Leo: Office of Internal Affairs
The Indians announced several moves this week, mostly internal items, including the addition of these six (non 40-man) players to major league spring training: RHP Chen-Change Lee, RHP Tyler Sturdevant, OF Chad Huffman, RHP Hector Ambriz, RHP Austin Adams, and CA Chun Chen.
Lee, the organization’s reining “Minor League Pitcher of the Year” was 6-1 with a 2.40 ERA in 44 games between Akron and Columbus. The native of Taiwan average 12.5 strikeouts per nine inning s last year and now ranks as the club’s #4 prospect according to Baseball America.
Sturdevant, a 2009 (27th round) draft pick out of New Mexico State, split time between Columbus and Akron. He was 7-3 with a 2.65 ERA in 42 relief appearances.
Huffman played all of 2011 with the Clippers, posting a .246 average with 13 HR and 58 RBI. He tied for 4th in the International League in walks (67) and finished 10th in doubles (30). He was claimed off waivers from New York at the end of the 2010 season.
Ambriz was a Rule 5 Draft from Arizona in 2009. He missed all of 2011 recovering from Tommy John surgery after posting a 0-2 mark with a 5.59 ERA over 48.1 IP with Cleveland in 2010.
Adams, the club’s 5th round draft pick in 2009, spent last season with Akron going 11-10 in 26 starts with a 3.77 ERA. He was an Eastern League All-Star and tied for second in wins. Adams is the #8 prospect in the organization according to Baseball America.
Chen, a native of Taiwan, was a free agent pickup in 2007. He spent 2011 with Akron, batting ,262 with 16 HR and 70 RBI. He finished tied for 4th among Indians minor leaguers in RBI and tied for 6th in HR.
* The Tribe have inked three players to minor league contracts: INF Argenis Reyes (re-signed), INF Chin-Lung Hu, and RHP Willy Lebron.
Reyes, 29, is a .288 career minor league hitter over eleven with the Indians, Mets and Red Sox organizations. He’ll enter the 2012 season just 30 hits away from 1,000 for his minor league career. He played in the bigs for the Mets in 2008 and 2009.
Hu, 27, spent last season in the Mets system, appearing in 22 big league games. He was outrighted to Triple-A Buffalo on May 17th and batted just .161 over 48 games. Hu, a native of Taiwan, is a career .296 hitter in the minors.
Lebron, 31, spent the 2011 campaign with the Kansas City Royals organization. He pitched in 32 games (one start) between Double-A and Triple-A, finishing 4-2 with a 3.02 ERA. Lebron, a native of the Dominican Republic, is 8-6 with a 3.93 ERA over his career.
* The Carolina Mudcats are officially in the family, signing a two-year Player Development contract to serve as Cleveland’s Carolina League (Class-A) affiliate. Mudcats ownership purchased the Kinston Indians and moved it Zebulon, NC (20 miles east of Raleigh) to replace the former Carolina club that now resides in Pensacola, FL.
The Indians will travel to Zebulon to play an exhibition game against Carolina on Tuesday, April 3rd at 2:00pm. It will conclude the spring training/pre-season schedule with Opening Day coming on Thursday, April 5th against Toronto.
* The Indians have invited the following players to the organization’s “Winter Development Program”: RHP Austin Adams, RHP Rob Bryson, CA Chun Chen, OF Aaron Cunningham, INF Juan Diaz, OF Tim Fedroff, OF Jordan Henry, LHP TJ McFarland, OF Thomas Neal, CA Roberto Perez, and RHP Tyler Sturdevant.
The program, in its’ 15th year, runs from January 16-27 in Cleveland and Goodyear. The purpose of the program is to acclimate some of the organization’s upper-level prospects to Progressive Field, the city of Cleveland, and the Goodyear facility. The program featuring guest speakers including Team President Mark Shapiro, Manager Manny Acta, Cleveland Cavs GM Chris Grant, Browns Head Coach Pat Shurmur, Terry Francona, Jason Bere, Peter Gammons, St. Ignatius Football Coach Chuck Kyle, and Vanderbilt Baseball Coach Tim Corbin.
* You may notice a new logo on the right side of this blog. Consider that our version of a championship (or participation) banner. We were one of the Top 100 MLBlogs in 2011, checking in at #79 to be exact. I think if we move up a few spots we can qualify for the NCAA Tournament!
* The Indians signed RHP Chris Ray to a minor league contract this week. He’ll get a big league invite to spring training as well. Ray, 30, has a Major League record of 18-19 with a 4.10 ERA and 51 saves in 283 relief appearances with Baltimore, Texas, San Francisco and Seattle (six seasons). The Clippers actually faced Ray in his first career Triple-A appearance (May 31, 2009), he pitched two scoreless innings and earned a save for the Norfolk Tides.
* Former Indians/Clippers pitcher “Mr. Prefect” Justin Germano inked a minor league deal with the Boston Red Sox. Germano threw the first perfect game in Clippers history and only the fifth 9-inning perfecto in 127 years of the International League. He left the Clippers in early August to join the Samsung Lions, who went on to win the Korean Baseball Organization championship and the Asia Series.
* The Tribe have hired Adam Everett as Special Assistant to Baseball Operations. Everett, 34, completed his playing career last season after appearing in 34 games for Cleveland. As Special Assistant, Everett will be in uniform during spring training and give infield instruction at both major and minor league camps.
* Indians pitcher Justin Masterson is making an appearance in Cleveland on Friday night, as a broadcaster! He will serve as the color analyst for Cleveland State University as the Vikings take on Butler. My friend, the “Voice of the Vikings” Al Pawlowski will call the play-by-play.
That’s all folks. Have a great weekend!