IBI Digest: 11/3/13 - 11/9/13
Recapping the week on Indians Baseball Insider
The rumors are swirling as the offseason moves into full swing. While the rest of baseball talks about the Cano's, Tanaka's and Price's of the world, the Indians are talking about veteran starters and bullpen pieces. Are guys like Tim Hudson, Corey Hart and Brian Wilson worth investing in this offseason? The IBI staff has all the latest from the rumor mill as well as their own speculations. Meanwhile, the offseason leagues continue asTyler Naquin and Jesus Aguilar continue to be the top winter ball hitters this year.
Here's what happened this week on IBI:
Lake County Insider: 2013 Season Review - The Hitters: As Tony Lastoria continues to move up through the Indians farm system and review the top performers at each level. In this installment, he makes a stop at single-A Lake County to see which Captains hitters had standout performances in 2013.
Lake County Insider: 2013 Season Review - The Pitchers: While in Lake County, Tony Lastoria also takes a look at the pitchers that did or didn't make significant progress in 2013 as the journey through the Tribe minor league system continues.
Around the Farm: November 2, 2013: Tyler Naquin represented the Indians in the AFL Rising Stars game on Saturday and racked up a triple and a walk in five plate appearances. Meanwhile Carlos Moncrief made his winter ball debut in Puerto Rico and Jesus Aguilar racked up another multi-hit game. Tony Lastoria reports.
Tribe Happenings: Indians need to search externally for closer: With the Chris Perez era over in Cleveland, the question now is where will the Indians find a new closer. Tony Lastoria believes the answer lies externally on the free agent market as he explains in his weekly notebook.
Possible free agent options that can help the Indians rotation: In a continuing offseason series, Andy Nichols explores the various starters on the free agent market that the Tribe could be interested in.
Around the farm: November 3, 2013: Jose Ramirez racked up three hits as he continues on his November hot streak in the Dominican Republic. In Venezuela, Jesus Aguilar is as hot a hitter as anyone in any of the offseason leagues as he hit his eighth home run and drove in three more runs on Sunday. Arthur Kinney recaps all the action.
Winter Ball Notebook: Naquin is making strides in the AFL: As Tyler Naquin was selected to represent the Indians in the AFL Rising Stars game, Steve Orbanek analyzes the Tribe outfield prospect's success in Arizona this offseason as well as all the action in the other winter leagues this past week.
Possible trade options that can help the Indians rotation: Who could be on the trade block this offseason that the Tribe could be interested in as far as starters? Andy Nichols examines the options.
Around the Farm: November 4, 2013: Tyler Naquin continues to torch AFL pitching as he collected three hits and two RBI on Monday. In the Dominican, Jose Ramirez posted another strong performance going 2-for-3 with two doubles, a walk and a run scored. Michael Hattery analyzes all the games.
Swinging for the Fences: Bryan Shaw – The next Tribe closer?: Crafty young right-hander Bryan Shaw could be key candidate for Indians closer role in 2014. Jake Dungan looks at Shaw and other internal options the Indians could experiment with at closer in his weekly notebook.
Tribe Madness: Stadium Region Round 1 results: The first round is underway in the Tribe Madness tournament and Rick Lamborn has the results of the Stadium Region matchups. Charles Nagy, Mel Harder and Luis Tiantwere among the Indians legends who advanced.
AFL Spotlight: Will Roberts: Tony Lastoria documents an exclusive interview with Indians' right-handed prospectWill Roberts, who enjoyed a solid minor league season and is now pitching in Arizona in the Fall League.
Around The Farm: November 5, 2013: Finally someone not named Aguilar or Naquin performed well, although they did, too. AFL hurlers Shawn Armstrong and Tyler Sturdevant each pitched shutout appearances. Arthur Kinney covers all the highlights.
Rumors begin swirling at the Corner of Carnegie and Ontario: The offseason rumor mill is starting to churn out buzz related to the Tribe. So far, veteran starter Tim Hudson has been linked to the Indians while Ubaldo Jimenez, Scott Kazmir and others head for free agency and speculation begins if they'll be back. Jim Pete analyzes all the rumors.
Francona once again holds key to Indians offseason: After a successful first year, Francona proves valuable this winter. The Indians look to add reinforcements and they'll look to Tito once again to utilize his influence to attract top talent to Cleveland. Jim Berdysz explains.
Tribe Madness: League Park Region round one results: The results are in for round one of the League Park Region matchups. According to Rick Lamborn, Napoleon Lajoie, Travis Hafner and Jim Thome were among those who advanced to the next round.
Around the Farm: November 6, 2013: Jake Lowery excelled at the plate on Wednesday reaching base three out of four times. In Venezuela, Winter ball's super-slugger Jesus Aguilar made news in the field by starting at thrid base as the Indians hope to increase his value by adding versatility to his resume. Michael Goodman reports.
Possible free agent options that can help the Indians bullpen: With Chris Perez gone and Matt Albers, Rich Hill andJoe Smith likely to follow him into free agency, the Indians are looking to add bullpen reinforcements. Andy Nichols lists the free agent relievers that could be of interest to the Tribe.
The Ultimate Indians Draft: Rounds 51-41: Resident draft guru Jeff Ellis debuts the first in a series of articles where he assembles the ultimate draft for the Tribe by selecting the best choices by the Tribe round-by-round down through the years.
Around the Farm: November 7, 2013: It was a good day for Tribe pitchers in the offseason leagues as Joseph Colon, Bryan Price, Brett Brach and Elvis Araujo each had strong outings in their respective leagues. At the plate, it was Jesus Aguilar and Joe Wendle who had good games. Tony Lastoria recaps the highlights.
Orbiting Cleveland: Should Colon be an option?: When looking for starting pitching options, the Indians should not overlook Colon. Steve Orbanek explains why bringing back the former Tribe ace could be a good idea in his weekly notebook piece.
Around The Farm: November 8, 2013: Bryan Price and Shawn Armstrong each pitched shutout innings on Friday as they both continued their strong offseason performances. Meanwhile, Tyler Naquin put another multi-hit game together as he has now recorded a hit in 20 of 22 games this fall. Arthur Kinney covers that and other highlights.
Tribe Madness: Dunn Field Region Round 1 results: It was Dennis Eckersley, Bob Feller, Cliff Lee and Rocky Colavito who highlighted the Dunn Field Region matchup winners as round one of Tribe Madness continues. Rick Lamborn recaps all the results.
AFL Spotlight: Tony Wolters: Tony Lastoria goes one-on-one with former middle infield prospect Tony Wolters, who finished his first season as a full-time catcher with Carolina and has participated in AFL games. Wolters discusses the transition to catcher and what he believes the future has in store for him.
Friends of the Feather
Cleveland Indians Danny Salazar will have lots of company in 2014 arms race: Paul Hoynes of the Plain Dealer examines how the Tribe's young, flame-throwing phenom Danny Salazar stacks up against the top young starters of both leagues next season.
Indians Offseason Target: Justin Morneau: As the Indians search for a middle-of-the-order bat this offseason, Steve Kinsella of Wahoo's On First speculates whether former Twins slugger Just Morneau could be a fit for the Tribe as he is now a free agent following the expiration of his mega contract.
Should the Indians Extend Michael Brantley?: The Tribe left fielder has proved to be one of the more valuable players on the team, particularly this year where he finished in the top three in the league when hitting with runners in scoring position. Should he receive a contract extension? Joseph Coblitz of Burning River Baseball thinks so.
Jake Dungan is a communications student at Stark State College and an intern with the Akron RubberDucks. Follow him on Twitter @MajorLeagueJake.