Indians' front office in Houston evaluating club

Manager Francona encouraged GM Antonetti to get some scouts' eyes on team

Indians' front office in Houston evaluating club

HOUSTON -- While the season isn't over yet and the Indians remain in a playoff push, the front office already has an eye on the future.

General manager Chris Antonetti plus some scouts and members of the front office are in Houston during the team's four-game series against the Astros.

"Just a lot of evaluating," Antonetti said. "Never stops."

Manager Terry Francona said he encouraged Antonetti to get the scouting eyes on the team. During the season, many scouts rarely get a chance to watch the big league squad too much, as they are usually evaluating amateur talent or scouting opposing players for potential trade purposes.

"Chris is trying to get some continuity there," Francona said. "Some of the guys here, we finally get to visit with them for a couple of days, let them see our team, too. … [I] think it will make for better decision making and more enlightened opinions. They're fun to have around."

Francona also said this is one of the few times the baseball side could have the front office's ear until at least late October.

"It was done by design [having them come here]," Francona said. "We have two weeks left in the season. When we go back off this trip, Chris is having two days of meetings with [Minor League] coaches.

"Then there's some meetings in Arizona in early October with the scouts, then we come back to Cleveland a few weeks later for strategy meetings."

Antonetti said, despite starting pitching being a position of strength, it will still be a central focus of the team's offseason plans.

"We need more, always," he said. "You see, the five we started with aren't the five that are still with us right now. … Over the course of the season, attrition happens."

Despite a bit of a late-season swoon by the club, Antonetti said he is proud of the way the players and coaches continue to prepare and compete.

In fact, he said, the young talent on the roster -- enhanced by the September callups -- shows a bright future for the team.

"Overall, we are really encouraged by the talent on the roster and the group of guys to build around," Antonetti said. "That won't change whether we meet this year's goals or not."

Chris Abshire is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.