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2.12.2010

One more for the road and the Wright add

Nino Colla | Friday, February 12, 2010 | | | | | | | | | | | Best Blogger Tips
It was perfect timing.

The Jamey Wright signing came perfectly with the posting of Wednesday's first edition of the 2010 Spring Training Primer.

So if the Cleveland Indians sign Jermaine Dye, Jonny Gomes, Hank Blalock, Russell Branyan or whatever...

I scream...

But hey.. Let's talk about this. With spring training a little over a week away, there are some names still out there without jobs.

Among them, the names I mentioned a few lines ago.

Now as AC says in that link, the Indians have been linked to those guys, in one way or another. Whether it's speculation, wishful thinking, or actual conversations.

Shapiro has at least opened up the window, saying that there is still a possibility that they could get something done, but what?

The Indians seemingly signed Shelley Duncan as insurance for first base if Matt LaPorta wasn't ready to go. But if you have a chance to add someone like Hank Blalock or Jermaine Dye to be that insurance policy for cheap, do you do it?

The problem is you only have so many bench spots and with someone like Andy Marte, who can play first AND third, I have to wonder if a signing like this would jive.

I guess you make room and work with what you can get, but... I'd be perfectly content working with what we CURRENTLY have.

Branyan and Blalock seem to be the popular choices because they are lefties and LaPorta is right-handed. I worry about them both defensively for one reason or another.

Now... If any of these players can be signed to a minor league deal... That's a whole new story and I'd take any of them in a heart beat.

I'm still confused with this Orlando Hudson and.. I guess I'm not alone.. As Castrovince has confirmed, the Indians did offer Hudson a two year deal. As it's explained in the latest Indians Inbox, the Indians back loaded the contract for 2011, because of that financial issue that is happening this year.

Which makes sense, as with Wood and Westbrook coming off the books after this year, it would have worked. It goes along the lines of thinking that the addition would have been a bargain.

But if he got hurt? Ehk. Castrovince however was told that Hudson was just a one time shot. They are planning on going into the season with Luis Valbuena, with him getting breaks against lefties (probably not all lefties, but he won't be a full-time starter).

In the Inbox, AC also dismisses the possibility about Felipe Lopez. Again, the Hudson thing was more because of Hudson rather than Valbuena.

From one young starter looking to earn a starting job to another in Michael Brantley.

Oh something that's been bugging me.

Mike or Michael? I've said Mike Brantley some times, Michael Brantley other times. We need to get a ruling on the plausibility in calling him Mike.

Anyway, CPD had a story up on Brantley, video included, and his thoughts on contending for the left field job.
"I don't think I did enough at all to guarantee the job," said Brantley. "It's only one month. Yes, I'm happy with the month, but it's not enough to say I'm guaranteed the job.

"I never want to feel that way. I want to feel I earned the job."
Manny Acta said that what he did in September gives him an advantage, but there will be no handing out of jobs.

Brantley also spoke on the adjustment to the big leagues and the drastic level of play there is compared to being in the International League. Brantley talked about having a relationship with new hitting coach Jon Nunnally and being raised around baseball with his dad being a major leaguer.

I think everyone wants Brantley to not only win the job, but produce. The faster he wins the job and produces, the faster this team can move on from having to bring in Austin Kearn. The faster they can finally move Grady Sizemore down in the order and let this kid run his ass off and steal many many bases.

If I can rewind for the second...

Didn't really get a chance to talk about the Jamey Wright add, aside from the primer.

Again, another minor league deal. I'm a fan though. He was a workhorse for the Royals last year and his numbers aren't too shabby.

He just makes the bullpen battle that much stiffer. Jensen Lewis' spot is probably not guaranteed, and neither is Tony Sipp's. So that could be three spots up for grabs. If Wright doesn't win, I have to imagine he would have the same clause Saul Rivera does, or at least something similar, to where he has until May 15th to be added to the roster before he can request a release.

So depth, options.. Goodness.. I like it. But I must wonder why Jamey Wright's featured video on that Indians.com link is "Wright's 'wild' pitch" where he throws a pitch in the stands. Mockery.

Final two major links today are the all-important Spring Training Primer stories that MLB.com provides. And who else but Anthony Castrovince to do that. The first is a "look ahead" feature where AC sums up the arrival of Manny Acta and the roster situation that the Indians are looking at.

The second is a full-blown breakdown, three questions, projected lineup and rotation and bullpen.

AC's one surprise, to me at least, has Mitch Talbot taking the final rotation spot. Laffey is the four, which means David Huff is probably the most notable man out. Jeremy Sowers as well, which creates a whole new situation, but who knows if he would be in the hypothetical bullpen.

AC seems to think Talbot is a favorite because he is out of options and perhaps the reason he is a favorite more than Sowers, is because the Indians know what Sowers is about, and has yet to take that next step. Perhaps they would seriously consider him for the bullpen.

Finally... A few house-keeping notes.

A) This site is not moving... I officially pulled out of the deal to move to the Fan Huddle network. I think we'll be fine just on our own... Do not adjust your TV-sets.

B) Check out the Baseball Links that I've updated on the side of the page. One link in particular: Hot Stove. I'll be contributing Indians opinions off and on and the next little snippet of opinion should be up later today. I will tweet that.

C) We need a new countdown/count-up for this upcoming season. So I open up a thought balloon. Last year it was the Rafael Betancourt Cap Counter. What quirky thing can we do this year? Number of times Attendance doesn't beat 50% of the stadium capacity? Number of different starting pitchers? Kerry Wood trade watch? Asdrubal Cabrera 'Oh My GAWD' plays?

I'm partial to that last one. But I'd be open for ideas.

D) The awesome additions of "Pages" is making me convert some of the posts that I've made into pages. I can have up to ten and intend on using all ten, mwahaha.

E) I'm promising an update every day next week. The two primers on Tuesday/Thursday, and the breakdown Sunday. Regular Updates, a Twidder, and the return of LOLTribe, the second annual offseason edition. Seven days, seven posts or maybe more, weeehaw.. Back Sunday or Monday.

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