The Scottsdale Scorpions ended their AFL season Thursday, which means a number of Indians players have completed their tour of winter ball duty. In this week's Winter Ball Notebook, the IPI's Steve Orbanek looks back at some of the top performers from the Scottsdale squad, including Alex Monsalve and Tyler Holt, while also touching on some of the other Indians playing in other various winter leagues.
Several current and former Indians were in action last night in Wold Baseball Classic qualifier action. Newly acquired catcher Yan Gomes helped his Brazil team complete an upset over Panama - which had Indians righty Paolo Espino on the mound. Other former Indians Johnny Damon and Sung-Wei Tseng were also in action.
Every Friday between today and December 21st, we will look back at the roster movement over the past season for one club in the Cleveland Indians organization. Today, we continue our year-end look with a recap of all the player transaction activity this past season at Triple-A Columbus.
Thursday marked the final game in the Arizona Fall League for the Cleveland prospects out west, giving Tyler Holt, Carlos Moncrief, and Ronny Rodriguez one last opportunity to impress stateside before the spring. To see how those prospects and those in the Caribbean Winter Leagues fared last night, join Jim Piascik as he takes you Around The Farm.
We continue with our 2013 prospect coverage here at the IPI with a look at the second basemen in the Indians system. With Jason Kipnis entrenched as the second baseman in Cleveland for (hopefully) at least the next half decade, second base is not a big position of need in the short term; however, developing depth and trade assets at the position is still important. Tony talks about Jose Ramirez, Robel Garcia, Cord Phelps, Claudio Bautista, Ordomar Valdez, and all the rest of the second baseman up and down the system and ranks them all, talks about their skills, and if they are an option for the Indians in the future.
Cord Phelps ended the 2012 season as a member of the Cleveland Indians roster. While he played well down the stretch, there are no guarantees that he'll be a member of the team come April. It's been an up-and-down road for Phelps and his baseball career as he's dominated the minors but struggled in the Majors. The IPI's Steve Orbanek takes a look back at his path in this week's edition of Then & Now.
Several Indians were in action once again last night in fall and winter ball being played from Arizona to Venezuela. Jose Ramirez and Alex Monsalve continue to put up consistent, good showings, Rob Bryson and Gio Soto had a tough night on the mound, underdog Matt Langwell keeps doing his thing, and even the great Manny Ramirez made an appearance last night. All that and more after the jump...
We are now less than a week away from the November 20th roster deadline. The Indians have several interesting prospects in their system that are up for roster protection this offseason with the likes of C.C. Lee, Trey Haley, T.J. House, T.J. McFarland, Jesus Aguilar, Tim Fedroff, Austin Adams, Chun Chen, and others. Tony provides details and insight on all of those players and others and their chances of being rostered next Tuesday.
Kevin Youkilis and Jason Bay are both on the Indians' radar, and both represent players on the opposite sides of the contract-types. Will the Indians sign on another Sizemore-sized risk in Jason Bay? Will the Indians fork over the $9-$10 million it will cost them to sign Youk? And what about the Blue Jays, who found their "contenders-in-a-day" reward at the bottom of their Cracker Jacks. Join Jim Pete for another edition of Corner of Carnegie and Ontario...
Lots and lots of Indians were in action on Tuesday night in offseason leagues in Arizona, Venezuela, and the Dominican Republic. T.J. House bid adieu to the Arizona Fall League with another good performance and overall had a very nice showing in the land of the sun. Also, Jose Ramirez continues to hit, Tim Fedroff and Carlos Moncrief continue to struggle, and lots more.
If you want a name to keep an eye on in the Indians farm system that maybe does not get talked about a lot but has the potential to impact the big league team in the near future, then right-hander Trey Haley is one you should definitely watch closely. The hard throwing righty has made big strides since moving to the bullpen, and Tony recently caught up with him and talked about his 2012 season and experience in the Arizona Fall League.
Jim and Steve return to the cyber airways tonight and welcome a new guest: ESPN NFL Insider John Clayton. Clayton will join the guys in the first half hour and offer his thoughts on the Cleveland Browns, the team's new ownership as well as starting quarterback Brandon Weeden. John will also offer a prognosis as to what could be ahead for the Browns. Plus, in the second half hour, Jim and Steve tackle all things Cavaliers and Indians. All this and more when CSI goes live tonight at 11 p.m.
Once the White Sox declined the $13 million club option on infielder Kevin Youkilis several days ago, the Indians were expected to be a heavy suitor for him this offseason because of their interest in him in a trade last June and with the arrival of new manager Terry Francona. Jon Morosi of Fox Sports is reporting that the Indians are one of three teams already showing preliminary interest in Youkilis.
Double-A Akron had a great season from start to finish this year. They went 82-59 during the regular season and then marched their way through the Eastern League playoffs to win their fourth title in the history of their franchise. Tony recently had a chance to sit down the Akron manager Chris Tremie and discussed the strides made and areas of improvement needed for several of the position players on his team such as Chun Chen, Roberto Perez, Tyler Holt, Thomas Neal, Jesus Aguilar, Matt Lawson, Adam Abraham and more.
The 2014 Cleveland Indians Baseball Insider book featuring the Indians' Top 100 Prospects and more is now available. Also, previous editions from 2008-2012 are also available at a discounted rate. Just click on the book image for more information. Thanks again for all the support!