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Around the Farm: May 19, 2014

Around the Farm: May 19, 2014
Alex Lavisky (Photo: Ohio.com)
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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, High-A Carolina was off on Monday.

Alex Lavisky (C, Akron): 2-for-3, R, BB, E. Lavisky has been one of my favorite players in the system since the first time I met him and watched him play. He’s really settling in well to his role as a backup catcher and is now hitting .327 with 3 HR, 7 RBI and .896 OPS in 15 games, and is a guy I think is going to be around for a long time in the upper levels of the minors and at least get a cup of coffee in the big leagues with the Indians or someone else. Strikeouts have often been a problem for him, but this season he has just 7 in 49 at bats. If Tony Wolters is ever promoted to Columbus then Lavisky should no doubt get everyday opportunities in Akron, or more likely, Lavisky could move up to Columbus at some point if a spot opens  up there.

Adam Plutko (SP, Lake County): 7.0 IP, 3 H, 2 R (1 ER), 1 BB, 7 K, 1 HR. Plutko continues to pitch very well in Lake County and even though he did not earn the win in this one it was easily his second best outing of the season – both of his best outings coming in his last three starts. In addition to this outing he also threw 8.0 shutout 3-hit and 13 strikeout innings on May 8th, though sandwiched in between these two stellar outings was a clunker on May 14th when he allowed 7 runs and 11 hits in 4.0 innings. He needs to be challenged at a higher level, but the Indians want to see a little more consistency in his outings before pushing him up. A promotion still seems imminent.

  • Elliot Johnson (SS, Columbus): 2-for-4, K. Johnson is now hitting .333 with a .881 OPS in eight games at Columbus. Perhaps getting a chance to play more than once every two weeks like he did in Cleveland is getting his bat going.
  • Giovanny Urshela (3B, Columbus): 0-for-4. Urshela is some kind of cold right now as he is hitting .154 with a .375 OPS over his last 10 games. His performance is leveling out and the league is adjusting to him, now it is up to him to stay strong and make adjustments back.
  • George Kottaras (C, Columbus): 0-for-3, BB, 2 K. Kottaras is now hitting just .114 with a .319 OPS in 12 games at Columbus and has 16 strikeouts in 35 at bats. Yet, he played one game in Cleveland and ripped two solo homers. Baseball is such a strange game sometimes.
  • Carlos Moncrief (RF, Columbus): 0-for-3, 2 K, E, A. Moncrief has been up and down with his performance of late and has yet to find that consistency. He also made a nice play in the outfield getting an assist though also had a fielding error.
  • Scott Barnes (SP, Columbus): 2.1 IP, 2 H, 3 R (2 ER), 2 BB, 1 K. This was a bullpen by committee start because the Clippers lost both T.J. House and Trevor Bauer to callups, so they had to fill in with an all hands on deck approach for this game. So I wouldn’t look too much into Barnes getting a start (yet).
  • C.C. Lee (RP, Columbus): 2.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R/ER, 0 BB, 2 K, 1 HR. Lee returned to Columbus and had a solid outing and made just the one mistake with a solo homer. He has pitched very good in Cleveland and Columbus this year and it is the three mistakes on homers which have been his only issue.
  • Frank Herrmann (RP, Columbus): 1.1 IP, 3 H, 1 R/ER, 1 BB, 2 K. Frank the Tank continues to pitch well down in Columbus where in nine appearances he has a 1.86 ERA and .200 BAA, and in 9.2 innings has allowed 7 hits, 7 walks and has 17 strikeouts. The walks are expected right now coming off injury and the strikeouts are very encouraging.
  • Ronny Rodriguez (3B, Akron): 1-for-4, R, HR, RBI. Rodriguez is still mired in a season long funk with the bat as he is hitting just .237 over his last 10 games and his homer on Monday night ended a three-game 0-for-11 hitless streak. But three homers in his last seven games after none in his first 24 games is an encouraging sign.
  • Gabriel Arias (SP, Akron): 5.2 IP, 8 H, 2 R (1 ER), 0 BB, 5 K. This was another good, workmanlike performance from Arias who is proving to be a solid offseason addition for the Indians. He is still only 24-years old and they like his stuff and he is a fringe prospect worth keeping an eye on.
  • Enosil Tejeda (RP, Akron): 1.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 3 K. Akron is loaded with relievers. We already saw Kyle Crockett get the call to Cleveland and there are a handful of others on the roster who are in the Major League picture – and Tejeda is one of them. He now has a 1.72 ERA, .241 BAA and 2-19 walk to strikeout ratio in 15.2 innings.
  • Giovanni Soto (RP, Akron): 0.1 IP, 3 H, 2 R/ER, 2 BB, 0 K. This was Soto’s second appearance since returning from the disabled list from a left shoulder injury. You have to wonder if he is completely healthy as both outings have been rough totaling 1.1 innings and allowing 5 runs (all earned) on 5 hits, 3 walks, 1 homer and 1 strikeout.
  • Tyler Sturdevant (RP, Akron): 0.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K. Sturdevant is another good bullpen option sitting in Akron for the Indians that is on the Major League radar. He first needs more innings and time to prove he is 100% healthy before he is given more serious consideration for the big leagues, but so far so good as he has a 1.45 ERA, .185 BAA, and 5-18 walk to strikeout ratio in 18.2 innings.
  • Dorssys Paulino (LF, Lake County): 1-for-4, K. After a short two week stint in Arizona to work on a transition to the outfield and getting in about a week’s worth of extended spring training games there, Paulino returned to Lake County and was back in the lineup in left field. It will be interesting not only to see how he plays in the outfield, but if the bat picks up as well.
  • Anthony Santander (DH, Lake County): 2-for-3, R, 2B, RBI, BB, K. Santander ripped an RBI double in the bottom of the ninth to score Grant Fink with the winning run and earn a walkoff win for the Captains. He is still performing well below expectations, but that hit had to feel good for him and hopefully helps get him going at the plate.
  • Claudio Bautista (2B, Lake County): 2-for-3, R, 2B, HR, 2 RBI. This is the kind of game that makes you salivate about what kind of player Bautista can be if he kept things simple and was a little more patient at the plate. He has some good pop for his size and the Indians are still working to bring it out more consistently.
  • Ben Heller (RP, Lake County): 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 K. Heller earns the win (3-0) with two shutout and clean innings of relief. Even though he has a 4.67 ERA and is walking batters a little too much (4.7 BB/9), hitters are having a tough time hitting him (.190 AVG) and he is piling up strikeouts (13.0 K/9).

Follow Tony and the Indians Baseball Insider on Twitter @TonyIBI. Also, his new book the 2014 Cleveland Indians Baseball Insider which profiles the Indians' Top 100 Prospects and more is available for sale.

User Comments

Robert
May 20, 2014 - 5:36 PM EDT
Lavisky could catch, dh or like a lot of other Indians learn third. I wish Wolters all the luck but he sort looks like a singles hitter. Agree Lavisky has played limited but has been able to maintain his timing which is impressive.
EastSide LBC
May 20, 2014 - 3:51 PM EDT
ROFL Salazar is toast. He's finished. Where's all the Jim Pete, Corner of Carnagie and Ontario articles now? Man if you took those things seriously you'd think Jason Kipnis is Jesus Christ reincarnated and Danny Salazar crapped gold. Child please
Walter
May 20, 2014 - 1:10 PM EDT
Salazar getting rough up in his first outing for Columbus. Looks like he will need a lot work before returns to the majors.

Tony
May 20, 2014 - 1:06 PM EDT
I agree that Lavisky has established himself, though will also note that he is enjoying more success the last two seasons maybe partly because of his reduced role. Also, you just can't play him daily. Where do you play Wolters then? Unfortunately, some players are just have a little lower priority than others and have to get at bats when they can. Sort of like Ronny Rodriguez having to move aside for Lindor at shortstop.
Robert
May 20, 2014 - 12:27 PM EDT
Lavisky has been a top performer at Akron this year. He has some of the best power numbers over the past 3 seasons in the organization. He is about the same age as the other prospects. He is a good defensive catcher. He has worked his way to being a good prospect. He should be playing daily.
Walter
May 20, 2014 - 11:29 AM EDT
Plutko at LC for another couple weeks or another month? How did Paulino look in LF last night? With new position, I expect that Paulino will be in LC for the entire year.

shy
May 20, 2014 - 11:07 AM EDT
The Captains continue to look bad, very disappointed in Clint Frazier in particular. Ben Heller is a good looking pitching prospect- he's won 3 of the 13 games the Captains have won this year and has the lowest batting average against on the team. It will be interesting to see what he can do at Akron second half. Frank Hermann- another potential Roy Hobbs story- you would think a guy w a Harvard education would have given up on baseball after all he's been through, but no.... he loves it too much- and perhaps the baseball fairy is holding a dance for him...
Tony
May 20, 2014 - 10:26 AM EDT
I do not have a recent update yet on Mathews, but he is sidelined with a left forearm strain. That's not good. That typically requires a pretty long shut down before he starts throwing again to see if the issue persists and sometimes even more drastic measures are taken. So I would not expect Mathews back anytime soon - though like I said I do not have an update at this minute but will get one in the next few days.
Tom
May 20, 2014 - 10:20 AM EDT
When is Kenny Mathews coming off the DL & get some innings ?
Tony
May 20, 2014 - 9:04 AM EDT
Herrmann is not on the 40-man roster and there are other options ahead of him, so probably not anytime soon Rich. Maybe by season's end. The strikeouts and ERA are nice, but the walks and lack of command are a concern and to be expected in his first year back from TJ surgery. I would expect him to pitch all year at Columbus and then potentially be a late season callup to Cleveland if the velocity and strikeouts continues to impress and the walks start to go down a little.
Rich
May 20, 2014 - 8:45 AM EDT
Herrmann with 17 K's in 9 innings at AAA with a 1.86 ERA. Could he be working his way back into the picture?

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