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Roster D-Day

Roster D-Day
November 20, 2009
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UPDATE 11/20 10:30am EST: I have received confirmation that right-handed pitcher Carlton Smith was not rostered.  Again, not a big surprise as while Smith is talented and had a great year the Indians have a lot of depth in the bullpen in Akron and Columbus and can gamble on losing a reliever or two.

UPDATE 11/20 10:04am EST:  Have received a lot of e-mails and seen a lot of talk on message boards about Kelvin De La Cruz.  He very well may be rostered, but in talks with the Indians and others over the past few weeks and months I just don't get the vibe that he will be rostered.  I'll be very surprised if he is rostered given his questionable health status and completely lost year this season.  He is in no way ready to face major league pitching because of his command/control issues at the moment, and contrary to what a lot of people seem to think, teams are not likely to take flyers on High-A pitchers with arm and command issues, no matter how great their stuff is.  If De La were healthy and were coming off a year like say Hector Rondon had last year, he most definitely would be rostered.  We'll find out soon enough.

It should be pointed out that in my roster prediction piece a few days ago, those were not the guys I prefer to be rostered, but who I believe will be based on conversations with people in the know. Four of the guys were verified from those talks, while for the others it was a little more uncertain and unclear.

UPDATE 11/20 9:01am EST: Not roster related at all, but since I am throwing up quick updates, it looks like new Indians manager Manny Acta will be going out to Venezuela soon, and during that visit will get a chance to have a face-to-face talk with Dave Hudgens and Jon Nunnally who are both coaching out there.  Hudgens is the Indians Field Coordinator (oversees all the coordinators in player development) and Nunnally is the Triple-A Columbus hitting coach.  Acta supposedly will choose between the two to fill the hitting coach position, the last open spot on his staff.

UPDATE 11/20 7:45am EST:  This is hardly a shocker at all, but I have received confirmation that firstbaseman/outfielder Jordan Brown has been rostered.  Ever since he got word back in early September that he would not be called up for the remainder of the season, I have reported that he would still be added to the roster this offseason.  Several sources repeatedly informed me of that, and now it is official.  With Grady Sizemore coming off surgery, Travis Hafner a shell of his former self and unable to play everyday even as a DH, and Matt LaPorta's status at the start of the season an uncertainty because of his offseason hip and toe surgeries, Brown figures to get a great chance this spring to make the Indians opening day roster and potentially even start right out of the gates.

UPDATE 11/19 11:35pm EST: Just got word that right-handed pitcher Steven Wright will supposedly not be added to the 40-man roster.  With him being left off, it pretty much closes the door on the chance for any reliever save for right-hander Frank Herrmann to be added.

UPDATE 11/19 8:35pm EST: We are less than 24 hours from the official announcement by the Indians regarding which players from their farm system they have added to the 40-man roster. Even though the roster deadline is Friday night (November 20th) and official confirmation should come late in the evening, it does not mean we won't find out in advance who has or has not been rostered.

An impeccable source has already informed me that catcher/first baseman/outfielder Matt McBride has not been added to the 40-man roster. This certainly is somewhat of a surprise as I had him down as one of my seven roster picks, especially after an excellent Arizona Fall League showing where he hit .378 with 4 HR, 18 RBI and a 1.159 OPS in 22 games. With McBride not being rostered, he probably will be #1 player on the board that teams look to scoop up from the Indians in the Rule 5 Draft.

McBride's omission from the 40-man now gives the likes of third baseman Wes Hodges, shortstop Carlos Rivero, and right-handed pitcher Josh Tomlin a much better chance to make the roster, or even one of the several relievers from Triple-A Columbus and Double-A Akron.

Throughout the night and all through the day on Friday I will continue to provide updates to this posting on players of interest who I have learned have or have not been rostered. Stay tuned.

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