He's a local hero, he used to live here for a while
Greetings from Progressive Field, the (sometimes) home of the Indians. You might have noticed that the home games are fewer and further between these days. In fact, the Tribe has just nine of them between June 24 and July 24. So if you’re interested in seeing Sal Fasano, Jorge Velandia, Ed Mujica and the boys, you better plan accordingly.
A big crowd is expected here tonight, and it’s not for those aforementioned cornerstone players. It’s for “Little O” — Omar Vizquel. This guy is a rock star. His every move since arriving to Progressive Field today has been given the paparazzi treatment.
And you can tell Omar’s excited to be back here. He walked from the visitor’s clubhouse to his press conference and hugged or shook the hand of every person he passed, whether he knew them or not. He even showed up early for his press conference. That, if you’re scoring at home, never happens.
Associate reporter Andrew Gribble will have an Omar story up on the site in a little bit. Gribble just graduated from Ohio U., which means he’s an excellent human being.
Here are tonight’s lineups. Take note of the Andy Marte sighting. Eric Wedge said he wanted to give Casey Blake a day off paired with Monday’s off day, because of his heavy workload (you might have noticed that Marte doesn’t play much)…..
INDIANS (35-41): CF Grady Sizemore, 2B Jamey Carroll, LF Ben Francisco, SS Jhonny Peralta, 1B Ryan Garko, RF Franklin Gutierrez, DH Shin-Soo Choo, C Kelly Shoppach, 3B Andy Marte. LHP Aaron Laffey (4-4, 2.98 ERA).
GIANTS (32-44): CF Fred Lewis, 2B Ray Durham, RF Randy Winn, C Bengie Molina, DH Aaron Rowand, 1B Rich Aurilia, 3B Jose Castillo, LF Brian Horwitz, SS Omar Vizquel. LHP Jonathan Sanchez (6-4, 4.23).
EXCRUCIATING MINUTIA OF THE DAY…
- Fausto Carmona (strained left hip) will begin playing catch later this week. Carmona was supposed to go out on a rehab assignment last week but had a setback in his recovery.
- Travis Hafner (weak right shoulder) will have his shoulder strength tested later this week to determine if he might be ready for baseball activities.
- Vizquel batted .283 with 288 doubles, 39 triples, 60 homers, 584 RBIs and 279 stolen bases in 1,478 games with the Indians. He ranks among the Indians’ all time leaders in games (10th), hits (seventh), runs (sixth), doubles (eighth), RBIs (15th) and stolen bases (second).
- Also worth noting that this series marks the return of Duane Kuiper, who was voted one of the top 100 Indians of all-time by fans in 2004. Kuiper, who played here from 1974-81, is now a Giants broadcaster.
- Asdrubal Cabrera had three more hits for Buffalo yesterday. He is now hitting .434 with a homer and five RBIs in 13 games for the Bisons. But the Indians are going to be patient about calling him up. “We’ll bring him back as soon as we can and not at the expense of him or his development,” Wedge said. “We want to make sure his success will play up here.” As for Cabrera playing primarily at shorstop, Wedge said that is merely to give Cabrera some repitition at the position, because, once he comes back, he’d again be counted on to play both middle infield spots. Also found it interesting that Wedge said Cabrera needs to learn to play third, too.
- Down at Class A Kinston, Beau Mills, last year’s No. 13 overall pick, has hit in 10 of his last 11 games to raise his average from .251 to .268. He’s batting .356 with five doubles, two homers and eight RBIs in this span.
- C Yamid Haad, esignated for assignment last week when Fasano was brought aboard, has been outrighted to Buffalo.
- The annual PLAY Campaign event takes place at Progressive Field tomorrow morning. The event raises awareness about children’s health issues, such as obesity and the dangers of steroids. Jamey Carroll, head athletic trainer Lonnie Soloff and strength and conditioning coach Tim Maxey will all take part in the event.