Around the Farm: January 21, 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.
DOMINICAN WINTER LEAGUE (LIDOM) SERIE FINAL - GAME 2
Carlos Santana (Leones del Escogido, 3B): 0-for-3, BB, 2 K. Santana goes errorless in the field again but struggles mightily at the plate as his Leones fell behind two games to none in the LIDOM Serie Final. Santana's playoff slash line dropped to .215/.366/.369 in 20 games. The only good I can see this stint doing for him is giving him playing time at third base so he can be more comfortable with the position when he reports to Goodyear next month.
VENEZUELAN WINTER LEAGUE (LVBP) PLAYOFFS - DAY 20
Elvis Araujo (Aguilas del Zulia, RP): 0.1 IP. Araujo got Caribes de Anzoategui 1B Hector Gimenez to fly out to foul territory in right field to end the top of the ninth and, likely, his winter season. The only way he would play between now and his arrival in Arizona would be if he got picked up as a refuerzo by a team in the Serie Final or Caribbean Series. If he isn't, he finishes his winter with a 2.67 ERA, 1.22 WHIP, .238 opponents batting average, and a 17:9 K:BB ratio in 27.0 IP in 14 appearances (4 starts, 10 relief).
With the Navegantes del Magallanes and Caribes de Anzoategui advancing to the LVBP Serie Final, Caribes starterToru Murata becomes the lone Indian still active in the 2013-14 Venezuelan campaign.
MLB is reporting the schedule as the four definite games being played between Thursday and Sunday, with any "if necessary" games being played next week from Tuesday to Thursday. I will post a corrected schedule if this info proves to be wrong (as it was with the LIDOM serie Final). I will also post first pitch times when I find them (all games will likely be streamed on the league website, LVBP.com. These streams have been available in the US throughout the season, so I expect the Serie Final to be no different).
Before I get to the list of remaining Indians in winter ball, I'd like to clarify one bit of information I provided in an earlier column regarding the upcoming Caribbean Series: The Cuban Serie Nacional representative, the Naranjas de Villa Clara, qualified as the 2012-13 champions as the Serie Nacional will be taking a break from the Round Robin phase of their playoffs to allow Villa Clara to compete in the Serie del Caribe. The Cuban season runs a little longer than the others as they obviously don't have to worry about players needing to get back to their MLB spring training camps.
Without any further ado, here is the list of remaining Indians in offseason ball:
Regular position player starter
- Carlos Santana (Escogido, LIDOM Serie Final)
- Ryan Battaglia (Brisbane, ABL Regular Season final weekend)
Regular rotation spot starting picher
- Toru Murata (Anzoategui, LVBP Serie Final)
Bench players (seldom used)
- Roberto Perez (Mayaguez, LBPRC Serie Final)
- Ben Shorto (Perth, ABL Regular Season final weekend and Grand Final series)
- Mitch Nilsson (Brisbane, ABL Regular Season final weekend)
Relief pitchers (more commonly used than the bench players)
- Tyler Sturdevant (Caguas, LBPRC Serie Final)
- Enosil Tejeda (Escogido, LIDOM Serie Final)
IMO, if carlos can just be mediocre at 3d, he plays everyday. End of discussion. Because even at mediocre, he's as good as chiz is. Chiz is mediocre at best defensively. Now no more hole at 3d. When was the last time we could pencil in a hitter like Carlos at 3d for a few years in a row?
"...GM Chris Antonetti doesn’t believe in handing out starting positions in January unless your last name is Masterson, Swisher or Kipnis. But he certainly didn’t act as if Santana was out of line for saying what he did...."
This isn't a quote..
This isn't from Chris Antonetti..
This isn't true..
It's just more BS from Hoynse attempting to stir up a shit storm. He's a poor and lazy writer.. Anything he offers needs to be tempered with a review of 'factual evidence".. His articles seldom have any... The Indians have not changed their approach to the 2014 off season. As much as Paul Hoynes would want you to believe something is happening.. and it's exciting..and he's the fountain of information for such happenings.. it's just not true..
All I'm saying is that with the Indians are saying publicly and what they are doing privately with their actions are two different things. Let me remind you that earlier in the Winter it was reported that Santana went to the Indians to play 3B and come to find out that it was the Indians who went to Santana. Now Santana is thinking that he'll be the everyday 3B whereas the Indians said it would be Chisenhall. For crying out loud the Indians should clean this up so everyone knows EXACTLY where they stand instead of making assumptions altogether
Platooning and given Santana the full time job is two different things and according to the PD Santana thinks he will be the everyday 3B vs lefty's and righties. Also, according to the PD the Indians aren't denying this and it's in today's PD. Ultimately, it's up to them to clear this mess up and make no mistake it's a mess because it sends mixed messages to all parties
“We have not made a decision at third base. That’s what spring training is for. But Carlos has gotten a tremendous head start due to the work he’s put in this offseason. It started with him working at our complex in the Dominican Republic with our coaches. And it transitioned into winter ball."
In the end, the Indians went into this offseason with the belief that Chisenhall would be the regular 3B and that they would look to find a more suitable platoon partner for him so he can sit against lefties. I still believe that the plan with the Indians in private circles is to have Chisenhall start vs righties and Santana start at 3B vs lefties. Now, if Chisenhall doesn't look good this spring and Santana really continues to come on....then perhaps Santana becomes the regular at 3B right out of the gates and Chisenhall is on the bench or probably in AAA.
This is at best a very poorly executed venture by the Indians int their message. It kind of reminds me of when Wedge said that Brandon Phillips had to win a job and then he did just that only to have Wedge come up with a lame excuse on why he shouldn't be on the team and you know the rest is history...
Is it to much to ask for the Indians in this case to have a consistent message?
My one issue though is the idea of him playing 3B, 1B, and catcher next year, and possibly playing 30-40 games at each spot (if not more). Bouncing him around between so many positions, including the most demanding position on the diamond (catcher) and a brand new one (3B) wouldn't seem to bode well for his bat. One of the big reasons for getting him out from the behind the plate (at least IMO) is to see if he it helps get his bat very "very good" levels to an elite level. We're seeing him struggle at the plate in winterball....maybe it's nothing (small sample) but trying to learn a new position could be weighing on his hitting. Ask him to play 3 different positions (plus DH) in any given week and I would not expect the best results offensively from Santana. But maybe that's just me...
W/R to the Carlos Santana to 3B Experiment: How is it butchered? Would you prefer that Carlos play 3B only in Spring Training or does it make sense to make him more comfortable & see how he does during the winter league? Doesn't a challenge like this do nothing but improve his versatility for the parent club? If you're referring to the media portrayal, reread the actual Spanish story in Spanish. The translation is, at best, not all that great. (Si, se lo puedo platicar contigo en espanol: Yes I can discuss with you in spanish). Enrique Rojas has captured the sentiment being expressed by Carlos.. the translation.. not so much.. This "story" isn't butchered.. it's reflective of the culture of the people and country where the winter leagues are being played and continue to be played....