The Cleveland Indians designate Andy Marte for assignment

Blogged under Arrivals & Departures,Bloglockers,Front Page,General by chinmusic on Thursday 19 February 2009 at 6:31 pm

The Indians got sick of waiting around for 25-year old righty swinging 3B Andy Marte to live up to his “potential” so they designated him for assignment to make room on the 40-man roster for Juan Salas. Marte played in 80 games for the Indians last season and he was 52 for 235 (.221 avg, .583 OPS) with 21 runs scored, 3 homers and 17 RBIs. Marte has now played in 174 games in his major league career in which he was 108 for 513 (.211 avg, .602 OPS) with 47 runs scored, 9 homers and 52 RBIs. Marte probably won’t clear waivers so look for the Indians to trade him in the next 10 days.

The Cleveland Indians acquire Juan Salas from the Rays

Blogged under Arrivals & Departures,Bloglockers,Front Page,General by chinmusic on Thursday 19 February 2009 at 6:27 pm

The Cleveland Indians have acquired 30-year old righty reliever Juan Salas from the Rays for 20-year old righty swinging infielder Isaias Velasquez. Salas pitched in 5 games (0 starts) for the Rays last season and he was 0-0 with a 7.11 ERA and a 1.42 WHIP. Salas has now pitched in 47 games (0 starts) in his major league career and he is 1-1 with a 4.44 ERA and a 1.48 WHIP. Salas should be able to compete for a job in the Indians’ bullpen in spring training as he has a great pitching arm. Velasquez played in 64 games in Rookie Ball last season and he was 68 for 242 (.281 avg, .711 OPS) with 40 runs scored, 1 homer, 18 RBIs and 7 stolen bases. This was a good trade for the Indians.

The Cleveland Indians are in great shape at 1B for 2009

Blogged under Bloglockers,Front Page,General,Positional Previews for Season by chinmusic on Wednesday 18 February 2009 at 8:51 pm

The Indians might have a battle for playing time at 1B for the 2009 season. 28-year old righty swinging Ryan Garko will try to hold off 30-year old switch hitting Victor Martinez. The reason that Garko will have to fight for his job in 2009 is because of how well Kelly Shoppach played last year when Martinez was injured. The thought is that the Indians’ defense would improve with Shoppach behind the plate and Martinez at 1B. The Indians are also trying to find a way to keep Martinez healthy and playing him at 1B might be the trick. In the four years previous to 2008, Martinez averaged 77.5 run scored, 21 homers and 98.8 RBIs and the Indians need that type of production from him.

Ryan Garko played in 141 games for the Indians last season and he was 135 for 495 (.273 avg, .750 OPS) with 61 runs scored, 14 homers and 90 RBIs. Garko did improve a bit on defense last season as he only made 4 errors in 121 games at 1B, but he has phone booth range.

PROJECTED GRADE FOR THE 2009 SEASON: B-

The Cleveland Indians are set at catcher for 2009

Blogged under Bloglockers,Front Page,General,Positional Previews for Season by chinmusic on Sunday 15 February 2009 at 12:39 pm

The Cleveland Indians are set at catcher for the 2009 season with the 30-year old switch hitting Victor Martinez and 28-year old righty swinging Kelly Shoppach. Martinez only played in 73 games for the Indians last season and he was 74 for 266 (.278 avg, .702 OPS) with 30 runs scored, 2 homers and 35 RBIs. The Indians hope that V-Mart returns to his career norms of a .298 batting average with a .832 OPS in 722 career major league games. Martinez has improved on defense as he threw out 10 of 32 (31%) basestealers last season and Indians’ pitchers had a 4.31 ERA with him behind the plate. Look for Martinez to play 1B more often than he did last season in an effort to keep him healthy all season.

Kelly Shoppach benefitted from Martinez’ injuries last season as he got to really show what he can do. He played in 112 games for the Indians last year and he was 92 for 352 (.261 avg, .865 OPS) with 67 runs scored, 21 homers and 55 RBIs. The only downside to his game is the fact that he whiffed a stunning 133 times in 2008. Shoppach threw out 10 of 47 (21%) basestealers last season and Indians’ pitchers had a 4.37 ERA with him behind the plate.

PROJECTED GRADE FOR THE 2009 SEASON: A

The Cleveland Indians re-sign Tony Graffanino

Blogged under Arrivals & Departures,Bloglockers,Front Page,General by chinmusic on Sunday 15 February 2009 at 12:33 pm

The Indians have re-signed 36-year old righty swinging infielder Tony Graffanino to a minor league deal. Graffanino played in 25 games in AAA-ball last season and he was 28 for 89 (.315 avg, .800 OPS) with 8 runs scored and 6 RBIs. He has also played in 974 games in his major league career in which he is 743 for 2,787 (.267 avg, .732 OPS) with 441 runs scored, 58 homers, 302 RBIs and 53 stolen bases. Graffanino will likely have a hard time making the Indians out of spring training but he could help them at some point in 2009.

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