Tribe News & Notes, Friday 5/23/14: Indians prospects, injury-riddled Rangers, and weak contact

Here's hoping we get to see Adam Plutko holding some hardware in the majors soon - Stephen Dunn

Top Indians prospects take different approaches to their first forays into pro ball, and the Rangers deal with an ever-growing laundry list of injuries.

Our Indians are on a heck of a little winning streak here, coming off their second-straight 13-inning (!) win. Who needs bullpens, anyway? It's a bit of a slow news day in Tribeland after yesterday's late game and roster shuffling, but here's what's going on:

Yesterday's game: Indians 8, Orioles 7

Indians news & notes

Pro ball is no challenge for college standout Plutko | Did The Tribe Win Last Night? - Laurel Wilder profiles the Indians 11th round 2013 draft pick Adam Plutko, who was named MVP of the 2013 College World Series and is having a fine first year of pro ball in Lake County. The prospect of two former UCLA stars in the Tribe's future rotation makes me tingle with glee. Go Bruins!

Frazier focuses on himself as expectations mount | Indians Baseball Insider - Stephanie Metzger profiles another Indians prospect, blue-chipper Clint Frazier. Frazier has struggled a bit in his first full pro season - a power prospect who's hit only one homer in 32 games so far. But he's not letting expectations get to him, and he knows he's far from complete.

Axford's "new normal" | Waiting for Next Year- John Axford falls into Jon at WFNY's "unpitchable" category of pitcher trustworthiness. He takes a look at potential long-term solutions for closer, and generally assesses the pitching staff.

Tito saw the balk-off from a mile away | Cleveland.com - "If that hadn't been called a balk, one of those four umpires would have had to carry me out of the ballpark." Say what you will about Terry Francona, but ya gotta love his attitude.

Other MLB news

Neck surgery to end Fielder's season | Dallas Morning News - Reported elsewhere in the comments section at LGT, looks like Prince Fielder will be out for the rest of the 2014 season due to surgery to fuse two injured vertebrae. The Tigers really dodged a bullet with the Ian Kinsler trade. The Rangers, meanwhile, continue to be decimated...

Profar out another 8-12 weeks due to setback | CBS Sports - Jurickson Profar re-inured the shoulder muscle that's had him on the DL all season and is expected to miss an addition 8-12 weeks.

Samardzija becoming more efficient | Fangraphs - Complete lack of run support isn't the only notable thing about Jeff Samardzija's 2014 campaign. He's also altered his style, inducing more weak contact and fewer strikeouts to achieve excellent results.

More quantifiable evidence that Moustakas sucks | Fangraphs - Speaking of weak contact, Mike Moustakas is second in the MLB in infield fly ball percentage.

The best walk-up songs in baseball | Sports On Earth - It's fluff, but it's enjoyable fluff. And who doesn't love a little "Careless Whisper"?

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