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5.09.2010

Notes and Quotes: Wood off the DL and into the fire

Nino Colla | Sunday, May 09, 2010 | | | | | | | | | | Best Blogger Tips
Haven't had a Notes and Quotes since Thursday so I haven't had a chance to talk about this Jensen Lewis-Kerry Wood decision, but if you saw my tweet, you probably know where I'm going to go with it.

Just a little note going forward. I start work again tomorrow and if you followed last year, when May hit, the wall sort of did and updating became sporadic. Fact of the matter is up I'm at six and not home until 5-5:30 most weekdays and that just exhausts me. So there will be times when I do update and times when I'm flat out not around.

I'm more prepared for it though this year, so I think things will be much better. And hey if we play better than last year, that might be a little more motivating, so, buck up Tribe.


[WOOD ACTIVATED, TAKES LOSS, LEWIS TO CBUS]

It was a little shocking to see Jensen Lewis get the boot when the Indians activated Kerry Wood off the disabled list on Friday. I think everyone assumed the Tribe would just designated Jamey Wright for assignment because....

A) While Rafael Perez has been bad, there is still hope there.

B) Jamey Wright was added to the roster for this reason.

C) Everyone else was pitching decently.

Now people will quickly point to the walks and Lewis' high WHIP as the reason, but that isn't the case. Lewis simply had put together a few struggling outings lately and here's the biggest thing.

He had options. If Rafael Perez had options, he'd have been sent down. But he doesn't, and that in large part is why Lewis was sent down and Acta even noted that.


"It's always tough when you send guys down, especially someone like Jensen, who cares so much," Acta said. "This move wasn't merely based on performance. It's a baseball decision, a very tough decision. At times, you have guys in your bullpen whom you're not as flexible with. It's about depth and being able to keep as many pieces as you can. We explained it to Jensen and he understands. He'll be in a position some day where, even if he struggles, he won't be able to go down." 

To me.. It's a poor rationalization on this decision. "Oh he had a bad WHIP and options." Who Cares. For most of this season, he's pitched better than probably anyone in the bullpen outside of Tony Sipp. Two bad outings and on the heels of that, Wood being ready to get activated? Yeah it bites and I don't agree with it.

Think of what this could do to Jensen. He pitches decently well and still gets called down? If I were him I'd think, Gee what do I have to do for this club to get them to believe in me, sure doesn't seem like they do right now.

Now that probably isn't the case, but really it makes you wonder.

Wood pretty much took over Lewis' role coming in for the seventh inning in a tied game and after striking out the first two, things fell out. As Wood stated, his trouble started when he walked Damon and that brought up Ordonez and really regardless of how Ordonez has been hitting (hasn't been particularly hot) you can't really attack him like you'd want to with nobody on base.

That also led to a walk and really, when Miguel Cabrera is up at the plate with bases loaded, you don't even have to make a mistake for him to hurt you.

"I didn't make that bad a pitch to Cabrera," Wood said. "That ball was in off the plate. That's why he's hitting .340, .350 every year. He's one of the best hitters in the game." 

Bingo... If the Indians did get into a save situation, obviously Wood wouldn't have taken back over the closer duties just yet, but those save opportunities have been few and far between. It is pretty sad when Chris Perez's saves have all come against one team and he's only had one real opportunity outside of that.

But when the time does come for Chris Perez to slide back into a setup role (which could be next week, can't imagine Wood would close today if needed, but will probably be there for the Kansas City series), he's welcoming the change.

"[Moving from the closer's role to a setup role] could be a blessing in disguise," Perez said. "I'll be able to still get in the game, even when we're losing, and try to keep us close."

[WE STINK MAN]



There's been a big stink over the tirade Bruce Drennan had on the air to open up All Bets are Off the other day. This was after the loss on Wednesday of course.

I saw all of it as it happened and really, I looked at it no differently than any other Bruce tirade. But this one caught the attention of a lot of people apparently. Why? I'm not really sure.

Overall it is really silly. Bruce is frustrated as all of us are, but he has a public forum in tn the form of a national television show to voice that frustration.

Look... Sometimes Bruce can be an absolute goofball. Why is he getting on Peralta for not coming through in the ninth as if it was the worst thing ever. Sure it sucked, but he shouldn't have ever been in the position to have to come through. It's like Peralta never went 0-5 before.

Yeah I don't know. Basically he went through the entire lineup and read off the averages of everyone who's sucked. I think he went a little overboard, but this isn't really the first or last time he'll do that.

Heck, there must be something about May 5th that triggers something in his brain to tell him to go on a rant.

[SHORT STRUGGLES]

Asdrubal Cabrera was scratched again yesterday, probably due to the fact that "tightness" anywhere in the body doesn't really jive with cold weather. Today is a nicer day, so let's hope Cabrera is a go today, especially after Valbuena's struggles at shortstop.

It has to be brought up. Yes the errors at short are frustrating an unacceptable. But the Indian's are not going to call down Luis Valbuena and bring up Donald because of it. He was playing a decent second base, not flawless, still with mistakes, but he wasn't messing up the routine plays at second like he has at short, a position he hasn't been playing a whole lot.

Now does that excuse the Indians for continuing to run him out there? Not at all. If Cabrera can't go again, they better make an adjustment and play someone else there. Peralta? Holy hell when did you think we'd say "Please Play Peralta at Short!" What's funny is that Luis has been screwing up the routine play and it was Eric Wedge who constantly brought up the point. Jhonny Peralta is one of the best making the routine play at short. Holy, hell. You don't realize how ridiculous that sounds, but also what a genius Wedge sounds like after watching Valbuena botch play after play at short.

Acta was defending his temporary shortstop though, on all the plays in question.

"That was a very tough play," Acta said. "All he was trying to do was knock the ball down."

"He just didn't get the ball out of his glove," Acta said. 

Again, the Indians won't make a move based off a few games at a position he's not accustomed to. He was basically thrown into the fire. What won't save him though is the way he's swinging the bat and as his average continues to drop with goose-egg after goose-egg, the groans are getting louder and louder and the footsteps of Jason Donald are inching closer and closer.


[RANDOM RUNDOWN]

Acta maintains that even though the home runs hit by Travis Hafner and Grady Sizemore didn't count, they know they did it. Which makes sense, we know they did it. Hafner didn't seem to skip a beat, but Sizemore certainly struggled in yesterday's game.

That game by the way will likely be made up in July, most likely after the All-Star break.

I was kind of rough on Justin Masterson yesterday on twitter before he finished his start. Overall it was a good start. I myself am frustrated though because I feel as if Masterson is better than that. He hikes up that pitch count early and ends up only going five or six innings most of the time out. If he had more innings like he did in the sixth yesterday, he'd be able to pump out seven or eight on a regular basis.

I have to remind myself though, this is still sort of a work in progress here with Masterson and he's making good progress.

"I'm just happy about continuing to get better," said Masterson, who has struck out 15 in his last two starts. "That's really all I can control. The win will come when it comes. Today I would have been happy with a team win."

Oh hey I love strikeouts as much as the next guy, but it attributes to that pitch inflation. Is it his fault that hitters swing and miss at his pitches? No, I guess not, but what can you do.

A new Terry Pluto is up and he too questions sending down Jensen Lewis, but he'd take the chance of sending Rafael Perez through waivers. Terry dives into those numbers that I did the other day in "The Problem" with Matt LaPorta and left-handers.

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