Countdown to The Draft
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By: T.J. ZuppeOF Trevor Crowe was part of the Bobby Abreu trade that fell through...
Today is the first feature of a new blog you will be seeing frequently on ESPNCleveland.com during the MLB seasons. The Diamond Diary will feature daily news, thoughts, quotes and interesting Tribe nuggets before and after every game… For timely updates and analysis during the baseball season, follow me on Twitter @TJZuppe
A few loose ends…
It was confirmed that outfielder Trevor Crowe was part of the proposed trade between the Indians and Angels that fell through, according to a source close to the situation.
The Tribe was set to acquire outfielder / designated hitter Bobby Abreu but the two teams could not come to terms on the amount of Abreu’s $9-million dollar salary Los Angeles would pay this season.
It was a bittersweet moment for Crowe, who loves being part of the Indians organization but was viewed by the Angels as a major league option for a bench spot.
Crowe will begin the season in the minors.
The 28-year old former first-round pick missed nearly all of 2011 due to injury. He was greatly missed last year, especially when the club was forced to turn to Jerad Head and Luis Valbuena for stretches in the outfield.
Making the right call
Pitcher Jeanmar Gomez was awarded the fifth spot in the Indians rotation. Right-handed veteran Kevin Slowey will start the year in Columbus.
The Tribe made the right decision naming Gomez the final starter. He had the best spring of all candidates, on top of pitching extremely well to close out 2011. In his final six starts last season, Gomez went 5-1 with an ERA of 3.63.
It was refreshing to see the 24-year old make the roster over Slowey, despite the organization trading for Slowey in the off-season. With an option remaining for both, it came down to performance – an area Gomez dominated this spring.
It would be nice to see more decisions be dictated that way - in all sports.
The righty injured his hip in his final Cactus League start. As a result, his first regular season start will be pushed back until April 11th. General manager Chris Antonetti confirmed the injury would not be an issue.
With the amount of bumps and bruises adding up, spring training cannot end soon enough for manager Manny Acta.
And then there were two…
The final spot in the bullpen is now down to a couple of righties. Pitchers Jeremy Accardo and Jairo Asencio are the final two remaining. The winner of that slot will be named Sunday.
Accardo has pitched pretty well in nine spring appearances, tossing 11 innings, striking out six, while allowing only one run.
Asencio has thrown pretty well also, working 11 innings with the Braves before being dealt to the Tribe for cash. He has given up four runs, while striking out 12.
He has no options remaining, which certainly works in Asencio’s favor. After doing some research, the soon-to-be 28-year old hurler looks like a solid pickup from Atlanta. He has got a live arm, with large strike-out possibilities. With all the unknowns of a bullpen, swing-and-misses are the closest to a sure thing.
Smart money goes on Asencio to win the job but it would not be shocking to see either on the 25-man roster.
The rest of the bench and the starting left-field job decisions will be made Sunday.
T.J. Zuppe covers the Cleveland Indians for ESPN 850 WKNR. Catch TJ on Munch in the Morning weekdays from 4:30a.m.-6:00a.m. on ESPN 850 WKNR and 8:00a.m.-9:00a.m. on ESPN 1540 KNR2.
Follow TJ on Twitter @TJZuppe
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