The Columbus Clippers have recently been doing their best Bullpen Mafia impressions, as the three best bullpen pieces for the Clippers, Fernando Nieve, Matt Langwell and Preston Guilmet have been nothing short of spectacular this season. Between the three pitchers they have throw a combined 64.1 innings while only allowing 46 hits, 15 earned runs, 21 walks and striking out 68 batters. The bullpen roles seem to have been clearly defined with Nieve coming in as a middle reliever, Langwell as the setup man and Guilmet as the closer for the Clippers.
Carlos Carrasco has struggled in Cleveland with control, not just over the baseball but over his emotions as well. During his only start this season in Cleveland, Carrasco was pitching poorly against New York Yankees when he gave up his second home run in less than four innings. The next batter, Kevin Youkilis, Carrasco intentionally hit and was ejected from the game and suspended for eight games.
After getting suspended for the second time for hitting a batter as an Indian, rather than take a roster spot serving his suspension, Carrasco was sent down to Triple-A Columbus, with the hopes he can pitch well and show that he is worth bringing back. So far he has pitched well, going 23.2 innings over five games, giving up only 14 hits, five runs, four walks and one home run while striking out 24 batters and earning a 1-0 record with one save.
Many fans this spring saw the signing of Daisuke Matsuzaka and were optimistic that he could come in and help this Indians rotation. Unfortunately, this has not been the case as he has failed to find success at even the minor league level, pitching 20.2 innings with an ERA near four with 18 walks and an 0-2 record with Triple-A Columbus.
Matsuzaka has had a relatively successful yet short career in the majors, helping the Boston Red Sox win the World Series in 2007. In 2008 he posted his best season ever, going 18-3 with a 2.90 ERA and 154 strikeouts. After that 2008 season he began to struggle with injuries as his stats became worse with less innings pitched, leading up to having Tommy John surgery in 2011. He attempted to come back in 2012 but posted awful numbers for the Red Sox going 1-7 with an ERA of 8.28.
While much of the country watched closely as their favorite NFL teams stocked up this weekend on new prospects who could pay immediate dividends on their respective football teams, it is easy to lose track of players and drafts in Major League Baseball due to the expansive minor league system utilized in the sport.
It has been five years now since the drafting of the class of 2008. One of the more intriguing players to watch for the Cleveland Indians from that class this season will be Lonnie Chisenhall.
The former first round pick (29th overall) in that 2008 draft, Chisenhall made his first Opening Day roster for the Indians this season, after appearing at the major league level in each of the previous two years. He was given the starting nod after the team parted ways with Jack Hannahan after the completion of the 2012 season. Hannahan had been presumably keeping the seat warm at the hot corner for Chisenhall for the last two years.
Chisenhall is one of several players worthy of note in the Cleveland organization that has ties to the 2008 draft class.
Trevor Bauer has been has been the talk of many Indians fans this season, hoping he could be the missing piece in the rotation. While he struggled in his only start this season for the Tribe, he has been pitching quite well in Columbus, striking out 16 batters in 13 innings while only giving up 10 hits, three runs and four walks.
The Columbus Clippers have started the season well, opening with a 6-5 record. The key so far to the Clippers success has been driving in runs to have very high scoring games. The driving force for the offense has been Jeremy Hermida, who leads the Clippers in home runs, runs batted in, walks and batting average.
So far this season, it seems that Hermida has rebounded from an injury plagued 2012 season to refind his 2011 form. In 11 games this season for the Clippers, his batting average is .297 with an OBP of .409. Hermida however is not just a contact hitter, as he already as driven in 10 RBI’s, placing him third in the International League, and a slugging percentage at .568, which is currently in the top 20 in the International League.
Hermida was the 11th pick in the 2002 First Year Player Draft by the Florida Marlins, straight out of high school in Marietta, Georgia. He played right field in high school the majority of the time but has also played left and center field, an ability he carried with him after he was drafted.
The excitement of the new season is not just contained up on the shore of Lake Erie, but is going strong in Columbus as the Clippers start their new season. This season marks their fifth year in their beautiful new ballpark, Huntington Park.
The Clippers ended last year by closely missing the playoffs, finishing with a record of 75-69. Last season was viewed as a disappointment, as their 2011 season was capped off by winning their second consecutive Governors Cup. This season however is viewed with the same sense of strong optimism that follows the Indians into the new season.
The Clippers this season are lead by a new manager Chris Tremie. Tremie played in the majors from 1995 through 2004, being a journeyman moving through six organizations. After his career was over, he started managing for the Tribe through the Gulf Coast Indians, working his way up to the Akron Aeros for the last two seasons and now the Clippers this year.
During Spring Training the DTTWLN staff will profile and examine the coaches and players that make up and are vying to be part of the 2013 Cleveland Indians—A Team With A New Direction. Today, we examine one of the young players on the 40-man roster that is a part of the Indians’ minor league system.
By Christian Petrila
After five full seasons in the minors, Indians outfielder Tim Fedroff took a massive step toward making his long-awaited Major League debut when he was added to the 40-man roster on Nov. 20.
Fedroff was a seventh round pick for the Indians back in 2008 and has been nothing short of a consistent hitter throughout his time in the minors. For his minor league career, Fedroff is hitting .296 with 23 home runs and 204 RBI in 495 games, but last season was when he really began capturing the attention on many Indians fans.
By Bob Toth
Last week, I looked into the Indians’ recent draft woes, how it has impacted the present roster, and what the team has done in the recent drafts to hopefully correct the poor drafting and development over the last several years. If you missed the story last week, follow this link – Dispelling the Indians’ Draft Woes
One of the difficult aspects of drafting young players is that there is no way to predict their futures. Even being the very first person drafted is no assurance of superstardom. It cannot even guarantee a moderate level of success professionally.
It really is an impossible task to attempt to judge a draft shortly after it has happened. It is challenging to forecast the ceilings of such young players and the impact that their development, injuries, or their personal lives may have on who they become on and off the field.
It is all just educated guessing.
By Bob Toth
The Cleveland Indians have developed a reputation as a team that does not draft well.
That was certainly the case for the earlier portion of the first decade of the 21st century.
Poor drafts and talent evaluation problems helped to deplete the Indians’ minor league system of valuable prospects. The team was forced to acquire new young prospects through the trades of some of the team’s most popular and productive players or other expendable veteran parts. Moving these players early, instead of allowing them to potentially leave at the end of their contract with the club, ensures that the team procures future talent.
This week’s trade of Shin-Soo Choo and others to Cincinnati and Arizona was no exception to that norm. In fact, such a trade in 2006 with the Seattle Mariners was how Choo arrived on the scene with the Cleveland organization.
By Mike Brandyberry
The Cleveland Indians announced Thursday the organizational staff alignment within the Player Development System for the upcoming season.
Two members of the 2012 Major League coaching staff will resume prominent roles within the system. Tom Wiedenbauer …
Several weeks ago, we chronicled the seven Indians minor leaguers participating in the Arizona Fall League as part of the Scottsdale Scorpions. The Scorpions finished the short season with a record of 15-16, good for a second place, 2.5 games out of first. Here’s how the seven Indians farmhands faired.
The 22-year-old righty made five appearances for the Scorpions. In his five appearances, he tossed 5.2 innings allowing no runs on two hits while striking out three and walking four.
His solid stint continues to highlight his talent as a reliever for the Tribe brass after a solid 2012 campaign.