Felix Fermin Added To Staff At Buffalo

Felix Fermin, in 1990.

Former Cleveland shortstop Felix Fermin has been named hitting coach for the Indians' Class AAA farm team in Buffalo.<br><br> Fermin, 41, replaces Carlos Garcia on the Bisons' staff. Garcia recently was added to the new Seattle coaching staff under new Mariners manager and former Tribe skipper Mike Hargrove.

Fermin played parts of 10 seasons in the majors with Pittsburgh, Cleveland, Seattle and an 11-game stint with the Chicago Cubs from 1987-96. He compiled a career average of .259 (718-for-2,767) with 294 runs. 86 doubles, 11 triples, four homers and 207 RBI in 903 games.

He was the Cleveland's regular shortstop from 1989-93, appearing in 652 games for the Indians after being acquired from the Pittsburgh Pirates in exchange for shortstop Jay Bell and utility infielder Denny Gonzalez.

Nicknamed "El Gato" (The Cat), Fermin was dealt to Seattle with 1B-OF Reggie Jefferson for shortstop Omar Vizquel after the 1993 season.

Fermin served as the manager of the Tribe's Dominican Summer League team for six seasons from 1998-2003 and was the organization's Dominican Supervisor in 2004.

NOTABLE: The Indians have added two split-squad games to their 2005 exhibition schedule -- both against the New York Yankees. The teams will play each other four times in the spring. The added games are March 7 in Tampa and March 19 in Winter Haven -- and all current and future season ticket holders who pay, in-full, prior to Dec. 17 can attend that game at Chain of Lakes Park for free.

Franklin Gutierrez is putting up solid numbers in the Venezuelan Winter League. The outfielder, acquired in April from Los Angeles with right-hander Andrew Brown for outfielder Milton Bradley, is hitting .308 (37-120) with nine homers, 27 runs and 23 RBI in 32 games. ... Recently acquired minor-league shortstop Erick Almonte is hitting .319 with three homers, 21 RBI and is 6-for-6 in steals in 28 games in the Dominican Winter League. He also has 34 strikeouts in 94 at-bats, however.

From our good friends at www.madfriars.com who cover the San Diego Padres, this piece of information is passed along about right-hander Steve Watkins, signed to a minor-league contract by the Indians: "Every game he threw, I don't understand how anybody got a hit. He was just unbelievable to catch this year, just hitting spots and we were both on the same page. I don't think he ever shook me off."
-- Catcher Nick Trzesniak with the Mobile BayBears on who had the nastiest stuff that he caught this year.

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