The new Boss in town
After working as the team’s bullpen coach, Radinsky is now the Tribe’s pitching coach. He assumes the role held by The Departed Tim Belcher.
(Sorry, couldn’t resist the last pun)
Belcher is still with the organization, but he stepped down from his post as the Indians pitching coach at the end of the year.
Asked if he could still be considered the bullpen’s Godfather, Radinsky laughed.
“I hope so, man,” Rad said with a grin. “I told them they’ve got a made man inside now.”
All jokes aside, Radinsky — also the lead singer of the punk band Pulley — isn’t expecting a tough transition to his new role. He and Belcher worked well together and shared duties in many ways. Radinsky knows he’s the man in charge of the staff now, but he doesn’t expect much to change.
“It’s business as usual,” Radinsky said. “It’s a very similar approach, just a different voice and maybe a different style. But it’s a very easy transition, I think, for everybody in that clubhouse, including myself.”
Radinsky likes the spot his staff is in at the start of this camp, too. The rotation has four spots locked in and four arms with big league experience vying for one job. The bullpen has five jobs accounted for and a bevy of experienced arms in the running for the two vacancies. That is depth that has Radinsky smiling.
“It’s exciting for me,” Radinsky said. “It’s not like in the past where weve had like two or three spots open and we didn’t knowwho was going to take them and were hoping on this guy or that guy. I think we’ve got some legitimate choices.”
Indians Players Got Jokes
A trio of Indians players had a pile of baseball cards strewn across a round table in the clubhouse this morning. Sharpies in hand and laughing, they pulled out a few select cards and taped them to the cubby doors above Josh Tomlin’s locker.
One was of Nolan Ryan. The added caption read: “A Tough Texan — Unlike Josh.”
Ouch! But it gets better…
There was one card featuring Howie Kendrick with the added caption: “Don’t Be Scared.” Then, there were two cards with photos of Mark Trumbo hitting. One read: “Appreciate It!” And the other had “Thank You!!” written on the front.
Apparently, Tomlin is still taking heat for what happened on July 26.
With the score caught in a 0-0 deadlock in Cleveland, Tomlin chose to intentionally walk Kendrick with two outs in the seveth inning. Trumbo came up next and drove in a pair of runs with a double. The Indians lost to the Angels, 2-1.
Some notes from Thursday…
- Chatted some today with catcher Carlos Santana, who was thrilled to have a normal offseason this year. Last year he was coming back from the knee injury. The year before it was a hamate bone issue. This winter, he trained in the D.R. with an Indians strength coach and has shown up to Spring Training in great shape.
- In a wide-ranging 25-minute discussion with reporters, Radinsky said this about Ubaldo Jimenez: “I think we’re going to see a different guy than what we saw when we got him last year.” That belief — shared by Ubaldo and manager Manny Acta, among others — is based on the work he did in the D.R. this winter as well. CLICK HERE for a story I did today on The Big U.
- Radinsky also noted that Tomlin looked great and completely over his right elbow issue during Thursday’s 10-minute bullpen session. Rad described Tomlin as a great student and feels the pitcher is more than capable of improving on his 12-win showing for the Tribe last season.
- One of the throwing groups today included CC Lee, Scott Barnes, Austin Adams and Danny Salazar. Lee and Barnes are closest to the Majors. Lee has a sidearm style — not as low to the ground as Joe Smith — and he throws hard. Could be a bullpen option at some point in 2012. Barnes, who had a knee injury last year, is in a position to possibly help the Major League rotation at some point this summer, too.
- Zach McAllister is working on getting more tilt with his lead arm and leg during his delievery. It’s similar to the changes made by lefty David Huff last season. During a chat with GM Chris Antonetti during the bullpen sessions, the GM praised the consistent mechanics Huff was displaying early in camp.
- All of the Indians spring invites — rostered and non-rostered — have arrived to camp. On Thursday (report date for position players), Casey Kotchman, Trevor Crowe and Felix Pie all arrived. Position players did not technically have to be at the complex until Friday for physicals. Saturday is the first full-squad workout.
- Quote of the day came from Radinsky, when I asked him what starter Derek Lowe adds to the pitching staff. Radinsky quipped: “He adds some age and some height.” Lowe does add more than that, though. Said Rad: “This guy is just coming in here full of excitement. I think he’s going to be a big-time plus for us, and another guy who adds durability, experience and the possibility of throwing 200 innings.”
- Not often you hear of ballplayers getting involved too much in politics. It was interesting to hear that Indians players Shelley Duncan and Travis Hafner attended Wednesday night’s republican debate in Phoenix with their wives. Duncan posted a photo on Twitter of them all standing with Ron Paul. Both guys are big into politics, especially in this election year.
- Been fun reuniting in a way this week with righty Jeremy Accardo and outfielder Fred Lewis. I covered both guys in my days as the Blue Jays beat reporter for MLB.com. Something I didn’t know about Lewis, though, is he is cousins with former Indians outfielder Matt Lawton. Also, Lewis discovered he loves bowling this offseason.
- MLB Network announced on Thursday that the Indians’ March 7 game against the D-backs will include live in-game audio from mic’d up players and coaches. The game will be aired on MLBN at 3 p.m. ET that afternoon. As many as six players on each side will be wearing microphones during the game.
- Some people believe I have been claiming that Cord Phelps’ new beard is better than the beard that closer Chris Perez always rocks. Perez still ranks No. 1 in my beard book. Phelps, on the other hand, has been the talk of the team for having grown the best bear over the offseason. Catcher Luke Carlin posted THIS PHOTO on Twitter. Check it out for yourselves.
During the 2011 season, one of my favorite tings that happened on Twitter was fans coming up with #LouMar jokes in the same vein as all the Chuck Norris jokes. So, I thought this was as good a time as any to get some rolling again. I posted the above photo of catcher Lou Marson on Twitter with the caption: “He doesn’t wear shin guards to protect his legs. He wears them to protect the baseballs.”
Later on I asked fans to submit their own #LouMar-isms. Here are some responses.
#LouMar know’s who’s on first
@wdfichtel There is no all-time steals list, only a list of players Lou Marson chooses to ignore.
@Yocklin Fielder and Pujols didn’t come to Cleveland because they were afraid of Lou Marson
@MichaelZwilling Lou Marson is so intimidating, his reflection wont even look at him
@B_Gumbo30 Sharks have a whole week dedicated to Lou Marson.
@rkumpf Lou Marson doesn’t wear protective catching gear. The protective catching gear wears Lou Marson.
@BuZzKill_Dan Lou Marson doesnt wear a face mask to protect his face from the ball… its used to protect the ball from Lou Marson
@JR_65M The craters in the Moon weren’t caused by astroids. They were #loumar HRs.
@sickle135 when the Dos Equis guy is thirsty he drinks whatever LouMar tells him to drink
@bobbyhuey the Boogeyman checks under his bed for @LouMar6
@Seel_Deal when Bruce Banner gets mad, he turns into The Hulk. When The Hulk gets mad, he turns into Lou Marson!
#LouMar scared the “devil” out of the rays name
Congrats to @titoman13 for making the cut twice.
Thanks for playing.