July 23, 2014

Huff Activated, Sent To Columbus

The Indians announced today that left-handed starting pitcher David Huff was activated from the 15-day disabled list and optioned to Triple-A Columbus. Huff, 27, went on the DL with a strained right hamstring that occurred on March 29th in Spring Training. Huff was in competition with Jeanmar Gomez and Kevin Slowey for the fifth starter spot prior to the injury, and could have potentially earned a spot in the bullpen as well. In 11 games (10 starts) last season, Huff was 2-6 with a 4.09 ERA, allowing 17 walks, 55 hits, and striking out 36 in 50 2/3 innings. He joins a Columbus rotation that already includes Slowey, Scott Barnes, Zach McAllister, Corey Kluber and Chris Seddon. The Tribe now has two players on the DL in centerfielder Grady Sizemore and starter Carlos Carrasco, both on the 60-day DL.

Catching Up With the Clippers

I for one miss our old friend DP. He left us for greener pastures, but his legacy lives on. No, I’m not going to talk about the Columbus Blue Jackets, but with the Tribe on an off-day yesterday, I thought it would be a good time to check in with DP’s very own AAA Columbus Clippers. With the expected offensive struggles of the big club, Tribe fans should always be keeping on eye on the Clippers. There is some talent down I-71, but there are also a lot of 4A specials who are hoping to catch lightning in a bottle. So in an ode to DP’s former weekly column “Da Clip Show,” we now take a gander at what’s goin’ on down south. [Read more...]

Indians Spring Training Battles: The Fifth Starter

When the entire Fausto Carmona identity situation came to light, the Indians were left with a dilemma. Should they look for outside alternatives to fill the new void at the fifth spot in the rotation or should they consider the in-house candidates that were expected to start the season at AAA Columbus? As it turned it, the battle would be a combination of both.

Two days after the arrest of the man we now know as Roberto Hernandez, the Tribe traded for right-hander Kevin Slowey who struggled with injuries last year in Minnesota, but was a solid back of the rotation guy the previous three years. Just before Spring Training started, they kicked the tired on veteran righty Jon Garland, who was coming off of shoulder surgery. As it turned out, Garland failed his physical and never joined the club. So Slowey would enter the battle as the lone new guy and would take on Jeanmar Gomez, David Huff, Zach McAllister, and Scott Barnes. All of these pitchers have Minor League options.

But would the best man really win? [Read more...]

While We’re Waiting… Comparing Kipnis, Play the kids, and fifth-starter battle

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 at tips@waitingfornextyear.com.

“Apparently, it’s not a unique opinion these days as Manny Acta told Pete Gammons this week that Kipnis was a “cross between Pedroia and Utley” and – while I attempt to compose myself and fight every urge that I have to order a Kipnis jersey online on the basis of that quote – the success that Kipnis enjoyed last year seems to portend that kind of impactful bat from the middle of the infield. Really, I think that gets to the crux of what Kipnis could do for the 2012 offense as guys like Kinsler, Utley, and Pedroia are the engines that make their offenses run. Sure, they’re surrounded by some talent, but just to use Utley (since Acta invoked his name) as an example, from 2005 to 2010, Utley had either the highest OPS+ on Philadelphia in (2007, 2008) or the 2nd highest OPS+ on the team (2005, 2006, 2009, 2010), so as much attention as has been paid to Ryan Howard and Jimmy Rollins, among others, Utley has been the straw that stirs the drink that is Philly’s offense for the better part of the 7 years that he’s been there.

Think about Kipnis in that vein and it’s impossible not to get excited and while it becomes difficult to temper expectations and enthusiasm after reading that Acta thinks that Kipnis is a “cross between Pedroia and Utley”, particularly if you remember the impact that he had on the team last year when he arrived.” [Cousineau/The DiaTribe] [Read more...]

While We’re Waiting… Signing Asdrubal, Slowey’s chance and Sullinger peaking

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 at tips@waitingfornextyear.com.

“Right now the biggest decision the Indians may have on their hands is what to do with Cabrera. Both sides have already made it known publicly that they would like to get a long term deal done, but the longer they go without a deal the less likely it becomes since with each passing day free agency gets closer and closer. If a long term deal is not struck sometime before or just after the All Star break this year, Cabrera may be inclined – assuming he is playing well – to just take another one year deal in arbitration next spring and then test the free agent waters after the season.

There is no doubt that Cabrera is in the driver’s seat in the negotiations process right now since he is coming off of an All Star season last year where he hit .273 with 25 homers, 92 RBI and .792 OPS in 151 games. Because of that the Indians are probably best served to let this season play out some before taking things another step further. With 2011 more in the rearview mirror and his performance the first few months of this season in focus, it will either solidify his 2011 campaign or raise some doubts about his consistency.” [Lastoria/Indians Prospect Insider] [Read more...]

MLB Trade Rumors: Would You Trade Travis Hafner for A.J. Burnett?

I love Hot Stove talk. Pitchers and catchers report in less than two weeks and it appears as if the Indians are still looking to improve their roster. With Asdrubal Cabrera signing his one-year deal on Friday avoiding arbitration, the Tribe has everyone under contract for the 2012 season….and that’s it.

It’s now the worst kept secret in town, but the Tribe literally has nobody signed past 2012. Of course, they control the rights to many of their young players as well as club option years for the likes of Ubaldo Jimenez, Travis Hafner, and the man formerly known as Fausto Carmona. Many people are viewing this is a bad thing. I say, good for them. Remember all of these years where we have been saddled with the noose that is the Hafner contract, the deal that is considered among the most untradeable on the game.

That contract is finally going to be off the books after 2012 with the Indians surely buying out the remaining option year. But is it as untradeable as we all think? Yes, of course it is. However, GM Chris Antonetti could shed Hafner for the equivalent of the pitching version of his deal – Yankees starter A.J. Burnett. [Read more...]

MLB Rumors: Indians Working on Deal for SP Jon Garland

The Cleveland Indians are apparently looking to corner the market on soft-throwing, location-based right handers as the team is reportedly in the mix for veteran starting pitcher Jon Garland.

Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal reports that the Indians are “working on” a deal for Garland, 32, with apparent hopes of providing another inning-eating starter on a relative discount.  The 10th-overall selection in the 1997 amateur draft, Garland spent the bulk of his career with the Chicago White Sox (making the All-Star game in 2005) before bouncing around the West Coast over the last three seasons.

If signed, Garland would provide additional depth in the wake of the Fausto Carmona/Roberto Hernandez Heredia arrest. The Indians have recently acquired the right-handed Kevin Slowey in a trade with the Colorado Rockies.

Garland underwent season-ending shoulder surgery this past July with a recovery time slated for approximately six months. Over his 12 seasons in the majors, Garland has a record of 132-119 and an ERA of 4.32, totaling at least 190 innings in nine of his last 10 seasons. He possesses a career mark of 1.31 ground balls to every fly ball.

It is assumed that, like other deals consumated by the Indians this offseason, Garland’s contract will be of the minor league variety with plenty of incentives built in. If healthy, he could ultimately rival David Huff and Jeanmar Gomez for a rotation spot.

[Related: Setting the Lines for the 2012 Indians]

(Source: Ken Rosenthal)

Can Kevin Slowey Replace “Fausto Carmona”?

Other than noting the unfortunate nature of the whole story, I don’t have much to say about the pitcher formerly known as Fausto.  From what I can gather, it sounds like he’s not going to make it to Spring Training.  Which, I believe, means he’ll be put on the “restricted” list, a form of MLB purgatory wherein you do not receive a paycheck.  It’s mostly a sad story, and one I don’t enjoying dwelling on all that much.

But that doesn’t mean that the Indians don’t have to move forward, and that’s what they did by acquiring Kevin Slowey from the Colorado Rockies for Zach Putnam (and cash to offset Slowey’s $2.75 million salary).  Before we get into what we might expect from Slowey, we would be remiss not to notice that the Rockies’ GM Dan O’Dowd used to work in the Indians’ front office and in the last eight months has acquired five of the Indians farmhands.  That’s probably a coincidence (he’s been the Rockies’ GM since 1999), but it’s still interesting that Chris Antonetti seems to have built a rapport with O’Dowd. [Read more...]

While We’re Waiting…Fausto Apologizes, Tribe Trades for Slowey, And On Cavs Last Rebuild

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 at tips@waitingfornextyear.com

On Tribe’s deal for Kevin Slowey: “The Cleveland Indians haven’t had the most exciting offseason in the history of the franchise, though things are certainly changing. Pitcher Fausto Carmona was arrested for actually being Roberto Hernandez Heredia on Thursday and, to follow that up Friday, the Indians traded for Kevin Slowey from the Colorado Rockies.

Slowey doesn’t elicit quite the response that Carmona’s false identity scandal did, but the former starting pitcher for the Minnesota Twins shouldn’t be the worst thing to happen to Cleveland’s pitching staff this season. Slowey’s started 90 games in his career, compiling 39 wins and 29 losses despite an 0-8 season with the Minnesota Twins last year.

To acquire the 27-year-old Slowey, the Indians shipped Zach Putnam to the Rockies,according to Fox Sports’ Jon Morosi.”  [Scott Schroeder / SB Nation] [Read more...]

Fausto Roughed Up in 9-3 loss to Twins

The Indians opened the season with another sub .500 April that came to an end last night in a lopsided loss to the Minnesota Twins, putting the Tribe at 9-13 for the month.  A lack of timely hitting, poor pitching, and sub standard defense typically lead to losses against one of the best teams in the league and that’s how it played out last night.  The Twins, who finished a great first month at 15-8, jumped on Fausto Carmona who clearly did not have his best stuff working on what was the warmest night at Progressive Field this season.  Justin Morneau hit a 435 foot two-run bomb into the trees in centerfield to open the scoring in the first.

The Twins would add 4 more in the second in an inning where the damage could have been avoided with better defense backing up Fausto.  Luis Valbuena, turning a double play, made a low throw that Matt LaPorta was unable to scoop to end the inning.  The Twins scored on what should have been a routine DP.  Fausto gave up another single which extended the lead to 5-0 before getting out of the inning.  With the floundering Tribe offense, that is all Minnesota would need.

[Read more...]

Twins 5 Indians 1: Cabrera’s Error The Game Changer

Stat of the night coming in: The Indians, a noted below-average defensive team over the past few years, had committed just four errors in their first 12 games. One of those errors, a Jhonny Peralta butchered two-out, bases loaded throw in Detroit, was the difference in a 5-2 loss 12 days ago. History would repeat itself last night at Minnesota’s Target Field. This time, the blunder came from an unlikely source.

Ask any talent evaluator who is the best Indians defensive player, and I’m guessing 95% of them will tell you Asdrubal Cabrera. The future gold glove shortstop plays the position with Omar Vizquel-like ease. Errors are going to happen, you just hope that the damage is minimized. [Read more...]

Series Preview: Twins at Indians

twins-indiansMinnesota Twins (7-9) at Cleveland Indians (6-10)
Progressive Field, Cleveland, OH
Dates: 4/24-26
TV/Radio: STO-HD (Fri, Sat), WKYC3 (Sun); AM 1100 WTAM

Fresh off of a series win, the Tribe will stick around Cleveland for the weekend as they welcome the Minnesota Twins to town.  The Indians are still at the bottom of the division, but only find themselves 2.5 games out of first.  A series win over Minnesota would mathematically put us at least ahead of them in the standings.  Detroit and Kansas City are squaring off this weekend as well, so there should at least be a few more losses for one or the other.

If there’s a silver lining to this series, it appears that we will avoid both Scott Baker and Francisco Liriano on the hill for the Twins.  Of course, this also means that we’ll have to capitalize on this; at least we have Aaron Laffey’s home/road splits in our favor.  We just don’t know who he’ll be facing.  The key may be the match-up between Slowey and Pavano tomorrow evening. 

Oh, and Minnesota is 1-4 on the road.  That’s a good thing.

[Read more...]