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Winter Haven Update 3/16

March 16, 2008
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Okay, finally made it down to Winter Haven this morning. After spending the better part of four days in Tampa visiting family, and another two days in Disney.....I was ready to make my life simple again and just take in some baseball.

Today was a camp day, and the complex was pretty quiet as the Indians were playing away which left the minor leaguers to have inter-squad scrimmages. Things got rolling around 10am and ended pretty quickly by about 11:45ish and the players quickly dispersed as they had their whole afternoon to themselves (they play spring games at 1pm).

Here are some working rosters of some of the guys who were playing with who. Being my first day, I did not pay as much attention as I should have, but this was mostly due to the fact I was talking to several people throughout the scrimmages. The game I saw looked like a combination of Buffalo/Akron vs. Kinston/Lake County. Here are some of the guys who were on each roster I can recall at the moment:

Chris Gimenez (C)
Jordan Brown (1B)
Ryan Mulhern (1B)
Michael Aubrey (DH)
Brandon Pinckney (SS)
Brandon Chaves (2B)

Wes Hodges (3B)
Ryan Goleski (OF)
Trevor Crowe (OF)
Jose Constanza (OF)
Jeff Stevens (RHP)
JD Martin (RHP)
Scott Roehl (RHP)

Kinston/Lake County
Nuiman Romero (3B)
Abner Abreau (3B)
Carlos Rivero (SS)
Brian Finegan (2B/SS)
Jason Denham (OF)
Todd Martin (1B)
Mike Butia (OF)
Luis Rincon (1B)
Lucas Montero (OF)
Luis Perdomo (RHP)
Kyle Collina (RHP)

Others that played in the game who I cannot recall what team they played on: Jared Goedert and John Drennen. I'll pay much more attention to the rosters going forward.

No surprises really on the makeup of the rosters, although Abreu playing with Kinston/Lake County seems to signal he may indeed be the starting third baseman at Lake County. The organization is very high on him, and he could be another Latin kid the org pushes through the system a little more quickly. He is tall and very skinny, but definitely has a body that will allow him to gain weight and grow into it more.

Here are some random nuggets from camp today:

- Got news Justin Hoyman has called it a career. He reported to camp, but left a few days ago. Just did not have it anymore as injuries caught up with him and his fastball never recovered (reportedly around 82 MPH).

- Roster cuts are looming sometime this coming week. This is always tough to see, as several of the players in camp today will see their major league dream come to an end when the first round of cuts are announced possibly as soon as Tuesday or Wednesday. There are a lot of players on the bubble, so it will be interesting to see who stays and who goes this week and in the coming days when more cuts are made before camp breaks at the end of the month.

- Talked to Dan Cevette for a little bit. Going to officially do an interview with him possibly tomorrow or later this week. He says he is completely heathly and ready to go and believes he can get the job done and perform well. He has had injury problems in the past, and was once one of the Indians top young lefty pitchers. He most likely will pitch in the bullpen at Akron or Kinston this year. He is also a HUGE Penn State fan, but more on all that later.

- Some guys who look noticeably bigger (in a good way) and stronger are Erik Stiller and Carlos Rivero. Rivero is looks like he gained about 10-15 pounds and filled out his frame more. Stiller is rock solid and gained 15 pounds of good weight, looks strong, and has seen an increase in his fastball velocity. He worked really hard in the offseason and is someone who could be due for a breakout year. I'll be talking to him sometime this week too. Right now he supposedly will either start the year in the Akron bullpen or Kinston rotation.

- Right-hander Cody Bunkelman is still in camp. There were rumors he was about to be released from the organization last July when they sent him to the GCL. He is surely one of the guys on the bubble.

- No sign of Kelvin Diaz.....and he is not listed on a roster sheet...looks like he still has VISA issues.

- I did not see these players play at these positions, but according to the roster sheet Dustin Realini is now working out at first base, Jerad Head at catcher (more to become a super utility option), Jay Nilsson at catcher, and Stephen Head is still playing in right field.

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