Trevor Crowe, who spent much of last year as the Indians’ center fielder, underwent shoulder surgery on Wednesday and is expected to miss at least four months.
The switch-hitting Crowe batted .251/.302/.333 with 20 steals in 442 at-bats for the Indians last season. He’s hit .246/.295/.333 with three homers and 53 RBI in 625 at-bats over the last two years.
Crowe entered spring training this year competing for a spot as a reserve and as a potential fill-in for Grady Sizemore. However, having fallen behind Michael Brantley on the depth chart, he wasn’t viewed as a big part of the Indians’ plans. The team is likely better off with Austin Kearns taking Sizemore’s place in the lineup and the stronger bats of Travis Buck and Shelley Duncan on the bench.
If he loses the entire 2010 season, Crowe figures to have a difficult time reestablishing himself going forward. Despite his lofty pedigree — he was selected 14th overall in the 2005 draft — he hasn’t displayed anything more than a fourth-outfielder’s skill set since reaching the high minors in 2007. The Indians may decide he’s not worth carrying on the 40-man roster next winter.
After letting rumors of the deal percolate for the last week, the Athletics officially announced their two-year, $11 million contract with right-hander Santiago Casilla on Friday (and threw a little bit of shade at the Giants, too). As previously reported, the contract includes an extra $3 million in performance bonuses.
Casilla, 36, got his major league start with Oakland back in 2004, racking up a 5.11 ERA and four saves over six seasons in the A’s bullpen. After picking up a minor league deal with the Giants in 2010, the righty flitted in and out of the closing role with varying degrees of success. Notwithstanding a slight downturn in his production rate during the 2016 season, he earned 123 saves and a 2.42 ERA during the past seven years in San Francisco. Securing another closing role might be a little tougher across the Bay, however, with a bullpen that includes fellow closers Ryan Madson, Ryan Dull and Sean Doolittle.
Why is this man smiling? Man, I wouldn’t be smiling if I read what I just read.
This is the week when ESPN’s Keith Law releases his prospect and farm system rankings. He kicks off his content this week with a top-to-bottom ranking of all 30 farm systems. As a rule he limits his analysis to players who are currently in the minors and who have not yet exhausted their rookie of the year eligibility.
For the second straight year, Law ranks the Braves as the best system in baseball. Number two — making a big leap from last year’s number 13 ranking – is the New York Yankees. Dead last: the Arizona Diamondbacks, which Law says “Dave Stewart ritually disemboweled” over the past two years. That’s gotta hurt.
If you want to know the reasons and the rankings of everyone in between you’ll have to get an ESPN Insider subscription. Sorry, I know everyone hates to pay for content on the Internet, but Keith and others who do this kind of work put a lot of damn work into it and this is what pays their bills. I typically don’t like to pay for content myself, but I do pay for an ESPN Insider subscription. It’s worth it for Law’s work alone.