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The Arizona Fall League has started; what started 20 years ago as a venue for clubs to scout their own upper-level minor-leaguers against similar competition has expanded to be a showcase for top minor-league position players.
It's only been 10 days since the season ended, but for MLB players, it isn't going to be long until the prep work for the 2013 season begins again. Here's Vinnie Pestano's time frame:
TribeVibe: How long will you take before you begin preparing for next season?VP: Usually every year I give myself about a month to rest and relax, but it’s usually only about two or three weeks until I get bored enough to get back in there. Any more than that and I already feel like I’m starting to cheat myself for next season. So probably two-and-a-half or three weeks, right around the time the World Series gets going, is usually when I start working out again.
This is the time of year when MLB players have those surgeries that they put off while playing. Michael Brantley was able to get through the second half of the season needing to have a sports hernia repaired, which makes his breakout 2012 even that much more impressive.
Al breaks down the players that the Indians sent to Arizona, including Ronny Rodriguez, one of the Tribe's best prospects:
As long as he’s staying back and using the whole field, Rodriguez is a very, very good hitter. His approach could use a little work (88 K and just 19 BB) but his K rate actually went down from 22% in 2011 to 19% in 2012. Still a little high, but the improvement despite facing better pitching is an encouraging sign. He’s a lock to be a top-5 prospect in the Indians organization this offseason, and I can’t wait to see what he does in the AFL against pitchers even older and more talented than the ones he was facing in Carolina this season. He’s the 2nd youngest player on the Scottsdale roster, as he’s just 5 days older than the next player on our list.
There's much more where that came from, so I'd read the entire thing.
MLB News (Playoffs)
Baltimore's magical season came to end a day after Oakland's similar run came to an end. I really wanted to see Oakland vs. Baltimore in the ALCS, but it just wasn't to be. The Orioles played the Yankees to essentially a draw in both their regular season and post-season series, and if not for Raul Bleeping Ibanez, they would have pulled off the upset in 4 games. That Game 3 Yankee victory ensured that Sabathia would start again, and that would be the key to the series.
Just an incredible Game 5. If you were a Cardinals fan, it was an amazing comeback (down 6-0 after 3 innings and down 7-5 with two outs in the ninth), and if you're a Nationals fan, well unfortunately I know how you feel.