The Acta Outlook - Starting Pitching is KeyMake sure you follow the twitter today. I'll be at the Tribe on Tour event at Summit Mall today and I'll try to tweet and post pictures.
The Tribe on Tour event has received a lot of praise and has seen a lot of attendees the past two days.
I have a quick update really, nothing too major, but I wanted to get this all out of the way because I'll probably too busy the next few days to update.
We talked a lot earlier this week about the whole prospect thing and we'll definitely revisit it when both the BA Handbook and Tony's Prospect Guide both come out and I get my hands on them. But to gain a good perspective on the whole prospect situation, as always check out the latest Lazy Sunday over at Paulie C's site. It should be no surprise he goes into great detail about past rankings and players and things you probably should just read in entirety.
Manny Acta has had a busy winter, traveling all over the place, coming to Cleveland and going back to Arizona and his home in Orlando. But now he is in full baseball mode and he is genuinely convinced this year is going to be better than the last, and he has points to back it up.
Bastian has something up on Acta, as does Terry Pluto, who is giving us the treat of more than just his usual Sunday morning thoughts with a full piece on Manny.
First from Bastian, which spends most of the article talking about the work he's doing down in his native Dominican. The construction of a multi-use facility that includes three baseball fields is close to being completed. Acta is happy to report they are about a year-out from completing the third field. He'll be going down to the Dominican to open up the facility after today's event in Akron.
And I wanna tell this guy how I admire his fedora? Yeah, a lot more to admire about him.
You also have to admire his optimism about this season. Acta says that this season will be better because of the starting pitching and the lack of uncertainties that surround the staff, at least in compared to last season.
"Go back to a year ago at this time," he said. "I was sitting here wondering if Jake Westbrook can come back from his elbow injury. I was wondering what we'd get out of Fausto Carmona [6.32 ERA in 2009]. And Mitch Talbot? I had no idea what we'd get from him. We had no idea if [Justin] Masterson could start, or if we could even find some other starters."
Acta goes case-by-case with the starters, citing Fausto and Masterson and Talbot and Carrasco. He also mentions the bullpen (which Pluto, as well as myself will refrain from jinxing the look of the bullpen) and suggests the fact the Indians won one more game than they did in the second half, while playing less games, is a reason to be hopeful.
In Pluto's usual talking column, he notes that Acta, despite not knowing Mike Hargrove (who I'm probably the most excited about seeing today, just saying) has the assignment of working with LaPorta and Santana at first this spring. Hey, you got a defensively talented third baseman at your disposal this spring, might as well let him do what he does best.
Pluto has Acta saying that Matt LaPorta is in shape and healthy this year, compared to last year and Castrovince adds that he's looking more lean and muscular. Pluto says Acta will split Hafner's weekly off-days at DH between Santana and LaPorta, one playing DH, the other at first, which basically means Lou Marson is platooning with Hafner. Let that sink in for a minute.
Two more notes from the past two Tribe on Tour events... Shin-Soo Choo first... He says he really trusts his agent and... here is an extremely scary quote.
"I really trust my agent, Scott Boras," Choo said. "My arbitration year, I didn't call him at all. I just trust him, and he takes care of me."
He didn't talk to him once? Oh man, Scott Boras wields more power than we originally thought. If we even thought that was possible. The good news is, Choo is holding himself accountable for his play and doesn't want to get complacent.
"Some players, when they make a lot of money, get lazy," he said. "They change. My thing is, however much money you make, you play with the same personality. If I change, you tell me."
That of course gives Boras more ammo, but hey whatevers.
As we wrap it up here, Castro notes something very important from the first Tour event. Mark Shapiro, who was in attendance, said that SNOW DAYS WILL BE BACK!
In all seriousness, if must be something that he and his team feel strong about moving forward. Hopefully with some tweaks (like maybe shifting the date of the event, like a little bit later into Janurary after the holidays and implementing other feedback that they think would enhance it) the event could be profitable for the club and be a small source of revenue. The word is they lost on it this year, but that is the case in business more times than not. You usually lose some money the first time around or initially.
Remember, follow the Twitter and hopefully I'll do my best to get some pics and updates out today from 12-4. Although, I do not plan on being at the actual event til four (I'd probably throw my shoulder out at the derby anyway).