July 29, 2014

Indians Outright Gimenez, Reyes and Ambriz, Start to Prepare 40-Man Roster

Cleveland baseball news in October? Yes, I know it’s an odd realization for fans to believe with the start of the NBA calendar and the NFL mid-way through its season. But believe it or not, the Cleveland Indians began to make some changes to its 40-man roster that will affect the team for the upcoming season.

Catcher Chris Gimenez and right-handed pitchers Anthony Reyes and Hector Ambriz were all outrighted off the 40-man roster to the listing for the Triple-A Columbus Clippers. Because of this move and the fact it was the second outright for both Gimenez and Reyes, those two players were granted free agency. This was the first such demotion for Ambriz, and thus he remains within control of the Indians organization.

These moves from earlier in the week are a sign of many more to come for the Tribe as the roster deadline approaches in November.
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Who were those guys? Tribe bats explode for 15 runs

The Indians opened their weekend series against the Royals by putting 15 runs on the board, the most from this typically quiet lineup since July 3 of last season.  The Tribe bats rocked former number 1 overall pick (and bust) Bryan Bullington.  Nine of their runs came via the long ball, with legends Chris Gimenez, Jayson Nix, and Matt LaPorta all hitting 3 run homers.  LaPorta homered for the second game in a row as the Tribe won their second game in a row.

The Indians spotted starter Josh Tomlin a 6 run lead after a 2nd inning explosion led by LaPorta’s 3 run bomb to left on an 0-2 count.  Gimenez doubled home Jason Donald while Michael Brantley and Shin-Soo Choo singled in the final RBIs of the inning.  Every batter in the Tribe lineup had a hit, a shocking and unexpected display from a lineup that has been exceedingly woeful for the past 3 weeks.  Donald finished with 4 hits for the second time this season.

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Indians 4 Yankees 1: The One Where Josh Tomlin Dominates

If there was ever a baseball game to bet on, this was it. CC Sabathia pitching for the World Champion New York Yankees in his return to Progressive Field. The Hefty Lefty had not lost since May 23rd. Opposing him for the Indians would be a 25 year old rookie who hadn’t even been on the 40-man roster before yesterday, Josh Tomlin. With Alex Rodriguez still in search of Home Run #600, this one had all of the making of a Yankees blow out.

But as a wise man once said, that is why they play the game. [Read more...]

Da Clip Show: Keeping an Eye on the Tribe’s AAA Squad – 7/13/10

Clip Show aims to be your weekly update for all things Columbus Clippers. Jacob in control here this week with DP on vacation, but check back each Tuesday afternoon for records, rosters, and performance updates on some of the top prospects in the Tribe system.

Despite a rough week overall, the Clippers head to the All-Star Break this season with a sizable 7.5 game lead in the IL West Division. With only 50 some odd games remaining, that should definitely put the franchise in a position to compete for the championship come later this September. While many players continue to move up I-71 from Columbus to Cleveland, the Clippers roster should include many if not all of the top prospects in the organization by the end of the year. A tough pennant race always attracts the best and it should be even more exciting second half down at Huntington Park.

This Week: 2-4
Current Record: 55-36, 1st place (of four) in ILW (International League West)

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Indians Notes: Gimenez Promoted, Redmond Designated, Phelps Streaking

The Indians made a roster move today as catcher/outfielder Chris Gimenez was purchased from the Columbus Clippers. To make room on the 40-man and 25-man roster, the team designated backup catcher Mike Redmond for assignment. The veteran had only appeared in three games since June 8th and with Carlos Santana firmly in command in Cleveland, was becoming much more expendable to the organization.

Gimenez returns to the major leagues where he spent the majority of the final four months of the 2009 season. For those that recall, he homered against the Minnesota Twins in just his second game in the bigs back on June 4th but finished with a .144 batting average in 45 games played. Redmond was batting just .206 in his 22 games, but at 39 years old, is much older than the more versatile 27-year-old Gimenez.

That’s the biggest of the news from Tribe land today and below the jump, read about some of the hottest hitters in the minor leagues. The list includes Columbus 2B Cord Phelps, Akron OF/1B/DH Matt McBride and new Kinston catcher Chun Chen:
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Gomez Shines and Bats Sizzle in 11-0 Clippers Win Over Tides

As we’ve documented repeatedly in Da Clip Show, one of the young pitchers who has definitely struggled for most of the season is Jeanmar Gomez. Prior to Tuesday’s start, Gomez was languishing with a 3-7 record in 12 starts to go with a ballooned ERA of 6.96. He was 1-5 in his last six decisions.

So, color me surprised to read the box score and see that Gomez worked 7.0 strong innings on Tuesday, allowing just three hits, walking none, and striking out six to get the win. It was almost like a switch appeared to have been flipped, and Gomez was a completely different pitcher. “I just know what he can do,” said manager Mike Sarbaugh, who also managed Gomez in AA Akron in 2009. “And I know that he hasn’t been throwing consistently the way that he can. I know that he can do it. But it’s a matter of going out there and not really worrying about throwing seven innings like he did today. It’s important for him to worry about one hitter at a time. If he does that, then good things will happen.” [Read more...]

Return of CLIP SHOW! Keeping an Eye on the Tribe’s AAA Squad – 4/13/10

Clip Show aims to be your weekly update for all things Columbus Clippers. Check back each Tuesday afternoon for team records, roster updates, and performance updates on some of the brightest prospects in the Tribe system.

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It definitely feels like spring. The Clippers are back, I’ve been able to take in two games in beautiful Huntington Park, and I’ve enjoyed seeing Carlos Santana almost a little too much. But hey… I need to enjoy it while he’s still here. Let’s take a closer look at the Clippers’ week…

This Week: 3-2
Current Record: 3-2, t-1st place (of four) in ILW (International League West)

Weaver Shuts Out Tribe, But LaPorta is Finally Here!

Angels Indians BaseballI was all set to start a complete rip job of the Grinder. Word came down yesterday afternoon that stud prospect Matt LaPorta was getting the long overdue call-up from Columbus only because OF Trevor Crowe was forced to the DL. I figured that if I heard about it around 2 PM, then LaPorta must have known a solid hour before that. So when the lineups were posted and Jamey Carroll was in left and Chris Gimenez was at first, I was stunned.

I was cursing Eric Wedge for once again being short-sighted. How can Chris Gimenez, he of the 1-31 slump, continue to get at bats while LaPorta was sitting on the bench? What future does Jamey Carroll have in left field here? What was the point.

Then I found out LaPorta didn’t arrive until the fifth inning. [Read more...]

Examining the Columbus Crew

marteA third straight Monday without a game for our Wahoo Warriors. Most of you didn’t miss it last night, but I know I did. My two and a half year old son actually said to me “I wanna watch the Tribe” around 7:20. A tear came to my eye. Who knew he’d be so attracted to fourth place baseball? Nonetheless his heroes take the field tonight against the West leading Los Angeles Angels. I thought while we were basking in the glow of another series win within the division, we should examine that new blood that seemingly takes up the bottom of the order each night.

Andy Marte – 36 AB’s/.194 BA/0 HR/3 RBI/.532 OPS

36 at-bats does not a season make, and in reality, shouldn’t be nearly enough for a first impression. But the truth is, for Marte, 36 at bats speaks plenty. After being designated for assignment and being passed over by every other major league team, Marte returned to the Indians organization and started the year in Columbus. The thought was he would backup prospects Wes Hodges at third and both Matt LaPorta and Jordan Brown at first. Hodges was hurt early, and Marte pounced on the opportunity.

In Columbus, Marte blossomed, dominating the league in his 300 at bats. He hit .327 with 18 HR and 66 RBI’s, while playing stellar D at third base. The Indians brass was impressed enough to want to see more. So the former top prospect, still just 25 years old, got the recall when Ryan Garko was shipped to San Francisco to play first base every day. The word was the looping swing had been shortened, and his plate disciplined had improved. [Read more...]

Tribe Wins in a Laffey…errr…Laugher

Twins Indians BaseballI know the other day I penned a piece about Jake Westbrook possibly being next year’s opening day starter, but right now, the best candidate is looking more and more like Aaron Laffey.

Throughout this miserable season, the left-hander has gone from missing out on a rotation spot in Spring Training, to a recall in April where he was the second best starter the Indians had, to a stint in the bullpen, to the disabled list, to a rehab assignment, and back to the rotation.

Quite the whirlwind season for the youngster.

“It’s definitely been a crazy year,” he said. “Whatever I have to do to be here, I’m going to do it. If it’s closing, left-on-left matchup or starter, I don’t care — as long as I’m in the majors.”

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The Fall of Kelly Shoppach

shoppachThis is one of my all time favorite photos. Its from the ’07 season when Kelly Shoppach hit an improbable walk-off homer against the A’s at Jacobs Field. Those were the days. Four of the six players waiting at home plate are no longer donning the Red, White, and Blue.

Remember last year when the Indians organization had not one,  but two everyday catchers? While Victor Martinez was out with an injury which robbed him of his bat speed and power, Shoppach took over the reigns as the regular receiver and ran with it. Not only was he Cliff Lee’s personal caddy during his 22-3 Cy Young season, at the plate Shop was raking like an all star.

In just 112 games last season, Shoppach led all American League catchers in home runs with 21. He hit a more than respectable .261 and was managing the pitching staff fairly well. Once known for his defense and his arm, it was Shop’s bat that was turning heads. [Read more...]

So Boring, Even the Owner Falls Asleep

sick-wahooLost in my euphoric look into the future yesterday (ha ha) is the fact that the current version of the Indians is still a very flawed collection of players. I know it worked for one night last week, but when an opposing pitcher looks at the Tribe lineup and sees a 6-9 of Chris Gimenez, Luis Valbuena, Andy Marte, and Trevor Crowe, you know he licks his chops. The Twins Scott Baker, who owns the Tribe to begin with, completely shut down the “Columbus crew plus five” for seven shutout innings during a 10-1 loss at Dolan Field.

I was “lucky” enough to be down at the corner of Carnegie and Ontario last night with the family. Since the game was pretty much a complete snoozer, I’ll give you a few quick highlights of my game experience.

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Whither Jordan Brown?

j_brownAs you probably know from my extra-long Clip Show yesterday, I am not opposed to Andy Marte getting one last shot in the majors. But, as I had an interesting conversation with Jacob yesterday over e-mail about the state of the Clippers and Aeros, an interesting point came to light that Jacob encouraged me to write about.

What does Jordan Brown have to do to get a shot? He’s one of the guys in the Tribe’s system of outfielders that you don’t really hear about anymore. He gets lost behind the likes of Matt LaPorta, Michael Brantley, and even Trevor Crowe in Columbus. But, when I was writing up Clip Show yesterday, I sent Jacob the following e-mail: “Wow, I just ran his numbers for the week… Brown went 9 for 18, and since June 16th is hitting .395. Why is [Chris] Gimenez up in Cleveland again??”

I meant it as kind of a rhetorical joke, but then Jacob’s response really gave me pause: “Gimenez is up in Cleveland because he can play multiple positions in the outfield along with being a catcher and first baseman. He is an Eric Wedge specialty.” Sadly, that actually makes sense. But here’s the thing: Brown is not only just about as versatile, but he is light-years ahead of Gimenez as a hitter. So, why is Brown still stuck in Columbus? [Read more...]

Five and Fly: Vic’s Bomb Saves The Day

Indians Angels BaseballAmazing. I smell 2008 all over again with your beloved Erie Warriors. Thanks to a ninth inning Victor Martinez three-run jack off of Angels close Brian Fuentes, the Indians pulled off a come from behind stunner in Anaheim, winning 8-6, and pushing their winning streak to five. From an hour before the game until the last out, it was quite the interesting evening.

Manager Eric Wedge was not in uniform, serving a one-game suspension for the incident involving two hit batters in Seattle on Saturday. Next came the last minute scratch of scheduled DH Ryan Garko, who had been shipped to San Francisco for A-ball pitcher Scott Barnes. Wedge and interim manager Jeff Datz had to scramble to fox his lineup with Grady Sizemore and Travis Hafner both in need of a day off.

So Jhonny Peralta, also scheduled for a day off, took the DH spot. Jamey Carroll was at third, Luis Valbuena played  second, Chris Gimenez took  left,  Ben Francisco was in center, and the sub-.200 hitting Kelly Shoppach was catching. If you knew this lineup would produce 20 hits – that’s right, 20 hits – then call yourself a genius. [Read more...]

While We’re Waiting… Jamario Moon Deal Final, Josh Cribbs Discussions, Derek Anderson Interview

While We’re Waiting serves as the early morning gathering of WFNY-esque information for your viewing pleasure. Have something you think we should see? Send it to our tips email in the sidebar.

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Although the Heat made their intentions known earlier in the evening, Super Jamario officially became a Cavalier as the clock struck midnight: “Per a Tweet from Bob Finnan, the Miami Heat have notified the Cavaliers that they will not match the Cavs’ 3-year offer to Jamario Moon making Moon a member of the Cavaliers.  The deal is reportedly worth $8.92 million over 3 years, with the first two years of the contract guaranteed.  It was the 2nd season, 2010, that made the Heat leery of matching since it would take away some financial flexibility in an already draining free agent market next summer.” [John Bena/Fear the Sword]

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The Little Lineup That Could

Indians White Sox BaseballAs bad as they have been all season, you have got to give it to this scrappy Indians team lately. I know I know, they were picked by many to win the AL Central and sit seven games out with an unimpressive 25-34 record, but there are signs of life.

I mean seriously, how can you not be somewhat impressed with this bunch of rag-tag youngsters and journeyman that surround Victor Martinez after Sunday’s 8-4 in Chicago? Did you see the lineup that Eric Wedge posted? To quote radio play by play man Tom Hamilton before the game “when Kelly Shoppach is hitting sixth right now, you know you could be in for trouble.” Travis Hafner was unavailable as the Indians aren’t playing him more than two days in a row. The bottom third of the order read like this:

Chris Gimenez – 1B

Luis Valbuena – SS

Trevor Crowe – CF

Not exactly murderers row. So how exactly did the Indians manage to score eight runs and win the rubber game of the series? Two words:  Bartolo Colon. [Read more...]

BREAKING: Grady Sizemore to 15 day DL

The Tribe have placed Grady Sizemore on the 15-day DL with left elbow synovitis, the team announced by press release this morning.  They have called up Chris Gimenez from AAA  Columbus to fill his roster spot.

Sizemore has battled with elbow pain all season and his hitting (or lack thereof) can surely be related to this.  He will be available to return June 15.

Gimenez has spent the season on the Clippers where he’s hit .235 (.012 better than Grady!) with 8 doubles, 6 homers, and 15 RBI.  He’s played 24 games at catcher, 11 in left and 3 games at first.  He has been hittnig well of late, batting .339 since May 12.

Josh Barfield Makes Tribe Roster; Trevor Crowe Sent to AAA Columbus

barfieldJosh Barfield was able to prove his versatility to manager Eric Wedge and earn the final bench spot on the Tribe’s roster.  Barfield demonstrated significant progress and sufficient ability playing both the outfield and third base throughout the Cactus League season.  Wedge also cited the speed and decision making of Barfield as a pinch runner in late game situations as another advantage which worked in the 26 year old’s favor.  Barfield continued to struggle at the plate throughout the spring, hitting only .184 to date, but displayed those desirable intangible traits – effort, “grinding” ability, willingness to be a team player – that the organization and Eric Wedge cherish so much.  It is easy to admire Barfield’s attitude and versatility.  Playing time, however, will be hard to come by for Barfield in the final spot on the bench.  It will probably turn out that in fact the majority of his infrequent playing time is created as a pinch runner. [Read more...]

Remembering Max Ramirez

Max Ramirez, IndiansWhat started as a way to bring you up to speed with former Indians Ryan Church and Ryan Ludwick has turned into quite the feature over here at WFNY.  But some of you may be saying, “Who the heck is Max Ramirez?” 

Max, whose full first name is Maximiliano, is a 23-year old catcher that resides in the farm system for the Texas Rangers.  He was a Dominican League All-Star third baseman in 2003, Appalachain League All-Star as a catcher in 2005, and Carolina League All-Star again as a catcher in 2007. 

In Double-A ball, Ramirez is hitting .360/.451/.650 (1.101 OPS) with 17 home runs and 50 RBI.

Oh, and he’s the guy we traded away last July for three-months of Kenny Lofton.

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