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Around The Farm: May 2, 2013

Matt LaPorta makes his grand return to action

Around The Farm: May 2, 2013
Matt LaPorta (Photo: Lianna Holub)
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Around the Farm takes a quick look at some of yesterday’s performances by Indians prospects throughout the system. The positions listed below are where the player was playing in yesterday’s game.

1B Matt LaPorta, Columbus Clippers: 3-5, R, HR, 2 RBI, K: Welcome back, Matt LaPorta! In his first game since being activated off the disabled list, LaPorta wasted no time in getting his season started. This past off-season, LaPorta was outrighted off the 40-man roster and was given a non-roster invite to Spring Training. Unfortunately for him, he was stuck in extended spring training in Arizona rehabbing from off-season hip surgery. Once considered a top prospect, LaPorta's fall from glory has been hard. Here's to hoping he can rebound and prove his worth.

SP Danny Salazar, Akron Aeros: (W, 2-3) 6 IP, H, 2 BB, 12 K: Yes, you're reading that right. Twelve strikeouts. In six starts this year, Salazar has put up eye popping numbers. In 28.2 innings pitched, he's allowed 22 hits, 9 earned runs, 1 home run, and 9 walks, while striking out 43. Opposing hitters have a .212 average against him. He's not quite ready for Columbus at this point, however. While it's true he's been dominating batters at this level, he's made a grand total of just 12 starts in Double-A to this point. Salazar's future looks bright, though.

  • Omir Santos, Columbus Clippers: 2-3, R, 2B, BB, K: Widely considered a nice depth catcher provided some much needed offense on Thursday. 
  • SS Juan Diaz, Columbus Clippers: 2-5, R, 2B, BB, K: In the upper levels of the minor league system, there isn't a whole lot of depth up the middle if the need arose. Diaz would probably be one of the first to receive the call other than Phelps.
  • SP T.J. House, Columbus Clippers: (L, 0-1) 4 IP, 9 H, 7 ER, 4 BB, 0 K, 2 HR: What a rough outing for House. After coming out sharp in his first outing in Columbus, House was hit around in his second start as it appears hitters have made an adjustment on him.
  • RP Scott Barnes, Columbus Clippers: 2 IP, H, 2 K: After coming in to the game in relief of House, Barnes did his job and put up zeros. 
  • RP Rob Bryson, Columbus Clippers: IP, H, K: Somewhat lost in the immense depth the Indians have in relief pitching, Bryson sometimes doesn't receive enough credit for the work he does.
  • RP Nick Hagadone, Columbus Clippers: IP, 2 K: With all due respect to Hagadone, he doesn't even belong in Columbus. He's done everything asked of him at every level and simply was the casulty of a number's game in Cleveland. 
  • CF Tyler Holt, Akron Aeros: 2-5, 2 R, 2B, 3B, SB: Half way to the cycle, Holt couldn't quite complete it. In any case, Holt was a major spark in the Aeros offense.
  • DH Chun Chen, Akron Aeros: 2-5, R, RBI. Granted, it's a small sample size, but Chen is hitting .353 and has really hit the ball well to start the year.
  • 1B Jesus Aguilar, Akron Aeros: 2-5, 2B, 2 K: I'm one of the few who isn't that high on Aguilar. The potential is there for Aguilar, but I question whether he can put it all together and live up to the hype people give him.
  • RP Austin Adams, Akron Aeros: (H, 1) IP, H, R (unearned), 2 K: Being eased back into action, Adams came in and got the hold while striking out two.
  • SS Francisco Lindor, Carolina Mudcats: 1-4, R: Lindor simply has greatness written all over him. As long as he stays healthy, Lindor is the future face of this franchise.
  • 1B Jerrud Sabourin, Carolina Mudcats: 2-4, 2B, RBI: Give Sabourin credit, he's been consistent all season long to this point. While he may not possess a ton of power, he's shown a knack for hitting the ball extremely well.
  • RF Jordan Smith, Carolina Mudcats: 2-4, K: One of the biggest disappointments of this young season has been Jordan Smith. Here's to hoping he can put it all together.
  • SP Cody Anderson, Carolina Mudcats: (L, 3-1) 6 IP, 11 H, 5 ER, 5 K, HR: Anderson has been lights out for the first month of the season and ran into his first rough outing of the year. He managed to give up just three earned runs, but there were plenty of players on base. The good news is he limited the damage. It still could have been much worse.

User Comments

art
May 3, 2013 - 12:09 PM EDT
I agree about Barnes needing to get a look at starting again, and I'd like to see Salazar stay in the rotation at least this season in the minors to see if the durability can be established.

Kind of disagree with the article comment about Jordan Smith, he has hit exceptionally well now for the last couple of weeks.
Chip
May 3, 2013 - 10:57 AM EDT
The time to attempt a conversion from relief to a starting role isn't during the season in most cases. Both Allen and Barnes(should've never been a reliever) are stuck in a relief role because of the time required to "build up" their innings count. With the incredible depth in the bullpen, it would seem logical to atleast attempt this.
Andy
May 3, 2013 - 10:55 AM EDT
Looks like Anderson gave up all 5 ER's for the Mudcats. That's not terrible considering the 11 hits, but not sure I agree with the sentiment that he limited the damage.
Tony
May 3, 2013 - 10:39 AM EDT
You can't convert the relievers into starters. They are relievers for the simple reason where they are failed starting prospects in most cases. The exception being Allen and Barnes as Barnes I believe could still maybe start and Allen was in the pen from the get go because he could move quickly there and had injury/durability concerns.
elrod
May 3, 2013 - 10:35 AM EDT
At some point should we stop converting starting pitching prospects into relievers and try to convert some of out relievers into starters?

Tony has talked about Haley in this regard. But guys like Barnes and Cody Allen would seem to be candidates, too.

Craig
May 3, 2013 - 10:08 AM EDT
No reports on what the condition of Mitch Browns bicep--how he doing?
Tony
May 3, 2013 - 9:32 AM EDT
Yeah, go back to Tuesday's "Minor Happenings" article....Atkins talks about House's lack of velocity. As for Hagadone....he's a man among boys in AAA. He really belongs in the bigs, though because of so many pen options there he is the odd man out. Great problem to have for the Indians, but it sucks for the player.
Matthew
May 3, 2013 - 9:27 AM EDT
I was at the Clippers game last night. According to the ballpark gun, House was sitting 87-88, and never touched 90. Hitters were having no problem picking up the ball and barreling it up. His off speed stuff looked OK, but the fastball was just way too hittable. Hopefully just one bad outing for him and he can get the velo back up to the 91-92 where he usually sits.

Hagadone, on the other hand, was awesome. He's always fun to watch. He threw 15 pitches, every single one of them fastballs. 94-95mph, spotting the corners nicely. 2 K's and a weak grounder to 2B. AAA hitters are just no match for him. Good to see him take the demotion like a professional and do exactly what he needs to do to get called right back up.
Tony
May 3, 2013 - 9:02 AM EDT
The Indians certainly have a ton of relief pitching options. I dunno if that is a good of bad thing (means a lot of failed starters).
League Park
May 3, 2013 - 8:56 AM EDT
Does any organizational have more bullpen prospects and fewer starting pitcher prospects than the Indians?
Tony
May 3, 2013 - 8:42 AM EDT
Yes, great outing from Salazar. He is really starting to settle in and it will be interesting to see how he does once the Indians take off the kid gloves and let him go 100+ pitches an outing. He's still at an 85 pitch count, so until he is up to 100+ he will stay in Akron. I believe come some time in June he will be pushed to 100+. I do think his biggest impact comes in a Major League bullpen, but the Indians should exhaust every starting opportunity with him.

Anderson had all of the tools.....just comes down to that consistency, repeating those mechanics, and developing more as a pitcher than just a thrower (which he is doing). Excited to see how he finishes the year.
Homer
May 3, 2013 - 8:10 AM EDT
Encouraging numbers from Salazar. I'm not convinced he stays a SP, but I could see him developing into a lights out closer long-term.

Cody Anderson is an arm I find intriguing. Interesting he struggled (seemingly) through this start but was still able to limit damage. An indication he's a legit prospect, IMHO. Honestly, I tend to think Zach McAllister....but I think Anderson could be better.

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