10/12/11 5:00 PM ET
A number of Indians to participate in winter ball
By Jordan Bastian / MLB.com
Cleveland announced on Wednesday that a handful of its big leaguers would be joining a solid sampling of farmhands for winter ball. The Tribe has players lined up to take part in the Arizona Fall League (currently underway), as well as the Winter Leagues in Venezuela, Puerto Rico, Panana, Colombia and the Dominican Republic.
Here is a look at this winter's participants by league (Major Leaguers in italics):
Arizona Fall League: Pitchers Cory Burns, Preston Guilmet, T.J. McFarland and Tyler Sturdvent; catcher Roberto Perez; infielder Jesus Aguilar; and outfielders Tim Fedroff and Chad Huffman.
Venezuelan Winter League: Pitchers Eric Berger, Rob Bryson, Paolo Espino, Jose Flores, Jeanmar Gomez and Hector Rondon; infielders Jesus Aguilar, Manuel Boscan, Asdrubal Cabrera, Argenis Martinez, Karexon Sanchez and Luis Valbuena; and catcher Alex Monsalve.
Dominican Winter League: Pitchers Fausto Carmona, Luis Encarnacion, Ubaldo Jimenez, Rafael Perez and Felix Sterling; infielders Juan Diaz and Ronny Rodriguez; outfielders Delvi Cruz, Jerad Head and Luigi Rodriguez; and catcher Moises Montero.
Puerto Rican Winter League: Pitcher Giovanni Soto and catcher Roberto Perez.
Panana Winter League: Pitchers Francisco Jimenez, Toru Murata, Danny Salazar and Steven Wright.
Colombian Winter League: Infielder Giovanny Urshela.
Masterson undergoes surgery on left shoulder
CLEVELAND -- Right-hander Justin Masterson developed into a leader within the Indians' rotation this past season, and an argument could be made that he is more than deserving of taking the mound on Opening Day come 2012.
Even after offseason shoulder surgery, Masterson might still earn that honor.
The Indians announced on Wednesday that Masterson underwent an arthroscopic procedure on his left (non-throwing) shoulder. The operation was performed by Dr. Craig Morgan in Wilmington, Del. Masterson is expected to be recovered and without restrictions in time for the 2012 campaign.
"He had some discomfort at the end of the year," general manager Chris Antonetti said. "It just made sense to take care of it now."
Masterson, 26, has had issues with his left shoulder since before Cleveland acquired him as part of the July 31, 2009, trade that sent Victor Martinez to the Red Sox. The injury only became a problem for the pitcher down the stretch this past season.
Masterson went 12-10 with a 3.21 ERA over 34 appearances in 2011, during which he struck out 158 and walked 65 over 216 innings. Over his final seven starts, however, he went 2-3 with a 5.23 ERA for the Tribe. Masterson had posted a 2.22 ERA in his previous 15 outings.
Antonetti noted that the surgery is unlikely to hinder Masterson's ability to have a relatively "normal" offseason and Spring Training routine, considering the issue deals with his non-throwing arm.
This winter, Masterson will be eligible for salary arbitration for the first time, after tying Josh Tomlin for the team lead in victories. As things currently stand, Masterson and Tomlin figure to join Ubaldo Jimenez and Fausto Carmona in the 2012 rotation. David Huff and Jeanmar Gomez are among those currently in the mix for the fifth-starter spot.
Indians close to finalizing 2012 coaching staff
CLEVELAND -- The Indians are moving closer to putting the finishing touches on their coaching staff for next season.
"We continue to work through completing our Major League coaching staff," general manager Chris Antonetti said on Wednesday. "We've made progress over the last couple weeks, and are hopeful that we'll have that process completed in the next few days."
Cleveland is currently looking for a new pitching coach and first-base coach. Tim Belcher and Tim Tolman stepped down from their jobs as pitching coach and bench coach, respectively, at the end of this past season. First-base coach Sandy Alomar Jr. was subsequently promoted to the bench-coach role under manager Manny Acta.
Antonetti has indicated that the Indians have considered both internal and external candidates for the open jobs. The GM noted that he hoped to be able to announce the new coaching staff in its entirety by early next week at the latest.
"I don't want to handicap it," Antonetti said. "I can certainly say we have a number of quality internal candidates who we'll certainly give consideration to. I would hope in the next few days that we'll be able to have resolution on that."
Two internal possibilities for the pitching-coach role include Indians bullpen coach Scott Radinsky and Triple-A Columbus pitching coach Ruben Niebla. If Radinsky shifted to the pitching-coach position, that would create an opening for a new bullpen coach, as well. Niebla, who has experience as a reliever, might also be a contender for that job.
Acta indicated that the first-base coaching job would likely be filled by someone who could also provide baserunning and outfield instruction. Candidates currently in Cleveland's system would seem to include Minor League field coordinator Tom Wiendenbauer and outfield and baserunning coordinator Gary Thurman.
Tribe plans to take time on Grady, Fausto
CLEVELAND -- The Indians have until three days after the conclusion of the World Series to make a decision on the club options contained in the contracts of center fielder Grady Sizemore and pitcher Fausto Carmona.
Cleveland plans to take its time in weighing its options.
"I don't think too much has changed," general manager Chris Antonetti said on Wednesday. "I would expect our decision on both Fausto and Grady to come down to [being made] on or around the deadline that is in place. These are big decisions for us."
Sizemore, who underwent surgery on his right knee on Oct. 3, has a club option worth $9 million for the 2012 season. If the Indians decide against exercising the option, the team would be required to pay a $500,000 buyout, which would then make Sizemore eligible for free agency this winter.
Carmona -- coming off an inconsistent season for the Indians -- has a club option worth $7 million for next season. If the Indians elect not to pick up the option, Carmona would still be under team control and eligible for salary arbitration.
Members of the Indians' front office convened last week in Goodyear, Ariz., to begin deliberations over upcoming moves, including the options for Sizemore and Carmona. Antonetti said he will continue to weigh the team's options in the days leading up to the deadline.
"We're still working through the process," Antonetti said. "It's not something where you just make a decision. It takes time."