Weekend Update: 11/29
I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving and for those that ventured out on Black Friday you are still in one piece. Anyway, here is a quick roundup of the recent news in the Indians farm system this week:
- For those that missed our special Tuesday night edition of Smoke Signals this past week, you missed a great guest in first baseman Jordan Brown. Brown was very candid throughout the 25-minute interview which covered many things from his 2008 season, to not being put on the 40-man roster this offseason, his time in the Dominican Republic, his recent injuries, and what he is doing to prepare for 2009. You could hear the frustration pouring out of him in regard to the 40-man roster decisions the Indians made and him being left off. That said, while he is clearly frustrated he was professional about it and just being open and honest. He talked to the Indians and they explained their reasoning for him not being rostered, and while he understands it he still doesn't agree with it. He basically told all the doubters out there he is on a mission next year to prove them wrong, which is excellent to hear. Props to Jordan for coming on.
- Catcher Chris Gimenez will be on our show this Wednesday December 3rd (9:30-10:30pm). Gimenez was just rostered by the Indians, so we should get the other side of the spectrum as far as thoughts on that goes. Also, we'll talk about his transition to catching, the changes he made to his approach this year to advance as a hitter, and what 2009 has in store for him. Right-hander Rob Bryson is also scheduled to appear on a future show December 18th, and left-hander Ryan Morris will be on Monday December 29th in another special holiday edition of Smoke Signals. Since Christmas and New Year's fall on a Thursday, after the show on December 18th we will not air a show on December 25th or January 1st, but will return to our normal night and time on Thursday January 8th. Between the December 18th and January 8th shows, we will air that special Monday December 29th show to work around the holiday issue.
- Speaking of Bryson, he recently had surgery on his labrum a little over a month ago. The surgery went well and there were no surprises when the doctors went in to repair it. This is good news since sometimes an issue may not show on an MRI and the real damage is not known until you go in and repair it. Bryson is reportedly right on schedule for a return to pitching action this coming April, and actually may be slightly ahead of schedule. At this point the prognosis is that he should make a full recovery and the shoulder should be as strong as ever once he is finished with his rehab. That all said, the Indians will be very cautious with Bryson this year and take it very slow in ramping him back up into game action. Bryson is all but certain to open the year in extended spring training out in Arizona, and likely will be held out of game action until short-season leagues start in June where he should begin on a rehab assignment in the Arizona League.
- For those wondering, right-hander Adam Miller and outfielder Matt LaPorta recently returned to the states and are done playing winter ball. Indians officials are excited by what Miller showed his last few outings in the Dominican Republic where his velocity was all the way back and appeared to transition well to a bullpen role where he dominated. In three bullpen appearances, Miller was 1-0 with a save and a 2.84 ERA, and in 6.1 innings allowed six hits, no walks and had seven strikeouts.
- Baseball America has their Rule 5 Draft preview up. It is a premium piece, but as expected they focused on first baseman Jordan Brown who was the only Indians player mentioned in the piece. Former farmhand Luis Perdomo who the Indians traded for Anthony Reyes this past July is a pitcher they touched on who is Rule 5 eligible.
- The Indians signed right-handed pitcher Greg Aquino this past week (who?) to a minor league deal.