We're supposed to get snow all day today in Northeast Ohio, and even in hot and sunny Arizona there's a good chance that rain will curtail outdoor workouts. Eventually the sun will show itself, right?
You think David Ortiz hates the new pace-of-play rules? Just imagine if Mike Hargrove were still playing.
The MLB Players Association Executive Director addressed several issues, including the new pace-of-play initiatives while in Goodyear. His response to the current Qualifying Offer seemed to indicate that it would be one of the main sticking points when the new Collective Bargaining Agreement is negotiated. In a couple of cases (Stephen Drew, Kendrys Morales), the QO curtailed the amount of money free agents were able to make.
Al's first installment of his comprehensive prospects countdown. It's a must-read if you follow Indians prospects.
Right now there's just too many outfielders signed to major-league contracts for Tyler Holt to make the team, but eventually you'd think he'd be a nice fourth outfielder, especially if the outfield stays all left-handed hitters. Also! Francona says Kyle Crockett's potential role in the bullpen could eventually grow into a full-fledged setup man, facing left-handers and right-handers.
MLB has released the pools MLB clubs have to sign players not covered by the June Draft (basically everyone who doesn't live in the US, Canada, and US Territories). Some clubs, like the Diamondbacks and Red Sox, who recently went over their 2014-2015 pools to sign Cuban defectors, will not be able to spend over $300,000 on a single player. The Indians will have $2,204,900 to spend this year, which is 19th among MLB clubs.
For all the talk that the pace-of-play initiatives have gotten, Statcast is going to be the most important addition that MLB makes in 2015. It could revolutionize the way we watch baseball games, and should make defensive evaluations much more transparent. For those that don't what Statcast is: it is a real-time player and baseball-tracking measurement that will give fans access to a number of stats, including acceleration speed, first step time, pitch speed/tilt, baseball hang time, and many more things. It's going to be available on MLB.tv/At Bat and several baseball RSNs are going to incorporate it into their broadcasts.
For a nice example, here's a play from last year's World Series that is broken down by Statcast:
Latest 25-man/40-man Roster
When spring training first begins, there are loads of players in the major-league camp that aren't on the 40-man roster. Some of them are prospects the club would like to get a look at. Some of them are major-league veterans that are looking for a chance to stay in the majors. And some are minor-league free agents that are looking for a fresh start after spending seven years in another organization.
Prospects: Bryan Price, Nick Maronde, Will Roberts, Jake Lowery, Francisco Lindor, Tyler Naquin, James Ramsey, Jordon Smith
Minor-league Veterans: Dustin Molleken, Destin Hood, Adam Moore, Jerry Sands, Michael Roth, Audy Ciriaco, Ryan Rohlinger
Major-league Veterans: Jeff Manship, Shaun Marcum, Scott Downs, Michael Martinez, Anthony Swarzak, Bruce Chen
Barring injury, a bullpen slot is probably the only 25-man roster spot that may go to an NRI. Every other spot seems to be either locked down are destined to go to someone already on the 40-man roster. Anthony Swarzak still seems like the NRI with the best shot at making this club, but perhaps Bruce Chen, who was signed just before pitchers and catchers reported, could work his way onto the roster as a longman/spot starter.