The 2012 “Clippers Season Preview Show” will air Saturday from 12:00pm to 1:00pm on WMNI 920 AM and here on the web.
Guests inlcude Ken Schnacke (Clippers President/GM), Mike Sarbaugh (Clippers manager), Ross Adkins (Indians VP of Player Development), and Jim Rosenhaus (Indians radio announcer).
We’ll also have comments from Indians GM Chris Antonetti and some Clippers players.
It’s starting to look like Gregorio Petit (pronounced Puh-TEET) will open the season as the Clippers shortstop. The 27 year-old from Ocumare, Venezuela was infomred Friday that he won’t make the Indians roster.
Petit has impressed the Indians brass with his defensive range and soft hands during the Cactus League schedule. He’s also 6-for-19 (.316) at the plate.
Petit got a taste of the bigs in 2008 and 2009, appearing in 25 games with Oakland. He was traded to Texas before the 2010 season, in exchange for Edwar Ramirez.
He signed a minors deal with San Diego last season, but missed the entire year with a knee injury.
Petit has logged four Triple-A seasons in the Pacific Coast League and carries a career .265 average in the minors with a .322 on-base percentage.
Indians GM Chris Antonetti provided answers to some, but not all of the questions surrounding the major league club’s roster today.
RHP Dan Wheeler has made the club in the bullpen, meaning there is just one available spot with three competitors: RHP Frank Herrmann, RHP Jeremy Accardo, and RHP Jairo Ascencio (acquired from Atlanta this week), and RHP Jeremy Accardo.
INF/OF Jason Donald will be a utility player for the Tribe.
OF Shelley Duncan will be in Cleveland and looks to be the starting left fielder, although Antonetti wouldn’t commit to it. “We expect Shelley to get a lot of at-bats”, he said on Friday.
It looks like either Aaron Cunningham or Ryan Spilborghs will be the fourth outfielder. Antonetti, however, continues to look for outside options. “If there are opportunities to improve any area of the club, we will pursue them.”
INF Gregorio Petit, CA Matt Pagnozzi, and OF Felix Pie were informed that they will not make the team, but will stay in major league camp through Tuesday’s final exhibition game.
INF/OF Russ Canzler and LHP Nick Hagadone were optioned to the Clippers. CA Luke Carlin, INF Andy LaRoche, RHP Chris Ray, LHP Chris Seddon, and RHP Robinson Tejeda were sent to minor league camp.
We’ll have more on how the Clippers roster is developing later today.
Spring Training is beginning to wind down in Goodyear and most of the big league roster has been set. David Huff went down with a right hamstring injury while fielding a ball yesterday and is out of the 5th starter race, which means it’s down to Jeanmar Gomez and Kevin Slowey, who both will pitch today.
Indians Chris Antonetti met with the media just a bit ago and said that Shelley Duncan, utility man Jason Donald and RHP Dan Wheeler have made the team. That means one utility outfielder is likely going to make the team. That will not be Russ Canzler as he was one of several players “transitioned” to minor league camp. Along with Canzler, Nick Hagadon was optioned to Triple-A and C Luke Carlin, IF Andy LaRoche, RHP’s Chris Ray & Robinson Tejeda and LHP Chris Seddon were reassigned to minor league camp.
Three other players were told they won’t maker the team but will stay on the Major League roster through camp and make the trip with the big club to Zebulon, NC for the Indians and Mudcats exhibition game. They are Felix Pie, Matt Pagnozzi and Gregorio Petit.
The injury to Huff is unfortunate. He walked into the media room yesterday and I had a brief chat with him about his mindset this late into camp still battling for the 5th starter job. He seemed very at ease with the situation and said it’s not stressful for him. “The decision is totally up to them and all I can do is go out there and make my pitches and compete,” Huff said. As it turned out, the decision was made for the Indians brass for the time being about his season opening plans.
There has been much talk about Jose Lopez making the team with his strong offensive showing this spring. Jose Lopez and Dan Wheeler fell into a category of being Major League free agents on minor league deals. A new rule this year states that teams must do one of 3 things with players on minor league deals who have 6 years of Major League service time must be have 5 days before the start of the regular season. 1. Put the player on the Major League roster, thus guaranteeing their contract for the season. 2. Release the player outright. 3. Assign the player to minor league camp which gives the player a $100K bonus and an automatic opt out on June 1st. Antonetti told the media that the Indians have agreed to pay Lopez the $100K roster bonus required for a player in his position, but have not yet made a decision on whether or not to give him the final roster spot.
Make sure to tune into the Clippers Season Preview Show tomorrow at noon on AM920 WMNI as Scott and I will discuss these moves and much more.
Get your Opening Day Tickets now to get the best seats available in the best ballpark in America as the Clippers take on Louisville next Thursday. Gates open at 5:00 for Happy Hour food and drink specials and before the game the Clippers will hand out the 2011 Championship rings. The 1st 3000 fans through the gates will get a free Clippers Championship hat. Don’t be the fan that misses out!
Stay tuned for more as the information is pouring in fast and furious here in the desert.
As has become tradition (two years running), we’ve developed a new “logo” for the blog…
Thanks to Steve Campbell at FunFaces.com for his efforts.
Check back for updates from spring training as the Clippers roster develops… one week until Opening Night against Louisville!
The Indians continue to make roster reductions, inching closer to naming the 25-man roster that will open the season. On Tuesday, Lonnie Chisenhall was optioned to Columbus meaning Jack Hannahan has won the starting third base job.
Chisenhall will be the Clippers starter at the hot corner. The Indians top porspect was picked 29th overall in the 2008 draft. He played 66 games with the Clippers last season, batting .267 with a .353 on-base percentage.
Matt LaPorta was also optioned to the Columbus roster, meaning he’ll likely be the regular first baseman. LaPorta, acquired in the July 2008 trade for C.C. Sabathia, has played 217 major league games over the last two seasons.
The Indians have also re-assigned OF Chad Huffman and OF Fred Lewis to minor league camp. They also released INF Cristian Guzman.
Ryan and I are in the desert until the end of camp, so keep checking back for updates!
The long and winding road that Kelvin De La Cruz has taken over the past several weeks seems to have led him to Erie, PA. De La Cruz has been claimed off of waivers and optioned to Double-A by the Detroit Tigers after being designated for assignment by the Cleveland Indians after being traded to Cleveland by the Texas Rangers for cash after being traded to Texas for cash (which later turned out to be a trade for infielder Davis Stoneburner) by the Indians after being DFA’s by Cleveland to make room for Casey Kotchman on the 40-man roster. That may well be the longest sentence ever written in English starting with the word De.
The most recent DFA of De La Cruz was made necessary because the Indians claimed relief pitcher Henricus van den Hurk, formerly Rick VandenHurk (insert Carmona joke here) off of waivers from Toronto.
Thursday, the Indians made another round of roster cuts and the Clippers roster seems to be taking shape. RHP Zach McAllister was optioned to Triple-A along with IF Cord Phelps, OF Trevor Crowe and RHP Chen Chang Lee. All of these men are expected to make significant contributions to the Clippers effort to win another championship.
Phelps will likely be the everyday 2B for Columbus. Lee may well slot into the closer or set-up roll and Crowe can play all 3 outfield spots well. McAllister will be in the Clippers starting rotation, where he was an All-Star last season in a great bounce-back campaign.
The Clippers grounds crew is hard at work prepping the field. I’ve never seen a field look so good in Ohio in the month of March. We are less than two weeks away from Opening Day at Huntington Park!
Speaking of Opening Day, the park will open at 5:00 pm on Thursday, April 5th for Happy Hour specials in the ballpark prior to the ballgame. The first 3000 fans through the gates will get a Clippers National Championship hat on opening day as well.
For those of you immersed in social media, Opening Day presents a unique opportunity. The Clippers will feature the first “Tansky Bullpen Hashtag Suite.” For $10, you can watch the ballgame from the Tansky Suite and tweet, update status, check-in and tumbl to your heart’s content. I made that last one up because I don’t know what tumblr is nor do I know the proper verb to use to describe its use. Log on to clippersbaseball.com to get tickets.
If you are like me and love day baseball, do yourself a favor and use the above link or call 462-2757 to get tickets for the 1st Business Day Special of 2012 on April 12th vs. the Indianapolis Indians. With an 11:35 1st pitch, you can enjoy a full afternoon of baseball, or sneak out of the office for a few innings. You’ll be glad you did.
Another exciting offer from the Clippers- Spring Break Me Out to the Ballgame Clippers Social Media Diva Stefanie Olejniczak can give you all the info you need on that, so give her a call, you score major points if you can pronounce her last name correctly.
Minor league baseball’s MiLB.TV is back for 2012 and it is the best way to follow your favorite team when you can’t be at the ballpark. For just $39.99 you can see over 2500 minor league games, including every Clippers game home and away.
Scott and I depart next week for Goodyear, AZ to get the lay of the land in Indians Spring Training. We will have blog entries, pictures, interviews and hopefully some video of the goings-on in the desert. Don’t forget that on March 31st at noon, we will bring you the Clippers Preview Show on AM920 WMNI.
Questions and comments to firstname.lastname@example.org
The first significant cut of Indians spring training occurred Sunday when the Tribe sent Ezequiel Carrera to minor league camp, placing him on the Columbus roster.
Carrera entered the Cactus League with an outside shot at Cleveland’s center field position after Grady Sizemore’s back injury, but alas, Michael Brantley will be manning that spot come Opening Day. With Brantley moving from left field, Manny Acta will continue to look for a solution to that spot.
Ezequiel Carrera, 24, hit just .227 in 10 spring games. He struck out eight times in 22 at-bats and did not draw any walks.
He was acquired in June of 2010 from Seattle, along with Juan Diaz, in exchange for Russell Branyan. It looks like Carrera and Diaz will be paired together in Columbus to begin the season. Diaz is expected to be the Clippers starting shortstop.
Carrera reached the majors last season, playing in 68 games and batting .243. He played a major factor in the Clippers 2010 and 2011 championship runs, hitting .287 and batting at either the top or bottom of Mike Sarbaugh’s lineup.
There is still very little clarity regarding the Columbus outfield, but Carrera, Nick Weglarz, and Thomas Neal (all are 40-man roster members) were optioned to Triple-A over the weekend. Once the Indians announce the starting left fielder, the Columbus outfield situation will start to get resolved.
40-man roster outfielders in Indians camp:
Matt LaPorta (1B/OF)
Russ Canzler (IF/OF)
Non 40-man outfielders in Indians camp:
In baseball, one of the great challenges facing team brass is the construction and maintenance of the 40-man roster. Loading up for Spring Training provides GM’s with extra headaches as they have to figure out who is more valuable in the context of the upcoming season when there are more bodies than spots. Such was the case when the Cleveland Indians needed roster room for the arrival of Russ Canzler from the TB Rays. The front office made room on the previously full 40-man roster by trading lefty Kelvin De La Cruz to Texas for cash. The trade didn’t take as the Rangers traded De La Cruz back to the Tribe in another cash deal. De La Cruz was put back on the Cleveland 40-man as rules require and promptly assigned to Double-A camp. The Indians put Carlos Carrasco on the 60-day DL to make room on the the 40-man. Got it?
In other roster news, The Indians had a couple of cut down days (or days where players “transition to the other side” as Manny Acta prefers to call it) since our last report. On Thursday, the Tribe optioned LHP Scott Barnes, OF Thomas Neal and OF Nick Weglarz to Triple-A camp and sent RHP Danny Salazar to High-A. Sunday saw OF Ezequiel Carrera, RHP Corey Kluber and IF Juan Diaz get optioned to Triple-A and RHP Hector Ambriz and C Michel Hernandez reassigned to minor league camp. The current assignments don’t automatically equate to where a player will open the season, but it’s a decent idea of what to expect.
Don’t forget to log on to clippersbaseball.com to get tickets, check the promotion schedule and more!
The Clippers Cargo store now has regular hours of 11:00 AM- 2:00 PM, Tuesday through Thursday. Enter the store via the Neil Avenue entrance. Stop in to see Krista and David and get some great Clippers and Indians gear.
Hope your bracket looks better than mine, lousy 15 seeds.
Jeanmar Gomez, in the hunt for the 5th starter job in Cleveland Indians Spring Training put another star of his chart yesterday against the Texas Rangers. Gomez made his 3rd appearance of the spring and authored 3 innings of shutout baseball allowing only one hit. He has allowed no runs in his 7 innings so far. It’s early, sure, but Gomez has impressed those whose opinion matters.
The Tribe caught a glimpse of the Japanese sensation Yu Darvish in the contest and their patient approach paid off as they earned 4 walks to go along with their 3 hits over 3 frames vs. Darvish. He allowed 2 runs to the Tribe in the 8-8 tie in Goodyear.
The news hasn’t been as good for Josh Tomlin. The former Clipper was penciled in to a spot in the rotation entering camp, but he has struggled to the tune of a 9.00 ERA. Tomlin, facing his home state club allowed 7 runs on 8 hits in 3 innings.
In affiliate news, the Indians have re-upped with the Mahoning Valley Scrappers for another two years, extending the player development contract through the 2014 season. The Scrappers have been an Indians affiliate since 1999.
Be sure to check out the video stream for Clippers games this year. No matter where you are you can watch every Clippers home game and most from the road HERE.
Also, mark you calendars for March 31st at noon as Scott and I bring you the Clippers Preview Show from Goodyear, AZ. We will have information and interviews with movers and shakers and insight on how things look for the Clippers and the Tribe heading into the season opener. It will be heard on your home for the Clippers on radio AM 920 WMNI.
Minor league games start soon and there should also be more roster shifting in the near future, so stay tuned for updates.