7.31.2008

Sal Fasano and his feast upon a Tiger; Tribe Win

Following all the trade madness I haven't had a chance.

No deals for Paul Byrd, but he is one guy that could get moved via the Non-Waiver Deadline.

Fear not for the Indians have finally won. It should have been a three game series win, but I guess a split isn't half bad.

The unsung hero was who else but the big fat man, Sal Fasano and his 2 RBI. He was soooooo close to the jack. Chaos would have occurred here if he had went deep. How about him though? He's absolutely crushed the Tigers this year in his two games against them. Now the two RBIs that really extended the leads.

Grady Sizemore had the big crushing blow after a HBP and a walk by Verlander. First pitch fastball right in the wheelhouse had nooo chance at all. Add in an RBI HBP later in the game and Grizzle put a little more distance between himself and Peralta in the RBI race.

He's now five ahead of Peralta who had one himself in the first inning. A few doubles lead to an early 1-0 lead.

Carmona pitched as well as you could hope for and yet his defense aboslutely let him down on more than one occasion.

I'm going to chalk it up to fatigue and just not having their heads screwed on straight.. It was a less than 12 hour turnaround so I'm sure both teams were feeling it considering there was 5 total erros, many of them stupid.

Carmona only got two earned, and he really got hurt by the Shin-Soo Choo I don't have my sun-glasses on in the field play. Rick Manning was heated about that.. Settle down boy.

Kobayashi and Perez shut the door rather emphatically, giving up just one hit and striking out four combined.

Tomorrow is more fun as we re-up with the Minnesota Twins.. This time in Minnesota. Jeremy Sowers on the bump against Mr. Magician himself, Nick Blackurn. It is indeed a rematch of last Sunday's battle.

[BOXSCORE]

Super Pre-Trade Deadline Update

Hello one and all.. Of all days to sleep in, I chose the trading deadline. For some reason I went to bed at my normal time and woke up at 11:30. With the game getting ready to start, here is what I've got in the world of the Cleveland Indians.

Buffalo beat up on Durham again. This time it was Brad Snyder who was a single away from having the cycle.. Two nights in a row now a Bisons' player was missing the single.

The Box Score is escaping me because the Bisons site blows and I can't get a box-score once they put the new game up. Jerks. Jeff Weaver got the win.

Erie edged Akron in extras. Bronson Sardinha and Wes Hodges had solo shots. Scott Lewis started and went six solid giving up one un-earned run.

I've been waiting to talk about this since I saw it last night.. Myrtle Beach put an absolute crushing on Kinston. Shawn Nottingham gave up 10 runs and Cristo Arnal, an infielder take in mind, gave up SIX RUNS in an inning.. Not sure why he was pitching.

Are you kidding me? I might do an in-game blog if I can get the right game.. I could go nuts.... This is ridiculous.. How are they giving him third base on this? What a complete joke.. He shouldn't even get second. How is Sal Fasano going to do anything when the ball hits the umpire..

Get FIRED UP Wedge... For the love of God.

Lake County won last night, I can't get the Boxscore, they are currently playing and leading.

Mahoning Valley is starting to get their footing. They won again and Lonnie Chisenhall went deep for the fourth time this year.

And the run scores.. There is no justice.. YOU JERKS

Garrett Rieck was called up to take the spot of Rob Bryson at Lake County, who went on the disabled list. He has a partially torn rotator cuff.

Onto the majors.. Kelly Shoppach's five hit performance was only the second time an AL player had five extra base hits in a game. Remarkably the only two players are Shoppach and Lou Bordeau.. Both Cleveland Indians. He's also the only catcher to ever do it.

So far.. Nothing on Paul Byrd other than what I posted yesterday. The Rockies have interest as well but I don't know if anything will get done there. Ken Griffey Jr is a White Sox though, so that should be fun seeing him there.. I guess they are getting sick of Thome's lack of production against the left handers.

Shapiro said he doesn't expect to make a deal before the deadline, for anyone that is, according to Paul Hoynes.

Byrd was in the dugout last night and he had some pretty good commentary, such as:

"Ya Cliff Lee only needs 2-3 runs.. Save the 7 runs for Paul Byrd."

He knows he sucks, and he is willing to admit it.

Two of the headlines on Indians.com are "Wedge Hopes Garko falls into old ways" and "Wedge hopes Betancourt puts past struggles behind him"

Don't we all?

"I've just got to stop worrying about my swing and just get back to competing and grinding out at-bats," Garko said. "That's the kind of player I was when I first got called up and I just need to get back to it." (Indians.com)

Well do it Ryan. He has been hitting the ball a little better lately.. You know who else is pretty good? Asdrubal Cabrera who managed to get his average up over .200 at one point last season. He's been working hard with Derek Shelton and it is paying off. How about that bunt he laid down last night? He's gotta put that in his game as Rick Manning said.. I think its the red bat though.

"He needs to disconnect from the numbers," Wedge said. "Sometimes it helps to say, 'All right, we're going to start over today and see where it goes.'" (Indians.com)

That was on Rafael Betancourt, but it goes for Ryan Garko as well. Betancourt pitched okay last night. He got through two innings.

Yayyy Peralta.. You feel good whenever he comes up to the plate for some reason.

Here's more on that sad CC Sabathia ad from yesterday.. I still think he could have put a little more words and cut down on the pictures of his mug.

"The day I got traded, my wife and I started thinking about some of the people we needed to thank," said Sabathia, whose trade from Cleveland to Milwaukee was made official when he passed a physical on July 7. "It seemed like something in the paper was the way to do it, and it started as a little half-page. Then it grew to a whole page.

"It was worth it. I had been there 10 years, and I felt like I should say thanks to some people." (Indians.com)

Ben Francisco is completely aware of the slumps a Major Leaguer goes through. But, he didn't care to take his slump any further as he busted out last night for two solo jacks.

"I keep working and remain confident that I'll come around," Francisco said before he slugged two solo home runs in the Indians' 13-inning, 14-12 loss to Detroit at Progressive Field. "When you play 162 games, there are going to be some ups and downs. I'm not moping around. Every night, I come to the park thinking I'm going to hit." (Plain Dealer)

Benny Fresh just had a double so he's got himself back on track it looks like. They always said his swing is made to not go into many funks offensively, and if he does it will be quick. That would be correct sir.

You know for all they say about Grady Sizemore being the hottest centerfielder(and only) in Cleveland for the Ladies, he sure doesn't care about being a sex-symbol.

"I don't go looking for stuff like that," he said Wednesday afternoon. "It's more my agent having to pull teeth to get me to do it. I've said no to him 20 times and he said I owed him one. I enjoyed it, but it still was uncomfortable for me. It's awkward. I don't really like having my picture taken." (Plain Dealer)

Speaking of Sizemore.. Ben Francisco just made a Grady-like catch in left field. Anyway.. Grady did some photoshop for Men's Vogue yesterday.. I bet if he was more apt to do that type of stuff, he'd be more of a star than he is now. He just doesn't like that big spotlight.. I don't blame him. He's got a good head on his shoulders, he isn't letting this stuff get to him.

I'll be back if theres any sort of deal struck for Byrd.. I'm not expecting anything given the talk, but maybe that is a good sign.

I surrender.....

Ya know.. thought I was in for a quick night.. Pop in, talk about Cliff Lee's 15th win, Shoppach and Francisco having big games...

But no.. Okay, extras, I'm in for it.. Let's have some fun.

How many chances did they blow in extras? Like.. every one they got in every inning?

I figured with Shoppach coming up to the plate and no one out with the bases loaded.. Well hey let's have some fun and talk about Kelly Shoppach absolutely abusing the Tigers.

But not.. For some reason they decided that wasn't enough pain and suffering.

Ya know there is just way too much junk that went on in that game for me to even recap.. The point is I don't know what the hell happened tonight.

Just.....

UGH..

We play against someone else tomorrow.. The next game is officially later today.. In a meer 11 and a half hours.. Get your dancing shoes on.. Sal Fasano and the B-Team are taking over. If we have one..

[BOXSCORE]


I posted this before the last out was recorded.. That's how confident I am.. Jamey Carroll ain't going deep here son.

7.30.2008

Could the Indians dupe the Dodgers again with Byrd?

Ultra-exciting news for People that can't wait to get rid of Paul Byrd.
The Indians are likely to trade starting pitcher Paul Byrd, with the Dodgers among the reported suitors. (Ken Davidoff)
I'm not sure how much stock you can put into the Ken Davidoff report. Never heard of him so I don't know how credible he is.

But, certainly the Dodgers are a good trading partner for us. Hopefully they overvalue Paul Byrd just as much as they did Casey Blake. I don't think the Indians will mind picking up his remaining salary in exchange for a better return.

Either way.. It looks like we may get our wish. Now if only there was a way to get Dellucci off the team.

Morning Update: Sabathia takes out ad in Plain Dealer

What a kick in the gut.

Look..

I'm grateful for C.C. Sabathia and I expected nothing less from him.

Take a look at the $12,870 ad he placed in the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

"Thank You for 10 Great Years...
You've touched our lives
with your kindness, love and generosity.
We are forever grateful!
It's been a privilege and an honor!"

-CC & Amber Sabathia & Family

It just hit me like a ton of bricks..... This is it.. The final moment wasn't when he was traded and introduced as a Milwaukee Brewer... It was the moment I read this ad. I'm sort of in shock. CC is gone and there is nothing more to it. I'm actually kind of sad. Him putting it in right now says he won't be back, which is another story in itself.

I just.. I don't know what to say about this.

"It was something that was in the works almost from the moment he was traded," said Kathy Jacobson, the pitcher's spokeswoman in San Francisco. (Plain Dealer)

I want to move on.. I didn't expect this when I woke up this morning.. it's just wow.... I'm a little mad about the timing of this.. But I'm still shocked by it.. Not only what he did, but just the fact that this is the exact moment that I've realized he isn't coming back and he's totally gone.

Just... More Sad News.. Travis Hafner went home to North Dakota for a family emergency. It turns out his father Terry has passed away. Just.. The news is matching weather so far.. Really Really Cruddy.

Terry Hafner used the games against the Twins to come down and see his son play in Minnesota. Condolences to the Pronk Family in this time. I feel for him. Terry was battling cancer.

Kelly Shoppach makes no bones about the way he swings the bat.

"It doesn't do me any good to try to beat out an infield single," he said. "I might as well get the ball in the air and see what happens. My swing's structured with some elevation to it, anyway." (Plain Dealer)

Shoppach will be splitting time with Victor Martinez when Martinez returns. Vic can't do the everyday thing and you know he'll be playing an awful lot first base. The thing isn't simply catching though.. He had stuff done on his elbow, so it effects his swinging more than anything. He'll get days off from the start, he prob won't play two days in a row for awhile.

Since getting shelled in an extra-inning game against the Padres last month, Edwin Mujica has been prepared for battle.

"After that game, I put it in my mind to be ready for anything, any situation," he said. (Plain Dealer)

With that said, Eric Wedge is going to mix and match and play every game one night at a time when it comes to his bullpen. He doesn't have any defined roles, which makes it tougher on the guys in the pen in prepartion. But, no one wants to seem to step up so..

"We're going to keep mixing and matching with it," said Wedge. "Depending on where I feel we are and where I feel the guys down there are. There may be three or four guys I use to close down there. The same thing with setting up." (Plain Dealer)

Terry Pluto was scribbling in his notebook.. I liked this from him.. It's something I would do.

Asdrubal Cabrera is working his tail off, which has gotten Wedge's eye.

"I tell you, this kid's working hard," manager Eric Wedge said of Cabrera. "He's out there early, he's spent a lot of time with [hitting coach] Derek [Shelton]. He's working hard to make that positive repetition." (Indians.com)

That's great to see Cabs working hard.. He is a young guy and maybe now that work-ethic thing is coming around.

Minor League Update: Anthony Reyes Debuts; Beau Mills Mashing

The Herd dented Durham last night with a 8-7 victory. Anthony Reyes made his Buffalo debut going 5 innings and giving up three runs. He gave up just five hits and struck out four, but he also walked four. He did pick up the win though. He'll need to make a few good starts before he proves he is ready to get called up.

He was supported offensively by the likes of Trevor Crowe and his second Bisons' home run. Crowe went 3-5 with a run batted in and three runs scored plus his first triple; he was a double shy of the cycle. Both Chris Gimenez and Todd Linden batting next to each other went 0-2 with three walks apiece. Morgan Ensberg had another four RBI night, going 2-4 with a two-run shot. Brad Snyder had a double and a triple.

Nate Panther and Matt Whitney had solo shots and Wyatt Toregas had a two run homer for Akron. However the Aeros were defeated as Kevin Dixon struggled and James Deters got pounded in relief. Tony Sipp gave up a run but Chuck Lofgren pitched 1.2 innings of scoreless relief.

Kinston laid the smackdown on the Pelicans.. What a great nickname. I like Myrtle Beach, cool place. You know who else is cool? Beau Mills, who increased his league leading RBI total to 73 with four RBI and a home run. Is it time to call the kid up? I think so.. Akron could use him. Rotate him and Whitney and Hodges in the 1st, 3rd and DH spots.. Whitney and Beau can play both third and first.. Carlos Santana went 1-4 with a RBI Double. Jeff Harris was sent to Kinston and picked up the win in his first apperance.

Todd Martin in Lake County for rehab had a solo shot for the Captains. That was their lone run as they lost to Greensboro.

A pair of three-run home runs from favorite Jeremie Tice and Brock Simpson powered the Scrappers to a 14-2 victory. Isaias Velasquez went 3-6 and both Tice and Simpson went 2-5, with Simpson having an additional RBI. Lonnie Chisenhall and Zach Booker knocked in two runs each. Russell Young gave up just one earned in 5+ to earn the win.

7.29.2008

Morning Update: Hafner's test delayed due to Family Issue; Martinez Swings

Victor Martinez is ohhh so close to to returning considering where he was when he first went on the DL. Victor took dry swings with the bat and played catch in the outfield. He's been catching bullpen sessions since last week and when the Indians head off to Minnesota for their nine game road-trip, Victor will be tagging along.

"I want him around a lot more," manager Eric Wedge said. "He's one of the leaders on this ballclub. It's tough for the guys on the DL. They can't be around all the time, because they'll go crazy. But now that he can see the light at the end of the tunnel, it will be good to have him around." (Indians.com)

Travis Hafner on the other hand is not only farther away, but it is unknown how much he has improved since last checked. Hafner had to fly back home to tend to some personal family matters on Friday, which has delayed his strength test. It is unknown when he will be back or what is wrong. Best of luck to Hafner and hope everything is okay.

The closest of all the mangled is probably Josh Barfield. Josh took 10-15 cuts in the cages in addition to the fielding and throwing drills he started days ago.

Andy Gonzalez is a go-getter and will play anywhere you want him to.

Including DH... I guess?

"Infield's a little better, I guess," Gonzalez said. "But anything that they want me do, I'll do it." (Indians.com)

I'm still heated over that.. Damn You Eric Wedge.

If you want to fawn over Sal Fasano's mustache, go ahead.. It isn't going to be pretty, but it defines Fasano as MANS MAN

"I feel naked without it," he said. "It's become such a habit to carve it in all the time. People have their different styles, and some are prettier than others," the well-traveled Fasano said. "I don't claim this to be pretty at all, but it is me."(Plain Dealer)

Sal Fasano hasn't done much in terms of offense in his career.. Hell he hasn't really done much at all.. But he has captivated fans with his awesome power stache and his great back-up and veteran savvy.

He also pinch ran before. Something Ryan Garko will never do... EVER

Yankees manager Joe Torre presented him with the lineup card. "I said, 'What's this for?' " Fasano said. "He said, 'This is the first time you've ever been a pinch-runner.' We both laughed. I still have it at home." (Plain Dealer)

In all seriousness.. Sal Fasano needs to stick around on this team, even when Victor gets back. You know why? Because you'll only have to stick with him for another half of month until rosters expand.

AND because he could be the reason behind the semi-resurgance of Jeremy Sowers... If you haven't noticed, he's caught the last three games for Sowers.

"I see somebody with a lot of talent," Fasano said. "Jeremy has an underrated fastball, and he can locate that fastball pretty well. What's making him successful now is his ability to repeat pitches and to throw breaking balls behind in the count.

"He's here for a reason. I'm just trying to take it to where, how can we teach him to be a major leaguer and stay here for the next 10 years?"(Plain Dealer)

God..... This guy rocks...

Another guy that rocks is Matt Ginter, who caught a break for once in his career. He also has a Fu-Man-Choo.. Somewhat..

"It's just a little bit of relief," said Ginter, who has bounced back-and-forth from the Majors to the Minors throughout his nine-year career. "My family came with me and now they can stay up here for the next couple days, so it was kind of nice." (Indians.com)

Great for Ginter.. He's pitched well.. It's nice to see a guy like him catch a few breaks.. Enjoy the next few starts Matt.. You deserve them.

Minor League Update: Gimenez Switching Positions?

Buffalo probably suffered the most roster shake-up yesterday as the Indians rounded out their rosters from the trades and Olympic vacancies.

Two of those new faces saw action last night.

An interesting note for you keep track of the catcher situation with Santana now in the fold.

Chris Gimenez started at catcher, but finished the game at third base. Could a full-time position switch be in order? I think so. It would let Toregas get called up and they could progress Santana to Double A if they wish. Boy what a team that would be at Akron once LaPorta gets back from the Olympics.

Anyway, the Herd lost despite John Halama's seven strong innings. Michael Aubrey went 2-4.

Jon Meloan pitched and threw a scoreless inning.. He was added to the roster in place of Jeff Stevens who was placed on the Inactive list and Walter Diaz, who got the nod at shortstop, took Andy Gonzalez's spot. Diaz is coming up all the way from Mahoning Valley. With Cord Phelps playing second, Diaz wasn't needed because it looks as if Velasquez will be the backup at most of the infield spots.

Not LaPorta.. No Problem.. Ryan Goleski was called back up to Double A Akron to take his spot. Akron got a quality performance from one of his replacements. Stephen Head who will probably see everday time now that LaPorta is in Beijing went 2-4 with a two run home run.

However the hero in Akron's win was Wes Hodges, who hit a walk-off solo shot in the bottom of the ninth inning in a tie ball-game. Wes also went 3-5 with a double and three total RBI.

Not a good debut for Carlos Santana. He went 0-4 with three strikeouts in his Kinston debut.. It was the exact opposite of what we've heard about him.. I'm sure it's just nerves.. Kinston got shutout and Kelvin De La Cruz got roughed up for three runs, three walks, three hits in just 2 outs of the first inning.

It was a walk-off kind of day as Lake County got a single from Cristo Arnal in the bottom of the 13th to bring home the winning run in Mark Thompson. That's two in a row for the Captains. Ron Rivas went 2-6 with three RBI and Matt Brown is probably feared. He went 1-3 with three walks. He also took home the SAL player of the week award. Catcher Adam Davis hit his third home run of the year and Josh Judy picked up win number NINE in relief.

A couple of Mahoning Valley favorites powered the Scrappers to a 7-6 win last night. Jeremie Tice came through big with a 2-5 night, including a two-run shot in the seventh inning. Lonnie Chisenhall went 3-5 with a three run shot.

Adam Abraham's third home run of the year was the lone run for the GCL team in their defeat.

7.28.2008

Cabrera has Red Bat Power as Tribe shut-out Tigers

Well.. We are going to get into Asdrubal Cabrera's fashion at some point.

I mean.. The guy has the beads of course. He wears different colored batting gloves. He is now using a red bat in certain at-bats. He's the only Indian I've seen in awhile wear white shoes.

The red bat got him a home run tonight. So you'll probably see more of that.

How about Paul Byrd?

I guess he likes pitching against the Tigers. Maybe.... Maybe... Maybe.. This was his last. Maybe that was enough for a team to say, let's take a chance on the guy.

Either way, it was a good showing. 7.2 innings, four hits, three walks, four sit-downs and of course no runs.

Eddie Squirrels got it done for the rest of the game.

Offensively was just well done. Peralta gave an early lead for us with beating out the throw to avoid the double play. Then he doubled in Gutierrez in the 3rd inning. Jhonny is just on another level right now.

He's got 56 RBI on the year and I'm not sure when he is going to slow down, or if this is a new Peralta we are seeing.

Kelly Shoppach had the solo jack and went 2-4. Grady 2-3 with a walk and a stolen base. Ryan Garko even went 2-4. Andy Marte hit the ball hard tonight despite the 0-4 collar. How about Andy Gonzalez? He really should have had two hits. I still don't think he should be playing much though.

Overall, great offensive night. Great pitching.. Just a well fought out win.

Tomorrow. Armando Gallaraga and Matt Ginter bringing the Ginter Heat.

[BOXSCORE]

Casey Blake May Be Gone, But Eric Wedge Continues to Play Him

Think I'm joking?

Andy Gonzalez is as close to Casey Blake as you can get.

He is in the lineup tonight as the DH.

Um, why?

This is supposed to be a utility player.. He should probably play about 2 or 3 games from the time he was brought up to when Josh Barfield returns.

Are you serious?

This is the black Casey Blake, only less talented and younger and beardless. He plays a bunch of different positions and Eric Wedge is in love with him.

He was impressed in Spring Training and now that he is on the roster, he will use Gonzalez to suppress even more potential talent.

I really.. Really.. REALLY... REAAAAAH EH EH EH HEEELLLYYY.. Am starting to get ticked with these line-up cards.

Morning Update: Wedge Played The Odds... Right

Jamey Carroll says he's available to play if need be. He was "held out" of yesterdays game, but the last time I checked, he isn't the starting second baseman. Carroll should be ready to go if Wedge needs him though. His hamstring is fine for the most part. Still some days off couldn't hurt.

With Casey Blake el-gono, Victor Martinez and Grady Sizemore are the team leaders for the most part.

"You get a little more emotion in Victor and a little more by example in Grady," Wedge said. "But they're both vocal." (Indians.com)

Grady has taken on more of a role this year. Which is good to see. Victor has always been the emotional cog in this machine, even with CC here.

Even the Minnesota Twins were surprised that Jeremy Sowers was shutting them down.. Or they were too embarrassed to admit it. Mwahaha

"I got to second base and [Indians shortstop Jhonny] Peralta said, 'You just broke up the no-hitter,' " said Minnesota designated hitter Craig Monroe, whose sixth-inning bloop double off Sowers gave the Twins their first baserunner on the way to a 4-2 win.

"I looked up at the scoreboard and thought, 'What?' I was surprised." (Plain Dealer)

For the most part though. Jeremy Sowers pitched a good game. He looked like the Jeremy Sowers of his Rookie Year.

"He was locating well [on Sunday]," said Morneau, the American League's Most Valuable Player in 2006. "It seemed he never gave you the same pitch twice. He hit his spots and kept the ball down. (Plain Dealer)

Eric Wedge played his odds and got burned.

"Perez is one of the best relievers in the game against left-handers, and he's always handled Morneau," Wedge said. "You're always going to play to your pitcher's strengths. He just made a bad pitch." (Plain Dealer)

You want odds? Christ, here's some odds. There is a 1000000000000 to 1 odds that Justin Morneau doesn't knock in that run if you walk him.

Why not take those odds Blinky? Those odds are fail-safe. You screwed up.

Here's some odds.. I'll give you 10000-1 odds that I'll dropkick you if you make that decision again. You can be a big winner if you take those.

This odds stuff.. Give me a break. That was a stupid call.. Point blank.

Minor League Update: Zach Jackson Wins Again For Herd

We laughed.

Oh.. Zach Jackson.. A Throw-Away.. A 25-Year Old Throw-Away.

We'll, laugh now suckers. He's 2-0 with a 1.08 ERA. He took a perfect game into into the sixth inning as well.

Yesterday he led Buffalo to a shutout win giving up just two hits in six innings. No walks... Only threw 73 pitches.

Maybe he just needed a change.

Offensively, Morgan Ensberg led the charge with a grand-slam. Brad Snyder is heating up a bit, he went 2-4 with the other RBI in the game.

Nate Panther went deep and Akron got a win off a Matt LaPorta single in the 8th inning. LaPorta knocked int he go-ahead run in a 2-1 victory. Matt will be headed off to the Olympics and played his last game for Akron for the time being. An eye will definitely be kept on him as he starts for Team USA.

Kinston wins and Beau Mills continues to mash. He hit his 16th home run of the year and he could soon earn a call-up to Akron. He's a step behind LaPorta in terms of his ascent up the minor league ladder if you ask me. Ryan Goleski went deep as well and Cirilo Cumberbatch had three walks and a steal. Win number nine for Hector Rondon and save number five for Vinnie Pestano

Lake County finally broke out of a funk and was powered by a Matthew Brown grand-slam. He went 3-4 and had 6 total RBI. Cristo Arnal knocked in the other run via a solo shot.

Mahoning Valley ran rampant over Jamestown for win. They ended up getting shut out in the other game of the double header through. Kaimi Mead picked up win number four and was backed by a few new favorites. CORD PHELPS in the lineup and playing second base knocked in two runs off a 2-4 debut. Jeremie Tice went 2-3 with a walk and knocked in two runs himself. Lonnie Chisenhall, Brock Simpson and Ryan Blair knocked in a run as well.

Unfortunately this means the playing time of the almighty Isaias Velasquez will be losing playing time. Such a shame since I got his name down pat.

The trades completed get a thumbs up from the Minor League Insider.

Roster moves include Jeff Stevens being placed on reserve and Jon Meloan taking his place. Walter Diaz takes the spot of Andy Gonzalez, up from Kinston(quite the jump), Aaron Laffey takes the place of Chris De La Cruz who was traded and Anthony Reyes is on reserve still.

7.27.2008

That's what you get for pitching to Morneau.. You lose!

Seriously?

Pitching to Justin Morneau with a guy on second and first base open.. Two outs.

What good does it do you?

a 3-1 count.. You just give him the base.

Eric Wedge should have been out there before the at-bat even took place and should have said, walk him now.

You don't pitch to him!

Even when it was 3-1, Wedge should have flashed the four.. Let him go, don't let him beat you.. It doesn't make sense!!!

Jeremy Sowers pitched a good game.. Perfect for five innings, ran into a wall in the 6th, but finished off the 7th and 8th. He didn't deserve to lose so the offense did a good job battling back against the bullpen. 8 Innings, 3 hits, 2 runs, 1 walk, 5 strikeouts.

It's becoming increasingly obvious that Nick Blackburn is going to be an Indians killer. He continues to put up great starts against the Indians.. That's three this year.

Grady had a good day going 2-3 and stealing number 25.. He'll be joining 30-30 for sure.

Choo, Garko and Marte all had hits.. Sal Fasano knocked in a run via the sac-fly early. Dellucci's pinch hit sac-fly tied the game. I was kinda upset he took the bat out of Franklin Gutierrez, but whatever. Wedge can do what he wants at this point.. He is more concerned with winning games than building confidence and experience for guys like Gutierrez.

That's a tough one to lose considering the way it was managed at a few points. Frustrating.. Frustrating... FRUSTRATING!!!

Especially since Sowers pitched well.

Big four game series against the Deeetwaaah Tigres.. FYI most of their fans think this is gonna be a super-easy series that will get them back in the race becuase Casey Blake is gone.. A few old hacks in Paul Byrd and Kenny Rogers tomorrow.

[BOXSCORE]

Mark Shapiro's Take on Yesterday's Moves

That locker that is given to veteran players has been considered off-limits.

"We're going to let it cool off for a while," said Amato. "You're talking about two big moves in the same month." (Plain Dealer)

CC and now Blake.. I told you they'd be clearing it out again. Why not just play it safe and give it to someone like Grady?

Oh and Casey Blake stopped by the park before he left to get his gloves.

Mark Shapiro was DOWNRIGHT GIDDY over this trade... Look at this quote.

"The deal came together quickly," said GM Mark Shapiro. "We had a very good feel for their system and a good idea of who we liked. We've been scouting these guys [Santana and Meloan] for a long time because of the talks with CC." (Plain Dealer)

They were scouting these guys for a CC deal, and we got them for Casey Blake?

Are you serious?

It should be known Mark Shapiro had no intentions of dealing Casey when he got to work on Saturday, it was the Dodgers that initiated and heightened these talks.

It should be noted that the Indians are picking up the remaining two million in Blake's salary.

Who cares? Look at what they gave us.

Steve Henson says the Dodgers really showed how desperate they were with this deal.

"So in addition to their other problems – the injuries to shortstop Rafael Furcal, closer Takashi Saito and outfielder Juan Pierre, the deterioration of outfielder Andruw Jones, the absence of starters Brad Penny and Jason Schmidt – the Dodgers had to address the pop-gun production at third base to hold out any hopes of edging out the Diamondbacks.

It’s a shame they had to trade two of their best minor-leaguers for an emergency solution at a position the front office had projected would be filled capably by the homegrown LaRoche and DeWitt." (Yahoo! Sports)

It looks like Meloan will be a reliever.

"I think most organizations saw him as a reliever. We'll move him to the pen so he doesn't get too many innings, take a look at him as a reliever and then take the off-season to decide what role he'll come to spring training in." (Plain Dealer)

As for the Anthony Reyes deal.

"We think Reyes has significant upside," said Indians GM Mark Shapiro. "He's had mixed results [10-24, 5.38 ERA] in the big leagues." (Plain Dealer)

Andy Marte is a guy short of words.. But he himself is happy about getting the third base job for the rest of the year.. Why wouldn't he?

"He's one of the best teammates I've ever been around," Marte said. "But it's good for me because I'm still young and I get to play and get better. It's good for me and my career." (Indians.com)

Wedge is hilarious though.. I love to see him say this stuff he's been saying about Marte now that he's hitting. If there's one reason for Marte to play well it's to shove it in Eric Wedge's face.

Minor League Update: Buffalo two-hits Charlotte

Trevor Crowe hit his first Buffalo home run for the Herd last night. He led the game off with it and that would be all David Huff and the bullpen would need. Huff went 5 innings giving up just one hit, while the bullpen finished it off with one hit themselves.

Akron got three-hit themselves last night as their sliding continues. Frank Herrmann went four innings giving up just one run and Tony Sipp finally had an easy night, going one scoreless in relief. Chuck Lofgren pitched four innings out of the bullpen giving up one run.

Kinston lost
and Matt McBride went 0-4 in his Kinston debut. He DHed.. Armando Camacaro back in Kinston was the catcher.. Boy with Santana on his way there certainly is some issues to work out at who's gonna catch. This is really confusing.. Kinston now has six catchers.

Matt Brown went 4-5 with 3 RBI, but Lake County fell to West Virginia again.

Mahoning Valley was rained out...

Abner Abreu hit his seventh home run of the year for the GCL Team. Angel Rodriguez and Jasom Smit went deep as well. They lost though.

Here is a MILB.com article on the two prospects in the Blake trade.. Some real encouraging stuff in there about both players.

Carmona Crushed in Return

Well not cool at all.

Fausto plain out got killed. He gets a break because it's his first start back.

The offense was okay.. Four runs, but how could you expect much when you are down 9 after the first three innings?

Marty Party went deep for the third time. Jhonny Peralta continues to mash. Mr Five Hole Shoppach knocked in a run.

Tom Mastny had a good relief appearance. Building on our theory of pitching him more often.

Jensen Lewis gave up a couple runs though. Still not worried about him.

I'm beat today.. Casey Blake and all the moves took a lot out of me.

Tomorrow it's the Sour Pitch Kid against the Magician Nick Blackburn. Oh and in case you are interested.. It's Casey Blake in his new Dodger Blue.

[BOXSCORE]

7.26.2008

Thoughts on all of the Tribe Moves

So with all the news I haven't really thrown in much of my 2 cents.

Let's start with Casey Blake.

I love Casey. I'm gonna miss him and his dead-pan humor. He was THE player that you can point to and say... "I want every man on my 25 man roster to be like Casey Blake."

Put it at that. He will be missed, but this was a move that needed to be made. Andy Marte needs to be seen, Ryan Garko needs to be seen, Franklin Gutierrez needs to be seen.

I'll miss him and if we need a utility man next year, I'd make Casey choice number one.

As for what we got in return.

I'm more ecstatic about it than what we got for C.C. Sabathia.. Here is why.

We knew Sabathia would yield us some good prospects.

I had NO clue that Casey Blake was going to result in such a talented duo of players.

Some say Carlos Santana is one of the best hitters in the Dodgers system. He leads the entire minor leagues in RBI with 96 and his on base percentage is over .400. Switch hitting Catchers are a dime-a-dozen man. He's an athlete.. Simple as that.

I also like the Jon Meloan get. He will be moved to the bullpen and the 350 some strikeouts over 260 innings is something to fawn over. He's struggled as a starter this year, but we have no use for him as that. I like the pick-up.

Anthony Reyes was a good pick-up. Why not take a chance on a guy who is said to have a high-ceiling.

Luis Perdomo in my mind was sort of expendable with guys like Jeff Stevens and Randy Newsome. You can never have too many relievers, but if Anthony Reyes pans out like he should, I think losing Perdomo would be well worth it. Take in mind, he JUST got to Akron.

I'm in full support as we know of moving Aaron Laffey back down to Triple-A. He needs to fix himself and get his confidence back. Matt Ginter gets lost if you expose him to waivers. Of course now with Reyes in the fold, you do have some room to wiggle, but I think they'd prefer to have more than less.

Here is the moves.. I updated all three boards.

Luis Perdomo Traded to St. Louis in exchange for Anthony Reyes. Reyes optioned to Buffalo.

Fausto Carmona activated from Disabled List, Aaron Laffey optioned to Buffalo.

Laffey and Reyes will go into the rotation. Buzachero will probably lose his spot and I could see David Huff getting sent down.

Casey Blake Traded to the Dodgers for Catcher Carlos Santana and Pitcher Jon Meloan. Carlos Santana sent to Kinston. Jeff Stevens will soon be added to the Inactive list when he goes to the Olympics. That should open up the spot for Jon Meloan.

Also, Matt McBride has finished his rehab assignment and has been sent to Kinston. Kinston now has FIVE catchers. I'd expect someone to get sent to Lake County. I'd also expect a trade for one of the others. Also, maybe they move Chris Gimenez to another position.

Travis Hafner was sent to the 60 Day Disabled List retroactive to May 26, which is exactly 60 days ago. He'll be eligible to come off when he is ready, he goes for another strength test on Monday.

His move was to clear up a spot on the 40 man roster for Andy Gonzalez who was called up to take Casey Blake's spot on the 25 man roster.

Indians Acquire Cardinals SP Anthony Reyes; Make Lots of Roster Moves

Mark Shapiro has made another move. This time he's acquire Cardinals Starter Anthony Reyes in exchange for Akron Closer Luis Perdomo.

Perdomo was recently promoted to Akron and took over the closing duties after Randy Newsome was promoted to Buffalo. Perdomo started the year in Kinston and made the Carolina League All-Star Game but did not play due to promotion.

Anthony Reyes is a 27 year old right hander who won Game 1 of the 2006 World Series. He's spent time in the Big Leagues since 2005 and started the year on the Big League Roster. But he's battled injuries and was sent to Triple A Memphis. He'll be optioned to Triple A Buffalo.

Reyes has stuff but his mechanics are the issue with him. He lost 14 games last year and carries a 5.38 career ERA. Let's see if the change of scenary will be good for Reyes.

Perdomo on the other hand isn't a huge loss. With guys like Jeff Stevens, Randy Newsome, and not the addition of Jon Meloan(if they move him to the pen), Perdomo might have been cosnidered expendable.

In other news, Aaron Laffey was also sent down to Buffalo. The Indians are opting to hold onto Matt Ginter for now. But certainly once Laffey is ready, with Reyes in the fold, releasing Ginter makes it a lot easier since they have another option to go to.

Andy Gonzalez has been called up to take Casey Blake's spot on the roster. He is added to the 40 man roster.

Travis Hafner was moved to the 60 Day Disabled List for now. I'm not sure if that is retroactive or anything. But I'm going to guess he can be removed at any time rather soon. This does NOT mean his season is over, they just need the 40 man spot with Reyes and Meloan being put on the 40 man.

Report: Indians close to trading Blake to Dodgers

From ESPN, it looks like Casey Blake is as good as gone!

The deal looks like Blake, and Cash for minor league catcher Carlos Santana (not the musician), and Pitcher Jon Meloan.

Here is a article about Santana trying to become the catcher of the future for the Dodgers. He's just 22 years old right now and he should really bolster the Indians depth at Catcher.

Here is a profile on Carlos Santana from Fire Ned Colletti Now. Here is a profile on Jon Meloan.

Globe Spots Says It's Done.

Carlos Santana is a switch-hitting catcher who was moved from third base. He has power potential and him playing third sort of tells you he isn't just a catcher type player. He is a little bit of an athlete. He has a good arm behind the dish. He's 22 years old and was at the Dodgers High A Club.

Jon Meloan is a 24 year old starting pitcher in the Triple A level. He was a reliever as of last year and even earned a MLB call up last year. The Dodgers moved him into the rotation and he has sort of set back from the looks of it. The Indians could keep him there or move him back into the bullpen, he might be ready to contribute rather soon if they move him back. Meloan has 355 career strikeouts in just 262 innings.

I hope they move Meloan back to the pen. We could use him there.

Overall at first glance, We got a hell of a deal here.

Morning Update: Nady Trade Could Make Blake Prime Target

Jamey Carroll left yesterday's game because of a left hamstring strain.. Thank you for that!

Couple of cool stats.. The Indians lead the league in fielding percentage.. You don't hear about the defense, and that is why.. They've been GOOD. Also pitching has been awesome.. 10 shutouts is right behind Boston for the league lead.

Also people are enjoying Paul Byrd's book. I'm going to Barnes N Noble next week to pick up a college preview magazine... I think I'm going to pick up Byrdie's book as well.

Speaking of Byrd, he seeked the advice of Twins announcer Bert Blyleven on his Curveball.

Casey Blake loves Cleveland very much. They took a chance on Casey and it paid off and I think he feels like he just fits here... It is his kind of town anyway. Well, last night Xavier Nady was traded and that might be the piece that needed to fall for Blake to go. I'm guessing that with Nady no longer available. Casey Blake is probably one of the prime targets for teams like Tampa Bay and the other New York team, who both lost out on the Nady sweepstakes.

Kelly Shoppach is benefiting from the Victor Martinez injury.

"I think he's been pretty consistent," Wedge said. "I feel like he needs to keep doing what he's doing. If he keeps doing what he's doing, he'll continue to improve." (Indians.com)

Glad Kelly has had this opportunity. It only justifies how important he is to this team as a back-up catcher and that we have no business getting rid of him.

The starting catcher is getting ready to begin baseball related activities though. Victor Martinez will pick up a bat on Monday and play catch.

In other injury news, Travis Hafner's next strength test will be on Monday as well. We'll find out how much he's improved. Right now he has at 65% and remember it was said he needs to be at 75% before they think about letting him swing off a tee.

Fausto Carmona makes his return tonight and Carl Willis believes his wildness has been tammed.

"It led into the mechanical side," Willis said. "He'd sit on his back leg and overthrow, and tend to push. That starts with his adrenaline and emotion level." (Indians.com)

Expect Carmona to only throw anywhere from 85 to 90 pitches. They don't want to push him in his first game back.

No word on who is getting sent down
, or Released for that matter. The lockers of Ginter and Laffey are both in-tact but CastroTurf feels Ginter stays and Laffey gets sent down. I agree with it. You will never have a better chance. Get Laffey worked out.. It's a whole lot better than releasing Ginter, letting Laffey make one more bad start and then having to call up someone like Jeff Weaver.

Minor League Update: Crowe Debuts In Buffalo, Harsh Greeting Met With Blowout

It's BISONS BASEBALL BABY! Buffalo got obliterated in Trevor Crowe's debut. Crowe was in left-field and batted lead-off for the Herd as they lost 15-4 to Charlotte. Crowe went 0-4 with a walk and a run. Bryan Bullington started and went five innings giving up six runs. Brendan Donnelly pitched an inning of relief and gave up a run. Todd Linden celebrated Jason Tyner's release by hitting two home runs.

Welcome to Buffalo Trevor...

Yes, Jason Tyner was released to make room for Crowe on the Roster.

Stephen Head went 3-4 with two runs and a pair of doubles in Akron's win over Binghampton. He certainly is picking it up with Crowe gone and LaPorta soon to be China-Bound. Scott Lewis went 7 innings with only one run given up for the win.

Beau Mills went 2-5 with an RBI and his season average is now up to .282. Kinston lost as Shawn Nottingham gave up just two runs, but couldn't get out of the fifth inning, surrendering 9 hits for the game.

Outfielder Nick Weglarz will wrap up the series this weekend and head off to be with Team Canada on Monday.

The Captains dropped their 6th straight game yesterday.

Mahoning Valley lost as well, Juan Valdes has three RBIs.

Home run derby for the GCL. Abner Abreu hit his 5th home run, Bo Greenwell hit his 2nd, as did Adam Abraham. Oh they beat the Yankees.

Minor League Insider has some new videos of prospects and the usual weekly Minor League Happenings.

7.25.2008

Perez Saves the Day For Lee's 14th

HOLY...

HOLY!!!

I tell you what, for a game that had really no drama from the 3rd inning on, the ninth was sure exciting.

Let's start from the start.

Carlos Gomez's play was awesome and horrific at the same time. I hope he's alright, that didn't look good. You hope for the best when someone is taken off on a stretcher, even if it was just a precaution.

Then Denard Span almost repeating. They were really ripping the ball in the first inning. All night the hits were there.

Kelly Shoppach was the benefactor of Span dropping the ball. Two-Run Double for Shoppach.

That was in addition to TWO sac-flies in one inning. Not often you see that. Grady's was scored from second because of Gomez taking the hit into the wall. Ben Francisco is the benefactor(yes I used that word twice in a matter of seconds). Choo had the other.

Peralta didn't knock any in, but two more hits, including a double. Don't look now but he's up to .27o in average, that's around where you'd expect him.

Grady and Carroll both went 2-4 with a run. Grady had a walk, but Carroll was replaced late by Asdrubal Cabrera(more on that later), in a mysterious way. Who knows whats up there.

Hey Hey Franklin. 2-3 with a walk and the big home run. Great to see him turning it up.

Let me chronical the chances the Tribe Had.

Obviously the first inning, they had the big inning.. The second Gutierrez lead-off with a home run... The third is where it got dicey.

3rd Inning: Peralta leads off with a Double, Choo singles.. Then before you know it, a double play ends it without a run.

4th Innning: With one out, Gutierrez doubles and Grady Walks.. Once again.. No runs.

5th Inning: One Out again, Choo walks and Blake Singles.. You guessed it.. No runs.

6th Inning: A hit with two outs.

7th Inning: With Livan Hernandez STILL In the game, his first 1-2-3 inning.

8th: Two outs, Gutierrez walks and Grady singles. Livan got out of it. Complete game for him. Ridiculous.

They let him off the hook in every single inning but the 7th.

Cliff Lee's game should have never been in doubt.. But obviously it was.

He pitched well again.. 8 strong innings, only two runs off six hits. NO WALKS.. Boy I'm getting used to saying that for him. Struck out 10 again.

But of course... Masa Kobayashi made it interesting.

A single and a two-run jack by Morneau made it a one run game.. Thankfully Wedge had the feeling something was fishy and brought in Rafael Perez before it could get worse. Perez came in with Delmon Young on second and no body out. A shot to Garko at first, a bouncer back to the mound and then..

What looked to be a single up the middle, where the defensive replacement.. Asdrubal Cabrera made a hell of play.

He was not in the middle of the diamond when he threw it.. He was on the shortstop side of the bag when he threw that ball to first. Amazing Amazing play by Drubby. Thank you sir.

Perez even thought it was a hit because he slammed his glove down after he missed it.

Amazing.. thankfully he has his 14th win.. 2.29 ERA.. He's just a bad bad man!

Tomorrow, FAUSTO'S BACK! Horray! Scott Baker who has always pitched well against us opposes.

[BOXSCORE]

Eric Wedge's Bullpen Management

This is a very bad week as far as what I have to do. My favorite show on Sirius, Bubba the Love Sponge is on vacation, so I have nothing better to do from 3-7... Not to mention there was no Indians game yesterday. Why would I go anywhere as well.. Plus it was raining for bit. So Whatever..

So I turned on All Bets Are Off to see what Bruce Drennan and the Wacky Cleveland faithful had to say.

One call interested me.. It was something I brought up earlier in the year when Craig Breslow got shipped off.

Eric Wedge has a real problem using his bullpen. Look.. He says one thing and does another for the most part.. He said he was going to try and rest Masa Kobayashi in the second half because this unknown territory to him.

Well just after he said that... I swear he used Koby in a game that we were already down four runs and this was after he was anointed the Closer.

Craig Breslow wasted away on this roster, not being used, and when he did he was so rusty he was bad.

Here is proof.

Craig Breslow this year has pitched 7 innings after 6+ Days of Rest.. His ERA is 6.43.

He's pitched 12 innings with less rest and has a ERA of... 0.. Minus the time he's pitched with 2 days of rest. He has 2.08 ERA in 4.1 Innings Pitched.

So obviously.. Breslow got rusty.. The Twins are using him as a lefty guy but still are keeping him fresh. Plus the fact that he's still on the Twins roster must tell you something. In 15.3 innings with the Twins this year he has a 1.76 ERA, compared to a 3.24 ERA(which still isn't bad) with the Tribe.

Letting go of Breslow was a bad move.. Mostly because Wedge screwed up the situation. He might be doing the same to Tom Mastny.

Mastny is okay.. He isn't awesome, but he deserves a chance more often. Mastny has only pitched one out of an inning on four days rest.. The Rest has come on 6+ days. 8 innings and he has a 7.88 ERA.. We don't really have any stats to back up how he does on short rest.

CAUSE HE DOESNT HAVE ANY!

Then Again.. His last two years.

2007
I Split         G  GS GF  W  L  S CG SHO   IP    ERA   H   R   ER HR  BB IBB  SO
+-+------------+---+--+--+--+--+--+--+---+-----+------+---+---+---+--+---+---+---
0 Days,GR 8 0 3 1 1 0 0 0 11 4.09 9 5 5 2 3 2 7
1 Day,GR 11 0 3 2 1 0 0 0 11 7.36 19 9 9 1 13 3 11
2 Days,GR 12 0 4 2 0 0 0 0 12 2.25 11 3 3 1 7 3 12
3 Days,GR 8 0 3 1 0 0 0 0 7.2 4.70 7 4 4 0 3 0 8
4 Days,GR 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2.2 10.12 3 3 3 0 1 0 2
5 Days,GR 2 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 2.1 11.57 4 3 3 1 1 0 3
6+ Days,GR 8 0 4 1 0 0 0 0 11 2.45 10 3 3 1 4 1 9
2006
I Split         G  GS GF  W  L  S CG SHO   IP    ERA   H   R   ER HR  BB IBB  SO
+-+------------+---+--+--+--+--+--+--+---+-----+------+---+---+---+--+---+---+---
0 Days,GR 3 0 2 0 0 1 0 0 3.1 8.10 6 3 3 0 3 1 2
1 Day,GR 2 0 2 0 0 2 0 0 2 0.00 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2 Days,GR 2 0 2 0 1 0 0 0 1 18.00 2 2 2 1 1 0 1
3 Days,GR 3 0 2 0 0 1 0 0 5 1.80 3 1 1 0 3 0 6
5 Days,GR 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 9.00 2 1 1 0 0 0 0
6+ Days,GR 4 0 3 0 0 1 0 0 4 6.75 4 3 3 0 1 0 5
So for Tom Mastny.. Not So Much a big difference for the most part. He's fair.. Still he pitched good on his 2 days rest last year.. He only had one inning of the 2 day rest in 2006.. but he pitched the most in 1007 on two days rest and it was by far his best stat.

Jensen Lewis is a totally different story.. I'd almost be all for pitching him in Buffalo for the first half of the year or something. The guy needs to be amped up to pitch well. He's an emotional pitcher who feeds off adrenaline. That's why he was so succesful last year in the heat of a playoff race.

Jensen will be fine.. There's nothing we have to worry about with him. Just let him be and when the time is right, he'll be there. It's one of the reasons I think he deserves a shot to close.

What's the moral of the story?

Eric Wedge needs to more cautious about his bullpen arms.. Especially now since he isn't in a playoff race.. Give a guy like Mastny shorter time in between apperances. You are going to damage these pitchers by not giving them regular in-game work. Pitching in the bullpen and keeping sharp that way is one thing. Keeping sharp by being in a game is another.

Minor League Update: Indians Heading to the Olympics; Crowe to Buffalo



Yesterday's game between Buffalo and Norfolk was canceled, but that didn't stop Jeremy Stevens from receiving his team USA Jersey from manager Torey Lovullo. Stevens will be joined by Akron's Matt LaPorta on the US Team. T.J. Burton has already reported to Team Canada and he soon will be joined by Nick Weglarz. Burton is going to be closing games for the Canada team and if things go like they did for Stevens during the last time he was on Team USA, he'll be closing games out as well.

You can read Matt LaPorta's latest Journal Entry for MILB.com here.

Michael Aubrey is hitting well for the Herd lately. He's carrying a nine game hit-streak. He's one player we haven't seen the last of this year, but his call-up will probably be showcased based.

Akron better hold onto that division lead as tightly as they can. Not only will they be losing Matt LaPorta for a month or so, they are losing another outfielder for presumably the rest of the season.

Trevor Crowe has been called up to Triple A Buffalo. Crowe has been on absolute rip this year and the call-up is well deserved. He got hurt a few weeks ago, spent some time on the DL, but came right back and picked-up where he left off. The only thing Crowe has to worry about is staying healthy. He's got all the makings of a lead-off hitter.

With Crowe and LaPorta gone, Nathan Panther, Bronson Sardinha and Stephen Head are going to have to pick up the slack. No problem, last night they all got hits. Crowe went 2-4 in his last game with the Aeros, for now at least. Dan Reichert pitched 7.1 strong innings, giving up just one run to spite his former organization. You'll remember Reichert was traded over to Pittsburgh.

Kinston was able to split with Potomac by winning yesterday. Brian Juhl hit a two-run home run and Johnnie Drennen went 2-4. Vinnie P's picked up his fourth save. Yes Vinnie P's.. Pestano, EHYA..

One of my favorite names at the Gulf Coast League team, LURVIN BASABE, hit his first home run in the GCL Indians' win yesterday. GCL scored 13 runs, getting a 3-4 and two RBI game from Matt McBride who spent the whole game behind the plate. I think it might be time for a call-up. Lake County could use him. The Aussie Mate, Jason Smit went 2-2 with 2 RBI, 2 R and walk.

Mahoning Valley Lost a Double Header

7.24.2008

Photoshop Off-Day: The Sour Pitch Kid

I've called him this before.. But this Photoshop Off-Day will establish and revolutionize the nick name for Jeremy Sowers here on out.



There he is! The Sour Pitch Kid. The play on words is un-canny. Just one letter difference.. Thankfully he is still just a kid. The Sour Pitch Kid.

It is sour watching Jeremy pitch. He had the great rookie year and then boom. He hasn't gotten it back. Can he not adjust? I'm not sure.

There is the Sour Pitch Kid.. Enjoy him.. Also take note that is the Warheads logo on his mouth. I know it doesn't exactly fit but the lips work for me.

If he ever turns this around.. We can put the sour mouth on a batter instead of him. Then Sour Pitch Kid will take on a different meaning.

For now.. It is a bad one.

Mark Shapiro should go nuts.... GO GET K-ROD

I wanna bring this up.. Because well it was brought up.

"A lot would have to happen with the people we have down there now for us to not go out and get somebody," Wedge said. "Somebody would have to grab the role, really lock into it and prove that we can count on them. That's a lot to happen in two and a half months." (Indians.com)

That is Eric Wedge talking about the closers role. Now when he says "Go Out and Get Somebody, he means some lower level jerky. Someone like Brian Fuentes(which isn't at all bad), or Brandon Lyon.

Well there is a free agent out there that talks to the sky.. I brought him up last night to a friend when I saw Peter Gammons on ESPN talking about it.

I think his name is Francisco Rodriguez. Gammons mentioned that the Angels probably won't pay him the money he wants because of that young stud Jose Arredondo and Scot Shields.

Well.. Your top 15 pick that you'll probably have if you continue to suck is going to be protected.

Go Get K-Rod?

What could it hurt?

Shell out the dough.. It won't happen but this is one free-agent that I would pay money too. If were Shapiro. He is a bonafied closer who throws gas and gets people out. He would be well worth every cent you pay to him.

Who is going to pay him this off-season? I'm sure many teams would love to. The Yankees have Rivera, you can throw them out.. The Red Sox? They got Papelbon. The Dodgers? Saito is hurt but they got a cheaper and younger guy named Jonathan Broxton.

What team can offer him a chance to close? I could see Detroit eying him and also paying him, but you have to wonder if they want to give that job to Zumaya and save some money.

What would he run you? 12 million a year for how many years? 4-5? He's 27.. That takes you till hes 32-33. That's a good year for a reliever.

I'm taking a risk this off-season. Forget CC and any other free agent. This would solidify the pen. I'm not too excited about what we have in there now closing a game.

Of course there are many fall-back options this year if they become available. But go for broke. This is an important part of your team.

It isn't often I throw out things like this. But I feel K-Rod is the one guy you should do this for. You have at least 25 million coming off the books that you had to spend this year that you won't next. Invest it in a closer. If he wants 15 million, you can forget about it.. But if his price could be had at around 10-12 million for four years. You have to make a run at him.

I'd let K-Rod talk to the sky, the ground and even the baseballs if he came here. I'd even volunteer myself as his traveling assistant. If he didn't want to talk to the sky. I'd run out on to the field and do it for him. I don't mind looking like a jackass to improve the team.

Morning Update: Choo's Military Problem Could Halt Career

Hey quick news to pass along. Scott Elarton's season is effectively over. He got moved to the 60-day disabled list. Sounds like something is really going on with Elarton or his family. I hope everything is okay with Scott and nothing too serious is going on. He's a stand-up guy and he worked hard to get back to where he was with the Tribe. Best of luck to Scott and the Elarton family.

It's looking more and more likely that Shin-Soo Choo will be factored out of the Tribe's equation by a greater beeing. As we've chronicaled on here before. Choo can avoid this military obligation that he has to start serving by 2010 if he wins a gold-medal at the olympics or the Asian Games in 2010. He can't partake in the Olympics beccause South Korea won't take players on the 25 man roster away from the MLB. Choo can't go to the minors because he's out of options.

So.. Problemmmmm.

This has Choo really upset from what I can read.

"The Indians couldn't send me to the minors [to be on the Korean team] because I'm out of options," said Choo, who added "There's too much stress to worry about it now." (Plain Dealer)

I really feel for the guy.. He can become an American citizen and avoid it, but I'm not sure how long he's been here and been living in the states and if he'll have enough time under his belt before 2010 rolls around.

We'll see how this goes. This is like the Caleb Campbell thing with the Detroit Lions. These guys have a dream.. The only thing different here is Caleb Campbell choose to go to a school where he'd have to serve. Choo didn't, this is a requirement of every South Korean. If Choo doesn't do it, his country will probably have some hostile feelings towards him and he probably won't be able to ever go back. Not to mention whatever family he has there will probably get frowned upon.

Chinese basketball player Wang Zhi-Zhi went through that same type of thing.

Aaron Laffey's struggles have prompted the sudden question that maybe they should send him to the minors come Saturday. that's relief for Matt Ginter. It is a serious possibility at this point, Laffey has really struggled to find himself in these past few games. They want to work some things out in Buffalo and get him back up later. You never know.

Starting Pitching News All Around. Jake Westbrook's check up went well.

"It's stable," Westbrook said of his elbow. "I'm pleased with it. It's still a little achy and a little sore. Now it's a matter of letting it heal and doing some rehab." (Indians.com)

We talked about Casey Blake yesterday... Heres the thing though..

Hoynes suggested that Blake could garner a first or second round draft pick.

The problem is this.. If you offer Casey Blake arbitration money.. He might just take it.. Casey Blake isn't looking to go nuts. He will foil your plan ala Greg Maddux if you hold onto him and offer him arbitration. I tried to do some research on what Blake would yield us, but there simply isn't anything out there, YET. Coincidentially MLBTR brought it up today.

Let me say this though.

Trade Casey Blake. HIS VALUE WILL NEVER BE HIGHER THAN IT IS RIGHT NOW!

Thank you..

Tim Brown has a nice little thing on Paul Byrd and his continued struggle with his tumor. I really feel for the guy. He isn't a cheater and I believe him in this whole thing.

I'll be back shortly with a little bit of Closer Talk..

Minor League Update: Why you don't have to vote for Jeremie Tice

Brad Snyder hit his 8th home run of the year in the Herd's 8-5 loss to Norfolk. Jeff Weaver got punched in the face for 7 runs in six innings with 12 hits and a walk. Jordan Brown went 3-5 with an RBI.

Akron put together a solid game, but couldn't pull off a win against Altoona. Ryan Edell pitched six solid innings, giving up three runs off eight hits, but Tony Sipp who is in Akron to rehab gave up three runs and took another loss. He needs to put together something before he goes to Buffalo I believe. Wes Hodges had a three-run home run and Trevor Crowe went 4-4.

T.J. Burton is gettting an early start on his olympic quest with Team Canada.

"It's good to know your country has that confidence in you to put you in there with the game on the line, could be a medal on the line, and you're the guy they want to go in there, but I've got to keep that behind me and go one out at a time," Burton said. (Aeros.com)

It wasn't the dominance he showed in Lake County for Kelvin De La Cruz's debut with the Kinston Indians, but he did pick up a win. De La Cruz went 5.1 innings, giving up three runs on just five hits and two walks. He did strick out six. Fellow Former-Captain Vinnie Pestano closed it out for De La Cruz to earn his third save. Johnnie Drennan sighting as he hits his first home run of the year. Jared Goedert went 3-4 with 2 RBI.

The Captains dropped ANOTHER one run game to Augusta last night. Rob Bryson with two perfect innings of relief with three strikeouts.

Mahoning Valley Lost... But, Jeremie Tice plays for the Scrappers and we like him. So here is a new piece by Tony Lastoria on Tice.

You can vote for Jeremie and another favorite of ours, not just because of his name but because he is good, Isaias Velasquez for the NY-Penn League All-Star Game. I already voted for each 5 times.. That should be enough to get them in... I got ya'll covered, don't worry about it. Tice will also make it as a short stop because I accidentally submitted a few votes with him at SS. Damn Scrolling Mouse.

7.23.2008

Boom goes the dynamite... Tribe Lose Barnburner

This was a good ole' fashioned Jim Ross Slobber-knocker.. By Gawd.

You never got the feeling it was over, even when Mathis hit the grand slam. Especially since the Indians ended up scoring 11 runs. But man that was not the overall pitching performance this team needed.

Rincon had another perfect outing, but every other pitcher gave up a run. Laffey's ERA went from the 2's to the 4's in the past few starts. He was just awful... Just Awful man.

Four innings plus, 12 hits, 8 runs, 2 walks on 77 pitches.

Just.. Wow.

Mastny gave up four(not including the ones he gave up that were charged to Laffey) and Jensen gave up 2.

Offensively.. Man Man Man

Grady Sizemore had the BEWSH 25th of the year. He tied Quentin until Carlos went deep for the second time today. So he trails Quentin by one.

Peralta went 3-5 with an RBI. He continues to mash man.. Putting together some great at-bats as well. Just battled against Lackey.

Choo 2-4 with two RBI.. Marte 1-3 with an RBI and a walk. Garko had the big day finally starting... You gotta think Wedge is gotta start him more.. I mean come on, when is Casey Blake gonna get traded?

Anyway.. Ryan Garko went 3-5 with four RBI including a two-run blast to left.

Hell Even Dellucci (in the two hole now? What the hell) had an RBI.

It still wasn't enough though.. Everyone in the starting lineup got a hit, except for Cabrera who really got into one with men on base but Juan Rivera made a great play to run it down. Blake's 7 game hit-streak came to an end when he failed to get a hit in his pinch hit apperance.

Take this though.. Bruce Drennan just made a good point. This is the best record-wise team in the entire major leagues. So taking one from them, and losing by one and three runs isn't bad. If only.. IF ONLY they played like this offensively yesterday and pitched like they did yesterday today.

Gotta put it together sirs.

Off Day Tomorrow-Which means a quick return to our new favorite feature.. Photoshop Off-Day! I know you're excited. Then Friday we return home to face the Twins. Cliffffffffffad and Livan Hernandez. Let's get 14 for the good man. Expecting a Hafner update tomorrow..

[BOXSCORE]

Morning Update: Deadline Looming For Blake Deal

As you know, tomorrow will be the one week mark for the Trade Deadline. Teams will be starting to fire up the trade discussions and two deals already got done yesterday.

The Indians are of course a prime team to trade some people. The most valuable being Casey Blake. But, for whatever reason, all quiet on that front. I'm going to be really upset with Shapiro if he doesn't move him before the deadline.

Here is what has come through the pipeline on Blake.

Jon Heyman says both New York teams are interested in Blake.

Will Carroll of Baseball Prospectus
has the Mets as well, but also adds in the Twins and the Rays as the top suitors. Would the Twins be willing to trade a prospect in-division? He also said that the Indians are just listening to all the offers. Well that's sort of encouraging. I don't think Shapiro is in any hurry to trade Blake away, which is baffling and just frustrating.

The infatuation with this club and Blake has gone on long enough. He's done a lot of good things, but it's time to move on.

Tim Brown
(Not the former Raider Receiver) of Yahoo! Sports has Blake on the list of players the Indians are listening to offers for. But he also has Jamey Carroll and Paul Byrd. No surprise on Byrd, but I don't think Carroll is going anywhere. Jhonny Peralta's name also came up, but it would take one hell of an offer for Shapiro to give up on Peralta, especially with the way he's hitting this year.

As for Casey Blake.. He's hit in every spot in the lineup except lead-off this year.. Last year he did it all except the four hole or three hole(and leadoff) I believe. I'd never put it past Wedge to hit him lead-off though. He's that crazy in love.

Wedge want's to keep Jhonny Peralta fresh, so he gave him the day off yesterday and you could see it happen again soon. I'd imagine he would give Peralta a DH start rather than sit him though.

"We'll give him two out of the next three days off [with Thursday's off-day]," Wedge said. "It's a good time to get him a day off. There are days we'll give him from time to time here in the second half to keep him strong and keep him going." (Indians.com)

Peralta has done nothing but knock in runs since getting put in the clean-up spot.

"When you hit fourth, you know there are going to be people on base," Peralta said. "I've been concentrating on every at bats. Right now, it's been good for me." (Plain Dealer)

A kind gesture by Paul Byrd to Masa Kobayashi the other day.

He gave him a t-shirt that said "I'm Huge In Japan." I'm sure you've seen the ad for it on Snorg T's or someone wearing it around. It has an alternative meaning, that I'll let you figure out, but Masa was wearing it around the clubhouse.

Kobayashi is doing a good job closing out games for now, but Wedge wasn't quick to rule out Rafael Perez having a shot. But he doesn't seem to want to do that, because of Perez's value as a left-hander and not having another viable one to use in situations that may need it.

"If we had a closer who can do the job," Wedge said, "I don't care if he's right-handed or left-handed."

"Ideally, you'd like to have somebody else to close," Wedge said. "Because otherwise you're searching for another lefty who might not be as good." (Indians.com)

You could see Fausto Carmona pointing to the camera with a wild smile on his face in one of the ending clips to the game last night if you stayed up.. Neadless to say, he's happy to be back and is cleared to make his return on Saturday.

Minor League Update: De La Cruz Earns Call Up

Michael Aubrey had a two run homer for the Herd as they defeated the Norfolk Tide last night. John Halama went complete game on us AGAIN. 9 hits, 2 runs - none of them earned, and four punch outs.

Akron won big last night, Matt Whitney went 2-5 with a two run home run and three RBI. Wyatt Toregas went 2-5 as well with a solo shot. Wyatt has done nothing but hit since getting called down to Akron. Steven Wright, five innings, five hits, one run, one walk and six strikeouts.

Beau Mills got two of Kinston's three hits as they got shutout by Potomac.. Kinston was involved in a bevy of moves the past few days that landed them Ryan Goleski and Kelvin De La Cruz. We'll touch up on that later. Niuman Romero's streak is now ended at 21.

Lake County lost another extra-innings game on a walk-off win by Augusta. Cristo Arnal went 3-4.

Mahoning Valley got 3-hit again. Kaimi Mead pitched well, going five innings and giving up just one run off four hits and a walk.

Matt Willard and Kevin Rucker went deep in the GCL's team blowout.

Okay so all the moves..

Kelvin De La Cruz has been promoted to Kinston and well start tonight. Ryan Goleski will be on his way to Kinston from Akron, the writing is on the wall for Goleski and he might not be with the organization past this year. Nick Weglarz will soon leave for the Olympics, so the K-Tribe will be needing that extra outfielder, not to mention Jason Denham was placed on the DL.