9.23.2010

I'm sorry for neglecting you as a child

What a week of hell this has been in terms of homework.

I'm here though and alive. Unfortunately for the next week I don't know how often I'll be updating, not that there is really anything interesting going on in the land of the Indians or anything, but you know me.

So I'll use this to do a little bit of house cleaning, then be off to tackle a take-home essay exam, a book report, and a feature story, all needing to be done before Tuesday, because I'm going to Cleveland all day that day.

[CLIPPERS WIN IT ALL]

Seriously, I just refer you to Charlie's excellent post over at IPI to recap the Triple-A National Championship game between the Clippers and the Tacoma Rainiers.

I don't know if I brought this up a week ago, but Mike Sarbaugh can't get away from this organization. Hopefully no one goes after him and the club makes every effort to keep him around another year in some capacity, whether it is with the Clippers again, or the big league club.

The guy just wins. Columbus, Akron, Kinston, and Mahoning Valley He has hit every level and brought home a title. Coincidence? I don't think so, considering the titles have been spread out a good amount, this guy is a stud.

This team was hit hard with call-ups because of the injuries and trades to the Indians. You look at their roster from the beginning of the season and at the end here, it is totally different and they still won it all.

April
C - Carlos Santana; 1B - Wes Hodges; 2B - Jason Donald; SS - Brian Bixler; 3B - Brian Buscher; OF - Jose Constanza; OF - Trevor Crowe; OF - Chris Gimenez
SP - Carlos Carrasco, Yohan Pino, Josh Tomlin, Scott Lewis, Jeanmar Gomez

September
C - Luke Carlin; 1B - Wes Hodges; 2B - Cord Phelps; SS - Josh Rodriguez; 3B - Jared Goedert; OF - Matt McBride; OF - Jose Constanza; OF - Zeke Carrera; OF - Jared Head
SP - Corey Kluber, David Huff, Zach McAllister, Paolo Espino, Yohan Pino

It isn't so much the talent (I think position by position, the September team looks a lot better than the one in April, asaide from Santana, of course. Not to mention this team had Kipnis too) but the fact that there was a lot of turnover and that is tough for a manager to deal with, especially at the minor league level.

Yet the club kept rolling and pulled off the win. What a season, what a season. What a postseason. They outscored the opposition 71-30!

Visit the Clippers Facebook page for some pictures of the Governor's Cup and the Triple-A trophy together.

[CAPTAINS!]

Midwest League? Whatever, every other team in the Midwest is 0-for-1 with the Captains involved. Lake County won the Midwest League, their first year in it. Largely they were a first-half team, but this team turned it on in the playoffs, thanks in part to some additions from Kinston and the draft, but this crew got it done as well.

This is good.. The club won at two levels, the Triple-A and the Low-A... The two in between made the playoffs or finished .500, so the talent isn't just at one level. It's just going to keep coming. For those of you that say this organization is devoid of talent, look again. These clubs aren't winning by miracles, they're all good.

Soon enough all these guys are going to be getting close to Cleveland and the club will have no shortage of options.

Tony Lastoria was lucky enough to be in attendance for the clincher and he and Lianna Holub took a bunch of photos and videos of the celebration. Check it out.

[REINFORCEMENTS]

There is a reason the first two stories and even this third one all relate to the minor leagues. There ain't much happening!

The club called up Aaron Laffey when the Clippers won the Governor's Cup and now that their season is completely finished, Vinnie Pestano and catcher Luke Carlin will join the club in Cleveland for this weekend series against Kansas City. Carlin and Pestano both need to be added to the 40-man roster and we'll see who gets tossed or if they just place Santana and on the 60-day and try and wiggle Chad Huffman through waivers.

Why Pestano and Carlin and not Todd, Judy, and Carrera? Todd and Carrera are at least on the 40-man.

Manny Acta said that the club isn't going to call up players just to call them up and have them sit the bench. Pestano and Carlin are getting called up because the club has a need for them.

Why not Todd though, since he's on the 40-man? I think the Indians want to legit look at Pestano and really, he deserves it 1000x more than The Todd Time does.

Why Carlin? Everyone pretty much calls up a third catcher. Luke won't make it to next season the 40. I'm assuming the Indians wouldn't bother if they didn't have a sound plan with the 40. Really it seems puzzling, but it's a small move. I'm not overly concerned about what they'll end up doing here.

[RANDOM RUNDOWN]

With Donald's injury and Cabrera a little banged up, freakin' Drew Sutton is playing a whole lot lately. Another reason there isn't much going on.

Good news about Kinston catcher Chun Chen. He's been selected to the Taiwainese National Team and he'll participate in the Asia Games. Unlike South Korea, just being selected to the team reduces Military Obligations for players. Chen will only have to serve for 12 days, rather than like, two years.

What's he going to do for them in 12 days is my question? Train? I mean seriously, that makes no sense, but I'm not going to complain man. Now all we need to do is see Choo's South Korea team win it all and we'll be golden.

That will be it for me. I've got things to do and people to see. Not really people to see, but you get the picture. I'm attending the Indians Intern Fair on Tuesday and going to the game again on Wednesday against the Tigers. Likely my last Progressive Field visit for the season. Should be fun.

One side note about the boards and their updates. Everyone who has been on the active roster all year has reached 172 service days. The ones that haven't have a little dash in that bonus column. One thing I didn't account for was just that, so next year I'll count service days in 2011 and have it automatically added to their totals. This way I can keep track of both. Slight oversight, but the only two that will reach 172 this season are LaPorta and Nix, I have how many more days they have next to their numbers. So there's that.

9.19.2010

Exclusive: Rare Nimartuena Monster Spotted!

We've all heard about the Nimartuena monster that has been causing havoc at the third base position in Cleveland.

But no one has been able to snap a photograph of this rare and destructive creature.

Until now!

That's right, I've acquired the first and only official photograph of this Nimartuena thing and let me tell you, it is quite the hideous and disgusting looking monster.

Hide the children please. If you are easily grossed out by errors at third base, horrible-to-mediocre offense, and just overall dislike creatures that cause you to gain unfortunate migraines, you might want to look away.




You have been warned!






LOOK AT THAT HIDEOUS THING! OH MY GOD IT IS SO BAD! AAAHHHHGGGGG!!!!!

Notes and Quotes: Byrnes in Crosshairs; Captains Close in on Title

Holy Rain Delay! Why wouldn't you call that game?

I mean I'm not complaining, I needed the strikeouts from Masterson and that Perez save for my fantasy team, but that was insanity.


[TRIBE COULD ADD BYRNES]

Mike Chernoff is considering a rising start in the front office, so he'll likely be elevated to Assistant General Manager once Shapiro takes over as President and leaves his GM post for Chris Antonetti.

Chernoff is currently the Director Of Baseball Operations. What exactly does he do now and could former Arizona General Manager Josh Byrnes be his replacement? Or could the Tribe just be looking to add Byrnes to their stable of front office personnel? Who knows to all those questions but I would like to see Byrnes brought in.

You can't argue with what he did in Arizona. Byrnes has ties to Cleveland, working with Shapiro and starting his career in 1994 with the Indians. He's spent time in Boston, Colorado, and of course was the Diamondbacks GM since 2005. Byrnes was fired with A.J. Hinch this season.

As long as we don't let him hire A.J. Hinch to manage the team, I don't see a problem adding him.

What about changes to the coaching staff? Acta is obviously safe, but Manny said that it would be a joint effort in that department. He's been pleased with the job his guys have done.

"I'm very pleased with the job they've done," said Acta. "We've had a lot of young players come through here this year. Some weren't quite ready to be here and we've had to push them along."

I'm not sure we'll witness any major shakeups within the coaching staff. Unless of course Steve Smith retires or Sandy Alomar gets poached by a team looking to give him a promotion. I think he'd stay unless it was a managerial job, which probably won't be coming his way.

One thing you should consider is Mike Sarbaugh. I don't think anyone will come calling, but after next year this guy needs to be on the big league coaching staff. They can't let him get away like Lovullo did this past offseason. Sarbaugh is a start within the organization and everyone who plays for him absolutely loves him.

If things go awry with Acta, Sarbaugh needs to be around because he's going places.

Nunnally and Belcher have done good. Belcher has worked some magic with some of these guys and Nunnally gets a pass with all the injuries and youngsters regardless of performance.


[OH CAPTAIN]

The Lake County Captains are a win away from clinching their first every Midwest League Championship after last night's 7-3 victory over the Clinton LumberKings.

Jason Smit and Greg Folgia hit back to back solo home runs in the 2nd inning to extend an early 2-0 lead to 4 and that would be it. They added three more, two on a Tyler Holt two-run shot, his first as an Indians farmhand, and got a great pitching performance from Brett Brach in the process.

Brach went 6+ and struck out nine on his way to allowing just one run off seven hits and no walks.

Holt was 2-for-2 that night with three runs scored, a stolen base and two walks in addition to the two-run shot. We've got ourselves a nice little player in the outfielder from Florida State.

The Captains go for the clincher tonight at 6:30 PM ET at Classic Park in Eastlake. Vidal Nuno goes for the Captains in their first shot at becoming Midwest League Champions. GET IT DONE!

[MATOLA SLAM!]

Matt Underwood sounded just as shocked as everyone else did when a 0-for-his-last-15 Matt LaPorta clubbed a grand slam to center field to put the Indians up 4-0.

LaPorta really needed that though. I keep saying he's got to be a big power source for this club moving forward and this recent slump has done nothing to ease that hope. Brantley's 18 game-hit streak, longest since Casey Blake a few years ago, has done a lot for hope that he can be the guy for the club moving forward in left field.

So we got these two guys, we need 'em both to be coming through. They'll both have jobs to start next season at this juncture, but only one right now is showing he's worth it. Hopefully a full healthy offseason is enough for LaPorta.

[RANDOM RUNDOWN]

I always say these things having a way of working themselves out. Looks like Justin Masterson's situation just worked itself out. Masterson wasn't able to go for it after that rain delay, which cut his start short and ultimately short of his 180 inning threshold. That means Masterson doesn't have to go home and he'll likely finish up his season in the bullpen after all.

That's just awesome... A few weeks left, he'll get in a few relief appearances, doesn't have to shut it down. Yah.

Aaron Laffey was called up to be added to the bullpen as well. With the Clippers only having that grudge-match with the PCL Champion left, they'll probably not need Laffey, but the Indians will, especially after last night's game.

I think we could probably see Jess Todd called up. You already have used that option year, and unless he's reached some innings limit the Indians have set on him, an extra arm back there couldn't hurt. If you want Vinnie Pestano or Josh Judy, you'll have to make some 40-man moves. If only you didn't claim Chad Huffman.

I think even if Talbot can't go at it on Thursday, the club could just start someone like Laffey, have him pitch an inning or two and make it a bullpen game. Hold Germano off after this one, have him for three innings or so. I don't know if you want to exhaust your bullpen, but it seems as if this club is committed to not letting David Huff get a call up.

Finally, a lot of good notes from Terry Pluto, one of which says Jayson Nix is being sent to Puerto Rico to work on third base. It sounds even more concrete that the Indians are planning on Nix being their guy at third base next season. The more and more he plays and the more and more they push him at third, the more and more likely it is he's got to be their guy.

Which unfortunately will put an end to Nimartuena.... More on that in five seconds, scroll up.

9.18.2010

Notes and Quotes: God Bless Choo

I spent Friday night watching the number one soccer team in the nation establish their dominance in their newly renovated home field, so excuse me if I missed Choo's fabulous performance.

I was just as shocked as anyone when I returned home to see what destruction Choo had caused.

But also delighted.


[CHOOx3]

Shin-Soo Choo became the 31st Indians player to homer three times in a game with his amazing performance on Friday night. Choo hit a grand slam, a two-run shot, and capped it off with a solo shot and my fantasy team is very thankful for this, especially in the middle of a playoff series. That's clutch Chooster, thanks buddy!

"You don't want [their] best hitter to beat you," said Royals catcher Brayan Pena, "and he beat us."

He beat you? He didn't beat you, he crushed you into an oblivion! He dominated, he slugged you across the face and then hit your limp body with a shovel.

More importantly than all this, Choo's massive home run binge ensures the Indians a legit opportunity to make sure they have a 20-home run hitter on their team, keeping a streak that has lived since 1983, alive.

Remember that discussion? About how this club is missing its power stroke? Choo is their most prolific home run hitter but injuries have prevented him from easily reaching the number of 20. Now with this herculean performance, he is right on the edge of doing so. He just needs one more to finish out the year and he'll save the Indians from having not a single player with 20 home runs on the roster.

Thank you Choo.

Choo said it was the best game of his life. I'd say so. He had been struggling, but after a talk with Pronk, he seemingly just let it all go.

"I've not been swinging well the last two weeks," Choo said. "So many fastballs I fouled off. A lot of things were on my mind. Tonight, after the ground-ball double play, I talked to Hafner and said, 'Maybe I just see the ball and swing at it.'"

[CARRASORIOUS]

THAT ISN'T A WORD!

Carlos Carrasco though has won his first ever Major League game. The way he's been pitching it seems as if he should have had it already, but better late than never. Carrasco and Choo received a shower of beer, not a shower beer, but a beer shower after the game. Carrasco didn't have to say much.

"Today," said Carrasco, freshly showered after his beer shower, "I feel great." 

 Acta believes the long inning effected Carrasco in the game, but with a long inning that gives you some runs, it is quite alright if you give up a few in route to finishing an inning. Oh well, you gots the win, you pitched five innings of great baseball. Enjoy the win young man.

"It was another great start for Carrasco to get his first win," Acta said. "I think the long inning [sixth] affected him. He went out and was flat and up in the zone." 

It was a great game overall for the team. Carrasco pitched well, the hitting was on-point. It wasn't just Choo either. Yes he did all the damage, but Lou Marson had a career night with three RBI, Hafner was on three times, Cabrera twice with two runs. Brantley extended his hitting streak to 17-games.

And the Cleveland Indians are out of the AL Central Basement.

[RANDOM RUNDOWN]

I like Shelley Duncan. He's a little loopy. He's the guy you hate when he plays for a team like the Yankees, but he's a guy you love when he's on your side. You know what I'm talking about. Anyway Duncan is always trying to bash skulls, even if they are on his own team and he just won the game, even though it was on an error.

"I was playing around with everybody," Duncan said. "Everybody usually tries to beat the guy up who drives in the winning run. So I said, 'I'll just turn it around and try to beat everybody up.'" 

God Bless Choo? God Bless Crazy Shelley too.

Tonight is the final hurrah for Justin Masterson in 2010, so I say he goes out with a bang. Masterson will make the start for Mitch Talbot, get to that in a second, and with 173 innings, he is 7 away from his 180 threshold. The plan to move him to the bullpen so he could be around for the rest of the season was scrapped not just because of Talbot, but perhaps because of the Clippers playoff run and David Huff's dog house.

I'm sure if they needed a starter beyond this game, the Indians wouldn't mess with anyone and just call Huff up and not risk anyone over trying to prove a point, but this seems like a perfectly logical thing to do. There is only a few weeks, so you shut him down early, oh well. Masterson has been great in his past few outings, let's let him finish strong.

Don't hold Manny Acta to 181 or 179 though, either of which could happen. Acta said if he only goes five innings they might let him pitch a couple innings out of the pen, but I say we think positive and think Masterson is going to go out and throw a fantastic friggin game and go over that 180. I'm thinking no-hitter here.

Mitch Talbot meanwhile will play catch today. Go in the back yard with pops, toss the leather around. You know, have a catch, throw some ball. Some fun.

This catch could lead to a bullpen session, which would lead to him making Thursday's start next week. Hopeful.

I pointed out awhile ago that Trevor Crowe needs a haircut. Damn guy is looking stupid-silly with that hair. He isn't bad ass like Chris Perez. Crowe seems like he is just doing it because the ball and chain will make him cut it once the offseason arrives. What a loser.

She's going to say it has to get cut," Crowe said. "You wear a hat during the season, but, in the offseason, we're going to visit my family -- and I'm going to have to get it cut."

"It's funny, too, because most people, when they have long hair, it gets curly," he said. "My hair is like angel hair pasta."

Which makes it looks foolish. Cut that pasta off boy!

As you may have seen, the Indians claimed Chad Huffman, a Triple-A outfielder from the Yankees yesterday. He's now 40-manned and in Columbus. I wonder if he was in the clubhouse for the celebration. He went from being eliminated with the S/W-B Yanks to the friggin Champs. I don't understand this claim, the club needs 40-man space. Maybe they'll hold onto him try and pass him through waivers at a later date and just move on. If not whatever. Weird. Who cares, it's Chad Huffman.

I have a Sunday surprise for you all. I was going to make it a Saturday surprise, but with Choo's Hercules and Carrasco winning, I felt the need to do some ketchups.

Minor Issues: Clippers Take Home Governor's Cup

What's the News?

CHAMPIONS! THAT'S RIGHT!

YOUR 2010 INTERNATIONAL LEAGUE CHAMPION COLUMBUS CLIPPERS



Your 2010 Winners of the Governor's Cup? The Columbus Clippers! That's right, the Clippers took home the cup after last night's victory over Durham to take the series 3-to-1 and bring home their first IL title as a Cleveland Indians affiliate.

It has also been 14 years since the Clippers last took home IL gold. Manager Mike Sarbaugh got himself his second League title in two years after leading the Aeros to the Eastern League Championship.

"Those never get old," Clippers manager Mike Sarbaugh said of the on-field celebration. "You work all year long. To be able to celebrate at the end, to be the winner, that's what you play for. You go through 144 games and the playoffs, so to be the last one to win, I think its very rewarding."

This Jason Kipnis kid.... Guys, Gals, Readers... Oh get him up to Cleveland now. Maybe he'll help us win the rest of our games. HE IS A MONSTER!

You call him up for four games in the Championship series and he hits .389, mostly in the five hole? Where in gods green earth did this clutch son of a bitch come from?

Last night he hit for the cycle, going 4-6 with three runs scored and two RBI. Kipnis tripled, doubled, singled, and hit a 2nd inning solo home run to help power the Clippers championship win. As a team the club banged out 20 hits that led to 13 runs, but it was quite clear based off Paolo Espino's pitching performance that they didn't need all that much.

Cord Phelps had three hits and 2 RBI, Jared Goedert had three hits and three runs scored and that playoff player Jerad Head scored four times and knocked in two runs off four hits, two of them doubles.

Josh Rodriguez knocked in the most runs last night though with three hits and four RBI and he also stole a base.

Espino won his second playoff game by going six innings and giving up two runs off nine hits and a pair of walks. It was the bullpen that shut things down once again though, with the Zach Putnam and Vinnie Pestano duo pitching scoreless eighth and ninth innings to clinch it.

What a season!

This journey is far from over though. The Clippers will now get to face the Pacific Coast League Champion, whoever that may be between Tacoma (Seattle) and Memphis (St. Louis). That series to determine the overall Triple-A champion on Tuesday in a one-time televised game in Oklahoma City.

LAKE COUNTY

After an off day to travel to Eastlake, the Captains and LumberKings resume their Midwest League Championship series tied at 1. Brett Brach should be getting moved up to start this game which starts at 6:30 PM ET from Classic Park.

9.17.2010

Minor Issues: Captains, Clippers Both Fall

What's the News?

The Indians weren't the only team to finish their game with a walk-off error.

COLUMBUS

The Clippers are still in control of the series despite falling to the Bulls on the road last night. Durham walked off with a sac-fly to get on the board and make the series 2-1 with Columbus still holding the edge.

Wes Hodges had the only offense, hitting a two-run home run and collecting two hits. The Clips did out-hit the Bulls with Jared Goedert added two hits and Cord Phelps doubling. They also stole four bases, with Constanza stealing a pair.

Yohan Pino was downright brilliant. He gave up juts on unearned run, two total, in eight innings of work. He walked just one and gave up three hits. Unfortunately Josh Judy came in and got into some early trouble and that was that, tie-game no more, game over, Bulls win.

The Clippers get their second shot tonight to clinch the Governor's Cup. It will be the guy who won the clincher over Scarnton going for Columbus, Paolo Espino.

LAKE COUNTY

Holy Crap....

Not sure I've ever seen a minor league game go this long. Probably because if it would go this long, they'd just suspend it or something. This is a playoff game though, you gots to finish it! The Captains had plenty of opportunities to go up 2-0 on the LumberKings, however they just couldn't get it done.

When they did get it done in the 12th inning, Clinton tied it back up and extended the game even longer. However the game probably wouldn't have even gotten to that point without a Delvi Cid two-run home run in the top of the ninth inning to tie the game up.

Everyone who played had a hit, probably because just about everyone had a million at-bats. Tyler Holt, Casey Frawley, Kyle Smith, and Jason Smit all had two hits and a run scored. Roberto Perez hit the solo job in the 12th inning to give the Captains the lead, but Clinton battled back. Greg Folgia also hit a two-run home run as well as threw out the winning run in that 12th inning to end the frame and keep it tied.

Adam Abraham doubled and knocked in a run, but it was ultimately his fault for the loss as the winning run scored in the 18th with two outs as the ball went past him for an error.

Give it up for Owen Dew who gave up the one run, but was keeping the the team alive for six innings. The club had to go to Giovanni Soto in the 17th and it certainly wasn't his fault the club lost. Since he pitched though and was scheduled to go tomorrow in game three.

The good news is the series shifts over to East Lake for the final three games, if that third game is needed. We'll see who goes for the Captains, but they could just move Brett Brach up a day.

9.15.2010

Minor Issues: Captains Head to Midwest Championship

What's the News?

Three teams made the playoffs, two are playing for Championships. It is a great year for the Indians minor league system, with all four full-season teams finishing .500 or better and making the playoffs. Now you have two of those teams making the Championship series and one already up one game. Let's get to it.

COLUMBUS

The Governor's cup kicked off last night and the Clippers absolutely manhandled the Durham Bulls, 18-5. The Clippers doubled up on hits and powered themselves with a five run first and a seven run fifth.

Everyone that started had a hit and everyone that played scored a run. Jose Constanza, Zeke Carrera, and Cord Phelps all had two hits and a RBI. Wes Hodges hit a two-run home run and knocked in three runs total. Jared Goedert had three hits, three runs scored, three runs batted in and a two-run home run.

Luke Carlin and Jerad Head also homered, but it was Head who went absolutely bananas. Head was money in the postseason for Akron last year and so far, he's done the same with the Clippers as he knocked in six, count 'em, six runs off three hits.

Jason Kipnis started at DH and scored three times, had two hits and walked. Kipnis was called up when Jason Donald's injury forced the Indians to call up Drew Sutton.

Pitching was great outside Aaron Laffey. David Huff made his final start of 2010, we think, going seven innings and giving up just an unearned run off four hits with five strikeouts.

Laffey gave up four runs in the eighth, but Jess Todd closed things down with a scoreless ninth.

The Clippers will play their final game at Huntington Park this season in game two of the finals tonight at 6:35 PM. Trade acquisition Zach McAllister goes for the Clippers against Durham's Anuery Rodriguez.

LAKE COUNTY

After losing the first game at home, the Captains battled back and they are now headed to the Midwest League Championship after defeating the Loons two days straight! Last night they beat Great Lakes 6-1 behind Vidal Nuno and Argenis Martinez.

Martinez was 2-4 with a pair of RBIs and runs, accounting for four of the Caps six runs. Casey Frawley hit a solo home run and Tyler Holt knocked in a run after coming on for Chris Kersten at DH. Delvi Cid knocked in a run too and also stole his fifth base of the postseason.

Nuno gave up just the one run in 5.1 innings of work and Owen Dew and Jeremy Johnson pitched combined 2.2 innings of work in relief. Mike Rayl struggled in the ninth so the club called on Jose Flores to finish it out with a pair of strikeouts.

With the victory they now advance to the Midwest League Finals for the first time ever in their first ever season in the league. They will take on the Clinton Lumberkings of Iowa tonight at 7:30 with Jason Knapp going for the Captains. The first two games are in Iowa while the last three, if some are necessary will be in Lake County.

9.12.2010

Notes and Quotes: Damn You Thome

That sounds better if you pronounce it "Tome" instead of "Thome".

Did I create some sort of jinx by mentioning the fact that we were not only starting games at a decent time and also finishing them pretty damn quickly?

Not only did this game start damn near 9:00, it went into extra innings.

[RUNS ANYONE?]

Two on, one out, Jason Donald attempts a squeeze play.

"After seeing the replay, the ball hit [Donald] on the hand [on the pitch]," Acta said. "Unfortunately it was too late. We don't have the benefit of a replay. We only have replay for [disputed] home runs." 

Alright so what is the difference? The difference is if he got hurt by the pitch, he's going to first base and the bases are loaded. If he got hit after the bunt, then he's out because the ball was in play and that is batter interference. That is what Brian Gorman ruled, but it looks to me as if Donald was hit while executing the bunt. Just saying.

Either way, the run wouldn't have scored, even though Hafner came sliding into home. I'm pretty sure a runner on base cannot advance when a hitter is hit by a pitch.

So the Indians would still have had to get that runner in from third with less than two outs. They had opportunities throughout the night, but as usually happens when you score zero runs, execution wasn't really happening. Not to mention the Magician Nick Blackburn held them hit-less until the sixth inning.

Donald by the by won't be in the lineup today, at least it is unlikely, as he gets his bruised hand checked out by doctors.

What was happening was Carlos Friggin Carrasco, who's been awesome in his three starts this season with Cleveland. Last night was probably his best effort, going 7+ scoreless and dancing out of any danger he was put in at several points in the night.

Don't like the three walks, but it is better than giving up home runs, which he didn't do after giving up three in his first two starts.

"We're very encouraged," Acta said. "He looks like he could be one of the pieces we're missing in our starting rotation. At the least, he has middle-of-the-rotation stuff."

Playing around in my head... Fausto Carmona, Justin Masterson, Carlos Carrasco, Jeanmar Gomez, Mitch Talbot to start next season, yes? Josh Tomlin and Davd Huff on stand-by in Columbus, yes? Great piece from Paul Cousineau over at The DiaTribe on the rotation. Terry Pluto takes a look at the situation as well.

I'm more excited about this bullpen that did another good job last night with the game going into extra innings. Tony Sipp and Chris Perez three scoreless in addition to Perez getting the final two outs of the eighth inning. Germano gave up the gold but he's not in the long term plans.

The back end of the pen is on fire... Speaking of..

[MASTERPEN]

The Mastard will remain in the rotation next season, but for now, he's finishing the season in the bullpen. One reason is to make sure he's with the club pitching until the final day of the season another is to continue to get a look at players like Carrasco and Gomez.


Justin Masterson has about 8-10 innings left to use up and the Indians seem to be comfortable with him using those up out of the bullpen. It makes sense instead of giving him one more start and then just sending him home. As Acta said, we're paying him.

Masterson would have rather just had extended breaks between his starts, but for the team, this makes a lot more sense. Acta confirms and continues to waste his breath though that Masterson's move isn't permanent.

"We know he can do that already," Acta said. "He did it for the Red Sox in the pennant race and the playoffs, and we know he's capable of that here." 

I was sour on the idea of keeping him a starter, but I've changed my mind five times this season because of his inconsistency. The inconsistency can be both a reason to move him and a reason not to move him, so it's tough. What do you do with a guy who shows the potential to be a dominant starter, but doesn't show it all the time?

I guess with the club in the position they are in, continuing to see this process through couldn't hurt. I've been in both camps. Ideally I'd love to see him work out as a starter, but if it doesn't happen, I hope the Indians will make the right move and still use Masterson in an effective role.

For the rest of the season, that bullpen gets a little stronger with Masterson being used at the back end. If Masterson goes on to be a starter for the rest of his career and that dream scenario of him setting up Chris Perez isn't to happen, at least we get to see it for half a month to see just how awesome Mastard Sauce and Pure Rage look together.

Hoynes is just itching to write the story that Masterson is a full-time reliever though.

He better hope the club signs five Bob Fellers.

[RANDOM RUNDOWN]

It looks as if the Clippers playoff run will end the chances of any of their players getting a look at the major leagues. So no Josh Rodriguez, no Jess Todd, no anyone else. That is likely. Acta says that unless there is an emergency, the season ends for all the current Clippers when the Governor's Cup is over.

Don't think the playoff experience hurts though. I would think they'd try and add Jess Todd, only because he's on the 40-man and you can never have enough pen arms with all these extra inning games the club seems to be playing, but with Masterson added to the pen, that may not be a big need at this juncture. They are there though, so just in case.

Mike Sarbaugh will join the team once the Clippers' season is over though. The duo of Dave Hudgens and Bruce Fields joined the club for the homestand.

With yesterday being 9/11, all the clubs wore their USA-styled caps. I have one complaint about those caps.Why do we were the alternate creamies with them? If we wore the normal home whites with those caps, it would look as if those are our actual caps and it would look pretty friggin badass.

Chris Perez is probably in a little pain this morning after his Canes got the beat down in Columbus. I'm happy as a clam though. How is a clam happy by the by? Are they always happy? What if a clam is unhappy like in that episode of Spongebob when he threw a peanut at it. I'm sure people who follow me for the Indians stuff were mildly annoyed at my SHOELACE!!!!!!! tweets every five seconds. Sorry about that Buckeye fans.. Think of it this way though, the better your friends up north play, the better your win at the end of the season will look.

I hope we can come to this compromise, since the Steelers are playing today and I actually get a chance to watch them since they are playing on FOX and the Browns are on CBS. If our manager can wear Browns gear, then this is acceptable I think.

Minor Issues: Clippers Advance to Governor'sCup, Captains Rained Out

What's the News?

The Clippers are moving on! They will start their series for the Governor's Cup on Tuesday but they still do not know their opponent. Durham forced a decisive game five after bashing the Bats 8-1.

This team though, as it stands now, does have a good portion of players on that were on that Championship team in Akron last year.

Paolo Espino, Josh Judy, Vinnie Pestano, Zach Putnam, Damaso Espino, Jared Goedert, Josh Rodriguez, Jose Constanza, Jerad Head, Matt McBride.

That little core is doing some special things right now. I guess if you threw in Carlos Santana and Nick Weglarz, who were both on that Akron team last year, you've got a good nucleus of players that have gone up through the system at the same time. When you look at it though, Putnam, Pestano, Judy, Rodriguez, and maybe McBride are the only ones that figure to be big time MLB prospects, where as the others are fringe guys.

Remember that Akron team also had Jeanmar Gomez too and this Columbus team had Gomez and Carlos Carrasco for most of the season.

COLUMBUS

What a season it has been for the Clippers. They've lost so many players to Cleveland, but here they are in the International League's Championship series after their 11-5 win over Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

Offensively the entire team got in on the party. The big bats came to play with Wes Hodges knocking in two runs off two hits and scoring two as well, Drew Sutton knocking in three runs off three hits, and Josh Rodriguez hitting a three-run home run in the fourth to get the whole thing started.

Constanza and Carrera (Should be a comedy duo, Jose and Zeke), had two hits and scored two runs each at the top of the lineup and Jared Goedert also had two hits and a walk.

Paolo Espino kept the Yankees in check for seven innings, giving up just two runs off five hits and striking out six to earn the win. Carlton Smith gave up three runs in the eighth, but Josh Judy came in to clean things up and pitch a scoreless ninth to clinch it.

The series for the Cup begins on Tuesday in Columbus at 6:35 PM.

LAKE COUNTY

The Captains and Loons got rained out last night. Lots of rain everywhere in NEO it seems. The game will take place today at 1:00 in East Lake and from there, the series shifts over to Michigan for the final two games, if the third is needed.

Gio Soto still scheduled to pitch for Lake County.

9.11.2010

Notes and Quotes: My My My My Myyyy... Carmona

After a week of games starting at 10 at night, it was refreshing to see not only a game start at a normal time, but actually finish rather quickly.

I was still up until midnight though.

I hear there is a big game going on in Columbus today. Not sure what that is about. I'm more focused with another game happening in South Bend.

But none of you want to hear about that, I know this already. Either way, how fair is it that those games AND the FSU/OU game is on all at the same time? I only have one television and two options to go back and forth from. Spread the love around, am I right?

Thank god the Indians don't play til 7.

[CARMONA...ON]

He retired the final 16 batters in order and he out-dueled one of the AL's win leaders and former teammate Carl Pavano. He hadn't beat the Twins since 2007 and the Twinkies are gearing up for a crucial series against Chicago next week.

Ozzie Guillen is smiling somewhere. So is Tim Belcher, who is starting to see the results of a new changeup that he and Camrona have been working on.

"The last three outings, he has made a lot of progress with the new grip," Acta said. "It was apparent he was throwing [his changeup] too hard. A lot of times, teams were hitting the changeup like it was just another fastball. Usually you want to have 8 to 10 [miles per hour difference in velocity], preferably 10, and he was way too close to [his fastball]." 

Oh and more importantly, Fausto's dominating game was one that aces turn in, stopping a six game losing streak with a complete game shut out. He doesn't need to always do that, but a game like that is a reason Carmona can be a good number two in this rotation.


[PRONK SHOULDER]

Some people are making a big deal about Acta not using slugger Travis Hafner in that marathon 16-inning game on Wednesday. I say fooey. Look in the extras when Hafner was the only man on his bench, he couldn't have used him unless he pinch-hit him at DH, because if he did it for anyone else, he'd either have to lose the DH or play Hafner in the field. Either option, very unlikely.

Why not earlier before he used Jayson Nix? Because it is Hafner's off-day. Acta is right. I know people are like, we'll you are paying him 11 million dollars, you can give him one at-bat on his off-day.

And what if that one at-bat costs him two weeks? The season is almost over here, the Indians aren't contending for anything, are we really bent out of shape of him not getting on at-bat? Hell half the fan base is usually complaining about him sucking anyway... People are never pleased.

[RANDOM RUNDOWN]

You really do need to take your hats off to the bullpen for that game on Wednesday. Even Hector Ambirz, who probably went as long as he could before running out of gas.

Some great questions posed by this fella as we watch the final string of games finish out.

In there, I talked a lot about Michael Brantley, who is really turning it on in September once again and like clock-work, just as I had guessed.... Brantley was trying too hard.

"I was trying to build off September so bad, I came out trying to do way too much, way too early," he said. "I had a lot of tension at the plate. I was grunting. I was squeezing the bat so hard, the pine tar might have been coming out of it." 

DING DING DING! WE HAVE A WINNER LADIES AND GENTLEMAN!

Gentleman? I guess.. there is just one of ya out there.

Yes he made a mechanical adjustment, but both he and Acta say it is confidence that has Brant going right now.

Good to see Matt LaPorta break out of that funk. Still not starting him on my fantasy team though (don't ask me why he's still on my bench).

Minor Issues: Captains Move On, K-Tribe Eliminated

What's the News?

One team out, one team moving on, another looks to clinch today.

One bit of news that I forgot to post yesterday in relation to our prospects was that Cord Phelps is headed to San Juan to play for the United States Pan American Qualifying team on October 1st. The second baseman will take part in the COPABE Pan Am games.

COLUMBUS

It has been a wild year for Yohan Pino, but he came up big when the Clippers needed him the most last night with Columbus shutting the Yankees out in their 1-0 victory to take a 2-1 edge in the International League playoffs.

Pino was masterful, giving up a hit and a walk to lead off the first inning. The Yankees failed to gain another baserunner for the rest oft he night. Pino ended up with seven shutout frames, six strikeouts and just the hit and walk from the first.

More impressive was the duo at the end, Zach Putnam and Vinine Pestano, who struck out the side in the eighth and ninth innings with Pestano earning the save.

The lone run of the game came in the eighth when Jose Constanza singled home Luke Carlin.

The Clippers look to end the series today at noon in Scranton (technically Moosic), as they send Paolo Espino to the mound. The Clippers will advance to the championship with a win while a loss will even things up and force a deciding game five back at PNC Field.

KINSTON

The season is over for the Kinston Indians. The K-Tribe fell to Winston-Salem in an extra-innings heart breaker at Historic Grainger Stadium last night, 10-5.

Down 5-1 in the eighth inning, the K-Tribe battled back for a four-spot to take the lead. Bo Greenwell doubled after a JT Toole sac-fly to set up a back to back hits by Jeremie Tice who singled home a pair and Chun Chen, who tripled him home.

Joe Gardner pitched five innings and gave up all four earned runs off five hits and four walks. It was Tyler Sturdevant who pitched three scoreless to put himself and the team in a position to win. But Cory Burns, the Carolina League's ace closer couldn't shut it down for once. Burns gave up a a single before getting two outs. But Jon Gilmore singled home Brandon Short who moved to second on a ground out to tie the game.

The clubs traded zeros in extra innings with the K-Tribe using Matt Langwell for two scoreless. Langwell ran out of gas and in the 12th and gave up a three run home run to Jose Martinez. T.J. House came in to get the final two outs, but he gave up a pair of doubles and let up two runs as the K-Tribe went silently in the bottom of the 12th to end their season.

Great season Kinston... Great Season!

LAKE COUNTY

The Lake County Captains are moving on! The Caps won a 3-2 decisive game three against West Michigan to advance to the second round of the Midwest League playoffs. They will face their stiffest competition from this past season, the second half dominating Great Lakes loons.

Jason Knapp was downright dominant, giving up just two hits and a walk while striking out six in his five shutout innings. Jose Flores gave up a pair of runs, but Preston Guilmet came in and tossed 2.2 innings to earn the save and clinch the victory. He gave up a pair of hits and struck out three.

Big game for Chris Kersten who knocked home two of the Caps runs and Jason Smit who homered in the fifth inning. Tyler Holt doubled, walked, and stole his second base of the post season. Kersten is hitting .500 while Holt .364 in the playoffs.

The Captains will now face the Loons in another best of three series for the right to move on to the Midwest League Championship. The Caps will stay at home for the first game which is set for 6:30 PM tonight at Classic Park. Lake County will send former Great Lake Loon Giovanni Soto to the mound.

9.10.2010

Minor Issues: K-Tribe, Caps Fight for Elimination Tonight

What's the News?

The playoffs are underway and two teams are already set in elimination games. The Captains will play for advancement or elimination tonight, while Kinston plays for their playoff lives, down 2-0 to Winston-Salem. Columbus and Scranton/WB will play at least two more with the series tied at 1.

Meanwhile the Instructional League Roster is out. The Instructional League takes play in Goodyear starting next Wednesday. The League lasts about a month and there are 50 players that take part. You can view the rosters over at IPI as well as the schedule. This is mainly an opportunity for injured players to make up lost time, especially injured pitchers making up innings, as well as 2010 draft picks to get their feet wet in the organization, so you'll see number one pick Drew Pomeranz pitch.

Onto the playoff games.

COLUMBUS

After beating Scranton/Wilkes-Barre in game one at Huntington Park on a walk-off home run from Luke Carlin, the Clippers lost after the Yankees scored in the top of the tenth to tie the series up.

Zeke Carrera had one hell of a game. He was on base six times, two hits, FOUR walks, a pair of stolen bases and a RBI. He certainly did his part. Wes Hodges hit a two-run home run and Jerad Head and Luke Carlin both doubled.

Great effort from Zach McAllister, who went 5.2 and gave up four runs, but only one was earned. Sutton's error in the sixth inning opened up the opportunity for Scranton/WB. After recording two more outs, McAllister gave up back to back home runs to Chad Huffman and Eric Bruntlett. Saul Rivera gave up the go-ahead run in the tenth.

The scene shifts to PNC Field for at least two more games. Yohan Pino will be the man for the Clippers, while the Yankees are sending Japanese import Kei Igawa to the mound.

KINSTON

The K-Tribe is on the brink of elimination after losing the first two to Winston-Salem. Last night they were shut out 2-0 and they need to win tonight to hold off elimination. The good news is they are going home to Historic Grainger Stadium.

The club only had four hits, Karexon Sanchez struck out three times, Juan Diaz twice.. Kyle Bellows had a double.

Austin Adams pitched 4.2 innings and gave up the two runs off two hits and two walks. Three scoreless for Chris Jones with just a hit and a strikeout.

It will the leader of the K-Tribe rotation, Joe Gardner going for the Indians, so they have more than a puncher's chance in this one.

LAKE COUNTY

The Captains are in the same position as the K-Tribe, but given that their series is only three games, they can win and advance. The Caps lost 8-0 last night to set up a crucial and deciding game three in East Lake.

West Michigan scored eight runs, four in the eighth, to down the Caps pitching staff, but the Caps offense, like Kinstons, was not very encouraging.

Tyler Holt had a hit, a walk, and a stolen base.

Vidal Nuno turned in a decent effort, giving up four runs off 10 hits in five innings, but he struck out seven. Owen Dew and Nick Kirk gave upt wo runs each and Ramon Cespedes didn't give up an earned run, but he walked three in 1.1 innings of work.

The Captains will send dominating Jason Knapp to the mound in this deciding game three. Got to love their chances with him starting.

9.07.2010

Minor Issues: Regular Season Ends, Clippers, K-Tribe, Caps Gear up for Playoffs

What's the News?

There are three endings... The ending of the minor league season, the end of the major league season, and then the end of the playoffs. Ending one has come and gone. Sort of.. Luckily we have three playoff teams to follow, but this is how our teams finished out this regular season.

Here is your playoff schedule.

Columbus: Vs Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (WED 6:35, THUR 6:35), @ Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (FRI 6:05, SAT 12:05*, SUN 12:05*) Wednesday's Probable: David Huff

Kinston: @ Winston-Salem (WED 7:00, THUR 7:00), Vs Winston-Salem (FRI 7:00, SAT 7:00*), @ Winston-Salem (SUN 5:00*) Probable: T.J.McFarland

Lake County: @ West Michigan (WED 7:00), Vs West Michigan (THUR 6:30, FRI 6:30*) Wednesday's Probable: Brett Brach

*If Necessary

COLUMBUS

There will be no International League division title celebration for the Clippers, but they are headed to the playoffs either way after their 5-2 loss to Toledo.

Corey Kluber went five innings and gave up three runs off six hits and four walks with four strikeouts. Saul Rivera gave up two more runs in two innings.

Both runs were knocked in by Zeke Carrera who had two hits on the night, a two-run home run, his first as a Clipper and the season.

AKRON

Akron finished the season with a win and a .500 record after they downed Erie 9-2, just like they've done most of the time this season.

Jordan Henry, Jason Kipnis, and Lonnie Chisenhall led the charge. Henry stole his 15th base, scored twice and had two hits, while Kipnis hit a solo home run, had three hits, scored twice and knocked in three runs. Chisenhall also had two hits and three RBI.

Juan Apodada hit a three run home run and Ron Rivas, the spectacular one, not only had two hits, but he didn't commit an error.

The win went to Alex Kaminsky, up from Mahoning Valley to help provide arms with Rob Bryson starting. Bryson finished off his Akron season with 3.2 innings, one run off two hits and five strikeouts. Kaminsky went three scoreless and struck out two.

KINSTON

Despite scoring five runs to rocket past Potomac in the top of the ninth, Kinston fell short of finishing the regular season off with a win.

Kinston was down 5-1 going into the eighth inning. After a run in the eighth and five more in the ninth, the K-Tribe was up 6-5. With Cory Burns not available, Kinston's Matt Langwell and Tyler Sturdevant gave up the lead. Brian Grening was hit big with four runs off four hits and three walks in three innings. Dave Roberts got the start and went four innings, giving up one run off four hits.

Bo Greenwell was finally stopped, going 0-for-5, but Kyle Bellows had three hits, Jeremie Tice had two and a RBI. Karexon Sanchez, JT Toole and Donnie Webb also knocked in runs, with Webb scoring twice and collecting three hits.


Oh and how about that no hitter?

LAKE COUNTY

Not the greatest of endings for the Captains on Monday as they were splattered against the windshield by the Lugnuts, 11-0.

Trey Haley gave up three runs off three walks and two hits in the first, not being able to record the final out. Mike Rayl gave up four runs in three and a third and the bullpen just kind of continued on from there.

Hopefully the Caps don't make that a bad habit for the playoffs.

9.05.2010

Minor Issues: Greenwell, Abreu lead K-Tribe Charge

What's the News?

The Minor League season is coming to an end here in a few days and the playoffs will start. This year we've got a reversal of fortunes. Lake County, Kinston, and Columbus were all left out of the playoffs last year, where was this year, they're all in and Akron and Mahoning Valley are not.

Check out Tony Lastoria's Arizona League Season in Review over at IPI.

AFL Teams are out, sort of. The Indians will be sending Eric Berger, Cord Phelps, Scott Barnes, Jason Kipnis, and CC Lee to play for Triple-A Manager Mike Sarbaugh's Peoria Javelinas.

Cord Phelps is being sent with the idea of him playing some third base, especially since Kipnis is going. Berger and Barnes will definitely benefit from the extra work after their roller coaster seasons and it will give CC Lee a nice opportunity to showcase himself.

The Indians will send two more, and one can be a player below the Double-A level and or foreign, which means the Indians are trying to get Chun Chen onto the squad.

COLUMBUS

The Clips remain a half game ahead of Louisville for the division lead despite losing 6-4 to Toledo.

Yohan Pino went five innings and gave up five earned off 11 hits. Zach Putnam, Aaron Laffey, and Saul Rivera settled things down with three scoreless innings, no hits or walks and two strikeouts combined.

Jose Constanza had three hits and stole his 34th base of the season. He's hitting .321 on the season now and likely to finish second or third in the race for the IL batting title, trailing Gwinett's Barbaro Canizares by .020 points.

Jared Goedert knocked in two runs and Luke Carlin hit a solo home run.

AKRON

Things are skidding to a halt with Akron as they fall to Erie, yet again in extra innings. After scoring two in the top of the tenth, Erie walked off with three in the bottom of the frame for their sixth loss in seven games.

Erie hit two home runs in the tenth, a solo home run and then Brent Wyatt's two-run shot to send their fans home happy. Omar Aguilar couldn't record an out and took his seventh loss and second blown save.

Eric Berger was great, going five innings and giving up two runs off one hit and four walks with nine strikeouts.

CC Lee and Connor Graham continue to be the dynamic duo with two scoreless frames each.

John Drennen had three hits and two doubles while Lucas Montero knocked in a pair of runs off two hits.

KINSTON

Kinston will begin their playoff series with Winston-Salem on Wednesday, playing two games away before coming home to Historic Grainger Stadium for at least one game on Friday.

The K-Tribe played two games last night, losing 0-2 in the first contest, but rallying back for a 7-5 win in the second.

In the loss, Joe Gardner made his final regular season start, going 5.1 innings and giving up one earned off two hits and four walks. He'll finish at 12-6 with a 2.65 ERA. He's likely to be the leadoff starter for the K-Tribe in their playoff series.

In the win, Austin Adams improved to 6-1 with five innings and one run off four hits and two walks with seven strikeouts. Cory Burns saved his 29th game despite giving up a run.

The outfield led the Indians in the offense with Bo Greenwell hitting his second home run, a three run shot and a triple. He had four hits and his average is about to tip over .300. Abner Abreu had two hits and also tripled, knocking in three runs himself.

LAKE COUNTY

The field at Classic Park was all torn up, so the Caps and Lugnuts will play a double header today starting at 1:00 PM. They play the third game tomorrow before the Captains travel to a yet to be determined location for the playoffs.


MAHONING VALLEY

The Scrappers are one game away from finishing off their season. They lost last night 6-4 to Jamestown.

Tony Dischler made his second start and went three innings, giving up an unearned run off two hits and a walk with three strikeouts. Ryan Gardner was pounded for three earned, five total runs off four hits and two walks.

James Reichenbach gave up just two hits and two walks in three scoreless frames.

Brian Heere had three hits and two runs scored while Jesus Aguilar had two hits and two RBI.

9.03.2010

Notes and Quotes: Thee Detlef Schrempf?

You know as the season winds down, I can't help but wonder where it all went. It's friggin September. It seems at this point last year, we were waiting for this season to come and now we can't wait for 2011 to get here. Well at least that's the way I feel. I know not many people are positive about the next season and beyond, but a new season is always welcomed... Especially since it means there is a whole year of baseball left to play.

I love the season of fall, but I want to rewind my life and go back to May. Back when I was doing two things.

Going to work and watching the Indians. YUP! That's the life my friends. Now fifteen assignments due next week in only the third week of the semester, I'm ready to cut my hands off for a legitimate excuse as to why I wasn't able to complete my work.

Don't get me wrong, I love when my annual fantasy football draft rolls around and the start of the college football season. But there is nothing better than summer baseball. August is done and in a way, so is baseball. Frown.

[MOLDY TOMLIN]

I don't know if Indians pitchers just don't want to throw strikes, or they just cant... But it seems pretty clear what they have to do if they want to stay on Manny Acta's good side. Josh Tomlin and Jeanmar Gomez have seemingly figured it out in just a few starts, so you have to wonder why someone like David Huff can't get the picture.

"He continues to help himself with the fact that he throws strikes," Acta said after the victory. "And that's something that we're trying to do here. We're trying to get back to where we were a couple of years ago, where our pitching staff was among the top strike-throwers. ... So he fits that mold." 

Tomlin has been good. Has he been spectacular? No, but do you expect a rookie to be spectacular? Tomlin may have hit his ceiling, but that isn't a bad ceiling because point blank, he gets the job done. Both Tomlin and Gomez are giving themselves a leg up on pitchers like David Huff because of not just the numbers they are putting up, but the way they are following what the Indians have blueprinted for their pitching staff.

As for the Branyan home run. Wow what a friggin shot by the Rusticle on that one. Rusty wasn't showing anyone up either when he stood there and watched it, he was just trying to see if it went foul or not, I think that was obvious.


[GOODBYE JENSEN?]

I make no bones about it, I'm a Jensen Lewis fan, always have been, always will be.

I can't say I'm pleased with his tweeting as of late though. He's shown a lot of angst in terms of I-77 Shuttle and while it isn't fair in one bit to Jensen, he has to remain professional.

Not saying he hasn't been a professional. He's gone out there and pitched regardless of the situation handed to him, but he hasn't exactly kept completely quiet during this process and that is something I believe everyone should do. Voice your displeasure with the organization all you want in a private matter, but don't go tweeting crypitc comments that are easy to guess in terms of what they pertain to about how it's been a long year and you can't wait for it to end.

It is unfortunate because I think Lewis is a major league caliber reliever.. But it is hard to judge that of someone when he's constantly being thrown back and forth.. Something Lewis is perfectly allowed to address at a time like this.

"You try and get comfortable in a situation, get in a rhythm, and to be honest, I haven't been in a rhythm all year," said Lewis, who averaged 49 games with the Indians in each of the last two seasons before being shuttled around all year in 2010.

"You're constantly looking over your back," Lewis said of his experiences this season. 

And there are quotes like these that seem perfectly reasonable at a spot like this. Lewis is unsure of his future, so what can he say other than the following?

"I'm out of options at the end of this year, and I can say that it feels like a huge weight has been lifted from my shoulders knowing that. So I'm just going to take the last 30 days here and get better and get some momentum going into the offseason, and we'll see where everything stands at the end of the year." 

 There are tweets like this one that just kind of strike me as being ones you shouldn't say.

In one way it isn't bad, but in another, it gives me the impression that he doesn't want to be around. Now I know that is not the case as Lewis has tweeted nothing but great things about Columbus and most of what he says is based off frustration of a season in which he's been... to put it honestly, screwed in more ways than one.

He's out of options, so the Indians will have to make a decision with him in spring training, or even before then. Do they designate him to clear 40-man space for someone they can protect int he rule five draft? What if he clears and has to return to the organization, making it all the more likely he starts the season in Columbus unless he wins a roster spot in spring (which would be tough to do)?

It will be interesting to see how this works out. Again, I'm a big Lewis fan. I wish he was tighter in terms of his comments in terms of being shuttled back and forth, just to say he didn't make a peep when the Indians were abusing him, but he hasn't exactly been a disruptor, so you can't really say anything too bad about how the process has worked out.


[RANDOM RUNDOWN]

Boy did the former Mariners come back to bite Seattle last night? We're no strangers to seeing former Tribesmen come back and kill Cleveland, so it's nice to see Choo and Cabs rock their former club.

I don't think any other random notes need to be addressed today because there is only one important note that is out there. Okay so LaPorta isn't being rushed back, but who cares.

Manny Acta's favorite player of all time in the NBA? DETLEF SCHREMPF!

THEE DETLEF SCHREMPF?

Yes!

Minor Issues: Carolina League Pitchers, Clippers Clinch Playoff Spot

What's the News?

Congratulations go out to the Kinston Indians as they swept the Carolina League pitching awards. Joe Gardner and Cory Burns were named to the Carolina League Year-End All-Star team, taking up both pitching spots on the team.

COLUMBUS

The Clippers railroaded the Toledo Mud Hens yesterday to clinch a spot in the playoffs. It will be the first time since 2004 that the Clippers will be in the playoffs. Louisville lost, which means the Clippers are a game and a half up on them, but with all the other divisions pretty much out of reach, Louisville and Columbus are both headed to the playoffs.

David Huff threw seven scoreless innings to improve to 8-2 on the season. He gave up five hits and one walk and struck out four. Aaron Laffey and Jess Todd finished the shutout.

Zeke Carrera stole his ninth base, scored a run and had two hits. Wes Hodges and Damaso Espino knocked in two runs each while Josh Rodriguez had three hits, including two doubles, and a RBI.

AKRON

The Aeros finished out their series with Trenton losing three of four after the bullpen blew a 2-1 lead late in the game.

Connor Graham gave up a solo home run to tie the game and then eventually surrendered the lead in the eighth. It ruined a seven inning masterpiece for Matt Packer who went seven innings, giving up just one run off five hits and a walk and striking out eight hitters yet again.

Jordan Henry had two hits and a walk and Miguel Perez had two hits and a run scored. Perez and Johnnie Drennen scored the two runs on an error in the fourth inning.

Ron Rivas committed an error, nothing new there.

KINSTON

The magic number is down to one for Kinston as they defeated Frederick in ten innings last night. The club will advance to the Carolina League playoffs with a win or a Salem loss. They are still a game back of Winston-Salem, who doesn't seem to want to lose either, but they will claim a playoff spot with a win tonight.

The K-Tribe scored three in the top of the tenth. Jeremie Tice coaxed a bases loaded walk to untie the game and Kyle Bellows knocked in two more with a bases loaded single. Jeremie Tice homered again, hitting his fifth and knocking in three runs. Bo Greenwell continues to get it done, two hits and two walks leading to two runs and a stolen base.

LAKE COUNTY

The Captains fell to the Loons in what could be a possible playoff matchup if things fall the right way. Vidal Nuno gave up five runs off five hits and a walk in 5.2 innings of work.

Adam Abraham had two hits and scored both runs for the Captains.

MAHONING VALLEY

The Valley lost 9-5 to Williamsport yesterday, with Jordan Cooper getting shelled for seven runs in just an inning and one third.

Kirk Wetmore went 4.2 innings and gave up four runs and Kyle Smith pitched two innings of shutout ball.

Gio Urshela had two RBI while Diego Seastrunk scored a run had had two hits, including a double.

9.02.2010

Minor Issues: Clippers, K-Tribe near the Playoffs

What's the News?

With Akron all but out of the playoff race, there are good Aeros going to Columbus, good Captains going to Kinston, good Scrappers going to Lake County, Mediocre Clippers going to Cleveland, and bad K-Tribers going to Akron.

Got all that? Good.

COLUMBUS

Corey Kluber made his Columbus Clippers debut and it was a win for the suddenly hot Clips as they maintain their half game lead over Louisville in the International League.

Jose Constanza, an International League end of the year All-Star, had two hits, but it was Josh Rodriguez's 4-4 night with a run scored, a double, a triple, and two RBI that paced the club. Cord Phelps had two hits and Matt McBride hit his third Clipper HR, a solo shot in the third inning off Brad Lincoln.

Kluber went six innings and gave up just one run off four hits and two walks with four strikeouts. Zach Putnam and Carlton Smith threw two scoreless frames and Saul Rivera returned to the closer's role to secure his fifth despite walking a pair.

The Clippers are now done with Indianapolis and will return home for their final two regular season home games against Toledo before making a trip up North to continue the series for three more games.

Louisville had just played the Mud Hens and will travel to Indianapolis for the same sort of finish, playing three in Indy before returning home for two against the Indians.

AKRON

The Aeros fell to Trenton again last night, all but ending their playoff hopes. The club is 3.5 back of second place Harrisburg with five games left on the slate. It is all but over.

Trenton scored two in the first two innings of Rob Bryson, who started a bullpen game for the Aeros. He went three innings and gave up just one earned off one hit.

Every reliever gave up a run, with CC Lee going three as well and striking out four and Brian Grening returning to the Aeros with two innings.

The Mascot Jordan Henry had two hits and a run scored and his 14th stolen base of the season. Lonnie Chisenhall and Beau Mills knocked in the only runs for the Aeros.

Alex White has been shut down due to his innings limit being reached. It was a great season for the Indians first round pick last year. More on him when we do our season wrap-ups.

KINSTON

The Magic Number for the K-Tribe is now at three with six games to play after another win for Kinston, 7-4 over Frederick.

The K-Tribe scored three in the fourth to help power themselves to a win. Bo Greenwell is suddenly hitting like a madman with two more hits last night including two RBI and a run scored. Kyle Bellows also knocked in two runs and Juan Diaz, Karexon Sanchez, and Jeremie Tice all had two hits with Sanchez and Diaz knocking in a run each.

Great effort from T.J. McFarland who had been struggling as he goes six scoreless giving up just two hits and three walks to earn his 11th win of the season. Chris Jones gave up all four runs and Cory Burns saved game number 27.

The K-Tribe is on the road from here on out, finishing up with two games in Frederick before traveling to Potomac for four games in three days. The K-Tribe is 4.5 up on Salem and one game behind Winston-Salem but will qualify for the playoffs by finishing second.

LAKE COUNTY

The already playoff bound Captains fell to the team that is likely to win the Eastern division this half, Great Lakes, who have been unstoppable at home.

The Loons scored two in the bottom of the tenth in walk off fashion to defeat the Caps after Lake County had scored in the top of the tenth of a tie game. Takafumi Nakamura in for his second inning of relief gave up a two-run double to take the loss.

Casey Frawley hit his 12th home run in the second inning, a two-run shot that was the only runs for the Captains in the first nine innings Frawley came back to knock in the third run and Tyler Holt scored a run off two hits, a walk, and a triple.

Trey Haley had a nice start, going five innings and giving up two runs off seven hits and two walks. Three scoreless frames for Preston Guilmet who struck out seven hitters.

MAHONING VALLEY

With one of the most.. errr, bad lineups you'll ever see the Scrappers trot out, the Valley managed to score six runs in route to their 6-1 victory over Williamsport.

Jesus Aguilar was 4-5 with two runs batted in and Diego Seastrunk and Kevin Rucker had two hits each for the Scrappers.

Alex Kaminsky picked up his sixth win in what was his final start for The Valley. He went six scoreless and struck out six. Ryan Gardner made his debut wit two scoreless frames.