5.31.2010

Notes and Quotes: Ranting on the Sizemore Injury

My computer issues have been well documented, here especially. A few weeks ago it went haywire again (mind you we just had the motherboard replaced twice and the LCD screen, four, count'em four times) this time something different. Basically I was viewing a 600some by 400some pixel picture with 4 bit color on a wide-screen Dell Latitude laptop that has far better color capabilities. After a day or so of rest and a few restarts, it sort of comes back, only not at my normal resolution.

After a day of using it like that (every time I scroll, it lags, everything looks scrunched, it isn't right) it comes back to normal. I think, okay whatever, let's continue on. The warranty lasts a little longer, so we have time to see if it does it again. It did it again on Saturday... Sunday repeated the process of scrunchy viewing and lagging scrolling and now today it is back to normal.

Can someone explain this to me? It is as disappointing as yesterday's loss, which I still haven't fully taken in yet.

With a computer back to normal (for now) we have a lot to go over, especially after yesterday's "wasted" effort.

[MASTER OF LUCK]

"What can you do?" Masterson said with a smile. "You're going to catch some breaks, and you're going to not."

Justin Masterson has caught not a single break this year. And when he hasn't been in the position to catch a break (which hasn't been much) he's been getting battered by both the fans and the opposing offenses.

Masterson's success yesterday was credited to a mechanical adjustment that he says keeps him on top of the ball and keep better control of the ball. It certainly showed as he only walked Alex Rodriguez and as I pointed out yesterday, it was a purposeful walk.

The lone mistake he made came to Derek Jeter in his last pitch of the outing when his sinker floated towards the middle of the plate rather than inward.

You still kind of forget though that Masterson was actually in a position to still win this game, if only Tony Sipp came through. But as Tony put it, you just have those days sometimes. Unfortunately Sipp had two of them, both in New York, both this weekend.

"Things are still good," said Sipp. "I still like New York. I still wake up and get to come in and play baseball for a living. I'm not complaining. . . . You're going to have days like this. It does happen." 

Win or no win though for Masterson, he holds onto his job and if he pitches like that most of the time, he won't have to worry about losing it. Derek Jeter said, obviously being used to facing him in Boston, that Masterson is never an easy at-bat and we know that is true after yesterday. Did the mechanical adjustment fix everything? No it didn't, but it certainly helps. Acta said he didn't tell Masterson his job was on the line and Masterson said he doesn't concern himself with that type of stuff.

Aaron Laffey's demotion was certainly a curious precursor to what could be a move involving Masterson. Acta said he expects Laffey to be stretched out in Columbus, which can only mean they plan on getting him back into the rotation.

This is a move though that probably had to be made, especially the way Laffey has been pitching. Lewis certainly did himself no favors in his first game back, but what's new with him? Never really right-place right-time for him.

[SURGERY FOR SIZEMORE]

Grady Sizemore will undergo surgery this week in Colorado, but what type of surgery he undergoes is still a little bit unknown. Okay, we do know that he'll arthroscopic undergo surgery that will keep him out six-to-eight weeks, but during his surgery, with the date still to be determined, Dr. Richard Steadman could decide to do microfracture surgery, which would basically end his 2010 season.

Here's the most annoying part of all this.

Castrovince revealed that Sizemore suffered this knee injury at the end of spring training. Which makes it two straight years now that he was in fact playing hurt from the get-go. We all assumed he was healthy and that he was just struggling.

In a way it does explain the struggle and how he absolutely killed the ball during spring, but come the season he fell off the map. But it also is frustrating because Sizemore is starting to look more and more like Ken Griffey Jr. without more years of success that Junior had before breaking down.

So I ask you this though... If Sizemore sustained that injury at the end of spring training and he suffered an entire month not hitting worth a lick.

WHY WAS HE STILL PLAYING?!

If he was struggling like he was and I KNEW he was hurt, I would have shut that down before it became even more of a problem. Now look at where we are at. We don't have Sizemore period and likely won't for quite possibly the rest of the season.

Was it worth it? Whoever made the call, Shapiro, Acta, collectively, was it really worth it?

This is is really irritating because we all assumed that Sizemore was healthy and a healthy Sizemore equals a good Sizemore. I'm still convinced of that because the bad Grady that we saw was hurt. We haven't seen healthy Sizemore in a few years and quite frankly, I'm sick of it.

If the guy is hurt, sit him down and let him get better. Don't putz around like this. I know it is probably partially Grady's fault because he's so damn hard-headed in playing, but he has to set his friggin pride aside and realize he's WORTHLESS when he's hurt. I'd rather not have him for a few weeks because he's getting better rather than have him for a month and a half when he's playing like the way he was. Trevor Crowe is playing way better than he did and he's a lot more productive because, HEY SHOCKER HE'S HEALTHY!

It just is very irritating to see this happen yet again. They did it last year (stupid), they did it the year before with both Hafner and Joe Borowski (even more stupid), and now for a third straight year they let a player dictate to them how to handle an injury and I have no doubt it has everything to do with Sizemore's status as not only a regarded "guts for glory" type of a player and pretty much the gas that makes this team go.

Whatever... Kiss your season good-bye anyway. You may have not had a chance with Sizemore missing time to start the season, but you definitely don't have a chance now and you may even put the future of your club in jeopardy if this lingers. This team will go no where without a healthy Sizemore because at this point he isn't producing and you sure as hell aren't getting full value from him at this stage.

[HUFF COULD BE READY FOR NEXT START]

After that little rant... I think I've run out of gas. But I'll throw in one last note. David Huff looks like he'll be ready to make his next start as scheduled as long as nothing pops up between now and his start.

It looks like Huff is going to survive that little incident with a lump on the side of his head and nothing more. Huff was so cognizant after getting hit he recited his brother's phone number and instructed trainer Rick Jameyson to call him and let him and his parents know everything was alright.

The first thing that I thought when I saw the hit was, "Oh my god, I hope it missed his temple." A shot like that to the temple could honestly be fatal and as Huff said, an inch away and he might have not been so lucky.

"It could have been an inch this way or that way," Huff said, pointing near his eye and his temple, "and I wouldn't be here talking to you. I was definitely lucky." 

Lonnie Soloff said the fact that the ball traveled so far after hitting Huff was better than if it had just bounced off and landed closer to him. I guess that makes sense, but I'm not a physicists nor a doctor so, I don't know if balls bouncing off your head and traveling one distances is better than another, but I do know a ball hitting your head is bad either way. Thankfully though David looks to be alright and possibly ready to go for his next start.

Minor Issues: Clippers walkoff to a sweep

What's the News?

I don't have a clever way of saying there really is no news of note right now. So no news of note right now.


COLUMBUS

With a run in the bottom of the 11th, the Clippers continue their dominance over the IronPigs at home and complete a four-game sweep of Lehigh Valley, 4-3.

Yohan Pino went six-plus and gave up three runs, but it was the bullpen that held things in check. Frank Herrmann remained untouchable as he struck out one as he finished the seventh inning and pitched a scoreless eighth, Jess Todd and Joe Smith pitched in as well and Josh Judy picked up his first win by holding things down in the 11th.

The Clips won after Brian Buscher came through on a two-out single after Jordan Brown led off with a double, Chris Gimenez moved him over with a bunt, Nick Weglarz was intentionally walked, and Anderson Hernandez lined out.

Carlos Santana had two more walks and Nick Weglarz had three himself in addition to a RBI double.

Buckle up for a good old fashioned Memorial Day double header as the Clippers and Louisville Bats square off in Columbus. Justin Germano will go in the first game and Jeremy Sowers will make a spot start in the second one.

AKRON

Despite the 5-2 loss, the Aeros got a good performance from Eric Berger, which is nice to see.

Berger went five innings and gave up two runs off seven hits and four walks. The stats aren't all that impressive but it isn't some of the beatings he's been taken as of late.

Bryan Price's dominance ended in his second inning of work as he gave up three runs. Price had pitched eight scoreless innings prior to yesterday.

Jared Goedert hit a solo home run and Beau Mills knocked in another run for the Aeros only scoring. Goedert's hit streak is up to 19 games while Johnnie Drennen's 12 game streak came to an end as he went 0-for-4.

The Aeros look to at least split the four-game series with Binghamton as Kelvin De La Cruz takes the bump for Akron in the Monday day game.

KINSTON

Kinston took the series behind Joe Gardner and his third Kinston win this season, 5-2.

Gardner went six strong giving up two runs off seven hits and a walk with five punchouts. Dave Roberts pitched two scoreless innings and Cory Burns notched save number four.

Jason Kipnis and Abner Abreu both knocked in two runs each with Kipnis hitting a double and coaxing out a walk as well. Jordan Henry scored twice off two hits and Doug Pickens stole a base and knocked in the fifth run.

The K-Tribe put a nice dent into Winston Salem's lead and now trail them by six games. Kinston will remain at home for Memorial Day and T.J. McFarland will take on Wilmington.

LAKE COUNTY

While the K-Tribe is chasing, the Captains are just trying to hold off the Loons. Great Lakes shutout the Captains 6-0 to pull within two games of Lake County.

Bo Greenwell had half of the Captains hits and Jeremie Tice doubled, but the club couldn't muster any support for Trey Haley early. Haley took his first loss of the season and gave up three runs off five hits and five walks in five innings. Antwoine Hubbard gave up three runs over two innings as well.

The Captains and Loons square off for the final time in the first stint of this season and it is the Loons' final chance to personally take a chunk out of the Captains lead. Clayton Cook will take the mound for the 3 PM start.

5.30.2010

Notes and Quotes: Who's Coming Up?

Alright I have three main issues to tackle this morning, let's start with the bullpen.

[COLUMBUS CARAVAN]

Someone has to be coming up, they had to have left yesterday at least.

Manny Acta said they are expected to bring someone up for the bullpen by Sunday, especially after David Huff went out early and the bullpen was used a whole heck of a lot in the past two days, not just yesterday.

The candidates? Well Jensen Lewis is a front runner not only because he can pitch at least two innings if need be, but because he's been the second best Columbus reliever since being sent down (some, including myself, believe unjustly). Joe Smith could be a candidate, but he hasn't been as good as Lewis. There's also the possibility they could call up Jess Todd as he didn't pitch yesterday and could also provide more than an inning of work.

Don't rule out Frank Herrmann, who's been the only reason Jensen Lewis hasn't been the best arm in the Columbus pen. He's perfect for May, but he'll need a 40-man roster spot.

The Indians could gain that by designating Jamey Wright for assignment or placing Grady Sizemore on the 60-day disabled list, which could happen this morning if the Indians decide he needs surgery.

THE NAMES

Jensen Lewis: 10.2 IP, 1.69 ERA, 1 SV, 10 K,1.03 WHIP

Frank Herrmann: 25.1 IP, 0.36 ERA, 2 SV, 18 K, .091 WHIP

Joe Smith: 12.2 IP, 2.84 ERA, 1 SV, 11 K, 1.34 WHIP

Jess Todd: 23.1 IP, 3.47 ERA, 4 SV, 27 K, 1.46 WHIP

CLEARING SPACE

However you slice it, the club will need to create an active roster spot.

Jamey Wright - They could designate him to not only clear the roster spot, but a 40-man spot for someone like Herrmann. I wouldn't miss him, but Acta might.

Rafael Perez - He appears to be safe right now. After a few good appearances and a win yesterday, the club is far from giving up on him right now.

David Huff - If the injury to David Huff is serious, the club could place him on the 15-day disabled list, which would also create the need for another starter and they could do one of two things. Call up Carlos Carrasco or move Aaron Laffey into the rotation.

Aaron Laffey - Could they send him down? He has options. It could be temporary just because they need an arm up now... Or it could be for more of a purpose, especially if Masterson struggles today.

What's the move? Well it depends on Huff. If they place him on the disabled list that could set off a chain of moves that could include making Wright a casualty, eventually. If they all up a name for now like Jensen Lewis, and move Laffey to the rotation, or even need to call up Carrasco, they'll need to make another move to get another reliever in there, which would probably make Jamey Wright the odd man out.

Or they could just call up someone like... Jess Todd, temporarily to eat up some innings. Or they could do that to Lewis as well.

I'd call up Lewis, designate Wright, and call up Frank Herrmann as well quite honestly. If they need someone to take over for Huff, make it Laffey on a spot-start basis if Huff isn't going to be out long.

In regards to Justin Masterson, Terry Pluto says that if they want to continue pushing Masterson as a starter and he doesn't show the progress they want in this upcoming game or two, the club could very well just option him to Triple-A and let him sort out his issues there.

[HAFNER SITTING?]

The fact that Travis Hafner sat against every left-hander this week is just a coincidence, apparently. Despite not playing against John Danks, CC Sabathia, or Mark Buehrle this past week, (and later using Hafner in that Buehrle game as a pinch-hitter), Manny Acta says that they wanted to give Hafner a break from three consecutive day games.

Hey Manny, day games don't really matter unless they follow a night game, which is what happened on Saturday... So just say that, or just give us the real reason, you don't want him to start against left-handed pitching.

Just say it... Seriously, it is obvious that is what is going on. You had an off-day on Thursday, so this "day-off" business is bunk if you ask me.

It doesn't make sense to me though. Regardless of his current season average against left-handed pitching, he's been the hottest hitter for this club. He had a 12-game hit streak snapped on Friday, but he's risen his on-base percentage up near .400 and his average has climbed up to the area you'd expect it to. He's finding ways to knock runs in, you got to have him in the lineup.

If you want to justify giving Matt LaPorta at-bats, fine, but the replacement at DH is... Shelley Duncan?

I'm loving that crazy bastard, but this makes no sense to me. Is there something wrong with Hafner physically that he needs a day off or does Manny Acta just not want to start him against most left-handed pitching? The latter is looking more obvious and I wish he would just say it rather than sugar coat things and make us speculate, because it damn sure has nothing to do with giving him "a day off from the consecutive day games."

[HUFF OKAY, INDIANS OFFENSE TOO]

Their starting pitcher was carted off after being nailed in the head by a line drive, they were down a huge amount after former ace CC Sabathia pitched six innings, albeit shaky six innings... Their offense hasn't scored more than 10 runs all season and the game was taking forever to complete, not just in game time but real time (the Huff injury obviously slowed things down, but didn't cut into official game time). So they had every reason to give up, but they didn't.

"It was a very eventful day," manager Manny Acta said. "After all, it was a great ballgame. I'm very proud of the kids. They could have put their head down, but they kept fighting." 


David himself gave an update via Twitter and Facebook saying everything is fine and that he is out of hospital. He thanked the fans for their concern and support and the Yankee Stadium officials and personnel for all their care. He also thanked Alex Rodriguez for contacting him after he asked the Indians for his cell phone number when he went to the hospital, only to find out Huff was already released.

Huff actually made it back to the Stadium before the game ended, which says something about how long that game took. Huff is going to be made available by the Indians this morning. CT scans came back negative and Acta said that no concussion symptoms appear to be evident, and that is all great news.

As for the comeback, Manny Acta had just one word to describe the performances of his youngsters.

"Exciting," Acta said. "It was exciting to see Donald, Marson, LaPorta and Crowe contribute with great at-bats. That's what we're envisioning here. All those kids blending and meshing to be able to fight against a good club like that one." 

It is exciting. If those guys at the bottom pull their weight, this club will score a little bit more. And if they can win a game in which the opposition scores double digits, imagine how many they can win when Carmona, Talbot, and Westbrook keeps the opposition under six runs.

Minor Issues: Here comes Hagadone, Aeros match Tribe comeback

What's the News?

It was inevitable for a lot of people that Nick Hagadone and Kelvin De La Cruz would make their way up to Akron and while we thought it would be quick, Hagadone probably came up quicker than originally thought with the pitch count and all.

But that's what happened yesterday as the Akron Aeros received Nick Hagadone from Single-A Kinston. And now after starting the year with a bunch of relievers in the rotation, the Aeros now have three of the Indians best starting pitching prospects in their rotation.

COLUMBUS

The Clippers took yet another game over Lehigh Valley on Saturday behind Jeanmar Gomez and Jordan Brown, winning 7-5.

Gomez went six innings and gave up three runs off five hits and two walks with five strikeouts. Vinnie Pestano earned his first Columbus save and he could get more opportunities if Jensen Lewis is indeed called up. He hasn't given up an earned run since being promoted to Columbus.

Jordan Brown and Michael Brantley both hit their first home runs of the season, both solo shots. Brown also had a sac fly. Nick Weglarz had two doubles and three hits on the evening, including a walk. Carlos Santana had a two hit night, and he also walked and stole his sixth base.

Yohan Pino will go for the Clippers as they go for the four game sweep.

AKRON

It took scoring seven runs in the eighth and ninth innings, but the Aeros did it to complete a remarkable comeback of their own over Binghamton, winning 11-10.

Three hit nights for Lonnie Chisenhal,, Jared Goedert, and Matt McBride, with Goedert hitting a two-run shot and Lonnie Chisenhall coming through for his first home run of the year. Both Chiz and Goedert scored three times and knocked in two runs.

Cord Phelps back in his usual spot in the lineup had two hits and three RBI, including a double and a triple. It would look as if Johnnie Drennen has replaced Tim Fedroff in the leadoff role as well.

After Beau Mills grounded into a double play that got Chisenhall out at home and Mills at first, Carlos Rivero came through with the hit that put the Aeros ahead.

Beneficiary of that was Omar Aguilar who struck out four and gave up a run in 2.1 innings of work. Connor Graham recorded just two outs but was charged with five unearned runs Steven Wright didn't last too long, pitching into the fourth and giving up two runs off seven hits. Bryce Stowell earned the save despite loading up the bases in the ninth.

Eric Berger will go for the Aeros as they have a rare Sunday evening start with Binghamton.

KINSTON

They had a lead, but like they did the night before, the Dash came roaring back to cool off the red-hot K-Tribe and win 7-3.

Marty Popham did his job, going five innings and giving up a run off four hits and striking out seven. But Chris Jones let the Dash chip away and Brian Grening helped finish things off in the ninth when they scored four runs.

Jordan Henry had two hits, scored once and knocked in a run. Kyle Bellows had the other official RBI and Ron Rivas had two hits.

Joe Gardner will look for the series win Sunday afternoon in Kinston.

LAKE COUNTY


They only needed two runs because Austin Adams and Vidal Nuno only gave up two hits in a combined shutout of the Loons on Saturday.

Nuno was perfect for four innings and he struck out seven, while Adams gave up both hits, but didn't walk a hitter and also struck out seven in five innings of work.

Bo Greenwell matched the Loons hit total with two hits, Karexon Sanchez knocked in the first run in the fifth with a single, and Adam Abraham stole home later that inning as a part of a double steal with Argenis Martinez.

The 4-0 Trey Haley will look to remain undefeated as he pitches for the Captains in the continuation of their series with the Loons

5.29.2010

Notes and Quotes: Columbus Cavalry, Sizemore's knee and Sipp's struggle

I've been working hard the past few weeks, which obviously means I come home from work exhausted as all get out. I'm currently on a five day weekend though with Memorial Day and all that, so while we have the time together, let's talk Tribe.

Last night was a little depressing, but it was against the Yankees, a team that has had numerous injuries, yet have still been able to carrying a very respectable record against teams way better than the Indians. So... Yeah.


[A SIPP OF FAILURE]

Tony Sipp hasn't been touched, let alone roughed up, in awhile. So last night was a bit of a reality check for the young left-hander out of the bullpen.

"In baseball, anything can happen any day," Sipp said with a shrug. "Games like this bring you back to reality that anything can happen. I don't know if I was due. It's just baseball." 

If anything, at least it came in a game that the Indians offense wasn't hitting (odds are high for that to happen) and they were already losing. So if Sipp needed to take his medicine to keep him on level ground, at least it happened when it happened.

Tony has been a fantastic surprise though. He's really stepped up into that late inning role getting out both right and left-handed hitters and being a end-gamer in terms of holding inherited runners at bay.

[STOP ME IF YOU'VE HEARD THIS BEFORE]

"[Hughes] had a good fastball," Peralta said. "He was really good with his cutter. That was his best pitch. We didn't hit him too good tonight. We're not scoring a lot of runs right now." 

We're not scoring a lot of runs right now? You aren't scoring a lot of runs period. Not now, not a few weeks ago, not since the start of April.

That aside, I said it last night and I'll say it again, Phil Hughes was more than a little bit good last night.

The losing is starting to get tiring though. Manny Acta says that his players aren't counting the losses, but the media is and they are the ones reminding the players of the record. He's stayed the course in terms of what he's said  since the beginning, but you have to start wondering, when is he going to hold this offense accountable for their lack of support?

Sure he says "yeah our offense isn't hitting right now" just about every night that the offense doesn't hit... But is that holding them accountable? Now, I don't want him shouting and carrying on or anything or acting like someone he isn't.

But he and the rest of this organization have to do something coming up as the calender hits June. I know this is a process and I fully expect them to honor the plan they laid out, but Jason Donald has been a nice spark. I know he hit a home run yesterday, but I'd much rather see Jordan Brown at this point than Russell Branyan.

I won't even get into Carlos Santana, but once he avoids Super Two eligibility, get him up here as well. Lou Marson's bat just isn't ready. I don't know if it ever will be (he's still younger than Santana, remember that) but right now it isn't there. Maybe he needs a trip to Triple-A to gain some confidence because it's been two months and the spurts have been far and few between for him.

We could be getting our wish though as June is as soon as next week and Memorial Day being one of those points in baseball that people start pointing to when deciding if you are for real or not or if changes need to be made.

"It's not a secret that we have a few guys in Triple-A that we want to take a look at in the second half," Acta said. "We continue to monitor the progress of those guys with what's going on with our injuries." 

One of those injuries is Grady Sizemore and as I noted in the Series Overview, we may be learning about the extent of his injury sometime this weekend and the extent may be season ending surgery.

That learning of could come Sunday when trainer Lonnie Soloff is expected to address the media. The speculation is torn cartilage or even a fracture in the knee. Either way, surgery would all but end his 2010 season. Sizemore has gotten not just a second, but a third opinion on the knee in Colorado and New York.

Sounds like they, and Sizemore for that matter, didn't get the news they wanted the first few times around, so they'd explore even further. I hate to say it, but when Josh Phelps was signed to Columbus, Weglarz was promoted, and Shelley Duncan was added to Cleveland, I pretty much said that this was bad news for Sizemore more than it was for anyone else.

Sizemore was examined yesterday in New York, so he is with the team in a way, but not in a way as well.

[RANDOM RUNDOWN]

Manny Acta said the bunt against Chicago in the ninth by Trevor Crowe had more to do with letting a proven hitter like Austin Kearns hit against Bobby Jenks rather than an unproven hitter in Crowe. He knew full well the White Sox would walk Choo regardless. You still can't argue with getting a runner to third with less than two outs, Kearns needed to execute.

Paul Hoynes says that Aaron Laffey will be the guy to replace Justin Masterson in the rotation, if they are to make a move. They very well could make that move if Masterson doesn't come out and pitch well on Sunday. Today's starter, David Huff, is sort of on the hook as well, but he's calmed the torch carrying villagers with his past few outings just a bit.

Before Mark Buehrle, the last White Sox pitcher to record two balks in a game? Indians bullpen coach Scott Radinsky. The fate for Scotty in that game? Ejected, just like Buehrle.

"I got ejected, too," Radinsky said. "So our records are identical." 

Amazing... That's why baseball rocks...


Minor Issues: Kinston comeback and Brown's big night

What's the News?

The Chiz is back! Lonnie Chisenhall was activated off the Akron disabled list yesterday and made his return to the lineup. To make room the club deactivated pitcher Scott Barnes. Taking his place in the rotation is Steven Wright. According to Tony at IPI though, it is only temporary.

The draft is quickly approaching and while we don't do much leading up to it, IPI is ramping up their coverage of the draft with just a little over a week left until the first round on Monday night. I'll be doing what I can do scrounge up information as usual, but I work all three days of the draft, so it obviously won't be instantaneous. Anyway Tony talked to John Mirabelli, the Indians Scouting Director. With such a high pick, the Indians plan on being aggressive and they've set aside the budget to do so according to Mirabelli.

COLUMBUS

Carlos Carrasco got pounded pretty good, but still went seven innings and won his third game thanks in part to a power offensive attack by the Clippers, 11-7. Lehigh Valley scored one in the first, but added 6 more off Carrasco in the 6th and 7th innings.

Frank Herrmann's ERA keeps getting lower as well with another scoreless inning and he's been perfect in May.

Michael Brantley, Carlos Santana, and Brian Buscher all knocked in two runs, with Buscher hitting a two run homer and both Brantley and Santana collecting two hits. But it was Jordan Brown who pretty much led the attack with five RBI and two hits including a double. He's certainly making up for lost time with 17 RBI and a .319 average.

Wes Hodges sat due to injury and Josh Phelps got the start at first, he struck out three times and committed an error.

Jeanmar Gomez goes for the series win in the third game on Saturday night against Lehigh Valley.

AKRON

The Aeros managed to push a run across in the ninth, but it wasn't enough to get Alex White off the hook as they spoiled his second start and he took his first Akron loss.

White went six innings and gave up just an earned run off four hits and two walks. Bryan Price had two scoreless innings with two strikeouts. He's now pitched six straight games of scoreless baseball and eight straight innings total.

Jared Goedert continues to be productive with two walks, a hit and the lone run scored and Johnnie Drennen remains hot in his own right by knocking him in. Lonnie Chisenhall was 0-3 with a walk in his return to the lineup hitting in the three hole.

Steven Wright will indeed start the game Saturday night in place of Scott Barnes.

KINSTON

Down five after three and a half innings, the K-Tribe came roaring back with four in the bottom of the fourth and four more in the seventh and eighth innings to complete the comeback in a 8-5 win over Winston-Salem.

Kyle Bellow hit a triple and had three hits with two RBI on the night. Chris Kersten added two runs and Ron Rivas had three hits. Jordan Henry had two hits and a RBI, as well as two walks and a stolen base, his 12th of the season.

TJ House got hit up for five runs off seven hits and three walks in the first four innings. Rob Bryson picked up his second win and deservedly so after he struck out four of his six hitters. Cory Burns walked two and gave up a hit but he struck out two and escaped the ninth without a run to pick up his third K-Tribe save.

Going up for Kinston on Saturday night is Marty Popham as the K-Tribe continue to try and take a chunk out of the Dash's division lead.

LAKE COUNTY

Matt Packer turned in a valiant effort in five innings of work, but gave up two runs, one unearned and took the loss in the Cap's 2-1 defeat.

Francisco Jiminez pitched three scoreless innings himself in relief with three punch-outs. The lone run came from Jason Smit as he knocked in Casey Frawley. Roberto Perez had half of the Captains four hits.

Austin Adams will go for the Captains on Saturday.

5.28.2010

Minor Issues: Catching up with pitching and more pitching

What's the News?

Well I'll do my best to catch up, but it doesn't seem like there was a lot in terms of shifting, at least not as much in the past.

First things first, read up on the latest Minor Happenings at IPI where the ML pitching coordinator Dave Miller provides a lot of info on some of the Indians bigger names in the organization including Alex White, Hector Rondon, and Nick Hagadone.

I should also pass along this link from IPI about a new reality show about minor league baseball that Tony Lastoria is involved in. Give it a read to see what it is all about.

Both Joe Gardner and Scott Barnes picked up pitcher of the week awards for their work last week.

Lake County had the only roster move, gaining Jose Flores from Extended Spring Training.

COLUMBUS

The Clippers followed up their series opening loss to Charlotte with another one before blowing out the Knights on Monday. The Clippers ended up dropping the series however before an off day on Wednesday.

Eight strong innings from Dan Hudson shut the Clippers down and it was the reason a eight inning complete game loss from Jeanmar Gomez happened. Gomez did give up ten hits and two walks with four earned runs, but he struck out five and went the distance for Columbus. Jose Constanza had two of the three hits.

The Clips did rebound though with a 9-2 win over Charlotte. Brian Bixler had two runs scored and three hits, Jordan Brown in the DH role though had the best night with two hits and four RBI. Nick Weglarz and Brian Buscher both knocked in two runs each though. Carlos Santana was walked three times. Frank Herrmann's ERA keeps getting lower and he picked up the win with 2.2 innings of scoreless work. .037 ERA? Wow.

A strong effort from Vinnie Pestano and the rest of the bullpen wasn't enough to overcome Justin Germano's early struggles as the Clippers fell by two. Mike Brantley, Carlos Santana, and Wes Hodges all had two hits, with Santana and Hodges hitting solo home runs.

Last night though after an off-day the Clippers returned home to pick up an extra-innings walk off win over Lehigh Valley. Must be something about those STO televised games. Josh Tomlin was good again with six innings and two runs off just four hits. The bullpen was great with Jensen Lewis throwing two scoreless innings and Jess Todd picking up the win.

Brian Bixler reached base and stole second, setting up a two-out single by Nick Weglarz that ended the game. Weglarz otherwise had a rough night with three strikeouts. Josh Rodriguez and Brantley with RBIs as well and Jordan Brown had three more hits.

Carlos Carrasco faces his former team on Friday as the four game set continues.

AKRON

The Aeros managed to salvage a four game series by winning the finale against Altoona, but the club still dropped three straight after beating Harrisburg on Sunday in Alex White's debut.

Altoona started things off on Monday in very horrifying fashion with Eastern League pitcher of the week Scott Barnes getting pounded.Barnes gave up eight earned off eight hits. It didn't really matter offensively but there wasn't much to scream about. McBride, Rivero, and Drennen all had two hits and Beau Mills knocked in the only run.

Game two was a little closer and Eric Berger sort of took it on the chin as well. In five innings Berger gave up five runs off nine hits. Connor Graham with two more scoreless innings.Tim Fedroff and Jerad Head knocked in runs and Jared Goedert added yet another double.

Game three was the same outcome, but Kelvin De La Cruz was a little better than last time out, yet he still took the loss. He did walk five and gave up an earned run. Jerad Head and Johnnie Drennen with two more hits, Head hit a solo home run, his first of the season.

The Aeros finally pulled through against Altoona on Thursday with the hot Johnnie Drennen in the leadoff role with Tim Fedroff getting a day off. Drennen had three more hits, two doubles and a run batted in. Carlos Rivero had two his and a RBI, but backup catcher Miguel Perez had two hits and two RBI on the day and also scored a run.

Paolo Espino picked up his fifth win with 5.2 innings of work and just one earned run surrendered. The bullpen shut things down the rest of the way.

Alex White will make start number two tonight in Binghamton for the series opener against the B-Mets.

KINSTON

The K-Tribe capped off the series against Frederick on Sunday with a 12 inning win after Jason Kipnis scored on a Keys error. Alex Castillo had two hits and the lone RBI while Jordan Henry, Kipnis, and Bo Pickens had two hits each. Marty Popham struck out five and gave up just one unearned run in five innings of his Kinston debut.

Before a Thursday off day the K-Tribe then went on to take another series, this time over Potomac and it started with a 10-6 win. The game was tied at 6 going into the ninth inning until the K-Tribe exploded for four runs in the 15th, yes 15th inning. The mascot was 2-8 with two runs and a double, but it was Kyle Bellows with the big night. Bellows had four hits, but his grand slam in the 15th inning was pretty much the nail in the coffin for Potomac.

Potomac came back with a 9-4 win as TJ McFarland fell for the first time this season as he gave up five runs off seven hits, easily his worst start of the year after all the brilliant games he's pitched. Abner Abreu was DHing and he had a good day with two doubles and three RBI, pretty much the only offense for the K-Tribe.

Kinston did win the series though as Nick Hagadone and Travis Turek combined to throw eight scoreless innings of two-hit ball. Hagadone earned his first win of the season and he struck out six. Cory Burns pitched a scoreless ninth with two strikeouts. This middle of the order had six of the seven runs batted in and all had two apiece by Lucas Montero, Jason Kipnis, and Abner Abreu.

TJ House is slated to go for the K-Tribe as they take on first place Winston-Salem in the series opener.

LAKE COUNTY

The Captains dropped their final two games to South Bend top lose a four-game series, but they bounced back in a three-gamer against Dayton this past week.

In two 3-6 losses, the collective bullpen hurt. Matt Packer made the start in one game, but he's far from a regular starter and he gave up two runs in three innings. In the Monday game, Austin Adams started and pitched four scoreless innings with just a single hit. Vidal Nuno had a rough 2010 debut with six earned off nine hits.

The Captains did cap off the home stand with a series win and a Captain specialty on Thursday.


Tuesday Trey Haley out-dueled Justin Walker who gave up an unearned run in the first. Haley went six innings and gave up just three hits and struck out five to improve to 4-0. Preston Guilmet picked up save number three. Casey Frawley knocked in the run while Delvi Cid scored it, had two of the three hits, and stole his 20th base.

Clay Cook fell in the second game by giving up four runs off nine hits. The Captains battled tough though with Chun Chen knocking in two runs and Kyle Smith collecting three hits. The Caps downed the Dragons in the finale on Thursday though when Smith singled home Frawley to win the game in walk-off fashion. It was Smith's third hit of the night. Bo Greenwell had two hits while Jeremie Tice had three hits, three runs scored, three runs knocked in and two solo home runs. Brett Brach went five innings and gave up five runs, but Tyler Sturdevant had three scoreless inning with five strikeouts.

The Captains hit the road to take on Great Lakes for a four game series on Friday.

Series #16: Vs Chicago 5/24-5/26

Chicago White Sox @ Cleveland Indians
May 24th - May 26th: 3 Game Series
Monday - 7:05 PM* / Tuesday - 7:05 PM* / Wednesday - 12:05 PM
*-STO #-ESPN/ESPN2 %-Fox

The Scene
Chicago (18-25) - Cleveland (16-26)
Standings: 5th AL Central
Streak: Won 1
Visitor: Lost 1

The Latest

5/24: The Tribe broke their six game losing streak on Sunday by beating the Reds in the series finale. Kerry Wood picked up his first save and David Huff picked up his first win since April. Now they get back to divisional play with a team they've beaten up on this year. Former Indian Omar Vizquel is in the lineup tonight and batting eighth, taking the field at a familiar spot to him, shortstop at Progressive Field.

Random Notes: Monday is a not a good day for the Indians, they've lost all five Monday games they've played this season. The baseball world is mourning the loss of Jose Lima, who passed away on Sunday due to a heart attack. Lima is actually the first one to suggest Fausto Carmona move to the other side of the rubber during winter league this offseason. Justin Masterson is still winless this season and only has one win since being traded over to the club from Boston. Paul Konerko is the AL leader in home runs, but he has just one in his last 12 games. Cleveland's bullpen is dead last in strikeouts in the entire majors, Chicago's bullpen has more than 50 strikeouts than the Tribe's bullpen has.

Tribe Injuries
Andy Marte (15 DL - Ingrown Hair Surgery)
Grady Sizemore (15 DL - Knee Bruise)
Asdrubal Cabrera (60 DL - Broken Forearm)
Anthony Reyes (60DL)

Game 1
John Danks Vs Justin Masterson

White Sox Vs Masterson
Masterson: 0-1, 3 GS, 1.59 ERA
@ Cleveland: 1-4, 9 GS, 3.05 ERA

PA AB H HR RBI BB SO
Mark Teahen 14 9 1 0 0 5 4
Alexis Rios 12 11 3 1 1 1 2
Paul Konerko 11 8 2 0 1 2 1
Alexei Ramirez 10 9 2 0 0 1 2
Carlos Quentin 7 6 0 0 1 1 2
A.J. Pierzynski 6 6 3 0 1 0 1
Gordon Beckham 5 5 2 0 0 0 2
Mark Kotsay 4 4 1 0 0 0 1
Ramon Castro 3 3 0 0 0 0 3
Jayson Nix 3 3 0 0 0 0 3
Juan Pierre 3 3 1 0 0 0 0
Andruw Jones 2 1 0 0 0 0 0
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 5/24/2010.

Indians Vs Danks
Danks: 2-5, 10 GS, 4.89 ERA
@ Cleveland:2-2, 5 GS, 3.82 ERA

PA AB H HR RBI BB SO
Jhonny Peralta 26 23 3 0 0 2 6
Travis Hafner 20 18 4 1 3 2 4
Shin-Soo Choo 13 13 6 1 3 0 3
Mike Redmond 6 5 1 0 0 1 0
Russell Branyan 5 5 4 0 1 0 1
Mark Grudzielanek 5 5 2 0 0 0 0
Trevor Crowe 3 3 0 0 0 0 0
Matt LaPorta 3 3 0 0 0 0 1
Lou Marson 3 2 0 0 0 1 2
Shelley Duncan 2 1 1 1 2 1 0
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 5/24/2010.

Recap
CHW 7 | CLE 2
W - John Danks
L - Justin Masterson (0-5)
4 IP, 9 H, 5 R, 2 BB, 0 K

Yikes.

Justin Masterson bad.

Offense, well.. 4 of the hits came from your bottom two hitters, both young guys.

One RBI scored on a groundout.

Just a bad game all around. Masterson was horrible from the start. Just getting hit from the start all around. It wasn't a normal Masterson start. Other games he got away with it by striking people out, still throws a lot of pitches, but in this one, not a single strikeout and just hit after hit after hit.

So from the start it was yet another hole. Climbing out of that, tough, especially when your offense scores two runs.

That's really all it boils down to.

[BOXSCORE]

Game 2
Jake Peavy Vs Mitch Talbot

White Sox Vs Talbot

Talbot: 1-0, 1 Gs, 1.00 ERA
@ Cleveland: 2-2, 4 GS, 5.14 ERA

PA AB H HR RBI BB SO
Gordon Beckham 4 4 1 0 0 0 0
Juan Pierre 4 3 1 0 0 0 0
Carlos Quentin 4 4 0 0 0 0 0
Paul Konerko 3 3 2 1 1 0 0
Mark Kotsay 3 3 0 0 0 0 1
A.J. Pierzynski 3 3 0 0 0 0 0
Alexei Ramirez 3 3 1 0 0 0 1
Alexis Rios 3 3 0 0 0 0 0
Mark Teahen 3 3 1 0 0 0 0
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 5/24/2010.

Indians Vs Peavy
Peavy: 1-1, 4 GS, 4.70 ERA
@ Cleveland: 1-0, 2 GS, 3.46 ERA

PA AB H HR RBI BB SO
Austin Kearns 12 11 4 0 1 1 0
Mark Grudzielanek 11 11 5 0 1 0 4
Travis Hafner 9 9 2 1 1 0 4
Jhonny Peralta 8 8 1 0 0 0 1
Shin-Soo Choo 6 4 0 0 1 2 1
Luis Valbuena 6 3 2 0 0 2 1
Russell Branyan 5 2 1 1 2 3 0
Matt LaPorta 3 3 1 0 0 0 0
Lou Marson 3 3 0 0 0 0 1
Mike Redmond 3 2 0 0 0 0 0
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 5/24/2010.

Recap
CHW 3 | CLE 7
W -Mitch Talbot (6-3)
7 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 0 BB, 4 K
L -  Jake Peavy

Luis Valbuena manages to knock in two runs, yet lower his batting average even further, Jason Donald hits his first career home run, Mitch Talbot establishes himself as a legit contender for Rookie of the Year, and the club pounds on Jake Peavy, of all people.

You know until Marson's sac fly in the sixth, Jason Donald managed to tie Marson in total RBI in just a span of little over a week.

I was in bed by the time the seventh inning rolled around, but Talbot just continues to impress. He's got some run support in addition to that and it wasn't until the seventh that the White Sox were able to get to him.

The middle of the lineup all had two hits, Choo, Hafner, Kearns. That is the kind of production you need.

[BOXSCORE]

Game 3
Mark Buerhle Vs Jake Westbrook
MLB.com Preview

White Sox Vs Westbrook

Westbrook: 8-12, 23 GS, 5.00 ERA
@ Cleveland: 34-26, 82 GS, 4.01 ERA

PA AB H HR RBI BB SO
Paul Konerko 72 62 19 3 9 9 11
A.J. Pierzynski 60 60 14 0 5 0 6
Mark Kotsay 25 19 5 1 5 4 2
Mark Teahen 18 16 4 0 1 2 4
Alexis Rios 14 13 2 0 1 1 2
Carlos Quentin 12 9 1 0 1 0 1
Juan Pierre 10 10 0 0 0 0 1
Gordon Beckham 6 5 3 0 0 1 0
Alexei Ramirez 6 6 2 0 1 0 0
Andruw Jones 3 3 1 0 0 0 1
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 5/24/2010.

Indians Vs Buehrle
Buehrle: 12-15, 38 GS, 4.56 ERA
@ Cleveland: 6-7, 18 GS, 4.19 ERA

PA AB H HR RBI BB SO
Travis Hafner 69 58 12 2 8 5 15
Jhonny Peralta 68 63 18 2 6 5 7
Mark Grudzielanek 39 39 12 0 1 0 7
Mike Redmond 38 37 16 0 2 0 1
Shin-Soo Choo 19 16 5 1 1 2 4
Matt LaPorta 11 10 1 0 0 1 1
Russell Branyan 6 6 2 1 2 0 2
Trevor Crowe 6 6 1 0 0 0 0
Lou Marson 5 5 1 0 0 0 0
Austin Kearns 3 3 2 0 1 0 0
Luis Valbuena 3 3 1 1 2 0 0
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 5/24/2010.

Recap
CHW 5 | CLE 4
W - Tony Pena
L - Jake Westbrook (2-3)
7 IP, 6 H, 5 R, 2 BB, 2 K

Not only was this a day game, this was not on TV, which makes it a little frustrating when you can't watch the game as a whole.

I'm not really sure what went on with Buehrle. Because it is Joe West and of course Ozzie Guillen is involved, it is going to be made a bigger deal than it actually is. It sucks they lost their starter early in the game, but if you try hard enough, you can get yourself tossed.

A late comeback was nice to see, you get the first five guys on in a row with two runs scored and the situation with two on and nobody out for Trevor Crowe. There comes a question now as to letting Crowe bunt the two over, which they did. In theory it makes sense to have two runners in scoring position (down one) with one out. But you then open up first base and not only that, make it a no-brainer for them to walk your best hitter because that runner doesn't matter.

Kearns strikes out, Branyan flies out, game over. You don't do the sac-bunt, two things can happen.

A) Crowe could get a hit, a run likely scores tying up the game, the White Sox walk Choo anyway.

B) Crowe records and out, or Crowe hits into a double play, Choo gets to hit with just a runner on third.

I'd venture to say that Manny Acta screwed up that call. He didn't give his best hitter an opportunity to at least tie the game. I know he wanted to create the opportunity to tie the game with Kearns, and in a way, your number three hitter should be just as dependable as your two hitter, but your best hitter is hitting where he was hitting that day.

Acta made a call and he ended up being wrong. If Kearns comes through with just a fly ball then this doesn't matter, but he didn't and now Acta looks like he screwed up. I can't say it is an easy call to make, even sitting back here with no pressure, so I don't envy Acta's position.

Anyway Westbrook goes deep into the game, does give up the five runs but his team was very much in the game for awhile and if can get you through seven, that is something you can take.

Two more hits for Jason Donald, Travis Hafner raises his on-base percentage up to .400, which is now second on the team.


[BOXSCORE]

We Owe Ya One - Series MVP
Jhonny Peralta: 4/11, 3 R, 2 RBI, 3 2B

The left side of the infield, both Jhonny Peralta and Jason Donald pulled their own weight in this series. Peralta knocked in a few runs and scored a run in every game. Donald gets an honorable mention for collecting five hits and hitting his first home run, but Peralta was active in every game.

Jhonny is sort of coming around. The batting average is frustrating but he is actually getting on base a little more consistently this year with some more walks.

Looking Ahead
Off Day
@ New York
Fausto Carmona Vs Phil Hughes
David Huff Vs CC Sabathia
Justin Masterosn Vs AJ Burnett
Mitch Talbot Vs Andy Pettitte