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Spring Training Game #32: A's 7, Indians 6

Spring Training Game #32: A's 7, Indians 6
(Photo by Matt Loede)
March 27, 2013
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The Indians made a couple more moves prior to Tuesday’s game, more or less finishing off some unfinished business over the weekend. Daisuke Matsuzaka and Matt Capps were both re-signed after being released in recent days. The Indians did this to avoid paying the two a $100,000 retention bonus. Obviously, the players  wouldn’t have  signed the deal if there wasn’t a mutual benefit, so while some folks are screaming foul, I’m sure there’s a bonus in the re-signings that make up for the lost bonus.
 
The Tuesday afternoon tilt was an interesting game for many reasons. First, Zach McAllister took the hill, and after Brett Myers got stomped into oblivion, there was some hope that McAllister could balance the ship a bit. Secondly, the roster was full of some of the Indians best prospects, led by top prospect Francisco Lindor and the surprisingJose Ramirez. Finally, Chris Perez made his first appearance since his injury. All-in-all, it made for an interesting day of baseball…and mostly good, keeping in mind that this is still spring training.
 
The Indians lost the game to the A’s, 7-6, in a rare spring training, extra-inning game, when Daric Barton drove in the winning run to give the A’s the victory. Ah, you have to love spring training, when you can still “win” when your team loses.
  • Zach McAllister was less than stellar on Tuesday afternoon. The big righty went 5 2/3, gave up eight hits and five earned runs, walked two and struck out three. He gave up a big home run to Yeonis Cespedes on a hanging curveball, and in general, struggled in the first three innings of the game. His fastball seemed to stay up, and his curveball seemed to be hanging a bit. He had moments where he looked good, but the consistency just wasn’t there. It’s spring training, but McAllister didn’t really look great. It was his last start of the spring before the regular season kicks off next Tuesday.

  • Am I worried about McAllister? I don’t know if worried is the right word? Perhaps I’m cautiously pessimistic? I don’t know if that makes sense, and I’m generally the optimistic one here at IBI, but McAllister needs to find the killer instinct to put guys away. Once he finds that, I think you’ll see a dramatic improvement in his pitching. If he had Brett Myers’ nasty demeanor on the field, I think it would make a world of difference. He’s competitive, and I do think this year will be that balance line where we see if McAllister turns into a consistent middle of the rotation guy, or if he’s just going to be that guy that never really puts it all together.
  • Francisco Lindor is a flat-out fantastic fielder, and I truly believe would make a run at the gold glove right now. I’ve honestly not seen him in a live game all that much, but I have talk to several folks connected to the Indians, either through scouting or the media that say the same thing. His range is immense, his work ethic may be the best in the system, and his maturity with how he handles himself is something special.
  • Yesterday, he simply put on a display of what he can do right now. He made several memorable plays. The first came with a runner on first base and a ball was hit sharply up the middle. Lindor covered the ground easily, fielded the ball, backhanded it to Jose Ramirez, who tagged the bag and nailed the runner at first for the double play. It was a great play.
  • He later made another sensational play up the middle when he fielded a ball on the second base side of the bag and made a spinning throw to first in time to get the runner. There were others in the game as well, as Lindor made nine total plays in the game. He also roped a double and hit the ball sharply all day long.

  • There were lots of other interesting prospects playing today, including the out-of-nowhere top prospect, Jose Ramirez. He’s hit everywhere he’s gone, and today was no exception. He went 2-for-4, with a run and two RBI, and was part of the fielding clinic put on up the middle.  Jordan Henry, one of the fastest players in the system, seems back and healthy from microfracture surgery. This is a kid who has one of those advanced bats. His OBP lived at or over .400 early in his career until his injury. He seems to be back, and could be impactful because of how fast he is. He had two stolen bases yesterday, so keep an eye on him. Bryson Myles hit a double yesterday, and remains one of my quiet sleepers on this team. I say he makes a major move this year, if he stays healthy. Giovanny Urshela had an error on a throw, but showcased his much more condensed swing from this time last year when he went down and got a pitch low and away and drove it into the outfield for a hit. It was a good day for the youngsters, that’s for sure.
  • Chris Perez rolled into the game in the seventh inning in his first spring training action since February 26th, when he injured his throwing shoulder. He blew away Michael Choice for a strike out, the first batter he faced, with a nasty slider away. He closed things without giving up a hit. A runner got on because of the Urshela error, and Perez promptly induced a double play. Game. Set. Match.

  • Nick Hagadone faced one batter without incident, but didn’t return. Jerry Gil pitched in two innings, showcasing his blazing fastball. He gave up two hits and struck out two, without giving up any damage. The Indians lost when Jose Flores got pummelled. He gave up two hits, two walks and two runs in his inning. I’ll just leave it at that. If you want to see my feelings on Flores, go back and read my ATF’s from the past two seasons. Smoke and mirrors…
  • Ryan Raburn crushed his fifth home run of the spring, and is wrapping up one of the better offensive spring seasons. Now, if he can carry it into the regular season. He’s done this before in the spring. He’s a career .295 hitter, and he has 15 homers over his last three seasons. Last year, he hit six, and we all know how that turned out. I’m going to think good thoughts though, to help a guy out.
Tune in tomorrow:
The Indians head to Camelback Ranch on Wednesday to face off against the White Sox at 3:05 P.M. Daisuke Matsuzaka will make his triumphant “return” to the Indians, and will start the game. I’m curious to see how far he’s come over the past week or so. Vinnie Pestano is also schedule to appear. For those expecting Carlos Carrasco, I believe he’ll be starting for the Triple A game, but am not 100% sure.

Jim is currently the senior editor and Columnist, as well as  the host of IBI's weekly online radio shows, Smoke Signals and Cleveland Sports Insiders. You can follow Jim on Twitter @Jim_IBI, or contact him via e-mail at jpete@indiansprospectinsider.com.

User Comments

jwahoo
March 27, 2013 - 3:31 PM EDT
Good to see.

I wasn't really screaming.... just in my opinion it seemed to cheap to release them just to save a grand. I think having them as depth is well worth a grand. I guess I just didn't understand why they would do this if it wasn't about saving money. I assume the new contract offered to pay them even more money if they actually made the team? If thats what happend then I think thats fine and take back my "cheap" comment.

If not, even though they signed it does not mean they didn't roll their eyes.
shy
March 27, 2013 - 11:04 AM EDT
It's a joy to see all the kids playing in Spring Training games, especially this late in the schedule. I don't remember Acta, Wedgie or Grover running kids out there anything like this, and I'm not seeing it to to this degree in other camps. I'm sure it is making an impression on the youngsters that they will take with them back to their respective jobs in the minors. I just hope the big boys are ready next week.
Daingean
March 27, 2013 - 9:10 AM EDT
I caught the final 4 innings on the tube yesterday and Lindor's defence was impressive. On the highlight of the play on the other side of 2B, for a second I'm like "why is Lindor playing second?"

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