The Cleveland Indians have started the 2014 Winter Meetings with a trade Monday afternoon. The Indians have acquired Brandon Moss from the Oakland Athletics in exchange for minor league second baseman Joe Wendle.
Moss, a left-handed hitting corner outfielder and first baseman, was a 2014 All-Star for Oakland. The 30-year old hit .234, with 25 home runs and 81 driven in during the 2014 season. He will help the Indians average offense in the power department. Last season the Indians were ninth of 15 American League teams in home runs. Moss provides offensive production to the lineup, but is below average defensively in both the outfield and at first base. He is under team control through the 2016 season and is projected to make about $7.1 million in salary arbitration this winter. underwent right hip surgery (torn labrum/impingement) on October 23 and is expected to be ready for the start of the 2015 season.
This morning the Winter Meetings open in San Diego and, according to Buster Olney, the Indians are looking to make a deal.
Trades are tough to make, but may be even tougher for the Indians. Financially strapped with an approximate …
Today continues DTTWLN’s three week examination of the Indians’ 2014 season and where it fell short of the playoff expectations established last winter. The staff will examine where the season went wrong and the challenges the front office faces to make the Indians contenders in 2015.
At the beginning of 2014, the Indians did not really have any high end prospects that were just waiting to make it to the majors. Jose Ramirez had spent a small amount of time in Cleveland in 2013, but even after Spring Training this season, he was still not quite ready to take on even a bench role to start off 2014. This caused the Indians to have to go out and find some help in the free agent market to bolster some weaker positions left by players due to free agency, or trades. The Indians shouldn’t have this issue again in 2015, as they have plenty of players who are ready to take on the challenge of playing in the majors right now.
The Double-A Akron RubberDucks started off the season as one of the deepest teams in terms of depth that the Indians have had in a minor league team in quite a long time. This team who had previously consisted of Jesus Aguilar, Carlos Moncrief and Ramirez now consisted of Francisco Lindor, Tyler Naquin, Giovanny Urshela, and Joe Wendle. Lindor being the biggest name of them all, with also having the best chance of breaking the majors in 2015. If 2014 showed anything for these minor leaguers, it’s that they’re going to be breaking into the majors sooner rather than later.
After an offseason of rebranding, fresh faces, and boat load of renovations, the Double-A Akron RubberDucks came into the season with a promising season ahead of them. In his inaugural season as the RubberDucks manager, Dave Wallace looked on to lead what could have been one of the best Cleveland Indians minor league team in recent history. Unfortunately, the season ended earlier than expected as the RubberDucks were eliminated from the playoffs in four games against the Richmond Flying Squirrels. Regardless of how the season ended, in their first season as RubberDucks, this team was still impressive from the get-go, and continued to do so all season long.
To start off the season, the RubberDucks had one of the deepest lineups that a team could possibly have when it comes to having bench options, solid starting pitching, and an experienced bullpen. The infield consisted of some of the Indians top prospects in Francisco Lindor, Joe Wendle, Ronny Rodriguez, and Tony Wolters. Along with these infielders, the outfield was full of great players as well, including one of the Indians top prospects Tyler Naquin. Along with Naquin, the RubberDucks also had Bryson Myles, Tyler Holt, and Jordan Smith to compliment Naquin. For the starting pitching, Cody Anderson was deemed the opening day starter after having a successful season in High-A Carolina the season before where he was named the top starter in the Indians minor league system in 2013. Following Anderson, Gabriel Arias, Joseph Colon, Will Roberts, and Kyle Davies were the other members of the starting rotation. Arias and Davies were quickly promoted to Triple-A Columbus after having hot starts to the season.
Captains Clip Silver Hawks in Three Game Series; Captains 6, Silver Hawks 2
They looked like a new team on the field Wednesday night in Eastlake, and with good reason. The Lake County Captains, who finished last in the Midwest League, delivered a game filled with hard hits, good defense, and strong pitching, to earn a 6-2 win in the first of their three-game playoff series against the South Bend Silver Hawks. They were propelled to victory by some of the newest members of the Indians organization, including first-round draft picks of this year and last.
The Captains, 38-31 in the second half, faced the Silver Hawks, who finished the second half leading the Midwest League Eastern Division at 43-27. Mitch Brown (8-8, 3.31) was matched against South Bend’s Anthony Banda, who started the season with the Milwaukee Brewers’ organization and pitched for the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers before being traded to the Diamondbacks and moving to the Silver Hawks in August. Banda was 6-6 with a 3.66 ERA with the Timber Rattlers and is 3-0 with the Silver Hawks, boasting a 1.54 ERA in six starts since the move. He is 9-6, 3.03 overall on the season.
With only a couple weeks left in the season, the Rubber Ducks are keeping their eyes fixed on post season baseball. In order to reach that, they’ll need to continue to play the best baseball they can, and with Joe Wendle back from the disabled list, their chances of reaching the post season seem to have increased.
After missing about seven weeks of Double-A baseball, Wendle has finally worked his way back into the RubberDucks lineup and will assuming everyday responsibilities at second base. He had been sidelined with a broken hamate bone in his right hand which occurred on June 26. He made his return to the lineup on August 19.
With the All-Star break closing in this week, it’s time to take a moment to look over what has been nothing less than an awesome first half for the Akron RubberDucks. After changing the name from the Akron Aeros to the RubberDucks prior to this season, owner Ken Babby along with manager Dave Wallace were looking to bring some new life to this Akron team. Aside from all the new renovations that had been added to Canal Park, a team full of young competitors were experiencing their first time in Double-A baseball.
Going into this season, a good portion of the team had never played a game in Double-A baseball as they had spent their previous season with High-A Carolina. These players included Indians top prospect Francisco Lindor, converted catcher Tony Wolters, second basemen Joe Wendle, and outfielders Jordan Smith and Bryson Myles. Along with them came a plethora of fresh pitchers including Joseph Colon, Will Roberts, Gabriel Arias, and Duke von Schamann. Von Schammann did not start the season with the Indians organization, but was received from the Los Angeles Dodgers as part of the Colt Hynes trade. These guys joined the team along with some more promising players who had already spent some time up here including Tyler Naquin, Tyler Holt, Shawn Armstrong, Ronny Rodriguez, and Cody Anderson.
The Columbus Clippers will be represented by two players this year at the 2014 Triple-A All-Star Game. Both first baseman Jesus Aguilar and catcher Roberto Perez were selected to be on the International League roster, and will be taking on …
It hurts when your team loses one of the key members of the lineup. When you lose the top three hitters though, that can be detrimental to a team. The Akron RubberDucks are experiencing firsthand what this feels like. Currently, the RubberDucks have lost the 1, 2, and 3 hitters in their lineup. Those players being leadoff man Tyler Naquin, shortstop Francisco Lindor, and second basemen Joe Wendle.
All of these injuries happened within a span of three days.
Three days, that’s all it took for the RubberDucks to lose arguably their three best players.
Wednesday June 25, Indians top prospect and current RubberDuck shortstop Francisco Lindor took a bad hop on the infield directly to his face and suffered a small non-displaced nasal fracture. The good news on Lindor is he should only be out for 7-10 days. Thursday June 26, second baseman Joe Wendle, suffered a right hamate fracture which will most likely require surgery and is a couple month process to return. The hamate bone is a small bone located in the wrist and it is usually fractured while a player is hitting. Friday June 27, Tyler Naquin, the top outfield prospect in the Indians farm system, was hit-by-pitch fracturing his right hand.
Finding consistency has been an issue with a number of players on the Double-A Akron RubberDucks team this season. For some, it was just small slumps where a hit seemed to be nowhere in sight. For others, it was just a matter of getting back-to-back games of putting the ball in play and getting on base. Joe Wendle was a big victim of that situation. As we near the end of the month of June though, it seems that consistency has finally found its way to Wendle’s bat. Wendle was named the Indians Minor League Player of the Week today.
Wendle was drafted by the Indians in the sixth round of the 2012 First Year Player Draft by the Indians. Prior to the draft he attended West Chester University of Pennsylvania. After he was drafted he spent 2012 with Short Season-A, Mahoning Valley and then 2013 with High-A Carolina. Within 168 games between the two teams, Wendle hit .311/.374/.491 with 47 doubles, 9 triples, 20 home runs, 101 RBI, and 14 stolen bases. His top notch play last season with Carolina earned him the 2013 Lou Bourdreau Award for being the top minor league position player in the Indians farm system. After being so successful so far in his career, Wendle had struggled early this season with Double-A Akron.
Akron RubberDucks second baseman was some kind of hot this past week. Joe Wendle went 11-21 for an obscene .524 average with three runs scored, three doubles, one triple, eight runs batted in and added a stolen base. Wendle got off to a slow start to the season having multiple hot and cold streaks. Over his last 26 games, however, Wendle has been consistently hot hitting .333 with eight extra base hits and 24 runs batted in during the time frame. Wendle leads the team with 41 runs batted in, one more than fellow prospect shortstop Francisco Lindor. Wendle has his batting average up to .264 with his recent surge but is still well below his career .307 minor league average coming into the season.
Wendle a sixth round pick in 2012 out of West Chester University has some uncanny similarities to a current Indians star Jason Kipnis. Both Kipnis and Wendle are listed at 5’11 190lbs, both bat left-handed and throw with their right hand. Take a look at the stats for both players in their first two years in the minor leagues.