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Probably more appropriate for tomorrow's column, but Danny Salazar K'ed 12 in 6 innings today for Akron, giving him 30 Ks to just 4 walks in his last three appearances (16 IP). Reports say his fastball is back following last season's surgery. Aside from staying healthy, what is the biggest hurdle between him and the majors at this point?
This is the second time you have mentioned Naquin's "deep load" problem. Presumably this is a fairly simple mechanical adjustment though, right?
I'm struck by how many of the predictors of injury might, themselves, be indicators of an already present, undiagnosed injury. All of the negative outcome predictors seem to have equifinality issues, in that they may be a predictor for future injury or simply an indication of a current injury that has yet to be diagnosed.
I'd be happy with that result
Interesting. Either way (or both), whether it is deformation of the ball or variation in the ball, it seems like an issue of varying (randomly?) initial conditions. Hard to account for.
What about the initial elastic deformation of the ball upon impact?
Cleveland's off-season strategy seems to be cornering the market on these guys (Stubbs, LaPorta and Antonelli this year, LaPorta and Pie last year)
No "long, long time" and now this!
Just kidding. What do you think of the catchers in the Tribe's system? Roberto Perez always has gotten raves about his defense and he seems to have a decent plate approach (though little in the way of hit ability), which makes me wonder why he isn't already a major league back up catcher. Alex Monsalve and Alex Lavisky both seemed to take babysteps forward last year. And then there were some younger guys in the short-season leagues last year. Any of these guys have a major league future?
I know he has holes galore, but I have to ask about personal favorite Carlos Moncrief...
You could understand a lot about baseball by viewing it as a continual exercise in failure, differentially spaced across time.
Have you seen any reports on Steven Wright's knuckleball? He has been putting up steady numbers in Akron all season with it, and I'm curious as to how close to major league calibre it looks.
You have previously suggested Lindor is likely to spend all season in the Midwest League. Has his performance to date (2-3 with a 2B and a BB today) led you to reconsider?
TJ House is off to a great start this season with some reports that he has improved his offerings. Has he risen his stock at all?
Any thoughts on Lavisky or Castillo from that Lake County game?
Could some of the AL/NL disparity be accounted for by the NL having more teams? Given the long tail in the distribution of talent, having more teams might simply bring more mediocrity into the NL, regardless of spending.
Also, any potential in converted pitcher>outfielder Carlos Moncrief?
Aside from unhealthy, any report on the current status of Nick Weglarz?
I'd love any information on what Scott Barnes has been up to lately. 40 strikeouts in his last five starts seems nice to me.
Happy to see the mention of Jordan Henry, Kevin. The Indians seem to have a bunch of these kind of players if you include Ezequiel Carrera, Tyler Holt, and now to a lesser extent, Michael Brantley. Do have any sense on how these players are viewed defensively relative to each other?
I wouldn't immediately write-out Jack Hannahan as the Indians starting 3B for a substantial portion of the season. Even though he isn't going to hit, if he keeps playing defense as he has he very well may hold onto the starting job when Donald returns from injury.
I find the lack of defensive instruction shocking. Great read, though.
I'd be interested in your take on Sizemore's recovery to date.
Awesome. My only question is how do the Vzf numbers you have above translate to the published pitch F/X vertical movement numbers? Is there an easy way to convert one set of numbers to the other?
Agreed. I hadn't heard that the procedure was done on his patella before. I actually find this pretty encouraging given the structural significance of the femur vs. the patella. Am I wrong in being encouraged?
It would be interesting to provide some control for draft position/international signing bonus for these guys. If a team debuts four 1st round picks during these years, you might expect those guys to spend less time in the minors than a team that debuts four 5th round picks.
Is the effect linear across ability levels? In other words, do pitchers with GB-rates at league average, +1 s.d., and +2 s.d., on average, show similar declines or do some of these groups conserve their rates more effectively?
I would not trade Luis Valbuena for Marquez Smith. Valbuena is younger and only a year removed from actually being a good player at the major league level. As horrendous as 2010 was, I need to see it one more time before I give up on him.
You can drop a player anytime, so they could have added him had they wanted. The roster freeze is on protecting players.
Chisenhall won't see Cleveland till September. I agree with you in wishing the Indians had given Smith a $50k tire-kicking, though.
There is no easy answer to that. 2B is probably Donald's to lose right now. 3B could be either Phelps or Nix if they impress in the field during spring training, or an outside acquisition. Valbuena is AAA bound, and quite likely a utility guy there.
Part of the answer is probably that the Indians had about the youngest minor league systems in the league last season (Baseball America published the numbers in a recent Ask BA segment). Relative to their competitors, most of the Indians squads were a year or two younger.
Kevin, any comment on a couple of the younger pitchers in the system; Giovanny Soto, Clayton Cook or Felix Sterling?
Also, what does Matt Packer have to do to get noticed?
Don't forget, Cleveland originally drafted Lincecum in the 42nd round of the 2005 draft, but were unable to come to terms with him.
Any thoughts on Jared Goedert's June power surge for Columbus (10 HRs)? He hasn't looked like a prospect since low-A in 2007, but what he is doing now has him on the cusp of the majors.
Thanks for the Chun-Hsiu Chen update
check that...5-5 today. 38-92 (.413) with 18 extra-base hits and an 11:15 BB:K ratio since May 1.
Wondering what you heard about Chun-Hsiu Chen. 4-4 again today...
Kevin, do you know anything about Taiwanese prospect Chun-Hsiu Chen in the Indians system? Since the start of May he has been hitting the ball as well as any catcher in the minors it seems.