:8 K:BB ratio, and .225 opponents' BA in 66.2 IP in 13 appearance (8 starts).
Joe Wendle (Akron, 2B) - 4-6, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 3B, 3 RBI, 1 SB, 1 E - Wendle comes within a round-tripper of a cycle on a night on which he takes his recent hot streak to a new level. His last 10 numbers now stand at .368/.419/.474 and 8 RBI. Hopefully this is an indication that he is getting used to the Double-A level.
Anthony Gallas (Akron, LF) - 3-5, 1 R, 2 2B, 4 RBI, 1 K, 1 Sac Fly - Gallas was named a Carolina League All-Star, but was probably glad to be in Reading, Pa. rather than Wilmington, Del. on this night. Anthony has been dominating Double-A pitching ever since earning his promotion. He is now hitting .385/.370/.692 with 5 RBI in his 6 games with Akron. The only concern is that his high strikeout ratio is carrying over from Carolina (52:17 in Carolina, 5:0 in Akron).
Ronny Rodriguez (Akron, 3B) - 3-4, 3 R, 2 2B, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 BB - Ronny-Rod has his first multi-hit outing in six days, his last one also being a three-hit affair. While these spectacular nights are exciting to see from Ronny-Rod, what he really needs to begin exhibiting is some consistency. He is batting in the mid .230s both on the season (.236 in 57 games) and in his last 10 games (.235). That's not how you get to Triple-A Columbus. It's also not how you stay in Double-A Akron long-term.
- Tyler Holt (Columbus, CF) - 1-3, 1 R, 2 BB, 1 k - Holt's good eye allows him to have a solid night at the plate.
- Jesus Aguilar (Columbus, DH) - 0-3, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K - The RBI Machine keeps cranking them out even when he doesn't get a hit, driving in his 34th in 51 Triple-A games on a bases-loaded third-inning walk.
- Justin Sellers (Columbus, LF/SS) - Sellers has the only multi-hit effort of the night for the Clippers, from the nine hole no less.
- Kyle Davies (Columbus, SP)- W (4-4), 6 IP, 6 H, 2 R (both unearned), 2 BB, 1 K - While the hit totals continue to be a concern (57 in 56.2 IP in his last 10 starts), he keeps the runs to a minimum and gets his individual record back to .500.
- Scott Barnes (Columbus, RP) - H (5), 1.2 IP, perfect - Barnes' perfect outing earns him his fifth hold of the season.
- Vinnie Pestano (Columbus, CP) - S (6), 1.1 IP, 1 H, 1 K - Vinnie continues to close well in Columbus.
- Tyler Naquin (Akron, CF) - 0-4, 2 R, 1 RBI, 2 BB - To give you an idea how high-scoring Tuesday night's game in Reading (Phillies) was, Naquin scored twice without getting a single hit and saw his 17-game hitting streak come to an end.
- Francsisco Lindor (Akron, SS) - 3-6, 3 R, 1 RBI, 1 K - Lindor breaks out of a 4-for-19 mini slump (five games) in grand style on a huge offensive night for the RubberDucks. Hopefully, this outing gets Lindor out of his funk and playing like the elite prospect he is and heir apparent to the gap between second and third base at Progressive Field.
- Bryan LaHair (Akron, 1B) - 0-3, 2 R, 3 BB, 2 K - Another case of plate discipline leading to a big night at the plate.
- Jordan Smith (Akron, RF) - 2-5, 1 R, 1 2B, 2 RBI, 1 K, 1 CS - Another sign of a big offensive night: A two-hit, two-RBI effort not being a feature entry.
- Toru Murata (Akron, SP) - W (5-2), 5 IP, 10 H, 7 R (all earned), 1 BB, 1 K, 2 HR allowed, 1 HBP - This is something you don't see every day: A "right place, right time" victory from a starter. The win doesn't change the fact that Toru needs to get his act together. Two straight single-game ERAs over 10.00 is not how you get back to Triple-A Columbus.
- Enosil Tejeda (Akron, RP) - H (7), 2 IP, 2 H, 3 K - It's too bad that there was no way for the scorer to give Enosil the win on scorer's discretion.
- Ordomar Valdez (Mahoning Valley, 2B) - 1-3, 1 R, 1 2B - Valdez got the only run and only hit of the night for the Scrappers.
- Martin Cervenka (Mahoning Valley, C) - 0-1, 2 BB, 1 K - Cervanka's plate discipline allows him to be the only Scrapper to get on base multiple times in Tuesday night's home opener pitcher's duel.
- Anthony Vizcaya (Mahoning Valley, SP) - ND, 4 IP, 5 , 1 R (earned), 3 K, 1 WP - A decent outing undermined by poor run support.
- David Speer (Mahoning Valley, RP) - 1 IP, 1 H - Can't ask for much more in a pro debut.
- Julian Merryweather (Mahoning Valley, RP) - 2 IP, 1 BB - Same here.
- Dominic DeMasi (Mahoning Valley, RP) - L (0-1), 2 IP, 2 H, 1 R (earned), 2 BB (1 intentional), 3 K - A rough introduction to pro ball for DeMasi and too much for the light-hitting MV side to overcome in the pro game's 2014 debut in the Back Corner of the Eastwood Mall Parking Lot.
When I asked.. "..w.. EXACTLY...e?.." I wasn't looking for a comparison of a regular season game versus an All Star game.. nor was I looking at a psychological profile of a players confidence level..
The question: What is a meaningless game?
While avoiding answering the question.. let me see if I can respectfully provide insight.. EVERY game from the start of a minor league player's career matters.. EVERY SINGLE GAME. How does Milbrath perform against the best.. how does he react to adversity, a MAJOR FACTOR IN A PLAYERS GROWTH/DEVELOPMENT..How does that adversity manifest in future performance.. Whenever I see a "well, this game didn't mean anything..". My first response is, "...well, yes.. it did.."
So, the question.. what exactly is a meaningless game can be answered.. there is no such thing.. even spring training games which define the epitome of indifference and apathy.. matter in at least some small way..
This subject.. goes back my days coaching & it's a pet peeve..
No worries..I'm already over it..
I'd rather have Milbrath get bombed in a single inning in an All-Star Game where he can say "it was one bad inning, it was the All-Star Game" than have a night this bad over multiple innings in a regular season game and have it start messing with his head.