Around the Farm: January 16, 2014
Around the Farm (ATF) takes a quick look at some of the daily performances by Indians prospects. This is a special fall and winter ball version of ATF that recaps all the offseason action by Indians players in offseason winter ball leagues. The positions listed below are where the player was playing in the game.
Cabrera wants to play
(The following details are from Venezuela news outlet El Universal)
Indians shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera is in the news again in Venezuela.
After dressing and practicing with the team over the weekend Cabrera got “itchy feet” and said he wants to play with his Caracas team. He reportedly changed his mind about not playing after his visit, though talks did not go well with team general manager Juan Vicente Zerpa and team president Luis Avila.
Late Tuesday, Cabrera told El Universal that it was decided he would not play.
"I spoke with Mr. Juan Vicente Zerpa, but there was an agreement," Cabrera said by phone from the United States. "He (Zerpa) told me that at this time things were complicated. He practically told me they had no room on the team and it hit me bad. Then Zerpa called me to apologize, saying he did not express his feelings with the correct words, but has already discarded my participation this year. … Since I came to Caracas I've played all the time, because I'm a player and I like to help the team. I actually was going to play risking my future because I am going into a contract year with the Indians.”
But then on Wednesday, things got more interesting.
Now it appears that team executives for Caracas and Cabrera will have another talk about whether he is to play for Caracas in the championship series. Apparently, Zerpa has said that they are prepared to make room on the roster for Cabrera if he truly wishes to play. But Cabrera may be angered by his initial conversation with Zerpa which led to a disagreement between the two.
"The last contact I had with Asdrubal was to say that I am awaiting his return call to find out if the response would say he will be back to the country to play with the team or not and he has not called me yet," Zerpa said by telephone.
Team president Luis Avila is trying to smooth things over.
"I talked to him and I'll try again," Avila said through an email. "I told him that the doors of the team will never be closed to him in this organization.”
Cabrera played with the Lions from 2010-2012 and was hoping to play in a few of their remaining games in the playoffs. He is currently in Miami and would need a few days to get ready for live game action. If he were to play it would be at second base, something he is on record as being completely fine with so that regular shortstopGregorio Petit could continue to play there.
Dominican Winter League
Carlos Santana (Leones del Escogido, 3B): 0-for-3, K. Santana only played a little over half the game as he was substituted for in the bottom of the sixth inning. He once again was not involved in any plays defensively and really was not involved in anything offensively either. Just an empty game all-around. With Friday’s game being the last of the round robin tournament and Escogido already in the championship round, the question remains if Santana will continue playing beyond Friday – or maybe even if Thursday night’s game was his last of the offseason.
Enosil Tejeda (Leones del Escogido, SP): 3.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K. Tejeda got a spot start thanks to Escogido already clinching a berth into the championship round and he had his best showing of the offseason. In just his second playoff appearance and fourth appearance overall this offseason he pitched more innings in one night than he had all offseason coming into the game (2.2 IP). He’s a middle relief prospect to watch for the Indians. He is not dominant by any means with power, but he knows how to pitch, throws strikes and commands the zone well.
Puerto Rico Winter League
Roberto Perez (Indios de Mayaguez, C): 0-for-3, 2 R, BB, K. Perez got a rare start and racked up just his 25th, 26th and 27th at bats of the offseason. His Mayaguez team looks to have qualified for the championship round, so perhaps he got a chance to play since the game was meaningless. Whatever the reason, it is good to see him out there. I’m one of the few who still think he can be an emergency catching situation for the Indians – obviously only in emergency (i.e. an Omir Santos or Kelly Shoppach kind of playing time situation if called to Cleveland).
Venezuela Winter League
Jesus Aguilar (Leones del Caracas, DH): 2-for-5, R, K. No extra base hits from Aguilar on the night, but another multi-hit night nonetheless to add to his impressive resume this offseason. After hitting .318 in the Venezuela regular season he had maintained consistency hitting .313 in the postseason with three more homers to put him at 21 this offseason. His final game should be January 21st whether or not his Caracas team advances or not.
Follow Tony and the Indians Baseball Insider on Twitter @TonyIBI. Also, his new book the 2013 Cleveland Indians Baseball Insider which profiles the Indians' Top 100 Prospects and more is available for sale.