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2.25.2011

Chad Durbin? I call bunk on that one

Nino Colla | Friday, February 25, 2011 | | | | | | | | | | Best Blogger Tips
When I'm at home, it is becoming a chore to do anything on the internet. It takes me twice as long just to post something because Time Warner is horrific. It took me 10 minutes just to log into blogger and I'm not exaggerating. I really don't understand how Time Warner can charge so much for such horrible service. We're switching to Verizon as soon as possible.

[CHAD DURBIN....HIDE THE CHILDRENS]

Sports Illustrated's Jon Heyman has reported that reliever Chad Durbin has been in talks with the club and that a deal could happen anytime.

Just a few days ago, there was a flurry of activity on Durbin, with the Red Sox expressing interest in him as a starter according to Peter Gammons, but both Philadelphia and Tampa Bay being the favorites to land the right-hander, with Durbin willing to accept a minor league deal from the Phillies.

Then the Mariners and Rangers were thrown in and it was Durbin deciding between the five teams. The latest, Jerry Crasnick says that there are six teams, with the Indians and Royals joining the Phillies, Rangers, Red Sox, and Rays.

Spring Training has started and this guy has his pick of the lot? I'm a little confused by that, but let's continue.

Some history, perhaps...

Durbin started his career with the Royals, drafted by Kansas City in 1996. He spent four years with the club before arriving in Cleveland where he was part starter, part reliever. He was horrible. End of story.

Then he went off to Detroit and something happened. He did that part time stuff and was decent, at least better than he was with Cleveland. It wasn't until he arrived in Philadelphia in the National League as a full-time reliever (he hasn't started a game since 2007 with Detroit) that it really clicked. He posted a 2.87 ERA in 71 appearances. He followed that up with back to back years of 68 innings or more but posted ERA's of 4.39 and 3.80.

I guess I'm not impressed by one GOOD year in Philadelphia. What would be the point of this signing? What would be the signing and what for? Is it a major league deal? Is it to be a starter?

It wouldn't appear that way, which is one stupid mistake avoided right there. Do I even need to point out the reasons why?

But it would appear as if it would be a major league deal (according to Crasnick again), which is one stupid mistake that they might not avoid. Why bother with signing a long man when you have one in Aaron Laffey for cheap and already taking up a spot on the 40-man?

And is Durbin all that much different from Laffey? Not only that, Durbin's real success has come in the National League on a very good team with a good rotation and good supporting relief options surrounding him.

Aaron Laffey now looks like a sinister baby
In fact, Aaron Laffey is most likely Chad Durbin 2007-2010...

Laffey 2009: 7-9, 4.44 ERA, 25/19 G/GS, 121 IP, 57 BB, 59 K
Durbin 2009: 2-2, 4.39 ERA, 59 G, 69 IP, 47 BB, 62 K

Laffey 2010: 2-3, 4.53 ERA, 29/5 G/GS, 55 IP, 28 BB, 28 K
Durbin 2010: 4-1, 3.80 ERA, 64 G, 68 IP, 27 BB, 63 K

Wow so Durbin is a little better, but is he THAT much better? And if you don't use Laffey, you use someone like Frank Herrmann or Zach Putnam or Josh Judy with far more upside.

Tony Lastoria speculated that maybe this is just agent speak to drive up Durbin's asking price. I'm actually inclined to believe that as a reasonable explanation to all this. Mainly because the big boy sources like Jon Heyman and Jerry Crasnick are jumping on it. This wasn't from Bastian or Hoynes or any of the locals. Granted the Indians have always made it a point to never ever discuss or leak information like this about signings or potential signings, when's the last time one of the national guys broke a rumor about the Indians that was true?

My point is, these guys are more likely to get fed bullcrap from Durbin's agent and they'll run with it.

Tony is right, there is something baffling about this deal and to me it makes absolutely no sense from the Indians perspective. As Tony also pointed out in a later tweet, and this goes to the national bullcrap, Bonderman was close to signing three weeks ago.

I call bullcrap on all this Durbin stuff. Unless there is something else to this that none of us know about, I don't think this is happening and it is all rumor bunk. It was just yesterday that Acta said that he loved how deep the Indians bullpen was in terms of options to go to, so why on earth would this team add another veteran option to the mix? They signed one free agent relief pitcher (Doug Mathis eh?) to a minor league deal (I guess you could count bringing back Germano and trading for Martinez?). They often sign multiple guys in the bullepn as NRI's but this season, not so much. They clearly would have done something sooner, so why all of a sudden have things changed?

Chad Durbin will not be returning to this club. If I'm wrong, then I'll eat stuff the Peralta shirt in my mouth and run into a wall.

[YOUR GRADY SIZEMORE UPDATE]

The Grady Daily, remember? The latest on Grady Sizemore also involves Lastoria. Tony's a different kind of a source and it is weird because he is neither national or local media (well maybe he is, but he isn't employed at one of the big papers, he's his own operations in addition to the STO blog). He's breaking the mold, but he's connected and there have been times he's been right on about something.

Tony has posted on STO.com that there are strong CONSIDERATIONS that Sizemore could be moved to left field.

Now Bastian eluded to this and called it a "report" in his latest MLBastian update. The two even took to twitter to discuss the matter. Tony says he has info that the Indians are talking that upon his return (which Tony believes won't be until late-April/early-May) he'll be moved to left. Bastian maintains that based off information from the team and the people he's talked to, Grady will stay in center based off the fact that it would be easier on his legs.

The funny thing here is, neither are wrong. Bastian and every other reporter has been told that for now Sizemore is in center field. Tony gets info that the Indians are simply strongly discussing the idea of moving him to left. Where it gets fuzzy is the reasoning, which as Bastian and Lastoria had both pointed out in their twitter discussion, is 100% debatable. Who really knows if it would be easier for Sizemore to play left or center? Do we really know which position would be more beneficial to his legs? We can guess, based off assumptions and thoughts about what goes into playing both spots, but we really have no clue.

So really where are we at? Not much because the man hasn't even stepped out onto the field yet and we still have no clue when and if he will this spring. We'll assume he will, but all we can assume right now is that his first start, if it comes, will probably be at DH. Will he be out in the field at all? It all depends on how he continues to progress. Yes the Indians would like to play him in games by mid-March, but again, that doesn't necessarily mean he'll play in the outfield.

[UH THERE WAS A GAME YESTERDAY]

Sort of that is.. The Indians played a four inning intrasquad game, with Smitty's American Racers taking home the important W over Sarby's Sour-Balls with a 3-2 score. Jason Donald was the star, tripling, scoring a run and reportedly making a nice bare-handed play at third base. Doug Mathis has already been eliminated from bullpen consideration.

Going off the Donald at third thing, Donald said he went to San Diego and worked with Steve Smith in the offseason at third base. So this has very much been a plan of the Indians and Donald seems committed to it so he can win a starting spot.

Other news...

The bats were working, with five extra base hits, including Matt LaPorta with a double and the Donald triple.

David Huff wasn't spotless but that doesn't really matter while the young lefties of Hagadone, Pomeranz, and Kelvin De La Cruz had Manny Acta's eye. Bastian made note of it, but Acta even tweeted it. He also said the song of the day is Funky Cold Medina (the city of Medina is proud right now) by Tone Loc.

I don't know if Kelvin is doing backflips to the sounds of Funky Cold Medina, but Acta doesn't want to see Flip DLC's (yep it's happening) Carl Edwards impression. As much as he may want to.

"I might ask him to ..." Acta cut himself off and shook his head. "No, I could get in trouble if he gets hurt."

Jack Hannahan got a start at shortstop and Acta has noted that he can pretty much play any position on the infield, with third being his primary spot.

[RANDOM RUNDOWN]

If it wasn't clear by now, it certainly should be. Lonnie Chisenhall and Jason Kipnis will start the year in Triple-A Columbus. Even though they play at the most unsure spots on the diamond in terms of the Indians need, they have stuff to work on.

"What I'm working on right now is my setup," Chisenhall said, "coming off the pitch, keeping my head still and seeing the ball as best as I can and then making a good break on it. Nothing too specific. It's just getting to the ball [faster] and making the play." 

Speaking of minor leagues. Here is the game schedule for minor league camp which kicks off March 18th.

Funny post from the Giants blog McCovey Chronicles. They list the teams with championship droughts 22 years or longer in the order that they are rooting for. Cleveland is number two, only behind the Giants, even though their drought is 115 days long and not 22 years. Thanks for your support San Francisco and the painful reminders of why we suck.

The more extended intrasquad game will take place today at 1:00 PM local time. It is the final tuneup before the real thing starts on Sunday, and you can hear that game on WMMS 100.7. Carlos Carrasco and Mitch Talbot get the starts. Among the names that didn't play yesterday that could get in: Choo, Hafner, both Cabreras, Phillips, Carlin, Kearns, and Weglarz.


[PICTURE DAY PICTURE OF THE DAY]


It's the Carlos Santana Show... Staring Carlos Santana, of course... Just in case you forgot.

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