The 22nd season of the Arizona Fall League (AFL) gets underway today. The offseason league is a hot bed for some of the top prospects and potential near future Major League players from every organization who get a chance to hone their skills against some of the top competition in the minors. The IBI's Tony Lastoria looks at what the AFL is and how the rosters are constructed, and also preview the eight Indians players set to participate.
The Indians faced off against the Reds in Instructional League action on Saturday coming away with a 5-4 victory at the Goodyear complex. The game featured the return to the mound of right-hander Tyler Sturdevant, a nice performance at the plate from catcher Eric Haase and a position change from catcher to pitcher for a pretty high profile Latin player. Tony shares those details plus lists the complete stats from the game.
The Indians season and push to the postseason was like a rollercoaster that came to a sudden stop. In today's Tribe Happenings, the IBI's Tony Lastoria tries to put things in proper perspective after a tough playoff loss and abrupt end to the season on Wednesday night. He also looks at the future of Ubaldo Jimenez as an Indian, the many decisions that looms for the Indians on players like Joe Smith, Scott Kazmir, Chris Perez, Asdrubal Cabrera and others, and even talks about the possibility of trading Michael Bourn.
The young Indians were out in Surprise, AZ participating in another Instructional League game on Friday, and wow, did the Indians organization unveil a litany of young international prospects making their stateside debut. Tony is giddy at this as he is heading out to Arizona this week to get a look at all of the new players, and reviews the game and provides the details on how each player did in the 12-3 loss to the Rangers.
Tony wraps up this five-part series in his year-end look at the Indians 2013 Draft with five more players today: Sean Brady, Kenny Mathews, Ben Heller, Garrett Smith, Cody Ferrell and Gerald Bautista. He explains why Brady is very similar to another top left-handed pitching prospect the Indians recently drafted and signed, why Mathews and Heller have some upside, and more. He provides some scouting notes on each player and also provides detailed comments from Indians Director of Amateur Scouting Brad Grant on all five players.
With the offseason officially underway for the Cleveland Indians, it is time to start looking at the roster and who might return in 2014. Here is a list of the major league and minor league free agents throughout the organization, as well as some other potential free agents depending on some roster decisions that are made later this offseason.
A packed Progressive Field was rocking at the start of last night’s AL Wildcard game between the Rays and Indians, but it was not enough as the Indians fell short 4-0. With the win, the Rays move on to face the Red Sox in Game 1 of the ALDS on Friday in Fenway Par. With the loss, the Indians get set to pack their bags and head home for the season. The IBI's Tony Lastoria shares his second thoughts on the game.
The American League Wildcard game may happening, but that did not stop the Cleveland Indians from making a move toward boosting their depth for 2014 and beyond. On Wednesday evening they claimed right-handed pitcher Tyler Cloyd from the Philadephia Phillies. To make room for him they designated left-handed pitcher Clay Rapada for assignment.
The Indians released their roster for the American League Wildcard game against the Tampa Bay Rays tonight. The roster includes 11 pitchers and 14 position players, and really no surprises with the makeup of it.
The Indians were back at it on Monday with Instructional League, and Tony has the details from that game. Due to the playoff coverage at the IBI this piece is a day late - but never a dollar short. He has the stats from all of the players in the game, the pitch counts, and more and talks about the impressive play of Clint Frazier, Kenny Mathews and others.
Tony continues his year-end look at the Indians 2013 Draft with five more players today: Dace Kime, Trevor Frank, Paul Hendrix, Kerry Doane and Jordan Milbrath. He explains why Kime has so much upside as a starter, why Frank might be another gem found in the bullpen, why Milbrath is so intriguing and more. He provides some scouting notes on each player and also provides detailed comments from Indians Director of Amateur Scouting Brad Grant on all five players.
The Indians have had one of the most amazing seasons that has largely gone unnoticed by Cleveland fans. They have proven to be the ultimate team because there is no true superstar carrying them and instead they have enjoyed success this season because of the strength of the roster from 1 through 25. Tony looks at the roster and organization and says the entire group is the MVP this season, and he also looks at the closer situation, all of the possible wildcard scenarios going into the last day, predicts the postseason roster and more.
The Rule 5 Draft is about ten weeks away, but here is a current up-to-date listing showing the eligible Indians' minor leaguers for the 2013 Draft in December. This list is housed for quick reference in the "Reference" section along the top below the site banner and listed under the "Rule 5 Draft" heading.
Last week Tony posted the first piece year end insider piece on the Indians minor league affiliates with a look at the rookie level AZL Indians hitters. This week he once again sat down with Indians Assistant Director of Player Development Carter Hawkins to get the organization’s thoughts on the performance/development of some of the pitchers there this season such as Kieran Lovegrove, Mitch Brown, Sean Brady, Juan Santana, Casey Shane, Anthony Vizcaya, Thomas Pannone, Luis Gomes, Kyle Bellows, Jordan Milbrath, Jose Zapata and Martin Alcantara.
We are now down to the final six days of the regular season. Less than a week remains in a season that many did not consider the Indians as having much of a chance of making the playoffs let along contending for them, yet, here we are. Tony takes a look at the scenarios and matchups this final week and what the Indians need to have happen to get into the playoffs and even host a postseason game.
The young Indians were back in action on Monday out in Arizona in another Instructional League game, beating the White Sox 7-6. In another special edition of ATF, Tony recaps what happened in the game with the complete box score and talks about each player's performance. Young catching phenom Francisco Mejia and others shined.
The 2013 Cleveland Indians Baseball Insider book featuring the Indians' Top 100 Prospects and more is now available. Also, previous editions from 2008-2012 are also available at a discounted rate. Just click on the book image for more information. Thanks again for all the support!