Choo on "Transfer" and Important Instructional League NotesWith all the previews and BBA awards, I wanted to hold off on posting an offseason update until a free day.
Can I just start off by saying that the Yankees suck? How is it that this team can win even when CC has horrible outings? Yeah I'm going to whine here, it isn't fair! WAH! WAH! WAH!
Alright now that I got that out, let's talk about this Shin-Soo Choo stuff.
A Korean report came out earlier this week and it quoted Choo as saying the following things in an article that was titled "Cleveland Choo Shin-soo hoping to move to strong team."
- Choo wants to transfer to a team, just like other players, that wins more. If he could do that, he could generate a better record and improve more.
- This reporter, Yoon Chul, IMPLIED what Choo said about contact with Antonetti as he would stay with a new contract. First off, you don't imply as a journalist.
- Choo is injury free, but his body isn't in perfect condition and he is concentrating on the Asian Games and Korea's future right now.
Alright you can imagine this would have us all a little pissed off. I bet it even pissed Choo off that this reporter painted him as someone who wanted to leave. Mainly because what the dude wrote wasn't true. The fact that this was a Korean report written in English of course throws red flags up immediately. The quotes were incredibly bad. Even if Choo was speaking in Korean and this was being translated, you would figure they would at least translate it so it didn't look like broken English.
Yoon Chul wrote the Indians to apologize for the editing problems and it sounds as if the word "transfer" never even came out of Choo's mouth. Another Korean reporter passed along this tweet to Castrovince.
"Hello, a Korean sports writer here. Choo said, purely out of envy, he wanted to play on a winning team after watching other guys pop champagne for clinching playoff berths. But he didn't say the word 'transfer' (should have been translated into 'trade.' It's baseball, not soccer) as far as I know. But he also said he wants to stay with one club for a long time and Cleveland would be his first choice. Then he said his agent would take care of his contract situation and that he hadn't heard anything special from the agent. Hope this helps."
Certainly a lot more clear. I couldn't see Choo saying he would want to play for a different team while playing for his current team. That just doesn't fit Choo and it doesn't seem like he would do something as dishonorable as that.
Castrovince also talked to Choo on the final day of the season. Antonetti also talked to Choo twice since right before the season ended and heard nothing of the sort.
So let's chalk this up to shoddy translation from International journalism and move on. I'm not ready to read the comments from nutcases that think we'll trade him anyway.
[BACK IN THE GAME]
May 13th, 2011, circle it on your calenders.
That is the date that Eric Wedge makes his return to Progressive Field as the manager of the Seattle Mariners.
Wedge had also interviewed the Cubs and Pirates and was even considered to be the front-runner in Pittsburgh according to Jon Heyman of SI.com. I'm flat out shocked that he ended up in Seattle. I didn't think he was what they were looking for.
What I also find interesting is the fact that they have Milton Bradley. How is that going to work out? Don't even give me this crap, it wasn't too long ago that Milton hit a home run in a spring training game and stared towards the Indians dugout for half of his trot and then pointed to it. That was in 2009 when Wedge was still here. I have to imagine that Bradley still harbors ill will toward Wedge. I wonder if he still has that t-shirt? I have to figure Seattle is going to get rid of him. There is no way those two can co-exist. Wedge may say they can, but Milton has made his hatred for Wedge pretty clear in the past and he has shown he hasn't let it go because he's a big giant baby and he'll never change.
What I find concerning is how Franklin Gutierrez will survive this. I'm fearful of Gut that Wedge will go back to platooning him. Okay maybe not, but that will be another interesting reuniting.
It also will be interesting to see if Wedge keeps Carl Willis as the pitching coach. Willis was promoted when Don Wakamatsu and some of his staffers were fired earlier int he season.
[INSTRUCTS AND ARIZONA FALL LEAGUE NOTES]
Instructs have been well underway and you can keep up with the action by checking out the boxscores posted on Indians Prospect Insider. The final game was actually completed on Wednesday, with the original final game for Thursday canceled, so now full focus shifts to the Arizona Fall League.
Just some notes from the final few Instructional League games.
Tuesday: Anthony Reyes pitched an inning, striking out the side on 14 pitches. Jason Knapp also pitched a scoreless frame with a strikeout. LeVon Washington went 1-3 with a double, a run scored and a stolen base. Chase Burnette had two doubles and all three Indians RBI.
Wednesday: LeVon Washington was 1-2 with another double and a walk. Drew Pomeranz pitched three scoreless frames, walked a pair but struck out SEVEN. He hit 95 on the radar gun and didn't give up a hit. Elvis Araujo has been a guy talked about in prospect circles, but surgery has had him sidelined for the better part of two years. He pitched, gave up pair of earned runs in 1.1 innings of work, but he did hit 96 on the gun.
If you saw my retweet awhile ago, you will have noticed that Tony Lastoria noted Adam Miller's return and the fact he was hitting 93 on the gun. Tony has a great wrap-up from Instructs and was even in Arizona checking things out for a few days. Make sure you read it. He says Miller is close to 100% and has already re-signed with the club and could get an invite to spring training. Boy, regardless of what happens, he already has made a remarkable comeback just to get to this point.
Rave reviews about Tony Wolters and his defense up the middle.Tony has a longer article out on Wolters and the other impressive player from instructs, LeVon Washington.
Tony says that Jason Knapp is staying in the Goodyear area until December to take classes at a school in Phoenix that will transfer to North Carolina, the school that Knapp was going to attend if he didn't sign and the school he plans to attend when his playing days are over. He will be at the Indians facility on a weekly basis though and it will be nice for the Indians to be able to keep an eye on him for half the offseason.
Make sure you are keeping your eye on the Peoria Javelinas, the team Mike Sarbaugh is managing and several Tribe prospects are playing for. Cord Phelps is busy with the Pan-Am Games so he isn't there right now, which has created a bit of creative ideas to get people in at third, one of which had Jason Kipnis at the spot.
Kipnis has played in three games but in the teams win yesterday he was 2-for-5 with a home run, a triple, and 5 RBI.
The pitchers have had mixed results so far, with Berger and Bryan Price both pitching scoreless frames while Scott Barnes got lit up for five runs in his start and CC Lee gave up a pair of earned runs in two innings the other day.
You can follow Jason Kipnis' progress with his blog. His first entry went up earlier this week. It is a bit of a homecoming for him being a former Arizona State player.
Latest Indians Inbox is up at Indians.com. Questions on Sizemore returning to the order and where to slot him and Santana. Initially, my snap decision is to put him in the five-hole, maybe get into reasoning with that later. Also covered is Aaron Laffey, signing a starter, signing a third baseman, and your weekly Omar Vizquel question.
Also an interesting question on moving Santana back to his original position of third base. Good thought, but no. He has more value as a catcher and all the work was put into him being that, so why deviate?
Trevor Crowe underwent surgery yesterday to repair his elbow. Crowe had "loose bodies" in his right elbow and he should be totally healthy in just six weeks. Those damn loose bodies.
Castrovince may be covering the playoffs, but he was still able to put out a story on Jon Nunnally yesterday and his first year as the Indians hitting coach. Nunnally was one of the guys I was most excited about on the new staff because of what he did for Andy Marte and the endorsement Travis Hafner gave him. Yet the offense is probably what struggled most when you boil it all down.
What I love though is Nunnally's outlook on all of it. He isn't making excuses, but he's giving us a dose of reality. This team, and even Nunnally himself, is in-experienced.
"It's not like a team of veterans that think they have it all," Nunnally said. "You'd like a mix of young guys and veterans. But we have a bunch of guys learning, and we're trying to help them build a foundation and a plan for themselves. You have to figure out what's good for them."
"They had to get to know all the pitchers in the league, and so did I," he said. "You look at the video of all these pitchers, and you learn how to apply what they're trying to do to each of these guys. That takes time."
As it was noted by Tony in that instructional league round-up, Manny Acta has been in Arizona taking in Instructional League action and Arizona Fall League games. Its good to see him out there as you won't see many, if any, managers of big league teams out there working with the young guys. It was Travis Fryman's show, but Acta was around in uniform and I'm sure he had the itch to talk to some players and throw his input in where he felt necessary. Acta should be moving on to help out with the Spanish coverage of the playoffs at this point now.
Twitter note... Drew Pomeranz's account has been verified, so you can follow the Indians first round pick here @DrewPomeranz.