Ruiz suspended for failed drug test

Indians minor league outfielder Brian Ruiz received a 80 game suspension on Friday for violating the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program, as announced by Major League Baseball. Ruiz’s suspension will take place without pay at the start of the 2015 Minor League season.

Ruiz tested positive for metabolites of Methandienone and Oxandrolone, which are two substances that are prohibited under the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program.

Ruiz spent the 2014 season with the Lake County Captains, where he had a .260 batting average in 85 games. Ruiz hit three homeruns and drove in 28 runs while splitting time across the outfield. Ruiz also made his professional pitching debut last Summer when he appeared in a relief role during an extra-inning game. He allowed one earned run on two walks and two hits in one inning.

Ruiz was drafted in the 41st round of the 2011 MLB Draft out of Lincoln West High School in Cleveland, Ohio.

Ruiz is the second Tribe minor leaguer to be suspended in 2015. RHP Duke von Schamann was suspended 50 games for a failed drug test of a drug of abuse earlier this year.

Also, former Indians prospect and right-handed pitcher Joe Gardner, was suspended 50 games for a second positive test of a drug of abuse in violation of the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program.

Gardner was drafted by the Indians in the 3rd round of the 2009 MLB Draft out of the University of Cal-Santa Barbara.

Gardner pitched with Lake County for six games in 2010 before finishing the year with Kinston. He posted a 3,24 ERA in six starts for the Captains. He had a 2.65 ERA in 22 starts for the Indians, giving him a 2.75 ERA for the year.

In 2011, Gardner pitched in 19 games at Akron with a 4.99 ERA before he was traded to Colorado with Alex White, Drew Pomeranz, Matt McBride for Ubaldo Jimenez.

Gardner spent 2014 at the Double-A level of the Cubs and Braves organization. His suspension will start when he signs with a Major League organization.

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Important Spring Dates for Indians System

As we get closer to the beginning of Spring Training and the start of the 2015 season, here are all of the dates that have to do with Spring Training and the Opening Days for each affiliate.

Major League:

  • February 18th: Pitchers and Catchers Report Date
  • February 20th: Pitchers and Catchers First Workout
  • February 22nd: Position Players Report Date
  • February 24th: First Full-Squad Workout
  • March 3rd: First Spring Training Game @ Cincinnati Reds at 3:05 PM EST
  • April 4th: Final Spring Training Game @ Milwaukee Brewers at 3:05 PM EST
  • April 6th: Season opener @ Houston Astros at 7:10 PM EST
  • April 10th: Home opener vs. Detroit Tigers at 4:05 PM EST

Minor League:

  • March 1st: Early Camp Players Report
  • March 2nd: Early Camp Physicals/First Workout
  • March 9th: Pitchers and Catchers Report
  • March 10th: Pitchers and Catchers Physicals
  • March 11th: Pitchers and Catchers First Workout
  • March 13th: Position Players Report
  • March 14th: Position Players Physicals
  • March 15th: Full Squad First Workout
  • March 20th: First Minor League Games
  • April 5th: Camp breaks

Columbus Clippers:

  • April 9th: Season opener @ Indianapolis Indians at 7:05 PM
  • April 18th: Home opener vs. Toledo Mud Hens at 6:05 PM

Akron Rubberducks:

  • April 7th: Exhibition vs. Lake County Captains at 5:00 PM
  • April 9th: Season and home opener vs. Binghamton Mets at 6:35 PM

Lynchburg Hillcats:

  • April 9th: Season opener @ Potomac Nationals at 7:05 PM
  • April 16th: Home opener vs. Potomac Nationals at 6:30 PM

Lake County Captains:

  • April 7th: Exhibition @ Akron Rubberducks at 5:00 PM
  • April 10th: Season opener @ Lansing Lugnuts at 7:05 PM
  • April 12th: Home opener vs. Bowling Green Hot Rods at 4:00 PM
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Caribbean Series Wrapup

The end of the offseason winter leagues throughout the world is a sign that the Major League and Minor League baseball seasons are nearly upon us as Spring Training starts in two weeks. With the leagues in Mexico, the Dominican Republic, Venezuela and Puerto Rico coming to an end over the last few weeks, the final stop on the Caribbean schedule is the Caribbean Series.

In the Caribbean Series, each country takes the team won the championship in their respective winter leagues. There are five countries that compete in the week-long series to determine which country comes out on top. Those countries are Cuba, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Mexico and Venezuela.

There were two Indians minor leaguers and one coach that are participants in the series. Infielder Audy Ciriaco is a part of the Gigantes del Cibao (Dominican Republic) team and left-hander Giovanni Soto is on the Cangrejeros de Santurce (Puerto Rico) team. Minor league hitting coach Rouglas Odor is the bench coach for the Caribes de Anzoátegui (Venezuela) team.

Here is a breakdown of the performances by day for Ciriaco and Soto:

  • 2/2-Soto: L (0-1), 4 IP, 6 H, 5 R/5 ER, 3 BB, 2 K, 1 HR
  • 2/3-Ciriaco: 2-4, 2 1B, 2 R, RBI (1)
  • 2/5-Ciriaco: 0-3, BB, SAC
  • 2/6-Ciriaco: 0-3, BB, 2 K
  • 2/7-Ciriaco: 0-4

Final stats:

Caribbean Series Stats

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Final Winter League Stats

The Winter Leagues have wrapped up throughout the world with the regular season and the playoffs, including the Caribbean Series. Here are the complete stats for the Indians farmhands that participated throughout the season.






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News and Notes for Monday 1/26

Winter Development Program: The Cleveland Indians announced the minor leaguers that are in Cleveland this week for the 20th Annual Winter Development Program. Today is the beginning, week-long, program for 13 minor leaguers. The goal of the program is to get them used to the Major League environment. Throughout the week, players will participate in classroom sessions with the Indians front office, player development, and Major League coaching staff, physical conditioning, fundamental work and guest speakers. On Thursday, the players will split up and attend the Hot Stove Dinners at Mahoning Valley and Lake County. The 13 players that are participating are:

  • RHP Dylan Baker
  • RHP Mike Clevinger
  • RHP Louis Head
  • RHP Jeff Johnson
  • LHP Nick Maronde
  • LHP Shawn Morimando
  • LHP Ryan Merritt
  • RHP Grant Sides
  • INF Yandy Diaz
  • C Alex Monsalve
  • OF Anthony Gallas
  • OF James Ramsey
  • OF Jordan Smith

Minor League Players of the Year: 3B Giovanny Urshela was named the winner of the 2014 Lou Boudreau Award, given to the top position player in the Indians system. Urshela hit .280 with 18 home runs, 36 doubles, six triples, 78 runs and 84 RBIs in 128 games between Double-A Akron and Triple-A Columbus last season with a 67:36 K:BB ratio. LHP Ryan Merritt was named the 2014 winner of the Bob Feller Award, given to the top pitcher in the system. Merritt went 13-3 with a 2.58 ERA in 25 starts for High-A Carolina last season, with a 127:25 K:BB ratio in 160 1/3 innings, which was a Carolina League high. The southpaw was ranked in the top five in the league in wins (1st), WHIP (1st), ERA (3rd, 1st in Tribe system) and strikeouts (4th).

Signings: Two players that were formerly with the Indians found homes for the 2015 season last week. Former Tribe catcher Luke Carlin signed a minor league deal with the Oakland Athletics and former outfielder Tim Fedroff signed a minor league deal with the Miami Marlins.

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Indians announce 2015 Player Development Staff

On Tuesday afternoon, the Cleveland Indians finally announced the Player Development staff for the 2015 season. There were many changes that were made throughout the organization.

In the offseason, there was one change that occurred within the front office that caused a domino effect. Ross Atkins was promoted to Vice President of Player Personnel, from Director of Player Development. As a result, Carter Hawkins was promoted from Assistant Director of Player Development to Director, to fill Atkins’ spot. Eric Binder, a Baseball Operations intern for the last two years, will fill the role of Assistant Director of Player Development.

Just like the front office, there were numerous moves that occurred within the player development department for the Tribe. Former Hitting Coordinator, Alan Zinter, left the organization to be the Assistant Hitting Coach for the Houston Astros. Luis Ortiz, the Assistant Field Coordinator, was hired by the San Diego Padres. Ceci Clark was named the Performance Coach for the Indians. Jim Rickon, who was the Columbus hitting coach in 2014, joins the ranks of the staff as the Hitting Coordinator. Former Captains and Mudcats manager Scooter Tucker, moves to the Catching Coordinator position in his fourth season in the organization. Ken Knutson joins the Indians organization as the Pitching Programs and Rehab Coordinator. He was formerly the pitching coach at Arizona State and the head coach at Washington.

Field Coordinator: Tom Wiedenbauer
Pitching Coordinator: Ruben Niebla
Lower-level Pitching Coordinator: Julio Rangel
Performance coach: Ceci Clark*
Hitting Coordinator: Jim Rickon*
Strength and Conditioning Coordinator: Todd Kubacki
Rehab Coordinator: Thomas Albert
Pitching programs & Rehab Coordinator: Ken Knutson*
Strength and Conditioning Coordinator, Latin America: Nelson Perez
Catching Coordinator: Scooter Tucker*
Special Assistant: Tim Belcher
Special Assistant: Edwin Rodriguez
Advisor: Johnny Goryl
Advisor: Minnie Mendoza
Advisor: Tim Tolman

Columbus Clippers (AAA):

  • Manager: Chris Tremie
  • Pitching Coach: Carl Willis
  • Hitting Coach: Rouglas Odor
  • Trainer: Chad Wolfe
  • Strength and Conditioning: Ed Subel

Tremie returns to Columbus for the third consecutive season as the manager of the Triple-A affiliate of the Indians. 2015 will be Tremie’s tenth season with the organization. Carl Willis becomes the Pitching Coach for Columbus following a year in the front office as a Special Assistant. Willis was a minor league coach for the Indians before becoming the Pitching Coach for the big league club in 2003-2009 under Eric Wedge. He worked with the Mariners from 2010-2013 as a pitching coach. Rouglas Odor moves up from Akron to become the Hitting Coach in place of Jim Rickon for his 17th season with the Tribe. Wolfe and Subel return to the same positions as 2014.

Akron Rubberducks (AA): 

  • Manager: Dave Wallace
  • Pitching Coach: Jeff Harris
  • Hitting Coach: Tony Mansolino*
  • Trainer: Jeremy Heller
  • Strength and Conditioning: Jake Sankel

Wallace will spend his fifth season with the Indians in the dugout at Canal Park in a return of 2014. Harris returns to coach the pitchers at the Double-A level for the second straight season. Mansolino continues his trek up the minor league ladder as he will coach at the Double-A level. He spent 2014 with the Carolina Mudcats as the hitting coach. Heller and Sankel return the same spots as last season.

Lynchburg Hillcats (A+): 

  • Manager: Mark Budzinski*
  • Pitching Coach: Tony Arnold*
  • Hitting Coach: TBA
  • Trainer: Bobby Ruiz
  • Strength and Conditioning: Scott Nealon

Budzinski will lead the Lynchburg Hillcats, the new high-A affiliate of the Cleveland Indians in his second season in the organization. Budzinski spend 2014 with the Lake County Captains en route to a Midwest League Championship appearance. Tony Arnold joins the Hillcats after spending the last two years with Columbus. Arnold is going on 23 years with the Indians with stops at every level along the way. The Indians have not named a Hitting Coach for 2015 yet. Ruiz and Nealon return to the same positions as 2014.

Lake County Captains (A-): 

  • Manager: Shaun Larkin*
  • Pitching Coach: Steve Karsay*
  • Hitting Coach: TBA
  • Trainer: Matt Beauregard
  • Strength and Conditioning: Paul Synenkyj

The Captains will be managed by former player, coach and first-year manager Shaun Larkin in 2015. Larkin played for the Captains in 2003 and was the hitting coach in 2014. Larkin is joined by pitching coach Steve Karsay. Karsay’s fourth season in the organization has him returning to Eastlake to be the pitching coach. Karsay was the pitching coach in 2013. Beauregard and Synenkyj return to the same positions as 2014.

Mahoning Valley Scrappers (SS): 

  • Manager: Travis Fryman*
  • Pitching Coach: Greg Hibbard
  • Hitting Coach: Larry Day*
  • Trainer: Jake Legan
  • Strength and Conditioning: Juan Acevado

Fryman returns to Eastwood Field to be the Manager for the Scrappers in 2015. Fryman managed the Scrappers from 2008-2010 before he became the Infield Coordinator and a Special Assistant. Greg Hibbard is with the Scrappers for the fourth season, and second straight as pitching coach. Larry Day joins the organization after he was an assistant coach at Ohio University in 2014. Legan and Acevado return from 2014.

Arizona League Indians (Rk): 

  • Manager: Anthony Medrano
  • Pitching coach: Rigo Beltran*
  • Hitting coach: Junior Betances
  • Hitting coach: Dennis Malave
  • Hitting coach: Bobby Magallanes*
  • Athletic trainer: Ted Blackwell
  • Rehab strength: Pat Trainor
  • Strength and conditioning: Cesar Yepez

Medrano leads the Arizona League Indians in 2015 after a AZL Championship last year. Medrano has managed the Indians for the last five years and this is his eighth season in the organization. Rigo Beltran will become the pitching coach, replacing Mark Allen. Beltran was the pitching coach in Lake County in 2014. Booby Magallanes joins the Indians organization after he spent four years with the Chicago White Sox organization.

Dominican Summer League (Rookie)

  • Field Coordinator: Jose Mejia
  • Pitching Coach:Jesus Sanchez
  • Pitching Coach: Carlos Yan
  • Hitting Coach: Danny Bautista
  • Infield Coach: Carlos Fermin
  • Outfield & Baserunning coach: Jesus Tavarez
  • Tryout Coach: Lionel Vargas
  • Strength and Conditioning: Hasani Torres
  • Assistant, Strength and Conditioning: Fernando Cabral
  • Trainer: Gabriel Garcia

*-denotes new position in 2015

Posted in Akron RubberDucks, Arizona League, AZL Indians, Carolina League, Cleveland Indians, Columbus Clippers, DSL Indians, Eastern League, International League, Lake County Captains, Lynchburg Hillcats, Mahoning Valley Scrappers, Midwest League, New York-Penn League | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

2014 in review

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 1,300 times in 2014. If it were a cable car, it would take about 22 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

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