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First off, South Korea's manager- Kim In-sik - isn't happy with the Indians "meddling" with Choo's status for the WBC. From the Korea Times (read the whole thing):

By Kang Seung-woo

Staff Reporter


South Korean manager Kim In-sik complained about the Cleveland Indians meddling in Choo Shin-soo's inclusion on the national team, Monday.


Ahead of the Pool A title match between Korea and Japan at Tokyo Dome on the same day, the Major League Baseball (MLB) officials visited Kim and confirmed that the Indians outfielder was not available for the title game.


Choo, 26, who complained about pain in his left elbow during practice on March 2, was allowed to play three games as only a designated hitter in the first round of the tournament by the WBCI Disability Review.


As a result, Choo, who already played in three games and wanted to play as a pinch runner, sat out the night.


``Of course, we have to respect the Indians' opinion, but the Korean team doctor and Choo say he is all right,'' the 62-year-old boss told reporters.


``If Choo is doubtful for a game, we do not forcedly put him in the lineup.


``But what Cleveland has to keep in mind is the national team might be rewarded in accordance with its achievement and Choo has to play well in games to be a beneficiary.''


The 2006 Korean team players got unplanned military exemptions after reaching the semifinals.


Although it has not been settled yet, if the national team gets higher marks than 2006, that possible prize cannot be ruled out.


Korean athletes can skip military service in cases where they win a medal at the Olympics or a gold medal at the Asian Games.


The left-swinger's status in the second stage is uncertain as Cleveland will examine Choo with team doctors at the Indians' spring training camp as soon as the Korean team flies to Arizona to train for the second round.


Choo, who hit .309 with 14 home runs and 66 RBIs in 2008, has been the biggest headache for manager Kim and his coaching staff.


As the Indians disapproved releasing the left-swinger, who had elbow surgery in September 2007, for the Korean team, the Korea Baseball Organization (KBO) Secretary-General Ha Il-sung flied to the United States in January to ask the MLB about his participation.


Cleveland required South Korea to use its player as an outfielder once and as designated hitter for the remainder of the first round.


But due to the elbow pain, he was limited to three games as a designated hitter.


He went 1-for-7 with a walk and three runs in three games.








The Tribe signed a bunch of players today:


Garko, 15 others, agree to contracts with Indians

GOODYEAR, Ariz. (AP) — Ryan Garko, who tied All-Star Grady Sizemore for the team lead in RBIs last season with 90, was among 16 players who agreed Tuesday to one-year contracts with the Cleveland Indians.


Garko will be paid $446,100 in the majors and $252,100 in the minors.


All of the players who reached agreements did not have enough service time to be eligible for arbitration. Every player on the Indians' 40-man roster is under contract.


Garko, 28, hit .273 with 14 homers and 90 RBIs in his second full season as Cleveland' first baseman. He overcame a slow start by batting .352 with six homers and 34 RBIs over his final 36 games after Aug. 14.


In addition to Garko, starting second baseman Asdrubal Cabrera ($416,700/$194,500), starting left fielder Ben Francisco ($421,400/$204,00) and key relievers Rafael Perez ($436,300/$244,100), Jensen Lewis ($418,600/$198,300) and Joe Smith ($427,500/$238,800) also reached agreements.


Cabrera began the 2008 season as the Indians' starter at second base, but hit only .184 and was optioned to Triple-A Buffalo on June 9. He returned to Cleveland on July 18 and batted .320 with three homers and 33 RBIs over his final 61 games.


Perez is currently pitching for Venezeula in the World Baseball Classic. In his second full season in the Indians' bullpen a year ago, the lefty went 4-4 with two saves and a 3.54 ERA in 73 appearances. He struck out 86 in 76 1-3 innings.


Lewis took over the closer's role down the stretch after Joe Borowski was released and went 13-for-13 in save situations in 2008. The right-hander will return to a setup role this year as Cleveland signed free agent closer Kerry Wood to a two-year, $20.5 million contract in December.


Smith, a sidearm right-hander, was acquired in a trade from the New York Mets in December. A year ago, the 24-year-old went 6-3 with a 3.55 ERA in 82 outings -- including 5-0 with a 1.54 ERA after Aug. 28.


Also reaching agreements were right-handers Edward Mujica, Hector Rondon and Juan Salas, left-handers Zach Jackson and Scott Lewis, infielders Andy Marte and Luis Valbuena, outfielder Trevor Crowe, infielder-catcher Chris Gimenez and catcher Carlos Santana.


Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.






Anthony Reyes (my boy!) receives some love from the USA Today and Pluto:


Reyes feels strong, eyes spot in Indians' rotation

GOODYEAR, Ariz. (AP) — Anthony Reyes is again making a good impression with the Cleveland Indians. This time, he doesn't intend to be stopped.


Reyes has yet to allow a run this spring and said Tuesday that he feels no lingering effects of the sore elbow that ended his 2008 season early.


"Haven't felt a thing, not even a little soreness anywhere in my body," Reyes said. "It's the best I have felt in years."


That may sound even sweeter to the Indians than Reyes' early numbers: three hits and one walk with five strikeouts over five innings. That includes three perfect innings Monday against the Chicago White Sox.


"If Anthony Reyes is healthy, he'll most likely make our team as a starter," general manager Mark Shapiro said. "Not that I expect him to break down. I just don't know."


Manager Eric Wedge likes what he has seen, but says the fourth and fifth spots in the rotation remain open.


"He's done a good job," Wedge said. "Nothing fazes him. He's very serious and I like that."


Reyes is well aware that it is up to him to grasp the opportunity. "I've played long enough to know nothing is guaranteed," the 27-year-old said. "You earn your stripes and win a spot.


"That's fine with me because I like to do things 100 percent."


Reyes worked even harder than usual this offseason. He spent time with a personal trainer and got additional exercise by donning a wet suit and going surfing a couple days a week near his home in Buena Park, Calif.


"I don't like sitting around," Reyes said. "I did a lot of leg work, laid off some of the upper body stuff, and it has paid off.


"I grew up surfing and the more you do it, the better you get, but it's kind of tough after an eight-month layoff."


Reyes did not throw a baseball for about 4{ months after being shut down by the Indians on Sept. 6. That came after he went 2-1 with a 1.83 ERA in six starts for Cleveland following a July 26 trade from the St. Louis Cardinals for minor-league right-hander Luis Perdomo.


"I was pumped, really wanted to show the Indians that they made a good trade," Reyes said. "So I was doubly disappointed at not finishing the season."


Reyes refuses to use it as an excuse, but does wonder if being used in relief for the first time in his career by the Cardinals early last year contributed to his late-season aches.


"I tried to do what they wanted, but it was a new role and I was kind of learning as I went," Reyes said.


In 10 relief outings, Reyes went 2-1 with a 4.91 ERA for St. Louis. He was sent back to Triple-A Memphis and put back into a starting role, then placed on the disabled list in June with a strained elbow.


"Maybe it had something to do with it, I don't know," Reyes said.


Another possible cause was discovered during a winter visit with Tom House, who was Reyes' pitching coach at Southern Cal.


"I threw one pitch and he said, 'Stop,' " Reyes said. "He called me a dummy and an idiot because he said I was flying open. My body was in front of my arm. I was dragging behind, putting stress on the elbow."


Reyes is spending a lot of time analyzing video from past performances, then trying to replicate it when he takes the mound.


"A lot of guys work on something new in spring training," Reyes said. "I'm here to get back to what I used to do. If I gain command of the pitches I have, I'm confident I can have a good season."


He wants to return to the form he had in 2006, when Reyes went 6-1 with a 2.57 ERA and allowed only 11 walks in 84 innings at Memphis to earn a call to St. Louis. Though he went only 5-8 with the Cardinals, he won Game 1 of the World Series -- starting St. Louis on a four-game sweep of the Detroit Tigers.






CLEVELAND -- 1. I hear Anthony Reyes has been the most impressive pitcher in camp. Not in terms of stuff, but just savvy and looking ready to go. Not surprised -- those six starts, that 1.83 ERA and 12 walks in 34 1/3 innings with the Tribe late last season said a lot. Now, keep that elbow healthy.


2. I hear Jeremy Sowers is throwing harder than ever with the Tribe -- being clocked at 92 mph. But his control is iffy, there is not enough "separation" or space between his fastball and changeup. I think he's headed to Class AAA.


3. I hear part of the reason Fausto Carmona looks like his old self is his chemistry with Victor Martinez. The Indians want control from Carmona, and he has walked only two in eight spring innings. Even before his hip injury, he was leading the AL in walks after his first 10 starts of 2008. He walked 70 in 120 innings.


4. I think the idea of Martinez catching Carmona is smart. In 2007, Carmona had a 2.74 ERA throwing to Martinez, and he allowed five runs in nine innings with Kelly Shoppach. In 2008, it was a 4.57 ERA in 63 innings with Martinez, a 7.39 ERA in 39 innings with Shoppach. The key for Carmona is control, and he did average fewer than two walks per nine innings in most minor league seasons. In 2007 when he was 19-8, he walked only 61 in 215 innings.


5. I hear Manager Eric Wedge saying Dave Dellucci "is on the club for now." I think that is written in ink. I think there are real alternatives in both Josh Barfield and Trevor Crowe as backup outfielders, with Barfield also able to play the infield. As one Tribe operative told me, "Crowe can play all three outfield positions. He can pinch run. He can throw. He is a switch hitter." That sounds like an ideal fourth outfielder, especially compared to the 35-year-old Dellucci who can't run, can't throw and has stayed healthy enough to hit.


6. I hear David Huff was "dominating" in an intrasquad game Monday, and he soon will be throwing in preseason games. I think he can win the fifth starter spot unless Aaron Laffey (7 ER, 12 hits, 5 innings) turns around quick.


7. I hear good things about Wes Hodges (6-of-16) this spring, and I had a brain belch when I forgot to list him last Sunday as the position prospects who have impressed GM Mark Shapiro, the others being Michael Brantley, Carlos Santana, Matt LaPorta and Crowe. LaPorta and Brantley look close to big-league ready today.


8. I hear Asdrubal Cabrera is 7-10 pounds lighter than a year ago and looks terrific in the field at second or shortstop. I also hear Jhonny Peralta is mashing the ball, and Ryan Garko (10-15 pounds lighter) is doing an OK job in left field.


9. I hear good things about Carl Pavano, but I don't think I trust him to stay healthy and/or effective. I'm hoping they get one reliable starter from Reyes/Pavano.


10. I hear the Indians are trying to get Masa Kobayashi (3 IP, 5H, 5 W, 4 ER) to use his splitter more. I hear the Indians say he's a veteran and they are not worried about him. I think if they aren't worried -- they are concerned. And they should be, because he's having the same problems that he did last year after the All-Star break (10.32 ERA).






Over at the World Wide Leader, Gammons included the Indians in his list of teams that could be in for a rough ride when it comes to attendance this year:


Major League Baseball has warned club businesspeople that attendance is expected to be down 17-20 percent in 2009, and that it could be worse, especially for franchises such as the San Diego Padres, Toronto Blue Jays, Detroit Tigers, Cleveland Indians, Houston Astros, Colorado Rockies and others that could be seriously impacted by the recession.






Rosenthal wrote that the Tribe has kicked around the idea of signing Pedro Martinez:


Pedro Martinez was lights-out against the Netherlands Saturday, and he might be lights-out again if he pitches for the Dominican Republic in their rematch with the dastardly Dutch again on Tuesday.


But for Martinez to draw serious interest from a major-league team, he will need to pitch well against stronger competition in the second round of the World Baseball Classic, assuming the D.R. qualifies.


Baseball executives haven't forgotten that Martinez looked terrible while going 0-3 with a 7.77 ERA in four starts last September. And as teams balk at giving him big money, his latest comeback might end before it starts.


On the other hand, a number of teams remain short on starting pitching, and all Martinez needs is one to give him a chance.


Martinez, 37, has said he would prefer retiring to his fishing boat rather than accepting a deal similar to the one-year, $1 million contract that free-agent left-hander Tom Glavine signed with the Braves.


The deal Martinez wants, one executive says, is similar to the one the Red Sox gave righty John Smoltz — a $5.5 million base salary with $5 million in incentives.


You can see Pedro's logic: Smoltz, 41, is coming off shoulder surgery, while Martinez is more than two years removed his last shoulder operation. Martinez made 20 starts last season, Smoltz five.


Still, there is no question that Martinez is a diminished pitcher.


"His stuff is just OK," the executive says. "He will need to have the plus-plus Pedro command to help a team out."


Martinez might show such command and even bursts of increased velocity in his brief WBC stints. But his case will become more convincing if he shuts down Team USA or Puerto Rico in the next round in Miami.


Even then, the Dodgers might be the only club with anything close to $5.5 million available, and their appetite for risk is minimal. Perhaps no team has had more salary on the disabled list in recent seasons.


Martinez would fit with the Marlins and has told the team he would consider playing in Miami if he cannot get the deal he wants from another team, according to a major-league source. The Marlins, though, seem more likely to sign catcher Ivan Rodriguez, and it's doubtful they would land both free agents.


The Indians made runs at both Martinez and Smoltz before trading for infielder Mark DeRosa and could renew their interest if Martinez lowered his price. Martinez, however, might not want to pitch in cooler weather.


The Mets, as always, remain a possibility; Livan Hernandez is throwing well, but two of their other fifth-starter candidates, Tim Redding and Freddy Garcia, have been decidedly unimpressive.


Several other clubs in need of a starting pitcher — including the A's, Orioles, Nationals and Brewers — do not view Martinez as a fit.






As for today, I only know that the Tribe chased Jered Weaver before he could record his third out and that Pronk has a couple of hits (including a "vicious line drive up the middle, right past Weaver's head - http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/sports_blo...-weaver-kn.html - Wood is supposed to pitch today so that'll be something to follow.



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Good thread again Bean. I've been out of the loop for a couple weeks and will probably be tied up for a couple more, so I appreciate these roundups.


I'm definitely holding out hope for Reyes, seems like no one else on the staff besides Fausto is really making a case for a spot in the rotation. Right now I see Fausto as our ace as the season progresses, with Lee going back to a good 2/3 starter. With none of the young guys really sticking out, and Pavano being Pavano, Reyes will be huge this year. (As I'm still thinking we should or should've traded Shoppach for someone like Nolasco...)


For some good news, I've got my tickets for the Rangers' home opening series against our Tribe. My brother is bringing his son down for the three games before going back up for the opening stand at the Prog...and supposedly the two of them will then head to New York that next weekend to catch a game during the opening series in the new Yankee Stadium (can you imagine watching a CC-Lee/Fausto duel in that atmosphere?). I wish I had money...

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