Originally posted on Fox Sports Ohio  |  By TONY LASTORIA  |  Last updated 8/8/13
This week we check in on Triple-A Columbus, the affiliate with players who could help down the stretch. Right-hander Danny Salazar impressed on Wednesday night and will surely help - there are a few other pieces that could do the same. Just the Facts Columbus (56-64) sits in third place in the International Leagues West Division 11.0 games back of the leader and 6.5 games out of the wildcard. Because the big league team has been in contention they have had to withstand a lot of player movement all season, to the tune of 192 transactions, is a record at Columbus. Columbus has had their struggles at the plate all season and currently rank 13th out of 14 teams in hitting (.247), 12th in runs (478), 12th in doubles (188), 10th in home runs (85), 12th in total bases (1466), 4th in walks (460), 1st in strikeouts (1011), 7th in strikeouts (97), and 12th in OPS (.693). Things have been better on the pitching front as Columbus ranks 6th in the league in ERA (3.91), 6th for most hits allowed (1032), 2nd for most home runs allowed (109), 4th for most walks allowed (420), 2nd in strikeouts (1034), and 5th in WHIP (1.36). Whos Hot? Daisuke Matsuzaka, SP1 G, 1-0, 7.0 IP, 1.29 ERA, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 7 K, 1 BB In his last start, the right-hander tossed seven frames, fanned seven batters and surrendered one run on three hits. Dice-K has now won two consecutive starts and will go for his third in-a-row Thursday. His seven-straight games of lasting six innings or more is impressive considering his injury-plagued start to the season. Now that Cleveland is short-handed with Klubers injury, it wouldnt be far-fetched for Matsuzaka to complete his road back to the big leagues. Tim Fedroff, OF7 G, .385 BA (10-for-26), .515 OBP, 5 R, 1 2B, 0 HR, 5 RBI, 6 K, 7 BB The up and down season for Fedroff continues. After a dismal performance last week, the outfielder turned things around and collected three multi-hit games to raise his batting average from to .260. He netted an astounding .515 on-base percentage while knocking in and scoring five runs each. When Cleveland is able to expand their roster, the Indians will consider calling him up, though there is no guarantee that will happen. His standing on the 40-man roster is not very strong. Whos Not? Trevor Bauer, SP2 G, 0-2, 11.1 IP, 6.49 ERA, 11 H, 3 HR, 8 R, 6 ER, 8 K, 10 BB Just when Bauer looked to regain his control, the right-hander has been wild again. In his first two starts this month, he posted a 6.49 ERA and walked more batters (10) than he has struck out (8). He is 5-5 with a 3.84 ERA on the season, but the 58 walks in 103 innings is concerning and he is not striking out batters (86) like he was expected to do. At this point, it looks like he will finish the season in Columbus and not be a callup in September. Joe Martinez, SP1 G, 0-1, 4.2 IP, 11.57 ERA, 10 H, 1 HR, 6 R, 6 ER, 6 K, 0 BB Martinez has had a rough year, but hes filled the Indians need for a veteran Triple-A pen arm. He is now 2-7 with a 6.14 ERA on the year after getting rocked for six runs in 4.2 innings on Aug. 7 against Toledo. His last victory came on June 10 when he hurled 6.1 innings of one-run ball against the Gwinnett Braves. Parting shots - Right-hander Vinnie Pestano has only appeared in three games for Columbus, but so far so good - he has taken the demotion in stride and gone down there to work hard and get himself right so he can get back to Cleveland and help stabilize the Indians late inning pen woes. In his 3.3 innings of work, he has not allowed a hit and has struck out four batters against one walk. It will be interesting how long he stays in Columbus, but if he keeps this up for another few outings and the subjective reports from the coaches are good and most importantly his velocity is consistent and the stuff is crisp, he could be back very soon. - Right-hander Carlos Carrasco is now 3-1 with a 3.14 ERA in 14 starts at Columbus. He has been impressive for most of his time down there limiting walks (21) and getting strikeouts (79) in just 71.2 innings of work. He might get a chance to pitch in September when rosters expand, but that is not a sure thing, and might even be less than a 50 chance of happening. - Catcher Lou Marson returned to Columbus on a rehab assignment as he comes back from his arm injury. He went 0-for-3 with two strikeouts in his only game since returning on August 4th. He will likely spend the remainder of the season in Columbus to build him back up to game readiness and potentially be a September callup as a third catcher only used in emergency. - First baseman Matt LaPorta returned to Columbus this past week from another hip injury. Hes a long shot to make it back to the 40-man roster and play in Cleveland this season, but he looks strong of late homering in two straight games and has six home runs in 17 games played in the minors since his return. - The Indians have a stable of relief options they will likely recall once rosters expand in September: Preston Guilmet, Nick Hagadone, Matt Langwell, C.C. Lee, and Blake Wood are all expected to be added for the stretch run.
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