Good company

According to Stats Inc., these are the eight pitchers, since 1920, to win 19 or more of their first 21 decisions.

Yr    Name                                W     L

2008 Cliff Lee, CLE                   19     2

2001  Roger Clemens, NYY       20    1

1995  Greg Maddux, ATL           19    2

1978  Ron Guidry, NYY             19    2

1966  Gaylord Perry, SF            19    2

1961  Whitey Ford, NYY            19    2

1951  Preacher Roe, BRO          19    2

1931  Lefty Grove, PHI               19    2


Surprisingly not on this list, Edward Mujica … For a team that sent Jensen Lewis down to the minors when he had something like the 3rd best ERA of their relievers, sent their pitcher with the 2nd best ERA down because he had basically 2 really bad starts, and waived a guy who has a better ERA (2.36) then any of their relievers, they sure are patient with Mujica. Does he have some dirt on Shapiro? Mujica found out that the real reason they traded Brandon Philips is because Shapiro lost him to the Reds GM in a hand of poker? How much longer are they going to keep sending out this guy who has an ERA in the majors above 6.00, who had an ERA over 5.00 at Buffalo last year? Is there something I’m missing? A guy who throws almost as hard as Jeremy Sowers? I will never understand the Indians’ player development strategy. Why not call up someone like J.D. Martin, who’s actually performed well in the minors, but for some reason is still in Arkon? Why are Beau Mills and Carlos Santana still in Kinston?

JD Martin needs to spend time in Buffalo first. I hate to break it to you, but a good ERA in Akron isn’t a good ERA in Cleveland.

At this point, what different does it make if they use Mujica? Why NOT throw him out there and see if he can improve? Where’s the harm?

It’s not a fair comparison, really… Patience now is much easier to come by than it was in the first half, given the team’s position. Lewis clearly seems to have benefited from some work in the minors.

That said, I do miss Craig Breslow. I never understood that one. He had been doing well even before going to the Twins.

uh, so what was the “harm” of keeping Laffey up here? At best, Mujica needs “more experience,” and they shouldn’t want to harm him by keeping him in Cleveland getting tattooed every time he pitches. Not that Mujica had a good ERA in the minors either. Nor does he throw hard, nor does he have good command. I’m just saying, I don’t understand what evidence there is anywhere that Mujica will ever, or certainly in the near future, be a solution. Why not try someone else who MIGHT succeed? Same with Rincon. Why not call up some other prospects to give them a chance? Martin did throw a couple games at Buffalo this year and did well … why then, isn’t he at least at Buffalo? Isn’t success at a level in the minors supposed to mean you get promoted? Mujica has no, or at least very limited success in the minors, (4.15ERA this year at Buffalo 5.02! last year) and he’s in Cleveland. Martin threw 10 innings at Buffalo earlier in the year with a 1.80 ERA, and has a 2.55 ERA at Akron. Explain the logic?

Pretty impressive list of pitchers there don’t ya think?
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I don’t know that there would have been much harm in keeping Laffey in Cleveland, except that it was clearly felt that he needed to work out a few kinks, and Buffalo would be a more comfortable environment to do that. And, of course, not that anyone was itching to look at Ginter, but now anyway we can see whether Reyes and Jackson might be a part of the picture (and so far, Reyes especially has really shown promise).I think the difference between Laffey and Mujica is that, with Laffey, it is assumed that he is a part of the organization’s future, and so the goal is to get him turned around. With Mujica, I think that’s less clear, and so they want to get some looks at him in the majors during a time when failure has a lower cost. I don’t know what the thinking is on Martin, but generally if a player is thought to have a lot of promise, it’s a good idea to take time with promotions to avoid the risk of coming to the majors too early and getting messed up by failure, especially in a situation where the big club is out of contention. I’m sure there’s an argument to be made that he should be at Triple-A, but I don’t think it’s crazy that they’re taking their time with him.

I don’t know if this is the case, but will Mujica be out of options next year? If that is the case I think it is pretty obvious why they would keep him up. They wouldn’t need him to prove he can pitch in Buffalo, either he can be in the big leagues or he can’t be, and they would rather figure it out now, than next year when they might be in the playoff picture.

I can think of others than Laffey who needed to work out a few kinks and might be more comfortable in Buffalo, for example Sowers, and pretty much every reliever they have not named Rafael or Jensen … e.g. Betancourt, Mujica, Rincon … it just seems who they call up and who they don’t seems totally random, and while each situation certainly is different, I cannot see any logic behind some of these moves. (e.g. Laffey needs a comfortable environment, while Mujica does not? How can you use the argument for one, and not the other?) Another example of questionable logic: having Francisco start this season in Buffalo, even though he performed better than Michaels and Delucci last year and in spring training … on the pitching side, JD Martin’s just an example, his numbers this year look great, he was a top prospect in A ball I believe before he got hurt a few years ago, he’d seem to be someone who should at least be on the radar as a guy who could help out in the near future but he’s still in Akron. But I’m sure there are others at Buffalo you could make a case for who would seem to be better guys to try right now, or really like 2 weeks ago, than Rincon and Mujica (This is somewhat of a moot point now with roster expansion near, I’m just making a general point about how their roster moves often defy logic)

Well, as I said above, I think the goals for Laffey and Mujica are a bit different — where Laffey is almost assuredly a part of the future, Mujica is being tested. Also, Mujica may be nearly out of options as christopher pointed out. Guys like Betancourt and Rincon are already established big leaguers, so getting them sorted out is a different process than with Laffey. I don’t know enough about Martin’s situation to speak confidently about it…how long has he been at Akron? I suspect he may have been moving faster if the Tribe were still contending this year.

If he is out of options, that would make some sense … still, over 3 years 59 IP, 6.25 ERA, ERA has gotten progressively worse each year … seems excessively patient, if it were up to me, with those numbers, and with what I’ve seen with my own eyes regarding his “stuff”, I’d have sent him down regardless of his status for next year. I witnessed Jensen Lewis pitching this year quite a few times, back when I still paid for MLB TV, and I never thought he looked THAT bad (at his worst certainly still much better than Betancourt, Mujica, Rincon, Borowski, Mastny,2nd half Kobayashi) yet they sent him down, and I thought he looked about EXACTLY the same when they first brought him back up from Buffalo, he only really started putting it together after they had him close some games. But whatever, apparently Wedge and Shapiro see things differently and maybe I’m wrong and Mujica will put it together and be an all-star next year. I can’t complain too much, I think Shapiro’s trades this year have been great, especially the Casey Blake trade … I just question their player development ideas

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