I’ve decided to do another post with news and links since there’s so much going on this week:
Trevor Crowe was switched from number 4, to number 80. That’s never a good sign. It’s kind of sad when you think about the fact that Crowe was a relatively well-regarded prospect at one point. It’s also sad to think that the Indians selected Crowe instead of 2011 AL MVP finalist Jacoby Ellsbury.
As of Wednesday afternoon, the only players that did not yet arrive at camp are Trevor Crowe, Casey Kotchman and Felix Pie. Position players aren’t due in camp until Thursday; as Buster Olney points out – if you’re not a big name star and you’re not in camp early, you’re pretty much considered late.
Fausto Carmona/Roberto Hernandez Heredia hopes to receive a judicial pardon so he can return to the Indians this season. I think it’s kind of telling that the Miami Marlin caught with identity issues last September, Leo Nunez/Juan Carlos Oviedo, still has yet to re-enter the United States. Carmona/Hernandez is supposedly staying fit in the Dominican Republic and has been in touch with Manny Acta. Even though the Indians have no idea whether or not Carmona/Hernandez will return, it just seems highly unlikely he’ll be back in the United States anytime soon. He’s been talking to young players in the Dominican Republic about his situation, so maybe some good can come from this ordeal if it draws attention to the issue.
The Indians signed infielder Cristian Guzman, currently sporting #0. You may remember Guzman from his time with the Minnesota Twins from 1999-2004. He left the Twin Cities for the Nationals, where he spent 2005-2010; he was traded to the Rangers in 2010. Guzman, whose career line is .271/.307/.383, did not play at all in 2011 because of a shoulder injury. He has a good relationship with Manny Acta from his time with the Nationals, and Acta supposedly invited Guzman to the Indians’ camp. While I liked him with the Twins years ago, it will probably be difficult for him to come back from a serious injury and a full year outside of the game. I just hope that this doesn’t turn into another Austin Kearns situation – one where a player Acta likes from his days with the Nationals keeps getting chance after chance after chance.
It looks like Jon Garland is no longer an option for the Indians. It sounds as if he’s not physically ready to return from his rotator cuff surgery yet. Most stories say that he plans to continue with his rehab and see how his shoulder progresses. I had high hopes for Garland, but recovery from that kind of procedure is very difficult when you’re a pitcher.
At Fangraphs, Bradley Woodrum asks “Is Matt LaPorta Quad-A?” There’s been a lot of analysis of LaPorta lately with this piece by Dan Wade on “The Disappointments of Youth: Matt LaPorta” and this piece by J.P. Breen of the trade that brought LaPorta to Cleveland. It will be interesting to see what happens with LaPorta this season, if he tries to step forward and prove that he belongs in the big leagues and belongs in the organization. While I’m somewhat pessimistic of his chances, there was also a time when it looked like Cliff Lee may be a bust. He was practically out of the rotation in 2007 and more than proved himself when he won a spot in the rotation in 2008.
Lewie Pollis and the folks at Wahoo’s on First are putting together a prospects crowdsourcing poll. You can name your top 10 prospects by February 24.
At the Hardball Times, Chris Jaffe has a nice historical piece on how it’s been 20,000 days since Herb Score’s injury.