Returning to baseball after the All Star break, the Indians were able to split a four game series at Rochester. After losing the first two games of the series, the Indians rallied to win the last two games over the weekend.
They return home on Monday for four games against the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs, the AAA team of the Philadelphia Phillies.
Currently with the Iron Pigs is the Phillies top prospect, Domonic Brown. With the exodus of top players to the Major Leagues earlier this year, Brown is arguably the most hyped player in the Minor Leagues right now. The 6’5”, 200 pound lefty plays mainly right field for the Iron Pigs. He is an all around athlete that borders on being a five tool player. On top of his natural ability, scouts say that his work ethic is outstanding.
He started the season with AA Reading. In 65 games there he hit .318 with 15 home runs and 47 RBI. Since being called up to AAA on June 25th, he is hitting .358 with four home runs and 15 RBI in 18 games.
There is a good chance he will get called up later this year. There are many writers, “experts”, etc, that think it’s time to trade Jayson Werth to open up the right field spot in Philadelphia for Brown. Werth is in the last year of his contract and he is not expected to resign with the Phillies this off season. Now would be an opportunistic time to get good value for a player like Werth.
It’s a situation Pittsburgh fans can relate to. When the Pirates traded Nate McClouth to Atlanta in 2009, much of baseball was in an uproar, assuming this was just Pittsburgh getting rid of another salary. But the real reason for the trade was that Pittsburgh had their center fielder of the future in the Minors, waiting for the spot to open up. About a year after that trade, you’d be hard pressed to find anyone who would rather have McClouth over Andrew McCutchen.
Domonic Brown is that good.
Also with the Iron Pigs is J.A. Happ, the runner-up in the 2009 National League Rookie of the Year voting. The left hander went 12-4 with a 2.93 ERA last year with the Phillies. He had discomfort in his elbow early this year and was put on the DL. His rehab starts lately have not been convincing, although Philly execs, after last Thursday’s start, said his fastball in the 92-95 range was a good sign.
Also worth watching is Scott Mathieson, a right-handed reliever who can hit 99mph on the gun, and left handed reliever Antonio Bastardo.
Tickets for the home stand can be purchased here.
Read and see more at Pat Lovell’s site.