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Around the Farm: November 17, 2014 - Urshela faces surgery

Around the Farm: November 17, 2014 - Urshela faces surgery
Giovanny Urshela (Photo: Primicia)
November 18, 2014
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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.

Note, the AFL season concluded on Saturday and no Indians were in action in the Dominican Winter League on Monday.

Venezuela Winter League

Giovanny Urshela (3B, Aguilas del Zulia): According to reports out of Venezuela, information from an MRI performed Monday on third baseman Giovanny Urshela’s left knee showed a PCL tear. He is scheduled to fly to Cleveland and be examined by Indians personnel on Thursday to determine the proper course of action; however, surgery is expected and he should be sidelined from all baseball activities for at least six months. This would mean that his season probably won’t start on time and that barring any setbacks he may not return to the field until May or June at the earliest next season. While none of this is yet official until the Indians themselves get a chance to evaluate and diagnose him, this is an almost worst case scenario for him and the Indians. They are lucky it was not an ACL tear which would keep him out of action a little longer, but the PCL tear is almost as bad and really impacts the depth at the third base position for the Indians for at least the first half of the season next year.

Carlos Moncrief (DH, Aguilas del Zulia): 0-for-4, K. Moncrief has cooled considerably of late as he is just 2-for-17 (.117) over his last six games. Even still, he is hitting a solid .288 with a .736 OPS in 24 games this offseason out in Venezuela.

Puerto Rico Winter League

Roberto Perez (C, Indios de Mayaguez): 0-for-2, 2 K, HBP. Perez is having a solid showing in winter ball hitting .237 with a .420 on-base percentage in 13 games. He has a nice 12:11 strikeout to walk ratio, is getting on base, and of course continues to play above average defense.

Follow Tony and the Indians Baseball Insider on Twitter @TonyIBI. Also, his new book the 2014 Cleveland Indians Baseball Insider which profiles the Indians' Top 100 Prospects and more is available for sale.

User Comments

November 18, 2014 - 6:51 PM EST
Nope he can be DL'd and still considered "on-the-roster". This does open up a spot on the 40 man for either a ML signing or giving a minor league invitee an earned spot.
November 18, 2014 - 1:28 PM EST
My bad, I thought the acquiring team would have to commit one of the 25-man spots while he was hurt.
November 18, 2014 - 11:27 AM EST
Yeah, don't think this changes anything with 40-man protection. Teams can just put him on the 60-day DL next season.
November 18, 2014 - 11:05 AM EST
Bad news.

Regarding the 40 roster protection. Does this really free up a spot as Andy suggested? Not sure about that. Any team could claim him and put/hide him on a DL, right?
November 18, 2014 - 10:37 AM EST
I don't know the specifics of the play.....but it is possible that Urshela hurt the knee sliding into third on the triple. That would make sense where he caught a spike or slid funny and caused the knee to get caught up and tear the ligament.
November 18, 2014 - 10:18 AM EST
I was hoping for an MCL issue from cranking around the bases. The PCL tear is unusual from running around the bases- it usually is the result of a traumatic accident more like on a football field or Buster Posey crash where the knee is bent backwards. In the case of Urshela, one has to wonder in the absence of such an occurrence in the game, if there is not some underlying weakness in the knee from a previous series of events or even a congenital defect. Great docs in Cleve, let's not jump to conclusions yet... As for Zach Walters, I really think he need to play everyday in Columbus and work on refining his hitting approach. My guess is Antonetti was in on the Jayson Heyward sweepstakes, but the Braves didn't think Trevor Bauer was as projectable as Shelby Miller and wanted more which Antonetti was unwilling to do.
November 18, 2014 - 9:36 AM EST
I think that with Giovanny Urshela injury, we all hope that he will be able to play after All Star break. Now what is left? We have Zach Walters who can play infield and outfield and has more pop than Aviles. I agree that Zach could be the utility man, who hit some big home runs (6)

I don't think we would be hurting if Lonnie played 3rd base next year and stayed there without be jerked around. When you get in a groove, then let him play until that groove is over. He was in a groove and all we did was bench him for Aviles to get playing time. Lonnie was always the third choice, first Carlos on third, Aviles on third and then hey maybe Lonnie. This situation was corrected when Swisher got hurt and Carlos found his true position and did a great job.

I hope Terry does a better job on his position players this year. If they hit, then they should play. Remember Raburn throw into the ground on relay attempt from left field, it made the late news on how not to play.
But how about Chris G getting playing time on first base and that bouncer?????? It cost us a ball game.
November 18, 2014 - 8:18 AM EST
If Urshela is healthy and ready to play by say June or the All Star break.....and the Indians have a need at 3B...he will be up. All service time considerations are out the window at that point as they have already been managed thanks to the injury. Now, if he misses all of 2015 with the injury.....then yes, he won't be up until May or June in 2016 at the earliest.
November 18, 2014 - 8:17 AM EST
I guess the silver lining is that Urshela doesn't need to be added to the 40-man roster this offseason, so there's that.
November 18, 2014 - 7:53 AM EST
I disagree. I believe now the Indians may let Urshela stay in AAA until September, which means they would likely keep him in AAA to begin 2016 to manage his service time.
November 18, 2014 - 7:48 AM EST
Lonnie Chisenhall enters the 2015 season as the starter.. that wasn't going to change unless another team had a "Chiz Biz plan" for him in a uniform that didn't have Chief Wahoo on his sleeve. Kevin Towers is no longer a those chances are pretty remote.. Lonnie is the guy. We'll see if he can get off to the same kind of start as 2014.. and continue it through September this time..

So, the news is reporting that the damage is to the posterior cruciate ligament. That's better for swelling of the knee, not better for stability on the knee.. A lot of guys who have an ACL, also have a PCL. That ligament attaches at the back of the Femur (large upper leg bone) to the Tibia (large lower leg bone). The PCL also helps keep the knee from twisting. When an injury occurs to this ligament, stability of the knee is compromised.. It feels like your knee is filled or thick and wobbly at the same time. There isn't a lot of pain with this kind of injury. Surgery is well known and effective. The permanent loss of stability may require a very good brace to start with.. followed by a sleeve as time goes by.

You can only hope the injury wasn't a full rupture of the PCL..that would make the rehab the longest.. and the prognosis for full recovery the least likely.. We'll see in the months to come..

W/R to the back up plan.. Mike Aviles shouldn't be the RH platoon.. Aviles should be the utility guy.. and stay that way.. The best option currently on the Indians roster would be Zach Walters.. He's not nearly the polished / finished product you'd like, but, he can play the spot, has the arm.. Some consistency with the stick will punch his ticket to that spot..

C L Who
November 18, 2014 - 1:16 AM EST
Very bad news. Probably means another year of Chisenhall / Aviles at 3B, and they are both terrible defenders.
On the other hand, might mean also that Urshela will be in shape to start in 2016.

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