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IBI Digest: 2/9/13-2/16/13

IBI Digest: 2/9/13-2/16/13
IBI Digest
February 16, 2013
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IBI continued covering all of your baseball needs this week, keeping the Top 60 prospect countdown going along with covering the Michael Bourn signing from all angles. Make sure to keep coming to IBI throughout Spring Training to stay up-to-date on all the happenings.

Here are all of the pieces that went up on IBI over the past week:

Subscription Pieces

2013 Indians Top 60 Prospects: #36 1B Chun Chen: Tony Lastoria continues the Top 60 prospects countdown with Chun Chen, a right-handed hitting first baseman who has the bat to play in the major leagues, but is struggling to find a position.

2013 Indians Top 60 Prospects: #35 OF LeVon Washington: Tony Lastoria continues the Top 60 prospects countdown with LeVon Washington, a left-handed hitting outfielder who has all the talent in the world, though he has not been able to show it due to injuries.

2013 Indians Top 60 Prospects: #34 2B Cord Phelps: Tony Lastoria continues the Top 60 prospects countdown with Cord Phelps, a switch-hitting second baseman whose lack of versatility is keeping him from Cleveland, despite his strong overall profile.

2013 Indians Top 60 Prospects: #33 LHP Elvis Araujo: Tony Lastoria continues the Top 60 prospects countdown with Elvis Araujo, a left-handed starter who is very raw and inexperienced, but has a very high ceiling if he can reach it.

2013 Indians Top 60 Prospects: #32 RHP Austin Adams: Tony Lastoria continues the Top 60 prospects countdown with Austin Adams, a right-handed starter who will attempt to work his way back from shoulder surgery last year and re-establish himself as a top prospect.

2013 Indians Top 60 Prospects: #31 RHP Felix Sterling: Tony Lastoria continues the Top 60 prospects countdown with Felix Sterling, a right-handed starter with the body to stick in the rotation, though the 19-year-old is still working on his consistency.

2013 Indians Top 60 Prospects: #30 RHP Kieran Lovegrove: Tony Lastoria continues the Top 60 prospects countdown with Kieran Lovegrove, a right-handed starter drafted in the third round of the 2012 draft.

Regular Content

Saturday

Indians ink Jason Giambi to minor league deal: IBI brings you a staff report out of Cleveland that Jason Giambi will be joining the team in Goodyear on a minor league deal.

Sunday

Tribe Happenings: Many battles to be fought this spring: In his weekly notebook, Tribe Happenings, Tony Lastoria looks at the battles Cleveland will have in Spring Training this year, including the fifth starter sport, backup catcher, fourth outfielder, corner utility spot, and three bullpen spots, along with much more.

Matsuzaka signs minor league deal with Indians: Tony Lastoria writes the breaking news piece on Daisuke Matsuzaka agreeing on terms to a minor league contract, bolstering the team's starting pitching depth.

IBI's 2013 Cleveland Indians Outfield Preview: Jim Piascik and Steve Orbanek continue their e-mail exchange previewing the 2013 Cleveland Indians, this time with a focus on the outfield.

Monday

2013 IBI Prospect Book: A quick update: Tony Lastoria gives a quick update on the progress being made on the 2013 IBI book and a tentative plan for the release.

The 2013 Draft: The top five players: Jeff Ellis releases his first report on the 2013 MLB Draft, profiling his top five overall players as the high school and college seasons begin.

Indians Reportedly Agree to Terms With Michael Bourn: Jim Piascik writes the breaking news piece on free agent outfielder Michael Bourn agreeing to a four-year deal with Cleveland.

Smoke Signals 2/11: The Bourn Edition: Tony Lastoria and Jim Pete bring Smoke Signals back to the cyberwaves for a special Michael Bourn-themed edition.

Tuesday

The Bourn Identity - Going the extra mile: Jake Dungan sums up the Bourn signing and looks at the overall picture this paints for Cleveland's offseason.

Bourn on the Corner of Carnegie and Ontario: In his weekly notebook, Corner of Carnegie and Ontario, Jim Pete works through his elation at the Bourn signing, while also analyzing the effects it will have on the team and looking ahead to other moves the team could make.

How much better are the Indians after Bourn deal?: Steve Orbanek looks at the Bourn signing and puts it into the context of how much better the 2013 team is today rather than yesterday.

Wednesday

Breaking Down The Bourn Signing and more: Tony Lastoria gives his thoughts on the Bourn signing, including his thoughts on the defensive alignment in 2013, how the market really favored Cleveland this offseason, what the move means now for the team, and what it will mean a few years down the road.

Waiting for Spring...Spring Training: In his debut piece for IBI, DJ Sebastian writes about his annual treks to Spring Training and what is best about being in Goodyear, Arizona.

Thursday

Michael Bourn - The advanced stats darling: Jeff Ellis goes beyond traditional stats while looking at the Bourn signing, arguing that his defense, baserunning, and ability to take a walk makes him one of the best players in all of baseball.

Then & Now: Matt LaPorta: In his regular feature, Then & Now, Steve Orbanek looks at Matt LaPorta, the much ballyhooed centerpiece of the CC Sabathia trade whose future with Cleveland is now murky at best.

Friday

IBI's 2013 Cleveland Indians Starting Rotation Preview: Jim Piascik and Steve Orbanek continue their e-mail exchange previewing the 2013 Cleveland Indians, this time with a focus on the starting rotation.

Spring Notebook: Gauging the minor league signings: In his weekly Spring Training notebook, Steve Orbanek takes a look at the non-roster invitees and breaks down their chances of making the Opening Day roster.

Saturday

What's new in 2013: The bench: Jake Dungan concludes his "What's New" series with a look at the improvements the team has made on its bench and how they compare to the 2012 bench.

Friends of the Feather

Michael Bourn Reaction

Cleveland Indians' signing of Michael Bourn also a sign to fans that Dolans want to compete: Terry Pluto of The Plain Dealer looks at the Bourn signing and credits the Dolans for spending the money necessary to compete.

Bourn signing alters Indians' clubhouse attitude: Jordan Bastian of MLB.com writes that the Bourn signing has energized the clubhouse in Goodyear, as well as detailing Nick Swisher and Michael Brantley's reactions to changing positions for Bourn.

Transaction Analysis: He Not Busy Getting Bourn is Busy Dying: R.J. Anderson of Baseball Prospectus analyzes the Bourn signing, how he fits into the lineup, and what to expect as he ages.

Bourn an upgrade, odd fit in Cleveland: Keith Law of ESPN.com (Insider required) opines that signing Bourn makes him one of the best players on the team, though he does not quite see why Cleveland signed him.

Patience Pays Off for Tribe in the Form of Michael Bourn: Jonah Keri of Grantland writes that Cleveland got a great deal for Bourn and should come out ahead in the long run on this deal.

Indians Use Michael Bourn to Fill Hole at DH: Dave Cameron of Fangraphs looks at how the Bourn signing gives Terry Francona more roster flexibility and arguably fills the hole at DH, in a roundabout way.

Indians Improve Starting Rotation, Indirectly: Jeff Sullivan of Fangraphs argues that the Bourn signing, paired with the other 1defensive upgrades Cleveland has made this year, could make a significant impact on the team's pitching.

Other

2013 ZiPS Projections - Cleveland Indians: Dan Szymborski's projections for Cleveland were finally released, giving the mean stats for each player on the roster.

Matt LaPorta says his hip pain is gone: Cleveland Indians Insider: Paul Hoynes of The PD writes that Matt LaPorta is finally healed from a hip injury that was particularly nasty and lasted the length of the 2012 season.

Bauer focuses on things to come with Tribe: Jordan Bastian of MLB.com gets Trevor Bauer's response to Diamondbacks catcher Miguel Montero bringing up their clashes in Arizona during the 2012 season.

Is This Man the Next R.A. Dickey?: In a special piece for Baseball Prospectus, Jonathan Zeller profiles former Cleveland pitcher Steven Wright and the recent highs and lows of knuckleballers in the majors.

If you want to follow Jim on Twitter, he’s @JimPiascik. If you want to e-mail him, you can do so at jpiasci1@gmail.com

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