Next stop: Spring Training

TruckDay.jpgSpent some time at Progressive Field this morning, watching workers loading up a pair of trucks in preparation for the journey to Arizona for Spring Training.

There was some talk about how it’s in the 40s in Goodyear, Ariz., right now. But, c’mon. Those of us headed there soon aren’t about to start complaining about that type of forecast.

“They don’t have to shovel their driveway, right?” joked Tony Amato, the Indians’ home clubhouse and equipment manager.

No, no they don’t.

In fact, if my wife and I hear our relatives in Arizona say, “You don’t have to shovel sunshine,” one more time, we might puke. WE GET IT. IT’S SUNNY THERE.

Truck Day is always a nice occasion, because it unofficially signals the end of the offseason and the beginning of Spring Training. The trucks left the Indians’ home park today and the plan is for them to be there in Arizona to be unloaded on Thursday morning. Next Saturday, your humble Tribe scribe will be flying to Arizona to start reporting from there.

Pitchers and catchers report Feb. 15 with first workout on Feb. 17. Full squad reports on Feb. 18 with first workout on Feb. 20.

Until then, here are a few links for your browsing pleasure…

Some discussion points for the comments sections: If the Indians went into camp with the current roster, who would be your starters at second base and third base? Who would fill out the back-end of the rotation? And who would win some of the open bullpen jobs?

Go.

–JB

6 Comments

Why, I’ve never heard that “you don’t have to shovel sunshine” line before. I think my family would kill me if I ever said that to them.
I know it sounds crazy, but I’m going to go with Donald at second and (wait for it…wait for it…) Nix at third. I say Nix at third because a) the FO seems to want him to play there and b) whoever is over there is a placeholder, anyway, so why not?
The back of the rotation is a bit harder. I’m working under the assumption that Talbot will get the #4 spot and that White will start the season in AAA no matter what. None of the remaining options for the #5 spot are entirely appealing, but I guess at this point you’d have to look at maybe Tomlinson having a leg up on the others, but just barely.
I do wonder, with all the bullpen depth in our system, if they might consider giving Laffey another look as a starter.
I would assume the bullpen to be Perez, Perez, Sipp, Smith…I dunno, Petsano? I feel kind of wary about our bullpen options if only because I don’t know how far along the guys from AAA are. Laffey would seem to be in there, too, if he doesn’t get another shot starting. Is Josh Judy ready? Is Jess Todd (I would say probably no to that one)?
Who has been paying attention to winter ball, because? I’m in the dark.

I think Donald will start the season at 2nd base. I’m hoping they find a third baseman to bring in from the outside because I just don’t like any of the internal options and I don’t want to see Chisenhall rushed.

The rotation? Are they dead set on Carmona, Masterson, Talbot, Carrasco, and outside guy (like Bonderman or Millwood) in the rotation? Or will they allow someone to force their way into the rotation with a killer spring performance-like a David Huff or Aaron Laffey or Alex White or Anthony Reyes or Josh Tomlin or Jenmar Gomez or any other AA or AAA starters?

I think Donald will start the season at 2nd base. I’m hoping they find a third baseman to bring in from the outside because I just don’t like any of the internal options and I don’t want to see Chisenhall rushed.

The rotation? Are they dead set on Carmona, Masterson, Talbot, Carrasco, and outside guy (like Bonderman or Millwood) in the rotation? Or will they allow someone to force their way into the rotation with a killer spring performance-like a David Huff or Aaron Laffey or Alex White or Anthony Reyes or Josh Tomlin or Jenmar Gomez or any other AA or AAA starters?

I know the Indians keep saying they want to add a veteran pitcher; I think they have a more pressing need at 3rd base. I like Donald to open the season at 2nd base, and I’d go with the noodle bat Adam Everett at third, simply because they have got to have some better defense if they expect the pitching to hold up. Nix at third will be a disaster, and they really shouldn’t rush Chisenhall. Personally I wish they’d go get a better option for 3rd base.

As far as the rotation goes, I wonder if they really are set with Carmona, Masterson, Talbot, Carrasco, and outside guy (Bonderman or Millwood?) or if they will allow another pitcher in their system into the rotation? If we see a killer spring by a David Huff or an Aaron Laffey or a Zach McAllister or an Alex White or an Anthony Reyes or a Josh Tomlin or a Jenmar Gomez will they get a chance? Or will they use that as an opportunity to sell high?

OOPS! Sorry for the multiple posts….I clicked submit, and the site would throw me off for some reason, so I clicked again and ultimately started over. I wanted to make my point once, not thrice!

The Indians do not have a history of promoting young guys to the ML level solely based on their spring training numbers. They are veteran-driven to a fault. Years ago Adam Miller blazed through ST with something like 14.1 IP of perfect ball and he was sent to Triple-A. We would rather sign guys like Aaron Fultz for a $2M contract only to cut him 2 weeks later. Granted those are just two examples taken to the extreme to which I am arguing for but they still hold water.

Personally, I am against signing innings eaters when the organization has what it considers to be viable options for the 5th SP spot (Gomez, Tomlin, Huff, Martinez, Laffey) only to sign an injury-prone guy like Bondermann or an expensive one year guy in Millwood? I don’t get it. Give the shot to one of the younger guys. If he fails, give another guy a shot and so on and so forth. True, that rationale is like throwing something against a wall and waiting for something to stick but I’d rather know what I have in a guy versus the alternative. Give the kids a shot in 2011 and rotate them through the 5th SP spot until we have an answer for 2012.

I have to wonder if the Antonetti reasoning of not moving Grady to LF is solely based upon the idea that getting Sizemore focused on his health is more of an obstacle now that him getting acclimated to a new position in the future. If he doesn’t get healthy then he has no future but still, with or without his health (as it stands right at this moment) Sizemore is no longer a part of our long term plans. That’s unsettling to type but I believe it to be true.

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