Let's not go beheading anyone now; Miller learning from Wood

Yesterday when I was learning about the Romans, a little bit before that post went up, I learned about a Roman named Hannibal. No not the one with the mask that was played by Anthony Hopkins.

He had a brother named Hasdrubal. Which sounded eerily like Asdrubal, so that's what I wrote down when the professor spelled it. I missed the H.. Maybe because I subconsciously wanted to come here to tell you this awesome story about a Roman named Asdrubal and how yesterday I was just talking about the Romans and I could intertwine it all into one big heaping pile of awesome.

I still managed to do that. Mwahaha.

The bad part in Hasdrubal was that he got his head cut off by the army that opposed the Romans and it was catapulted into Hannibal's camp. Pretty wicked awesome, but pretty sad all in the same time.

See.. You relate the name to something you like and you learn the entire story. That's a teaching tool.

Alright stop it.

Seriously stop it.

Why does this even come up?

There have been rumors that the MLB would be open to facilitating some sign-and-trade deals for players that would garner draft pick compensation in order to get them signed. Juan Cruz, Orlando Hudson, and Orlando Cabrera are a few guys that teams "might" sign if they didn't have to give up a pick.

I personally don't buy it, I think they just need to come down on their asking prices.

But still, why would this put the Indians in any interest for any of them? The only guy I could see is Ben Sheets, but he's going to be missing some time this year and the Indians don't even have a budget to do anything else, that's been the point.

The Indians put their budget to good use anyway. They got themselves Mark DeRosa and Kerry Wood. I wasn't really keen on the idea of Orlando Hudson anyway.

Speaking of Wood. Man the buzz about him has been high. He's ahead of schedule and now Wedge is raving about him.

"Thick skin and broad shoulders," said Wedge. "People say you need a short memory. I don't believe that. There's no way you can forget what you did yesterday."

There's something else that makes a closer.

"It's an aura," said Wedge. "The whole team can feel it."

"Kerry has fit right in," said Wedge. "Without a doubt, he's a leadership personality. He has a strong persona. ... You can tell people who are comfortable in their own skin. Along with that comes presence. You love that with anybody, but particularly in the back end of your bullpen."

You can see more from Kerry Wood on the interview Hoynes has up on that article. Wood is looking forward to his change of scenery and I'm sure Wedge is too.

Wedge would also like to see Adam Miller as well, who is looking to make that Wood transition into the bullpen after being a starter. Miller is pretty much like Wood with that hard fastball that should only rise in velocity with the move to the pen.
"No doubt," pitching coach Carl Willis said. "The only real difference [between the two] is that Kerry experienced starting at the Major League level. But you look at a power-type arm and plus stuff and the mind-set it takes to transition [to relief work]. There's nothing like experience, and a young guy learning from a guy who has experience going from one role to another and succeeding is a positive."
You can bet Wood has been given Miller advice and you can bet Miller is taking that advice. But he doesn't sound like he's fearful of the change at all. His mentality seems to be good.
"I'm facing that hitter, I'm trying to get him out," Miller said. "I'm going to keep it as simple as that. Will there be stuff that changes? Probably. I'll probably use the changeup less and stick with the fastball and slider more. I'm still going to stick to my strengths -- fastballs, and when I get ahead, and the slider is my out-pitch. The only difference is the changeup. It will probably decrease."
If you read on.. That's exactly what Kerry Wood said to do. Go after them with your best stuff... You think he's listening?

Castrovince adds that Wedge is also impressed with Joe Smith so far and that Edwin Mujica has looked "nasty" against hitters, jamming both Victor Martinez and Josh Barfield.

There is no doubt that Mujica has some good stuff.. But I really don't care until Mujica does it more consistently and look like a wounded dog at certain points. Still.. Miller looks to remain the front-runner, despite Mujica's lack of options left.

A few guys who should be doing a lot of listening like Miller, Beau Mills and David Huff.

Let's start with Beau Mills.

Mills is going to be starting the year out at Double-A Akron, and he's ready to get going with his second full-year of Pro-Ball.
"I'm one of those guys who tries not to set a timeline for myself," he said. "I'm excited to go to Double-A and see what I do there. I can only take it one step, one day at a time. Being here in Arizona helps out. I'm definitely very excited where I'm at right now."
He's not at a Matt LaPorta pace, who was drafted the same year as Mills, but he's one step behind him and really he's farther along most Tribe players. But Mills will play first for Akron and he's enjoying his second year of Big League camp. The Indians really do feel his bat is special.

The Indians won't rush him through, especially with LaPorta in the mix.

CPD has their latest prospect profile, with David Huff. Who could graduate from being a prospect if things go his way this year.

You probably are wondering why there are so many Matt Hergeses and Jack Casseles are in camp. Simple.. Even though the Indians probably will only lose Rafael Perez to the World Baseball Classic, it's going to be a longer spring, and they need warm bodies.

The longer Spring period will have to force an adjustment to the Indians plan of attack of course. But there is some good in it.
"What that allows us to do is, with the competition we have, it frees up some innings to get those other guys some work," Willis said.
We could actually see that competition ramp up early. It turns out that Cliff Lee won't be starting the Spring Training opener (I know you are just so excited about it) as many would hope. Why hope? Simple, it's against the Giants and Tim Lincecum is probably going to start it. Which would mean it would be AL vs NL Cy Young Award Winners kicking off exhibition play.

But it won't happen... Sorry...

The Indians want to manage Lee's workload after his 2008 year that saw him work more innings than he's ever worked. So they will keep his Spring as normal as possible.

It woulda been cool for two innings, but not really that much of a big deal when all is said and done.

More pictures like the Lee one, as always, at CPD.

We talked about Wood and how Wedge was raving about his mentality and all that. Well he also likes his leadership, as well as Mark DeRosa's.
"I know it's rare for two people to come in and have that kind of presence right away," said Wedge. "I think these people along with a couple of our starting pitchers and a few of our position players will be the leaders on this team."
I think this is something a lot of us expected to happen. Now add in the fact that they were teammates last year. It should just be a nice carry-over.

A little animosity with Michael Aubrey?
"I was hoping someone would have claimed me," said Aubrey
That's it? Did they leave something out on that quote? No.. But I'm eager to prove to the Indians that I can play in the big leagues or something like that?

Just... I was hoping that I coould get the hell out of there? I know, obviously he hopes he can remain on the 40-man radar, and that some team wants to take a chance on him. But shouldn't you not burn the only bridge you have right now?

Hopefully Hoynes left out more of that quote.

What's on tap today

Pitchers throwing to hitters Day 2, Kerry Wood throwing a few more bullpen sessions. The run of the mill stuff..

And given that I'll be sitting around all day, maybe another post later.

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