I'm gonna wait till the midnight hour
The Draft system might indeed be broken in the wake of Steven Strasburg’s record-setting, $15.6 million signing bonus with the Nationals. The bonuses based on potential and not performance have obviously gotten out of control.
But this doesn’t bother me nearly as much as the midnight deadline. Was this really necessary? If my time at Ohio University (and specifically, Court Street), taught me anything (and it’s debatable that it did), it’s that nobody makes good decisions with their money at that hour.
EXCRUCIATING MINUTIA OF THE DAY…
- The Indians made the decision to give Alex White a $2.25 million signing bonus at about 11:56 p.m. last night. GM Mark Shapiro addressed that signing with reporters. As expected, he announced that the Indians will initially groom White as a starter. It’s still possible the ‘pen is where he’ll end up, but giving him the innings and the opportunity as a starter to begin with makes the most sense.
- It appears scouting director Brad Grant jumped the gun when he announced to reporters on the day of the Draft that the Indians project White as a reliever and plan to transition him to that role in 2010. Shapiro said those plans hadn’t been “collectively” discussed at that point. It’s one of the rare situations in which the higher-ups in this organization weren’t on the same page, with regard to how they handled the media.
- Anyway, White won’t be starting anywhere in the season proper. His next step is to go through a strength and conditioning program in Goodyear, Ariz., where he’ll take part in the Fall Instructional League. The Indians will decide whether or not to have him pitch in the Arizona Fall League. The plans for White for next year, in terms of where he’ll begin the season, are not determined, but White will be in big-league camp, as has been the standard for all the Tribe’s No. 1 Draft picks the last several years.
- Trevor Crowe remained out of the lineup tonight with a strained oblique muscle. But he took four rounds of batting practice and handled it well. If he reports to the park feeling fine Wednesday, he should be back in the lineup, Eric Wedge said.
- Andy Marte still looks like Andy Marte to me. Wedge said he’s seen some improvement in Marte’s approach and balance, but clearly it’s not translating at this level yet.
- Marte’s window of opportunity could be closing come September, when Matt LaPorta joins the club and gets ample time at first base.
- Speaking of September callups, Wedge and the front office have been meeting to discuss the options available. Most would-be callups are already here, of course, but Carlos Carrasco and Hector Rondon are among the more interesting options. Carrasco figures to join the rotation, and it appears as though he could take the place of David Huff, who might be shutdown before season’s end. The Indians want to be careful with Huff’s innings total, as he missed much of 2007 with elbow trouble and threw 146 1/3 innings in the Minors last year. He’ll probably max out at about 160-170 innings this season, according to Wedge. Huff is currently at 131 1/3 innings this season, between the bigs and Triple-A.
- Shin-Soo Choo enjoyed watching countryman Y.E. Yang topple Tiger Woods on Sunday. “I don’t play golf, and I’m not a golf fan,” Choo said. “But I wanted him to beat Tiger.”
- Choo’s teammates are now joking with him that he’s the second-most famous Korean, behind Yang. But make no mistake, Choo is famous. There’s a camera crew following him around this week for a Choo documentary that will air on South Korea in November.
- Speaking of Choo, he’s been taking reps in center field in case he’s needed there, with Ben Francisco out of the picture and Crowe nursing that sore side.
- The Indians’ 16-12 record in the second half is the best in the AL Central.
- In the last six games at Progressive Field, entering tonight, the Indians have not homered. This ballpark ranks 23rd among the 30 parks in homers per game at 1.72. For comparison’s sake, San Francisco’s AT&T Park (1.41) has been the toughest place to homer, while Yankee Stadium (3.14) has been the easiest. These numbers are courtesy of STATS LLC.
- Massillon’s Austin Patterson was set to throw out tonight’s ceremonial first pitch. He was also on the field for batting practice. Austin was the 2009 Pitch, Hit & Run national champion for the 9- and 10-year-olds group at the All-Star Game in St. Louis, Mo.
- OF Nick Weglarz landed on the Akron disabled list with shin splints. The Futures Game participant was hitting .227 with 16 homers and 65 RBIs.
- The Indians and Columbus Blue Jackets have formed a marketing alliance in which the MLB and NHL teams will share advertising and hospitality elements, provide ticket offers to each other’s fan base and share media exposure across broadcast partner channels. And this comes in the same season in which the Indians began selling ticket packages with the NFL’s Browns. If you’re so inclined, read about the new arrangement with the Blue Jackets here.