Spring Games #8 and #9: Two Losses, The Horror!

After winning five straight and tying two more times, the Indians have managed to lose their last two.

Big deeaaaaaaaaaaaal!

Just a few announcements before we get this going.

I return to work this week, which means the updates will be sporadic. I actually typed this up last night, so have fun.

Let's start with yesterday. Kerry Wood was schedule to pitch an inning Saturday against Texas, but was held out due to an issue with his arm. It was a big mystery until this morning when Wood revealed it was soreness in his lat.

Wood said it was a precaution that he didn't pitch, but he'll throw a session today and expect to pitch against Cincinnati on Wednesday. I'd rather be safe than sorry with Wood and his arm.

Mike Gosling ended up pitching an inning for Wood and getting an out in the fourth after Justin Masterson started. The Mastard was awesome, going 3.2 innings and striking out six. He gave up a run, but it was unearned.

Carlos Carrasco gave up three runs as he went three innings.And the pressure for Carrasco is starting to mount. He says he doesn't pay attention to it and I don't either. However I think there's pressure on him to not suck like this.
"That's something very big for me," Carrasco, 22, said. "I don't think that I'm the greatest and I know I can get better, but when you are traded for a pitcher like Cliff Lee, a Cy Young winner, it makes you feel good. It makes you proud and it's an honor. I just have to demonstrate to the fans that I can work hard, too."
He's at least kept a positive attitude, but every time he's had eyes on him, he's bombed for the most part. He's just gotta not suck bad.

Offensively there was zilch in the Texas game. Lonnie Chisenhall had half of the hits and a walk, while Michael Brantley had two walks.

Chris Gimenez struck out three times. Guy has kept struggling offensively.

Against San Diego, Aaron Laffey started what is Round Three of the battle for the rotation and it was not pretty for him. After disposing of Everth Cabrera in quick fashion and setting the side down in order in the first, Laffey hit a wall.

He gave up a run in the second and loaded the bases up before getting Chris Young to ground out into a double play. Then he got hit hard. After retiring the first two in the third, Laffey was smoked by Jerry Hairston and a double.

Laffey's Line: 2.2 innings, 5 H, 5 R (4ER), 3 BB, 1 K... Laffey said his pitches were 'dying at the plate'.

That would be all for the Padres offense as Hector Rondon settled things down. He and Jeanmar Gomez kept it scoreless for four innings, with Gomez striking out two and giving up just one hit.

Jhonny Peralta provided the pop, hitting a home run in the third inning with two outs. His shot was the other way and he really stayed on it. When Peralta is going good that's how he hits.

Andy Marte joined Peralta in the two-hit department. Nick Weglarz got hit by a pitch to score a run and Luis Rodriguez knocked in the third run.

Wes Hodges botched a play at first. Jason Donald's throw was right in Wes' glove, yet the ball miraculously skipped past him. Not good for a guy who has to make his bones at first.

Speaking of Donald, he made several great plays in the field. He was shading Gonzalez up the middle on the double play he turned early in the game and later he made a great stop and throw from short. Kid has a glove.

The Indians played a B-Game Sunday as well back in Goodyear against the Reds. Kelvin De La Cruz got to pitch and a few regulars, including Jensen Lewis saw action from the mound and gave up a home run. Travis Hafner was one regular who started in the B-Game, most likely because the Padres didn't want to use the DH in the game against Cleveland.

I refuse to get into the Russell Branyan thing.. He plays when he plays... I'm not worried right now and I'm not going to quibble over the lack of information with this status right now.

Good news from Milwaukee Brewers camp. Tony Lastoria reported on Saturday that Chuck Lofgren has been offered back to the Cleveland Indians. He still needs to clear waivers, but that seems likely. Now at this point, the Indians can take him back and return half the $25,000 or work out a trade for the Brewers to keep Lofgren.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel had a piece on Chuck the other day. Chuck said this in regards to leaving the Indians initially.

"They didn't feel I was one of their guys anymore," said Lofgren. "They knew what was going on (with my mother) but at the same time my results weren't very good. I think they gave up on me a little bit, but I understand their decision."
I don't know how much of that is true. I think he got caught up in a numbers game and they gambled that he wouldn't get selected. I still want Chuck back and hope he'll be happy to be back with Cleveland, if that's in fact what happens. He makes the organization much much deeper.

Also according to Tony, the Indians Rule V pick of their own, Hector Ambriz may be on his way back to Arizona, or at least the Indians may be initiating a process to resolve the situation. Make sure you check out Tony's Arizona Notebook as he's down in Goodyear for awhile getting the goods on the minor league players and prospects as they crank up their full-squad workouts today.

Finally, Jeremy Sowers... Even he realizes what's ahead of him and that he has some work to do with his stamina because he's so behind. If you think about it. Most starters are up to three inningsish, while Sowers hasn't even got a shot to go one.
"The main concern was getting healthy, then worrying about everything else," Sowers said. "We're getting close to that spot. I still have some hurdles to pass over, in terms of building up my workload. It's too soon to tell how my arm will respond to the stress of game situations."  
I can honestly see Jeremy Sowers starting the year on the disabled list so he can go through a minor league rehab process and build up his workload. By then, maybe they could have a spot for him.

Tomorrow... David Huff looks to take charge of the rotation battle. So far, I'd say Mitch Talbot has a leg up on everyone due to his performances and lack of options. Huff can get the leg up on Laffey if he puts up some zeros and throws some strikes.


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