GOODYEAR, Ariz.: The cupboard isn’t completely bare, despite the low ranking of the Indians’ farm system.
Three pitching prospects in big-league camp are on track to put pressure on the Tribe’s deep thinkers to elevate them to majors in the none-too distant future, maybe even this year.
Scott Barnes, 24, might become the first left-hander to crack the Indians’ rotation in awhile, though not yet. Chen-Chang Lee, 25, is a Taiwanese reliever who throws harder than most sidearmers and is a particularly tough read for right-handed batters. At 5-11, 190 pounds, Austin Adams, 25, doesn’t look like he could throw into the mid-90s, but somehow he has developed the power to do just that.
“I would say that some of those guys, according to our reports from last year, should be able to contribute this year, if they stay the course, especially Lee and Barnes,” manager Manny Acta said Thursday. “But we’ve seen in the past that things can change real quick.”
Barnes, acquired from the San Francisco Giants in 2009 for Ryan Garko, was climbing the ladder to Cleveland when he tore an ACL last July as he fielded a bunt during a start for Triple-A Columbus. His season ended with knee surgery, but he has come back this spring without restrictions on his baseball activity.
Barnes started the 2011 season with the Double-A Aeros, posting a 1-0 record and 1.64 ERA in two starts. After arriving at Triple-A, he compiled a 7-4 record and 3.68 ERA in 16 appearances, 15 of them starts.
Lee was 2-1 with a 2.50 ERA in 23 games for the Aeros, before going 4-0 with a 2.27 ERA in 21 outings with the Clippers. In 71· innings combined, he struck out 99.
Adams, 25, isn’t quite as advanced as Lee or Barnes, having yet to pitch at the Triple-A level. Last year with the Aeros, he was 11-10 with a 3.77 ERA in 26 starts.
Several players and coaches will be wearing microphones when the MLB Network will air the March 7 game between the Indians and Arizona Diamondbacks.
Up to six players on each club plus the coaching staffs will be wired for sound. There also will be microphones at each base, down the first- and third-base line and on the outfield wall.
Last spring, the network tested the idea during games between the Indians and Milwaukee Brewers and Indians and Oakland Athletics, but the sound was not used as part of the telecast.
The March 7 game can be seen in Northeast Ohio on the MLB Network starting at 3 p.m.
Frank Herrmann and some friends from Harvard, his alma mater, spent Super Bowl weekend together — at the Super Bowl in Indianapolis.
“My friends are Patriot fans, and I’m a Giants fan, so we thought it would be fun to go to the game,” Herrmann said.
The last three players to report showed up on time Thursday, the day position players were asked to arrive in camp.
Trevor Crowe, Felix Pie and Casey Kotchman made it 62 for 62.
The first full-squad workout is Saturday, preceded by Acta’s address to the troops.
Sheldon Ocker can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Read the Indians blog at https://ohio.com/tribematters. Follow him on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/SheldonOckerABJ and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/sports.abj.