CLEVELAND — Giovanny Urshela’s winter ball season has ended early. How that will impact his 2015 season in the Indians’ organization remains unclear.
Urshela injured his left knee on Saturday while playing for Aguilas de Zulia in the Venezuelan Winter League. Urshela was supposed to undergo an MRI in Venezuela on Monday while the Indians medical staff is trying to get him up to Cleveland later this week for further evaluation.
Urshela started last season in Double-A Akron before earning a promotion to Columbus in early May. He batted .280 on the season and led the organization in runs scored with 78. He also was second in RBI (84), third in hits (136) and fourth in home runs (18).
In winter ball, Urshela had a .397 average in 27 games with 43 hits in 108 at-bats along with three home runs and 22 RBI.
With third base an area that the Indians are looking to upgrade, Urshela was likely to get plenty of looks during spring training. But if the knee injury is serious, he would miss most of the season. In evaluating the organization at the end of the season, general manager Chris Antonetti included Urshela among a group of players who he thought made strides during the year.
OTHER WINTER BALL NOTES
Jordan Smith just missed out being in the top 10 in batting average in the Arizona Fall league. The outfielder had a .304 average in 17 games with the Peoria Javelinas, going 21 for 69 with a home run and 10 RBI. Peoria advance to the AFL Championship Game but lost to the Salt River Rafters 14-7.
Shortstop Francisco Lindor was lauded as one of the top defensive players with only two errors. He also batted .265 with three home runs and nine RBI in 24 games. Lindor left the AFL right before the final game to be part of Puerto Rico’s team in the Caribbean Games.
On the mound, one of the more impressive prospects was Grant Sides. The right-hander, who was with Carolina for most of this past season, appeared in 10 games and was 1-0 with a 1.59 ERA. He struck out 13 in 11 1/3 innings.
Carlos Moncrief is also playing for Aguilas de Zulia and is batting .303 in 23 games.