Results tagged ‘ Michael Brantley ’

This is our kingdom of days

We are now three weeks away from Opening Day. In the meantime, here’s the rundown of yet another “day that ends in y” here at Spring Training camp.

EXCRUCIATING MINUTIA OF THE DAY…

  • The Indians are today’s featured team on MLB Network’s “30 Clubs in 30 Days.” The first airing has already come and gone, but you can catch repeats at 11 p.m. ET tonight, and 6 a.m., 8 a.m., 10 a.m., noon and 4:30 ET on Tuesday.
  • Shin-Soo Choo did not play in South Korea’s 8-2 win over Mexico in the opener of Round 2 of the World Baseball Classic at San Diego’s Petco Park on Sunday. Choo gets one day off per round.
  • Head athletic trainer Lonnie Soloff will update the media on Adam Miller’s finger condition on Wednesday.
  • No player has improved his organizational stock this spring more than Chris Gimenez, who hit the walkoff three-run homer against the Mariners today. He’s proven he can handle his duties behind the plate, the versatility he provides with his ability to play the corner outfield spots and first base is a plus, and he’s been productive with the bat. He won’t crack the Opening Day roster, but he could be one of the first guys the Indians turn to down at Triple-A Columbus, depending on need.
  • Gimenez also won some points with fans today. As I’m typing this, the game ended about 15-20 minutes ago, and Gimenez is still down there signing autographs for fans lined up down the first-base line. He might have to walk back to the complex, as the last shuttle has likely left for the day.
  • A total of seven double plays were turned by the Indians and Mariners today. I neither know nor care if that’s a Cactus League record.
  • What’s more important is that Jeremy Sowers looked good again. He gave up a run on three hits with a walk and two strikeouts in four innings. Afterward, he credited the immortal Sal Fasano with the improvements he’s made in pitch selection. Fasano encouraged Sowers to begin using his two-seamer to right-handers and his four-seamer to left-handers, which Sowers had not done previously. You can read more about Sowers right here.
  • After a slow start, the rotation battle has heated up with the recent performances of Sowers, Aaron Laffey and Scott Lewis. “You like to see what’s happening with multiple guys,” Eric Wedge said.
  • Still waiting for that big hit that announces Travis Hafner is back. He’s driving the ball consistently in BP but that hasn’t translated into the games. Hitting coach Derek Shelton said Hafner’s improvements in approach from last year to this year are noticeable. He said Hafner got into some bad habits last year as a result of the shoulder problem. 
  • Here’s a choice quote from Shelton on outfield prospect Michael Brantley: “When you talk to him, he’s not a 21-year-old kid. His stages of thought and what he watches with pitchers is advanced, and that’s going to help his progression to the big leagues.”
  • Well, now I’m done typing, and Gimenez is just finishing up. He signed for every last fan who waited and even posed for some photos. You’ve got to love that.

~AC

May the rising sun caress and bless your soul for all your life

I am the proud possessor of my first sunburn of the year. And in a related note, I can vouch for the view of the action at Goodyear Ballpark from the lawn in right-center field.

 

Oh, but I have been working today, too. I swear. Here, I'll even prove it.

 

EXCRUCIATING MINUTIA OF THE DAY...

 

  • Third-base coach Joel Skinner, who works with the catchers, had a great line about Carlos Santana. "I keep waiting for the jack in the box to come out," Skinner said. In other words, Skinner, like a lot of other people here, can't believe the Indians got this guy in the Casey Blake trade. There's got to be a catch, right? Maybe not. The Dodgers, who have Russell Martin, obviously dealt from a position of depth, but Santana seems to have serious star potential. Skinner and others are raving about his swing (and remember, he's a switch-hitter, which is a huge plus) and his arm. He's got the perfect catcher's build, to boot.
  • The Indians have four players in Baseball America's Top 100 prospects list. Santana ranks 26th, outfielder Matt LaPorta is No. 27, outfielder Nick Weglarz is No. 58 and right-hander Adam Miller is No. 82. You can find the complete list right here.
  • Michael Brantley is not on that BA list, but he probably should be. Because of his build, his maturity, his skills and the fact that he's only 21 and still improving, some higher-ups around here are starting to think he might be the best player the Indians acquired last summer.
  • Mark DeRosa christened Goodyear Ballpark with its first home run -- a three-run shot in the third. He scooped up a breaking ball tossed by Keiichi Yabu.
  • Ed Mujica looked awesome on the back fields in live BP. Today, Ed Mujica looked like Ed Mujica.
  • Wedge thought both Mujica (4 ER, 3 H, 1 BB, 1 IP) and Vinnie Chulk (3 ER, 3 H, 0 BB, 1 K) were overthrowing. "If you do that, you open up and you're not the same guy," Wedge said.
  • If you're looking for a little background on Juan Salas, my MLB.com amigo Jesse Sanchez had a nice blog posting on him last August that you might want to check out.
  • More BP on Field No. 1 for Travis Hafner this morning. And for what it's worth, he hit a couple shots that cleared the scoreboard in right-center field. Victor Martinez also had a nice round of BP, spraying balls to both sides of the field.
  • Another choice quote from Rapid Robert: "If the ballclub's as good as the facilities, they ought to win the World Series in four games."

 ~AC

Hey mister deejay, won't ya hear my last prayer

I really don't see how it's even remotely possible that anyone could or would need to listen to a radio station other than E Street Radio -- the all-Bruce Springsteen station on Sirius and XM.

 

Actually, I'm on my second rental car of the spring already, because the Sirius subscription in the first one ran out a day into my rental period. That wasn't going to cut it. I need access to the only station where it's standard practice to hear, on average, five versions of "Thunder Road" (the studio version, the live version from the Agora Ballroom in '78, the solo piano version from the live boxed set, the original version named "Wings for Wheels" from early '75 and the studio alternate version in which the woman he's singing to is named Chrissie, not Mary) a day.

 

To me, that's perfect radio. But for the rest of you, perfect radio involves the Indians broadcasts.

 

Unfortunately, not every game down here in the Cactus League will be carried by WTAM, WMMS and the Indians Radio Network. Tom Hamilton, who arrived to camp today, will be in the booth for Wednesday's opener and 20 other spring exhibitions.

 

The rest of the time, you can turn to the soothing sounds of Jim Rosenhaus right over in these parts at Indians.com. Those of you with a subscription to MLB.com's Gameday Audio feature can tune in at the site for every game, including the ones not carried on the radio. For the complete spring broadcast schedule, click here.

  

EXCRUCIATING MINUTIA OF THE DAY...

 

  • It will be David Huff opposing Hector Rondon in the first inning of tomorrow's 1 p.m. intrasquad game. The game will last five innings in all. Rafael Betancourt, Kirk Saarloos, Adam Miller, Greg Aquino, Jensen Lewis, Masa Kobayashi, John Meloan and Ryan Edell will all get an inning of work.
  • Also of note for the intrasquad is that Ryan Garko and Jamey Carroll will both play in the outfield, while Josh Barfield will be at third base. Eric Wedge said he’s seen enough of Garko to determine it’s worth a shot, particularly in such a meaningless game.
  • At the end of this morning’s workout, the position players took part in an interesting situational hitting drill. They were divided into two teams. When a player would step into the cage, the players from the opposing team would call out a situation — for example, bases loaded with the infield in and one out — and the hitter would have to respond with the appropriate at-bat. Get it right, get a point. Get it wrong, lose a point. The team with the fewest points at the end had to pick up all the balls sprayed around the field. Some funny moments came out of this, and you can read about them on Indians.com in a little bit. But the highlight was when Shin-Soo Choo’s situation was basically “don’t hit a homer.” He hit a towering shot off the center-field wall, about a foot and a half short of going out. Big League Choo, ladies and gentlemen.
  • Nick Weglarz is a beast at 6-foot-3, 245 pounds. He was one of the early arrivals to Minor League camp this year, because he's due to leave to represent Canada in the World Baseball Classic this week. He took batting practice with the members of big-league camp this morning. I'll write up Weglarz in the coming days, but the main things you need to know about him is that he's got the body of a Travis Hafner with enough athleticism, the Indians believe, to remain in left field. He's not your typical power hitter. At Class A Kinston last year, he had a .396 on-base percentage, drawing 71 walks and striking out 78 times.
  • Another Andy Marte sighting today. He was working out at the complex and changing in the Minor League locker room. The Indians weren't able to work out a trade involving Marte, and he was officially exposed to waivers this morning. Teams have until Wednesday to claim him. I'll have Marte's take on his situation in a story on Indians.com this afternoon.
  • Jhonny Peralta will see some time at third this spring, but it won’t be a “steady diet,” Wedge said. It will be just enough to ensure Peralta is ready to jump over there from time to time during the season, if the need arises.
  • Former big-league player and hitting coach Mickey Brantley will be here tomorrow to see his son, Michael, in action.

 ~AC

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