Mitchell: Things Falling into Place
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.