Results tagged ‘ Yan Gomes ’
MLB Network’s “30 Clubs in 30 Days” show visited Goodyear, Ariz., on Thursday, to check in with the Tribe. Here are video clips of what appeared on Thursday night on MLB Network:
Nick Swisher (excitedly) talks about last season and the upcoming season.
Terry Francona talks about his club as it stands today:
Sandy Alomar Jr. and Yan Gomes discuss new rule changes for catchers and baserunners:
Danny Salazar talks about his stellar rookie year:
Justin Masterson and Michael Bourn talk about their excitement for 2014:
The MLB Tonight guys discuss Carlos Santana’s attempted transition to third base:
(Editor’s note: This post is written with tongue firmly planted in cheek. There is no controversy surrounding the new-look Goon Squad, only laughs and jokes and overall camaraderie between teammates.)
There’s a controversy brewing in the Tribe clubhouse.
Mike Aviles coined the “Goon Squad” last season – a group of so-called super subs who had a major impact in the Tribe’s Postseason run.
Just one problem: Yan Gomes had graduated to a full-time spot in the Tribe starting lineup. So what happens to his spot in the Goon Squad?
“He’s out! He’s an everyday guy now!” Giambi told 92.3 The Fan’s “Bull and Fox” show on Tuesday. “Raburn and Aviles couldn’t wait to kick him out.”
“I feel extremely disrespected when they tell me I’m no longer part of it,” Gomes told 92.3 The Fan’s “Bull and Fox” show on Monday. “There’s a motto: ‘Once a goon, always a goon.’”
Apparently not so in Cleveland. Gomes, upon learning this offseason of his boot from the squad, had an easy solution: “I guess we have to start an alumni group, ‘The Old Goons’ or something.”
Kidding aside, Giambi said the reason the quartet was so successful last year was that, while Manager Terry Francona made sure they were in the lineup and remained fresh, the players accepted their roles and embraced the impact they can have.
“I’d never been in that role; I’d always been an everyday player,” Giambi said. “But (in Colorado) we had the same thing. When guys accept this role, they can make a big impact. I get over here, we started the same thing; the Goon Squad was bigger than the starters, we didn’t let the starters in!”
Cleveland shut out Cincinnati 4-0 on Friday afternoon at Goodyear Ballpark, as the Tribe pitching staff permitted just 3 hits and a trio of walks.
Starter ZACH McALLISTER retired 6 of the 7 batters he faced – save for one free pass – before giving way to JOSH TOMLIN, who followed with 2.0 spotless frames of his own and a pair of strikeouts. Five Tribe relievers carried the torch, recording 3 outs apiece to protect a 2-0 lead that RYAN RABURN provided with his 2-run HR off Homer Bailey in the 2nd inning. The Tribe plated 2 more runs in the 6th on CARLOS MONCRIEF’s RBI-single when a throwing error on the play permitted a second tally to come home.
The Indians will play their first true road game of the spring on Saturday when the team travels to Camelback Ranch for a 3:05PM ET first pitch against the Chicago White Sox. RHP AARON HARANG is scheduled to get the start opposite LHP John Danks. The broadcast will be available on the Indians Radio Network (WTAM in Cleveland) and through an online webcast on Indians.com.
–Photos by Dan Mendlik
In addition to these photos, don’t forget The Rosey Report — our new daily podcast!
–Photos by Dan Mendlik
The @TwitterMirror was a huge hit at Tribe Fest, with player photos, Mascot Selfies, and more, with even Terry Francona and Mark Shapiro getting in on the fun! The mirror made its return to the Tribe at Spring Training in Goodyear, AZ on Monday and of course, shenanigans ensued.
Check out all of the hijinks and pearly whites — and a few new faces — in the photo gallery below!
– TribeVibe contributor Courtney Shilling
–Photos by Dan Mendlik
–Photos by Dan Mendlik
Yan Gomes had already appeared in the Majors with Toronto by the time he came to Cleveland for the Indians week-long Winter Player Development program last January.
He’s now the team’s starting catcher and had a major impact on the team’s Postseason run last season. Danny Salazar, who made his own contributions down the stretch in 2013, is also a product of Cleveland’s unique offseason training initiative – now in its 19th year of existence (1996).
While Gomes and Salazar may be extreme cases of rapid rises through the team’s system, both serve as prime examples of how the program can benefit the team’s young talent.
In fact, that reality plays a significant role in how this group of participants is assembled by the Indians front office. “We try to identify players who could impact our major league in the very short-term future,” said Ross Atkins, the Tribe’s VP of Player Personnel. “Realistically, three to seven players in this room could see time with the Indians in 2014 — now, some of them might get sent right back down, but those role players are important throughout the course of a season.”
“It’s really about familiarity, with the clubhouse, with the staff, with the front office. It’s experience they don’t get in the minors,” added Carter Hawkins, the Indians Assistant Director of Player Development. “The speakers are people who have reached the major leagues in sports or business, and they’re able to share things they wish they knew when they were in these players’ positions.”
Fourteen Tribe prospects are in town for the program, in which they’ll hear from Tribe President Mark Shapiro, manager Terry Francona, ESPN journalist Buster Olney, Cavs General Manager Chris Grant, Sean Casey, Jason Giambi, St. Ignatius coach Chuck Kyle and a host of others on issues ranging from developing effective routines, being a good teammate, learning to win and handling media obligations.
Joey Wendle, the team’s 2013 Lou Boudreau Award winner for being named the top position player in the Indians Player Development system, is on hand, along with Jose Ramirez – who also impacted the big-league club in September — Jesus Aguilar and Tyler Naquin, other top position player prospects. Big-armed Cody Anderson is among the pitching prospects on hand.
For Wendle, who hit .295 with the Carolina Mudcats last season, along with 32 doubles, 5 triples and 64 RBI, said the hope is to avoid a shellshock if and when the players are called up to the big leagues.
“You can tell how serious the Indians take this program by the resources they put into it, the people they have come in to talk to us,” said Wendle, who also was a Carolina League Postseason All-Star selection. “It helps us in that, in the future if we get called up, it’s not such a shellshock. We’re used to the facilities, the people who are here, the people who are of high stature. We’re not intimidated to speak with them, interact with them. We’ll see benefits from it in the future.”
Tyler Cloyd, who was signed to a minor-league deal with a big-league Spring Training invitation in December, also was in the majors last year, making 11 starts with the Phillies. Yet he’s here to get to know some guys he’ll spend time with in Spring Training in Goodyear; he said he, his wife and his 4-month-old daughter will drive from their Nebraska home to Goodyear next week.
“It’s a good way to get faces with names,” Cloyd said. “The only expectation I had for myself when I came up here was to learn as much as I can and they’re helping me do that. In this game, you never can stop learning. If this can help me in my future, that’s why I’m here.”
Atkins said that not only do the players get good experience from the week, but the speakers are also very complimentary of the program.
“The coolest thing is that the speakers say, ‘this is a really cool thing,’” said Atkins, who noted that the players chosen are players the Indians think can make an impact in the big leagues in 2014 – and who haven’t attended the program in prior years. “They say it over and over again to the players. It’s a big commitment by the Dolans, by the players, by the speakers. They all are motivated and inspired by where these individuals are in their careers and would like to impart their wisdom. We’re trying to ease their transition to the big leagues.”
More updates from Vice President of Player Development Ross Atkins on some other attendees
On 2012 No. 1 pick Tyler Naquin, who made a change to his setup in the batter’s box last season:
“He’s not that different than what we drafted. We’re more encouraged based on his open-mindedness. He came to us wanting to put himself in a more powerful position, then did it in-season. This is a guy who had success, and we didn’t ask him to do it. He can be more consistent in that position.
It’s less about the adjustment but more about his mindset and his perseverance that’s most encouraging. He was open, willing and did it in season is the skill we’re more encouraged by.”
(Naquin, by the way, told some darn funny stories from Tribe Fest this past weekend at the ballpark and how he was a little star struck at hanging with some current Indians players and team legends.
He said he went to dinner with Kenny Lofton and Michael Bourn on Saturday night, and had to tell his dad he’d have to call him back because he was at Ken Stewart’s with two pretty good center fielders. Lofton even introduced him to a fan that approached the table to talk to Lofton.
Later, he said he was talking with Jim Thome at the Cavs game on Friday night and pretty soon, “I was sharing a sweet potato with him.”
Naquin, as you might expect, is going to be a favorite of reporters for many years with those stories.)
On reliever-turned-starter Cody Anderson:
“There aren’t a lot a lot of stories of guys converting from relief to being a starter. There are different reasons: It’s hard to be a starter. You have to be effective, durable and throw multiple pitches to throw for strikes. Scouts identified potential in him as a bullpen pitcher in college, then identified the person that would have the mental components to make the change. He’s arguably our best pitching prospect, with (Trevor) Bauer. He’s made himself into certainly someone who has all the attributes to make himself into a MLB starter.”
On 2013 No. 1 pick Clint Frazier:
“He’s in a good position. He will and we will evolve together with what ideal body weight will be and ideal profile will be as he matures. We’re mutually developing a vision for him. The work ethic that he has, we can adjust if need be. We’re not overly concerned with him being too big. We would never ask someone to work less. He’s extremely driven, hard working.”
On Jesus Aguilar, who had success in Winter ball:
“Jesus has raw power, and the thing that stands out is the professionalism of his at-bats. A year and a half ago, you saw power potential, a good swing, a lot of effort. Now, you see a very professional at-bat. The way he sees pitches, takes pitches, thinks situationally. It really stands out.”
–TribeVibe contributor Joel Hammond
Tribe manager Terry Francona is in Cleveland this week for pre-Spring Training meetings, Tribe Fest and various other activities in the community.
He met with local reporters on Wednesday to discuss some Tribe-related topics. Here’s a sample of that chat:
Question: Did you ride the scooter today?
Terry Francona: Yesterday. (GM) Chris (Antonetti) picked me up today. I almost froze my (butt) off yesterday. My eyes almost froze shut.
Question: When do you get that itch to get back?
TF: Usually after Christmas. Things wind down for the holidays and at the start of January, you get that internal clock, it starts kicking in. You start talking to coaches, what drills you’ll run in Spring Training, etc.
Question: How do you organize players in Spring Training?
TF: I didn’t know what to expect last year, I don’t think anyone did. My expectations were never going to change, regardless of who was playing what position. We were just trying to win that day. There’s a process that goes into that; it starts in Spring Training. We’re pretty open and honest in Spring Training, and guys usually fall into three groups:
- Guys who know they’re going to play and are preparing for a lot of time
- A group of young kids that is trying to make a good first impression
- A group trying to make the team.
You try to be respectful of all groups. You form relationships with players, form an identity of the team.
Question: What do you think of the offseason so far?
TF: Getting David Murphy was a really good addition for us. We’re in a unique spot. No one’s sitting here saying we’re the 1927 Yankees, but we have guys in place that we want to pitch and play. We have Yan Gomes in place, we have Carlos Carrasco and Josh Tomlin who we want to see pitch.
So rather than going out and spending money on guys, we want to see our guys. We have Corey Kluber, Zach McAllister and Danny Salazar all for hopefully a full year. Again, we have guys in place. … Now we just have to figure out how well we can play.
Question: How’s Carlos Santana doing at third base?
TF: Carlos offered to go play third base in winter ball, and it sounds like he’s improving. Now, we aren’t going to make any decision today or at the start of Spring Training. If he can handle third, he gives us another option with our middle-of-the-order bats. We will give him a chance to play there in Spring Training.
Question: What’s the state of the roster?
TF: I think we’re pretty settled. Chris is always going to try to make us better, but if we go to Spring training tomorrow, I’m pumped. We’re not the type of team that can just throw the bats and balls out and someone is going to hit a three-run homer. It can happen. But we have to play good baseball to win, and that’s fun. We’ve proven that when we play that way, we can win.
Question: Do you like Santana in the cleanup spot?
TF: I did last year. Early on, we talked so much about his catching duties, I thought it was unfair to hit him cleanup. When he wasn’t catching, he was pretty good in that spot. He hits from both sides, he takes a walk. There’s not a lot not to like.
Question: You had success with Swisher in the No. 2 spot. Do you like that again for 2014?
TF: We wouldn’t make the lineup out yet. The season is so long; those things happen, whether it’s injures or someone is struggling. We’ll see. They have a way of working themselves out. I never make up batting orders in the winter. It’ll write itself out.
Question: Last year you took a chance on Scott Kazmir; this year you’re taking a chance on Shaun Marcum. Are you looking forward to seeing him?
TF: I think he’s a little bit behind where Kaz was last year. But I think it’s a good sign because when he’s healthy he competes his rear end off. He’s done it in the AL east.
Question: Re: the team’s versatility
TF: We want Jason Giambi on our team. We’ve said that until we’re blue in the face. To do that, you have to have the right guys on your team so it works. Having guys that are versatile really helped us last year.
Question: Re: Danny Salazar
TF: The sky is the ceiling for Danny. You don’t want to make too many proclamations on a guy who has had 8 to 10 starts. I can’t wait to see him after 35 starts.
Q: Re: Josh Tomlin
TF: He’s a strike-throwing machine. He’s going to give up the occasional homer because he’s around the plate. We really want to see him pitch. We think he can help us win. When you start thinking about the dollars you can allocate for pitching, I think we’d rather see these guys pitch.
Q: Re: the bullpen
TF: Always the big question: Whether the names are the same or not, you never know. Vinnie (Pestano) struggled last year, and Chris (Perez) had his struggles. Sometimes the names change, sometimes they don’t. Bullpens always make themselves over. You want to have guys in Triple-A because you know you’re going to have to make changes due to struggles or injuries. You have to know you have options.
Q: Re: Trevor Bauer
TF: He’s been very good, and it’s been very encouraging. He’s coming into camp this year closer to the pitcher he wants to be. Last year, it was a lot of experimenting and trying to get comfortable in his delivery. It was tough for him at times. He was very open with us on everything. He’s tried very hard this winter in trying to get comfortable. He’s sent video into (pitching coach) Mickey (Callaway) and the guys in Baseball Ops. Whether he makes the team out of Spring Training or not, we’re really excited about watching him pitch.
Q: Re: bringing Indians prospects to Spring Training (Six non-roster invitations to Spring Training were announced on Wednesday, including Francisco Lindor)
TF: With Francisco Lindor and Tyler Naquin, we’d rather bring those guys to Spring Training rather than older free agents that don’t really have a chance to make the team. It helps us as a staff to get to know these guys and see how we do things.
Q: Re: the starting rotation
TF: We want to see Carrasco pitch, he’s created a little deception with his delivery. But I don’t think we need to anoint our rotation. That doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. Normally, in Spring Training, someone will get beat up. It happens. Go in prepared and get everyone ready to play.
I’ll take my chances with Danny Salazar, with Corey Kluber for the full year.
Q: Re: instant replay
TF: I’m still learning as we go. It’s going to be new for everyone. You can bet that the day it was announced that the day it was announced that 30 managers were scheming and using it to their advantage. With technology being what it is, I think we’re going in the right direction. Does it go flawless? Probably not. But we’re going in the right direction.
Q: Re: what’s next?
TF: I hope that was the beginning. We need to go get busy, and we have to do it the right way. It’s fun. Our guys go into doing it the right way.
Q: Re: September
TF: I wanted us to get there with a chance. If we could survive some of those road trips, and keep our heads above water, I thought if we had a chance, we could make a run at it. And we did. I didn’t know we’d have to win 10 in a row, but nobody lost. It was fun because we were doing with some guys who hadn’t done it before, some had. That’s what you’re dying for as a manager. You can’t wait to get to the ballpark. You’re tired, and you’re nervous, but it’s a great feeling.
Q: Re: the end of the season
TF: The playoff game stung. I had to talk to the team after the game and it was hard for me to do that. You have to do it so quick. It hurt. Season don’t wind down, they crash to a halt. There’s no better example of that than last year.