Minor Standings

By Lindsey Foltin

Class-AAA:

Columbus Clippers – 52-24, .684% (1st INT West Division)

Class-AA:

Akron Aeros – 36-39, .480% (5th Eastern League West Division, 7 GB)

Class-A:

Kinston Indians – 41-31, .569% (2nd Carolina Southern Division, 1 GB)

Lake County Captains – 30-41, .423% (T7th MID Eastern Division, 11.5 GB)

Minor Notes:

Tribe’s Internal Options For Offensive Spark

It’s no secret, the Indians are in the midst of an awful offensive slump. From Grady Sizemore’s underperformance to the recent injury to Shin-Soo Choo, the problems aren’t going to heal themselves. They need to make some kind of a move, whether it’s internal or external. With so many teams around the league still considered to be “in it”, making a deal may be a lot tougher than you’d think. The Indians “Blueprint For Success” lies in their farm system, and it’s doubtful that the team is willing to mortgage their future on one season – especially since their player development is ahead of schedule. The amount of talent within the Indians farm system is exceptional, especially at Triple-A Columbus, where the team is currently 28 games over .500, and holds an 8.5 game lead over Louisville for first place. Here are some of the players they may consider calling up to the big leagues…

The Chiz Kid

Many people have been wondering why the Indians haven’t yet called up Lonnie Chisenhall. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know that Chisenhall is one of the top rated prospects in the Indians organization, and people have been anxiously awaiting his Major League debut since early last season. His M.O. is average third basemen (at best) who can hit for power. We just haven’t really seen that power yet in Columbus this season. I can understand why the Indians haven’t called up The Chiz Kid yet… He hasn’t been consistent at the plate, and he still needs a lot of work defensively. In his last 10 games, he’s hitting .225 with two homeruns, 14 RBI and eight strikeouts. The good news however, is seven of those RBI and both homeruns have come in the last five games. Maybe he’s finally found his stride, and if he continues to hit well, we could be seeing him in the big leagues really soon…

The Return Of Zeke?

Ezequiel Carerra made some noise back on May 22nd, when he was temporarily called up to the big leagues. With the first pitch he ever saw in the Majors, he successfully bunted home Shin-Soo Choo to eventually make the Tribe 5-4 winners over the Reds. Although his time with the Indians was short-lived, as he was optioned back down to Triple-A Columbus only five days later, we may be seeing Zeke with the Tribe again in the near future. Carrera is currently batting .295 with eight doubles, three triples, two homeruns and 23 RBI. He leads the International League in stolen bases with an astonishing 27. In his last ten games, Carrera is batting .357.

Valuable Valbuena

Luis Valbuena, who is currently playing shortstop at Triple-A Columbus, has experience in both the outfield and in the big leagues. He played 16 games with the Seattle Mariners in 2008 before he was sent to the Indians (along with Joe Smith via the New York Mets) as part of a three team trade in exchange for Franklin Gutierrez. Valbuena had a decent showing with the Indians in 2009, but struggled in 2010 and was optioned to Triple-A Columbus, where he’s been outstanding so far this season. Batting .314 so far on the season, Valbuena leads the team in doubles (with 18), RBI (with 49) and homeruns (tied with Huffman at 10).

Chad Huffman

Here’s a name I haven’t heard thrown around a lot… Huffman has kind of flown under the radar. A solid outfielder with a right-handed bat, Huffman was claimed off waivers by the Indians last September. He’s currently batting .257 with 14 doubles, 38 RBI and leads the Clippers in homeruns (tied with Luis Valbuena at 10). Even though Choo’s roster spot doesn’t necessarily need to be filled by an outfielder, if the Indians cut Austin Kearns, they’ll need to make a move for one at some point.

Don’t Count Donald Out

After spending the past two months bouncing back and forth from Double-A Akron and Triple-A Columbus on rehab assignment, Jason Donald seems to have finally settled in. Batting .340 with two homeruns and seven RBI at Columbus on the year, Donald has been hot since his return to the Clippers last week.

Donald was expected to start at third base for the Indians this season before he was sidelined by a hand injury. He is currently playing shortstop for Columbus, which he feels is his best position, but his stellar defensive skills have allowed him to move around between second, shortstop and third. His versatility on the field may give him the upper-hand when it comes down to decision making time.

Follow Lindsey Foltin on Twitter @LindseyBaseball

 

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1 Comment

  1. Or Jerad Head Lindser ! He is 28…How can these guys be in the minors with schlocks like Austin Kearns ahead of him and still not smell a chance ?! Same thing with Jordan Brown rotting in AAA. Trade Hannahan to SF. They just lost Sandoval !


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