Clippings from the Valley of the Sun…
While the great state of Ohio is bombarded by rain, sleet and snow, I’m enjoying another sunny day in Goodyear. Sorry, I had to rub it in a little.
Without any further teasing and taunting, here is my first edition of “Clippings” for 2010….
* Manny Acta named Mitch Talbot to the Indians rotation yesterday joining Westbrook, Carmona and Masterson as four of the five starters. The final spot is between David Huff and Carlos Carrasco, the loser of that battle will be the Clippers ace.
* Huff was the Clippers Opening Day starter last year and eventually became the Indians leader in victories (11) in his rookie season. Carrasco was acquired from the Phillies in the Cliff Lee trade and went 5-1 with a 3.19 ERA in six starts with Columbus.
* Acta has also placed Aaron Laffey in the Indians bullpen, joining Tony Sipp, Rafael Perez, Chris Perez and Joe Smith.
* That leaves Jamey Wright, Saul Rivera, Jensen Lewis and Hector Ambriz competing for the final two relief roles. Ambriz is a Rule 5 acquisition and has been hurt most of the spring. Wright and Rivera are not on the 40-man roster and both have out-clauses in their contracts. Wright must be on the Indians rster on Opening Day and Rivera by May 15. Lewis has one minor league option year left.
* Kerry Wood (strained right shoulder) and Jeremy Sowers (left shoulder soreness) are headed to the disabled list to start the year.
* The Clippers bullpen will consist of Frank Herrmann, Mike Gosling, Jess Todd… after that, things are still pretty cloudy. I’ll know more in a few days.
* The Clippers starting rotation will consist of Carrasco or Huff, Hector Rondon, Jeanmar Gomez, Yohan Pino, and possibly Scott Lewis.
* Lewis, the former Ohio State standout, made the Indians Opening Day roster last year but pitched in only one game before suffering an elbow injury. He is 4-0 with a 2.63 ERA in four career Major League appearances. He appeared in only eight games last season, one with the Clippers.
* Carlos Santana, the Indians top prospect, will be the Clippers starting catcher. He has requested to wear jersey #41. That is also Charlie Nagy’s number, but the Clippers pitching coach says he’ll allow Santana to have it.
* Jordan Brown continues to rehab from a torn meniscus in his right knee. He expects to join the Clippers in late April. Brown left Goodyear yesterday to be with his wife for the birth of their second child.
* Russell Branyan’s bad back continues to prevent him from participating in the Cactus League action. He’s hoping to play in a minor league game Monday. The Indians signed Branyan to a one-year, $2 million contract in the off-season.
* If Branyan starts on the disabled list, Michael Brantley will make the club and play left while Matt LaPorta will play first base. If Branyan is healthy he’ll play first and LaPorta will patrol left. Brantley would then start the season in Columbus.
* Brantley currently has 34 days of Major League service time after his September call up last year. In MLB, 172 days constitutes as a full year of service time and a player is arbitration eligible after three full years, so the Indians would like Brantley to accumulate less than 138 days on the 25-man roster this season. This would make Brantley arbitration eligible in 2013 as opposed to 2012.
* I’ll be calling Wednesday’s Indians/White Sox game from Goodyear Ballpark on Indians.com. I’ll be working with Jim Rosenhaus of the Indians Radio Network. Jim, the former voice of the Buffalo Bisons, hosts the pre-game show and will be calling an inning of play-by-play this season with Tom Hamilton and Mike Hegan.
I’ll have more tomorrow from the desert!