GOODYEAR, Ariz.: The Indians placed four players on Baseball America's list of top 100 propects, but is that sufficient to keep up with the competition?
Lonnie Chisenhall (ranked 25th), Alex White (47th) Jason Kipnis (54th) and Drew Pomeranz (61st) give the Tribe a good base, but what about the other teams in the Central Division? Minnesota, which won the division last year, has four prospects in the rankings, Detroit has three and the Chicago White Sox two.
Then there are the Royals, who are expected to vie for fourth place with Cleveland. Kansas City is the star of the rankings, placing nine players on the list, including Nos. 8, 9 and 10.
""We're happy about it,'' manager Manny Acta said of the rankings. ""There is no doubt that drafting and developing players is the way we have to go. [ep
""But we don't make decisions on (the basis of) newspaper rankings We trust our player development people.'' [ep
Former Tribe All-Star Kenny Lofton arrived in camp today to spend a week teaching baserunning and outfield defense.
""He's already made an impact in our baserunning lecture to the players today,'' Acta said.
There will be baseball in Goodyear on Thursday and Friday, as the Tribe plays intrasquad games. On top Thursday morning is a 4 1/2-inning game followed by a seven-inning practice game Friday that will allow 23 pitchers to get one inning of work apiece.
As usual, corny names have been invented for the two intrasquad teams: Smitty's American Racers (managed by coach Steve Smith) and Sarby's Sourballs (managed by Mike Sarbaugh, skipper at Triple-A Columbus). [ep
How is Jason Donald adapting to third base after playing second and short last year?
""He's been looking very good in terms of footwork,'' Acta said. ""Workouts are not the same as game speed, but I like what I see. He looks very comfortable out there.''