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Not only have the Indians been playing poorly, they have suffered setbacks and injuries that will impact the team negatively. Roberto Hernandez, formerly known as Fausto Carmona, is stuck in the Dominican Republic with visa issues stemming from using a false identity.
Grady Sizemore is out for the first two to three months of the season after undergoing major back surgery. Justin Masterson struggled in his five spring starts, registering an ERA of 9.00. Ubaldo Jimenez also pitched poorly in Cactus League play, adding insult to injury when he earned a five-game suspension for intentionally throwing at former teammate Troy Tulowitzki.
The pitching of steady veteran Derek Lowe (0-1, 3.50 ERA, 18 IP) and youngster Jeanmar Gomez (1-1, 1.37 ERA, 19.1 IP), who was named the fifth starter in the Indians pitching rotation, has been a bright spot.
Cleveland hosts the Toronto Blue Jays Thursday on Opening Day. Justin Masterson will start for the Indians.
The Cleveland Indians completed a dreadful spring Monday at Goodyear Ballpark, defeating the Cincinnati Reds, 2-1. Right-handed pitcher Josh Tomlin pitched five innings, allowing one run on three hits.
The spring season was highlighted by injuries, the suspension of Ubaldo Jimenez and a 7-22 record good enough for last place in the Cactus League. The Indians have one more exhibition game before Opening Day on Thursday. Via Jordan Bastian of MLB.com:
Indians up next: With the Cactus League schedule complete, the Indians will travel to Zebulon, N.C., for a 2 p.m. ET exhibition contest against high-Class A Carolina, a new affiliate for the Tribe. Veteran sinkerballer Derek Lowe, who will enter the year as the No. 3 starter, is slated to start for the Indians. Left-handed pitching prospect Scott Barnes -- ticketed for Triple-A Columbus -- will get the nod for the Mudcats.
The 2012 Major League Baseball season is literally right around the corner, but there are still a handful of Spring Training games that need to wrap up before the first pitch can be thrown in ballparks across the country.
For the Cleveland Indians, a Cactus League finale with the Cincinnati Reds later this afternoon is the last exhibition game remaining before the team prepares for its regular season opener. Now that the Indians have solidified their 25-man roster, and also shelled out a little bit of cash to ensure that star shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera will be around for a while, the focus now shifts to finding the proper roles for all 25 players that will see the field to kick off the year.
Remaining Cactus League Schedule
Opponent: Cincinnati Reds
When: April 2nd
Where: Goodyear Ballpark, Goodyear, Arizona
First Pitch: 1:05 pm MT
The Cleveland Indians are on the verge of locking down one of the most promising breakout performers of 2011, as Fox Sports' Jon Morosi is reporting the Indians and shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera are nearing a two-year, $16.5 million extension.
Source: #Indians on verge of two-year, $16.5 million extension with Asdrubal Cabrera. That would cover 2013 and 2014 -- one free agent year.— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) April 1, 2012
The 26-year-old Cabrera hit .273 with 25 home runs and 92 RBI in 151 games for the Indians last season, and despite tailing off with a sub-.240 average in the final two months of the year, played like one of the better infielders in the American League. This extension will keep him in Cleveland for the 2013 and 2014 seasons, giving him a chance to test the free agent market in 2014 before he reaches 30.
The Cleveland Indians solidified their 25-man roster on Sunday, cutting outfielder Ryan Spilborghs and reliever Jeremy Accardo in favor of the trio of Aaron Cunningham, Jose Lopez, and Jairo Asencio. The Plain Dealer's Paul Hoynes tweeted that the trio landed the final spots on Cleveland's roster heading into the season, which made veterans like Spilborghs and Accardo expendable.
Aaron Cunningham, Jose Lopez and Jairo Asencio make last 3 spots on #Indians 25-man roster. Spilborghs and Accardo cut.— paul hoynes (@hoynsie) April 1, 2012
Spilborghs, who hit .279 with ten homers and 39 RBI for Colorado in 2010, was expected to provide depth as both a contact hitter and rangy defender in the outfield. He struggled mightily in the spring, however, hitting just .174 and slugging a mere .217.
The 30-year-old Accardo sported a 1.00 ERA in eight games for the Indians in spring training, and struck out six batters in 9.0 innings pitched. He owns a 4.22 career ERA and has pitched for four MLB teams, but will now be in search of his fifth.
Cleveland Indians pitcher Jeanmar Gomez was injured turning a double play in the fourth inning of the Indians Cactus League game against the Cincinnati Red Friday and had to leave the game, according to Jordan Bastian of MLB.com.
Head athletic trainer Lonnie Soloff told an AP reporter that RHP Jeanmar Gomez injuried his hip on the play. No more details yet.— Jordan Bastian (@MLBastian) March 30, 2012
Gomez has been pitching his way into the Indians rotation this spring, posting a 1.69 ERA in 16 innings prior to Friday. On Thursday, David Huff, also competing for the fifth spot in the rotation, strained his right hamstring, effectively taking him out of the competition. Derek Lowe also injured himself in a split-squad game on Thursday, but manager Manny Acta is no concerned by it.
Kevin Slowey, also competing for the final spot in the rotation, will start on Saturday. If Gomez's injury is serious, he may back into the rotation.
As Opening Day approaches (for most of the MLB, sans Athletics and Mariners), teams are making cuts and optioning players left and right to set their roster and lineups. For the Indians, a flurry of moves went down over the last 2 hours. According to CBS Cleveland, pitchers Chris Seddon and Nick Hagadone have both been sent to the minors. Hagadone is significant in particular, as he was in the mix to battle for a spot in the bullpen.
Also of particular note was Russ Canzler, who can play the infield and the outfield. As the piece from CBS Cleveland notes, Canzler did a lot and some thought he might make the roster. That being said, there's always some casualties during these cuts, and he can always prove his stuff during the season and see some action.
Other moves include catcher Luke Carlin, infielder Andy LaRoche, and pitchers Chris Ray, Chris Seddon and Robinson Tejada re-assigned to Minors camp. That's a lot of pichers cut, and there's likely more to come. As Jordan Bastian notes on Twitter, there's still a bullpen spot available, with Jairo Asencio, Frank Hermann and Jeremy Accardo in the mix for that job.
The Indians are on the verge of trading for veteran hitter Bobby Abreu, according to CBSSports' Jon Heyman.
#Indians David Huff limped out of the dugout andis riding off the field on the back of a cart.— Steve Gilbert (@SteveGilbertMLB) March 29, 2012
Huff was in competition for the fifth spot in the Indians rotation, but because of poor results is now a candidate for the bullpen, potentially as a long-reliever. He allowed five runs (four earned) on seven hits over three innings in his previous start Sunday.
He has started 48 games in his three-year career, registering an ERA over five and a 15-25 record. He has played all three seasons with Cleveland, starting 10 games last year for the Tribe.
The Cleveland Indians traded for pitcher Jairo Asencio on Thursday morning, sending cash to the Atlanta Braves in exchange for the right-hander. Asencio is out of options and will likely compete for the final open spot in the Tribe's bullpen. The Tribe made the announcement on their official Twitter account:
#Indians acquire RHP Jairo (HI-row) Asencio from Atlanta for cash.Led IL in saves for Gwinnett in 2009/2011.2012 Caribbean Series MVP— Cleveland Indians (@Indians) March 29, 2012
The Indians have not yet announced who will come off the 40-man roster to make room for Asencio. This spring, the righty had 12 strikeouts and three walks in 11 innings with the Braves. But as Jordan Bastian points out, he has a history that Tribe fans have become all too familiar with this offseason:
Asencio missed the entire 2010 season due to visa problems. He was pitching under fase name of Luis Valdez. This storyline sounds familiar..— Jordan Bastian (@MLBastian) March 29, 2012
Follow this StoryStream for all your Tribe news during Spring Training. For more news, analysis, and discussion on the Indians, check of Let's Go Tribe. And for all your MLB news as Opening Day approaches, visit Baseball Nation.
Bastian tweeted the news Tuesday:
Indians have optioned 3B Lonnie Chisenhall & 1B Mat LaPorta to AAA Columbus. OF Chaf Huffman also reassigned to Minors camp.— Jordan Bastian (@MLBastian) March 27, 2012
LaPorta was the seventh overall pick in 2007 but has yet to live up to his considerable billing. The right-hander has a .238 career batting average and .304 on-base percentage. In 107 games and 352 at-bats last season, he hit .247 and had an OBP of just .299.
Chisenhall, a first-round pick in 2008, has appeared in 66 games with 212 at-bats in his major league career, compiling a .255 batting average and hitting seven homers. His demotion means that 32-year-old journeyman Jack Hannahan will likely be the opening day starter at third.
With only a week until Opening Day, Vladimir Guerrero remains a free agent, but that could change here soon. According to ESPNDeportesLosAngeles.com, Guerrero worked out for the Cleveland Indians in the Dominican Republic on Monday:
"Guerrero was here today at the Indians' academy in Bocachica," said one source. "There seems to be a genuine interest by the Indians to see if he can help the team."
One source indicated the 2004 AL MVP was in good shape during the tryout, which was observed, among others, by Ramon Pena, Indians' director of operations on the island.
2011 was Vlad's worst in the majors, but he still hit .290/.317/.733 with 13 home runs in 562 at bats, so it's kind of hard to believe he's unsigned at this point. The Indians would be the nine-time All-Star's fifth team if he winds up signing. Guerrero's agent said his client could play in Japan if he doesn't land with an MLB team this season.
Cleveland optioned right-handed pitcher Zach McAllister and infielder Cord Phelps to Triple-A Columbus. McAllister was considered one of four potential pitchers fighting for the fifth spot in the Indians pitching rotation. Via Bastian:
"He just needs to continue to be consistent with his secondary pitches," manager Manny Acta said, "and with the progress he has made over the last year and a half. We are extremely happy with the progress he has made. He's a guy that we feel is going to be dependable in the near future for our rotation."
Camp invitees Chen-Chang Lee, a right-handed pitcher, and outfielder Trevor Crowe were also reassigned to Minor League camp. These four moves leave 46 players in the Indians spring training camp with two weeks left until Opening Day.
Cleveland Indians outfielder Michael Brantley was forced to leave Monday's spring training game against the Dodgers due to soreness in his hamstring. Luckily, it doesn't appear to be any worse than initially conceived, but according to Cleveland AP writer Tom Withers, he's going to be out at least a few more days until fully healthy:
Indians are clearly being cautious here. After hitting .266/.318/.702 last year in his most action in the big leagues, Brantley is expected to be a starting outfielder in place of Grady Sizemore, who is believed to start the season on the disabled list.
VandenHurk, who is out of options, is on his way to Goodyear. It will probably take him a couple of days because the Blue Jays train in Dunedin, Fla. To make room for VandenHurk on the 40-man roster, Kelvin De La Cruz, the traveling man, was once again designated for assignment.
VandenHurk, 26, has played five seasons in the MLB, racking up seven wins ans eight losses and an ERA of 5.96 in 181 innings. This spring VandenHurk made four appearances for the Blue Jays and posted a 9.95 ERA. He struck out three, walked six and allowed 10 hits.
It has been a rocky spring training season so far for Cleveland Indians' pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez, but Indians President Mark Shapiro said Jimenez's health is not the issue in an interview with ESPN 850 WKNR in Cleveland.
"I can tell you what's not wrong with him - he is healthy, he is strong," Shapiro said. "The velocity is there, all the medical and physical tests show that he's ready to go. He's not worried."
Jimenez has given up 10 earned runs in 9.2 innings this spring (with a 10:9 K:BB ratio). He was billed as a No. 1 starter after the Indians sent Drew Pomeranz and Alex White to Colorado in exchange for him. Shapiro stated that he's unsure of Jimenez's position at the very top of the rotation.
"I think we're impatient and want to see the Ubaldo who can dominate and has dominated in the big leagues," Shapiro said. "I told you when we traded for him, we feel confident that we got somewhere between a number one and number three starter. I can't promise you it's a number one."
Jimenez has a career record of 60-49 with an ERA of 3.76 and a WHIP of 1.30. He tossed the first no-hitter in Rockies club history on April 17, 2010.
Michael Brantley left a spring training game with a sore right hamstring.
The Cleveland Indians have a busy weekend of Cactus League play coming up this weekend. The Indians plays the Los Angeles Angels on Friday, the Cincinnati Reds on Saturday and the Kansas City Royals on Sunday.
Kansas City and Los Angeles each have seven wins on the season, while Cincinnati is struggling with a 5-9 record.
Cleveland is currently 4-7 in Cactus League play. Jose Lopez leads the teams with a .583 batting average, while also registering two home runs and five RBI in 12 at bats. Shelley Duncan has also impressed, recording three home runs and 10 RBI while batting .313.
The Cleveland Indians won their third Cactus League game today, defeating the Arizona Diamondbacks 3-2 and improving their Spring Training record to 3-7. Shelley Duncan knocked in two runs in the win, raising his RBI total to a team-best eight for the exhibition season.
Cactus League Standings:
LA Dodgers (6-1)
San Francisco Giants (8-3)
LA Angels (5-4)
Chicago Cubs (5-4)
Kansas City Royals (5-5)
Cincinnati Red (5-5)
Milwaukee Brewers (4-4)
Texas Rangers (3-6)
Colorado Rockies (3-6)
Arizona Diamonbacks (3-6)
San Diego Padres (3-7)
Cleveland Indians (3-7)
Chicago White Sox (2-7)
The Cleveland Indians have a busy weekend of baseball coming up in the Cactus League.
Here's a look at the full spring training schedule of the Cleveland Indians.
Cleveland is 2-3 so far in Cactus League play, having defeated the Arizona Diamondbacks and the Kansas City Royals. Andy LaRoche and Jose Lopez are leading the Indians in batting average at .667, while Lopez also hit a home run. David Huff has looked solid on the mound, pitching five innings in two starts with an ERA of 3.60. He recorded one win and zero losses in his two starts.
Ever wonder it what players, coaches and umpires said during a Major League Baseball game? If you have pondered that very question, you are in luck. The MLB Network has players, coaches and umps wired for sound in a Wednesday spring training game between the Cleveland Indians and the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Perhaps even more impressive is that the network will use live audio, rather than the usual trick some networks do of recording in-game audio and replaying select pieces of it later.
You can also listen to the game on web, via the Indians’ web site.
Cleveland is 1-2 so far in the Cactus League. Left-handed David Huff is starting for the Indians on Wednesday, his second start of the spring.
The Cleveland Indians dropped their Cactus League opener, 8-6, on Sunday to the Cincinnati Reds at Goodyear Ballpark. The Indians fell to 0-2 Monday afternoon with a 12-7 loss, again at the hands of the Cincinnati Reds. Cleveland's Justin Masterson gave up six runs over 1 1/3 innings with five hits, three walks and one strikeout.
With the win, the Reds (2-0) are tied atop the Cactus League standings with the Kansas City Royals (1-0), who defeated the Texas Rangers, 6-1, on Sunday. The Oakland Athletics and the Seattle Mariners are tied for third place with 2-1 records.
In the spring training standings, exhibition games and charity games do not count towards a team's record, but split-squad games are included in the win/loss total.
Cactus League play continues each day until April 4. For the complete Cactus League standings, visit MLB.com/mlb/standings.
Spring Training is absolutely in full swing for the Cleveland Indians following their first game against the Cincinnati Reds. The Indians play a full slate of games in the upcoming week during Cactus League play.
March 5: Cleveland Indians vs. Cincinnati Reds, Goodyear Park
March 6: Kansas City Royals vs. Cleveland Indians, Goodyear Park
March 7: Cleveland Indians vs. Arizona Diamondbacks, Scottsdale Stadium
March 8: Los Angeles Angels vs. Cleveland Indians, Goodyear Park
March 9: Cleveland Indians vs. Milwaukee Brewers, Maryvale Stadium
March 10: San Diego Padres vs. Cleveland Indians, Goodyear Park 2:05 PM
March 11: Cleveland Indians vs. Texas Rangers, Surprise Stadium
As usual, every Indians 'Home' game will be at Goodyear Park in Goodyear, Arizona. All games are at 3:05 PM Eastern time (1:05 local time in Arizona) unless otherwise noted.
The Cactus League play began Friday afternoon in the Greater Phoenix area with a game between Seattle and Oakland. The Cleveland Indians, meanwhile, begin their spring season Saturday afternoon at 3:05 p.m. EST against the Cincinnati Reds at Goodyear BallPark, a facility in Goodyear, Az. that the Indians and the Reds share.
Cleveland and Cincinnati will also play each other on Sunday at 3:05 p.m. EST at Goodyear BallPark, but the Indians will be considered the home team for this game. You can find the schedule for all the Indians games during Cactus League play on Cleveland's official website.
The Indians have been dealing with a slew of injuries, most notably the back injury that will sideline Grady Sizemore for the next two to three months.
The Cleveland Indians have identified their opening day starter even before their Spring Training games have officially begun. ESPN baseball writer Jerry Crasnick reported early on Friday morning that Indians Manager Manny Acta officically named right handed starter Justin Masterson his opening day man.
#Indians manager Manny Acta names Justin Masterson the team's Opening Day starter
2011 was Masterson's best season by far since starting his career in 2008 with the Boston Red Sox. Last year he went 12-10 with a 3.21 ERA and . It was his first ever season pitching more than 200 innings -- he hit 216 by season's end -- and he did a fine job with it compared to 2010 where he only had 186 innings in the same amount of games. The 26 year old has pitched in 34 games his last two seasons.
Cleveland started strong last season and held onto the division for a good chunk of the season, they'll put the ball in Masterson's hand first as they try to boost on that performance in 2012.
In 2009, the Cleveland Indians moved their spring training base from Winter Haven, Fla. to Goodyear, Az, where a state-of-the-art 10,000-seat stadium had been built.
Goodyear BallPark is part of a $108 million training facility that hosts both the Cleveland Indians and the Cincinnati Reds during spring training. The ballpark is located on the western edge of the greater Phoenix area in the booming town of Goodyear. Via Springtrainingonline.com:
Goodyear Ballpark is a deceptively simple ballpark, even for a spring-training facility. The ballpark consists of a grandstand, seating extending down each line to the foul poles, wraparound concourse, concession booth as part of the batters' eye, a large outfield berm, and a right-field party deck sitting on top of the clubhouses and batting cages.
Both teams play in the Cactus League, a 15-team spring training league based in the Phoenix-metropolitan area. The Cactus League will open play on March 2, with the Indians and the Reds playing their first game at Goodyear Ballpark the following day. For the complete schedule, visit cactusleauge.com. There you will also find a map of all the stadiums of the Cactus League.
Pitchers and catchers reported for the Cleveland Indians on Monday, officially kicking off Spring Training in Cleveland. After the position players join the pitchers and catchers on Thursday, the Indians will begin to prepare for the upcoming month of Cactus League action down in Goodyear, Arizona through March.
You can find the schedule for all the Indians games during Cactus League on Cleveland's official website. They start action on March 3 when they kick off a three game preseason series against the Cincinnati Reds. The Cactus League extends all the way until early April, when the Indians close the preseason out against, you guessed it, the Reds once again. All in all, Cleveland will play Cincinnati six times before the season proper actually begins.
The Indians will celebrate opening day on April 5 when the Toronto Blue Jays come to town.
Pitchers and Catchers officially report for the Cleveland Indians on Monday, a sure sign that baseball season is just around the corner.