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Training complex in Goodyear

Talk shop about the various prospects and teams that make up the Cleveland Indians organization.

Training complex in Goodyear

Postby Dave9819 » Sat Mar 14, 2009 4:58 pm

Any reports on how easy it is to get autographs from the minor leaguers at the new training complex?

Anybody have any experience getting the Major Leaguers autographs at Goodyear?
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Re: Training complex in Goodyear

Postby TonyIBI » Sat Mar 14, 2009 8:07 pm

From what I have been hearing from the fans, it is a nightmare. Access is pretty bad for the major and minor league guys. Supposedly the Indians ARE working on it and will make a lot of changes for next year.....but there have been a lot of disgruntled fans this year.

I go down a week from Thursday, and while I won't have a problem with access, I will observe and also talk to some fans and report what I see/hear.
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Re: Training complex in Goodyear

Postby MadThinker88 » Sat Mar 14, 2009 10:40 pm

What's life without a few difficulties along the way? :s_wink

Did anyone really expect this to go without a hitch in their 1st spring in Goodyear??
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Re: Training complex in Goodyear

Postby TonyIBI » Sat Mar 14, 2009 10:50 pm

MadThinker88 wrote:What's life without a few difficulties along the way? :s_wink

Did anyone really expect this to go without a hitch in their 1st spring in Goodyear??


I dunno. Ask Dodgers fans what they think at the new Camelback Ranch complex....Indians camp is like Alcatraz (sp) compared to that camp. :s_tongue
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Re: Training complex in Goodyear

Postby Dave9819 » Sun Mar 15, 2009 2:44 pm

So from what you have heard, getting autographs at Goodyear training complex is not that good? Would I be better off waiting until next year?
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Re: Training complex in Goodyear

Postby TonyIBI » Mon Mar 16, 2009 12:10 am

Dave9819 wrote:So from what you have heard, getting autographs at Goodyear training complex is not that good? Would I be better off waiting until next year?


Not sure about the autograph thing...I really haven't asked anyone since autographs don't interest me (plus I can't ask for them anyway, conflict of interest and against media rules). From what I have hear though it seems the players are more than willing to sign....just getting to them is the issue. Hopefully this changes some next year, though nothing is for certain.
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Re: Training complex in Goodyear

Postby Timmyb » Mon Mar 16, 2009 5:15 am

I leave this Thursday and will be in Goodyear for the weekend games. I will let all know the access to autographs this weekend
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Re: Training complex in Goodyear

Postby artgold » Wed Mar 18, 2009 7:51 pm

I posted this on Swerb's site, but it fits here too:

Not an autograph seeker, but one who likes to get out and watch the minor league prospects practice and play the other organizations.

Got into Goodyear this afternoon, a little after 2:00, so the Lake County and Kinston games against the Ranger organization were already underway. Saw about an hour and a half of the games, the heat and sun are rather intense and I didn't see any spot to go to for any shade relief at all.

Just as an initial impression, the set up that I observed isn't very fan friendly at all. The two fields where the Kinston and Lake County games were going on were the two nothernmost in the complex, closest to the minor league ballpark (I would estimate the fields to be a little over 1/4 mile south of the stadium itself.

To get into the player development complex, there is a dedicated entrance just off of S Estrella Parkway, just at the northern end of the minor league complex. Once inside the parking lot, there are only two rows of parking available to the public, then there is a larger parking area that is walled off from the public and guarded. The two public rows run the entire length of the player development complex, right along Estrella Parkway.

The Indians have really restricted viewing access to these fields. An eight foot high chain link fence surrounds the entire complex, and the closest I was able to get to either field was about 20-25 feet behind first or third base, parallel to the edge of where the outfield grass meets the infield dirt. When taking into consideration the viewing angle, and density of the fence, it was pretty difficult to see home plate from either side of the diamond. It wasn't nearly as convenient or integrated as Florida, this seems to be set up as an "all business" facility with what actually felt like just some toleration of public viewing.

I'll be going earlier to catch some of the practice sessions later this week, hopefully they have better access available for the morning sessions. As it is now, if this is what I run into in the morning sessions then I'd say it doesn't seem to be very worthwhile to go and watch the minor leaguers.

Hopefully this was just some "start up" problems, and they will reach a better compromise between getting their work done and fan access.
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Re: Training complex in Goodyear

Postby TonyIBI » Thu Mar 19, 2009 1:27 pm

Thanks for the 411 Art. A lot of what you said has been voiced by a lot of fans. I know Paul Dolan is "supposedly" looking to get this issue worked out as he and Bobbie D have been flooded with complaints. We'll see what they do. I can't wait to get out there next week and see it all for myself. I won't have problems with access, but I want to see how much the fans are kept away from the action.
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Re: Training complex in Goodyear

Postby artgold » Thu Mar 19, 2009 3:45 pm

OK, I went back out today, determined to see if there was any way to get better access. I was fairly pleasantly surprised.

Well, access was quite a bit better this morning.

The major league club used the northernmost player development field (field #2 if you have a map of the complex), and they opened up the 3rd base side fence to allow folks to get a bit closer to home plate, just beyond the third base dugout. They had a cord stretched from the dugout to the clubhouse, with a guard stationed by the cord. The fence around the field has a door opening just to the plate side of the 3rd base dugout, so the players go just past the cord when going back and forth to the field.

There were about 100 folks milling around the area, a mix of Indian fans and "serious" autograph seekers. I was listening to them talk a bit, and apparently there are a group of folks who just go from complex to complex in Arizona collecting autographs, from all players on all clubs. When the practice broke up around 10:30, many of the players gave out autographs pretty freely. Sizemore, Dellucci and Peralta were very friendly with the folks, and it seemed to me willing to sign for everyone wanting their autograph. Jackson stopped by earlier and signed a few too.

A couple of casual observations. These are just snapshot impressions, not meant to be anything more than immediate comments.

Shoppach seems like a very upbeat and engaging guy. Very interactive with the other players and coaches and has a constant smile. Very helpful type too, willing to go out and chase down or collect stray balls. Bet he is pretty popular in the clubhouse and with the front office.

Hafner seemed really quiet, very little interaction between him and fellow players. I didn't sense any problems, just seems like a very self contained (perhaps internal) individual. Seems very serious, doesn't look like a guy having much fun.

Garko looked a bit trimmer than when I had seen him in spring training a few years ago, looks like he is in pretty good condition to me.

Finally, Aaron Laffey looks out of place there. He looks like he is about 16-17 years old. Has a kid face and isn't built like an athlete. Real contrast seeing him a few feet away from Dellucci, who looks like he could be the bad guy in an old western movie. Laffey looks like he should be taking ticket stubs at the movie.

Now, about the minor league access. After the major leaguers were done I went down to the southern end of the complex where the minor league players were using three fields (if you have a map of the area I believe they were field 3, 5 and 6). Access was very good this morning, I was able to get around all three of the fields without any restrictions beyond the typical fencing around the fields. I was glad that my initial problems from yesterday didn't extend to today, and was able to see much more of the action up close. This was pretty much like the access that existed in Florida.

Tomorrow, I am going to focus solely on the minor leaguers, and I'll let y'all know how this goes.
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Re: Training complex in Goodyear

Postby Dave9819 » Thu Mar 19, 2009 3:51 pm

Was the autograph area big enough to accomodate all the fans, or were they 2 or 3 people deep?

Can you post any pictures?
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Re: Training complex in Goodyear

Postby artgold » Thu Mar 19, 2009 8:45 pm

Dave9819 wrote:Was the autograph area big enough to accomodate all the fans, or were they 2 or 3 people deep?

Can you post any pictures?



Didn't take any pictures, just tend to go out and watch.

When my wife is with me we get a lot of pictures, I don't think she knows if she had a good time or not until she looks at her shots after she is done. In Florida, she was so busy trying to get the "perfect" shot of Ken Griffey when the Indians were playing the Reds, she bumped into an older gentleman and nearly knocked him down the steps just next to the dugout. I told her she really lucked out there, it would have looked pretty bad for her if she had done in the guy, an old pitcher by the name of Bob Feller. Feller just gave her a snarl, didn't say a word.

Relative to autographs, they easily accommodated the fans, not a crowd at all. About 20 or so folks seeking autographs, and when I left it looked like quite a few of the Indians were signing.
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Re: Training complex in Goodyear

Postby artgold » Fri Mar 20, 2009 3:13 pm

A couple of things they could do to improve the access. They should move the fencing (or leave the fence gate open and set up a rope barrier) to the east side of the risers on the 3rd base side of field #3. They should also allow a path to field #4, which at this point appears to be entirely closed off to the public. The opening I'm suggesting to the south side (3rd base side) of field #3 should allow for a path to field #4, at least on the 1st base side of the field.

Also, they should take another look at the fence restrictions between major league fields #1 and #2. What I would suggest, at a minimum, is to open up the area between the two fields, on the far northern side of the complex. If they moved the gate access to the plate side of the dugout, it would significantly open up fan access to the 3rd base side of field #1 and first base side of field #2, yet provide player only access to the clubhouse, south of both fields.

A couple of player observations from today's minor league field. Abner Abreu looked like he has the single most powerful bat in the minor league complex. He hit the ball harder and further than anyone, including Weglarz.

Santana has a breathtaking arm behind the plate. The Indians better tell their pitchers to get down really low when Santana comes up firing to second, he is gonna really hurt someone who gets in the way of his throws. I don't think the were more than a couple of feet off the ground, and accurate. Easily cuts off a full step for the runners as compared to Martinez.

A minor league free agent signing, Matt Esquivel, pounds the hell out of the ball. Hits cannon shots over dead center field, probably had the highest % of HRs during batting practice. I know he isn't a prospect, and not hyping him here. But if we have an OF injury this season, he might not be a bad call up for a few weeks.
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Re: Training complex in Goodyear

Postby artgold » Sat Mar 21, 2009 11:38 pm

Went to minor league practice the past couple of mornings, and the major league team game at the stadium in the afternoons.

Couple of prospect observations. Saw Mills and Weglarz in some pretty extended batting practice, both looked good but nothing spectacular. Both seem to muscle the ball out to the track when they put in their "go for it" swing, as compared to Abreu who seems to get his distance from his wrists. Both are significantly bigger (muscular) than Abreu.

Chisenhall is much more fluid around third base than Hodges. He has a great natural feel for infield play, and you can see how effortless he is in sharply making all of the varied plays during infield drills. Hodges is more of a choppy kind of fielder, does the stuff mechanically correctly, such as getting his body behind ground balls and keeping his head down in fielding grounders, but seems like he is really working at it. Seems to not have Chisenhall's natural "soft hands" for fielding. Appears that he can be adequate, and certainly a hard working guy, but just doesn't have the fluidity I see in Chisenhall. Chisenhall seems a bit quicker, too.

I know Mark Thompson isn't any kind of prospect, but he has a great glove and very quick release on his throws from shortstop. It got me to thinking, would players such as Larry Bowa and Mark Bellanger make it as long time starters in the pro's today?

Gimenez looks pretty competent at multiple positions, but not really great at any of them. Seems to be a guy who can hold his own, but don't expect a spectacular play.

Saw De La Cruz in person for the first time. I had seen Carmona when he wasn't much older than De La Cruz, and I can tell you that they have some resemblance. I recall Carmona being a bit larger than De La Cruz in the lower half of his body, De La Cruz doesn't look like he'll fill out much past 210-215 pounds, which is quite a bit less than Carmona easily carries.

Saw quite a bit of pitcher fielding drills, which are no big deal in many ways but sometimes gives you some insights as to athletic ability. I noticed that Lofgren appeared to be the slowest in the group of pitchers I saw in the drill. Again, no big deal, just doesn't seem to be a great natural athlete (many great pitchers aren't).

Goedert is a real hustler, going from field to field and getting involved in multiple drills. He seems to be a bit smaller than his listed size though, it states he is 6'2" and 200 lbs. That would make him a bit bigger than me, since I'm 6'1" and 185. Seeing him pretty close up the past couple of days I would estimate Goedert at more like 6"0" and 180-190. I know that is kind of irrelevant, but...

One kid pitcher, last name was Fonseca, was huge. Though only about 6'0", he easily is at least 250.

Just some casual observations, nothing more.
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Re: Training complex in Goodyear

Postby artgold » Sat Mar 21, 2009 11:54 pm

Separate topic, but related to Goodyear.

The scoreboard is pathetic. In the two games I attended they have had the wrong guy on the board (they showed Barfield on the board when Sizemore was up today), they have had the wrong player picture next to the correct batter name, they show the player at an incorrect position (Marte played 1st and they showed him at 3rd, Barfield played CF and they showed him at 2nd, Giminez played 1st and they showed him at 3rd). They also don't show any statistics at all, NOR DO THEY SHOW THE PITCH SPEED!!!

They need to focus a little less on the graphics and a little bit more on the content.
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Re: Training complex in Goodyear

Postby TonyIBI » Sun Mar 22, 2009 10:09 am

Pitch speed is not shown on purpose. They don't want guys worried about the velocities. This is why, at least for the minor league guys, the Indians do not give them their pitching charts in spring to show the velocities (though they can check my blog and see them ha!). During the season they get all this information, but as a couple players told me privately when they were checking out the daily minor league box scores I have been posting to my blog, they don't get this info!
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Re: Training complex in Goodyear

Postby MadThinker88 » Sun Mar 22, 2009 10:10 am

Art,
:s_omg Do you carry a notebook to write your notes or a audio recorder while watching these practices?
Nice job on telling us what you have seen. :s_thumbsup

If you get out to NE Ohio, I owe you a drink. :s_drinks
Last edited by MadThinker88 on Sun Mar 22, 2009 5:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Training complex in Goodyear

Postby TonyIBI » Sun Mar 22, 2009 10:42 am

Those who have been out to Goodyear or currently out there, any recommendations on sports bars and restaurants to eat? I am living in a condo for 10 days out there, so will be eating in at least once a day, but I am doing some recon on some good places to grab a sandwich/wings/whatever for lunch/dinner. Also, anyplace that may have wi-fi setup so I can take a break from the sun for lunch each day for lunch before going back out for games the rest of the day.

Especially for next weekend....I plan to go to a sports bar Friday night, Saturday and Sunday to catch some tourney action after my day is through (or on lunch). I plan to hit up Buffalo Wild Wings and Fox Sports Grill....any comments Fox Sports Grill? never been there. Any other cool sports bars in the Goodyear, Glendale, Avondale areas?

It will be baseball pretty much everyday from 9-5.....can't wait.
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Re: Training complex in Goodyear

Postby TonyIBI » Sun Mar 22, 2009 10:44 am

MadThinker88 wrote:Art,
:s_omg Do you carry a notebook to write you notes or a audio recorder while watching these practices?
Nice job on telling us what you have seen. :s_thumbsup

If you get out to NE Ohio, I owe you a drink. :s_drinks


Yes, thanks for the firsthand reports Art. Muchos gracias.

And yeah, when I go out there, I have a notepad and my recorder with me to collect all my thoughts as I see them or all the news bits I get so I don't forget. I have a terrible short term memory these days.
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Re: Training complex in Goodyear

Postby artgold » Sun Mar 22, 2009 12:01 pm

Thank you for the kind comments, I'm trying to make a contribution to this great site, want to carry my end of the load too. Since I am a fairly poor writer, I figure these postings can be my contribution, if worthwhile at all.

I do not carry a notepad nor audio recorder.

The reason I don't bring any equipment is because I want the players to not become self conscious. Although I am a "nobody" in this environment, I am very aware that these are very young fellows, and I don't want to add any pressure to these guys. I know that if you are an old guy sitting around and talking into a recorder, or writing down notes, some will notice and begin to wonder what you are doing, and if it pertains to them. I try to be very considerate of these guys, I take it from the point of view that this is their environment, and I want to respect their need to focus.

Fortunately, I have been blessed with a good memory, and can categorize and organize my observations sufficiently to communicate them later in the day.

What I try to do is actually fairly difficult, but a lot of fun. I try to see and report back about things that may be relevant, and of interest to both knowledgable and casual fans. I could go into a lot more stuff than I have been posting, such as how Jeff Hehr is just great in the infield, or about Constanza and his ball hawking speed, but neither is likely to ever be in Cleveland, so why clutter the observations? I try to provide some insights that may be useful in subsequent discussions, acknowledging that I am only catching a glimpse, so I try to keep that in mind when providing updates or observations.

I try to provide what I think would be of interest, filtering out quite a bit of the personal stuff I overhear down here between the players and/or the coaches. I respect their privacy, and wouldn't want anyone reporting my personal discussion stuff. I try to treat them with a lot of respect, which I feel they deserve, and keep in mind that any player or coach at any time could be reading the stuff I post. So I try to balance the information as being relevant to the fan, and something the players or coaches shouldn't object to seeing in print.

I really enjoy the game, and appreciate how difficult it is for these guys. Keep in mind, your teammate is also the guy competing against you for slots in the organization, and this tension is very apparent down here. I try to respect this.
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Re: Training complex in Goodyear

Postby artgold » Sun Mar 22, 2009 12:13 pm

Tony, I'm down here on my own so I haven't gone to those places. Next year my wife is threatening, err, I meant hoping, to join me so I'll be able to provide some info then. I have generally been fast fooding my way down here, just typical stuff.

However, there is a lot of shopping center type of areas around here. Go north from the stadium and there is stuff about 2 miles up the road. If you cross I-10, you get to McDowell, and if you go to the right (heading east) a whole bunch of stuff is in place the first few miles. Shopping centers with restaurants are all over the place down here, just go to the north and then east of the ballpark...figure about 10-15 minutes. Nothing within walking distance though (yet).
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Re: Training complex in Goodyear

Postby TonyIBI » Sun Mar 22, 2009 1:46 pm

Yeah, in my recon work, McDowell has a ton of restaurants. Everything is like in 3 blocks of each other.

For my own pleasure, I am just looking for a place to catch some tourney action and a few cold ones, and also to get a break from the sun when I go to lunch to split the morning practice and afternoon games.
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Re: Training complex in Goodyear

Postby artgold » Sun Mar 22, 2009 6:33 pm

Try the shopping center on the west side of S Estrella and W Van Buren. It is very new and quite large, they likely will have something. The ballpark and complex are on the edge of where development exists at this time, and all of the stuff is north and east of the ballpark. Nothing around the park at all, nor to the south or west.
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Re: Training complex in Goodyear

Postby artgold » Sun Mar 22, 2009 6:53 pm

This morning's practice session was pretty interesting, got to see an intersquad game between low A players.

Nothing of "wow factor" to really comment on, but I have a "new name" to follow this season I wasn't aware of earlier, an outfielder named Read. He has a very good bat, really puts a charge into the ball. He is a fast guy, if I had to categorize him I'd say he is a fast guy who also has some good power (Willie Davis or Vada Pinson type of comp, for us old timers). Seems to be able to spray the ball around pretty well, doesn't seem too pull oriented. This is a name I'm filing away to follow this season.

Saw another interesting guy, a pitcher named Brad Hinkle. He walked by me, and he looked to be nearly 7'0'' tall. Very lanky body, kind of like an NBA player. Looks like he could easily put on another 20-25 lbs, pretty athletic despite his height. Threw on a decent downward plane, using his height advantage pretty well. Pounded the lower part of the zone, as a big guy should do. Could put a little more of his lower body into his pitches, and add a little velocity, but from where I was sitting he seemed to be throwing pretty hard. Just another name to follow.

Took a good look at Valbuena too, and he certainly isn't a chunky guy at all, despite his height and weight. Seems to have a Ron Cey type of body, kind of a long torso making him look shorter than he actually is. Good athlete, really attacks pitches at the plate. Actually has what I would call a "savage swing", seems to start it when the ball is nearly by him but has a very quick bat. Kind of seems to "pop" the ball really hard, as opposed to batters who have a smooth longer swing. Seems to help his selectivity a bit too, looks like he has a decent batting eye. Really counting on his reflexes though.

Carlos Santana is a very active guy. When in the batters box he is constantly in motion, doesn't stop moving for a second. His bat is constantly in motion, never holds it still even when the pitch is being delivered.


Went back to the minor league games in the afternoon, watching a bit of both the AAA and AA games against the Dodgers. Kerry Wood started the AAA game and went two innings. Looked like he was just getting in some work, and was fairly effective. The AAA game was called due to "dust". We had incredible wind this afternoon, and the dust kicked up something awful. The AAA game which had the dust blowing in from LF towards 1st base, had to repeatedly be stopped for a few moments and all of the players would face towards the first base line until the wind settled a bit. The outfielders could hardly see the infield, it was that dusty. Ultimately, they gave up.

In the AA game, the wind blew so hard to RF that I believe a routine fly ball could easily clear the fence, given the thin Arizona air and gusy winds.

I'd throw out the results and stats from today, the wind made the results irrelevant.

Going back and forth between the fields, I got into some discussions with other fans. One fellow I met was particularly interesting, George McBride, who is Matt McBride's dad. Since we are both about the same age, we got into a discussion about what it is like to have your kids go through the process of trying to advance, the opportunities, perceptions and challenges. It was a very interesting discussion, and I got some additional appreciation and insights concerning being the parent of one of these kids.

Always learning something new...
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Re: Training complex in Goodyear

Postby dazindiansfanuk » Sun Mar 22, 2009 7:14 pm

I'd like to add my appreciation for your reports Art.

For the record, Hinkle's listed at 6'10" 220lbs and I assume the OF you're refering to is Darling Read... he's spent the last two years in the DSL.
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Re: Training complex in Goodyear

Postby jellis » Sun Mar 22, 2009 10:03 pm

I have also really enjoyed your reports art, very well worded and just wanted to say thanks for the effort
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Re: Training complex in Goodyear

Postby artgold » Sun Mar 22, 2009 10:29 pm

Thanks guys, appreciate the acknowledgement.

Hinkle is easily 6'10", and 220 would make him a pretty skinny guy. Sounds about right. He had pretty good command in the brief time I got a chance to look at him. If he ever learns to use his lower body a bit more in driving off the mound...

"Darling" Read? I had seen that earlier and assumed it was either a misprint or a nickname. Are you sure that is his real name?
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Re: Training complex in Goodyear

Postby MadThinker88 » Sun Mar 22, 2009 11:14 pm

I recognize the name and yes, its Darling Read. He played in the DSL last season and put up some nice numbers (.281 avg, 13 homers in 70 games / 249 AB, age 20).

I think Tony made a mention or two about him in write-ups last season.
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Re: Training complex in Goodyear

Postby artgold » Mon Mar 23, 2009 12:28 am

I didn't recall his numbers, to be honest I drew a blank when I first saw him. My write up was only based on my visual impression. Looking at the numbers, he may have a bit more power than I even was projecting. On the other hand though, he was a little on the older side for the league.

If Darling Read is successful in advancing however, he is going to be teased as much as this recent Red Sox prosect:

http://www.thebaseballcube.com/players/ ... gett.shtml
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Re: Training complex in Goodyear

Postby indianinkslinger » Mon Mar 23, 2009 2:10 am

Hello from Phoenix,

I spent the afternoon at the game with the Rockies in Tucson. Had a few observations about some of those guys that are still with the ML team. First, who the hell is George Lombard? He looked great at the plate but butchered a ball in RF that probably would have held the game to a tie.

I can see the enchantment with LaPorta and Brantley. LaPorta played a decent RF and squares up very well at the plate. He has a hole up in the zone from what I can see but it has to be tempting to bring him up. I don't think they should but he is real. Brantley looks to be solid defensively. Good routes on a couple of tough plays and his arm is better than I expected. He is not Gutz but he is not Johnny Damon either. Boy he has a quick bat.

Concerns about Cliff Lee should be put aside. He looked real comfortable in his five innings. I wish the same could be said for Raffy R. Still no effective 2nd pitch. Joe Smith got tagged twice by LH hitters when he got the ball up. He makes RH hitters look bad.
Marte got a couple of hits but I think he is gone. He has no patience and makes the same mistake at the plate over and over. Aubrey made a nice play in the field but his bat still looks slow to me.

Art and I are off to watch the minor leaguers tomorrow. Probably a lot more interesting than a ST game.

As an aside, I have not checked it out but there is a sports bar across from my hotel in Glendale. Will check it out tomorrow if I can.
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Re: Training complex in Goodyear

Postby TonyIBI » Mon Mar 23, 2009 10:16 am

Art and Norm, thanks for the reports. If you don't mind,since you guys will be watching the minor leaguers today, I would like to post your thoughts on the front page. Good stuff. Thanks.
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Re: Training complex in Goodyear

Postby Hermie13 » Mon Mar 23, 2009 10:22 am

indianinkslinger wrote:Hello from Phoenix,

I spent the afternoon at the game with the Rockies in Tucson. Had a few observations about some of those guys that are still with the ML team. First, who the hell is George Lombard? He looked great at the plate but butchered a ball in RF that probably would have held the game to a tie.

I can see the enchantment with LaPorta and Brantley. LaPorta played a decent RF and squares up very well at the plate. He has a hole up in the zone from what I can see but it has to be tempting to bring him up. I don't think they should but he is real. Brantley looks to be solid defensively. Good routes on a couple of tough plays and his arm is better than I expected. He is not Gutz but he is not Johnny Damon either. Boy he has a quick bat.

Concerns about Cliff Lee should be put aside. He looked real comfortable in his five innings. I wish the same could be said for Raffy R. Still no effective 2nd pitch. Joe Smith got tagged twice by LH hitters when he got the ball up. He makes RH hitters look bad.
Marte got a couple of hits but I think he is gone. He has no patience and makes the same mistake at the plate over and over. Aubrey made a nice play in the field but his bat still looks slow to me.

Art and I are off to watch the minor leaguers tomorrow. Probably a lot more interesting than a ST game.

As an aside, I have not checked it out but there is a sports bar across from my hotel in Glendale. Will check it out tomorrow if I can.


Isn't he the guy that played James Bond once? lol ;)



Hopefully Wedge is smart and NEVER lets him face a lefty (except for maybe an outing when we're getting blown out).....but since it's Wedge I don't think we'll get that wish..... :s_cry
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Re: Training complex in Goodyear

Postby indianinkslinger » Mon Mar 23, 2009 8:40 pm

Hermie13 wrote:
indianinkslinger wrote:Hello from Phoenix,

I spent the afternoon at the game with the Rockies in Tucson. Had a few observations about some of those guys that are still with the ML team. First, who the hell is George Lombard? He looked great at the plate but butchered a ball in RF that probably would have held the game to a tie.

I can see the enchantment with LaPorta and Brantley. LaPorta played a decent RF and squares up very well at the plate. He has a hole up in the zone from what I can see but it has to be tempting to bring him up. I don't think they should but he is real. Brantley looks to be solid defensively. Good routes on a couple of tough plays and his arm is better than I expected. He is not Gutz but he is not Johnny Damon either. Boy he has a quick bat.

Concerns about Cliff Lee should be put aside. He looked real comfortable in his five innings. I wish the same could be said for Raffy R. Still no effective 2nd pitch. Joe Smith got tagged twice by LH hitters when he got the ball up. He makes RH hitters look bad.
Marte got a couple of hits but I think he is gone. He has no patience and makes the same mistake at the plate over and over. Aubrey made a nice play in the field but his bat still looks slow to me.

Art and I are off to watch the minor leaguers tomorrow. Probably a lot more interesting than a ST game.

As an aside, I have not checked it out but there is a sports bar across from my hotel in Glendale. Will check it out tomorrow if I can.


Isn't he the guy that played James Bond once? lol ;)



Hopefully Wedge is smart and NEVER lets him face a lefty (except for maybe an outing when we're getting blown out).....but since it's Wedge I don't think we'll get that wish..... :s_cry

I am not completely sure I agree about Smith. Your Roogy limit is appropriate but he has the potential to be late inning. His two pitches that were hit hard were mistakes up in the zone. He is not going to get a lot of LH batters out with his breaking ball because the see it real well even with the late break. He has a change that is very promising. WIP and he needs to locate it better consistently. Nice downward fade to LHs. Art and I talked to his agent for a while about his client and he told us that Smith feels he is way behind because of his health issues this spring. We may have a Roogy who might be much more. I apologize if I left the impression that he was seriously flawed against LHs because I do believe he might become more.
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Re: Training complex in Goodyear

Postby Hermie13 » Tue Mar 24, 2009 9:49 am

indianinkslinger wrote:I am not completely sure I agree about Smith. Your Roogy limit is appropriate but he has the potential to be late inning. His two pitches that were hit hard were mistakes up in the zone. He is not going to get a lot of LH batters out with his breaking ball because the see it real well even with the late break. He has a change that is very promising. WIP and he needs to locate it better consistently. Nice downward fade to LHs. Art and I talked to his agent for a while about his client and he told us that Smith feels he is way behind because of his health issues this spring. We may have a Roogy who might be much more. I apologize if I left the impression that he was seriously flawed against LHs because I do believe he might become more.


He may have potential....but hasn't shown it yet. Last year righties hit .197 off him in 51.1 innings....lefties hit .320 in 12 innings. His WHIP was 1.07 against righties....but 2.25 against lefties. Also walked 11 and only struck out 7 lefties....as opposed to 45 K's vs righties vs only 20 walks.

Yes, it's was only 12 innings versus lefties....but there's a reason for it. As you hinted at, lefties get very good reads on his pitches (all of them, not just the breaking ball). It's the one big downside to be a sidearmer. Most will never be effective against the opposite (righties against lefties, lefties against righties). There's obviously some exceptions (Randy Johnson)....but Joe Smith is likely to have a career more like a Chad Bradford. Very good against righties....but shouldn't face lefties.


Maybe 'some' lefties....but no Thomes's, Morneau's, or Ortiz's.....EVER.


His career splits are a bit closer....but still lefties hit over .300 off him while righties only have hit .223.

With guys like perez and even Lewis and Betancourt (and possibly Jackson), there's really no reason to use Joe Smith against lefties.....
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Re: Training complex in Goodyear

Postby indianinkslinger » Tue Mar 24, 2009 1:34 pm

Hermie13 wrote:
indianinkslinger wrote:I am not completely sure I agree about Smith. Your Roogy limit is appropriate but he has the potential to be late inning. His two pitches that were hit hard were mistakes up in the zone. He is not going to get a lot of LH batters out with his breaking ball because the see it real well even with the late break. He has a change that is very promising. WIP and he needs to locate it better consistently. Nice downward fade to LHs. Art and I talked to his agent for a while about his client and he told us that Smith feels he is way behind because of his health issues this spring. We may have a Roogy who might be much more. I apologize if I left the impression that he was seriously flawed against LHs because I do believe he might become more.


He may have potential....but hasn't shown it yet. Last year righties hit .197 off him in 51.1 innings....lefties hit .320 in 12 innings. His WHIP was 1.07 against righties....but 2.25 against lefties. Also walked 11 and only struck out 7 lefties....as opposed to 45 K's vs righties vs only 20 walks.

Yes, it's was only 12 innings versus lefties....but there's a reason for it. As you hinted at, lefties get very good reads on his pitches (all of them, not just the breaking ball). It's the one big downside to be a sidearmer. Most will never be effective against the opposite (righties against lefties, lefties against righties). There's obviously some exceptions (Randy Johnson)....but Joe Smith is likely to have a career more like a Chad Bradford. Very good against righties....but shouldn't face lefties.


Maybe 'some' lefties....but no Thomes's, Morneau's, or Ortiz's.....EVER.


His career splits are a bit closer....but still lefties hit over .300 off him while righties only have hit .223.

With guys like perez and even Lewis and Betancourt (and possibly Jackson), there's really no reason to use Joe Smith against lefties.....

I agree with every word you published. But one of our differences is that you rely on statistics which reflect the past while I look at future potential to a greater degree. What I see in Smith is a young pitcher rushed to the majors without complete development because he fulfilled a need. He has the potential to develop an out pitch to LHs that may be the equal of his breaking ball to RHs. I am just saying that preconceived ideas based on statistics are usually true to a great extent but don't necessarily tell the whole story. :s_drinks
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Re: Training complex in Goodyear

Postby Hermie13 » Tue Mar 24, 2009 2:04 pm

It's hard to develop an out pitch to lefties when you're a right-handed sidearmer though......I've seen Smith pitch a few times, and I just don't see him ever being better than a Chad Bradford (as i mentioned before) against lefties.

Do hope I'm wrong obviously....but being a Bradford-like pitcher (without the walks) isn't a bad thing at all really.


Not really a 'preconceived idea' based on stats.....more his pitching syle. One of the best right handed sidearm type relievers I can remember in the past 15 years was Jeff Nelson with the Mariners and Yankees. He wasn't 'bad' against lefties....but they still hit 55 points higher and slugged 106 points higher against him than righties did.

I'm not saying Nelson can't be a late inning reliever...he can be....but only really against righties. I wouldn't be comfortable with him late in a game facing a tough lefty if the game is on the line. I'm sure Mariner/Yankee fans weren't when Nelson was in late against a lefty either though....
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Re: Training complex in Goodyear

Postby Upper Box Woodchuck » Tue Mar 24, 2009 6:01 pm

Just a note for anybody who can't make it to Goodyear, but wants a Spring Training program. You can buy them over the phone from the Goodyear team shop. Call the Goodyear office at (623) 882-3120 and ask to be put through to the team shop. It costs $7 ($5 for the program and $2 for shipping).

btw, the spring program is no longer titled "Game Face," I believe it's now being done through a design group in Phoenix rather than one in Cleveland.
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Re: Training complex in Goodyear

Postby artgold » Wed Mar 25, 2009 12:11 am

Hermie13 wrote:It's hard to develop an out pitch to lefties when you're a right-handed sidearmer though......I've seen Smith pitch a few times, and I just don't see him ever being better than a Chad Bradford (as i mentioned before) against lefties.

Do hope I'm wrong obviously....but being a Bradford-like pitcher (without the walks) isn't a bad thing at all really.


Not really a 'preconceived idea' based on stats.....more his pitching syle. One of the best right handed sidearm type relievers I can remember in the past 15 years was Jeff Nelson with the Mariners and Yankees. He wasn't 'bad' against lefties....but they still hit 55 points higher and slugged 106 points higher against him than righties did.

I'm not saying Nelson can't be a late inning reliever...he can be....but only really against righties. I wouldn't be comfortable with him late in a game facing a tough lefty if the game is on the line. I'm sure Mariner/Yankee fans weren't when Nelson was in late against a lefty either though....


I'm a bit older, and had the pleasure of watching many games pitched by the sidearming Jim Bunning, when he was a starter with the Phillies. He was a clear sidearmer, not a 3/4 or submarine type of pitcher, so he isn't a bad guy to analyze. His splits between lefties and righties during his career showed that he was excellent against righties, and somewhat below average against lefties. If you can be really superior against righties, you can get away with being marginal against lefties as long as you keep them in the ballpark.
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Re: Training complex in Goodyear

Postby indianinkslinger » Wed Mar 25, 2009 1:59 am

A postcard from the edge....of civilization-Goodyear. Well, today was much better than yesterday. No chain link walls. On the bright side, the new stadium is terrific. Excellent site lines except for OF corners. For those not accustomed to the AZ sun, I recommend seating in sections 113 and 114 for best seating and some shade. It was 77 today and, unlike yesterday, no wind. Goodyear has little civilization. Sorry but this is one of the failed AZ towns in serious trouble because of the real estate issues. Lots of empty housing. Just not a lot to do. Closest place with much is Glendale. Best sports bar is Metro Sports off I17 about 20 miles from the park. Lots of yummies at the stadium. Only food I tried was homemade ice cream which was good. Easy entry and exit.

Impressions from the game. Carmona had trouble early with his release point but weathered it and was largely unscathed. He looks ready. Jensen Lewis was up in the zone. Kobayashi was fortunate. I think he will not go north. Eddie Mu didn't look too bad but I think his chances are slim. Paid special attention to Pronk. He looks a little better but I forecast opening on the DL. Gimenez just does not look ready for the majors. Crowe did not look good in his chance at the plate.

On the Sox side, Poreda isn't really ready but he will be good soon. Not a strong side without dye and Quentin. Thome's bat has slowed perceptibly. Big holes at 2B and CF. No hitting and no real leadoff. I don't think 2009 is their year.

Tomorrow is off to the Pads and a game of insults with the SD fans.
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Re: Training complex in Goodyear

Postby Hermie13 » Wed Mar 25, 2009 10:11 am

indianinkslinger wrote:A postcard from the edge....of civilization-Goodyear. Well, today was much better than yesterday. No chain link walls. On the bright side, the new stadium is terrific. Excellent site lines except for OF corners. For those not accustomed to the AZ sun, I recommend seating in sections 113 and 114 for best seating and some shade. It was 77 today and, unlike yesterday, no wind. Goodyear has little civilization. Sorry but this is one of the failed AZ towns in serious trouble because of the real estate issues. Lots of empty housing. Just not a lot to do. Closest place with much is Glendale. Best sports bar is Metro Sports off I17 about 20 miles from the park. Lots of yummies at the stadium. Only food I tried was homemade ice cream which was good. Easy entry and exit.

Impressions from the game. Carmona had trouble early with his release point but weathered it and was largely unscathed. He looks ready. Jensen Lewis was up in the zone. Kobayashi was fortunate. I think he will not go north. Eddie Mu didn't look too bad but I think his chances are slim. Paid special attention to Pronk. He looks a little better but I forecast opening on the DL. Gimenez just does not look ready for the majors. Crowe did not look good in his chance at the plate.

On the Sox side, Poreda isn't really ready but he will be good soon. Not a strong side without dye and Quentin. Thome's bat has slowed perceptibly. Big holes at 2B and CF. No hitting and no real leadoff. I don't think 2009 is their year.

Tomorrow is off to the Pads and a game of insults with the SD fans.


yeah....not a suprise. Reason it's called 'Goodyear' is because way back when, the big time executives at Goodyear Tire & Rubber in Akron wanted a place to retire and sort of created that town. Before they moved out there was absolutley nothing there, lol.

And since Goodyear is struggling to even survive as a company now....doesn't suprise me that not much is going on out there sadly :s_cry


Fausto's walks are still worrying me a bit....but nice to see that sinker workig (8 groundballs in 5 innings).

I'm actually startign to think there may be some hope for Mujica....especially if Kobayashi struggles any more.


With Choo's elbow being sore early.....might make some sense then to start Hafner in extended spring training/DL and let Choo DH early. Issue here is does Looch start in LF or does Crowe make the team and start? Or crazier idea, does Garko start in LF and Vic at 1B?
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