Former Clippers pitcher Dave Eiland will headline the International League’s 2012 Hall of Fame class. Eiland, now the pitching coach for the Kansas City Royals, was the 1990 IL Most Valuable Pitcher. He compiled a record of 82-42 with a 3.44 ERA in the league and carved out a Major League career of 248 games with the Yankees, Padres, and Devil Rays.
In 1990 he paced the league in wins, complete games, and shutouts. He went on to become the League’s most accomplished starting pitcher of the decade. He was a member of the Clippers Governors’ Cup championship teams in 1991 and 1996 and won a title in 1993 with Charlotte.
The 2012 Hall of Fame Class includes Eiland, former Clippers manager Bill Evers, and Pawtucket President Mike Tamburro.
Evers managed Columbus in 1995, posting a 71-68 record before joining the expansion Tampa Bay Devil Rays and later managing Durham from 1998 to 2005.
Tamburro has won the International league Executive of the Year award five times since joining the Paw Sox in 1977. He is known for coining the name “Paw Sox” which has become a second nickname of the club.
The International League Hall of Fame was established in 1947, but was dormant from 1964 until the League’s 125th Anniversary season in 2008.
The list of IL Hall of Famers includes:
19 Most Valuable Players
3 Managers of the Year
6 Batting Triple Crown winners
21 Batting Champions
18 Home Run Champions
11 Members of the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown
Click here for more.
The Cleveland Indians 2012 Hall of Fame class consists of Gaylord Perry, Jim Warfield, and Jack Graney. The ceremony will be held August 11th before the Tribe’s game with Boston.
The Indians Hall of Fame was been in existence since 1951. There are currently 43 members recognized in Heritage Park, located behind the center-field wall at Progressive Field.
Click here for more.
Though the Tribe have tried to stockpile depth with a bevy of minor league signings recently, Jordan Bastion reported earlier today that the Indians and Julio Lugo have broken off talks and he is now unlikely to sign with the club. That leaves the total on minor league signings this off season at 17 (10 of whom have an invitation to Major League camp). Where do all of those guys go once the season starts? Well, many will be released, some could be traded, and a choice few will stick with the organization. This season, it will be easier for teams to hold on to some of their depth players.
For years, Triple-A and Double-A clubs have been operating under a roster limit of 24 players, one less than the Major League and A-ball roster rules allow. This year that will change. Now Double and Triple-A clubs will have a 25-man roster as well. How much does that matter for the average fan? probably not a ton. In fact, there are many days out of the season where the Clippers roster is 23 or fewer due to injury, call-ups or some other reason.
There will be benefits and drawbacks to this expansion. Now managers will not be so handcuffed by roster moves by the big club leaving them short-handed for the short-term. Last season due to injury and call-ups, Jerad Head was not only forced to play center field (which he did admirably, if not spectacularly), but he was also for a while the Clippers only back-up infielder. These instances are not rare, but they are usually brief. What it will likely do for the majority of the season is cause minor league managers to try to find playing time for one more position player, or find innings for another reliever. Most minor league teams utilize a 12-man pitching staff already, so I would guess that the 25th man on most Triple-A teams will be a position player.
One other possible consequence is the reduction of the reliance on the short-season rosters the Disabled List to keep a guy around though he’s not able to play. With an extra spot, those guys can stay put and active.
From a business standpoint for the minor league teams, the extra player could mean one more uniform to wash, one more seat on a bus or airplane, one more hotel room and meal money for a player who may not see much field time. For the Major League club, it’s one more Double-A and Triple-A salary and the things that go along with it. None of these things will bring down a franchise and overall, it’s 60 more spots for guys to try to continue their dream and earn a paycheck. As for the Clippers, Team President & General Manager Ken Schnacke says there will be “Virtually no effect on us because we have been carrying “healthy DL players” over the years.” Many teams will be in the same boat.
Clippers stat guru Anthony Slosser bemoans the fact that an additional player will throw off the symmetry of his should-be-award-winning game notes. But I’m sure he will find a way to make it work.
With all of the minor league free agents the Indians have signed over the off-season (17 to be exact), the extra spot is sure to be well-utilized by the Clippers and may serve to allow someone to slide down to Double-A, in essence creating two openings on the Clippers roster.
For the pre minor league signing roster predictions, check out the links below
Here is the list of Minor league free agents the Indians have signed this off season
|RHP||Jose De La Torre|
Have a comment or question? Drop me a line email@example.com
It’s that time of the year. The signings are rolling in for all the clubs. Here are some of interest…
* The Indians signed RHP Dan Wheeler to minor league contract with an invite to big league camp. Wheeler, has a major league ERA of 3.88 ERA and 43 saves over 577 games with the Rays, Mets, Astros, and Red Sox. He debuted in the majors during the 1999 season and has appeared in two World Series’, 2005 with Houston and 2008 Tampa Bay. He spent all of last season, posting a 4.38ERA in 47 games (49.1 innings). He was shut down for the rest of the season on September 8th because of right forearm soreness
Wheeler will compete for a spot in the Tribe’s bullpen.
* The Tribe have inked RHP Jose De La Torre and INF Ryan Rohlinger to minor league deals, both will report to minor league spring training.
De La Torre, 26, was a combined 2-2 with a 0.98 ERA in 22 games, including five starts between the Gulf Coast League Mets, Buffalo Bisons, and the Brooklyn Cyclones of the New York-Penn League.
Rohlinger, 28, is a career .268 hitter in the minors. He split the 2011 season between the San Francisco Giants and Colorado Rockies organizations. He began the season with the Giants Triple-A club, the Fresno Grizzlies (33 games with a .174 average, 5 HR and 16 RBI). Rohlinger appeared in one major league game with the Giants and was claimed off of waivers by the Colorado Rockies on June 2nd, spending the remainder of the season with the Colorado Springs Sky Sox (70 games with a .284 average, 5 HR and 35 RBI).
* The Indians have also, according to several sources, signed 36 year-old infielder Julio Lugo. Lugo has recorded 12 major league seasons with Houston, Tampa Bay, Los Angeles (NL), Boston, St. Louis, Baltimore, Atlanta. He is a career .269 hitter over 1,352 games. Lugo won a World Series Championship with Boston in 2007. The native of the Dominican Rupublic is the older brother of for Toledo pitcher Ruddy Lugo, who once filled in as a television cameraman in the visiting dugout at Huntington Park.
* Former Clippers 1B/OF/DH Jordan Brown has signed a minor league contract with the Houston Astros. Brown, 28, was traded from the Clippers roster to the Milwaukee Brewers last May. He played 26 major league games with Cleveland in 2010, but not before compiling a stellar minor league resume. Brown was the 2006 Carolina League Player of the Year, 2007 Eastern League Player of the Year, and the 2007 Lou Boudreau Award Winner (the Indians Minor League Player of the Year).
Brown exploded onto the scene in Columbus during the 2009 campaign, batting .336 and winning the International League batting crown. He is a career .307 hitter over 694 minor league games.
* Former Clippers RHP Vinnie Chulk has signed a minors deal with Milwaukee. “Chulkamania” ran wild in Columbus in 2009, posting a 2.08 ERA in 18 games. He was with Oakland’s Triple-A club in Sacramento last season after pitching for the Hiroshima Carp (Japan) in 2010. Chulk has a 3.18 ERA in the major leagues over seven seasons with Toronto, San Francisco, and Cleveland. He was a 12th round draft pick by the Blue Jays in 2000.
* OF Austin Kearns, 31, has signed a minor league contract with the Miami Marlins. He was traded from Cleveland at the 2010 trading deadline for RHP Zach McAllister, but returned to the Tribe as a free agent in 2011. The Indians designated Kearns for assignment last August. Kearns has logged ten major league seasons with Cincinnati, Washington, Cleveland, and the Yankees. He played for the Clippers in 2008 as a member of the Nationals organization.
* RHP Tim Redding, a former Clippers pitcher (2006), has signed with Toronto. Redding, 33, last pitched in the big leagues during the 2009 season with the Mets. He is 37-57 with a 4.95 ERA over 179 games (144 starts) with Houton, San Diego, New York (AL), Washington, and New York (NL). Last season, the Churchville, New York native split his season between Lehigh Valley (Phillies) and Albuquerque (Dodgers).
* Registration for the Clippers MVP Kids Club begins on Wednesday. For just $30 ($20 for renewing members) your children can participate in a full schedule of events like a pre-game parade on the field at Huntington Park, a “meet and greet” with Clippers players and mascots, a special photo session, a game of catch on the field, end of season pizza party and could even be the “Kid of thr Game”!
All MVP Club members receive a club t-shirt, membership card, a ticket to “Meet the Team” night, and other special gifts throughout the season. Click here to read more details.
* The Indians have released the 2012 broadcast schedule. SportsTime Ohio will broadcast 151 games, WKYC-TV3 will simulcast 20 of those in Cleveland. Matt Underwood, Rick Manning, and Al Pawlowski will call the action.
STO will also have the ‘Tribe Report”, “Minor League Magazine”, and “Indians 1-on-1″ with Pawlowski, Jason Stanford, and Katie Witham.
Fox will air four Indians games to a national audience: April 28 vs. Los Angeles (AL), June 2nd vs. Minnesota, June 9th vs. St. Louis, and September 15 vs. Detroit.
The Indians Radio Network, with flagship station WTAM-1100AM, wil broadcast every game on 27 affiliate stations around Ohio and western Pennsylvania. Tom Hamilton and Jim Rosenhaus will call the action.
I’m out of info for now, but keep checking back!
Houston Astros owner Jim Crane is considering changing the name of the team as well as its’ uniforms. Crane said a change is something they are “highly considering.” Any changes wouldn’t happen until 2013 when Houston makes the move from the National League to the American League.
The Astros started in 1962 as the Colt 45s and switched to Astros in 1965 when the club moved into the Astrodome. My father owns an original ’62 Colt 45s bobblehead, which I’ve always been fascinated with. It’s a team, at least in name only, that I never saw play which I think that creates some type of mystery.
Major League Baseball has the best team nicknames in all of sports. Names like Yankees, Athletics, Twins, Red or White Sox. They are far more original than most names in other sports.
I remember talking with International League President Randy Mobley when Lehigh Valley announced their new Phillies affiliate would go by the name of “IronPigs”. I suggested it was a bit too “hokey” for a Triple-A club, but he said that a new team by the name of Mud Hens would probably get the same reaction. He was right, yet Toledo’s professional baseball team is one of the best known and celebrated nicknames around the minors.
When the Clippers moved into Huntington Park and affiliated with Cleveland, there were some folks calling for the team to change names. Instead, the logo was updated and uniforms received a makeover. I wonder what name would have been chosen had there been a switch. Columbus has been home to teams named Buckeyes, Bluebirds, Senators, Redbirds, Jets, and others.
If you had a baseball team, what would you name it? Maybe you’ve already done this if you play fantasy baseball…
Would you name your team after a person, like the Cleveland Browns being named for Paul Brown?
How about a name that connects to the state or city, like Twins for the Twin Cities?
Would you consider an animal nickname, like Cardinals or Marlins?
How about a name that connects with a feature of the uniform, like Red Sox?
Send your team names to firstname.lastname@example.org. I’ll be sure to take them under consideration if I ever become a multi-millionaire and get my own team.
Have a great weekend!
The Indians have released the minor league spring training schedule, here’s when, where, and who the Clippers will be playing in Arizona:
Friday, March 16th vs. Nashville (Milwaukee)
Sunday, March 18th at Round Rock (Texas)
Monday, March 19th vs. Louisville (Cincinnati)
Tuesday, March 20th at Albuquerque (Los Angeles NL)
Wednesday, March 21st vs. Albuquerque (Los Angeles NL)
Friday, March 23rd at Louisville (Cincinnati)
Sunday, March 25th vs. Louisville (Cincinnati)
Tuesday, March 27th at Albuquerque (Los Angeles NL)
Thursday, March 29th vs. Charlotte (Chicago AL)
Friday, March 30th at Nashville (Milwaukee)
Home games played in Goodyear, AZ
All games start at 1:00pm Arizona time
Every Monday evening at Huntington Park will be a Sugardale “Dime-A-Dog Night”. Here are those dates:
April 9th vs. Indianapolis, 6:35pm
April 30th vs. Pawtucket, 6:35pm
May 21st vs. Scranton Wilkes-Barre, 6:35pm
June 11th vs. Charlotte, 7:05pm
June 25th vs. Lehigh Valley, 7:05pm
July 16th vs. Louisville, 7:05pm
July 30th vs. Rochester, 7:05pm
* While we’re on the subject of schedules, here is a look at the Huntington Park promotional schedule. Keep checking back as things are being added all the time!
* When the Clippers visit Toledo, the broadcast will be originating from new surroundings. The Mud Hens are renovating the Fifth Third Field press area, to create a club area for fans to view the game from behind home plate. We’ll let you know how it looks when the Clippers arrive in the Glass City on April 21st .
* Former Clippers catcher Damaso Espino has signed a minor league contract with the White Sox. Espino, 28, played in 2009 and 2010 with Columbus. He’s a career .266 hitter over twelve seasons. Damaso is the cousin of Clippers pitcher Paolo Espino. He actually aided in bringing Paolo’s family to Florida from Panama when the younger Espino was still in high school.
* Carlos Pena signed a one year, $7.5 million deal to return to the Tampa Rays last week. That means the Indians will likely either pursue Casey Kotchman to fill the perceived void at first base or they’ll enter spring training with the options they already have in the organization.
Matt LaPorta is the incumbent, but his struggles have opened the door for someone else to grab the job. Carlos Santana will see some time at first, but not on a regular basis. Shelley Duncan is thought to be another part-time option.
* Are you energetic and available during summer evenings? If so, you should join the Clippers on-field promo team. You’ll get to mingle with mascots Krash and LouSeal, throw t-shirts to the crowd, and serve as judge/referee for the many on-field, between innings, competitions at Huntington Park. Sounds like fun to me! Contact Seth Rhodes at srhoades@clippersbaseball for more info.
* Jorge Posada announced his retirement on Tuesday. I’ve often said if there was a Clippers players version of Mount Rushmore, Posada would be on it. He put together a 17-year big league career, which included five AL All-Star Game appearances. He finished with a .273 average, 275 home runs and 1,065 RBIs in 1,829 games, including five World Championships.
Posada was never thought of as a superstar like Clippers teammates Derek Jeter and Bernie Williams, but he served as the glue for some tremendous Yankees clubs. He played three seasons at Cooper Stadium (’94-’96), suiting up for 306 games.
* Thursday night I’ll be serving as the MC for the Wright State University baseball banquet. The keynote speaker is none other than Indians reliever Joe Smith. Smith is a Wright State graduate (just like myself) and he follows former Seattle General Manager Bill Bavasi, Reds manager Dusty Baker, Reds broadcasters Marty Brennaman and Jeff Brantley, George Foster, Steve Garvey, and Jim “The Rookie” Morris as featured speakers at the event.
Wright State, a member of the Horizon League, has made two of the last three NCAA Tournaments and three appearances over the last six years.
* Only 72 days until the Clippers open the season against the Louisville Bats. If you haven’t purchased tickets yet, what is wrong with you? Seriously, what’s the problem?
* According to sportsfangraph.com, the Clippers are 10th among minor league baseball teams in Facebook and Twitter followers. If you haven’t jumped on board yet, check out the “Hometown Heroes” on these many social media platforms:
Check back for more soon!
I am far from Roger Ebert, but I figured this is a good place to dissect my recent viewing of “Moneyball”, the story of Billy Beane’s 2002 Oakland Athletics.
“Moneyball”, originally released as a book in 2003, focuses on the analytical/sabermetrics approach Beane adopted to get his ’02 squad into the American League playoffs after losing its’ star players (Johnny Damon, Jason Giambi, and Jason Isringhausen ) to higher bidders in the free agent market.
Beane’s 2001 club won 102 games and earned the AL wild card berth (the most wins ever by a wild card team) before bowing out of the post-season against the Yankees. Knowing that his team couldn’t compete financially, Beane turned to the Bill James book of baseball, hiring Paul DePodesta from Cleveland and re-defining how players are analyzed while putting together a “rag tag” bunch that, at one point, won twenty straight games and claimed the AL West Division Championship.
My random thoughts…
* It’s easy to tell the story is sensationalized quite a bit. As I watched, I wondered how much Beane (or anyone for that matter) stepped in to point out discrepancies from the real story.
* I laughed when Beane visited Cleveland to discuss trades with Indians GM Mark Shapiro. Shapiro’s office was filled with front office members oddly whispering back and forth about each potential trade before giving him their collective decision.
* Former Clippers first baseman Carlos Pena is featured prominently in the film. Oakland manager Art Howe plays Pena at first despite Beane’s plea to start Scott Hatteburg. Eventually, Pena is traded, forcing Hatteburg into the lineup.
* Beane, a former first round draft pick (New York Mets, 1980), has flashbacks to his playing career. Beane is haunted by his status as a failed “can’t miss prospect” and remembers suiting up for the Tidewater/Norfolk Tides and Toledo Mud Hens.
* Some scenes in the film make the Oakland Coliseum look like it has the worst lighting in the history of baseball.
* I was surprised the film included Oakland’s quick exit in the 2002 playoffs, I figured it would end with the clinching of the division title and riding off into the sunset.
* I assume if I’m ever depicted in a film, Brad Pitt will play the role… either him or Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.
I found a few links regarding “Moneyball” that I found interesting, hopefully you will too…
Billy Beane Has Given Up on His Own Hollywood Ending (New York Times)
Art Howe Furious with Billy Beane over “Moneyball” (NBC Bay Area)
“Moneyball” review (Rotten Tomatoes)
Moneyball trailer (Apple iTunes)
Talk to you again soon!
RING YOUR BELL!
The Indians and Rockies completed a trade that sent RHP Zach Putnam to Colorado for RHP Kevin Slowey and cash (reportedly $1.25 million).
Slowey, 27, was traded from Minnesota to Colorado in December. He split the 2011 season between Minnesota, Triple-A Rochester, and the disabled list. He made 14 appearances in the bigs, eight starts. Slowey has a career 39-29 major league record with a 4.66 ERA in five seasons. His best season came in 2010 when won a career-best 13 games and posted a 3.99 ERA over 27 starts (three complete games).
His ability to control the strike zone is a major strength; the second round draft pick (2005) carries a 4.70 strikeout-to-walk ratio (third best in the AL since entering the league). He is 3-1 with a 2.64 ERA over four starts at Progressive Field.
The trade for Slowey comes on the heels of Fausto Carmona’s arrest in the Dominican Republic, but Indians GM Chris Antonetti said the Tribe has been courting the right-hander since before the recent developments.
Nonetheless, Slowey it looks like fill the void in the starting rotation and once Carmona’s situation is resolved his performance will dictate the Indians next move. Slowey does have one minor league option year remaining, so he can be moved up and down the system freely.
Putnam, 24, is 16-8 with a 3.83 ERA over 122 minor league appearances. He made his major league debut in September, pitching in eight games and allowing five earned runs in 7.1 innings.
The Clippers are now without Josh Judy, Zach Putnam, and Cory Burns. Some or all of that trio would have probably comprised the back of the bullpen in 2012. Now, Mike Sarbaugh will have to wait and see how things play out in spring training to determine who will be called upon late in games.
Nick Hagadone and Chen-Chang Lee would be the two incumbents that are most likely, assuming they don’t make the Indians roster. Only time will tell.
Enjoy the weekend!
So despite the overall lack of snow, late January is upon us. As a person who is not a fan of basketball, this is one of the worst times of the sporting year. The NHL is sloughing through the largely irrelevant regular season, you can only hear so much about the remaining teams in the NFL play-offs and the games are few. The 2 weeks between the Conference Championship games and the Super Bowl are interminable. After the Super Bowl, you have several weeks before spring training ramps up and it’s just a wasteland. Were it not for wrestling (the real version) I would be forced to pay more attention to the morass that is the republican primary debates.
This time of year we need events that give us water-cooler (and message board, are there still message boards?) fodder-enter Roberto Hernandez Heredia.
The pitcher heretofore known as Fausto Carmona was arrested yesterday in the Dominican Republic while applying for a visa under an alleged false identity. Carmona is accused of really being Roberto Hernandez Heredia and may be as old as 31, rather than his purported 28, years of age. The Indians picked up Carmona’s $7 million option for the 2012 season with the assumption of his name, performance and age being real. Without the legal expertise, I would assume it would be within their purview to void the contract and cut ties with him. I don’t know if that’s the way to go or not and it may be irrelevant if Carmona is proved to be Hernandez and is prevented from reentering the United States for a protracted amount of time. If he is barred from returning to the States, the Indians would likely place him on the restricted list and not have to pay him for that period of time.
A scan of the comments section of the Plain Dealer website (why do I subject myself to the comment section of the Plain Dealer website?) reveals the vocal portion of the Indians fan base is insulted and outraged by Carmona/Hernandez actions and are calling for his removal from the Indians future plans. My 1st thought was, would these same fans write these same things if “Fausto Carmona” were just coming off of back-to-back 18-win seasons? My second thought was that who in the world could blame Hernandez for what he did? He certainly compromised moral integrity for a massive worldly benifit, but I don’t think he sold his soul to the devil.
Young ball players from largely impoverished nations who have the ability to alter their lives and the lives of their families in monumental ways may take the chance of getting caught in a lie for the potential reward. I’m not going to look down on them for it. How many of you used a fake ID or tried to lie your way into a bar or alcohol purchase before the age of 21? And that just for a Natty Light buzz! Many of these people live in shacks and face a life of poverty and baseball money is a chance for an immeasurably better life. Lying about your age in a business where age matters is wrong, but it is also as old a tradition (and in a vacuum, as underhanded) in the game of baseball as stealing signs. Maybe this ends justifying the means a slippery slope, but life is full of gray area and this is smack in the middle of it.
Some have equated this rationalization of the year-shaving phenomenon with PED use. Are both cheating? Yes, are they the SAME cheating? No. PED’s change how you are able to play the game; you cheat the game and your competitors. Telling a team scout that you are 16 instead of 18 doesn’t change your abilities, just the perceived value of those abilities in relation to your assumed peer group. Those guys are cheating teams out of signing bonus dollars and if they ultimately succeed, perhaps later contract dollars.
Is a 31-year-old Hernandez not worth $7 million in 2012 based upon his career arc? Baseball Reference lists Jason Schmidt as being a similar player and in his age 31 season (2004) Schmidt made $7.9 million on a contract he was in the middle of. Schmidt pitched far better at 31 than at 28. Randy Wolf made $7.5 at 30 years old in ’07. If Carmona had just signed a long-term deal for big money, the Indians may have thought about trying to void it, but given the current deal, I’d guess it would be unlikely they will try to take any action.
It’s too early to tell what this will do to the Indians 2012 roster, but it would appear likely that Carmona’s rotation spot is up for grabs which means opportunity for guys slated to be Clippers starters: Jeanmar Gomez, David Huff, Zach McAllister, Scott Barnes and Corey Kluber. If nothing else, there’s a story line for Spring Training that didn’t exist on Wednesday.
More discussion later on how the Minor League signings that took place after the 2012 Clippers previews may affect the Columbus roster in April.
Questions and comments welcome email@example.com
While my kids are unhappy with the lack of snow we’ve received this winter, I couldn’t be happier. No salt in the driveway, no shoveling my walkway, and no scraping my car windshield until my arms hurt.
The local news stations seem to be dying for some snow. They built the first couple “dustings” of the year up to be actual snow storms. Not the case. I actually saw a woman “stocking up” at the grocery for a snowfall that failed to cover my street!
Having said all this, I figure we will soon get something significant weather-wise. It’s probably time for a trip to the home improvement store to get some snow-fighting supplies because like a hitter in an 0-for-18 slump… we’re due.
* The Indians signed OF Fred Lewis and RHP Jeremy Accardo to minor league contracts with invitations to big league spring training.
Lewis, 31, is a .267 hitter with 91 doubles, 21 triples, 27 home runs and 136 RBI in 517 games with San Francisco, Toronto, and Cincinnati. He hit .230 (42-183) with 7 2B, 3HR & 19RBI in 81 games with the Reds last year.
Accardo, 30, has made 235 major league relief appearances with the Baltimore, Toronto, and San Francisco dating back to 2005. He was the Blue Jays closer in 2007, earning 30 saves. Last season, he split time between Baltimore and Triple-A Norfolk.
The Indians list of non 40-man roster spring invitations now consists of 17 players:
ACCARDO, Jeremy RHP
ADAMS, Austin, RHP
AMBRIZ, Hector, RHP
LEE, Chen-Chang, RHP
RAY, Chris, RHP
SEDDON, Chris, LHP
STURDEVANT, Tyler, RHP
TEJEDA, Robinson, RHP
CARLIN, Luke, CA
CHEN, Chun, CA
HERNANDEZ, Michel, CA
PAGNOZZI, Matt, CA
LaROCHE, Andy, INF
LOPEZ, Jose, INF
HUFFMAN, Chad, OF
LEWIS, Fred OF
PIE, Felix, OF
* The Indians have come to terms with five of seven arbitration eligible players. Shin-Soo Choo, Justin Masterson, Joe Smith, Chris Perez, and Jack Hannahan all signed one year contracts. Only Asdrubal Cabrera and Rafael Perez remain un-signed and Cleveland has not gone to arbitration with any players since 1991. Arbitration hearings begin in February.
* Paul Phillips has signed a minor league contract with the Milwaukee Brewers. Phillips, 34, played 78 games with the Clippers last season and batted .237. He split time with Luke Carlin for much of the year.
* Michael Aubrey, a former Indians first round draft pick (11th overall in 2003) has decided to retire. The 29 year-old first baseman, who has suffered through several injuries, played for the Baltimore Orioles and Washington Nationals organizations for the last two years. Aubrey hit four homers in a game last year for the Syracuse Chiefs.
* Cleveland Indians pitching coach Scott Radinsky has been rocking with his band Pulley. He is the lead singer for the group and was pictured in this tweet from the Rochester Red Wings at the House of Blues Hollywood. Radinsky was the Clippers pitching coach in 2009, Cleveland’s bullpen coach in ’10 and ’11, and was named pitching coach when Tim Belcher stepped down after last season.
* The Associated Press reported Thursday that Indians pitcher Fausto Carmona was arrested in the Dominican Republic for using a false identity. Reports say that Carmona’s real name is Roberto Hernandez Heredia and he is 31 years old instead of 28.
The Indians released this statement:
“We were recently made aware of the situation that occurred today in the Dominican Republic and are currently in the process of gathering information,” said Cleveland Indians GM Chris Antonetti. “We are not prepared to make any additional comment at this time.”
That’s all for now. Keep checking back!
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!