April 24, 2014

Tribe Loses Two, Gains One in Rule 5 Draft

The Major League phase of baseball’s Rule 5 draft was just completed.  For those who aren’t familiar with it, it works this way, per MLBTradeRumors.com:

Players are eligible for the Rule 5 Draft if they aren’t on the 40-man roster four or five years after signing, depending on the age at which they signed. Teams draft in the reverse order of the previous season’s standings but aren’t required to make a selection. If they do choose a player, they pay his former team $50K and must keep that player on the Major League roster all season or offer him back to his original team for $25K.

This morning, the Indians lost two players from their organization. One time top prospect, Hector Rondon, was selected second overall by the Chicago Cubs. Rondon spent almost three full seasons recovering from a multitude of injuries before, but was said to be pitching well and a potential bullpen option for the Indians late in the 2013 season. Instead, he will be a Chicago Cub, unless they don’t like what they see. The Tribe also bids farewell to 23 year old left-handed starter T.J. McFarland, who was taken 23rd by Baltimore. The soft-tossing lefty went 16-8 with a 4.03 ERA in 27 starts between Akron and Columbus.

Don’t fret – if the Indians were that high on either player, they’d have been protected on the 40-man roster.

On the other side, the Tribe took 24-year old first baseman Chris McGuiness from the Texas Rangers with their Rule 5 pick. The left-handed hitting McGuiness was just named MVP of the Arizona Fall League who spent the 2012 season in AA Frisco. He hit 23 homers and drove in 77 runs with an OPS of .840 in 123 games. He is said to be a solid defensive player but with the Rangers system loaded with talent, he was left off their 40-man roster.

The Tribe has now loaded up with low-budget options at first base should they not find what they are looking for in trades or on the open market. McGuiness, Mike McDade (added from Toronto), Lars Anderson, and Russ Canzler are all on the 40-man roster.

[Source - MLB Trade Rumors]

WFNY Wednesday Wahoos: Indians Minor League Weekly Review 5/30

Every Wednesday, I bring you all the highlights from the week that was for the Cleveland Indians organization, along with some added insight on what it means for the major league squad.

The biggest call of the week seems to be the complex decision to promote 3B Lonnie Chisenhall back up from AAA Columbus. As has been reported several times, 3B Jack Hannahan missed about 10 games with a sore back, returned for one game Saturday, then re-injured a calf that’s been bugging him in years past. This is his first DL stint in the pros. [Read more...]

Surprising Starters Shine Throughout Cleveland, Columbus, Akron in 2012

Entering the 2012 season, the Cleveland Indians were not expected to have all that much starting pitching depth. After last year’s trade that brought Ubaldo Jimenez to Cleveland and sent out Alex White and Drew Pomeranz, the two-most highly rated hurlers in the system, the Tribe’s minor leagues took a big hit.

Of course, the system still was top-heavy, as there were eight players contending in spring training for a rotation spot (including Zach McAllister, David Huff and Kevin Slowey). The winners were Justin Masterson, Derek Lowe, Josh Tomlin, Gomez and Jimenez, but that meant several players for AAA Columbus already had plenty of MLB experience, and the lower levels on down didn’t have many top names at all. [Read more...]