It comes as no big surprise, but among the Indians first demotions to the minor league camp are 2009 #1 pick Alex White and top-tier pitching prospect Kelvin De La Cruz. White, who manager Manny Acta was very excited to see this spring, made two scoreless appearances in Arizona before being returned to minor league camp. He is expected to start the season in Kinston (A), but it wouldn’t surprise anyone to see him in Akron at some point this season. De La Cruz, who entered 2009 as the #6 overall prospect according to guru Tony Lastoria will be in Akron (AA) to open the campaign. The Tribe brass is very interested in taking a long look at the left-handed De La Cruz, who missed most of last season with an elbow injury.
The other two cuts were 22-year old reliever Zach Putnam and veteran Jason Grilli. While Putnam was a long shot to make the big club, Grilli seemed to come to camp with a decent shot. Those dreams died when Grilli suffered a fluke injury while running – a quad tear that will most likely keep him shelved for the entire 2010 season.
In other Tribe pitching news, Aaron Laffey, fighting for one of the two rotation openings, was lit up by the Padres yesterday in Peoria, Arizona yesterday. Laffey was the first of the three in the running to have a bad outing, allowing four runs on five hits, walking three. David Huff gets his chance to shine today against the Milwaukee Brewers.