GOODYEAR, ARIZ.—Before leaving for spring training, the Indians' brain trust sat down in a Progressive Field interview room to announce promotions for general manager Mark Shapiro (to team president) and assistant GM Chris Antonetti (to general manager) following the end of the 2010 season.
As they are often quizzed, the Tribe's front office men were asked in various ways about enduring yet another rebuilding effort.
Both Shapiro and Antonetti pointed out that, this time around, the Indians farm system doesn't have to produce the bulk of players required to field a major league team, it merely has to support those already in place.
"At this point, if you look back (to '02-'03), we were really transitioning a whole roster and trying to bring in an entire influx of young talent at the same time that time," Antonetti said. "This time, when you balance what we already have in place with some of the young players we have in our farm system, it doesn't have to be an en-masse entry into the major league level where everybody is developing at the same time. Now, we have a little bit more of an established team."
But if there's one area where the minors can really help in 2010, it's with pitching. With more jobs available than major league pitchers ready to round out Cleveland's rotation, young minor league arms such as righthanders Hector Rondon, Carlos Carrasco and maybe even Jeanmar Gomez could be called upon in early summer tryouts. Carrasco has brief major league experience, while Rondon finished 2009 in Triple-A and Gomez in Double-A. All three are on the 40-man roster.
• After signing Russell Branyan, the Indians outrighted versatile Chris Gimenez to Triple-A and removed him from the 40-man roster.
• New Indians third-base coach Steve Smith, 57, is teaming with his daughter Allie, 23, in the CBS reality show "Amazing Race" as a team following clues around the world in search of a $1 million prize.