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Weekend Update: 9/26

September 26, 2008
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I don't know how often I will have these updates, but the Indians provided some news from the Fall Instructional League out in Goodyear, AZ that Adam Miller made his debut on Tuesday in a 7-1 win over Kansas City. Miller threw two perfect innings and had three strikeouts while throwing 32 pitches. He topped out at 94 MPH on the radar gun. Outfielder Nick Weglarz, first baseman Beau Mills and catcher Carlos Santana hit home runs in the game.

In other news, apparently Matt McBride's listing as an outfielder on the Hawaii Winter League's player roster may not be a typo. While I am awaiting confirmation, he supposedly is indeed going to play outfield out in Hawaii. This is an interesting development, and not really a suprise given the depth at the catching position in the system, particularly at the upper levels with three starting caliber catchers in Wyatt Toregas, Chris Gimenez, and Carlos Santana all expected to be in Triple-A Columbus or Double-A Akron next year. Gimenez or Toregas could wind up as the backup catcher to Victor Martinez in Cleveland if Kelly Shoppach is traded in the offseason. But, back to McBride, he certainly has the athleticism for such a move and this may be a way to keep him in the lineup and his ailing arm much more healthy.

Looking deeper into the Reid Santos waiver loss, his removal from the 40-man roster and subsequent loss on waivers to Toronto was mainly the result of left-hander Rich Rundles proving his worth and jumping over Santos on the value meter as far as left-handed relief options go. Santos was awful at Buffalo earlier in the year where in 16 appearances he was 2-2 with a 7.20 ERA and a WHIP of 2.00, and lefties hit .382 with a .995 OPS off him. In comparison, in 55 games at Buffalo Rundles was 5-4 with a 2.91 ERA including a 0.93 ERA in 13 August appearances before his callup to Cleveland. His allowed 40 hits and 24 walks in 52 innings and had 60 strikeouts, and lefties at Buffalo hit just .165 off him with a .498 OPS. Rundles ability to get lefties out at a higher level and also with the stuff to miss bats is why he is in Cleveland still and Santos is elsewhere. The writing was on the wall when he was called up and rostered, while Santos who was on the 40-man was not.

Baseball America has been providing their Top 20 lists for each league in the minor leagues, and to date all the Indians affiliates have been covered. Only the International League has not been issued yet, but with virtually no prospects there all year no one is expected to make the International League listing. Here are the players to make the list in each league:

Gulf Coast League: #10 Abner Abreu (3B)
NY-Penn League: #6 Lonnie Chisenhall (SS), #16 Tim Fedroff (OF), #19 Cord Phelps (2B)
South Atlantic League: No one
California League: #2 Carlos Santana (C)
Carolina League: #4 Nick Weglarz (OF), #5 Beau Mills (1B), #9 Hector Rondon (RHP), #15 Carlos Rivero (SS), #18 Josh Tomlin (RHP)
Eastern League: #11 David Huff (LHP), #16 Wes Hodges (3B)
Southern League: #4 Matt LaPorta (OF)

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