The Cleveland Fan on Facebook

The Cleveland Fan on Twitter
Indians Indians Archive Winter Haven Live: 3/13
Written by Tony Lastoria

Tony Lastoria
Coverage down in Winter Haven continues this week. On Tuesday, Lastoria focused his attention on the major league players who took part in the morning practice session. Lots of video and pics are included here, highlighted by video of Sizemore taking BP, Blake and Garko working out at 1B, the Indians practicing situational hitting and running, and many, many, many pictures from camp.  It was a busy day at the Chain of Lakes Park complex on Tuesday, as not only was there a game to be played in the afternoon with the New York Mets, but the pitchers and position players who would not participate in the game all had full workouts in the morning.  Also, minor league camp continued.

In major league camp, the Indians worked on fundamentals for most of the day. After stretching and throwing, they kicked things off with the position players working on situational hitting and base-running. Here are two video clips of the situational hitting and base-running drills which included such players as Grady Sizemore (#24), Andy Marte (#30), Ryan Garko (#25), Casey Blake (#1), David Dellucci (#20) and others:

Situational hitting video 1
Situational hitting video 2

When the situational drills finished, the Indians took live batting practice. Here are two videos of the Indians in action during batting practice. The first video is of Grady Sizemore hitting in the cage, and the second is a quick glance of the players hanging around behind the cage:

Sizemore hitting BP
Video of players hanging around the cage

While players hit live batting practice, others took part in fielding drills. The most notable drill was watching Casey Blake and Ryan Garko work on fielding groundballs and situations at first base. Many fans are curious how these two look at first, so I paid special attention to them today to try and give those that were curious a firsthand look. For the 30-45 minutes they worked out at first base, I came away very impressed with Blake at first base. You can definitely see Blake’s athleticism show through during the drills when compared to Garko. See for yourself:

Blake playing first base
Garko playing first base

One of the funny moments during the morning practice was the playful razzing Jake Westbrook kept giving Blake over at first base. For almost the entire time Blake was fielding balls at first base, Westbrook was hooting and hollering at Blake from the weight room. The weight room is adjacent to right field, roughly 100 feet from first base where Blake was, and if you turn the volume up and pay special attention to the loud screaming voice in the background, you'll hear Westbrook (Blake responds back with hand gestures too). You had to be there, some funny exchanges between the two that the video won’t do justice:

More Blake at 1B with Westbrook razzing him

ot only did Blake get work in at first base, but as he has done all camp he also got a lot of work in at third base with Andy Marte. It really looks like the Indians will use Blake in that “super-utility” role where he rotates and plays any infield or outfield corner position but is a regular in the lineup every night. Here is some video of Marte and Blake working on backhand drills at third base:

Marte and Blake at third base

While the position players were practicing on the main practice field (Field #1) for well over two hours, the pitchers got some work in on Field #2. The pitchers only took part in a light workout, and worked on situational drills such as throwing to first base and holding runners. Here is a video of Rafael Perez (#53), Jeremy Sowers (#45), Tony Sipp (#70) and others at work:

Situational pitching video

Also, the Indians new 5th starter Fausto Carmona got some extra work in on Tuesday, running agility drills and sprints with one of the Indians trainers. Here is some video of Carmona getting some running in:

Carmona running

Here is a photo diary of the rest of the action from the major league portion of camp on Tuesday:

Eric Wedge takes in batting practice and pulls Garko aside to talk:

David Dellucci (#20) getting ready to hit in the cages, and others hang around:

Andy Marte gets some work in at third base:

Casey Blake gets some work in at first base and hangs around the batting cages:

Grady Sizemore in action during practice:

Mike Rouse (#15) getting some work in at shortstop:

Garko chatting with Joel Skinner and getting some work in at first base:

Trot Nixon hanging around the cages:

he Game

The Indians lost to the New York Mets 6-5, but as most fans know the outcomes of games in spring training mean very little.  The attention is mostly focused on key position battles, making sure regulars remain healthy, and unknown players making noise in camp.  One such unknown to a lot of fans is Ben Francisco who has had an outstanding camp so far.  I have been a big supporter of him for years, and it is nice to finally see him getting noticed.

Here is a picture diary of some of the sights from the game:

Indians General Manager talks with several scouts and Tribe assistants while taking in the game from behind home plate (Note: in the one picture, he is looking over a Los Angeles Angels roster and info sheet. I saw it while peeking over his shoulder as I walked by):

.C. Sabathia in action:

Jhonny Peralta in action:

Travis Hafner in action:

Trevor Crowe (#62) in action:

Ben Francisco (#65) in action:

Michael Aubrey (#68) in action:

Up Next

At Wednesday’s practice (today), I plan to shift the focus to the minor league part of camp, namely on players like Brad Snyder, John Drennen, and others.  Also, I plan to track down some guys that some may be wondering about health-wise (Justin Hoyman, etc) and if they are still with the Indians (Carlton Smith, etc)

Also, I have a Q&A done with Fox Sports Dayn Perry, but it will not post until early next week.  With the Winter Haven coverage and the start of the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament starting up this week, we felt best to hold onto it until next week.

The TCF Forums