This text message I just received from a buddy says it all: “Get Shoo [sic] up with the big boys. We will go undefeated the rest of the way!”
If Shin-Soo Choo is the answer, the question must be, “Who’s the next guy who will be called up from Triple-A and have nothing to do with Victor Martinez not hitting home runs, Grady Sizemore not hitting lefties, Travis Hafner not hitting righties and Jhonny Peralta not hitting anything but solo shots?”
Choo isn’t the answer. There’s not a single player in baseball who could be the answer, because the Indians’ problems run much deeper than one, two or even three spots.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not knocking Choo. I like Choo. And I really like calling him “Big League” Choo. But Choo can’t be counted on as the savior of this light-hitting ballclub.
But Choo will be here within the next week — perhaps even by the end of the week — and I hope the Indians stick him in one corner outfield spot, stick Ben Francisco in the other and see what happens.
In the meantime, Hafner remains out of the lineup with shoulder soreness. Eric Wedge is going to give him today, tomorrow and Thursday’s off day to recuperate, then take a good, hard look at things Friday. It’s possible Hafner will wind up on the DL, and, if nothing else, that would give the Indians an easy corresponding move for Choo’s promotion.
One move that will definitely be made in the next 18 hours is Jake Westbrook’s return from the DL. Wedge said a counter move has been decided upon, but he won’t reveal it until after tonight’s game. My guess is Ed Mujica will head back down to Triple-A, but who really knows, at this point.
One thing I do know is that Andy Marte will survive tonight’s cut, because Wedge announced — shockingly — that he plans to start playing Marte more this week, taking advantage of Casey Blake’s versatility and the now-open DH spot.
Here are tonight’s lineups…
INDIANS (23-28): CF Grady Sizemore, 2B Jamey Carroll, LF Ben Francisco, C Victor Martinez, DH Jhonny Peralta, 1B Ryan Garko, RF Franklin Gutierrez, 3B Andy Marte, SS Asdrubal Cabrera. LHP Aaron Laffey on the hill.
WHITE SOX (28-22): SS Orlando Cabrera, 3B Pablo Ozuna, LF Carlos Quentin, DH Jermaine Dye, 1B Paul Konerko, RF Nick Swisher, 2B Alexei Ramirez, CF Brian Anderson, C Toby Hall. LHP Mark Buehrle.
EXCRUCIATING MINUTIA OF THE DAY…
- Top prospect Adam Miller, on the Buffalo DL, saw team hand specialist, Dr. Tom Graham, in Baltimore on Tuesday. The Indians will have an update on his situation Wednesday, but the gist of it, for now, is that Miller has a hole in his skin on the area of his right middle finger, between two calluses, where he had a pulley strain last year. According to head athletic trainer Lonnie Soloff, Dr. Graham will either close the hole or have to surgically repair the pulley. In the latter scenario, Miller would obviously be laid up for a while, though Soloff didn’t want to speculate how long. All in all… another bizarre injury for the oft-injured Miller.
- Peralta’s 10 homers are tied for fourth in the AL. Eight of them are solo shots. And in what is quickly becoming one of my favorite stats to watch, the 10 homers account for 27.8 percent of his hits (34).
- Good time to be a lefty named Ryan in Lake County. Ryan Miller is 7-0 with a 0.93 ERA in nine games, including eight starts. And Ryan Morris is 6-0 with a 2.01 ERA in 10 starts. Both were 2006 Draft picks — Morris in the fourth round and Miller in the 36th.
- Rick Bauer now has 13 saves at Buffalo. His ERA is 1.69 in 21 1/3 innings of work.
- Jeremy Sowers’ 2.45 ERA is the sixth-best in the International League. He starts tonight at Toledo.
- Casey Blake is holding three weeklong baseball camps on June 23-27 in Vermilion, July 28-Aug. 1 in Hudson, and Aug. 11-15 in Beachwood. Camp tuition for the weeklong day camp is $263, and the camp runs from 9:30 p.m.-2:30 p.m. Campers get instruction from high school/college coaches and players, five days of professional instruction, one t-shirt, and one baseball. Blake will make at least two appearances at each camp to give instruction, sign autographs and talk about the Tribe. Blue Streak Camps is presenting the events. Register online at indians.com/blakecamps or call (440) 287-7644.