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7.19.2010

Notes and Quotes: Is Jhonny Peralta a Wizard?

Nino Colla | Monday, July 19, 2010 | | | | | | | | | | | Best Blogger Tips
Here comes the cavalry!

Pick a day any day to go down to Akron between Monday and Wednesday to see both Shin-Soo Choo and Asdrubal Cabrera start for the Aeros before they make their returns to the club on Friday.

I might make up for my skipping out on Saturday with a game tonight if it doesn't rain. If not tonight, then tomorrow since I work Wednesday night.

This is fantastic news for the club, especially coming off a four game sweep of the Tigers. Maybe this second half is going to be a fun one to watch.

[CHOO AND CABRERA BACK IN ACTION]

"The last time I played was July 1 [actually, July 2]," Choo said. "So I have not seen a pitcher for 20 days. I take batting practice every day, but I want to see a pitcher to get more comfortable." 

Not many players voluntarily take on a rehab assignment, but that is what Shin-Soo Choo wanted to do. He is eligible to come off the DL, yesterday I think, or today, but Choo wanted to see live pitching before he returned to the club.

Choo took 50 swings in outdoor batting practice yesterday and said he felt pain free.

Meanwhile Cabrera is in the middle of his rehab stint. He did not play yesterday for Akron and will come back down 76 to eclipse that 30 at-bat mark the Indians wanted him to reach.

[JEANMAR IN, JEANMAR OUT]

This was most definitely a spot start, but if it sets off a run for Jeanmar Gomez that puts him in the Indians plans, all the better. Gomez has been the three, hell even four to Carlos Carrasco, David Huff, and Josh Tomlin most of the season. But because of Huff's tweet and Tomlin not being on the 40-man roster, he received an opportunity and ran with it.

As we've now learned, Justin Masterson was indeed pushed back from the Sunday start for a reason. He twisted his ankle during the All-Star break back in his home. The injury isn't serious, but it was enough to push him back. Had that not happened, it would have likely been Carlos Carrasco going on Tuesday in normal turn, like we all thought it would go down.

But the Masterson ankle twist caused the Indians to have to shuffle their cards and re-deal. David Huff was scratched Saturday in Columbus and told he'd go for the big league club on Sunday. Huff was told not to tell anyone, but he obviously did and whoever he told decided to tweet it.

That led the Indians to getting peeved off and that led to them giving Gomez the start instead. Good thing they did, because Gomez was good. He also felt good.

"I was not nervous," said Gomez, who allowed just two unearned runs on five hits with a walk and four strikeouts. "I felt very, very good." 

Jeanmar still had a plane ticket waiting for him to North Carolina so he could meet up with the rest of the Clippers on their road trip after the game. Clearly he didn't pitch that perfect game he needed to stick around, but he certainly pitched well enough for everyone to remember him. Tim Belcher said Gomez was not intimidated and he remained calm. I'll take that any day of the week from a starter because that usually leads to results more often than not.

I'm ready to see more. Gomez hasn't been having the greatest year in Columbus, but baseball is a funny sport. Who knows what this may do for his confidence as he progresses.


[DOES IT STILL COUNT AS AN INSIDE THE PARK IF THE OUTFIELDER LEAVES?]

Ryan Raburn crashed into the wall and the gate opened, I laughed, hysterically.

It would be the only way that Jhonny Peralta could score on an inside-the-park home run. That and if all three outfielders were knocked unconscious. That is essentially what happened to Raburn as he ranged back and jumped to make the catch. The bullpen door went flying open, the ball went back the other way.

What's funnier than that was what Peralta had to say after the game on the matter.

"I tried to run the best I can," the slow-footed Peralta said with a smile. "I can't breathe too good. It was really hard for me. I ran as fast as I can." 

Throw in him scoring from first on LaPorta's triple and Jhonny certainly had an adventurous first day back in the lineup after three games missed with the flu. Little guy had a big day!

Did anyone else notice a person getting out of the way just before Raburn crashed into the wall? Could someone have unlocked the door right before in attempt to aid Peralta? Did Raburn just hit the gate really hard? Is Peralta a wizard? None of these questions will ever be answered for sure.

[RANDOM RUNDOWN]

It looks like the plan for now is to go with a stocked up bullpen and play without a backup middle infielder, at least for the series against the Twins. Today the Indians will sent Jeanmar Gomez back down and recall relief pitcher Jess Todd to be added to their bullpen. Todd's stay may be short, unless he does very well and someone implodes as the club will be getting both Cabrera and Choo back on Friday.

Jhonny Peralta can play short in a pinch, but it is a bit of a gamble going with just Donald and Nix as your only middle infielders for the next three games. I say go for it. Those are the only two infielders because Anderson Hernandez was designated for assignment to make room for Jeanmar Gomez on Sunday. This move with Hernandez was coming sooner or later with Cabrera coming back, it just came sooner because of the double header and the bullpen use.

So Cabrera comes back, takes the 40-man spot of Hernandez and the roster spot of possibly Todd. Who's space does Choo take? The candidates are Trevor Crowe, Michael Brantley, Shelley Duncan, and Andy Marte.

I'll go ahead and rule out Michael Brantley and believe the club is serious about giving him his audition. I have a fear that they'll want to continue painfully with Trevor Crowe, which leads me to believe it could be Shelley Duncan or Andy Marte. Shelley can't play third, but Jayson Nix can, which basically makes it a matter of preference because they won't need Duncan to do much in the outfield and both he and Marte can play first.

Or they could trade Austin Kearns between now and Friday, that would be the most, uh, helpful, move.

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