3.31.2009

That was rough...

Great Scott..

That wasn't good.

He's blaming it on the grip, which would explain all the home runs he's giving up, but still, not cool.

Scott Lewis got trashed again.

3.2 Innings of work, 13, yes 13 hits, 10 runs, three home runs that included two to Russ Branyan and a grand slam to Ronny Cedeno.
"I've been struggling with some issues with the grip on the ball," Lewis said. "The ball's been slipping the last couple times out. I've been going to the rosin bag, trying to get a grip, and losing focus. My delivery's been off, and the pitches aren't doing what I want them to do right now."
Lewis will throw one more time in an extended spring game, which means he might just stick back when everyone else goes to Houston if I can guess at that juncture. I don't know if I'd even send him to Texas for the opening series, just get him over to Cleveland so he can adapt to the weather.

Joe Smith tried to clean up, struck out three, but did give up a run.

Masa Kobayashi pitched a scoreless inning, which is needed seeing he struggled the last time around.

And Jensen Lewis.. Damn son, two innings, no hits, just a walk, kid is ready.

Ed Mujica, in what could very well be his last inning as a Cleveland Indian had a very fitting outing. That double he gave up was hilarious and a run scored so, good riddance sir.

How about Ryan Garko?

AC said it best
.. He isn't awful out there.. He can definitely play the position once and awhile. He also went 1-4 with two RBI.

Mark DeRosa played first and he just keeps raking. Can we let him start the season now? 2-3 with a double and his hits aren't mistakes.. They are just clean hard hits that a player hits when he's in the zone.

Ben Francisco had himself a nice dinger. Same for Tony Graffanino... I thoguht it was Trevor Crowe because I wasn't paying attention and I got up and started dancing.

But still, I like Tony, so I'll glady say that dance was for him.

I'm in midseason form damnit, I'm like DeRosa. I'm ready for the season. It's spring training and I'm dancing at home runs.

I'm not going to go any further though or begin to break what down Mark Shapiro said.

Because Terry Pluto pretty much did it.

But still, there are a few things... Because I'm Me.
"On paper, I could make a pretty good case for you why each team will win the division," Shapiro said. "And then we can go through that list again, and I can tell you why that team won't win the division. And our team is in that group."
Yeah same here.. A few weeks ago I had it.. Cleveland, Minnesota, Detroit, Chicago, Kansas City.

Today.. I've changed.. Cleveland, Minnesota, KANSAS CITY!, Chicago, Detroit.

Yeah KC Third.. I'm pretty freaking crazy lately... Tomorrow I might change it to put the Chicago White Sox third... I don't know...
"Every time I walk down to the Minor League fields and watch them play, it reinforces the depth of talent we've got," Shapiro said. "I'm not prone to creating expectations in that area, but, with the realities of our market, that's essential to how we conduct our business. It's talent we can build around for years to come."
I commented on Kinston as well.. Really.. I hope to see all three, Columbus, Akron, and Kinston doing very well, at least at the start of the season when all these talented players are in their place.

This farm system is very good and very deep right now.

Finally.. Adam Miller.. More stuff on him.
"You just continue to hope for the best and watch it quietly and be impressed with the kid's toughness and adaptability," Shapiro said. "It's been nothing short of remarkable what he's done so far. It's been a positive and exciting to watch."
Yeah.. A lot of remarkable stuff going on with these relief pitchers lately... Early bit of "Good luck"? I hope so.

You will have noticed that I have not brought upt he name Gary Sheffield. Yeah he was cut by the Tigers, which is hilarious in it's own right, but I didn't even entertain the thought of the possibility.

Like AC pointed out, the first thing he'd do is knock out our starting second baseman and number two pitcher. That jackass.. Ah, I hope he lands int he AL so he can get another shot at us and show what a dinkus he is.

Another board update coming soon, because AC released the Triple-A and Double-A rotations. Cassel over Ohka for the last Columbus spot, Lofgren got himself one in Akron, good for him.

[BOXSCORE]

Juan Lara back in the fold!

How about this shocking, but certainly welcomed news!

Juan Lara has been re-signed to a minor league deal.

If you don't remember, Lara was in a car accident that very well could have ended not just his career, but his life, just 16 months ago.

Not much heard from him since we heard that he made a "remarkable recovery" back in November.

Looks like he's made an even more remarkable recovery and the doctors believe that he can handle the rigors of pitching in the major leagues.

It looks as if he'll be in a bit of an extended spring training program as he begins to throw. He's only played catch up to this point, but still, just the fact that he can do that much is awesome. Ross Atkins agrees.
"We won't know where he is physically until we get our hands around him," said Ross Atkins, Indians director of player development, "but the fact that he's been cleared medically to pitch is unexpected. After what he's gone through, and what the doctors told us, the only thing you can say is, 'wow.'"
Wow is right. Lara was in a coma after the accident. He had brain trauma and all sorts of other things that sound like they'd end your career.

Let's see where it goes from here.

Today's lineup for the game that is on at 4:00 PM on STO.

DH Grady Sizemore, 1B Mark DeRosa, C Victor Martinez, LF Shin-Soo Choo, RF Ryan Garko, CF Ben Francisco, 2B Asdrubal Cabrera, 3B Jamey Carroll, SS Wilson Valdez.

Scott Lewis pitches, with brother Jensen (not really but you get the picture), Masa Kobayashi and Joe Smith waiting in the wings.

That Jakubauskas kid is pitching for the Mariners. I love that name.

Tony Lastoria's latest minor league notebook is up. Chuck Lofrgen included.

Matt Herges has accepted an assignment in Columbus.

LOLTribe: The Stylings of Asdrubal Cabrera; No Spitting

I've got some pictures left and this is the last week of Spring Training. I've got three posts left, not including this one.

The next three are kind of themed, so we'll get all the ones that really stand alone by themselves.

Two of these ironically though including Asdrubal Cabrera. Who is always getting photographed in crazy positions.. There was actually two or three more photos I found, but couldn't think of anything to say. It's like one after another.



You ever be high atop a building or on the upper floor and look down. Then just randomly spit to see where it lands? Don't lie, you've done it before.



If you don't get the joke by now, you need to read the archives.



I love Drubes... A gallery should really be set up with all his photos. You could create a flip-book with him.

There is a lineup later.... Maybe some news.. Yesterday was wild.. More dots......

3.30.2009

I've got your Jackson out of the park by Pronk right HERE

Whoa what a day.

Let's start with the game and my impressions, because I watched it all the way up to the point where Jack Bauer started breakin' necks.

The offense was pretty awesome.

I know it was just spring, it was the Padres, and they only scored five runs.

But I was impressed with how it worked. Of the 10 Indians that got an at-bat, 7 got hits.

Grady walked and went 1-3 with a run batted in.

It came after Trevor Crowe and Andy Marte reached base. Crowe put a nice swing on a ball that he could have attempted to stretch into a double if it wasn't hit to left field, preventing Marte from going farther than second.

This kid is going to play, way more than Dellucci would have to start out.. If he rips it up, say bye bye to David. Crowe went 1-2 with two runs scored and two walks.

Asdrubal Cabrera went deep, good work son.

And of course..... Travis Hafner.... GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOONE!!!

GONEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!

GONEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE GONEEE GONEEE GONEEE GONE GONE!

G O N E

Okay I'm done.

He hit it high and far and deep and awesome. Now everyone shut up about him.

Jhonny Peralta was at third by the way. I think you knew.. He botched the first grounder of the game, it was a wicked hop... But later in the game he made a fantastic play where he scooped it and threw for the force at second. I think he'll be fine if ever has to move there.

The pitching, awesome stuff today.

Carl Pavano was fantastic, going 6.2 innings of work, allowing four hits, two runs, only one of them earned, with a walk and three strikeouts.

I've rarely watched Pavano pitch in the past, him being in the NL and then hurt a lot, but man he is a bit of a imposing figure on the mound and the way he throws is moderately entertaining.

But he looked good.. I definitely feel pretty good about him going forward.

Mujica pitched, but no one cares.

Joe Smith pitched a perfect inning and struck out two, Betancourt did the same, with just one hit and he picked up the save.

Overall... Some great things to take away from this one.

But there is stuff to talk about ecause even after the Dellucci news, there is more.

Zach Jackson has won the final bullpen spot. From what is said and implied it seems as if Wedge wanted Jackson because he can give you innings and Wedge is worried about the rotation at the start. Like I've said though, I'd expect to see Chulk up here before the 15th of May.
"Both Zach and Vinnie pitched well enough to be on the club," Wedge said. "Vinnie's been great, and I think he's going to help us sooner rather than later. These are the decisions you have to make at this juncture."
Also, I like Jackson's attitude towards this idea.
"I talked to Jake Westbrook, and he started out his career like that, too," Jackson said. "He didn't get settled in until after he got the opportunity in the bullpen."
So Vinnie Chulk will head to Columbus, Mujica will be designated for assignment. If he clears waivers, which at this point in the season, with rosters being finalized and the complications that could come up with decisions that teams just made if they were to add Mujica, he cold very well clear waivers. We'll see how that goes though.

The roster is starting to take shape now..

It looks like the lineup is starting to take form.

Grady Sizemore
Mark DeRosa
Travis Hafner
Victor Martinez
Jhonny Peralta

That's the top five and it looks like Hafner is going to be up there to start the year, so boosh.

The final 25-man roster is now pretty much complete.

Infield: Martinez, Shoppach, Garko, Cabrera, Peralta, DeRosa, Barfield, Carroll, Hafner
Outfield: Choo, Sizemore, Francisco, Crowe
Starters: Lee, Carmona, Pavano, S. Lewis, Reyes
Bullpen: Wood, J. Lewis, Perez, Betancourt, Smith, Kobayashi, Jackson
DL: Dellucci, Westbrook

My projection was 24/25, with the lone miss Scott Lewis in place of Aaron Laffey.

Yesterday, I told you what Chris Antonetti said about Miller and his slider.. Well today, Carl Willis says it isn't much of a slider, it is more of a slurve now.
"It's more of a power slurve than a true slider, but he has feel for it, it gets depth and it's on the plate," pitching coach Carl Willis said. "It's something he's going to have to continue to work to get consistency with, but he's showing that it's there, and he's having no physical problems after the fact."
This is good news going forward for Miller. Not sure what his status will be to start the season, but if he can throw with no issues, that's moving forward.

As also noted there, Jake Westbrook has been throwing bullpens and it could be a month and a half after the season starts when he starts rehabbing, which is really good news.

Shawn Nottingham was traded. To Pittsburgh, with Neal Huntington. Hey... Nottingham is from Ohio and was acquired in the Shin-Soo Choo/Ben Broussard Trade.

[BOXSCORE]

These are lineups.. They are... I got nothing

For some reason..

Maybe I read the schedule wrong.

Who knows..

But I thought the televised Padres game would be tomorrow.

Tomorrow is Seattle on TV.

Today is, as I found out today, at 7, but it's against the Padres and it too is on TV.

So double the TV. Double the fun. Hopefully it's worth turning off at 9:00 when Jack Bauer jumps through my television and finds a way to break someone's neck with two buttons and a handful of styrofoam peanuts.

Yeah Jack Bauer! Kick Ass!

This is your lineup.. With a lot less Dellucci and a lot more Crowe. And a little bit of Marte. And some Peralta at third base. hit the deck.

CF Grady Sizemore, RF Shin-Soo Choo, 3B Jhonny Peralta, DH Travis Hafner, C Kelly Shoppach, SS Asdrubal Cabrera, 2B Josh Barfield, 1B Andy Marte, LF Trevor Crowe.

Carl Pavano makes the start and he's trying to not suck, while Matt Herges, Rafael Betancourt and Joe Smith wait in the wings. Eric Wedge is hoping he doesn't have to dig deeper than that. Risky.

I've got a date with my last class of the day. I definitely get home in time to tune into the game though. Jango!

Jack Bauer!

Dellucci To Start the Year on the DL; Crowe Is Up!

UPDATED BEFORE I EVEN POST IT, 2:20

Yeah you are reading an update that was updated before I even posted the damn entry.

Just as I was getting ready to post this, I checked CastroTurf and saw the news on David Dellucci..

Dellucci's tight calf is going to send him to the DL to start the year. In response to that, it will be Trevor Crowe making the opening day roster as the fourth outfielder.

I'm not sure if he'll well enough, or even enough to warrant them releasing Dellucci when his DL stint is over, but I think eventually Crowe will land back in Columbus for a short period of time, just to see what Dellucci has.

Still, this is a little crazy. Anything can happen with a week left and now a lot of people are dancing in the streets. This might be the beginning of the end for Dellucci's Tribe career, especially if Crowe makes it hard for the Tribe to send him down. Congrats Trevor!

You are now returned to the original post and your regularly scheduled program.
--------------

I didn't realize the game wasn't till tonight at 7.

I got this nifty new Indians Calender for the months of March through the end of the year. My Dad got in the mail. This is good news since my old calender was no longer good once the new-year hit. I've been operating without a calender above my desk.

Yeah I know, Google has a calender and I use that more, but its nice to look up and see something cool above your calender, like a picture of Grady Sizemore.

Or Michael Scott.

HEY.

So since there isn't a game till 7, there is no lineup right now.

But there are some interesting things floating out-and-about.

I must first leadoff and point you in the direction of Tony Lastoria's daily notebook of the happenings with the minor leaguers. We find things out that we otherwise wouldn't have known.

Four cuts, with two more that have happened, but haven't been released. Brad Hinkle, Candido Jesus, Wilfredo Ramirez, and Garrett Rieck are all gone. The large organizational board will be updated to agree with those changes.

Also will be updated within the next few days with definite landing spots for some minor leaguers. We know Akron will pretty much see guys like Rondon and Santana, Mills and Weglarz. Columbus has the big-three, the pitchers and all that.. Lake County and Kinston names are starting to fly in from Tony and that will be reflected as they come in.

Chisenhall will start third base for Kinston, completely skipping the Lake County level. Does this mean Jeremie Tice goes to first base?

That Kinston team looks pretty good and the rotation looks kind of interesting and fun. De La Cruz, Berger, Ryan Morris, and our Minor League Mascot Zach Putnam so far.

Randy Newsome could end up in Akron again? Bummer for him, he can't seem to stay at Triple-A, but it has nothing to do with him.

Oh and finally I wanted to mention, Abner Abreu is going to be moved to the outfield. I don't think I brought it up, but it's mentioned in Tony's post there that he'll be Lake County's right fielder. He played the infield last year with GCL.

That's all on the minor league front.

Here is what little I can gather up about the big league team.

With just six games left, Wedge is going to be looking for the team to start to hit their marks so they can hit the ground running when the season gets underway. This may be a painful week for all of us, because it is so close, but I'm sure the players are just itching to get this week of uselessness out of the way and play the real thing.

"We've got a lot of work to do this last week," said Wedge. "We want to be a little more crisp. Every individual needs to ask a little more of themselves in regards to their preparation to get ready for the season.

"They need to come together collectively. Our 13 position players have to come together. The seven guys in the bullpen need to be a unit. The five guys in the rotation need to be a unit."

Kerry Wood admitted he was a little more amped than usual for a spring game, but I think that's understandable considering who he was facing.
"It was a little different facing them," said Wood. "I ended up trying to throw strikes instead of quality strikes. But I threw a good slider to [Ryan] Theriot, that's a pitch I've been working on, and another good one to [Milton] Bradley at the end of the inning."
I think the funny part is this following encounter.

Yelled another, "Kerry, I was there the day you struck out 22 against Houston."

Wood turned to Bart Swain, the Indians' director of media relations, and said, "By the time I'm 40, I'll have struck out 30 in that game."

Wood said that because he only struck out 20 hitters, not 22. Still 20 is pretty impressive.

Another note on DeRosa and Wood the former Cubbies in addition to what DeRosa said about not pre-arranging a deal with Ted Lilly on the home runs. DeRosa says he's played behind him for two years, he knows what he's about. More on DeRosa and the Cubs by Terry Pluto.

But Jim Hendry and Mark Shapiro were sitting together when DeRosa hit one of the home runs. I guess they are good friends. Shapiro can just bonk on him all he wants now.

Speaking of Shapiro... He had the greatest quote in terms of the whole ordeal with Milton Badass yesterday.
"I just don't know," said Wedge, shaking his head. "I talked to Mark Shapiro and he said, "That was four teams ago.'"
Wedge didn't have to say that.. In fact, you'd almost expect him not to. But I'm glad he did. Why? Because I'm sure Milton would take it out on Wedge every chance he got. I like seeing Wedge defend himself, he was totally right about Milton, and the Indians probably got the most out of him, a player who was of some worth, in one way or another.

Terry Pluto offers up more great notes. He says Fausto Carmona is doing what he's supposed to be doing to be successful. Pluto brings up some interesting stats about Zach Jackson. Sure he's a lefty, but that doesn't mean he can get them out. Maybe he isn't the man after all?

Introducing The Tribe Daily Fantasy Baseball Team




It's just one more thing to annoy with.

I was invited to participate in a league with other sports writers/bloggers.

This is that league.


This is my team.

I've done the mock auctions a few times in preparation, but I've never done actual auction draft for a league. This was my first one.

I over-estimated (or I guess under-estimated, whatever dude) my money numbers. I ended up with like a lot of extra cash to throw around, and it made me sad that I didn't push a little harder for a Jose Lopez or even Hanley Ramirez from the start, who I might have been able to had for one more dollar (40) at a price lower than I've seen him go for in other auctions.

Grady was the first guy nominated and his price got too high for me to bother. My overall strategy was to get a few high priced guys, fill in it with a bunch of 20 range dollar players and then get bargains like Choo at the end.

I'm not sure if the league is publicly viewable, but here is my team, with price and ridiculous, but hopefully rational explanations.

C - Joe Mauer - 9
C - Victor Martinez - 6
Two catcher league, I thought what I got for Mauer was cheap and well I'm big on Vic this year. I wanted two solid catchers and I think I got two of the best.

1B - Miguel Cabrera - 34
He was my big purchase... More homers than donuts this year big guy.

2B - Alexei Ramirez - 15
3B - Jorge Cantu - 3
SS - Stephen Drew - 9
I think Stephen Drew is the man... Jorge Cantu is a bargain and as much as I hate The Twig, he'll put up big numbers.

2B/SS - Yunel Escobar - 1
1B/3B - Conor Jackson - 6
I like C-Jack a lot lately and Escobar was my pick after I screwed up getting Lopez.

OF - Carl Crawford - 18
OF - Corey Hart - 14
OF - Shane Victorino - 10
OF - Lastings Milledge - 6
OF - Shin-Soo Choo - 3
Crawford I think is awesome, Hart and Victorino do a little bit of everything, Milledge I think is ready to unleash and we all need Choo.

UTIL - Travis Hafner - 1
I know, you are like, what the hell is wrong with you? Well he was one buck and why the hell not? I can drop him.

P - Brandon Webb - 26
P - Josh Beckett - 20
P - Ricky Nolasco - 13
Top three starters. Didn't plan on going for a high-priced starter like Webb, but I thought he was cheaper than he should be. Beckett could be the man and I really like Nolasco.

P - Chien-Ming Wang - 6
P - Fausto Carmona - 4
P - Jair Jurrjens - 2
P - Chris Carpenter - 1
I don't know why I picked Wang, I guess because I think he could be good and healthy all year. Fausto could be a huge upside pick, same with Jurrjens and I'm taking another low-risk on Carpenter.

P - Brian Wilson - 5
P - Chad Qualls - 3
P - Mike Gonzalez - 3
I hear you don't pay for saves... I didn't.. I got a cheapy like Wilson who can rack them up and then put some cash into a few guys who could hold onto their jobs if they don't suck too bad.

Every week I'll name an MVP... You can keep track on the side bar. So Go-Fight-Team-Win.. Rah Rah!

Dummies...

3.29.2009

Check the Calender Doofus!

We are like, literally, exactly, on the dot sort of, one week away from opening night, Phillies Against the Braves.

One day later, the Indians will play.

We are in the home stretch of Spring Training and I'm pretty sure the Indians are glad for that.

Yesterday and today saw a lot of stuff, so apologies for how much this post might cover, I had stuff to do this morning and I was kind of sick last night.

I'm going to start with yesterday's game real quick and hit the points that matter.

Travis Hafner did play in a minor league game yesterday, had six, yes six, at-bats. He had two hits, one of them a triple (wtf?), and two RBI.

Offensively, yesterday's game sucked. Damaso Espino knocked in all three runs.

The real intrigue was with the pitching. It was Zach Jackson and Vinnie Chulk trying to win the final bullpen spot.

Even though it was probably the last shot for both to prove themselves, it wasn't the end-all be-all in the race perhaps.

Zach Jackson didn't look good in the first few innings. AC reports he settled down, but like he said, this is for a relief role, you need to be good quick. Jackson's final line, Four innings, six hits, five runs, but no walks and four strikeouts.

Vinnie Chulk on the other hand was awesome. He didn't walk anyone and gave up just three hits in his three innings. He's proven he can go three innings, which is huge...

But... AC says that Wedge, who will make a decision either tomorrow or Tuesday, is leaning towards Jackson.

It looks like Mujica is out... Sucker... Double Sucker!!!

I think though, even if Chulk doesn't make the roster, we'll see him before that date he has on his agreement.

Paul Hoynes mentioned that the Indians could make a deal for the final bullpen spot, and one name is Luis Perdomo, the relief pitcher we traded to St. Louis for Anthony Reyes. Yeah right...

Moving on to today's game....

Fausto Carmona pitched, went six innings, gave up seven hits, but just one walk that turned into three runs. Two came off a Milton Bradley home run.

I was listening to the game on the way home and apparantly after he hit the home run, halfway through his trot he stared towards the Indians dugout and when he got to home, he pointed at the dugout. Something he did last year with Texas a few times.

What is it with this guy? Has he not gotten over the fact that his career is filled with teams not wanting him because hes a jerky?

I turned the channel back onto the game mid-trot, and they hadn't mentioned his name, but the minute they said someone was "staring towards the Indians dugout" and that "sooner or later, someone is going to peg him" I knew they were talking about Bradley.

Seriously... Get over yourself Milton. We've moved on and so should you.

Back to stuff that matters.

Kerry Wood got in for his first time facing the Chicago Cubs.. He pitched a scoreless inning with a strikeout.

Masa Kobayashi gave up two runs today, not good, but it looks as if he'll remain on the team for now. Eric Wedge has said he'll need to pitch more like when he pitched the two solid earlier this week.

Rafael Perez had a perfect inning with two punch outs to pick up the save.

The real story in this though was the former Cubs. Along with Wood, Mark DeRosa had himself a ball against the team that he played for last year, Bradley wasn't the only one that did it to his former team.

In Rosie's first at-bat, with the first pitch mind you, Mark DeRosa took Ted Lilly deep, a two-run shot to left...

The next at-bat was one I heard as it happened. DeRosa hit a shot so high that Mike Hegan (it might have been Hammy, I forget) kind of hesitated and then blurted out OFF THE TOP OF THE SCOREBOARD!

Then in his third at-bat he hit an even higher shot off the top of a wall in center field. Hegan and Hammy were both shocked it didn't go out. If there wasn't a giant wall in center field, it probably would have been gone.

Victor Martinez, who went 3-5 with a run scored, knocked him in.

Grady Sizemore went 2-4 with a triple. Ben Francisco went 0-2 with a pair of walks..

Jhonny Peralta put up his hat-trick with the three strikeouts... But he also had two hits.. The two-worlds of Peralta meeting up.

Then.... Again.. It was... GEORGE THE LUMBER MAN LOMBARD!

Lombard went 1-2 with a two-run shot, his second on the spring in just his third game.

The Lumber Man too much?

Understandable.

The Indians beat the Cubs by the way... How fun..

So DeRosa is on fire, he was doing well even before the WBC, hopefully it carries into the start of next season. The guy is certainly putting on a power-display, despite the Arizona conditions and all that, he's hit some bombs.

Okay we've got some injury stuff..

I was listening to the game when Chris Antonetti was on and he explained a few things about Adam Miller's injury. Basically the injury is the tip of his middle finger on his throwing hand cannot bend. That could impact, indeed.

But, Chris said Miller threw this morning and actually said his slider was just as good, if not BETTER than it has ever been... What? Really? How?

Who knows, but that's pretty good news. Miller needs to keep up the good progress though and if it gets to the point where they have to decide on surgery or not, and he's at this pace, he obviously won't do the surgery.

You might have noticed David Dellucci was supposed to be in the lineup yesterday, but was replaced. Turns out Dellucci's now in jeopardy of starting the year on the DL.
"I don't know right now, to be honest with you," Wedge said. "It hit us so close to game time [Saturday]. He felt very similar [Sunday]. He's got to get a day of treatment, see if there's any response and then go from there."
Tightness in the calf muscle... Ooooofy... Trevor Crowe would be option number one to replace Dellucci. Tony Graffanino would also be there, but Crowe has 40-man roster capabilities. Then again with Edwin Mujica's impending release from the 40-man roster, because he's out of options, that would clear that spot up.

Here is an article I'm too tired to read.. At least I'm honest.

I think Terry Pluto did an excellent job conveying some thoughts I share on Travis Hafner. He's important, but the Indians success doesn't really hinge on him being friggin awesome. Him being awesome would be awesome though and make things a lot easier and probably give us a lot of relief.

Let the man do his thing though. These 56 comments on Pluto's article are hilarious.

On the similar note of Hoynes being dumb, I don't know if I mentioned that earlier, probably didn't convey it when I said "Yeah Right".. There is a new Hey Hoynsieewhatever up and someone asks him when he is going to be twittering.

Just what we need, more Hoynes, in shorter, more annoying spurts. I'd like to mention that this site is on Twitter. Why? Because this site is a whore. I also want to say I flipped a music channel on the radio on between innings and this one guy signed off saying "Check me out on facebook, myspace, youtube, twitter, and blah blah blah."

And you thought this site was bad.

Hoynes' article was like friggin long... Stupid... Wait this entry is pretty long as far as I can tell.. Stupid....

Finally.. The little note at the end of this CastroTurf entry, Hafner and Wood manning middle infield? Wow okay....

My bracket went up in flames with the Pitt loss yesterday. Off to such a great start and looking towards money (in two pools too) and after one game, it's all over.. What a shame...

[BOXSCORE]

3.28.2009

Miller to Continue Season; Gimenez and Crowe Optioned

I saved the news on Adam Miller because I wanted to go a little in-depth with him and what's going on.

Miller's turnaround is a little surprising, but isn't exactly a miracle, he's all healed sort of thing.

With no change for the worse in his nine throwing sessions, Miller will continue to throw bullpens and work on other things. The important thing is throwing his slider, something that he'll have to alter because of his changed release point.

If things keep going at this rate, Miller will be able to avoid surgery that would end his season and possibly his career. This is a bit of a new thing according to Lonnie Soloff and Miller's made huge strides since it was announced he may have to have surgery.
"It's been an interesting process, from a learning standpoint," Soloff said. "It's also something we're proud to be a part of because it's such an unchartered case."
I honestly was expecting the worst. But it's good to hear that things are turning around and we may be able to see this kid attempt to succeed after all..

As been said though, this is far from over. He's still got some hurdles to climb, but at least we aren't talking about the end of a once-promising career.

Another round of cuts
and we are getting down to the nitty gritty.

Two of Josh Barfield's stiffest competitors in the final bench spot have been sent to Triple-A Columbus.

Chris Gimenez and outfielder Trevor Crowe made a nice impact this spring, Gimenez maybe more than Crowe, but both are pretty safe bets to be one of the first few called upon if the Major League team were to need extra bodies.

Josh Barfield is now battling it out with Tony Graffanino for that final roster spot, but it looks as if Josh has already wrapped it up. Here is the bubble-watch.

Zach Jackson
Matt Herges
Vinnie Chulk
Tony Graffanino
Damaso Espino
Wilson Valdez
Edward Mujica
Andy Marte
Josh Barfield

Only two of those names will survive. Marte, Valdez, and Espino are presumably there for depth. Chulk, Jackson, Herges, and Mujica are still fighting it out for that bullpen spot.

Today's game against Arizona will see many of those names above.

3B Jamey Carroll, SS Asdrubal Cabrera, RF Shin-Soo Choo, 1B Ryan Garko, LF David Dellucci, 2B Josh Barfield, C Damaso Espino, CF Wilson Valdez, LHP Zach Jackson.

Jackson is starting the game and hitting ninth because of the road-NL game. Vinnie Chulk will see action and we might also see Edwin Mujica. As I said earlier, Jackson is expected to go four innings, Chulk three if possible. Jensen Lewis and Masa Kobayashi are a few of the major leaguers on standby.

Because of this being a road-NL game and no DH, Travis Hafner will start for Columbus and Matt Herges will also pitch. I'm sure we'll get updates on both.

Spring Just Started, But it Needs to End

Did spring officially start? I wouldn't know.. I don't pay attention to official.. I just know there's still frosts and I sometimes have to scrape ice off my windshield.

Either way, Spring Training has been underway for awhile.. But it is clearly evident that it needs to end.

Usually in terms of how many times they've played, players are just ready for the season to start at this point. Instead, there is almost a week plus left of meaninglessness.

Cliff Lee sucked again.

This time he wasn't just throwing fastballs, but it doesn't sound too much like he was trying, nor was anyone else..

Five innings, 12 hits, he didn't walk anyone though so at least he has his control, eight runs, seven of them earned, he struck out six and just one run off a home run. Not to mention that the defense wasn't all that good.
"It definitely wasn't the result I was looking for," said Lee. "It got better as the day went on. I think the last few innings went better than the first couple."

"Cliff was a little off today," said Wedge. "We played poorly behind him and it kind of dominoed on him early.
Thankfully, Cliff has one more tuneup before the real deal starts to get going.

Asdrubal Cabrera and Josh Barfield both committed errors, but it sounds like there was more than just that.

Rafael Betancourt pitched just two outs of the sixth inning, giving up 2 hits and a walk that yielded two runs. He was pulled not because of the tweak yesterday but because he was nearing his pitch count and Wedge wanted Joe Smith to come in during an inning.

Smith was perfect, going that inning with an extra out and striking out two with no walks or runs.

Jensen Lewis got himself back on track with a scoreless inning and one strikeout.

Offensively, it was Jhonny Peralta to the rescue, once again.

Peralta scored two of the runs, going 2-4 with a solo home run, his 11th RBI of the spring.

Ben Francisco knocked in a run and Mickey Hall, the outfielder acquired in the Paul Byrd trade this offseason, knocked in the other run.

Anyway it looks like the Indians and Eric Wedge are willing to wait on Josh Barfield's bat and that he remains the favorite to win that final bench spot. Tony Graffanino has been decent this spring and he has the versatility, but not the speed.
"It hasn't translated consistently into the games," Wedge said of Barfield's work. "What I do see in batting practice is his approach is better and the ball is coming off his bat better. He's headed in the right direction, but he's not there yet."
Speed remains a priority for that last spot, since it looks like David Dellucci's spot is safe, which also means Trevor Crowe is unlikely to win the spot, but that doesn't mean Wedge isn't impressed with him.
"He's had a nice camp," Wedge said of Crowe, who entered Friday batting .273 (12-for-44) with a .289 on-base percentage in 16 games. "He's much improved. But he's still not exactly where he needs to be. He has a tendency to play a little out of control ... But he definitely has our attention."
We could see a decision, officially, on this matter within the next day or two.

The bullpen on the other hand will take more time, and the one sticking point that might keep Vinnie Chulk from actually breaking camp with the 25 man roster is the fact that Zach Jackson can go longer than one inning.
"Whoever wins the job would have to pitch two innings at the absolute minimum," said Wedge. "Ideally, we'd like him to go three or more because of the uncertainty of our starting staff coming into April. Once our starting staff solidifies itself, we can go from there."
They are planning on seeing Jackson go four and Chulk go three innings in today's game. It could be a big game in terms of who wins the spot. It would be Chulk's first outing longer than two innings this spring.

Terry Pluto is back and this time he's talking a little minor league ball.

Includes Carlos Rivero's awesomeness, John Meloan's curveball, John Goryl raves about Lonnie Chisenhall, Wes Hodges, Carlos Santana, and Michael Brantley.

I did a player profile on Scott Lewis. It's good to know more about these guys. Lewis is a great kid and he was really successful as a collegiate player. That is his baseball story the best I can give it.

I'd also like to point you towards "The Release" Thread on Tony Lastoria's boards. It's the officiall unofficial word on minor league loses. P.J. Zocchi was released recently.

My interest in the minors is starting to ramp up with the season getting closer. I think we'll be adopting Zach Putnam as our mascot this year. Early word is he looks really good, and he went to a college most of you wouldn't like.

In fact that gives me a good idea... Sadly..

Since I had a infatuation with Isaias Velasquez last year and made a big deal about everything, let's make him the official Mascot of 2008.

And now Zach Putnam, the official Mascot of 2009.

Mascot, for the record isn't mean. Damnit.. Look for something on the side about this soon.

[BOXSCORE]

3.27.2009

He's a Giant.. At least it's not a Jet... Or A Shark.. SNAP

The early word from Anthony Castrovince is that Adam Miller is going to tough it out and not have surgery that could potentially end not just his season, but his career.

But that is nowhere near official right now. So we'll wait.

For now.. We'll discuss this little lineup that is out to face the Giants in today's game.

CF Grady Sizemore, 3B Mark DeRosa, 1B Victor Martinez, SS Jhonny Peralta, C Kelly Shoppach, RF Ben Francisco, 2B Asdrubal Cabrera, LF Josh Barfield.

Who's pitching? Cliff Lee's pitching! Who's pitching behind him? Rafael Betancourt will go two days in a row, while Joe Smith, Vinnie Chulk, Jensen Lewis, and Matt Herges are also on the slate. Remember Anthony Reyes, who's going to end up starting AFTER Cliff Lee on the 12th. I'm not sure how that works but okay, Cliff Lee probably won't start the Yankee opener against CC.

Josh Barfield is in left, and because there is no DH in this game, Travis Hafner I would imagine is either going to get the day off or play in a minor league game.

Pretty normal lineup even without the DH.

I now present to you..... GREATNESS WITH A MUSTACHE.. OR JUST A MUSTACHE, BECAUSE IT IS GREATNESS



This was on Deadspin a few days ago. I just remembered it.. It is far too good to be an LOLTribe, and well Sal Fasano is officially not a member of the Tribe anymore.

That shouldn't stop us from praising him though. You may now continue doing whatever not as cool as looking at an awesome picture of Sal Fasano thing you were doing before you were looking at an awesome picture of Sal Fasano.

MUSTACHE!

This Is How You Repay Me? Lewis Gets Boomed

Yeah it kind was like that.

Boom goes the dynamite.

Remember that kid? He totally bombed and his catchphrase was horrible.

Scott Lewis, a day after being named awesome by Eric Wedge, Scott Lewis wasn't awesome.

In three innings, Lewis gave up five runs off eight hits and two walks. Including a run where he gave up back-to-back-to-back home runs to Torii Hunter, Bobby Abreu, and Vlad Guerrero.

He didn't look good at all. I'm not sure what happened but I'm sure he was just a bit amped up about winning that spot.
"He just didn't have a good feel for the baseball today," said manager Eric Wedge. "It was one of those days. He's had such a great camp, he was probably due one of these days. That's one of the reasons we let him know that he was on the club early so he could get his mind where he wants it."
The bullpen was pretty good though.

Rafael Betancourt was good, with just one walk and two strikeouts. He looked like he might have did something when he called over the trainer but he kept pitching, so we'll assume he was just using a stall tactic as usual.

But it was Masa Kobayashi who came to play. He really needed himself a good outing and he went above and beyond what was needed. Two PERFECT innings of work, with four strikeouts. That pretty much removes all doubt everyone had with him, he's at least starting the year on the team.

Rafael Perez gave up two runs, neither earned, it was a struggle. Edward Mujica was okay aside from the solo shot he gave up to Torii Hunter. But he did pitch two innings, so his ERA actually went down I believe.

Let's talk some offense.

Because Travis Hafner went 2-3 with two runs, including a double. So suck it awesome.

Ryan Garko knocked in two runs and went 1-3. I think Ben Francisco did something too.

Either way...

I've just maneuvered my way through a muffin and now I feel like I'd rather not be living, considering the ice cream cake I was given last night. Seriously, I'm going to get fat again.

By the way, I wrote the above recap of the game last night, so if I said "today" or "tomorrow" there, it is a lie. Consider this your warning, also consider what is about to follow something I wrote after I ate my muffin. That was breakfast at 10:00 in the morning because if I eat at 6:30 when I get up, I starve until 2:30 when I get home. Today is my half-day so I'd rather not get lunch here or bring it from home.

I'm also operating without a mouse, so this is going to take twice as long. No I have the touchpad on my laptop but I'm in a place with no capable area of placing a mouse, so we'll make due with this large sacrifice.

Yesterday, Which really was Yesterday, remember that, it was said that Adam Miller will throw a pen session, today, which really is today, remember that too.

This is the deciding moment
for Miller in terms of pitching or having surgery. AC says Miller keeps telling people he's fine.

Something that slipped past me. Anthony Reyes commented on being the fifth starter instead of the fourth. He stats a minor league game today.
"I feel like it's a judgment call, and I'm excited that they care about me," Reyes said. "I feel good enough to pitch, but it's nice that they care about my arm."
The final bullpen spot will go down to the wire as mentioned, the final position player spot however will probably be made sooner. With not much time left before the Indians actually leave camp, (sooner than the end of the preseason because they play some exhibition games in Houston) a choice could made rather soon.

Terry Pluto has more notes and he believes Huff and Sipp could be the first few guys promoted if need be. I'm right there with him on Sipp but I think Laffey or Sowers would be the the first guys pulled up if a starter was needed. Maybe Vinnie Chulk in the pen if he doesn't make the team and it's before May.

Pluto mentions the defense of Francisco and Garko. Francisco's improvement in the outfield, which is huge considering he's basically backup center now. And Garko's improvement at first. People want to rag on Garko because of his defense, but you cannot deny the fact that he keeps growing there. He's really taken well to the position despite his lack of range and ability. He works hard and is passable if you ask me.

I watched the Fantasy Draft special on ESPN last night, in and out, because there was other stuff on. But Matthew Berry had a on-air love affair with Shin-Soo Choo.

Can I tell people to stop telling people about him? He's going to be a monster steal in fantasy and I want to get him all to myself.

Speaking of fantasy. Well not so much fantasy but the mainstream media. Sporting News and ESPN had their yearly baseball previews. I don't have them on me right now, but Andre Thornton, former Indian slugger, believes that Hafner is on the rebound now that he's healthy. Hoping he's right, thinking he is though too.

The Indians were picked... 2nd I believe in both SN and ESPN. I forget, maybe one picked them first. Maybe they didn't, I wouldn't remember. Either way, I'm picking them first so that is all that matters.

Cliff Lee goes today for the Indians against the Giants. The news on Lee and his contract extension now is that there won't be one, at least not now.
"I'd like to spend the rest of my career here. I would have loved to get that out of the way. But I can't force that to happen," Lee told the Plain Dealer.
The Indians cited the economy according to Lee, saying they don't want to make that move right now. I don't blame them. He has an option year in 2010 so I think all is fine in that regard. Let's see where we are at in like five or six months.

I've run out of tabs, which means that's the news. Now, I don't know what to do.

[BOXSCORE]

3.26.2009

Indians Claim Another Relief Pitcher, Jae Kuk Ryu

Well, Juan Salas first, now Jae Kuk Ryu. The Indians claimed the 25 year old relief pitcher off waivers from the San Diego Padres.

This now makes two Koreans on the Indians roster, joining Shin-Soo Choo.

I don't know if he has military service or not, but he was with the Cubs since he was 18 years old. Then in 2007, he became a member of the Tampa Bay Rays. He spent 2007 and 2008 bouncing between Durham and Tampa and then was claimed off waivers by the Padres this offseason.

He didn't win a bullpen spot with San Diego and is now going to be with Columbus to start the season.

Jake Westbrook was officially placed on the 60 Day DL to make room on the 40-Man Roster for Ryu.

On a similar note, the Texas Rangers released Brendan Donnelly. Looks like things didn't work out with him over there.

Could Choo Get Military By-Pass? Lineup Vs Angels

It looks like there is a little window for Shin-Soo Choo to get a break from the Korean government.
"We'll see in the next week to 10 days," said Choo. "There's a little bit of a chance. Not 100 percent."
The South Korean baseball team might ask the government. Choo is one of four players on that team that has to serve, yet he's the only one on the roster that is a Major League player.

This would be awesome. Even though they didn't win, I'd say the Koreans put forth a great effort. Hopefully the Koreans will let Choo slide and he doesn't have to worry about this whole thing. He's living his dream right now playing major league baseball.

Speaking of Choo. He's back in the lineup today after his return from the World Baseball Classic.

2B Jamey Carroll, 3B Mark DeRosa, C Victor Martinez, DH Travis Hafner, RF Shin-Soo Choo, 1B Ryan Garko, LF David Dellucci, CF Ben Francisco, SS Wilson Valdez

Choo is making his official return, Wedge gave him yesterday off and he could take him out earlier than any other player. He's been traveling a lot so I'm sure he's a little tired.

Hafner is in the lineup for the third straight day.

Scott Lewis gets the start and he should be followed by the following: Rafael Perez, Rafael Betancourt, Masa Kobayashi, Vinnie Chulk, and possibly Ed Mujica.

Depends on how long Lewis goes. Remember Pavano went 6 innings yesterday so there's no telling how long Wedge wants Lewis to go.

Speaking of starters and all that fun... Scott Lewis as mentioned is starting the Indians home opener.

Well.. It looks like our "nightmare" is actually going to come true.

CC Sabathia will be starting the Yankees' season opener... No shock there.

But it looks as if his turn in the rotation will come up again to start the Yankees' Home Opener at the new Palace.

What does this have to do with us?

Well as I'm sure you figured out or at least knew by now, that game is against us.

If Lewis is starting the fourth game, which is our home opener, because Reyes needs the extra day, does that mean they'll be skipping him the first time around? You would imagine so, right?

If they don't skip, then it will be Reyes starting that game against CC.. If they skip Reyes, it will be Cliff Lee facing off against CC Sabathia in that game at Yankee Stadium.

Oooh Baby..

I'm sure they'll be skipping Reyes' turn the first time around, which will mean it will be Lee and CC starting against each other to open up the new era of that silly palace.

Grrr..

Trim the roster even more, Andy Cannizaro has been re-assigned to the minor league camp.

The list of players now fighting for two spots looks like this.

Zach Jackson
Matt Herges
Vinnie Chulk
Tony Graffanino
Chris Gimenez
Damaso Espino
Trevor Crowe
Wilson Valdez
Edward Mujica
Andy Marte
Josh Barfield

As for when those last spots will be decided. At least on the bullpen front, Wedge is going to take as much time as possible.
"We'll probably play that out as long as we can," said manager Eric Wedge. "We have an idea where we're at, but no decisions have been made. We've got a couple of guys left and we're going to take a look at them."
I'm sure the other roster spot is on that same timeline. But things haven't really changed in terms of Barfield leading that charge.

Remember, Angels/Tribe today at 4 on STO.

Marty the Two Error Party!

I don't feel older.

The novelty of your birthday kind of wears off when you hit 16 I think. For me it probably hit a little earlier. I don't know why.

Today is just another day if you ask me, even though people are saying, Hey you were born today, how super cool.

Whatever.. I just want to talk Tribe, another year older means another year without a World Series.

Andy Marte.... Sir...

Marty the One Man Party hit a two-run shot that gave the Indians a 5-2 lead in the 4th inning. That would be all he did positive. He committed an error for the second day in a row. This time it was a throw.

Sorry, I know Marte did something positive but it's fun to knock him down.

Kelly Shoppach hit his fourth home run of the spring with a solo shot off Ivan Nova in the 8th inning. He went 2-4 with an addition run scored.

A few batters later, Trevor Crowe went solo job off Nova as well. He was 2-4 on the day.

Grady Sizemore was 2-4 with a run scored and Travis Hafner went 2-5 with a run batted in. Hafner isn't trying to hit for power right now, he's simply focusing on his swing. So if you're getting all skittish about him not showing any power, settle down.
"Squaring balls up, hitting balls hard, that will come," he said. "After that you start to drive the ball. Right now, the focus is on putting the barrel on the ball, using the whole field and seeing the ball well. After that, it will be time to start driving the ball."
This is why we have a Spring Training, for guys like Hafner to get himself in check.

Hafner also says his shoulder feels fine, his power is as better as it's ever been, as evidence by the things he's done in BP, and that his bat speed feels good. Stay patient, he's got about a week and a half to get in more work and I think he'll be good to go.

Mark Shapiro also said that Hafner is working himself into better counts, something he failed to do last year.

Asdrubal Cabrera scored on the Hafner RBI hit and knocked in a run of his own with a triple.

Jhonny Peralta is now hitting .429 with two more hits and another RBI. That's 10 on the spring.

Carl Pavano turned in a good effort. He went six innings, giving up two runs, but he did surrender seven hits. Positive, no walks and two strikeouts. One run came off a Henry Blanco solo-shot.

This is progress though, especially since he only threw 77 pitches in the six innings. If it were the regular season, it had the makings of a solid outing you look for from your three guy.

"He threw well," said Cleveland manager Eric Wedge. "He did a good job locating his fastball and mixed in some good changeups. He was strong and consistent."

"It was a positive. I can walk away from this with quite a few positives," Pavano said. "It was definitely better than the last couple of times. I felt great and stayed strong.

"A couple of times my pitches fell flat. But I was able to get it back. Up to this, I'd had a frustrating time making adjustments."

Tom Singer, the author of that article points out that if things shake out like they are, Pavano's third start will come in the new Yankee Stadium.

Oh and another ringing endorsement for the awesomeness that is Carl Willis.
"He said to stay on the rubber longer," Pavano explained. "Carl simplified it for me. That's a sign of a great pitching coach, to be able to pick up something like that and tell you how to deal with it."
Take it, or leave it.

Terry Pluto has a story up on Pavano, where even Bud Black had nice things to say about his performance yesterday.

Kerry Wood gave up two runs, but both of them unearned, so his ERA is still at 0.00. He gave up three hits and struck out one in his one inning of work.

Joe Smith walked one, but gave up none in his inning and Vinnie Chulk tossed a scoreless frame as well, further bolstering his shot at the final bullpen spot.

And that was the game. Jody Gerut got a hit, FYI, random update on my guy.

Going back to Pluto for a second. It's evident they've got Terry down in Arizona watching the Tribe.

Some notes from him
...

Asdrubal Cabrera is "playing gold glove" caliber second base right now.

Pluto thinks it might be better if they just release Marte, who he said was aided by the wind on his home run, I believe it.

Joe Smith compares to a harder throwing Steve Reed.

Finally, he said Peralta told him he isn't fooled by the breaking ball as much as he used to, thank god.

I've updated the big depth chart board.. Looks like it will be Sowers, Huff, Laffey, Saarloos in the rotation at Columbus. Scott Lewis is pitching today against the Angels, you can see his first performance after being named awesome by Eric Wedge.
"It says a great deal about Lewis in reference to what he did in big-league camp," manager Eric Wedge said. "I told him today that he came in and won the job from people who have had, or will have, a lot of success in the big leagues."
Like I said, the game is on STO today at 4:00, so you can watch Scotty Lewis in action.

[BOXSCORE]

3.25.2009

Lineup Vs Padres; Lewis #4 Starter

The updated word on Scott Lewis being named the final rotation starter is that he's actually going to be fourth in the rotation. Anthony Reyes will be fifth. That means Scott Lewis will start the home opener.

Anyway here is the lineup for today's game against Los Padres.

CF Grady Sizemore, 2B Asdrubal Cabrera, DH Travis Hafner, SS Jhonny Peralta, RF Ryan Garko, C Kelly Shoppach, 1B Tony Graffanino, 3B Andy Marte, LF Trevor Crowe.

Carl Pavano is on the mound, as mentioned earlier, Matt Herges and Vinnie Chulk will be pitching, as they are both in the race for the final bullpen spot.

Might also see Kerry Wood and Joe Smith.

Jody Gerut IS in the lineup today against the Indians, playing center and leading off. Wooohoo..

Marte gets a start for once, Garko is in right field again, Hafner will give it another go and a start for Trevor Crowe in left. He's the last remaining outfielder out of the Potential Columbus-Trio. Nice to see Wedge trying to get him regular at-bats.

Scotty Lewis Named Fifth Starter

A day after Jeremy Sowers was cut, the Indians made their decision on who would fill the final spot in the Indians' opening day rotation.

And while it would have been a surprise a few weeks ago, today, the only thing surprising is when the decision was made. Scott Lewis is the pitcher of choice.
"They told me this morning," said Lewis, before the Indians played San Diego later today. "I think a lot of it had to do with how I pitched in September and how I've pitched this spring."
Lewis has only started one game this spring, but he's been by far the most consistent contender for the rotation spot. Laffey has had his good outings, but his bad ones as well. Lewis is carrying a 3.52 ERA in five appearances and he has the end of last year to build on.

I wouldn't be shocked if last year factored into Lewis winning the job. The guy basically skipped the Triple-A level though. Although it all works out because of his delayed progress thanks to injuries, maybe he doesn't need to bother with Triple-A.

Hopefully it works out and the Indians don't have to send him down. But this isn't the end for Aaron Laffey or even Jeremy Sowers. There will be an injury at one point, no rotation can get through an entire 162 game season without having to call upon their depth.

Perhaps a big reason for them making this decision when they did is yesterday's Triple-A game in which both Aaron Laffey and Zach Jackson pitched in.

Laffey let up four runs off six hits in two innings, not exactly something that helps you. Jackson didn't do much better, with two runs off seven hits in three innings. Jackson is still in contention for the final bullpen spot, which will see Vinnie Chulk and Matt Herges pitch today against San Diego.

Still it's rather shocking to see them make this call with just one start for Lewis. You would think they'd give him one more go around as a starter then let him go, but I guess they want him to prepare to be a big league starter from here on out.

Good for him though. I'm sure the injuries frustrated him. To finally get himself a job at the big league level, has to be really special for Scotty Lewis, hopefully he holds onto it.

This does bring to light though that the rotation is complete, and while complete it is still a bit of a question mark.
"I just don't know what to expect, to be completely frank with you," Cleveland manager Eric Wedge said. "I just don't."

"When you lose a guy like CC," pitching coach Carl Willis said, "that's a guy that you're stamping 220 innings and a guy that, when his turn in the rotation comes and the bullpen's thin, he's such a stabilizer."
The makings of it though. It could be solid. We've been over it time and time again. Cliff Lee is what he is. Fausto Carmona can be good and we've seen him in spring pitch like we know he can. Carl Pavano has done it before, but he is certainly someone you cannot count on yet. Anthony Reyes has the talent, hopefully now he has the head and the health to translate it into good things.

Then you look at Lewis, Laffey, Sowers, someone there is going to have to step up and claim the job for the entire year. It may not be Lewis, who will get the first try, but it has to be someone. All three could get a shot, even add David Huff in there, but for the Indians to be successful, one has to take that shot and run with it.

Game against the Padres later. Lineups hopefully later.

3.24.2009

Carmona Cool in Tribe Tie

Okay first impressions right off the bat before I forget them and more as I go through this boxscore.

This is the first time I've seen Hafner actually playing. I saw him in interviews and just saw pictures of him.

But in the batters' box, watching the game live on television.

BOY DID HE TRIM DOWN!

Seriously, he looks way skinnier.

I think that's great. He looks good. He's not quite where he needs to be with the bat, but you can tell he's lost some pounds and he's at least healthy. He wasn't doing that weird thing that I noticed he was doing last year at Akron.

Hafner got five at-bats, he went 1-4 with a walk and a couple of punchouts.

Mark DeRosa picked up right where he left off in the WBC and with the Indians. He had a nice blooping hit to knock in a run. Grady Sizemore also knocked in a run before him with a looping double down the first baseline.

That was all the runs.

Chris Gimenez continues to have himself a good spring, he went 2-3 and played at first base and in left. He had a bit of an issue with a groundball because of a broken bat that came flying down the line. Otherwise, good work.

I booed when Andy Marte made the error at first, then managed to not score the winning run in the 10th so the game ended in a tie.

Pitching was the story of this game though and Fausto Carmona was brilliant.

He struck out two, gave up two hits (one of those being the Gimenez misplay) and walked two. He looked real good for five innings. Again the first time I've seen him and really you have to feel good about Carmona and his 1.69 ERA this spring.
"You know what was a great sign," said Wedge. "Fausto came out there and he wasn't on track right away, but he was able to fix it. He was able to get better as the first inning went along and I thought he was fantastic for the next four."
He actually wasn't on track, he did look a little shaky early with the walks, and he ran into trouble in one inning but maneuvered through it brilliantly.

Defensively... Grady made a great play in center, Francisco got Thome on a ball.. Victor was able to throw out a runner stealing, but he didn't catch Getz stealing, that was more on Carmona though.

Oh and Jhonny Peralta made a fantastic diving grab to end an inning, that was real impressive.

Masa Kobayashi did well in relief, pitching a scoreless inning, something he really needed.

The culprit for the runs was Jensen Lewis, who got tagged for his first markings this spring. He walked one and gave up three hits that brought up the two runs.

What was this.. Gasp... Edward Mujica pitched a perfect inning of work. Yikes..

Rafael Perez was good as well and a scoreless tenth for minor league Scott Roehl.

All in all.. It was actually a well played game for a spring training exhibition. After the three straight games to start the spring, it was nice to see a game again. There's another game on Thursday.

Tomorrow the Tribe faces San Diego. There are two more shots for us to see Jody Gerut, the second one being on TV.. So if Jody Gerut doesn't play tomorrow, I'll be fine.

[BOXSCORE]

Tribe Baseball Back on TV

STO is broadcasting the game today, back on TV, hooray!

Mark DeRosa makes his return, here is the lineup for today's game.

CF Grady Sizemore, 3B Mark DeRosa, DH Travis Hafner, C Victor Martinez, SS Jhonny Peralta, LF David Dellucci, RF Ben Francisco, 2B Jamey Carroll, 1B Chris Gimenez

Fausto Carmona is on the mound, first live look at the guy for me, let's see how he's looking.

How about Shin-Soo Choo last night? Starting to get it going with his second straight game with a home run. This one was solo shot that tied the game in the fifth.

Unfortunately, the Korean team lost. I was pulling for them though because there is still that remote chance that the Korean government would have given Choo his military exemption if the South Korean team won, considering he was pretty much the only guy on that team who either A) Didn't have one or B) Hadn't already served his term.

Anyway, all probably moot at this point. Choo will be back tomorrow.

You'll notice a number of site updates. Those wallpapers are something I wanted to post awhile ago. But they'll be there on the side link for anyone's use. I'm using one I made myself for my laptop. I like the schedule ones. Enjoy.

Also the Rafael Betancourt Cap Counter, which will be explained at some point before the season, trust me on that one.

And then there were three: Sowers and Saarloos Cut

THE HAMMAH HAS FALLEN!

The Indians made several cuts today. Two of them impacted the race for the final rotation spot.

The inconsistency in Jeremy Sowers finally got to him as the Indians sent him to the Triple-A Columbus roster. Catcher Wyatt Toregas will be joining him. Mark Shapiro doesn't think this is the end of Sowers though.
"I feel he's moving in the right direction," said Shapiro. "I think sometime this season, whether it's from day one or not, he's going to be able to put it together and help us in a meaningful way."
Kirk Saarloos also lost his battle for both a rotation spot and a bullpen spot, he was re-assigned to minor league camp along with outfielders Michael Brantley and Matt LaPorta, relief pitcher Greg Aquino, and first baseman Michael Aubrey.

The number is now 37, there is 12 players left to be cut.

LaPorta and Brantley had a nice spring, LaPorta was starting to turn it up. But it was evident that Trevor Crowe and Chris Gimenez earned themselves a longer stay and have more of a shot at getting called up first.

Meanwhile, the cutting of Saarloos and Sowers pretty much narrows the race for the final pitching spots down pretty well.

For the Rotation: It's Aaron Laffey, Zach Jackson, and Scott Lewis.

For the Bullpen: Vinnie Chulk, Edwin Mujica, Zach Jackson, and Matt Herges

Laffey is still the favorite, but Scott Lewis is really giving the Indians something to think about. I'd say Jackson and Chulk are sharing the favoritism in the bullpen spot, and Wedge seems to talk highly of Chulk every time, so maybe he's the guy so far.

I wouldn't mind giving Chulk a chance, just like Jorge Julio last year. I would rather try Chulk out for a month and see what he does then let him go and him do well elsewhere. If he can get you through a few months while winning, and giving some of your other arms a nice little extended period of not having to do anything, then awesome.

Things are going to get interesting. Here are the people that have been cut from camp.

CUTS
Jeremy Sowers
Kirk Saarloos
Greg Aquino
Michael Brantley
Matt LaPorta
Michael Aubrey
Jordan Brown
John Meloan
Adam Miller
Juan Salas
Tony Sipp
Luis Valbuena
Hector Rondon
Carlos Santana
Jack Cassel
David Huff
Armando Camacaro
Jordan Brown
Wes Hodges
Jesus Merchan
Beau Mills
Stephen Head
Ryan Edell
Rich Rundles
Tomo Ohka

Starting Total: 62
Cut Total: 25
Current Total: 37
Roster Spots: 25
Cuts Remaining: 12

Fighting for a Spot (15, 3 Unclaimed Spots)
Aaron Laffey
Zach Jackson
Scott Lewis
Matt Herges
Vinnie Chulk
Tony Graffanino
Chris Gimenez
Damaso Espino
Trevor Crowe
Wilson Valdez
Andy Cannizaro
Edward Mujica
Andy Marte
Josh Barfield

Okay so I believe I've figured that all out. 12 cuts remaining, 15 players left fighting for three spots, 37 current players on the roster. I had to go back a few weeks and find all the info.

Obviously, some guys like Damaso Espino and Wilson Valdez are probably going to be some of the easier cuts, but they need to be around until guys like Mark DeRosa officially reutrn. Josh Barfield probably also has a spot already, but as long as Graffanino is around, it is still a little bit of a competition.

Desktop Wallpapers

Here is a collection of Desktop Wallpapers for anyone to use as they please.

2009 - 11 Wallpapers


Schedule
1280x960 - Wood, Sizemore, Lee: Blue
1280x960 - Wood, Sizemore, Lee: Black
1280x960 - Entire Team: Blue
1280x960 - Entire Team: Black


Kerry Wood
1024x786 - Black, Blue Tint
1024x786 - Blue
1024x786 - Black


Grady Sizemore
1024x786 - Black, Regular Color
1024x786 - Black, Blue Tint
1024x786 - Blue


Ryan Garko
1024x786 - Blue

3.23.2009

LOLTribe: The Story of Josh Barfield's Spring

Well it's been a week since I've been able to muster up the time to post one of these, I might give you another one this week, depending on if I can find anymore photos. I have more that I've actually done, but with about two weeks left till we actually get the season underway, I need to plan it right.

With the story about Josh Barfield going up though, I figured today would be as good of a day as any other to share with you a little story I created with Barfield pictures.

From beginning to end, this is how Josh Barfield has spent his spring so far.



This is Josh Barfield sorting through gloves. I do not know why or the purpose for him sorting through gloves. But I like to think he's doing it for more than just finding a glove for himself. Maybe he'd alphabetizing them.



Here is Josh Barfield and Asdrubal Cabrera collecting baseballs. There is Asdrubal Cabrera telling Josh that he rocks for doing stuff that no major league player should probably be doing. Even though he is doing it himself as well.



And yes... Josh got Wedge his coffee too, and Wedge loved it.

But as the first picture says. At least he isn't Marte. Because Marte sucks and no one wants to suck.

LOMBARD!? LUMBURGH?! WHAT?!

My favorite movie is Office Space.

So....

There is a point when Peter thinks his boss got busy with his girlfriend. So he screams, LUMBURGH F'ED HER?!

That's the feeling I get when I hear the name Lombard.

Why?

I don't really know.

Really, I don't.

I considering myself up on the times.

So when I hear a guy named George Lombard hit a home run for us in a Spring Training game and I have no clue who he is, I get kind of perplexed.

WHERE DID THIS GUY COME FROM?!

Last month, maybe I was on the high of a Super Bowl, who knows, but on February 2nd, there was this piece of information, that I, and many others sort of just missed, except Scout.

GEORGE LOMBARD!?

LOMBARD HIT ONE?!

Just say the name.

LOOOOOOOOMMMMMMMMBBBBBBAAAAAARRRRRRDDDDDDDDD

The name is funny sounding!

Anyway, there was a game yesterday. Which is what I usually say when I want to end my ranting and talk about the game.

It went much smoother for Cliff Lee, who was doing more than getting work in, he was actually trying.

Some say Lee looked sharp in his five innings of work. He threw 72 pitches, gave up six hits, but no walks, two runs and he struck out three. That's more like it.

"I feel like I'm right where I need to be," said Lee, who threw 72 pitches. "I feel strong. I could have kept going today."

"I started thinking about opening day today," said Lee. "From this game on, I'm going to start pitching like it's a real game."

In other news, Rafael Betancourt gave up a run off a hit and a walk. Joe Smith gave up the go-ahead run in the 8th with two hits, but he did strike out two.

Rafael Perez pitched a scoreless inning with one hit.

And offensively, yes it was George Lombard with the Lumber.. HEY

Lombard went 2-2 with a double and a two-run home run. Then he committed an error that pretty much cost the game, so win-lose.

Kelly Shoppach knocked in the other run, but he went 0-3 with two punchouts.

Asdrubal Cabrera scored, went 2-2 with a triple and a walk, while Ryan Garko went 1-2 and walked, he's hitting .308 and Cabrera is hitting .333 this spring.

Andy Marte lives as he goes 2-4 with a double, but his other two at-bats sucked as he left 3 guys on base.

The WBC is almost over... Last night Mark DeRosa and Team USA fell to Japan in the semi-finals. America is pissed. I say, they put up a good fight. They lost their starting center fielder, starting second baseman, starting first baseman, their closer, and Ted Lilly was their third starter, not saying that's bad, but that's pretty damn good for the semi-finals.

Anyway, Mark DeRosa went 1-4 with a two-run double. His hit came in the 8th inning to make it a 6-4 game, but the Japanese pulled away to make it 9-4 and that was that.

They'll now face Korea for the 4885848th time this WBC for the Championship. Shin-Soo Choo has one more game before he can return to Eric Wedge.

And by Wednesday, everything should be hunky-dory, I can't believe I just used that term.
"We have to get them prepared," said Wedge. "We have to get some at-bats, some back-to-back days. We'll have some work to do. We'll have to sit down with them and put a program together."
Oh and Mark DeRosa had to play first because of the injuries and he had called Tony Amato to get him a glove sent. I'm sure Wedge was thrilled when he heard that.

The Indians don't have to make many long trips and soon no one will have to make many long ones. But the 2 and a half hour bus ride to face Colorado is probably an upgrade over some of the trips they'd have to take in Winter Haven.

Still, it can be draining, so Eric Wedge used it to give Josh Barfield, one of the guys he's really working this spring, a nice breather, especially with an off-day today.
"I'm learning like 40 positions, too," Barfield said with a smile. "This has been the busiest Spring Training of my career, for sure."
Josh has been a busy guy though and he is really taking to this idea of being a utility player, being an athlete all over the field.
"I understand the game more," Barfield said, "because now you really have to pay attention to the game and digest it. I'm more valuable to my team."
He's even taking to this diving catch thing. He made one, even though it squirted out, he likes making the "Sizemore catches"

"The umpire made a great call," said Barfield with a smile. "I dropped it on the transfer."

Barfield said he's been waiting to make plays like that.

"Those are the plays Grady Sizemore makes," he said. "I love watching him do that."

This is the perfect time for me to post the Josh Barfield LOLTribe I've been saving up. Look for it later today since there is no game.

I wouldn't give up on Josh Barfield as a starter though. Things always work themselves out, and be it in Cleveland or somewhere else, this might have been the sort of, wake up call, Barfield needed. Who knows, nothing says Wedge Hodges is a definite for next year... Jhonny Peralta's future position is third base, Asdrubal's is short, and we don't know anything about Valbuena yet.

Josh's hopes are not over yet.

On a final note, this is something I didn't bother to mention. But the Indians returned to their former Spring Training home when they faced the Rockies. Before leaving for Florida after 1992, the Indians called Hi Corbett Field their home for spring.

Well back to normalcy for this week. Work was fun, a nice taste of what I'll be doing this summer, just not every day of the week M-F of course. Back to regular updates and boring myself in the cold library. I did manage to chat up someone wearing Tribe gear on Friday. I get the feeling a lot of people are being cautiously not-optimistic. Spirits might be broken. Oh well.

After a nice weekend rest though, I'm recharged sort of. I think I'd rather be working than going to class. I know I'd be up at 6 and walking around the campus all day, but it's way better than sitting through boring class with a guy talking about just... stuff I don't care about because he doesn't teach the class right.

Okay, stop rambling. Happy Monday, Grrr.

[BOXSCORE]