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Weekend Update: 12/27

December 27, 2008
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Here is a quick rundown of some of the news from a very slow news week in the Indians system:

- Just a reminder, because of the Christmas holiday this past week we did not air our radio show and because of the New Year’s holiday this coming week the show will not air again. As mentioned previously, we will have a special show this coming Monday December 29th from 9:30-10:30pm EST to offset the loss of the two shows. Our featured guest this week will be left-handed pitcher Ryan Morris who pitched at Single-A Lake County last year (9-7, 3.76 ERA, 27 starts).

- I mentioned last week that left-hander Tony Sipp had not gone to the Dominican Republic as originally planned because the Indians completely shut him down for the rest of the offseason after he complained of some shoulder discomfort at the end of the season and in the early part of his offseason workouts. The severity of the injury is not known, but according to a baseball official I talked to over the past few days if the shoulder does not feel better by spring training Sipp may need to undergo surgery (again). No word on what the exact injury is, how it happened, or how serious it is, but this is concerning to say the least. Hopefully the rest fixes whatever is ailing Sipp as he is a very valuable piece to the bullpen for the Indians in 2008 and beyond. Until then, it is wait and pray mode where more will not be known about the situation until spring training.

- With third base still up in the air for the big league club, don’t be surprised if you start hearing minor leaguer Chris Gimenez put into the mix at the position once spring training gets closer. Gimenez is listed as a catcher, but he can actually play any position on the field except shortstop, second base and center field (although could probably play any in a pinch). Of all the positions he plays, third base is the one he plays the best defensively and is the most comfortable playing. While the Indians will by no means hand the third base job to a rookie like Gimenez to start the season this year, he could be an option at third a few months into the season as a fallback if things go wrong with whoever they end up plugging in there. If needed, he would be a good stopgap for Wes Hodges, who likely will not play in Cleveland until 2010. And who knows, given a chance to play perhaps Gimenez becomes a long term solution there if he performs.

- I get lots of questions on the visa status of Dominican Republic third baseman Kelvin Diaz. At this moment, his visa issue is still a mystery and I have yet to get confirmation if in fact it has been cleared up given that he was on the orientation portion of the Instructional League roster out in Goodyear this past September 17th through October 17th. Diaz was not listed on the Instructional League roster last year nor did he participate in the program. Given that he was listed this year along with the length of his proposed stay in Goodyear, it appears he in fact made it stateside for the first time. But, again, like Bigfoot, until I get confirmation he was there I still refuse to believe he exists. I’m in the process of trying to verify his participation this year, and will post something when/if I find something out.

- As an FYI, the Winter Meetings in 2009 will be in Indianapolis (Dec 7-10th) and in 2010 will be in Orlando Dec 6-9th).

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