IBI Digest: 12/22/13 - 12/28/13
Recapping the week on Indians Baseball Insider
It's Christmastime at IBI and as things slow down for the holiday season, the staff begins to do some final reflection on the year of 2013 for the Indians and look forward to what 2014 could potentially have in store for Francona and Co. In Winter Ball, Dominican Winter League regular season play has come to a close and the playoffs have begun. Carlos Santana is among the Tribe players participating as the third base experiment continues. Also, IBI joins the rest of Tribe Nation in mourning the loss of long-time broadcaster Mike Hegan.
Here's what happened this week on IBI:
Coach's Corner '13: Greg Hibbard part 1: The Coach's Corner series continues as Tony Lastoria discusses the AA Akron pitching performances in 2013 with pitching coach Greg Hibbard as well as where the future may lead for some of the arms to take the mound at Canal Park this past season.
Coach's Corner '13: Greg Hibbard part 2: Tony Lastoria returns with the second installment of his Q&A with former Akron pitching coach Greg Hibbard as they continue to look back on the 2013 season for Indians pitching prospects at the AA level.
Around the Farm: December 21, 2013: Carlos Santana and Jesus Aguilar were the only Tribe players in action on Saturday and it was a good night for Santana on defense as he made three plays at third base with out incident. In Venezuela, Aguilar racked up another multi-hit night as his hot streak continues. Tony Lastoria reports.
MLB News and Rumors: Choo, Rangers agree to deal: Former Indians and Reds outfielder Shin-Soo Choo has reportedly agreed to terms on a seven-year deal with the Rangers. Andy Nichols has all the details on the deal as well as all the latest Hot Stove news and rumors.
IBI Power Poll: Who will be the Indians fifth starter?: With the recent addition of veteran starter Shaun Marcum on a minor league deal, the field for the fifth starter job is wide open. Who will be anchoring the back of the rotation for the Indians in 2014? Jim Pete throws it out to the fans in this week's Power Poll.
Tribe Madness: Jacobs Field Region semi-final results: The Tribe Madness regional semi-final rounds come to a close with the Jacobs Field Region. Lou Boudreau and George Uhle have advanced to the regional finals and Rick Lamborn has all the highlights.
Around the Farm: December 22, 2013: Tyler Sturdevant continues his impressive offseason campaign as he pitches another scoreless inning. He has only had limited pitching appearances for Puerto Rico, but after missing all of 2013 due to injury, any good news is welcome. Arthur Kinney has Sunday's recap.
MLB News and Rumors: Chris Perez, Dodgers agree to deal: Well, the Chris Perez era is officially over in Cleveland as the Dodgers have reportedly agreed to a one-year deal with the former Tribe closer. In other news,Grant Balfour is drawing interest following the dissolution of his deal with the Orioles. Andy Nichols has his daily MLB news report.
Winter Ball Notebook: DWL playoffs to begin: The winter ball regular season in the Dominican Republic is over and the playoffs are about to begin. Carlos Santana and Erik Gonzalez are the Tribe players participating in the playoffs for the time being. Steve Orbanek discusses the DWL playoffs and the other news and notes from winter ball this week.
Tribe Happenings: Indians have one big hole left to fill: So far this offseason, the Indians have made mostly subtle, but quality moves to fill the holes that they had on the roster following the 2013 season. However, Tony Lastoria believes they have one more major hole to fill in the starting rotation.
MLB News and Rumors: Waiver claims dominate the day: With Christmas just a day away, not much is going on on the trade or free agent market other than waiver claims. Andy Nichols discusses all the claims and the latest rumors.
Tribe Madness: Muni Stadium Region & Stadium Region finals: The regional finals have begun as Gaylord Perryhas claimed the Municipal Stadium Region title while Luis Tiant has taken the crown in the Stadium Region. Rick Lamborn discusses the matchups.
Swinging for the Fences: The value of minor league signings: The Indians have proven to be successful in signing minor league deals recently, but was that just a fluke or is there underestimated value in minor league deals? Jake Dungan looks at other recent success stories via minor league signings in the major leagues.
A Merry Christmas '13 and Happy Holidays!: Holiday greetings from all of us at IBI!
12 Days of Christmas at the Corner of Carnegie and Ontario: What would be the Cleveland Indians' version of the classic Christmas carol? Jim Pete makes a list of what gifts he would like Terry Francona and the Tribe to leave under the tree.
Tribe Madness: League Park and Dunn Field Regional finals: It was Jim Thome and Bob Feller taking the League Park and Dunn Field crowns, respectively as the Tribe Madness regional finals continue with the conclusion of the West Bracket matchups. Rick Lamborn recaps the action.
Around the Farm: December 26, 2013: Toru Murata was the only Tribe player in action on Thursday and unfortunately, there wasn't much good to report on his performance as he had his first true rough outing of the offseason. Tony Lastoria has the details as well as DWL playoff notes.
MLB News and Notes: The Tanaka sweepstakes begin: The Rakuten Golden Eagles have given Major League Baseball their Christmas gift by finally allowing star pitcher Masahiro Tanaka to be posted on the free agent market. Andy Nichols has all the preliminary news and rumors about Tanaka.
Toole's new "9 in 9" book serves as an inspiration to all: Justin Toole has spent the past five seasons in the Indians' organization and in that time has had the rare opportunity to play all nine positions in a professional baseball game. Stephanie Metzger discusses the feat, including his book "9 in 9".
Around The Farm: December 27, 2013: The playoffs have begun in the Dominican Republic and Carlos Santana is right in the thick of the action playing third base for Leones del Escogido, although he was shifted to first base late in the game in favor of pinch-hitter Pedro Ciriaco. Arthur Kinney speculates whether patience is wearing thin on playing Santana at the hot corner.
MLB News and Notes: Mulder drawing interest in comeback: Veteran left-hander Mark Mulder is drawing interest from multiple teams in his attempted comeback. Also with the addition of Shin-Soo Choo, Rangers GM Jon Daniels confirmed that outfielder Nelson Cruz is now likely to sign elsewhere.
Looking at Danny Salazar's historical season: The Indians have not produced an elite home-grown starting pitching talent since Fausto Carmona in 2007 (now Roberto Hernandez). And unfortunately, he was just a one-hit wonder. That all changed when Danny Salazar made his big league debut. Jim Piascik looks back at Salazar's exciting season in 2013.
Friends of the Feather
Former Indians broadcaster Hegan dies at 71: An All-Star in 1969, first baseman-outfielder Mike Hegan played 12 seasons in Majors before retiring and moving to the booth where he provided color commentary for the Brewers and Indians up until 2011. Jordan Bastian of MLB.com reports.
A Big Trade Could Do More Harm Than Good For Tribe: Would a David Price or Jeff Samardzija-type trade be worth the package of prospects or other big league talent that the Indians would most definitely have to give up for either? Did The Tribe Win Last Night's Craig Gifford examines the costs and benefits of a mega trade for the Tribe.
Plate discipline for the Indians, including the elite skill of Michael Brantley: Using advanced statistics, Jason Lukehart of Let's Go Tribe analyzes the various aspects of plate discipline for the current Indians lineup and which players excel and/or struggle in each given scenario.
Follow me on Twitter @MajorLeagueJake for all the latest Cleveland Indians news and baseball chat.