News and Notes: February 24, 2012

The obligatory workout picture.

The Indians enter Spring Training confident they have enough pitching depth. | indians.com: News
Although there is some discussion in Jordan Bastian's article about who will replace Roberto Hernandez (nee Fausto Carmona) in the rotation, the heart of the piece is the reaction of Roberto's teammates to the controversy.

"I'm not going to lie to you," Jimenez said. "I had people that told me, 'If you get a couple years younger, they're going to give you more money.' That's something that you think about when you're that age."

Ubaldo Jimenez is also from the Dominican Republic, and although he signed just after graduating from high school (at age 17), there were temptations to appear even younger:

"Thank God I had really good parents," Jimenez said. "They always told me -- my mom and my dad -- that you have to finish high school first. I couldn't sign until I finished high school. That's something that they made me do. That's probably why I didn't do it."

Justin Masterson's comments had the same tenor:

"It's not something you expected, but for me, having been down there a lot, I understand where it comes from. That doesn't necessarily make it right. But in that situation, would I probably have wanted to do the same thing? Absolutely.

"Does it make it right? No, but that's kind of the way I felt about it."

There's still no timeline for Hernandez's return to the United States, as he'll first have to deal with charges in the Dominican Republic.

Indians sign Guzman, Garland on hold - MLB - Yahoo! Sports
One possible option for the vacancy left by Hernandez was removed when Jon Garland did not report to camp for a physical because of lingering problems with his shoulder. If healthy, Garland would have been a strong contender for a rotation spot, but obviously that's not the case.

Cristian Guzman, who played with Manny Acta in Washington, is in Tribe camp under a minor-league deal. He, like Garland, is recovering from a shoulder injury; he didn't play in 2011 because of it, but appears to be healthy now. I doubt he's going to win a major-league job, especially after a year out of baseball.

LaPorta in a battle for bench role | indians.com: News
Not really, but I suppose anything's possible. Unless the Indians have totally given up on LaPorta becoming a major-league first baseman, he's going to Columbus unless Kotchman is hurt.

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Details on the March 7th game against the Diamondbacks, via MLB Network's press release:

Secaucus, N.J., February 23, 2012 MLB Network today announced its 2012 Spring Training game schedule, featuring a groundbreaking presentation of live in-game audio. For the first time in an MLB game telecast, live audio content will air on a brief delay throughout the Spring Training game telecast of the Cleveland Indians at Arizona Diamondbacks on Wednesday, March 7 at 3:00 p.m. ET. In cooperation with the Major League Baseball Players Association, up to as many as six players on each team will wear live microphones during the game. Coaching staff will also wear live microphones throughout the game and live microphones will be positioned at each base, down the first- and third-base lines and along the outfield wall, producing in-game audio content on a scale that has not previously been done. Matt Vasgersian will provide the game call, which will be available nationally on MLB Network, including in both the Indians’ and Diamondbacks’ home television territories.

"One of the missions of MLB Network is to promote the game of baseball and act as a platform to advance the presentation of the game," said MLB Network President and CEO Tony Petitti. "The goal of this production is to bring fans closer to the game and experience it as a player would on the field. Not only are we trying to capture the player reactions and interactions, we want to present the natural sounds of the game, including the crack of the bat, the pop of a glove and the slide into a base like viewers have never heard before."

The game telecast on March 7 will build on test productions of two enhanced audio game telecasts MLB Network produced but did not air during Spring Training in 2011.
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