Results tagged ‘ Rafael Perez ’
The sweet sounds of Eddie Money’s “Shakin'” are blaring in an empty Goodyear Ballpark as I type this.
Yep, that’s when you know it’s definitely time to punch out for the day.
But before I go…
EXCRUCIATING MINUTIA OF THE DAY…
- It was already pretty obvious the Indians look at Laffey as their fifth starter-to-be. He is, after all, the only guy competing for the job who has actually gotten the starting nod in each of his appearances. Today he proved he’ll probably win the job, tossing four perfect innings against the A’s and getting eight groundball outs. Really impressive outing, and Laffey’s confidence is demonstrated in this quote: “I’m taking the mindset that it’s already my spot.” That’s the kind of stuff we heard from Cliff Lee last year.
- Rafael Perez is back after a dominant run (for him, not his team) in the first round of the World Baseball Classic. Perez pitched one inning in each of the Dominican’s three games and was perfect each time, striking out three batters along the way. Eric Wedge said he’ll ease off Perez the next couple days before bringing him back into the exhibition fold. The Indians have no concerns over how he was used in the Classic because each of his outings was so effortless.
- Zach Jackson also looked pretty good, for the most part, today. He got into some trouble in the eighth when a fastball got away from him and hit Jack Hannahan in the head. Jackson might profile well for that final bullpen spot, because he could give the Indians length and he’s left-handed (complementing the three right-handed starters).
- Adam Miller began playing catch Wednesday and threw out to 75 feet today. He’ll throw out to 90 feet Sunday. No word on when he’ll go off a mound, but his return-to-throw was expected to last two weeks total.
- Jake Westbrook threw 15 pitches off the 10-inch mound this morning. He continues to progress nicely in his return from Tommy John.
- Nice play for the Tribe in the ninth inning today. Cliff Pennington was on third after tripling off Vinnie Chulk with one out. Joe Dillon hit a grounder to short against a drawn-in infield, and non-roster invitee Wilson Valdez scooped it up and made a nice throw home to catcher Chris Gimenez, who applied the tag for the second out.
- Finally, a big congrats to Frank Viola’s daughter, Brittany, who has been selected to USA Diving’s 2009 World Championships team. She’ll be competing in Rome in July in the 1-meter and 10-meter diving events.
The Oscars take place tonight, and the whole world is wondering: When will Winslet win one?*
*I don't usually explain references, but I don't think enough people have seen "Extras" to appreciate that joke. There's an episode in which Kate Winslet is doing a movie about the Holocaust only because she believes that every movie about the Holocaust wins an Oscar. So now, tonight, Winslet is nominated for an actual Oscar about an actual movie about the Holocaust, and that's simply awesome.
Where was I? Ah, yes, the Oscars. I thought I'd assist some of my movie-loving readers with three-word reviews of the nominees for "Best Picture":
Frost/Nixon: Haven't seen it.
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button: Heard it's awful.
Milk: Only drink skim.
Slumdog Millionaire: Heard it's great.
The Reader: Thought-provokingly adequate.
All right, so I've only actually seen one of the nominees. That could be part of the reason I wasn't asked to be a member of the Academy. But I can tell you what's going on with the Indians, so let's just go with what we know, all right?
EXCRUCIATING MINUTIA OF THE DAY...
The big news of the day was that Travis Hafner took BP outdoors with his teammates this morning. He was on Field No. 1, which is the one designed with Progressive Field's exact dimensions. One of his first swings was a shot off the 19-foot wall. He also hit a couple out to right -- not quite to "Pronkville" but close enough.
Hafner said he still feels some soreness in the mornings, but, all in all, the shoulder hasn't given him any major issues. He'll likely begin facing live pitchers the first week of March or so, then progress to the Cactus League games from there.
How troublesome was that shoulder last year? Hafner said it would sometimes hurt to eat. And no, that's not how he lost all that weight. Anyway, more on Hafner on the Indians.com site in a little bit.
Shin-Soo Choo had to leave the field early in today's workout after he collided with Grady Sizemore during a pop-up drill. Sizemore's knee struck and bruised Choo's right knee. Choo wasn't gone long. He came back about 20 minutes later after getting quick treatment in the trainer's room, and he wasn't walking with a limp.
Choo, for the record, will leave here Tuesday for the World Baseball Classic. Team Korea will practice in Korea for three days, then head off to Japan.
Looking like Grady Sizemore, Mark DeRosa, Choo and Rafael Perez will be the Indians' only big-league participants in the World Baseball Classic
The Indians have signed off on the contracts for nine of their pre-arbitration players - Josh Barfield, Shin-Soo Choo, Aaron Laffey, John Meloan, Adam Miller, Anthony Reyes, Tony Sipp, Jeremy Sowers and Wyatt Toregas. There are 14 remaining pre-arb players on the roster, and it's expected three or four more signings will be made in the next few days.
If you're in the area and are interested in attending, the Indians' intrasquad game is at 1 p.m. local time Tuesday.
The World Baseball Classic situation is a fluid one, but right now it looks like these guys are definites to represent their respective countries:
Grady Sizemore and Mark DeRosa (USA), Rafael Perez (Dominican), Shin-Soo Choo (Korea), Nick Weglarz (Canada) and Damaso Espino (Panama).
It's remarkably trite to quote John Fogerty's "Centerfield," but, well, that's how it feels the first morning pitchers and catchers work out at Spring Training. The sun came out today, and there really is new grass on the field... because the field itself is new.
Lots of excitement in the air here this Valentine's Day morning, as camp got underway in earnest. Cliff Lee, Fausto Carmona, Aaron Laffey, Rafael Perez, Jensen Lewis and Joe Smith were among those throwing bullpen sessions in front of the coaching and front-office staff. There was also some batting practice held on Field No. 6. And let's not forget the always enthralling round of PFPs (pitchers' fielding practice).
How'd they look? They looked like they always look the first day of camp. World Series-bound, of course! And don't even try to bunt on these hurlers. They'll make you look silly.
I'm not exactly sure if the players felt extra incentive to finish early today, because when they stepped outside this morning they were greeted with a nice whiff of mesquite chicken cooking on a wood-fired grill out back. The inimitable Paul Hoynes of the Plain Dealer and I wondered if that might be "media chicken." (It wasn't, but the chicken served up in the media workroom was also quite good.)
EXCRUCIATING MINUTIA OF THE DAY...
Travis Hafner has taken three days of batting practice this week, including today. Every other day, he's taking soft toss. He said he's had no endurance or strength issues. It's still expected he'll be about a week behind in exhibition action, but that program might be sped up.
Josh Barfield, who spent all winter here in the Phoenix area and worked out regularly at the Player Development Complex, said he has no problem trying out new positions in camp. He even said playing the outfield is no big deal. “You just run and catch the ball,” he said with a shrug. Sounds easy enough. Barfield said he played some shortstop in the Minors and in high school, so he’s up for that challenge. He thinks — and I agree — that he has a good shot at making this club.
Jake Westbrook is throwing off a five-inch mound. He wasn’t sure when, exactly, he’ll progress to the full, 10-inch mound, but he’s still expected to begin throwing in simulated games in April. Westbrook said he’s feeling the expected soreness in his elbow. He said his hip, which, you might remember, was also surgically addressed last year, feels great.
Tony Sipp had Tommy John surgery in 2007 and joined Double-A Akron in the second half last season, but he suffered shoulder tendinitis in the Fall Instructional League. He’s been rehabbing the injury and, as a result, is about a week behind the other pitchers. But he’s throwing off a mound and used all his pitches for the first time today.
As far as quotes summing up the move to the Goodyear facility go, you won't find a better, more succinct one than this one from Barfield: "They should have done this a long time ago."
GM Mark Shapiro has left camp for a few days, due to a death in the family.
The intensity of the Japanese media never ceases to amaze me. When I walked into the complex this morning, there was a pool of about seven or eight Japanese journalists in the players' parking lot, waiting, presumably, to get a shot of Masa Kobayashi or Tomo Ohka pulling in.
The Indians have added names to the backs of their Spring Training jerseys. Clubhouse manager Tony Amato said the names were added for television. More and more spring games are broadcast these days.
Did you know the Dodgers are charging up to $100 for tickets to their exhibition games? And in a related story, their sales are hurting. Shocker.
Be sure to check out CastroTurf on Monday morning, when I’ll provide you with an all-access tour of the new facility. I’ll have photos and everything. It will be awesome*.
*awesomeness not guaranteed.