8.29.2010

Notes and Quotes: And We Shout, DRUBES!

I have this headache that just won't go away right now. It's annoying when you wake up on a day when you have a lot to do and this is bugging you. I want it to go away. I took something, so it better, or else I'll stab my head.

Tomorrow class resumes after my three day weekend (which I have every week, thank you very much) and while I've completed some of my work, I still have more to do today and I would really like to get it done without this headache making it an issue.

[DRUBES]

How long have we been calling him 'Drubes?

It only took Al Tv (Al Pawlowski) one game of calling him that for Asdrubal Cabrera to hit a walk-off home run.

Cabrera was looking for the fastball and his reaction to it should have given you a clue to that. Cabs says he isn't at 100 percent thanks to surgery to the broken arm, but he's been quietly putting his numbers in the past few weeks.

Drubes has gotten lost in the shuffle lately with all the talk about Santana and Choo, but he's equally important to this club both for his glove and his bat. I said that before I even read Manny Acta's quote about him. Acta feels as if Cabrera is one of this team's leaders because of his qualities.

"He's a key for our club offensively and defensively," said Acta. "He's got big-time character. To me, he's probably not 100 percent strength-wise from that surgery from the left side, but he's a gamer.

"He's very quiet in English, but he's not quiet in Spanish," said Acta. "He's got the energy. He wants to play every day. He's not afraid [to say something]. He's got a lot of the qualities you look for and he's been on this club just about as long as anybody. He was here when the Indians were in the postseason in 2007." 

He's hitting second in the order, he's one of the better average guys we have. We need to see him to produce and last night he not only hit the home run, but he dropped down a bunt early.

"A guy like him, we give him the freedom to get them over any way he can," Acta said. "He laid down the bunt. When you're facing a guy like [Zack] Greinke, the runs aren't going to come very often. Might as well jump ahead, and that's what we did in that first inning."

[GO GO GOMEZ]

Jeanmar Gomez is starting to make an impression on this team. So much so, I think we devise a nickname for him. PronksShoulder on twitter suggested J-Go, which isn't bad, but it lacks the flare a name like Jeanmar provides.

While Gomez's performance warrants a nickname from us, it actually might warrant a closer look in 2011 from Acta and the staff. You can tell by how Manny talks about him that he may be in this thing for the long haul now and that he's certainly made more good impressions on the club than David Huff has.

Gomez was coming off perhaps his roughest start and the test from that was how he'd bounce back. Consider the test passed after Acta said the night belonged to him.

"This was going to be a test for him," Acta said. "It was nice to see he attacked the strike zone. He wasn't running away from contact because he got knocked around last time." 

 In a way, he out-pitched a Cy Young winner for nearly six innings. That's a pretty good bounce back.

Taking nicknames though. Go-J, Jeanie, J-Go. We're trying here.

[RANDOM RUNDOWN]

I think Chris Giminez is auditioning for a roster spot right now. Lou Marson needs to do something here to prove he can backup Carlos Santana next year and so far, so blah. Gimenez meanwhile has versatility that you like and let me bring something up that I think people forget.

He can play third base. I think it is Nix's job to basically lose, but don't forget that when you are thinking of next season's bench.

No plan yet in place for Aaron Laffey who is rehabbing in Columbus. The plan is for him to return to the bullpen, if he does return. He could be just shutdown from here on out, but with rosters expanding in September, activating him wouldn't necessarily involve shipping someone out. Acta said his arm is fine and he's just finishing rehab, so why shut him down? Yeah I think we'll see Laffey back here when September's roster expansion hits.

Lots of discussion about the Blake and CC trade acquisitions in the latest Terry Pluto piece. LaPorta is a key, Santana is a important piece to the lineup even when he wasn't hitting, and bouncing back Brantley.

I think the headache is just about gone. This is good.

Minor Issues: Akron inches closer, Kinston create distance

What's the News?

Tony Lastoria talked to first round pick Drew Pomeranz and fourth rounder Kyle Blair, both who are with the Scrappers but simply just along for the ride as they get their stamina up and prepare to pitch in instructional league. Both are going to follow the Alex White model of not pitching and it shouldn't surprise anyone to see either at Kinston to start the season, especially Pomeranz.

Kyle Blair is on twitter and he is following someone named Drew Pomeranz. So I'm going to venture to say Drew is also on twitter. That can't really be confirmed though, so proceed with caution.

Giovanni Soto was placed on the disabled list in Lake County, retroactively to the 22nd of August, which means he is actually eligible to come off whenever needed. Takafumi Nakamura was called up from Mahoning Valley.

COLUMBUS

The Clippers were pounded by Indianapolis last night 8-0 and they now fall a game and a half behind Louisville for International League West Division.

I was not a good night for David Huff who doesn't seem likely to get much of a look in September. Huff gave up eight runs off nine hits and two walks in four innings of work. The bullpen was great, pitching five scoreless innings with Carlton Smith striking out four, but the damage was done to Huff.

The offense didn't really get anything going either with four hits. Jordan Brown doubled.

AKRON

The Aeros meanwhile had a great night, getting ever so closer to the playoffs with a 9-0 drubbing of Erie. It is yet another win over the Tigers affiliate and yet another beat down at that.

Now 2.5 back of a playoff spot, the Aeros got a great effort from Matt Packer, who earned his first Aeros win. He struck out eight and walked just one in six scoreless innings of work. Bryan Price and Rob Bryson completed the shutout.

Jordan Henry scored twice and stole his tenth base off three walks. Jerad Head scored two more runs and had two hits with four RBI. Beau Mills knocked in two runs and Lonnie Chisenhall knocked in one and walked twice.

Cristo Arnal is actually providing some production in place of Carlos Rivero. He stole his seventh base, scored twice off a walk and a hit.

KINSTON

They can't seem to catch Winston-Salem, but with another win over Salem, the K-Tribe is now two games up on the Salem Sox and sitting at 31-30 for the second half.

Kinston won 5-3 as Joe Gardner won his 12th game, going five scoreless innings. He did strike out five, but he also walked five. Matt Langwell picked up his fifth save with a 2.2 innings of relief and four strikeouts.

Jeremie Tice continues to swing the hot bat with his fourth Kinston home run, a two run shot in the first inning. Donnie Webb had two hits including a double and a triple, and he scored two runs on the evening. He also walked and stole his tenth base.

LAKE COUNTY

Specialty in East Lake as the Caps won 2-1 despite a late run from South Bend.

Vidal Nuno was brilliant, giving up one run off five hits and no walks over seven innings of work. He picked up his sixth victory and struck out 11 hitters on the night. Freshly promoted Takafumi Nakamura picked up a save with two scoreless innings of work.

Delvi Cid tripled home a run and stole two more bases to up his total to 68, he'll be at 70 in no time.

Casey Frawley and Argenis Martinez had two hits, with Martinez scoring a run.

MAHONING VALLEY

The Valley fell yet again last night, this time 4-1 to Auburn despite pounding out 13 hits to their 5.

Great effort from Cole Cook, who went four innings and gave up two unearned runs after he recorded two outs in the third inning, but an error opened up the door for Auburn to score a pair. He struck out four and walked three.

Nick Bartolone had three hits and Gio Urshela had two and the one RBI. Tyler Cannon playing second had three hits including a double as did Trent Baker. But again just one run on the night thanks to Urshela.

AZL

The AZL club played their season finale last night and the Rangers pretty much battered their pitching staff. The A-Tribe lost 13-5, but LeVon Washington got another start at DH.

Washington was 1-for-4 with a RBI and a walk. Juan Romero was the everything man as he had three hits and three runs scored, but he smacked two solo home runs in addition to his second stolen base. Anthony Gallas hit his second home run in the fourth inning and Jorge Martinez knocked in his 21st run of the season.

We may see some of these bats get elevated to Mahoning Valley or we may just see their season end until instructs start in mid-September.

8.28.2010

Notes and Quotes: C'Mon Show 'Em Your Muscles!

Yesterday I was sitting around, doing nothing for really the first time in awhile. Actually..

No let's just go with that. I was sitting around doing nothing yesterday and in my mind, I knew I had to accomplish a lot. I think I did. I worked on a Chris Perez piece, but I wanted to do more. I did more.

The whole power thing has been a mystery to me. So I went to work on my Mark Shapiro spreadsheets and came away with some startling numbers.

If you saw my tweets, I kind of put out the important numbers. Basically what I did was added up the total home runs and doubles for every MLB team and their top four affiliates (AAA, AA, A+, A-) and compiled standings for most home runs, most doubles, and combined.

The sad part is that the Clippers are pretty much carrying the numbers right now.

What I also did was compiled the total home runs and doubles for all the players in the organization, as long as they had at least double digit home runs and 15 doubles.

The sad part is that Jared Goedert is pretty much carrying those numbers right now.

The club is in danger of not having a major league player reaching 20 home runs and outside of Goedert and McBride's combined efforts in Akron and Columbus, they don't even have much currently at that plateau. Santana is going to finish with 19 total, Chisenhall and Head are at 17 and Choo is at 15. Now LaPorta upped himself to 15 last night, but I'm cutting the numbers off at before Friday, because I'm not going to go back and re-add all the numbers.

Doubles is a more scary predicament because they don't even have someone that has 40. Goedert is closing in on it, but it is likely that Chun Chen and Jeremie Tice reach that level. Choo is not going to make it as the current team leader with 24.

You'll see my entire article on TCF rather soon, because it is something I'm working on now, but I'm really scared, yet also hopeful after putting the numbers together, because as we saw last night, this team actually does have some power, but it is either currently injured or just taking some time to tap into.

[MUSCLE UP]

Typically that would be used for Rusticle The Big Time Sexy Muscle, but the Tribe flexed last night with three, three-run home runs. Say WUUUT?

"You want to continue to pile on," Donald said. "It's such a cliché, but you want to keep piling on and piling on, and you have to continue to be aggressive. We had a good game plan going in tonight, and everybody went out and executed." 

This was a great game plan. It was simple, but it was great. It actually is one that never fails, but it is hard to execute because it depends on the other team's willingness to let you do it. I like to call it playing against Bryan Bullington, but you can call it whatever the hell you want, it doesn't matter.

Matt LaPorta, Chris Gimenez, and Jayson Nix all hit the home runs. LaPorta's got the party started and Chris Gimenez's was sort of just the big blow that really cracked things open. Nix's was icing on the cake. We know Giemenez has power, it is just a matter of him connecting. If he can play like that more often, he could be a really valuable guy off the bench, he just hasn't done that at the major league level. He isn't swing all or nothing like Kelly Shoppach, but he is a backup with some power. That shot went to dead-center, hardest part of the park to hit a home run in.

All in all, everyone got in on the action, it was just three-run home runs. Everyone had a hit, Travis Hafner and Shin-Soo Choo were on base seemingly every inning, both had two hits and two walks, and while they had one combined RBI, they had four combined runs scored.

Nix and Gimenez both had four RBI each and I'd say even though he only had one hit, Brantley had a great game at the top, knocking in two runs, one being a great piece of hitting, and stealing a base.

So all that talk about power and the Indians go out and hit three home runs and five doubles. What should I talk about today? Do you guys want to see a perfect game? Jeanmar Gomez hasn't thrown one in over a year, he's pretty much due.

[SLAMS FIST]

I laughed yesterday watching the pregame show and seeing Manny Acta slam his fist down. I was like whoa what is this. Then I turned the volume up and heard him say.... "I thought were were done with this?"

Did Hoynes steal the last piece of chicken or what? No it turns out he kept asking him about Justin Masterson. I wasn't surprised to hear Hoynsie's voice talking when Acta was trying to answer the question. Why keep asking the man the same question? Then when he gives you the same answer, you ask him if the move is going to be permanent when it does happen.

Damnit Cupcakes!

"We are planning to send him home after the season as a starter," Acta said. "We'll make the decision [about next year] in Goodyear. We will let you know on March 30."

I'm internally conflicted about this. I hear stuff like this from Masterson...

"I've got some good starts under the belt and some inconsistent ones," he said. "Sometimes I remind myself that this is the first year of actually knowing what I'm doing [starting or relieving]. I've had some inconsistency in delivery, but overall I like where we're at. I think I've learned enough and understand enough to take those things into next year."  

And think about how awesome he'd be as a starter if he just got it. But then I look at the numbers and then I say, well numbers aren't everything. But then I watch him pitch and I don't see him throwing a friggin curveball or whatever it is he can throw to get left-handers out and I just cringe.

I'm glad I'm not the one having to pull the trigger on this move. I could argue for or against whatever the Indians decide to do next year, but I'm just glad I don't have to be the one making that decision, because I'd say it is on of the tougher ones this club is going to have to make soon.


[RANDOM RUNDOWN]

The delay on Carlos Carrasco is quite alright if you ask me. Carlos will probably be pitching in the playoffs for the Clippers and if anything, that will give us more knowledge on where he is than him pitching meaningless September innings in a Tribe uniform. We all know his biggest weakness right now.

We could also see C-Bus closer Vinnie Pestano, who no doubt deserves a major league call-up the way he's pitched in his minor league career.

Speaking of Closers.. As I mentioned earlier, working on something about Chris Perez and sort of the back end of the bullpen. Perez has been a monster with five out saves, the only one he's failed to convert was that stupid game against Toronto when Luis Valbuena blew chunks on the infield. C to the FN P should be the talk of the town though, he's rolling.

"His command has been tremendous the last three months," Acta said. "He's throwing a lot of strikes down in the zone. When he has command like that, he's tough to hit. Right now, if we get to him, we feel pretty good." 


I had my first of two Fantasy Football drafts last night. My other one is Tuesday. The Indians draft is tomorrow night at Pronk's house. Hafner is in six leagues... That was a me three years ago, not anymore.

"A down year," he said. "I've made some changes in the scouting department and brought in a couple of new coaches." 

Choo has the first pick.

Minor Issues: Top Four Teams Remain in Playoff Races

What's the News?

The board needed a healthy update yesterday and that is exactly what it got.

Columbus: Saul Rivera is back. holy crap, can you believe it? I tweeted when it happened, but I think it is worth repeating. I wish it was May again, but not for the fact that Saul Rivera would be back. Jeremy Sowers, Bryce Stowell, and Jess Todd were all on the DL. Todd is not anymore and Shane Lindsay is. In case I haven't mentioned it, Nick Weglarz is out for the season.

Akron: Hadn't been much, but Kelvin De La Cruz has hit the DL, along with Carlos Rivero. Dan DeGeorge up from Mahoning Valley to back up Arnal and Kipnis.

Kinston: Not much to report in Kinston, they're kind of just sticking with what is there. Nate Recknagel just hit the DL.

Lake County: Clayton Cook hit the DL, but he was basically replaced by the return of Jason Knapp, who as we know is awesome. He reportedly hit 99 MPH on the gun.

Mahoning Valley: They acquired Nick Bartolone, who has run out of playing time in AZL with Tony Wolters around.

COLUMBUS

The Bats re-extended their .5 game lead with a 2-1 victory over Columbus last night with a walk-off hit from aforementioned Saul Rivera. Wilkin Castillo singled home Danny Dorn (ROGER!!!) in the bottom of the ninth.

Getting the win was Aroldis Chapman, being used as a reliever so he can come up and join the bullpen in Cincinnati for their pennant race. Starting for the Clippers was Carlos Carrasco, who continues to pitch with his hair lit on fire. Seven more innings, one run off five hits and a walk with six strikeouts.

The unstoppable Drew Sutton had two hits and the one run batted in the Clippers had. Jordan Brown had two hits as well. The Clips go back home for a quick two game set against Indianapolis before traveling to Indy for a three game set. The club has just four home games left.

AKRON

The Aeros remain 3.5 games back of the final playoff spot despite winning again last night against Erie. Corey Kluber picked up his second Akron win by going seven innings and giving up one run off eight hits and five strikeouts.

Omar Aguilar picked up his seventh save and struck out one. Connor Graham was human and actually gave up a run last night.

More offense from Lonnie Chisenhall and Jason Kipnis. Chiz and Kip were gonna start calling them. Chiz had two walks and a RBI while Kip scored a run, knocked one in and had a hit. Two hit nights for Johnnie Drennen and Cristo Arnal. Jerad Head knocked in two runs and doubled.

Two home games left for the Aeros, which kind of sneaked up on me. The club finishes off Erie this weekend, then travels to Trenton for four and Erie for another four.

KINSTON

With second place all to themselves, Kinston is in the drivers seat with a 2-1 win over Salem last night. They can continue to distance themselves with two more games this weekend.

T.J. House is now 6-9 on the season after he pitched six solid innings of baseball, giving up one run off two hits and four walks. Cory Burns saved number 26 with a pair of strikeouts in the ninth.

Jeremie Tice hit a solo home run and knocked in Bo Greenwell, who walked and stole a base for the only two runs the K-Tribe scored.

After finishing up with Salem on this home stand, the Indians hit the road for four games against both Frederick and Potomac.

LAKE COUNTY

The Captains were doubled up on by the Hot Rods of Bowling Green, losing 12-6 and Trey Haley going all sorts of wild.

Haley is now 5-10 and he walked eight hitters, yes eight hitters, in the process of giving up six runs, four earned through 2.2 innings of work. Ramon Cespedes gave up four runs off four walks, Nick Kirk gave up two on four walks as well. Not sure what was in the water with the walks last night, but it was bad.

Bright spot, Chris Kersten's hit his 11th of the season, a three run shot in the first inning that was a part of a four run out-burst that surely looked as if it would power the Caps to a win. Delvi Cid is back in the leadoff spot and he went 2-for-5 with a double and his 66th stolen base. Adam Abraham knocked in two runs with two hits.

The Caps have many games left. They begin a four game set at home with South Bend tonight before traveling to Great Lakes for three. They then return home to finish off the season against Lansing before beginning the playoffs on September 8th.

MAHONING VALLEY

The Scrappers are just trying to play out the string right now. The club is now 28-39 and in last place of the Pinckney division after a 11-0 beatdown at the hands of Auburn.

Jordan Cooper gave up four earned, five total runs off seven hits and a walk in four innings. Dale Dickerson gave up a four spot in two innings pitched while walking three and giving up four hits.

The club will continue their small road trip to Auburn and return home next week to play two more against them. Then they go to Williamsport for two games to face the winner of the Little League World Series, before they finish up at home against Jamestown.

AZL

The AZL Squad was two-hit by the Reds last night and they lost 3-0 in a game where they actually didn't play nine-thousand people.

Hunter Jones was 1-3 with a walk and his fifth stolen base. Alex Lavisky had a hit, hooray!

Alex Morales can't really catch a break. He is now 0-8 after going five innings and giving up just one run off five hits and three walks. Oh well.

The final game of the season for the A-Tribe is tonight against the A-Rangers.

*While that was a joke, that team from Ohio may be able to score a run off Takafumi Nakamura.

8.27.2010

Minor Issues: Hector Rondon undergoes TJ, Out for 2011

What's the News?

The big news is obviously the revelation that top pitching prospect Hector Rondon has undergone Tommy John surgery and will miss 2011 and could miss a part of 2012.

"It's not good, because he was one of the guys we were counting on for pitching depth down the road," manager Manny Acta said. "If he didn't lose this year of development, we were probably going to take a look at him in September. But he lost this year -- and he's probably going to lose another one." 

The bad part is that he did lose this year and he's going to lose next year too, that is a given. It takes a year, so he'll be out at this time next year and it probably won't be until 2012 until he's back and getting at it. But then he's still at that final stage of development, which means... Nothing good. This has really derailed him. If he had undergone the surgery earlier this year, things may be a bit better, but this just stinks.

COLUMBUS

The Clippers won 5-2 over Louisville last night, a huge win in the first of two games against the the Bats. The Clippers are now a half game out of first place and can retake the lead in the West Division of the International League.

Jose Constanza, the active team leader in batting average upped it to .321 with a 4-for-5 night, including two runs, a pair of doubles, and a RBI.

Paolo Espino picked up his second win after he went seven innings and gave up two runs off six hits and a walk. Vinnie Pestano saved his 12th while striking out a pair despite two hits and a walk.

The Latest

Zeke Carrera: Hitting .317 with 4 runs and 4 RBI over his last ten games
Wes Hodges: Has hit a pair of home runs over the past four games.
Jordan Brown: Since his return in Mid-August, he's knocked in four runs. Hit a solo home run last night.
Jared Goedert: Serious cold streak. He's got just five hits in his last ten games, no home runs and 10 strikeouts.
Matt McBride: Four extra-base hits over his past ten games with six RBI. Had a walk-off hit on Monday.
Josh Rodriguez: He's got five hits in his last four games, but he's only scored two runs in the past ten.
Carlos Carrasco: On fire... Carrasco shut down Scranton last week, and while he gave up four runs against Toledo on Sunday, he struck out eight. He has walked just two hitters in his last four games while striking out 24.
David Huff: On Monday he gave up three runs in seven innings of work.
Zach McAllister: Gave up five runs in six innings of work, struck out five, walked one as he took the loss on Tuesday in his debut against Toledo.
Josh Judy: Hasn't given up an earned run since August 12th.
Vinnie Pestano: Has not given up an earned run since August 6th, struck out 13 in his past 10 innings.
Zach Putnam: 9.1 straight scoreless innings for Putnam, 16 strikeouts in his last 15 innings.

AKRON

The Aeros really blew a good opportunity these past few weeks and they now sit 3.5 games out of second place and the final playoff spot in the Eastern League. They did win last night though, 12-0 over the lowly Erie Sea Wolves.

Alex White was masterful, striking out five hitters and going seven scoreless innings to pick up win number eight. Nick Hagadone and Rob Bryson both pitched scoreless frames.

Johnnie Drennen, Tim Fedroff, and Lonnie Chisenhall all went deep off the Erie starter. Drennen knocked in four runs and everyone but Cristo Arnal had a hit. Multi-hit games for Jason Kipnis, Chiz, Jerad Head, Miguel Perez, and Drennen.

The Latest

Lonnie Chisenhall: .368 over his past ten games with 10 RBI.
Jason Kipnis: Hit a cold-streak last week, but this week he's turned it back around. He's had three straight multi-hit games, including a three-hit night against Bowie on Wednesday and the two hits last night.
Johnnie Drennen: Drenenen has also turned it on the past few games after having just one RBI since August 15th.
Jordan Henry: Consistent Henry has a hit in nine of his last ten games, including a streak of two hits in four straight from the 15th to the 19th. He's scored five runs in his last ten as well.
Rob Bryson: Has given up just on earned run in his past 12 innings of work. He's also struck out 13 in that span and walked six.
Nick Hagadone: His scoreless inning last night was his third scoreless outing out of the bullpen since being converted to a reliever full-time. He's given up at least a  run in his other six games.
CC Lee: Just one run on Monday has been the only earned run he's given up in his last 13 innings of work.
Bryan Price: Has given up six runs in his past six games.

KINSTON

Kinston is within one of Southern Division leading Winston-Salem and just a mere .001 percentage point ahead of Salem for a playoff spot. They pulled out a 9-5 victory last night with a five-run eighth inning.

Joey Mahalic gave up four runs in five innings, but Brian Grening right place-right time with his fourth victory after coming in to finish the eighth and throwing a scoreless ninth.

Bo Greenwell had the big blow with a three-run home run in the eighth inning while Chen Lee had a three-run bomb of his own earlier in the game in the fifth inning. Jeremie Tice had a three hit night and Kyle Bellows, Donnie Webb, and JT Toole had two-hits each.

LAKE COUNTY

Lake County shutout Bowling Green last night 4-0 as Preston Guilmet improved to 4-1 on the season.

Francisco Jimenez pitched 4.1 innings of work, gave up just two hits and struck out six in his first start of the season. Guilmet came in to finish the fifth and went two more, striking out six as well.

Tyler Holt had a great night, going 2-3 with a double and a career high three-RBI night.

Jason Knapp was stellar the other night in his second game. He's given up just one hit in nine innings with the Captains this year.

MAHONING VALLEY

The awesome Alex Kaminsky was let down by his bullpen last night after he went five innings and gave up just one earned run. He struck out five and didn't walk a hitter but Kyle C Smith gave up four earned off five hits and three walks, didn't record an out in the eighth. The Scrappes lost, in case you were wondering, 10-1.

The Scrappers pulled out just three hits, Diego Seastrunk knocked in the one run.

AZL

A-Tribe won 2-1 over A-Brewers last night, 2-1 in 13 innings after LeVon Washington singled home Juan Aponte.

Washington was 2-4 with two walks, DHing for the night. It was his second professional game.

Tony Wolters was 2-5 last night and he's gone 4-for-19 in five games with the AZL club.

Alex Lavisky played on Wednesday and took another 0-for with two more strikeouts. He's now 2-for-12 with 7 K's.

Mark Brown had two hits last night with a double. Marcus Bradley was 0-for-2 and he's 6-for-31 in 10 games.

8.22.2010

Notes and Quotes: Someone To Hit With

I don't know why.. I'm not going to complain because at least it is working again... But my twitterfeed doesn't work correctly. The jerk sends Minor Issues every morning, but an hour before then, it sends my Notes and Quotes from the previous day, WHAT UP WITH THAT MAN!?

Like I said, at least my RSS feed is back and stuff like that.. I don't mind, but it's weird.

No updates tomorrow or Tuesday, Wednesday is in question. Going to have busy mornings and likely busy afternoons when I'm not in class. I wish that's how it always was. At least busy afternoons.

I have this need for.... staying busy. Wow I'm weird.

This is going to be a quick update, because seriously, I don't think there is much in terms of the major league team to talk about right now. They lose the first two games of a series, win the last one to avoid the sweep, and blahr blahr blahr. It is Fantasy Football season though, which might explain why Travis Hafner is hitting.


[THE TURNAROUND]

I remember back before Max Scherzer got sent down to Toledo, he was pitching very, mediocre. He had a start against Cleveland, the Indians just piled on. Made him throw a lot of pitches, got him into a tough jam, that was it.

Last night the Indians got him into yet another jam, but what a difference a few months makes as Scherzer found his way out of it.

"We had our three best hitters at the plate and we couldn't score more than one run," Acta said. "You have to tip your hat to Scherzer. He threw the ball well there. He reached down and retired our guys." 

The lack of hits has been quite pathetic lately... Acta isn't making excuses though, he knows what type of team he has, but that isn't stopping him from demanding them to play better.

"First of all, we have to continue to come over here and work, continue to be patient and continue to show up with a good attitude because this is our team," Indians manager Manny Acta said when asked how to get his club out of its offensive funk. 

"I'm not expecting [Jason] Donald, I'm not expecting Shelley Duncan, I'm not expecting Jayson Nix and I'm not expecting Trevor Crowe overnight to turn into Robinson Cano, [Evan] Longoria, [Matt] Holliday or Grady Sizemore. This is our team. No whining. Work hard with a good attitude and wear it. Take it like a man because this is our club." 

Yeah this is our team. For better or worse. Deal with it. When you don't have a guy like Carlos Santana hitting around Choo, things are going to get rough. In fact maybe that's why it has been hard to see Choo put up the mega-numbers one would expect. He's the best hitter on this team, puts up some of the best numbers in the AL, but the guy could have superstar like stats if he had someone hitting around him 155 games a year.

That was kind of supposed to be Travis Hafner... But while there is still a little fear in Pronk around the league, it isn't what it used to. That fear is in Choo and hey, if Hafner can make teams pay like he did last week against King Felix, then things may change... But this team needs Santana back in the middle of the order next year, because Choo can't do it alone, because the opposition will just pitch around him.

Hafner has actually been hitting since he came off the DL, you can't complain about that because no one else is.


[RANDOM RUNDOWN]

Shin-Soo Choo got the first pick of the Indians Fantasy Football Draft. I wasn't aware Choo was a fantasy football player. In fact he isn't, he admitted he never watches football and doesn't know how to play. But he has the first pick and even though he jokingly selected Matt LaPorta as his first pick, I'm sure he'll figure out a way to be awesome.

We need team names. We know Hafner will boast the TPO Dynasty (and also host the draft at his house, figures) and LaPorta will have something Florida Gators related, but Choo's fantasy football team name needs to be something good.

On a side note, Manny Acta says all he knows how to play is Pacman. This amuses me.

Acta said he liked the reckless nature of Trevor Crowe in the outfield, but it scares him.

"He goes all out all the time," Acta said. "That's one of the things we like about him. He plays reckless with his body. He's not afraid to sacrifice his body. It's very tough to tell kids, 'Hey stop playing that way.' It's tough for them to pick and choose which plays they choose to do that. It comes with a lot of years of experience."

I actually hate that. Crowe sometimes is too reckless and doesn't take good routes to the ball. That has to change. Or really it doesn't, because I really don't see a future here for Crowe. Mediocre, better options out there for a fourth outfielder. Problem is though, Manny Acta really likes him.

Good news for center field, Michael Brantley should be back Tuesday after the off-day on Monday. The Indians go back home and the MRI Brantley had on his ankle on Friday showed no damage. Brantley has remained in Cleveland and Acta said if he continues to make improvements, he's pretty sure he'll be ready to go.

Finally, Terry Pluto says the Indians really really really want Jayson Nix to step up at third. The guy has hit decently, but the club is failing to remember that NIX ISN'T A THIRD BASEMAN! Stop trying to force something dag nabbit.

Pluto says Marte has squandered the third base opportunity, but as I pointed out yesterday and was very adamant about in my article on TCF, the kid hasn't actually been given a consistent shot this year to play at third in more than three games in a row.

Minor Issues: DSL ends, Stowell leaves with elbow tightness

What's the News?

The Dominican Summer League's season came to an end last night, so a quick recap of that. The Clippers are losing their grip on the division lead and a torrential downpour washed the Aeros and Senators out of their Saturday night contest.

In his latest IPI Inbox, Tony talks McAllister Addition and Pitching Depth, Wes Hodges, and if the Indians are in on first round pick of the Diamondbacks Barret Loux.

COLUMBUS

The Clippers fell last night to last place Toledo and with that loss, they fall out of first place by a half a game.

Paolo Espino was crushed for eight runs off nine hits and two walks in four innings of work. The bullpen calmed things down but there wasn't enough offense to overcome Espino's hole.

More importantly, Bryce Stowell sat down five hitters before being removed from the game with elbow tightness in his throwing arm.

Jordan Brown hit a three run home run for most of the scoring while Ezequial Carrera had two hits and a walk and Cord Phelps hit a sac-fly.

Zach McAllister is scheduled to start on Tuesday for the Clippers. It looks as if he's taking the roster spot of Eric Berger, who will return to Akron.

AKRON

I'm not kidding you when I say it poured here. This is the final meeting for the clubs, so they're going to try and get two in today starting at 1.

KINSTON

The K-Tribe pulled ahead in the eighth inning when Donnie Webb doubled home Abner Abreu. Cory Burns blew his third save though, giving up two unearned runs in the bottom of the ninth to let Myrtle Beach go with a victory.

T.J. House didn't have the greatest start for his team, giving up three earned, six runs total off six hits and two walks in four innings. Kinston as a whole committed four errors on the evening, Things didn't help in the second with House hitting a batter and throwing a wild pitch.

Chris Jones was brilliant in relief, going 3.1 and striking out five hitters. Burns blew the save when a Kyle Bellows error let the first batter of the inning on via an error. A sac-bunt and strikeout followed, but two singles later the game was over.

Seven different K-Tribers had a RBI, Abreu having one of the best nights with three hits, a run scored, and a double.

LAKE COUNTY

Dayton doubled up on the Captains last night as Gio Soto finally looked a little human since coming over to Eastlake. Soto gave up four runs off five hits in four innings.

Owen Dew pitched two innings, gave up two earned off two hits with a strikeout.

Tyler Holt doubled and knocked in a run, he's hitting .174 since arriving in Lake County. Ben Carlson had a two-hit, RBI night.

MAHONING VALLEY

Jordan Cooper won his fifth game after going five innings and giving up a run off three hits with four strikeouts. Nate Striz made his second appearance, striking out one in his scoreless frame. James Ehlert saved ballgame number seven as the Scrappers won 2-1 over State College.

Trent Baker and Nick Bartolone knocked in the runs for the Scrappers while Chase Burnette and Carlos Moncrief both doubled and scored the runs. Bartolone stole his second base for the Valley.

AZL

I failed to mention the one at-bat debut for LeVon Washington yesterday, because I suck. Anyway, none of the big draft picks were in action last night. Mark Brown played in his second game, going 1-3, collecting his first hit.

The A-Tribe lost 4-3 in extras with Ryan Gardner taking the loss after he gave up three runs in the top of the tenth. The Indians scored two in the bottom of the frame, but not enough after the game was 1-1 going into extras.

Hunter Jones had a two-hit night, knocking in his first professional run, but he struck out three times.

DSL
Season Finished: 37-35 (5th Place, 6.0 GB)

Hitting Leaders
Charlie Valeiro: .276/.387, 32 R, 4 HR*, 37 RBI*, 6 SB
Luigi Rodriguez: .301/.403*, 43 R*, 2 HR, 27 RBI, 31 SB*
Erik Gonzalez: .346*/.384, 38 R, 1 HR, 27 RBI, 9 SB
Jairo Kelly: .250/.346, 35 R, 0 HR, 26 RBI, 14 SB
Leonard Castillo: .269/.327, 18 R, 0 HR, 16 RBI, 1 SB

Pitching Leaders
Enosil Tejeda: 7-3*, 12 GS, 1.76 ERA, 71 IP, 1.07 WHIP, 78 K*
Oswell Munoz: 3-2, 9 GS, 1.86 ERA, 72 IP*, 0.84 WHIP*, 73 K
Moisses Ramirez: 2-4, 14 S*, 1.26 ERA*, 35 IP, 0.98 WHIP, 35 K
Alexis Paredes: 4-4, 7 GS, 2.55 ERA, 49 IP, 1.32 WHIP, 42 K
Alejandro Villa: 2-1, 17 G, 1.34 ERA, 33 IP, 1.04 WHIP, 26 K

*Team Leader

The Dominican Summer League has ended their season. You may see some of these players next year in the AZL, maybe some of the ones highlighted there. Oswell Munoz and Jairo Kelly are two players that Tony Lastoria highlighted in his book in terms of Latin prospects. Luigi Rodriguez has made a lot of waves with his speed (31 stolen bases?!) and I'm sure starter Enosil Tejeda has put himself on the map with his summer.

8.21.2010

Notes and Quotes: Back in the Saddle, I Guess

The last time we talked, things weren't pretty around these parts. I promise you though, I'm doing a lot better.

Not that anyone cares. But you know... It's still hard to focus on the Indians right now. Crud, every time I say that, I go back to thinking about what I try to get my mind off of.

The clock right now says 10:42 and I really don't know how I'm going to get through this, because all I want to do right now is lay down. Which sucks, because there are things I need to do this weekend, before next week kicks my ass.

Resisting the urge to lay down, for now, I now bring you what I can only do best at times like these...

[MCALLISTER COMPLETES KEARNS TRADE]

The Indians completed their trade with the Yankees for Austin Kearns yesterday by choosing right-handed pitcher Zach McAllister.

Coming into this year, McAllister was ranked as the Yankees 5th best prospect by Baseball America. Forget that, he's had a terrible year at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Was he still the Yankees second best pitching prospect? Who knows, who cares, this is why you need to like this pick up.

WE TRADED AUSTIN KEARNS FOR HIM! Seriously, Kearns wasn't going to be on the roster next year. McAllister is 22-years-old. 22 at Triple-A!? So what if he had a down year, it looks as if the Indians bought low on this guy.

2008 was a breakout year for McAllister as he split time between sally league's Charleston squad and Tampa of the Florida State League, winning 14 games and striking out 115 hitters.

Last year he was 7-5 with a 2.23 ERA for Double-A Trenton, pitching in 121 innings in 22 games (That's five and half innings per start) and held hitters to a .220 average.

This year hasn't been kind, but he's going to top his career high for innings pitched and like I said earlier, he's 22-years-old and in Triple-A. A HS draft pick in 2006, he's got plenty of time to grow. He is a command guy, more control than stuff, which is odd for a Yankee farm system pitcher, but he brings a good slider and a fastball with some movement to the table.

Hey look, he's a back-end starter, the Indians have been loading up on the such. Just keep plugging these guys in, some are bound to work.


[THIRD IS THE PLACE NOT TO BE]

If I hear one person say anything about Jhonny Peralta and third base... They better have not said anything bad about Jhonny Peralta before he was traded. Since there is likely no one that didn't say anything bad about Jhonny Peralta at one point, then there is no one out there that can beat their chest and say "SEE LOOK WE SHOULDN'T HAVE TRADED PERALTA, HE WASN'T THIS BAD AT THIRD BASE!"

Hogwash. The defense at third has been bad, trust me, I know. Nothing worse than the other night when the position had three errors in one game. But don't go crying for Peralta now. What's done is done and if you said MAN HE SUCKS AT THIRD! and now you are all like, well he wasn't THAT bad at third, at least he didn't make any mistakes!

And Manny Acta continues to shuffle things around, which as I stated in the above link, is the wrong move.

"We are going to have to ride it out and hope that these guys continue to get their reps and get better," Acta said. 

"We try the three guys, and we want Nix to be in the lineup. Offensively, he has stood out among the three guys. We do feel that Marte is in a funk right now. I know and the whole world knows that Marte is an above-average defensive third baseman. That's one reason why he made this ballclub. He's just in a little funk right now."

"There's nothing you can do. It's not like we have a long line of guys up here. The long line was three. We've tried them already." 

Acta has only been here for a year, but he did kind of have an idea of what Peralta was for this franchise. To many fans, he was an enigma, for me he was an enigma. At times I loved him, at times, I wanted to choke him. But you can't deny that the guy was not as bad at short as people make him out to be. It was comical for Wedge to try and say he was as good as anyone at the routine play, but the fact of the matter is he wasn't Omar Vizquel and after a decade of watching Omar Vizquel, we've been spoiled.

He needed to be a third for a long time. Part of the problem was not really having a defensively gifted shortstop who could also hit a little bit. Cabrera came in and that solved that. It took Wedge way too long to make that transition, but at least the transition was made.

Peralta's tenure ended badly because I think everyone was sick of him, including myself. Again, he wasn't the greatest third baseman, but don't sit here and try and tell me that now, with the benefit of hindsight and seeing how bad the third basemen have been since his trade.

"It's a strange feeling because Jhonny was here for so long," Acta said. "One thing he brought over here was stability. He played every game. He never got hurt. You can count on him being out there every day. His expectations were very high here, especially because he took over for one of the best ever Indians players, Omar Vizquel. 

"Jhonny was a nice player for this franchise. He drove in a lot of runs. He was good on and off the field. He's part of the team that was one game away from the World Series. I kind of miss him because Jhonny is a great human being. He's a guy who cares -- even if he doesn't wear it on his sleeves. He's out there every day. That gives every manager peace of mind." 

I don't know if Peralta exactly provided peace of mind, but, hey....

[RANDOM RUNDOWN]

Michael Brantley and that damn ankle again. Mike is back in Cleveland having an MRI on the ankle he twisted on Thursday. This has been a bothersome thing for Brantley in the past, and it sucks that this would have to creep up right now, just when he's been establishing himself in this latest stint. Unknown if a DL trip is likely right now.

Jason Donald wasn't in the lineup last night, but he probably should of been since Armando Friggin Galarraga was doing it again. Donald is glad Jim Joyce said something, because now he can talk honestly about how he was in fact not safe in that perfect game that never was.

Twitter is getting a little ridiculous right now. If you've been following the madness, a Chris Perez....um, doppleganger has been making me laugh for the past week or so. You can follow this character @PureRage_Perez. The account claims to be what Chris Perez's tweets would look like if Chris Perez had a twitter.

Well Chris Perez actually has a twitter. He never uses it, or at least hasn't been up until he heard about his doppleganger. Still, Pure Rage is hilarious and is worth following if you are in for it.

Pure Rage has sort of prompted the creation of PronkShoulder a twitter account that apparently tweets as if Pronk's Shoulder was able to tweet.

And the latest joke, comes after Anthony Castrovince detailed a story about how he's been called Mr. Caskranowich. Hasn't this gotten a little ridiculous? I think so, but it's hilarious and I'm not going to argue. It makes me want to find Fake Mark Shapiro and tell him to get in on the action. I wonder where he's been?

In the land of real twitter accounts. Cole Cook has been doing his part to get the Indians twitter movement going, coaxing fourth round pick Kyle Blair into creating an account. They join Robbie Aviles, the Indians seventh rounder as 2010 draft picks with a twitter account.

What an update this has been.. Jhonny Peralta, Austin Kearns trade, and Twitter... I spent more than an hour on this? In my defense, I was distracted by the Little League World Series and the fact that the team from Ohio had only four kids that had favorite players for Ohio teams and none of them liked Joey Votto (team is 20 minutes from Cincinnati, what gives guys?).

Minor Issues: Tony Wolters Signed, Sealed and Now Delivers

What's the News?

Monday Night and Tuesday Morning was busy for the Indians as they were able to sign not only Drew Pomeranz, but successful ink both second rounder LeVon Washington and third rounder Tony Wolters to professional contracts.

This is fantastic news obviously. It was assumed that the Indians were only going to be able to sign two of the three, Pomeranz being one, and Washington likely the other due to the lack of leverage he had. Yet the Indians must have made a compelling case for Wolters to sign and he did just that. This is huge for the Indians as they signed their top 10 picks in a draft that they were aggressive in. They nabbed many of the high school talents they drafted with high upside, with few of the lone exceptions being Burch Smith and Bobby Wahl, but they'll certainly be on their radar in three more years.

Drew Pomeranz got $2.65 million as a signing bonus from the Indians and it is not a major league deal. Meanwhile Wolters got the second most change with $1.35 million and LeVon Washington came in just under that with $1.2 million.

The fourth highest bonus was given to St. Ed's catcher Alex Lavisky who got a cool million, despite being an eighth round pick.

Overall the Indians spent north of $9 million on this year's draft, which is just about the same amount the Washington Nationals spent to sign Bryce Harper. This is something the club has to do though and in the long run, it makes a lot more sense than spending that $9 million on some free agent who is only going to play a year or two with the club and most likely suck, right? Right, Russell Branyan.

So what if Lavisky fizzles out and doesn't turn out to be worth the $1 million you give him? The risk is far less and the reward, far more favorable.

This club signed 20 of the top 23 picks they made. That leaves 7 more in the last half of the draft signed, which means a vast vast VAST majority of their picks that signed, are in the opt half, which is great.

Alex Lavisky made his debut a few days ago while Pomeranz and fourth rounder Kyle Blair reported to Mahoning Valley, not to pitch, but to be with the team. Tony Wolters reported to the AZL club and made his debut last night. More on some of the debuts later.

More on this in Notes and Quotes, but Zach McAllister, acquired from the Yankees in the Austin Kearns trade yesterday, will report to Triple-A Columbus. Carlos Carrasco is probably inching ever so closer to a call-up, so there would be a space open.

A new minor league happenings is up at IPI, check it out as always.

COLUMBUS

It's funny because McAllister won't have to go far to get to his new team, all he'll have to do is change dugouts. Last night he went from the winning team to the losing team though as the Yankees of Scranton/Wilkes-Barre defeated Columbus 7-5. Scranton/WB completed a series win by winning the final three games after dropping the first.

What's funny is McAllister was beat head to head with Carrasco earlier this week in that series opener. Carrasco was dominant, giving up on unearned run in seven innings, not walking a hitter and striking out six. McAllister gave up four runs off seven hits in five innings.

Last night though, Yohan Pino got rocked for 13 hits, giving up 6 runs in 4.2 innings of work. Josy Judy and company settled things down as best as they could, with Judy going two innings and Vinnie Pestano tossing a scoreless frame, but the offense couldn't overcome the early deficit.

Drew Sutton, Damaso Espino, and Cord Phelps knocked in runs, with Phelps collecting two hits. The other two runs scored thanks to an error in the fifth on a Josh Rodriguez double.

AKRON

The Aeros began an extremely crucial three game set with the Harrisburg Senators last night and the loss put them two behind Bowie and a game behind Harrisburg in the race for the wild card spot.

Alex White gave up two earned runs, four total, off eight hits and three walks in 5.1 innings of work. Not his best effort, but certainly did what he could as Lonnie Chisenhall and Miguel Perez committed errors in the 5th inning.

Tim Fedroff had two hits, one being the lone run scored by the Aeros, his third home run of the season. Juan Apodaca struck out three times, Rivero twice, the Aeros struck out 10 times as a team.

KINSTON

Kinston picked up a victory on Friday behind the start of Joey Mahalic, who went six innings and gave up two earned off six hits and four walks.

The K-Tribe's offense really picked things up collectively as both Bo Greenwell and Karexon Sanchez knocked in runs without hits. But Kyle Bellows, Abner Abreu, and Bo Pickens knocked in runs as well. The club had a big five run 7th inning that powered the victory.

Cory Burns picked up save number 25.

It is a tight race in the Carolina League right now, with Winston Salem already qualifying for the playoffs, the K-Tribe are just a half game off second place Salem, tied with the team they beat last night, Myrtle Beach, for a playoff spot.

LAKE COUNTY

The Captains beat the Hot Rods of Bowling Green in a game that saw four scoreless innings of baseball before the offenses woke up. The Captains put up a three spot in the fifth and then retook the lead in the bottom of the seventh.

A Big reason for the scoreless four innings of baseball was due to the important return of Jason Knapp. The key piece to the Cliff Lee deal made his highly anticipated return to the, I guess important levels of minor league baseball with four scoreless innings with the Captains. Knapp had made a few starts for the A-Tribe, but him getting back to this point was more important. Knapp didn't give up a hit, did walk two, but struck out seven in dominating fashion for the Caps.

Francisco Jimenez earned his eighth win by blowing the lead, but letting the offense come back to take the lead.

Casey Frawley had three hits, one being his tenth home run of the season, and Adam Abraham knocked in three runs and doubled to provide the offense.

MAHONING VALLEY

Looks like Alex Kaminsky is human after all. The Scrappers best pitcher to this point gave up six runs in just 2.2 innings of work, by far his worst start of his young career last night in the Scrappers 6-4 loss to Batavia. He's been so good though, his ERA is still at a stand-up 2.79.

Kirk Wetmore went 3.1 and JD Goryl went 2 scoreless innings in relief with five strikeouts combined. Carlos Moncrief had three htis and a RBI, while Aaron Fields tripled and knocked in two runs himself.

AZL

Successful debut for Tony Wolters, playing shortstop and getting three at-bats. Wolters walked twice, scored a pair of runs, had a hit and stole two bases in his first game with the Indians organization.

The AZL club won 8-0, pounding out 12 hits and the pitching staff held the AZL Angels to just three hits.

Alex Lavisky made his debut at catcher, but he's still searching for his first hit. Lavisky has now struck out in every at-bat minus one, going 0-4 with 3 K in his debut and now 0-2 with a pair last night.

Juan Romero had four hits, two of them doubles, as he knocked in three runs and scored one.

Felix Sterling, one of the names to watch on this pitching staff went six scoreless, not walking a hitter, striking out three and giving up just two hits to earn his second win.

DSL

The Dominican Summer League is finishing out their season with a bang as they got absolutely man-handled by the Red Sox, 16-0.

The club concludes their season in a game against the Royals that is starting as I type this. A full report on the season tomorrow morning.

8.15.2010

Notes and Quotes: The Nine-Thousand Degrees of Andy Marte

I can't think about anything else. I'm sitting here trying and trying. But my mind is still stuck on my stupid life.

This sucks because classes start a week from tomorrow for me. It doesn't suck because classes start, it sucks because I'm too wrapped up with what's happening now and I'd rather classes didn't start quite yet.

Gar... Welcome to real life, right?

I'm sitting here, trying to figure out something to write about, because I promised myself it was time to get off my ass and get something new up for TCF, at least two articles this week. But again, I can't think of anything else other than the stuff going on in my stupid life.

I do have a lot to talk about with the Indians today though because last night's game just made you shake your head. Horrible.


[TALBOT STRUGGLES, AMBRIZ MAKES A MESS]

I didn't expect much from Mitch Talbot in his return. He hadn't pitched past the third inning in awhile, thanks to the rehab start and the injury. But it was disappointing to see him hung out to dry in a valiant effort.

Talbot kept playing with fire, loading the bases up, putting runners on. He had a struggle with his command, but for a guy making his first start since being activated off the disabled list, facing major league hitters, that is to be expected. What was impressive was how he was able to limit the damage in the first four innings. Sure he threw a lot of pitches, but facing Ichiro with the bases loaded, to walk him after a long at-bat, but come back and get out of it with that being the only run, that was pretty good.

The fifth inning shouldn't have ever happened. Talbot was charged with six runs, four of them earned, like it should be. Originally the official scorer charged all six to Talbot, but clearly that shouldn't be the case. Andy Marte's two errors opened the door for Talbot to not get out of the inning and for Hector Ambriz to come in and give up a grand slam to Josh Bard.

More on Marte and Bard in a second, that was certainly a weird situation.

One has to wonder if Hector Ambriz is really worth it. After the grand slam, Ambriz settled down to retire the side, but later he gave up a two-run shot to Casey Kotchman. Right now, it's hard to see a positive in Ambriz's performance as the major leagues. His ERA sucks, his WHIP is bad, he doesn't exactly strike out a ton of hitters and he gives up the long ball with too much regularity.

The Indians seem to be set on letting him finish out the year though. Hey you've gone this long with him, why bother trading Arizona anything (if they would even want Ambriz back?) or doing anything else with him. Keep him on the roster, give him a shot in spring and if things don't go the right way, option him to Columbus where you can work on him. He has good stuff, he just clearly isn't ready for this role or level.


[WHAT THE HELL IS ON THIRD BASE?]

"[Marte] hasn't been consistent," Acta said. "That's the reason we're trying to give more than one guy a chance over there. None of those guys have stepped up and claimed the job, plain and simple." 

Seriously there is no point in saying Jared Goedert can't play a lick of defense if the three stooges the Indians are rolling out at third can't play it either.

Here is my overall problem with saying Jayson Nix, Luis Valbuena, and Andy Marte are all going to get an opportunity, then when none of them do well, you say none of them have stepped up.

You can't rotate guys on a daily basis at the position and expect magic. Both offensively and defensively. Okay so I can see Acta has done a good job of getting the three consistent at-bats, somewhat, by rotating them between other positions on the infield.

But defensively, you aren't going to be sharp if you get one game there every so often. Yes Marte played the night before, but he played at first. This isn't an excuse for Marte, but rather a valid reason as to why maybe these three suck defensively at third. For one, two of them don't normally play there.

But hey, you have Marte, who's played well there season. Acta says he hasn't been consistent, which is true, but his playing time there hasn't either. How can you expect a player to be consistent at third base defensively when he's in and out of the spot on a weekly basis?

So yeah, I'd like to see Jared Goedert at third, regardless of how bad he may be defensively, because I know he's going to play consistently. Not only is this rotation not fair to the starting pitching (like Talbot last night) because their defense is getting shifted around, but it isn't fair to the players in the rotation.

Acta said it himself at the beginning of the year. He isn't going to shift players around defensively or in the batting order because they don't get comfortable that way. Well he's going against what he said. Now his hands in a way are tied because this is the roster he's been given and he has to make it work, but Acta should have stuck with one guy from the start.

You want to give them all a shot? Fine, but give them all one consistent shot. Play Marte at third for a week, see what happens.

I see no reason in bashing Marte after last night. I would have rather him take ownership of both errors, instead of just one, even though the first one was pretty sketchy in terms of it being an error, but really. You make one, probably one you didn't believe was an error, it's stuck in your memory and boom, you commit an error that is actually an error.

Again, not an excuse, but not a reason for me to bash the guy like so many will.

Consult Terry Pluto if you need any more on this situation. As he says, Jayson Nix may be a valuable bench player, but he isn't a regular third baseman, despite home run number ninety-two last night.


[CATCH ME IF YOU CANNOT]

It was quite the day for Indians catchers.

Wait, not actual current Indians catchers, sorry about that.

In a weird dimension, and in a year not known as 2010, Josh Bard and Kelly Shoppach both hit grand slam home runs last night. Shoppach went deep twice, knocking in five runs, while Bard just went total bananas collecting four hits and coming up a triple-short of the cycle.

The weirdness is that the Indians struck a deal that involved both those catchers AND the man of the hour last night, Andy Marte.

What a weird and messed up situation this is.

Shoppach was also dealt for the Indians starting pitcher last night, Mitch Talbot.

As if the strangeness wasn't strange enough.

In case you were wondering, Victor Martinez was 0-for-4 with a walk last night. Tim Laker managed the West Tenn Diamond Jaxx (Of the Seattle organization, of course!) to a split in a double-header with Hunstville and Einar Diaz's Bluefield Orioles fell 9-2 to Danville. Eddie Taubensee couldn't be reached for comment.

That was some exhaustive research. I should be made an honorary member of Elias after that.


[RANDOM RUNDOWN]

Aaron Laffey is coming back, but he's coming back as a reliever. The Indians made it known that Aaron Laffey will begin a rehab assignment on Monday in Lake County, but when he comes back to the Tribe, he'll be in the bullpen.

Another good round of batting practice for Pronk, who has now become a weatherman to add to his many talents that don't currently include hitting 20 home runs. Travis Hafner will likely go out on a rehab assignment, but who knows when that will happen.

Pluto says the Indians aren't saying much, which is never a good thing, because as usual when they don't say much, that means they are friggin worried. Pluto says he has the same issues he had when the shoulder first flared up.



Hey, Hoynsie: Would it have been possible for the Indians to have a foursome of CC Sabathia, Cliff Lee, Fausto Carmona and Carl Pavano? Wow, it wouldn't matter who was hitting with that foursome. -- Jim Boltz, Concord

I have no more words left to give. But I must say that Seattle thought the same thing this year when they started with a rotation that had Lee and Felix Hernandez and has had good years from Jason Vargas and Doug Fister (what?). You may not believe this, but they've got a worse record than the Tribe, even after the two wins.

The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry. Fooey...

Minor Issues: Tony Dischler Signed and Espino Shuts Down Louisville

What's the News?

It sounds as if Burch Smith isn't likely to sign with the Indians and that he's dead set on attending Oklahoma this fall. It also seems likely that since the Indians failed to sign Smith, they turned their attention to another right handed pitcher, Tony Dischler, and it appears that they were successful as Dischler and the Indians have reportedly agreed to terms.

Smith is the 20th round pick with a lot of upside, so the club really really wanted to sign him. We'll probably find out more information after the deadline passes, but it appears as if this wasn't a matter of money, but rather preference from Smith to attend college. Dischler on the other hand is the Indians 23rd rounder and it wasn't until just yesterday that it seemed like the Indians were going to nab him.

Baseball America looked at him at best as a fourth rounder, ranked him just outside their top 100 in this draft class, so Dischler did come with sign-ability issues. Those issues don't seem to be a problem for the Indians.

In other news, what was close to being done yesterday is now done today as the Indians have signed 19th round outfielder Mark Brown. He will be going to the Arizona Rookie League team soon. Tyler Holt was signed sealed and delivered yesterday, heading right to Lake County after signing his contract.

COLUMBUS

I mean if Paolo Espino is just going to continue to do this stuff, you can't hold him back forever, right? Espino tossed seven shutout innings as a part of a 1-0 shutout victory for the Clippers over Louisville.

Espino struck out eight Bats and gave way to Bryce Stowell and Vinnie Pestano who completed the shutout with two strikeouts each. Pestano collected save number 11. The win was Espino's first with Columbus.

The Clippers only needed to score one run and that is just what they did. Matt McBride and Jose Constanza had two hits each, with McBride knocking in Drew Sutton for the game's only run and Constanza stealing his 29th base of the year.

AKRON

It was a beatdown at Canal Park last night as the Aeros scored 12 runs off 20 hits in a 12-2 rout of the Rock Cats.

Lonnie Chisenhall had a career night, hitting a three run home run, collecting three hits and knocking in five total runs. Beau Mills and Juan Apodaca both had two hits and two RBI. Everyone in the lineup had two hits minus Jason Kipnis who had one and was replaced by JT Toole, who also had one hit.

Alex White was the beneficiary of the run support, but he didn't need it as he got back on track with six innings of one run ball. He gave up three hits and a walk and struck out three for his seventh win of the year.

KINSTON

The K-Tribe out-hit Lynchburg but struggled to score more runs last night and the last time I checked, that means you didn't win. Kinston did fall 3-1 despite the 8-7 hit difference.

Bo Greenwell did have two of those hits and the only RBI for the K-Tribers. Abner Abreu had two more hits and stole his ninth base of the year.

Joey Mahalic didn't give up an unearned run, but he did give up two runs and took his eighth loss of the year. Chris Jones gave up a run off two hits and a walk but also struck out three in three innings of work. Both errors that led to runs came off failed pick-off attempts, one error being charged to first baseman Jeremie Tice and the other to Mahalic himself.

LAKE COUNTY

The Caps were doubled up by Dayton on Saturday with Brett Brach and his 2.86 ERA losing for the seventh time. Owen Dew made his Captains debut in the 4-2 loss, going two innings and giving up a solo home run.

Brach went seven innings and gave up two earned off eight hits while striking out six.

His offense didn't give him enough support, but newly signed draft pick Tyler Holt was batting leadoff and playing center field.

Holt tripled and knocked in a run, but he also struck out twice.

Delvi Cid meanwhile stole base 59 and Argenis Martinez knocked in Jason Smit for the other run of the game.

MAHONING VALLEY

The Valley fell to Lowell yesterday 4-3 after the Spinners scored a pair in the sixth to take the lead. The Scrappers tied it in the eighth, but Lowell came right back in the bottom of the frame.

Three hit nights for Diego Seastrunk and Brian Heere who both knocked in runs.

Casey Gaynor got the start and gave up just one run in five innings of work. Kyle C Smith gave up two unearned runs in his innings of work, but it was James Reichenbach who took his second loss after letting up the tied game in the eighth inning.

8.14.2010

Notes and Quotes: Nacho Cheese and Asia on a Friday Night

It's amazing how life can go from being better than it ever has been, to being the worst it has ever been.

Okay I've been through worse times, but right now, I feel like udder crap. A week ago, I couldn't have been happier, maybe a tad bit more, but I got greedy.

Holy crap, my life is the Cleveland Indians.

2007 on top of the world. 2010, in the friggin gutter.

Honestly, right now I feel like disappearing. The last thing I want to do is talk about the Indians because the last thing I want to do is anything. I'd be perfectly content laying in my bed and just looking up at the ceiling.

But that isn't being productive and time doesn't exactly fly like that. So let's try and get my mind off life and talk about our Tribe, which right now, isn't that much more fantastic, but a little more hopeful.

[BLAST AND ROCK]

The most interesting thing last night? Watching one of the consecsion stand workers spend at least 7 minutes trying to get the bag of nacho cheese into the machine. Needless to say, she didn't complete her task and ended up walking away with the bag sticking out of the machine. That line was long, but my buddy and I weren't around long enough to see the conclusion of that epic nacho situation. Second place was watching Captain Morgan prance around the stadium and thinking "Man that guy must love his job."

What a ho-hum game, right from the start. Even Seattle's first run scored was boring. Ichiro gets on with a close play at first, steals second without a throw, moves to third and scores on a Rusticle Branyan shifted groundout.

We didn't stick around for Rock'n'Blast, as much as I love seeing things blown up like that, I've seen their firework show plenty o'times and I had no interest in seeing a half hours worth of it, as good as it may be.

The Indians put on more fireworks after the game than they did during the game for Fausto Carmona. The poor guy goes out and gives you yet another quality outing and not only does the defense gaff up, the offense goes limp.

PERHAPS THAT'S BECAUSE OF THE TRIPLE-A LINEUP MANNY ACTA PUT OUT THERE!

I'm not saying that is a bad thing, in terms of getting the young players out there, but why did he pick this game, with his ace pitching, to play EVERY SINGLE BACKUP!

I love the fact that Jordan Brown is getting his opportunity, but when he's your cleanup hitter, you got issues. Trevor Crowe knocking in two runs in the five-hole the other night might have been the worst thing ever because now Acta is going to use him there until he blows it, which will be for a week straight.

You wanna play Valbuena? Fine! But don't do it when you are playing Marte at first. You wanna play Chris Gimenez behind the plate? Sure, but don't do it when you are playing three other backups.

And then, you get to the ninth inning. LaPorta and Duncan available off the bench. LaPorta already with two clutch hits this year, Duncan a pinch-hitting extraordinaire, and you let both Andy Marte and Luis Valbuena hit?

In the past, I've been all about letting the youngsters hit, but these aren't youngsters in my eyes. This is bum Luis Valbuena we are talking about. I understand you can't hit for both and I'm fine with that since Nix was already used for Gimenez.

So you either have to pinch hit for Valbuena and move Marte to third or just pinch hit for Marte. DO EITHER ONE!

What did Acta do? He let them both hit and pinch hit for JASON DONALD?! The dude hit the double that led to the first run of the game. HE'S the young player that you should be let hit in the late innings. His average isn't below .240 on the season. The kid made an error and deserved a chance to redeem himself with the bat.

This is the type of garbage that angered me about Eric Wedge and I can honestly say it is the first time that I've had a real beef with something Acta has done in terms of managing the game that is easily controllable. The logic behind the moves he made and didn't make doesn't jive with me.

One thing about the game that was exciting was seeing our outfielders gun down runners. Great relay by Asdrubal Cabrera as well on the Crowe throw to nail Lopez at the plate. I'm not sure what third base coach Lee Tinsley was thinking sending Casey friggin Kotchman with Choo throwing, but he did and Gimenez could have painted the ball like an Easter egg with all the time he had before Kotchman reached the plate. It got there so early, Kotchman didn't even bother trying to railroad him.

[RANDOM RUNDOWN]

This is a quick-hit, sarcastic son of a b version of the rundown.


Travis Hafner took batting practice yesterday and will do so again today. In other injury news, Mitch Talbot will be activated from the disabled list today to make the start against Seattle and Anthony Reyes continues to suck in his rehab outing.

Speaking of Reyes, why was he "putting on a clinic" in ping pong with local Boys and Girls club kids? A few players, Brown, Tomlin, Gomez, Marte, Masterson, Reyes, Gimenez, Duncan, Marson, and Valbuena, all spent time with some local kids playing pool and other games. Reyes spent an hour and a half playing ping pong.

Isn't this guy coming off Tommy John surgery? Didn't he just give up ninety runs in a Double-A game?

This quote from Choo genuinely cheered me up a bit. I almost drove my head through plaster on Thursday when I saw Shin-Soo Choo go down from getting hit in the hand with a pitch. Choo's response to all of this? "My Body is Special."

On the subject of Choo's.. Um, I guess you could say Continent? Right field was filled with Asians! I'm serious. With Ichiro playing right as well as Choo, there were Japanese and Koreans galore. At first I was wondering if a bunch of Korean's decided to pick this game to see Choo, but then I realized Ichiro still plays for Seattle. The people next to us had a Japanese flag, which I think means they like Ichiro, yet they all had Grady Sizemore shirts on. Color me confused.

Please please please please please read Anthony Castrovince's story on Luke Holko. We've documented his story here before and little Luke was celebrated at a Scrappers game recently, which gave Castrovince the chance to catch up with the Holko's. The story has added a new element with Ben Carlson, now playing for Lake County, taking an interest in Luke and becoming close friends with the family. Reading the story actually puts my issues into perspective and realize, I'm a friggin idiot.

Finally, the annual list of batter walk-up music is out. I'm not in the mood to make jokes, or you know I would.

Minor Issues: Goodnight Debuts, Slammin' Phelps, and Holt Signs

What's the News?

Draft pick signing is upon us. Monday at Midnight is the deadline and the next two days are going to be interesting.


The latest has tenth rounder Tyler Holt out of Florida State signing with the Indians for a reported $500,000 signing bonus. The Indians now have picks 5 through 14 signed minus eighth rounder Alex Lavisky who is rumored to be teetering near a $1 million signing bonus.


Tony Lastoria also says that the Indians may be close to signing 19th rounder Mark Brown and that third rounder, Tony Wolters is in Cleveland, perhaps for a physical. That doesn't necessarily mean he's going to sign though. The next two days will be interesting to watch, even today might be filled with a little news. The club has their top four picks as well as other well thought of  picks like Lavisky, Burch Smith (although it may look like he's going to college), DeMarcus Tidwell, and Tony Dischler still out there.


On the subject of draft picks, Indians 5th rounder Cole Cook and 7th rounder Robbie Aviles are on twitter. Cole Cook is scheduled to make his professional debut with Mahoning Valley on Sunday.

COLUMBUS

David Huff  improved to 7-0 with the Clippers in his return as Columbus crushed Louisville in the series opener.

Huff went 7.2 innings, gave up three runs off five hits and three walks. He got all the offensive support he would need from Cord Phelps, who hit a grand slam homer in the 8th inning off Jason Isringhausen. He had five RBI on the night and he's now hitting .335 with the Clippers.

Jose Constanza had four hits and three RBI, Jared Goedert doubled twice and knocked in as many runs and Drew Sutton hit his fourth home run against his former team as well.

AKRON

Great night for the Aeros offense as they erupted for a big 7-run fifth inning in route to a 11-7 win over New Britain. Driving back from the Indians game, I caught part of their fireworks show over Canal Park, way to do it right.

Kelvin De La Cruz didn't have a great outing, giving up six runs off four hits and a concerning six walks. But Nick Hagadone settled things down to earn his second win, but it was CC Lee and Omar Aguilar who provided three innings of scoreless relief to slow things down.

Jason Kipnis hit his eighth Aeros home run and sixth stolen base while Jordan Henry knocked in two runs off three hits. Two hit nights all around for Beau Mills, Johnnie Drennen, Carlos Rivero, Tim Fedroff, and Cristo Arnal. Arnal had three RBI, Rivero with two.

KINSTON

Little disappointing to see T.J. McFarland back in Kinston, but there is he and he struggled last night in the K-Tribe's loss.

McFarland struggled in a sense that his defense completely let him down and then he unraveled. He was charged with just one unearned run, but after a Karexon Sanchez error that gave the Cats an extra out, McFarland proceeded to throw a wild pitch and hit a batter.

The lone run was knocked in by Abner Abreu, who knocked in his 45th on the season.

LAKE COUNTY

Stupid Apple Tin Cap Logo beat the Captains in a one-run game that was basically decided in the sixth inning.

Chris Kersten provided the lumber, hitting a two-run homer as everyone in the lineup but Roberto Perez and Casey Frawley had hits. Vidal Nuno gave up three runs in 5.2 innings of work, but Preston Guilmet struck out four in 2.1 innings of relief.

MAHONING VALLEY

The Scrappers win as their insurance run in the ninth provided to be useful after Takafumi Nakamura gave up a run. James Ehlert came in to notch his fourth save as Michael Goodnight made his professional debut for the Scrappers.

Goodnight went three innings and gave up just one hit and struck out three. Kirk Wetmore picked up the win and struck out five.

Carlos Moncrief had a two double night, knocking in a run and Chase Burnette knocked in one with a double of his own.

As mentioned, Cole Cook will be making his debut on Sunday, Goodnight made his last night and I'm sure Nate Striz will be used fairly soon as well.

Shortstop Nick Bartolone was promoted to the Scrappers and he made his debut last Sunday. Since he's hit .269 with three RBI .

8.08.2010

Notes And Quotes: You look like Super Mario, man

It didn't really hit me until I saw Kenny in his jacket that the Indians coincided this with the actual Pro Football Hall of Fame Inductions.

That was a star studded induction class with the all-time receiving and rushing leaders going in on the same night. Kenny is an all-time winner with this club and I'm bummed for him more than anyone that we weren't able to win in '07 because that was his last real opportunity to do so.

I think Kenny could have played again in 2008. He was stubborn in terms of his demands, which was a part of the reason he was basically forced into retirement, but after watching him in 2007, I think he still had another productive season left in him.

Hearing Lofton talk about how the city of Cleveland will get a championship made me think of how genuine K-Love is. You may not always love him or he may say something crazy, but it is always from the heart. He may tell you he doesn't want to move to left field, but at least he is telling you the truth.

He's a prideful guy and that's what makes him a part of the city.

Congrats to Kenny Lofton in his induction into the Indians Hall of Fame. He's an all-time great in this franchise and like Tom Hamilton said, a one-of-a-kind center fielder. If Michael Brantley turns into half the player Kenny was, then that is great. I don't know if Kenny will ever get into the baseball hall, I personally think the hall will be way too stingy for him to even come close, but he's a hall of fame guy in my opinion.

On a side note.. We could have done without the booing from the fans for Dolan. Get over yourselves.

[SHORT CELEBRATION]

It was pretty much over after Kenny Lofton was inducted in terms of the celebration because the Twins just went after it.

What is funny about last night's starter for Minnesota, Carl Pavano, it is exactly one year to the day that he was traded to the Twins from the Indians.

In that get-up, Pavano looked more like Super Mario though. I respect the stache, but with that pajama jumpsuit looking uniform, the Mario in him really comes out. I said it on Twitter and I'll say it again. Pavano looks like Super Mario in that, but Sal Fasano would be Super Mario in that.

You guys realize that Pavano is 14-7 this season with a 3.28 ERA?

What if we kept Pavano, Lee, and Martinez? Would we have contended? Sure injuries have hurt and the offense was stagnant for a good portion of the year.. But if you have a reformed Carmona, Lee as your ace, Pavano as your three, and Mitch Talbot as your pitching staff...

Throw in Vic in the middle of the order, fixing one of those nasty weaknesses that was there early with Marson catching and not hitting. If they don't trade Martinez and Lee, they don't have the money to waste on Branyan and that experiment never happens. I'm not saying LaPorta hits from the start, but who knows how things unfold. Maybe Martinez moves to first and Santana comes up sooner.

I'm day-dreaming, but watching Pavano thrive is, hurtful, but in a way also pretty awesome. Carl is a good guy and got some rough treatment in New York. It's good to see him do so well in Minnesota and I hope he cracks close to 20 wins.


Fausto Carmona had another rough start, his second in three games, but he managed to go at least seven plus and it wasn't until those seventh and eighth innings that he gave up a majority of his runs. He kept his team in it 2-2 until the seventh.

Carmona hs always had a problem with the Twins, but on the scope of it, I don't think this one was any sort of mental hurdle... This was just getting bested in the end. Pavano said he was on the ropes and essentially he was waiting to get knocked down, but the Twins got to Carmona first and Pavano danced his way out of danger.

Big ups to Jordan Brown for his first career RBI and first career multi-hit game. We're seeing that hitting stroke he's famous for with a three-hit game. I need to know why Jordan Brown is hitting ahead of Matt LaPorta though. Left-Right split between Matola and Duncan? I guess.


[RANDOM RUNDOWN]

Manny Acta coaching third base reminds me of something. He said it was good for the soul.

"Plan for where you're going, but don't forget where you come from," Acta said. "Who knows? I've seen a lot of managers go back to coaching third base again."

I'm in my second year in a job that doesn't hire many people back for a second year. Those people in their second year take on more responsibility and naturally don't have to do some things that people in their first year do all the time.

I personally don't care about that. Acta really didn't have to go coach third base if he didn't want to He could have told someone else to do it. I don't have to give tours, I could have told someone else to do it. But like Acta, don't forget where you came from. You aren't above anyone, especially your fellow co-workers. That is fun for Acta to go back there and do that for a couple of games.

In a way it's just like.. Hey that was fun when I used to do that, so I'm going to go do it again for a few days, just because I can.

I'm always interested in lockers and walk-up music, and all that other stuff. It looks as if Justin Masterson and Joe Smith got lockers left behind by Kerry Wood and Jake Westbrook. Since when does Joe Smith do enough to get a locker behind a pillar. If it makes him pitch not sucky, I won't complain... But.. Joe Smith a veteran on this team? Unfortunately, of the pitching staff, third longest tenure. Of all the other players, tied for sixth with Trevor Crowe. It's sad when someone who started playing for you opening day of 2009 has the sixth longest tenure on the club. Only Rafael Perez, Fausto Carmona, Andy Marte, Asdrubal Cabrera, and Shin-Soo Choo have been here longer.

Terry Pluto's championing for Jordan Brown quite like he did with Ben Francisco. I think I was right there with him on Francisco and I've been right there with him on Brown. I've been on Brown since before last season.

Pluto mentions that the key players for this club are the ones acquired in the CC, Vic, and Cliff deals. He says you need everyday players and starting pitchers to show for those chips and I'd have to agree. They better at least get four worthwhile pieces from those three and so far, it looks like we have at least two in Donald and LaPorta. Masterson may be there and we all think Brantley can do it. It comes down to what can Carrasco do, will Knapp stay healthy to get here, and is Hagadone going to be able to find his control to get back into the rotation, or can he at least be a dominant late inning arm.

While you still can, Andy Marte is officially a pitcher now... At least according to Yahoo. I saw this yesterday when I couldn't find Marte listed under infielders so I could click on his name and get to his photo gallery. I needed a picture of Marte and the one I found turned out to be my new twitter background.