New Miami Marlins catcher Jorge Alfaro showed up for the team’s first full-squad spring traini
New Miami Marlins catcher Jorge Alfaro showed up for the team’s first full-squad spring trainiin Allgemein 17.04.2019 04:27
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JUPITER http://www.oriolesfanproshop.com/authentic-j.j.-hardy-jersey , Fla. (AP) — ng workout wearing a T-shirt that read, “I talk (trash) about you in Spanish,” with a word more pungent and less publishable than “trash.”The Marlins’ English speakers are onto him.At the behest of CEO Derek Jeter, the Marlins last year began Spanish language classes for coaches, and the program has since been expanded throughout the organization, from media relations to analytics to the front office. Now minor league players who speak English are being taught Spanish, while Spanish-speakers learn English — part of a trend in Major League Baseball toward more bilingual teams.“We want to invest in the players outside of their athletic abilities — invest in them as human beings,” Jeter says. “Communication is first and foremost when you talk about building a championship-caliber organization, which means making sure our Spanish-speaking players are speaking English, but also our English-speaking players speaking Spanish.”The Jeter regime’s education program for minor league players extends beyond language. They’re taught life skills and cultural awareness — an asset for youngsters hoping to break into the big leagues in one of the nation’s most diverse cities.The Marlins are not alone. About half of the 30 teams in the big leagues have begun offering Spanish lessons to English-speaking players in the past few years, says Major League Baseball vice president Paul Mifsud, who works with player programs.“The public focus on what the Marlins are doing has helped to improve both the quality of these kinds of initiatives, and the expediency with which teams are adopting this,” Mifsud says. “The Marlins’ industry leadership on this is extremely helpful. We’d like all 30 teams doing their best to get players the level of education they want on these issues, and I think we’re heading that direction.”Alfaro’s T-shirt was worn in jest — he’s bilingual, excited about his move to Miami and already a clubhouse leader. But potential cultural divides exist on any team, and the Marlins’ education program offers a bridge.“We’re learning about each other,” says Gary Denbo, vice president of scouting and player development. “We address cultural awareness: Why do Latin players listen to their music so loud? Why do American players take it so hard when they go 0 for 4 with the expectations placed on them by their families? Why do some guys talk so loud on the bus?“The work our education department is doing affects everything in our players’ lives. We cover cooking, shopping, nutrition and how to pay your bills and manage your money.”At the start of spring training, the Marlins held a cooking competition for a group of top minor leaguers. The winning team of outfielder Connor Scott, shortstop Osiris Johnson and pitcher Jorge Guzman celebrated with whoops and high-fives — exactly the kind of scene Marlins officials hope to see more of.The trio were white, black and Latin, and their chicken and broccoli stir fry reportedly was delicious.“You’ve got three guys from totally different worlds Caleb Joseph Jersey ,” Denbo says. “And when they were announced as the winners, it was like they had won the World Series.”Scott, the Marlins’ first-round draft pick last year, says he appreciates the chance to learn about and communicate with another culture.“The better you know your teammates, the more you trust them,” Scott says. “I think that’s the biggest they’re preaching here — trust. If you don’t trust the guy next to you, how will you trust him to get the runner over, or trust that he’s not going to run into you in the outfield?”Scott says he took no Spanish in high school, but thanks to the Marlins he can now converse in the language. Catcher Will Banfield, a second-round draft pick last year, says he has made progress speaking Spanish when meeting with Latin pitchers, although it’s not always as difficult as it might seem.“‘Curveball’ is ‘curveball,'” he says. “‘Slider’ is ‘slider.'”Still, as he anticipates an eventual promotion to Miami, Banfield says learning Spanish will help him, off the field as well as on the mound.The Marlins have hired six full-time teachers, plus part-time instructors. Every minor league affiliate will have a teacher this season, and when a team is at home, every player will receive Spanish, English or life skills lessons, according to Denbo.Marlins veterans applaud the program. Infielder Miguel Rojas, who’s bilingual, says improved language skills can ease the transition to the majors, especially in South Florida.“You’re going to jump in an Uber, and that guy is going to speak Spanish Roberto Alomar Jersey ,” Rojas says. “So these American guys will be prepared with what they’re going to face in Miami.” Tim Warner/Getty ImagesThere are a handful of teams that have a chance to completely turn the MLB offseason on its head if they decide to be active on the trade market.The Cleveland Indians are one such team.According to Buster Olney of ESPN, financial restrictions could lead to some key veteran players being shopped on the trade block this offseason.Buster Olney Buster_ESPNFaced with market constraints, the Indians will listen to trade offers for some of their veteran players this winter, according to sources. Kluber, Carrasco, Encarnacion, Gomes, etc. Lindor, Ramirez will definitely be held.There's a lot to unpack there, and two-time Cy Young Award winner Corey Kluber is obviously the name that jumps off the page.It was another excellent season for the 32-year-old, as he went 20-7 with a 2.89 ERA, 0.99 WHIP and 222 strikeouts in an American League-high 215 innings.Kluber is entering the final guaranteed season of his contract and will earn $17 million in 2019.However, his current deal also carries a pair of team-friendly club options for 2020 ($17.5 million) and 2021 ($18 million) that make him an extremely valuable trade chip.It would surely take a pair of top-tier prospects and more to pry him loose.Carlos CarrascoTim Warner/Getty ImagesCarlos Carrasco doesn't have the same collection of hardware in his trophy room, but he's an equally attractive trade chip.The 31-year-old was terrific once again this past season, going 17-10 with a 3.38 ERA, 1.13 WHIP and 231 strikeouts in 192 innings.The Indians already exercised his $9.75 million option for the upcoming season, and his contract carries one more option year in 2020 at $9.5 million, so he too would represent more than just a one-year rental.With Trevor Bauer, Mike Clevinger and Shane Bieber also in the starting rotation, the Indians could conceivably trade one of Kluber or Carrasco and still have one of the best starting rotations in baseball.Buster Olney Buster_ESPNYes, the Indians will listen to trade offers for Corey Kluber, Carlos Carrasco, etc., but two things to remember:1. They arent trading all of them, and they arent trading Lindor or Ramirez2. No matter who they trade Nick Markakis Jersey , they will enter 2019 as prohibitive favorites in AL CentralIn a market where Patrick Corbin, Dallas Keuchel and Nathan Eovaldi are the top available free agents, now would be the perfect time for the Indians to maximize the value of their top starters while potentially freeing up some payroll space and bolstering the farm system in the process.Catcher Yan Gomes is also listed as a potential trade candidate by Olney, and he too carries value, albeit not at the same level as the two top-flight starting pitchers.After a pair of down seasons, Gomes rebounded to post a 103 OPS+ with 26 doubles, 16 home runs and 48 RBI. He also threw out 29 percent of base stealers, was an All-Star for the first time and finished the season with 2.6 WAR.For a team looking to upgrade the catcher position but not interested in making a long-term commitment to free agents Yasmani Grandal and Wilson Ramos, Gomes could be an attractive alternative.The 31-year-old will earn $7.083 million in 2019, followed by a pair of reasonably priced club options in 2020 ($9 million) and 2021 ($11 million).The trouble is, after trading Francisco Mejia to the San Diego Padres in exchange for Brad Hand and Adam Cimber over the summer, there's no clear in-house replacement beyond backup Roberto Perez.Edwin EncarnacionDylan Buell/Getty ImagesThe final name on that list, Edwin Encarnacion, will be difficult to move.The 35-year-old is owed $21.667 million in 2019, and he has a $20 million team option for 2020 that carries a $5 million buyout.Encarnacion is still a dangerous slugger, as he posted a 115 OPS+ with 32 home runs and 107 RBI in 2018, but teams are putting less of a premium on offense-only players.It would likely take eating a good chunk of his salary to find a taker, and that would defeat the purpose.So will the Indians really consider moving a significant veteran piece?It's too soon to tell, but in this market, shopping Kluber and Carrasco makes a lot of sense, and it could help the team in the long run.All stats courtesy of Baseball Reference unless otherwise noted.