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Around the Farm: January 21, 2014

Around the Farm: January 21, 2014
January 22, 2014
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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).

Additional Notes

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)

User Comments

Hermie13
January 23, 2014 - 12:22 PM EST
I'm sure most will disagree, but I was actually impressed with how Lonnie played 3B last year. I mean he was no gold glover but looked a lot better over there. If Santana ends up looking that good then I will be very impressed...
yourtribe
January 22, 2014 - 8:05 PM EST
Good move by tribe.

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?

Robert
January 22, 2014 - 4:34 PM EST
I think that Headbutter has it about right. The Tribe has not "butchered" this, and "the Indians are saying publicly and what they are doing privately with their actions are two different things" is simply just not true. Looking forward to ST and Lonnie better come ready to play some ball!
GSon
January 22, 2014 - 2:28 PM EST
Hiram.. FWIW.. the Plain Duller article..is a typiclally sloppy rumor mongering by Paul Hoynes. He's accented the authoritative construct of Chris Antonetti's intent with a colloquial approach to a quote:

"...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..

Comments..
Heabutting a wall - is like dating a republican
January 22, 2014 - 11:24 AM EST
Ok knickleheads.. It is simple. Unless Chiz is hurt or traded, he starts the year as your "starting" 3rd baseman. He will sit against most lefties if not all of them until he proves he can hit and I mean HIT (good #'s) right handers. Even then unless he really turns around his overall offensive performance he will not play against LHP in most scenarios. That means someone else plays 3rd base on those days. Hello Carlos Santana or somebody not named Lonnie. Now that you understand Lonnie gets the gig out of ST - if he is struggling or fails to show any offensive improvement by Mid-May-ish, thats probably it for "starting at 3B". Now if it ends up being Santana taking over "daily duties" which IMO the F.O hopes Carlos has the ability defensively to do or someone else, is what remains to be seen. Chiz will start the year at 3rd but I say its 40/60 at best he is still "starting" there at the end of the 2014 season
Hiram
January 22, 2014 - 10:34 AM EST
Tony,

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
Tony
January 22, 2014 - 10:26 AM EST
Hiram, you are jumping to conclusion. In that same article in the PD, the quotes from Santana say what you are saying but the quote I provided from Antonetti is from that piece. In other words, the Indians message has not changed. All they have said all along is they would try him out at third.....now it is going well and they will continue with it in spring. They have not in any way said whether Chisenhall will start, Santana will start or there will be a platoon. Nowhere. The belief is still as what was said at the end of the season, that Chisenhall is the starter. Now, obviously that is what they are saying publicly.....but that is also all a fan can go on as well.
Hiram
January 22, 2014 - 10:20 AM EST
Tony,

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
Tony
January 22, 2014 - 10:14 AM EST
How has the Indians message changed? You are basing all of this off of the quotes from Santana.....not the Indians. Here is GM Chris Antonetti's comment this week:

“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.
Hiram
January 22, 2014 - 9:35 AM EST
The Indians have butchered this situation because in the offseason they've changed their minds three different times in regards to the same player and same position. I still remember Tito at the end of the year saying Lonnie was the guy going forward but now is the time for him to do it. Remember, Tito butchered the Lonnie situation at the beginning of last year. Now it appears that the Indians are about to give the job to Santana or it's a "open competition: Which one is it?? Ppl lose the fact that org lose confidence in players but players lose confidence in organizations too.


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?
Hermie13
January 22, 2014 - 9:09 AM EST
I don't have an issue with trying Santana at 3B in winter ball, think it's a good/smart move. Worst case you decide he just can't hack it in spring training and scrap the idea, no harm no foul.

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...
Gson
January 22, 2014 - 8:45 AM EST
Hiram.. It's doubtful that the Indians would entertain a Nelson Cruz acquisition. The added cost of the first round pick seals his fate as far as the Indians are concerned..

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....
Hiram
January 22, 2014 - 7:45 AM EST
I think the Indians have butchered the Santana to 3B thing. What has happened between now and end of last year to want to give Sanatana the start at 3B? Do you guys remember the things they said about Lonnie Chisenhall(I know he needs to hit better)? If Santana starts at 3B, what happens to the DH spot? Does this open a spot for another move such as Nelson Cruz?

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