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Monthly Archives: May 2014

Around the Farm: May 22, 2014 (5.23.14)

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. 

Ryan Merritt (SP, Carolina): W (6-1), 7.1 IP, 6 H, 2 R (1 ER), 2 BB, 1 SO

With the high number of strikeouts in today’s game, seeing a pitcher go seven innings with only one strikeout is a rare occurrence; even rarer is such a good outing when the pitcher walks more batters than he strikeouts. Merritt has a reputation as a lower-strikeout pitcher, and with 41 in 56.1 innings, the left-hander is living up to that so far in 2014. The left-hander makes it work with a rock-bottom walk rate (1.76 BB/9), and though he is pitching a little above his 1.60 ERA, Merritt is still impressing in his first full season in High-A. The 22-year-old does not wow on the mound, but his aggressive, pound-the-zone style of pitching is working and saving the bullpen every time out (Merritt is averaging 6.3 innings per start in 2014). Read More…

From Indians Baseball Insider, May 23, 2014

 
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Posted by on May 24, 2014 in ZP. May 2014

 

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Around the Farm: May 21, 2014 (5.22.14)

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 that Columbus was off Wednesday.

Dorssys Paulino (LF, Lake County): 3-for-5, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 1 CS

It has been so far, so good on Paulino’s transition to the outfield as the 19-year-old has hits in all three games since returning to Lake County. Time will tell how Paulino takes to the outfield and whether his defense ends up below-average, above-average, or perfectly average, but that hardly matters right now. Paulino will need reps to become good in the outfield, but the most important thing is to see him hitting again. The bat has always been the thing that made Paulino stand out, which is why the struggles at the plate were the real issue that necessitated the position change. Taking Paulino off of shortstop and moving him to an easier position on defense could free up the 19-year-old’s bat. Three games is not enough to say that has happened for sure, but there is no denying the early returns are encouraging. Read More…

From Indians Baseball Insider, May 22, 2014

 
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Posted by on May 24, 2014 in ZP. May 2014

 

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Coach’s Corner ’14: Akron manager Dave Wallace (5.20.14)

In today’s Coach’s Corner, Jim Piascik brings you his recent Q&A with Double-A Akron manager Dave Wallace.

This is a regular in-season and off-season premium piece on the site where Tony or I sit down with a coach in the Indians minor league system and really break down and discuss several players on the roster and talk about some of the philosophies surrounding the development of players.

In my discussion with Wallace, we focused on the hitting side of the equation. We talked about the continued improvement of Francisco Lindor and his readiness for the major leagues, what changes Giovanny Urshela made to key his hot start to the season, the development of Tyler Naquin, and how the plethora of players making the jump to Double-A from High-A are doing around 40 games into the season.

As always, these pieces are in a Q&A format in order to provide the raw, uncut comments from the manager or coach. Read More…

From Indians Baseball Insider, May 20, 2014

 
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Posted by on May 24, 2014 in ZP. May 2014

 

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The WAR Room: Plutko’s performance paces the organization (5.18.14)

The WAR Room is back again, bringing you the 2014 advanced stats for every Cleveland minor leaguer. After looking at the hitters last week, today we focus on the pitchers. It is still early enough that there is some noise in the numbers, but at this point in the season, we are starting to see some interesting trends emerge.

Of course, it is always important to keep context in mind, just like with scouting. A pitcher who is old for his level using that experience to succeed against young, inexperienced hitters must be taken with a grain of salt; the same goes when looking at these WAR totals.

But it is a useful tool to put each player’s performance into context and look at where they sit in regard to the rest of the league.

For reference on how I computed WAR, a reminder on the problems inherent in the stats, and everything else you need to know, click here. For a refresher on WAR and what it is, click here.

As a reminder, a 0.0 WAR per 162 games is replacement level — otherwise known as the kind of performance an average player from the level below could offer — a 2.0 WAR per 162 games is average, and a 5.0 WAR per 162 games is All-Star level.

Also note that pitchers have FIP-based WAR — which is based on peripherals like strikeouts, walks, home runs, etc. — and RA-based WAR — which is based on runs allowed.

One more thing, all “+” stats are averaged at 100. Anything over 100, like 110, is higher and means that player is 10 percent better than the league average. Anything under 100, like 90, is lower and means that player is 10 percent worse than the league average. In the case of any “-” stats — when lower is better, like with ERA — a 90 ERA- means that player is 10 percent better than the league average.

Today we look at the hitters throughout the system. Next week we will do the pitchers. For the full stats, go ahead and click here. Stats are updated through Friday, May 16. Read More…

From Indians Baseball Insider, May 18, 2014

 
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Posted by on May 24, 2014 in ZP. May 2014

 

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Ranking the 2014 Cleveland Indians roster at the quarter mark (5.16.14)

The 2014 season has been a comedown for Cleveland so far as the team has been below .500 after making the playoffs in 2013. As always there have been highs and lows for the team, but overall the team has gotten a few more negatives than positives.

These rankings represent a snapshot of each player’s performance to date, meaning there are some people ranked higher who will regress down as the season goes on and vice versa. Players with more playing time are typically given some preference to those with less, which is why Greg Kottaras is not #1.

In-text photos from ESPN

#33 Elliot Johnson, INF/OF (Previous Rank: 24)

Johnson’s calling card is his versatility, as he needs that defense to carry his bat. But with some issues in the field — highlighted by two errors the day before he was designated for assignment — and Johnson’s poor hitting sealed his fate, at least for now. Johnson is currently playing in Columbus. Read More…

From Indians Baseball Insider, May 16, 2014

 
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Posted by on May 24, 2014 in ZP. May 2014

 

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Around the Farm: May 15, 2014 (5.16.14)

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 that Carolina was rained out Thursday and Akron had the day off.

Scott Barnes (RP, Columbus): 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 6 SO

There was a time where Barnes was a top-10 prospect in the organization, as IBI had the left-hander ranked 10th heading into the 2012 season (and 11th heading into last season). That time has passed for two reasons. One is that Barnes is definitely a reliever now — which hurts his big picture value — and the other is that he struggled mightily in 2013. But there is hope yet for the 26-year-old Barnes, and while he is a bit of a forgotten man in the left-handed reliever power rankings (easily steamrolled by the Kyle Crockett train currently rolling toward Cleveland), Barnes is making his best case in Columbus this season. The left-hander has always had issues with walks and has seven in 14.0 innings this season, but Barnes’ 20 strikeouts in that time put his dominance on display. He is not the sexy pick for a callup to Cleveland, but Barnes could be a decent option in the middle innings if called upon later in the year. Read More…

From Indians Baseball Insider, May 16, 2014

 
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Posted by on May 24, 2014 in ZP. May 2014

 

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Around the Farm: May 14, 2014 (5.15.14)

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. 

Ronny Rodriguez (1B, Akron): 1-for-3, 2 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 1 SO, 1 SB, 1 HBP

As yet another reminder that you cannot ever overreact to April stats, Rodriguez is beginning to work his way out from under the weight of his .331 April OPS. Rodriguez homered again on Wednesday, his second on the season, and extended his hitting streak to six games. Additionally, Rodriguez has hits in 12 of his last 13 games as his .235 BABIP begins to naturally rise. Rodriguez did not magically become a terrible hitter overnight; he has always done at least decently — despite being young for his level — and cut his strikeouts every year heading into 2014, even though he was promoted in each of those years. He is coming around this season and could be approaching his breakout, though that April from hell will make it hard to see in his season stats for some time. Read More…

From Indians Baseball Insider, May 15, 2014

 
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Posted by on May 24, 2014 in ZP. May 2014

 

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