The Clippers played Nashville on the windiest day of the year in Goodyear, or at least the windiest day since I arrived on Tuesday. The strong winds made it almost unbearable to watch the game from behind home plate (I managed through almost all of it).
I caught up with Jim Massie of the Columbus Dispatch today. He is here previewing the season over the next week or so. Here is his first story: Clippers finally taking shape
Jeremy Sowers worked five innings in today’s Triple-A game at the Indians minor league complex. He seemed to have a little trouble locating his breaking pitch, but managed his way through every inning including a nice escape of after allowing a leadoff triple.
Other notes from the game:
* Wes Hodges had two well hit balls into the gap
* Luis Valbuena legged out a triple and made it look easy
* Jordan Brown smashed a homer into the 30-40 mph wind. I’m told it was impressive, but I had my back turned to the field doing an interview with Minor League News. (Sorry.)
I’ll be interviewing some players over the next few days and I post the audio here on the blog. So don’t stay away too long!
I’m not a photographer (and have never claimed to be), but some of you have e-mailed and requested more photos on the blog so here it goes:
Here is a sneak peak into the minor league clubhouse…
The weight facility is tremendous…
The Clippers are represented well inside the Player Development Complex…
It’s 75 and sunny here is Goodyear (isn’t it always?!?) and the Clippers are taking the field shortly to play the Brewers Triple-A squad. Today’s lineup is looking more like the lineup that will take the field in Louisville on April 9th.
The first seven spots are likely to be Clippers…
1. George Lombard LF
2. Luis Valbuena 2B
3. Michael Brantley CF
4. Michael Aubrey DH
5. Wes Hodges 3B
6. Jordan Brown 1B
7. Mickey Hall RF
We’re missing Matt LaPorta from this lineup and Trevor Crowe is still in the Indians camp, so the outfield is an interesting situation. Lombard is having (it seems) a nice spring plus Stephen Head and Mickey Hall will factor in somewhere. I’m sure the picture will be more clear in the next few days.
Oh, and Kerry Wood is going to pitch the first inning for the Clippers today, so it’s not EXACTLY like it’ll be come opening day.
The Indians today made the following roster moves:
INF ANDY CANNIZARO was re-assigned to minor league camp.
RHP JAE KUK RYU was claimed off outright waivers from the San Diego Padres and optioned to AAA Columbus (will report directly to minor league camp). Ryu, 25, made 5 starts for AAA Durham (1-2, 4.38ERA, 24.2IP, 26H, 12ER, 19K) last year in the Tampa Bay Rays organization before making 1 appearance in relief for the AL champion Rays (1.1IP, 0H, 0R). He underwent season-ending arthroscopic elbow surgery in July before being claimed off waivers in January by San Diego. The Seoul, South Korea native owns a minor league career record of 42-34 w/a 3.52 ERA in 137 games (114GS, 672.1IP, 623H, 263ER, 585K) and has appeared in 28 Major League games with the Cubs and Rays (signed with the Cubs organization in 2001).
To make room for Ryu on the 40-man roster the Indians placed RHP JAKE WESTBROOK (rehab from right elbow surgery) on the 60-day disabled list.
There are now 34 players remaining in Major League camp (40-man roster is full).
A couple important items from the front office:
“Meet the Team” at GameWorks:
The Clippers will celebrate the opening of the 2009 season with a special “Meet The Team” party on Wednesday, April 8th, 2009, at GameWorks in Easton Town Center. GameWorks will have an exclusive area upstairs for fans to interact with the Clippers players, coaches and front office staff. The event is hosted by Wags and Elliott of QFM-96. Festivities will run from 7PM to 10PM. Tickets to the event are $12 in advance and $15 at the door.
By purchasing a ticket to the GameWorks “Meet The Team” party, you will receive access to all of GameWorks, including the exclusive areas reserved for the party, an All-American meal, a two-hour time play Game Card ($15 value), and you will be eligible to win Clippers prizes.
Call 614-462-5250 to purchase tickets.
The Clippers are now offering a 12 pack of tickets known as the “Diamond Dozen”.
The “Diamond Dozen” costs $144 and consists of the following games:
1. Thursday, April 23 vs. Indianapolis
2. Sunday, May 10 vs. Pawtucket
3. Thursday, May 14 vs. Lehigh Valley
4. Monday, June 1 vs. Norfolk
5. Monday, June 29 vs. Durham
6. Thursday, July 2 vs. Toledo
7. Thursday, July 9 vs. Indianapolis
8. Saturday, July 18 vs. Syracuse
9. Tuesday, July 21 vs. Scranton
10. Friday, August 7 vs. Buffalo
11. Friday, August 14 vs. Indianapolis
12. Monday, August 31 vs. Louisville
Call 614-462-5250 to order the “Diamond Dozen” or visit http://www.clippersbaseball.com for the promotional info of these dates.
Eric Wedge just announced that Scott Lewis will be the Indians 5th starter. Aaron Laffey will start with the Clippers. I’ll have more in a bit…
Here is sound from Eric Wedge:
3_25_2009 10_27 AM.mp3 (courtesy of the Indians)
The Indians optioned LHP Jeremy Sowers and C Wyatt Toregas to Columbus today. They also sent RHP Greg Aquino, INF Michael Aubrey, OF Michael Brantley, OF Matt LaPorta, and RHP Kirk Saarloos to minor league camp.
There are now 37 players in Major League camp.
New baseball stadium is a hit with county officials
Barbara Carmen, Columbus Dispatch
The first fans arrived at Huntington Park yesterday.
Like the kids they were — decades ago — they raced up fresh concrete steps and wiggled atop a rooftop-level bank of bleachers. Then several pointed out the sections where they’d bought seats for the opening season.
The wind was gentle, the sun was warm, and the sky was a perfect blue. Franklin County Commissioners Paula Brooks, Marilyn Brown and John O’Grady lapped up the praise as they led the first official tour inside the new $70 million ballpark.
The stadium, set to open April 18 in the Arena District, is finished except for a few final touches: Food concessions need to tote in the hot dogs, the Clippers have yet to clutter their new locker room, and the place needs a good dusting.
The Cleveland Indians today announced the club has reduced their spring training roster by fifteen (15) additional players.
This morning the Indians optioned RHP JOHN MELOAN, RHP ADAM MILLER, RHP JUAN SALAS, LHP TONY SIPP and INF LUIS VALBUENA to AAA Columbus and re-assigned RHP JACK CASSEL, LHP DAVID HUFF, CA ARMANDO CAMACARO, INF JORDAN BROWN, INF WES HODGES, INF JESUS MERCHAN, INF BEAU MILLS and OF STEPHEN HEAD to minor league camp. CA CARLOS SANTANA and RHP HECTOR RONDON were optioned to AA Akron
Currently there are 44 players in Major League camp in Goodyear, AZ. The Indians take on the Milwaukee Brewers today in Maryvale, AZ at 1:05PM PT/4:05PM ET with LHP AARON LAFFEY taking the hill.
Here is the latest Indians spring roster:
Here is today’s Clippers spring training report:
Spring Training Report 3-19-09.mp3
Here is the latest from the Indians PR staff:
Last week RHP Adam Miller experienced pain in his right long finger (middle finger) with a decrease in range of motion and a decrease in strength in the finger… He then saw a hand specialist in Scottsdale, AZ on Monday, March 16 and also was seen by Dr. Tom Graham the following day.
Adam threw again today, playing catch up to 105 feet and then threw 25 pitches off of the mound without experiencing any pain in the finger during or following …. If Adam can learn to pitch with the altered anatomy in the finger and can compensate and pitch effectively with it, no surgery will be necessary.
However, if Adam cannot pitch effectively over the next 7-10 days showing command, control and velocity, he will undergo reconstructive surgery on his right long finger.
Due to the injury being to his right long finger, the injury could be career threatening.
If Adam undergoes the surgery, rehabilitation could be 9-12 months.
Indians head trainer Lonnie Soloff talks about Miller’s latest problems:
Soloff.3.18.09.mp3 (audio courtesy of the Cleveland Indians)