The Cleveland Indians are showing interest in former Chicago White Sox outfielder Dayan Viciedo, per a report from Paul Hoynes of the Northeast Ohio Media Group.
Viciedo, 26, was released earlier this month following an abysmal 2014 season in which he hit .231 with a .281 on-base percentage and actually had one more strikeout than he had hits (122-121). He’s also often thought of as one of the poorer defensive outfielders in the game.
His lone positive quality is his power (21 home runs last season, 25 in 2012). He’ll hit for power given at-bats, but his poor average and defense cause his value to plummet. Per Fangraphs, he hasn’t posted a positive WAR in two seasons. What that means is that Viciedo, two years in a row, has had less value than an average replacement player at his position around baseball. His line-drive percentage has also fallen two years running, from 22.1 percent in 2012 to 17.3 percent last season.To read more or comment...
Cleveland Indians outfield prospect Brian Ruiz has been suspended 80 games for testing positive for performance-enhancing metabolites.
Ruiz, 22, hit just .260 with three home runs in 85 games last season for Lake County (A).
A 41st-round draft pick in 2011, Ruiz played primarily in left and right field for Lake County.To read more or comment...
The Cleveland Indians on Thursday announced the start times and TV schedule for the 2015 season.
Some of these details were already known, but here’s the full rundown, courtesy of the Tribe:
* All 162 games will be televised this year. Nearly all (158) will be on SportsTime Ohio. Three will be on FOX Sports 1 and one (June 27 at Baltimore) nationally on Fox. In addition, the season-opener against Houston on April 6 and an Aug. 17 road game in Boston will be nationally televised on ESPN.
* Select weeknight home games in April and May will begin at 6:10 p.m.: April 27-29 and May 12-13.To read more or comment...
The Indians announced the additions of three former players as Special Assistants on Tuesday, including former slugger Travis Hafner, starting pitcher Charles Nagy and utilityman John McDonald.
Hafner and McDonald will each be in the capacity of Special Assistant to Player Development and Scouting. Nagy is returning to the Indians in the role of Special Assistant to Player Development.
Hafner played 10 of his 12 MLB seasons in Cleveland and is eighth on the all-time franchise list with 200 home runs. His best season was in 2006, and his mark of 110 RBI that year stands as the single-season record for Indians designated hitters.To read more or comment...
Cleveland Indians left-handed pitching prospect Justus Sheffield pleaded guilty to charges of underaged drinking and criminal trespass stemming from an incident last month in Tennessee, per reports.
The Northeast Ohio Media Group first reported the news.
Sheffield received a deferred judgment, meaning if he stays clear of trouble for the next year, his record will be expunged.
Per the report, Sheffield and two former teammates from high school broke into a Tullahoma, Tennessee man's residence accusing him of "messing around with his girlfriend." Sheffield admitted to have been drinking at the time.To read more or comment...
Some quick MLB notes on a cold Thursday --
Detroit Tigers designated hitter and former Indians catcher Victor Martinez has a torn meniscus in his left knee, the team announced Thursday.
Per reports, Martinez tore it during workouts. Dr. James Andrews will perform the surgery.To read more or comment...
UPDATE (6 p.m.): Indians starting pitcher Danny Salazar was investigated but will not face charges for a sexual assault complaint, per a report from cleveland.com.
In that report, Cleveland Police spokeswoman Jennifer Ciaccia released a statement, saying, “Detectives presented the case involving the rape allegations with the suspect being Danny Salazar to the city prosecutor’s office today and no charges were issued against Mr. Salazar.” According to the same report, the incident occurred at a Cleveland strip club the night of Jan. 22.
Multiple phone calls and messages to Ciaccia and the Cleveland Division of Police Public Information Office by the Beacon Journal went unanswered Wednesday.To read more or comment...
ESPN’s Keith Law came out with his annual system and prospect rankings this week, and the Indians, for the most part, are in the middle of the road in baseball.
As a minor league system, Law ranked the Indians 16th, which was fourth in the division (although only Minnesota, at No. 2, was in the top 10). Detroit, meanwhile, is ranked as having the worst system in the league.
Law states that the Indians had “perhaps my favorite 2014 draft class,” something that was needed after some of the team’s top-10 prospects struggled last season.
Individually, shortstop Francisco Lindor is still, of course, the star of the system, coming in at No. 6 on Law’s top 100 prospects. Baseball is full of high-ceiling shortstops in the minors right now, so Lindor is still only the third-best shortstop on the list and one of four in the top-7 prospects overall. Law writes, however, that Lindor is the strongest bet to hit and stay at his position in the major leagues.
He also goes into detail on Lindor’s improved hitting against left-handed pitching in 2014, his good strike-out rate, his solid on-base percentage and his young age for being at the Triple-A level.To read more or comment...
The Indians on Tuesday extended non-roster spring training invites to seven players, including shortstop Francisco Lindor and outfielders James Ramsey and Tyler Naquin.
Lindor, 21, is the clear No. 1 prospect in the system, as ranked by Baseball America, MLB.com and Baseball Prospectus. Last season he hit a combined. 276 between Double-A Akron and Triple-A Columbus and showed some speed, stealing 28 bases.
His real value, in large part, rests with his glove and fielding ability, where he projects to be a perennial Gold Glove winner.To read more or comment...
Giovanny Urshela and Ryan Merritt were named the top position player and pitcher, respectively, in the Indians' minor league system for the 2014 season, the team announced Monday.
Urshela, the Lou Boudreau Award winner, batted a combined .280 between Double-A Akron and Triple-A Columbus last year with 18 home runs and 84 RBI. He got off to a hot start with the RubberDucks at third base, hitting .300 with five home runs, nine doubles and 19 RBI in only 24 games before being promoted to Columbus. He also led all Indians minor leaguers with 78 runs scored during the season.
Merritt, the Bob Feller Award recipient, had a 2.58 ERA, 127 strikeouts and a 0.95 WHIP in 160.1 innings at Single-A Carolina. He, a 22-year-old lefty, stands a good chance of finding his way to Akron in 2015.
Urshela and Merritt were both added to the team's 40-man roster in November.To read more or comment...