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5.06.2010

Notes and Quotes: Everybody hates Luis Valbuena

Nino Colla | Thursday, May 06, 2010 | | | | | | | | | Best Blogger Tips
I'm still pretty pissed off about yesterday and since I didn't really give much, hell anything, in the game recap, I guess now would be a good time to do so. I probably would have said something ridiculous anyway, so this is better.

There is an off day today so this loss is just going to sink in a little bit more, which blows a whole lot.

[WHAT DO YOU DO WITH VALBUENA]

Alright what do you do? Jason Donald is lighting the world on fire in Columbus, Luis Valbuena is not only atrocious at the plate, he's now making defensive gaffs that have cost the team a ballgame. That for me is where I draw the line.

I've been perfectly fine with the Indians stance in giving these young players opportunities to do something. Unofficially the stance is June 1st they will not make a major move, which is fine.

But I'm really starting to question if Valbuena deserves one. I was never on his train to begin with as he doesn't inspire me as much more than a decent utility player, so admittedly I may be the wrong person to ask.

I said keep Marson though and give Marson a chance, and look he's turned it around a bit and now things don't look so bad. But how much longer do you give Valbuena with the way Donald is hitting. Of course you can't expect Donald to come right up and pick up where he left off in Columbus, but defensively what I saw from Donald in the spring, man..

He'd be way better than Valbuena in that aspect...

I don't know, I'm constantly preaching give it time give it time, don't snap judgment. This one tests me... But it doesn't look like the Indians are going to make a move and they are going to stick to their guns with their "no major moves" for awhile stance.

"A ground ball is a ground ball," Acta said. "I feel bad for the kid, but we win as a team and we lose as a team."

"For the same reason I wasn't going to put him in the Hall of Fame when he hit a two-out RBI double to put us ahead by two [in the eighth]," Acta said. "We can't be reacting to every good game or bad game."


Valbuena giveth and Valbuena taketh away. If anything when Louie made the error, you should have known the Indians were going to lose because they only make errors that severely impact the outcome of the game.

What's funny is that no one but Valbuena blamed Valbuena. Louie was the only one that put the blame on him. Acta went around it by saying we win as a team and lose as a team, and Chris Perez flat out said that "Luis didn't make those pitches" and said it was "totally his fault."

I don't agree with that... Yeah he was 0-2 to Lind, but that pitch wasn't even bad. It was up and it was away, but it was hardly a grooved pitch down the middle. He threw something up and out of the zone to get Lind to chase and the guy put a good swing on it. i don't blame Perez for this loss, even though he took all the blame.

Valbuena on the other hand did say that he makes no excuse for the error, and he shouldn't. That was as routine as they come. The fact that he is playing shortstop matters none to me. The second error, now if that was the error that prolonged the game, I think there is more of an excuse that he hasn't been playing short all that much, but that was a routine ball that you can't screw up regardless of what position you are accustomed to.

Oh and on Perez making the five out save... Don't even make excuses.. Acta was very straight-forward with his answer as to why... "Every heard of Rollie Fingers?"

I'm with him there, Perez can handle the five out save, it was his defense that couldn't. As Perez said, he hasn't been used all that much and the off day was following.

[REDMOND PULLED FOR HIP TIGHTNESS]

Mike Redmond was pulled from yesterday's game after he came up a little lame running to first after his hit. The fact of the matter is he's had this hip tightness going on for a few weeks now, but this is the same guy that played a month through a sidelineable injury because his team's starting catcher was going to miss the first month of the season.

Simply put Redmond didn't want to be even more of a liability that he already is on the base paths with an injury. But with him only starting with Carmona on the mound, Redmond's injury isn't expected to change anything at the catcher position.

It was perfect timing really that our backup catcher has an injury and it prompted the question to be asked of Manny Acta of who his emergency catcher would be.

With the most serious of looks, I kid you not, Acta sat there and said "Valbuena."

At that point, I actually busted out laughing yesterday thinking he was joking. The sad part is, he was dead serious.

Austin Kearns would also be an option, I guess he used to catch way back when.


[RANDOM RUNDOWN]

The thinking behind moving Justin Masterson back and Huff up boils down to helping Masterson and according to the Mastard, the move can't really hurt anyone, he is probably right.

Masterson had been following up two pitchers that are primarily ground ball pitchers with their sinkers. Masterson also has a sinker and in what makes perfect sense, he is essentially following two pitchers that are sort of similar. So the opposing players have been getting set in against a certain type of right-handed groundball pitcher and then they get a third and they're ready.

"The hitters' sights are down, down, down," Masterson said. "So if anything, this adds the potential to give you a little extra leeway.

Now they get a lefty thrown in. It matters very little, but like Masterson said, he can't hurt.

Jake Westbrook is a little frustrated by his command issues, but he is apparantely no different than any of the other pitchers that have undergone Tommy John surgery.

"Actually, I spoke to Dr. Yocum when we were in Anaheim," pitching coach Tim Belcher said. "He said most of his patients with that Tommy John don't really get their command back until the second year. Hopefully it comes a little bit quicker for [Westbrook]."

But of course that isn't good enough for the ultra-competitive Westbrook, who Belcher says is in better shape than half the position players.

"I feel I should be making progress," he said after allowing four runs (three earned) on five hits with five walks and three strikeouts in a no-decision against the Jays. "I haven't done that."

That right there is why I love Westbrook. I know it hasn't been pretty and with the contract they pretty much have to, but I'm going to keep throwing him out there. The guy just battles and battles and battles and won't give up on you. That's always something you can count on. As Belcher also pointed out, Westbrook didn't really have to rely on pinpoint accuracy throwing the ball, he isn't much of a control pitcher. So that is something to remember going forward.


Kerry Wood pitched a scoreless inning yesterday in Akron's 5-2 win. He struck out two and walked a hitter... I'd expect to see him rather soon, as soon as this weekend for the series against Detroit.

Finally, the entire baseball world has chimed in on the life of Ernie Harwell, the legendary broadcaster for the Detroit Tigers who passed away the other day after a long bout with cancer. This franchise lost Herb Score before the 2009 season, so we certainly know the feeling. Harwell has touched a lot of people though, including our current radio play-by-play man, Tom Hamilton.

"He gave me the best advice that I think I ever got from another broadcaster, other than Herb Score," Hamilton remembered. "He said, 'Look, people are tuning in and tuning out every five minutes. It's our job to let them know when a no-hitter is going on. What we say on the air has nothing to do with what's going on on the field.' Some people may not like that. But if it was good enough for Ernie Harwell, it was good enough for me." 

Hammy said he was as a better person than he was a broadcaster and he will always remember how well Ernie treated him.

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