Trevor Bauer (SP, Columbus Clippers) Game 1: (W, 1-0), 6 IP, 4 H, 1 R/ER, 3 BB, 9 K.
Bauer was somewhat underwhelming when he made his Major League debut with the Indians last week, but he certainly was impressive in his Columbus debut on Saturday. The right-hander showed just how good he could be as he recorded nine strikeouts and allowed only one earned run, which came off a solo home run. Now things were not entirely perfect. Control was still an issue as Bauer only threw 53 of his 98 pitches for strikes, and he also ran into trouble in the fourth inning where he issued back-to-back, two-out walks. Bauer then allowed a single, and another run would have scored had right-fielder Jeremy Hermida not made a brilliant throw at home plate to catcher Roberto Perez, who tagged out Brandon Inge to end the inning. But enough with the bad as this was still a very encouraging first start for Bauer.
Quincy Latimore (LF, Akron Aeros): 3-for-3, 2 R, 1 2B, 1 HR, 3 RBI.
Latimore is the player that the Indians acquired when they traded Jeanmar Gomez to the Pittsburgh Pirates in January. He’s not really much of a prospect considering this is now his third straight season competing in the Eastern League as Latimore played for the Altoona Curve for two straight years while he was a member of the Pirates organization. However, the right-handed hitter is off to a brilliant start, and if it continues, he may be someone that we should turn our attention to. In eight games, Latimore is now hitting .346 with nine hits, including a double and two home runs. It could all be smoke and mirrors, but it’s been nice to see him have early success.
- Mike McDade (1B, Columbus): Game 1: 2-for-3. McDade has gotten off to a bit of a slow start, but there are signs that he could be turning the corner. This was his first multi-hit game, and this was the fourth straight game that the switch-hitter was able to record a hit in. That hit streak unfortunately came to an end in the second game of the doubleheader though.
- Preston Guilmet (CP, Columbus): Game 1: (S, 3) 1 IP, 1 H, 1 BB, Guilmet definitely walked the tightrope in this one, but the bottom line is that he got the job done. This is Guilmet’s first season in Columbus, and so far, the results are encouraging. The right-hander now has three saves and has allowed zero runs in 4 1/3 innings of work.
- David Huff (SP, Columbus): Game 2: (L, 0-1), 1 IP, 5 H, 4 R/ER, 1 BB, 2 K. It took Huff 35 pitches to make it through just one inning of work, and that would ultimately end up being the only inning that the left-hander would pitch. It was certainly a rough outing for Huff, whose future in the organization seems to become more and more questionable by the day.
- Jeremy Hermida (DH, Columbus) Game 2: 1-for-3, 1 2B. Hermida’s performance is simply notable for one reason. Had it not been for his double, the Clippers would have actually been no hit in the second game of the doubleheader, so for that alone, he deserves recognition.
- Fernando Nieve (RP, Columbus) Game 2: 4 IP, 3 H, 1 BB, 6 K. Nieve last pitched in the Majors in 2010, and it’s probably unlikely that he’ll make it back this year. However, the right-hander is off to a good start as he has 0.90 ERA in 10 innings so far, and he did also a great job of supplanting Huff on Saturday.
- Jesus Aguilar (1B, Akron): 1-for-3, 1 R, 2 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K. Aguilar may have only recorded one hit on Saturday, but the hulking first baseman continues to get his hits in key moments. He now has 13 RBI in just nine games, which is exactly the type of thing that both the Indians organization and fans want to see.
- Paolo Espino (SP, Akron): 5.1 IP, 7 H, 3 R/ER, 3 BB, 3 K, 1 HR. This is a very Espinoish start. As usual, the right-hander was hit around a bit, but he did a good job of limiting the damage. Performances like this are almost certain to become commonplace throughout the year.
- Edward Paredes (RP, Akron): (BS, 1), (L, 0-1), 0.2 IP, 4 H, 4 R/ER, 1 BB, 1 K, 1 HR. What can really be said about this performance other than yuck? Paredes’ implosion follows a streak of five scoreless innings for the left-hander. Hopefully this was just a one-night hiccup and not a precursor of things to come.
- Shawn Armstrong (RP, Akron): 1 IP, 1 H, 2 K. Armstrong continues to edge closer and closer to the Majors, and it’s because of performances just like this. In four innings this season, the right-hander has yet to allow a run, and he also has four strikeouts.
- Joseph Wendle (2B, Carolina Mudcats): 3-for-4, 1 R, 2 2B. If you read my comments in IBI’s Minor League Preview, you know that I am incredibly bullish on Wendle. I feel he was overlooked because of the Division II school he went to, and I see a lot of potential for him to breakout. He’s off to a great start so far this season as he’s gone 14-for-31 in eight games with three doubles, a home run and seven RBI. Let’s hope he’s able to keep it up.
- Anthony Gallas (RF, Carolina): 2-for-4, 1 K. This was a nice performance from Gallas on Saturday. The Cleveland native’s playing time has been limited so far this year, and he’s now gone 3-for-11 in three games.
- Shawn Morimando (SP, Carolina): (L, 0-1), 4 IP, 3 H, 2 R/ER, 4 BB, 2 K. Morimando’s performance was not all that bad, but it really was not that good either. Walks continue to be an issue for the left-hander as he has now walked eight batters in eight innings this season. That’s not exactly a recipe for success.
- Erik Gonzalez (SS, Lake County Captains): 4-for-5, 1 R, 1 3B, 1 RBI. Gonzalez doubled his hit total for the season with his outstanding performance on Saturday. He’s really not considered much of a prospect, but he does have some tools. Now it’s just up to him to make sure that multi-hit performances like Saturday’s become the norm and not the exception. It’s certainly a task that’s easier said than done.
- Nelson Rodriguez (1B, Lake County): 1-for-5, 1 R, 3 K. The unfortunate strikeout totals continue to rack up for Rodriguez as he now has 11 in eight games. There are positive signs though as Rodriguez also has eight walks, and he has now recorded a hit in three of the past four games he’s played in.
- Jorge Martinez (LF, Lake County): 3-for-4, 2 R, 3 2B, 2 RBI. This was just an outstanding performance. Three hits is always nice, but three doubles is just the icing on the cake. The multi-hit night was nice as Martinez is off to a bit of a slow start and had gone hitless in his last two contests before Saturday.
- Logan Vick (RF, Lake County): 2-for-3, 1 R, 1 3B, 1 RBI, 2 BB, 1 K. The Baylor product was unimpressive in his limited time at Single-A Mahoning Valley last season, but he’s off to a decent start this year and has now gone 6-for-22 in eight games. He also has four walks and just three strikeouts, which is always nice to see.
- Mitch Brown (SP, Lake County): 4 IP, 2 H, 4 R/ER, 1 BB, 4 K, 2 HR. Much was made of Brown’s last start where he allowed four earned runs in just 2/3 of an inning. He was much better on Saturday, and it could be argued that he pitched better than his line indicated as all four of his runs allowed came on two home runs, which also happened to be the only two hits he gave up.