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Minor Happenings: Notes 11/9

November 9, 2007
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Some updates:

J.D. Martin reportedly is healthy and maybe on the verge of a bounce back season next year. According to minor league coordinator Dave Hudgens, in the recently completed Fall Instructional League, “Martin looked really good. He especially looked good in his last outing and was throwing all his pitches well.”

Martin is currently playing in the Nicaraguan Winter League to make up for lost innings this year since he missed two-thirds of the season. He is only expected to play there another two weeks before shutting him down, and to date he is 1-0 with a 1.80 ERA in 10 innings.

Also, the roster deadline for the Rule5 Draft is coming up on November. The Indians have a lot of Rule 5 eligibles (check the reference section on this site for the complete list), and it likely will come down to deciding between two guys for several of the spots.

Last year, Indians Scouting Director John Mirabelli commented about how they go about making their roster decisions and how they tend to slot players. For example, the last two roster spots on the 40-man roster he said came down to Ben Francisco or Ryan Goleski for one spot (outfield) and J.D. Martin and Jim Ed Warden for the other (pitcher). In the case of Francisco/Goleski, they chose Francisco because they believed he could help the club sooner and because he is more versatile (they were right).

The fact that Mirabelli commented about the roster spot coming down to Francisco and Goleski speaks volumes to how the Indians slot positions on the 40-man roster. At the Indians already had eight outfielders listed on the 40-man roster, and adding a ninth outfielder (Goleski) would have left very little wiggle-room to fill out other positions. While people at the time were correct in that Goleski had more worth than infielder Mike Rouse and reliever Brian Sikorski, those players were slotted for those spots on the 40-man roster so when/if the Indians would drop either one of Rouse or Sikorski, they would replace them with a like player (infielder or reliever). When looking at who the Indians kept on the 40-man, you have to look at the other eight outfielders, and there was no one that Goleski could have trumped other than the aforementioned Francisco or possibly Top 10 rated prospect Brad Snyder.

Just something to chew on as you maybe try to figure out and rationalize who the Indians may protect.

In other news, here is the press release from yesterday’s Buffalo announcement on a new radio deal:

November 8, 2007

Bisons Games Return to WWKB Radio
Bisons Sign Three-Year Agreement with Entercom Broadcasting

The Buffalo Bisons are pleased to announce that they have reached a three-year agreement with Entercom Broadcasting of Buffalo to broadcast all Bisons’ home and road games on WWKB “A New Voice” 1520 AM. The agreement will begin next season and run through the 2010 season.

“We are extremely happy to renew a great partnership with Entercom Broadcasting,” said Mike Buczkowski, Vice President/General Manager of the Bisons. “The strength of WWKB’s signal will allow us to bring the excitement of Bisons Baseball to our great fans in the south towns and Southern Ontario.”

“We are excited about once again partnering with the Buffalo Bisons. It is an honor to be associated with their commitment to excellence and winning tradition,” said Greg Ried, Vice President/General Manager of Entercom Buffalo LLC.

The partnership will include all 144 regular season Bisons’ games, the broadcast of the annual Triple-A All Star Game (this year’s game is on July 16 in Louisville, KY), all Bisons’ post season games and the Triple-A Championship Game known as the “Bricktown Showdown.” After the 2008 season, WWKB will also host a monthly one-hour “Baseball Hot Stove Show” in the off-season.

Bisons’ games were broadcasted on WWKB for seven seasons, 1998-2004. The Bisons broadcasting team of play-by-play announcer Ben Wagner and color analyst Duke McGuire will remain intact for the 2008 season.

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