We learned more from a three-minute record than we ever learned in school

The high school students assembled here for the annual Tribe Reporter for a Day program got to sit in on Eric Wedge's pregame press conference, where he divulged that Travis Hafner has been placed on the DL.

 

I envy those kids. When I worked for Euclid High School's student newspaper, The Survey, back in the day, the closest thing I had to a scoop was when I was granted a sit-down interview with the kid who dressed up as the school mascot. It was invigorating stuff, sure, but it wasn't as cool as sitting in on a press conference with a Major League manager.

 

EXCRUCIATING MINUTIA OF THE DAY...

 

  • If I had to guess (and I don't, really, but at least it makes good blog fodder if I do), I'd say David Dellucci replaces Travis Hafner/Rich Rundles in a straight swap before Friday's game. Dellucci was going to be back by the middle of next week anyway, and the Indians are facing three right-handed starters in Motown.
  • I doubt it's going to be Matt LaPorta. I could be wrong, but I'm just not getting a LaPorta vibe around here.
  • The Indians won't stick with 14 pitchers, obviously, but Wedge made it sound as if the bullpen will still be bloated at eight men deep after Friday's move.
  • It will be very interesting to see how long Hafner's shoulder issue lingers. Even if Hafner does indeed make it back in two weeks, I'll be curious to see if this extends the Indians' schedule for limiting him to four or five starts a week. It could be a long time before Pronk is truly an everyday player again.
  • Last night's four-hour, 19-minute game was the longest nine-inning game in Progressive Field history. The previous longest was a four-hour, 10-minute game against the Yankees on June 22, 1996. Who would have thought the two longest games would involve the Yanks and Red Sox? Shocker.
  • Victor Martinez tripled in the first inning tonight. His only other triple came on June 2, 2004, against the Rangers.
  • The Tribe will have the 15th overall pick in the First-Year Player Draft on June 9. John Mirabelli, the Tribe's scouting director, told me this is a pretty deep draft in terms of pitching talent, both at the college and high school levels.
  • Keep your eye on Double-A Akron right-hander Hector Rondon, who continues to dazzle. He won his fourth straight start to begin the year last night, tossing 6 2/3 innings in which he allowed a run on six hits with one walk and a season-high nine strikeouts. The opposition is batting .226 off him and his 1.17 ERA is the fifth-best mark in the Eastern League. Rondon was a non-drafted free agent signed in '04 and he spent last year at Class A Kinston, where he fanned 145 batters.
  • For all his struggles this season, Mark DeRosa entered tonight's game tied for 13th in the AL with 17 RBIs. And then he homered in the second inning.
  • If you're up for some high school ball, don't forget about the Cleveland Indians Charities' High School Hardball Classic at Progressive Field on Friday and Saturday. Twelve local teams will take part, and tickets are just $5 online at Indians.com (day of game tickets will be $7 at the gate). For more information, click here.
  • The Fairview High School baseball team will hold a "Strikeout for the Cure" event to promote breast cancer awareness on Monday, May 11. The players will sport pink jerseys with the names of breast cancer survivors and victims on the back. You can support the cause by pledging $5 to add a name to the jersey, and all proceeds will be donated to the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Northeast Ohio affiliate. For more information, contact Liz Haas of Fairview Public Schools at ehaas@fairview.k12.oh.us or coach John Carter at Jcarter52@coxnet.
  • For tomorrow's off day, I'm profiling Tony Sipp, who hopes his ascension to the big leagues will serve as a lesson to the kids in his hometown that there is a way out of rural Moss Point, Miss. I'll also have the latest edition of the Inbox. So look for those links on Indians.com, and we'll meet back here Friday.

~AC

15 Comments

They should just wait until June for LaPorta at this point. Garko’s been swinging the bat pretty well of late; this way Shop, Victor, and Garko all have a spot.

There’s no room for Dellucci.

Jason
Trials and Tribeulations
http://jmays.mlblogs.com

I agree with Jason. I’d hate to call up LaPorta and have him sit for multiple games at a time. For that matter, he’s still got a pretty small sample size going in AAA; let him keep it going for a while first.
We’ve got so many guys who could benefit from regular play that bringing up Dellucci as a utility outfielder doesn’t seem awful, since I don’t know how much he’d take away from the rest of the line-up.
Picking that 4th outfielder spot is tricky, since we have so many guys now that can play out there.
AC’s probably right, but let’s hope it’s not too long of a leash.

Tonight’s game finishes with another Cleveland defeat. Yes, another game that the Tribe should win was again a blown out. This time it was Rafael Betancourt & our lack of hitting on the clutch. This time we let stranded 18 runners & our RISP was 0-for-7. I still doesn´t understand why Eric Wedge put Johnny Peralta on the 6th hole while he´s batting an anemic .211. This guy had proved more than enough that he can´t hit on the clutch. I still keep thinking that Cleveland should change him. Then play Cabrera at natural short stop position & De Rosa at 2nd. (Also I misses a lot Jamie Carroll in our the bench.) Somebody out there should let know Mr. Betancourt the difference between a thrower & a pitcher. It doesn´t matter if you can throw the ball at 100mph. If you always throw it at the same speed, the batters would make their adjustments. That´s why he can´t improve his ERA! This guy keeps throwing fastball after fastball & all of them at similar speed. Maybe he should watch the video of the last playoff game the Tribe play in Boston, when the Red Sox´s bombed him after an impeccable performance (I still remembers Pedroia´s homer that sealed our elimination). Every time I see him walking to the mound I cross my fingers. I get that same ugly feeling every time the Phillies “Wild Thing” Mitch Williams enter to relief on 1993 World Series (Joe Carter hit him a blast that turns the tables towards Toronto Blue Jays). The 35 years old David Dellucci is a good guy but he never hit the way we expect. He also went 6 times to the DL in his career. The $4 millions the Tribe spends in his salary should have used signing another strong & healthy starting pitcher. I still doubt that Carl Pavano & Anthony Reyes could make it the whole year and show us they are worth the money Cleveland put in their pockets. I prefer that instead of Delucci the Indians bring up LaPorta. It´s time the Tribe should bet on their young prospects. Last, God let Pronk & Adam Miller get back their brilliant careers as soon as possible. -oily harry

I wasn’t aware that losing by one run was a blow out.
The Tribe can’t exactly get the $4 million back from Dellucci.
Jhonny Peralta has a pretty long history of being able to produce. This current stretch is fairly small compared to his career.
In Betancourt’s defense, 2 runs were unearned.
The Tribe put relatively little money in Reyes and Pavano’s pockets, so that won’t be hard.
When HASN’T the Tribe bet on their young prospects?

Well I always ranked Van Every with Sizemore in speed, defense, arm and power…………..he just couldn’t learn the strike zone. Last night he sure beat the crap out of Sisemore in the clutch, twice. And now I am giving up on Crowe we can’t wait for him to hit one of his “streaks”. I am even willing to replace him with Dellucci.

Also send Mills back to Kinston and move up McBride……….
How can Martinez hit .400 and leave so many men on base
Oh and did I mention the season is over, again and Hafner is through like we all knew ………….bring up Aubrey.

We all know it’s coming. It’s time to alter the roster as we will not continue to carry 9 relievers but for the short term I do see us keeping 13 pitchers, mostly because of our position flexibility. BTW, what in God’s name was Wedge doing leaving Jensen Lewis in there for a third inning? Here’s what I see happening prior to our series with Detroit: they send down Rundles and Crowe then release Graffinino. Call up Dellucci, Barfield, and Aubrey. The Crowe-for-Dellucci transaction will probably occur next week though. It makes sense to call up Aubrey and a roster spot will open up when we release Graffinino. Aubrey’s tearing the cover off the ball. Since Wedge believes Garko can play OF we can use Aubrey to spell VMart, Garko and others in the field. Chulk saved himself a demotion with his outing against Boston. Barfield enables us to utilize Cabrera at short, give Peralta his much needed benching, and put DeRosa in the OF, among other scenarios. What do you all think?

The problem with Peralta, is he’s never hit above .230 in April, and he never really gets going until June. By that time, the Indians will be 15 games under .500. The problems isn’t really Peralta though, it’s Peralta, combined with other players who have similar tendencies, starting slow, striking out a lot, etc. But, for that reason, I too would like to see them trade him, if they’re not going to move him to 3B next year. Why else did they trade for Valbuena, to win the International league championship?

Peralta, Francisco, Shoppach and Garko, they could trade all of these guys, get some good relief pitching and also some minor league infield prospects. All are good players, but all are also very streaky, have average power, and other than Francisco, below average speed. Play Martinez at C, with Gimenez at backup until Santana’s ready next year. Put Aubrey in at 1B. The only knock on Aubrey’s health, and he’s been healthy last year and so far this year, right? All he’s done this year is hit around .450 through spring training and AAA. If he gets hurt, they have plenty of 1B options. Outfield Sizemore, Choo, Laporta, Crowe, infield Derosa, Valbuena, Cabrera, Aubrey, with Barfield and Carroll as backups. DH could primarily be Choo, with Laporta getting the bulk of the OF starts.

If they trade those 4 guys, they have to be able to get some good players back to fill the holes they do have, they still have infield and outfield depth even if they traded all 4 of those guys.

Is the inbox the same as the mailbag? I’m confused.

isavage, I am with you. I am not married to Peralta, Francisco, Shoppach and Garko the way Shapiro is apparently. I suggested we dump Shoppach and Garko during the winter meetings but hindsight is 20/20. We still need to wait out on bringing up LaPorta IMO for arbitration reasons. Valbuena does look like a steal of a trade (right now) but I still feel he’s a September call-up. That way his presence does not force the issue with Peralta, Cabrera, and Barfield (who won’t be anything more than a utility player in Cleveland). Not to panic or look too far ahead since the season is only one month in but I said it back in January that Mark Shapiro was building our team for 2010, not 2009 as I agree with you on many of the aforementioned roster spots. 2010: Martinez (C/1B), Gimenez (C), Aubrey (1B), Valbuena (2B), Cabrera (SS), Hodges (3B), Barfield (UT), Choo (RF), Sizemore (CF), LaPorta (LF/DH/1B), and probably Brantley, Crowe, and someone else to round out the 13 position players.

Wedge is a joke….his players have been engrained with the same attitude he has. He has taken their cohones…..

Wake me up when Buck Showalter gets to town….

Seems like something eventful always happens to Travis when the Reporter for a Day goes down. I partook in it last year when news broke that Hafner was dropping from 3rd to 6th in the line-up.

Fond memory.

A 5-0 lead blown! How many times in the last 59 years has that happened while I have loved the Indians from a distance? Let’s see. My Father had tickets for the fifth game of the 1954 World Series. Enough said. There have been the Max Alvis’ of the world too many times on the Indian’s roster over the years. Jose Mesa-1997! Know what I mean? I watched that game last night and so many memories (bad memories) came back. Why do I love this team? I’ve been in Cleveland three times in my life. Except for 20 miles, I could have been a Yankee fan. I could have had 26 championships under my fan-belt. I live in NYC now. My Yankee-fan friends laugh at me and yet, there is no other team that excites me like the Indians. I could not possibly change my allegiance now. I don’t want to! I won’t! … but I do want a championship in my baseball lifetime. Is it possible that the owner of this team throw a little more money to the payroll so that all of us non-Clevelander fans and all of you who live in Cleveland could have one moment in the sun? An Indian championship!

It’s time for a new skipper for the Indians. I used to admire Wedge’s calmness and “one game at a time” even keel with young players 4 years ago. At some point “one game at a time” became a complete lack of a sense of urgency. We saw it three years ago as they slowly played themselves out of it before somehow catching fire in August. We saw it against the Red Sox in the ALCS when the metaphoric momentum shifted and the Tribe just waited for the “next game” to bounce back. We saw it last year as players kept gettibg hurt and people sat around waiting for Travis Hafner to magically get better. This team has talent but no fire. They need a red *** manager who is going to get in their face and demand some hustle. Leyland did it for the Tigers. Bowa did it for the Phils and Ozzie did it for the White Sox. Someone’s got to light a fire or this is what Indians baseball we look like for the foreseeable future.

We’re four games out with 140 games left to play. I’m the maddest person out there, but don’t hit the panic button yet. We faced the Red Sox when they were in the midst of a HUGE winning streak and pushed them to the edge all three games. Let’s see what the next week has in store.

Jason
Trials and Tribeulations
http://jmays.mlblogs.com

I think compton187 brought up an intriguing alternative to Eric Wedge. I asked for Mike Hargrove but Buck Showalter, who was special assistant to Mark Shapiro, knows this Indians team and could be a future replacement. However, Shapiro will never part with grinding partner in crime so long as he is GM. Chris Antonetti may choose his own guy when he gets promoted.
Russellmahrtsr, your words made be sadly reflect in a way that I have tried to bury for all eternity. 1954 (I wasn’t alive but have seen the film), 1995, 1997, The Drive, The Shot, The Fumble. I am like you. All I want is a Cleveland Indians championship sometime in my lifetime. And I would like to be mentally capable to enjoy it.
While I do not fully subscribe to the theory that Larry Dolan is completely cheap (see Hafner and Westbrook) I do think that we, as fans, would be better served with a different owner. He’s like a stock investor that bought high, refuses to admit his mistake and sell low, and is trying to make up for his bottom line by cutting his expenses.

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