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12.21.2009

Mitch Talbot PTBNODT; Tribe sign RP Saul Rivera

Nino Colla | Monday, December 21, 2009 | | | | | | | | | Best Blogger Tips
Well it took an extra day because of some odd reasoning, just to know that it was one of the players we figured all along in Mitch Talbot.

Credit where credit is due.. Our guy AC was first on the report about a half hour ago.

It seemed pretty likely that Talbot was the guy in the trade awhile ago. Here is the background on Talbot.

PLAYER: Mitch Talbot
POSITION: RH Starter
DRAFTED BY: HOU
ACQUIRED: By TB for Aubrey Huff w/Ben Zobrist
HT: 6'2" WT: 200
PITCH 1: High 80-Low 90 Fastball
PITCH 2: Slider
PITCH 3: Changeup

In 2009 with Durham, Talbot went 13-9 in 28 starts. It was his second consecutive year at Triple-A and he duplicated his record in just one more start. He pitched in the same number of innings (161) both years and his ERA improved immensely from 4.53 to 3.86. His strikeouts went up from 124 to 141 and his walks went down from 59 to 35. However in 2009, Talbot took a step back with 10 starts at Durham and a 4.47 ERA as he battled an elbow strain in his throwing arm.

Talbot was a second round pick of the Astros out of High School. He got to the Rays via the Aubrey Huff trade in a package that included Ben Zobrist, who's obviously worked out real well for Tampa.

Indians will tweet things like the fact he had the "best changeup in the organization and international league" which is typical protocol when you acquire a new player that not many know about.

But the fact of the matter is, Jeremy Sowers has a good changeup. The problem is if you can't throw that changeup with enough difference from your fastball, it is rather useless.

Speaking of Jeremy Sowers, we basically acquired a player that is in the same position as him. In fact some may even think we acquired another Sowers, only he throws right handed. Both Talbot and Sowers are out of options. Meaning there is no sending them down to Triple-A without putting them through waivers. They either make the roster or they don't out of spring training.

In a way, I like this idea. If you have as many players the Indians have competing for a rotation spot, you are bound to hit on one of them. Just one of them. So if Westbrook and Carmona can come back and be decent or someone like Laffey and Huff can take a step up, and we hit on one of these many many contenders, Our rotation is already deeper than it was last year even when we had Cliff Lee.

So really, I'm indifferent about acquiring Talbot. If anything I don't expect much, but wasn't expecting much because of the guy we traded. Shoppach is a great guy, but best case scenario was someone like Talbot, who may benefit from a change of scenery, but may just be what he looks like at this point in time, blah.

That tweet from the Indians says he will compete for a spot on the pitching staff, not exactly a restriction to the rotation, but are we really going to move two starting pitchers (Ambriz being the other) from other organizations into bullpen roles?

We've never done that in the past with amazing success, so this isn't a case where I can say, "Well we know better!"

We shall see how this one works out. Time will tell, but this is apparently the value of Kelly Shoppach, a right handed changeup pitcher who may or may not need a change of scenery.

The Tribe also announced the signing of Saul Rivera to a minor league deal. The connection here is directly to Manny Acta.

River was a favorite of Acta in Washington when he pitched two solid seasons for the skipper out of the bullpen. 3.68 and 3.96 ERAs in 93 and 84 IP respectively in 2007 and 2008 for Washington. He just turned 32 a few weeks ago and last year really was a year of implosion 6.10 ERA in 30 games and pretty much gone with Acta.

It's like Grilli.. If he sticks, he sticks.. He's like Jorge Julio.. If he sucks, he sucks and you cut him.

Either way, Acta has some experience with him in the past, so let him bring in one of "his guys" for an audition.

I think its a lot smarter Minor League deal than say... Mike Gosling or some of the bozos that Shapiro has brought in the past. If he ends up in Columbus as depth, you could do a lot worse if he can put up anything remotely like he did in 07 and 08, which is not bad for an innings eater.

Finally, because I have to get going and have been waiting around all morning for this news....

Last night was interesting if you were following along Tony Lastoria's post on IPI. Just read the post from the bottom and go up with the timestamps. It was rather entertaining seeing how we had two names on the list, which we had known for a few days now thanks to Castrovince, yet it took them time to "contact" the player involved. Shouldn't they have been prepared for this?

Why did the Rays need to change things with Rafael Soriano's addition? Would they have given us another prospect or a better one (which couldn't have been done unless he was "on the list" according to who you listen to about PTBNLs and trade specifics) if we would have taken on some salary of theirs (Though the Indians would be the last to do that in this specific time and place)?

All of this for what we were expecting from the start. Mitch Talbot.

Thanks for the exciting past 24 plus hours Cleveland and Tampa.. It was a nice change of pace and probably our last taste of it until February.

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