Around the Farm: November 16, 2014 - Urshela injured
Around the Farm (ATF) takes a quick look at some of yesterday’s performances by Indians prospects throughout the system. This is a special fall and winter ball version of ATF that recaps all the offseason action by Indians players in the Arizona Fall League (AFL) and the Caribbean Leagues. The positions listed below are where the player was playing in yesterday’s game.
According to El Universal, a news outlet in Venezuela, Indians third base prospect Giovanny Urshela could missthe rest of the winter ball season with a serious left knee injury. He sustained the injury in the fourth inning on Saturday night, apparently at some point running the bases or sliding into third base for a triple.
Urshela remained in the game and later in the inning easily scored on a single by outfielderCarlos Moncrief. At the conclusion of the inning he did not go out to the field the next inning to play defense as he was removed for precautionary reasons because he complained of soreness to his left knee.
Urshela is scheduled to have an MRI on Monday as there is some concern that the soreness could also be a potential ligament tear in the knee. His winter ball manager Eduardo Perez was not overly optimistic and believes there could be some structural damage to the knee.
At this point, even if his MRI returns clean, Urshela's winter ball season looks to be over no matter what. He was only slated to play until the first week of December as that was when his winter ball contract expired, but with the success he was having in winter ball he and his team were working with the Indians to try and extend that contract through the end of December. At the time of the injury he was first in the league in hitting (.398) and second in RBI (22).
This is a big blow to the depth at third base for the Indians as Urshela was positioned as a possible solution to their third base woes at some point in 2015. If there is ligament damage and he requires surgery then he is all but out of the plans for 2015 as he will spend all or a large portion of next season rehabbing.
The Indians were not immediately available for comment.
Venezuela Winter League
Jesus Aguilar (1B, Leones del Caracas): 1-for-4. A rather quiet night from Aguilar, though he is still having a solid winter showing hitting .278 with 3 HR, 14 RBI and .822 OPS in 20 games. It is not the eye-popping stat line to date as he had last year in Venezuela, but there is still a long way to go.
Dominican Winter League
Enosil Tejeda (RP, Gigantes del Ciabo): L (0-1), 1.2 IP, 3 H, 2 R/ER, 1 BB, 2 K. This was Tejeda’s winter ball debut this offseason and one he would soon like to forget. Obviously, he was a little rusty and should get a good amount of action pitching out of the bullpen over the next few weeks.
Puerto Rico Winter League
Alexis Pantoja (SS, Senadores de San Juan): 0-for-2, 2 K, 2 E. Pantoja got the rare start and he did not respond to the opportunity well. It is important to note he is extremely green at 18-years of age in an advanced winter league, but the fact he was even playing is a testament to how good of a defender he is viewed to be already. The nerves and inexperience no doubt got into him in this one with strikeouts in both at bats and two errors in the field before being removed from the game.
Giovanni Soto (RP, Gigantes de Carolina): W (2-0), 3.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 K. This was an interesting outing as Soto was stretched out to three innings, his longest out this offseason. He has now appeared in seven games and in 12.1 innings has allowed just 1 run on 8 hits, 4 walks and has 11 strikeouts.
Australian Baseball League
Ryan Battaglia (1B, Brisbane Bandits): 3-for-5, 2 R, 2B, RBI. After just three hits in his first nine games, Battaglia exploded for a three-hit game and doubled his season output for hits in the process. He is still only hitting .194 with a .477 OPS in 31 at bats, but this is obviously a step in a more positive direction with his performance.
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I'm all for that on a minor league deal with ST invite, but no way that guy gets a MLB deal, right?
I think the injury (if major like a ligament tear) raises the question again of Gio getting rostered.. Before the injury to me it was no brainer. now it's wait & see.
A lot of moving parts to consider before moving on a specific action course...
Agreed, the good news is he has experience at the AAA level and is young for that level. True, lateral movement could be lost, plus a season of development. No matter, it is not good news to see a top prospect go down...the Tribe has depth, but they'll need to make an add at 3b if Urshela is out long term.
Off the top of my head, Will Middlebrooks would be intriguing, but I'm not sure if he has any options left.
For the most part, along with a certain degree of confidence loss, a knee injury is almost always accompanied by a permanent loss in lateral motion to at least a very minor degree. There just isn't a means to improve that kind of movement once a traumatic injury occurs... That represents the downside to that kind of injury. The upside can be an intensity in the area of conditioning, not only in the areas near the injury, but the entire core and extremities. The timing for this injury couldn't happen at a worse time. Urshela is clearly on a steep up swinging learning curve, the results of which could land him in the major leagues as early as the 2015 season.. If surgery is needed.. that could set him back to a September maybe and 2016 or forever chance. He's still just 23 and has already had 400 AB's in AAA.. If anything, he's slightly ahead of the age track to the ML's. The potential loss of time could put him slightly behind the age track..
We'll see once the results of his MRI become known...thoughts..?
This flat stinks. Hoping / praying it's nothing serious (ACL) that causes him to miss significant time. Regardless, hate seeing him go down with an injury.
Sign Chris Nelson to a small ML contract, market at 3B is thin, especially RHB 3B.
Soto needs to be on the 40