April 23, 2014

Sunday Indians Notes: Beau Mills, the rotation and prospects

beau mills and tuve

Beau Mills and his bucking bulls: The Indians scoring 19 runs was not the strangest news I saw yesterday. No, not even close. It began with a pair of tweets from @Indians (here and here) sharing pictures of a young bucking bull named Tuve (after Astros infielder Jose Altuve) that happens to be owned by Indians third-base coach Brad Mills and his son Beau, Cleveland’s 1st-round pick in 2007.

I couldn’t believe it. The Mills family just owns a bull, named it after a Houston player and had it in front of Minute Maid Park on Saturday? So I Googled. And found the Plain Dealer‘s Paul Hoynes’ report from Friday night: It was true. Mills, the 26-year-old first baseman who the Indians pitched away to Cincinnati in June 2012, officially has retired from baseball and is raising several young bulls for a living. [Read more...]

WFNY Friday Wahoos: Indians Minor League Weekly Review 6/22

Oops. For the first time since I started out the WFNY Wahoos, I missed my Wednesday goal. So today, even though it’s Friday, enjoy your weekly dose of Cleveland Indians minor league news and updates. No Tribe game last night, so this is your morning substitute.

Yes, the Indians remain 36-32 entering this weekend’s series against the Houston Astros. Yes, Cleveland still has a slight half-game lead over the Chicago White Sox and a 2.5-game lead over the Detroit Tigers in the AL Central, and appears on the verge of possibly entering July in first place. [Read more...]

MLB News: Indians Trade 1B Beau Mills to Cincinnati

The Beau Mills era in Cleveland has officially come to an end as the Indians have traded the long-time minor league first baseman to the Cincinnati Reds for cash.

Mills, the 13th-overall selection in 2007, had long been the poster boy for underachieving draft picks of the naughts, selected one pick ahead of Atlanta’s Jason Heyward who was an All-Star during his first year in the league.

The 6-foot-3-inch, 220-pound Mills had a promising start, clubbing 21 home runs and driving in 90 for the Kinston Indians at age-21, but failed to gain any traction though the other, more-elevated clubs, seeing his OPS drop year-over-year with the Akron Aeros and presently hitting .197 (with 34 strikeouts compared to 25 hits) as a 25-year-old in Columbus. Following the trade, Mills was immediately assigned to the Reds Double-A franchise in Pensacola.

In a recent address, Indians manager Manny Acta exclaimed his disappointement with the bats at the higher levels of his team’s system, but reiterated that the hitting at the lower levels is improving by the day.

[Related: Expanding the MLB Playoffs and Unintended Consequences]

WFNY Wednesday Wahoos: Indians Minor League Weekly Review 5/9

Every Wednesday, I bring you all the highlights from the week that was for the Cleveland Indians organization, along with some added insight on what it means for the major league squad.

The topic du jour in the Cleveland Indians organization has to be the bullpen. After last night’s disappointing 5-3 loss to the Chicago White Sox, people must be asking what is the future for the Tribe pen, or as many call it, the “bullpen mafia”? Are there any players down in the minors that could join it soon and what would they contribute? [Read more...]

Clippers Bats Whip Bulls 8-3 to Take a 2-0 Series Lead

IL Playoffs Round 1 – Game 2
Clippers 8, Bulls 3 (box)
COL leads series 2-0

Unlike Game 1, this time out both offenses established themselves early. By the end of the first inning, a combination of five runs–two more than had scored in the entire game–were in and on the scoreboard. But, it was the Clippers’ bats who would carry the day. Columbus starter–and former Durham Bull–Mitch Talbot got the chance to beat his former team, and was good enough after the first inning to give him team time to stretch their legs. And stretch they did.

Chad Huffman again led the offensive assault, with three hits in five trips, including a double and his second home run in as many games of the series. Huffman drove in two and also scored twice as well as the Clippers rocked former Tribe draft pick Chris Archer to the tune of five runs in 5.2 innings. Tim Fedroff, Travis Buck, Beau Mills, Juan Diaz, and Argenis Reyes all had two hits each as well, as the Clippers plated eight runs on 14 hits. They were especially potent with two outs, scoring all of their runs with two outs. [Read more...]

Clippers Shut Down Bulls 3-0 Behind Solid Pitching from McAllister, Bullpen

IL Playoffs Round 1 – Game 1
Clippers 3, Bulls 0 (box)
COL leads series 1-0

Often in a baseball playoff series, Game 1 is all about “strength versus strength” – the teams usually each send their best pitchers to the mound, and the offenses are feeling each other out. Bulls’ starter Matt Moore hadn’t lost a start since being promoted from AA in July, so it looked like the Clippers–even with their best starter in Zach McAllister toeing the rubber–would have their work cut out for them.

Well, Moore was good; the difference is that McAllister was great, at least for six innings. And, the Clippers’ bullpen was exceptional. Columbus got enough offense from the middle of the order, and pushed past the Bulls for a 1-0 series lead. OF Chad Huffman led the bats with a home run, a double, and two of the three RBI on the night. Beau Mills drove in the third run, and that was more than enough for the Columbus pitchers. [Read more...]

Aerodynamics: Catching up with the Double-A Akron Aeros 7/24/10

Seven straight wins started the second half of the 2010 season for the Akron Aeros and moved the team into a great position for a playoff run. After continuing to dominate the last-place Erie SeaWolves for four contests, the Aeros then also swept the first-place Altoona Curve to move to only 5.5 games behind the division lead. This is the lowest margin for the team since mid-April while the seven games above .500 was also a season high. Led by many of the top young prospects in the Indians system such as Alex White, Jason Kipnis (pictured to the right) and others, this is a dangerous team that could continue to improve as the summer progresses.

The Aeros return home again Monday night for the start of a seven-game home stand. There are many specials going on from Christmas in July Tuesday to Tropical Beach Night Thirsty Thursday and Fireworks Friday Kids Cancer Survivors Celebration. Join the team at Canal Park for yet another exciting summer of Double-A baseball.

Last 10 Days: 7-2
Current Record: 52-47, 3rd place (of six) in the Eastern League’s Western Division

[Read more...]

Indians Notes: Gimenez Promoted, Redmond Designated, Phelps Streaking

The Indians made a roster move today as catcher/outfielder Chris Gimenez was purchased from the Columbus Clippers. To make room on the 40-man and 25-man roster, the team designated backup catcher Mike Redmond for assignment. The veteran had only appeared in three games since June 8th and with Carlos Santana firmly in command in Cleveland, was becoming much more expendable to the organization.

Gimenez returns to the major leagues where he spent the majority of the final four months of the 2009 season. For those that recall, he homered against the Minnesota Twins in just his second game in the bigs back on June 4th but finished with a .144 batting average in 45 games played. Redmond was batting just .206 in his 22 games, but at 39 years old, is much older than the more versatile 27-year-old Gimenez.

That’s the biggest of the news from Tribe land today and below the jump, read about some of the hottest hitters in the minor leagues. The list includes Columbus 2B Cord Phelps, Akron OF/1B/DH Matt McBride and new Kinston catcher Chun Chen:
[Read more...]

Indians’ Minor Leaguers Charged in Assault Case

Ohio.com is reporting that Akron 1B Beau Mills, OF Jerad Head and Columbus SP Josh Tomlin were involved in an assault in downtown Akron-

Beau Mills, Jerad Head and Josh Tomlin were each charged with felonious assault after an incident June 3 at 1 W. Exchange St. Apt. 102. The victim suffered serious injuries due to the assault. The criminal case was filed June 22 in the Akron Municipal Court. Mills and Head appeared in court this morning.

Official word from the Indians is this: “We are aware of the incident. We are going to allow the legal process to play out and will have no further comment until then.”

Mills has struggled this season hitting .205 and is currently on the DL, He was the Indians’ first round pick in the 2007 draft and has been a bit of a disappointment on the field. Tomlin is having a decent year between Akron and Columbus, and could potentially see a late season call-up. Unless of course he is otherwise unavailable.

While We’re Waiting… Marson’s Rings, LeBron’s EWA and Fujita’s Exit

While We’re Waiting serves as the early morning gathering of WFNY-esque information for your viewing pleasure. Have something you think we should see? Send it to our tips email at tips@waitingfornextyear.com

Lou Marson Choo Hafner Valbuena_med

Hey, at least one of our guys has some hardware: “Moving obviously was a good move for [Lou] Marson, so he’d get a chance to play. It’s too bad, though, Marson just missed out on a ring and a World Series share.  Except, he didn’t miss.

“I ended up getting a ring in ’08, a World Series ring,” said Marson, who also got some bonus money. “And [soon] I’m getting a National League [championship] ring from last year because I was up most of April.  Yeah, they took care of me over there. That was nice of them; they’re a first-class organization. [Team president] David Montgomery did the right thing by me.” [David Brown/Big League Stew]

[Read more...]

Poppin’ Champagne: Akron Aeros 2009 Championship Season-in-Review (Part 1)

aeros-championshipWhat a scene it was. The Akron Aeros capped off their miraculous season with a sensational championship-sealing victory Saturday night against the Connecticut Defenders (San Francisco Giants). In holding on to win 10-6, the Aeros won for the 14th time in 15 games to end the year and capped off the third Eastern League Championship in just seven years for the Indians Double-A affiiliate. In fact, in the past eight years that is now three championships, seven pennants, seven playoff berths and now a record-setting five straight 80-win seasons.

[Read more...]

Aeros Advance to Eastern League Championship Series; Face Connecticut Defenders Tonight

lonnie-chisenhall-john-drennenAs routine as always, the Akron Aeros swept through the mismatched Reading Phillies to make it to the Championship round of the Eastern League for the fifth consecutive season. Highlighted by dominant starting pitching, the Aeros out-scored the Phillies 24-9 in the series and will take on the Connecticut Defenders (Double-A affiliate of the San Francisco Giants) starting tonight at Dodd Stadium in Norwich, CT. It was no surprise to see the Defenders take care of the second-place New Britain Rock Cats in their divisional championship as these two teams had been the tops in the league for the past several months.

The Indians season is cruising along agonizingly slowly, but the Aeros are in the thick of playoff baseball yet again. This pennant run in 2009 marks the 9th time in 13 years since the move from Thurman Munson Stadium in Canton that the Indians Double-A affiliate has made the playoffs as well as the 7th time in eight years. Led by many of the featured prospects in the organization (Carlos Santana, Jeanmar Gomez) as well as some recently acquired pitchers (Scott Barnes, Connor Graham), the Aeros cruised through the regular season Eastern League schedule and have now won 11 consecutive games dating back to the regular season.

[Read more...]

Memo to the Tribe FO: Moves the Organization Should (and Should Not) Make

large_mark-shapiro1

Now that the dust has settled a bit—and it’s quite clear that the only playoffs anyone in the Tribe’s organization should be worried about are at the AA level—Jacob and I thought we might take a moment to draft a few notes for Mark Shapiro and Co about the minor league system and the near future. From playing time for certain players to roster protection moves for others, we aim to offer up our ideas for the best course of action for the rest of the 2009 season. Please note that we won’t be discussing the potential for further waiver-trades at the ML level, but instead are focusing on guys down in the ranks a bit.

DP: Call up Jordan Brown and give him every-day at bats for the Tribe.

It’s no secret that I’ve been lobbying hard for Brown for most of the last month or so, especially given the fact that Chris Gimenez continues to languish in the majors. [Read more...]

Carlos Santana Ties Home Run Record as Aeros Demolish Erie SeaWolves 9-0

santana8It was an historic night at Canal Park Monday evening as Carlos Santana and the Akron Aeros dominated the  Erie SeaWolves by the final count of 9-0. LHP Ryan Edell was sensational yet again, but the main story was the slugging of Santana and the offensive outburst by the suddenly mediocre Aeros. Entering the contest last night, Akron was exactly 33-33 in their past 66 games, as their lead in the Southern Division had dwindled down only three games above Erie. To add insult to injury, the Aeros were just 3-12 against the SeaWolves entering play Monday evening, making it an absolutely must-win contest for the two-time defending representative of the Southern Division in the Eastern League Championship Series.

Win they did, as they slugged four jacks and Santana collected a solo shot in the seventh, homering for the fourth consecutive ball game. The switch-hitting 23-year-old tied an Akron franchise record by doing so, matching current San Diego Padre 3B Kevin Kouzmanoff’s streak in July 2006. The home run also moved Santana into a tie for second in the Eastern League with 19 blasts on the season, and keeps him on pace for the most by an Aero since OF Jonathan van Every collected 27 back in 2005.

[Read more...]

Best Team in NE Ohio? The 2009 Akron Aeros

akron-aerosThe five-time defending Southern Division champions are on pace for greatness again here in 2009 as the Akron Aeros currently stand at 53-28, a mark that is good for the second best record in full-season professional baseball. Led by several marquee prospects, the Aeros look as good as ever this year as they look to win their third Eastern League championship in franchise history (also won in 2003 and 2005). Instead of going with my “Double Dose of Double-A” feature, I decided to simply recap the season as it stands right now, just a handful of games over the halfway mark.

I could go on and on about every single one of the players on our team, but I first want to mention the incredible pitching staff. While the Indians have had their struggles on the mound thus far this season prompting several responses of varying degrees from our very own TD, Akron has just been amazing this season and especially recently. Over the past 28 games, the Aeros pitching staff has a combined 2.02 ERA while holding opponents to one run or less a spectacular 11 times en route to a 19-9 record. On the season, the Aeros now lead the entire 12-team Eastern League with a 3.17 team ERA.

[Read more...]

Aeros 1B Beau Mills Heating Up

beau-millsAs the Akron Aeros continue to struggle and have only won four of their last 13 games, there have been some bright spots in terms of their core players. Carlos Santana and Nick Weglarz each had two-home run games in the past week, as did 1B Beau Mills, the Indians 2007 first round draft pick out of Lewis & Clark State. The native of Visalia, CA came into the season as one of the most highly touted prospects in the organization, being rated by Baseball America as the no. 3-man in the system, while Tony Lastoria over at Indians Prospect Insider tabbed him as #8. He is currently riding a six-game hitting streak, went 3-3 in a loss last night at Reading, and has built his batting average up to .265 on the season.

Last year, he struggled early on in his first full season of professional baseball with Class A Kinston. He batted .222 (20-90) with a meager OPS of .714 in the month of April, and as late in the year as June 5th his batting average was only .250. He turned it around just near the All-Star break, as he batted .333 (36-108) in July with 23 RBI, and then proceeded to hit .329 (27-82) in the month of August to go along with a stellar on-base percentage of .409. He had the second-longest hitting streak of any member of the K-Tribe in 2008 with a 15-gamer which he started on July 7th, and also committed only 9 errors the entire season despite playing a combined 108 games at first and third base.

[Read more...]

Indians Reduce Roster by 15 Players

adam-miller-indians

With the start of the regular season just weeks away, Eric Wedge and company are facing their final roster decisions.  Today, they took one step towards the final roster for opening day.

The following players have been optioned to Triple-A Columbus:

[Read more...]

Cactus League Update: Jhonny Peralta Swinging Well

(Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

If you’re one for Cactus League final scores, the Indians have gone 1-1-1 over the past three games.  After topping the Rockies 6-4 on Sunday, the Indians have lost to the Rangers (8-7) and managed to rally to a 9-9 tie with the Kansas City Royals.  Yes, they have those during Spring Training.

But we all know that the final score isn’t exactly what counts; it is what happens within the box score that truly matters.

At the plate, the Indians have seen some solid appearances by those already with the team along with those vying for a spot in the future.  Jhonny Peralta hit a two-run home run (knocking in Trevor Crowe) on Sunday.  He kept the power streak going through yesterday, clubbing three hits including a double and a three-run shot off of the Royals’ Zach Grienke.  Peralta is currently hitting .636 (7-for-11) during spring training, and appears primed to follow up right where he left off last season.

[Read more...]

Tribe Announces Minor League Awards, Staff

Beau Mills, David HuffSince I know how much you all love baseball news in November, I couldn’t help but report on the Tribe’s Minor League Players of the Year.

First baseman Beau Mills and left handed pitcher David Huff will take home their respective trophies as the top position player (Lou Boudreau Award) and pitcher (Bob Feller Award) within the Tribe’s minor league system.  Mills, all of 22-years old, clubbed at a clip of .293 (OPS of .800) with 78 runs, 21 home runs and 90 RBI for Kinston.  Huff went 11-5 with an ERA of 2.52 through 146 innings between Akron and (the home formerly known as) Buffalo.

[Read more...]

Indians: Winter League Update

While we haven’t been giving you all the daily updates, I thought it would be apropos to let you know how a select group of Tribe prospects have been doing during their run with winter ball.

The Good:

Wes Hodges, 3B : .393/.414/.696 – Yep, that’s an OPS of 1.110 through 56 at-bats.  Hodges is absolutely tearing up the Arizona Fall league this year with four home runs, 17 RBI and 10 runs scored.  This is great stuff to see out of a prospect at a very key position.  Named to the “Rising Stars” roster, Hodges could be well on his way to a key role with the big boys sooner than later. [Read more...]