LaPorta, Valbuena, Barfield coming up; Smith, Crowe, Graffanino gone

Well, Eric Wedge wasn’t kidding. The Indians made a postgame move. In fact, they made three of them.

Outfielder Matt LaPorta and infielders Luis Valbuena and Josh Barfield are all joining the Tribe here tomorrow.

They are taking the places of RHP Joe Smith, who is going on the 15-day disabled list with right shoulder soreness a right rotator cuff strain, OF Trevor Crowe, who was optioned back to Columbus to play every day, and INF Tony Graffanino, who was designated for assignment.

More updates to come on the site, but Wedge said LaPorta will serve as a complement to David Dellucci, Valbuena will be the utility guy in the infield, and Barfield will be back to his old role as a late replacement on the basepaths and potential help in the infield and outfield.

As for Smith, the injury is certainly news to me and the rest of us who follow this team on a daily basis. Wedge said they’ll use Smith’s rehab to get him regular appearances and back on track, and he remains a guy they think will help them in the late innings this year.

UPDATE: Smith’s DL stint is retroactive to April 29. The Indians don’t think the injury is serious.

UPDATE No. 2: Here’s the full story.




Wow. That’s nuts.

After tonight’s outing, I just guessed that either Perez or Lewis would get sent down to work out their issues, but I guess not.

Graffanino’s not too much of a surprise, and I kept wondering tonight why they keep Crowe around instead of sending him down to get regular ABs.

I’m kind of surprised by the LaPorta call up, but I guess with the loss of Hafner and the night Francisco had, all signs pointed to it.

Should be an interesting few days. Too bad none of this helps with our bullpen problems.

Wow! News! Call the doctor! Call your grandparents! How am I going to sleep tonight? I think we need to stay up all night and tell tales of the diamond. What say you?

Wedge should be a politician because he doesn’t answer the questions that we the public want answered but rather goes off on tangents. LaPorta needs to play everyday. Calling up Valbuena is intriguing because we now have two up-an-comers that will sit on our bench 3 days a week. Josh Barfield will be another 2B that has been ignored by Eric Wedge in Cleveland. I’m not saying Josh will become Brandon Phillips, but still another player ruined by his own personal opinion. Senseless. I agree with you LACF. Perez and Lewis should have been demoted IMO for Rundles and Meloan. We need long term fixes, not short term experiments with these two RPs. I have more confidence in Perez to get on track than Lewis.

Call me crazy, and I am sure some of you will, but I like this.
1. Barfield is backup at best. He has shown nothing that makes me concerned about his being used for his legs and ability to give them team flexibility defensively late in games.
2. Valbuena and LaPorta deserve their shot. Remember a couple years back when we brought up a kid named Grady Sizemore at the beginning of the year just to spell some people in the outfield? He proved that he shouldn’t be sent back down. Sorry, Trevor Crowe did nothing of the kind. He proved his is a viable option defensively, but his bat needs work. Give LaPorta and Valbuena their chances to catch fire. The only problem is, let’s say Valbuena is the real deal. What do you do? Are you really going to cut Jhonny Peralta? DeRosa? You surely don’t touch Cabrera given his April. I can easily see LaPorta sticking, that’s not difficult. Francisco has proven just about the same as Barfield. Late game bench option.

Good moves, if as amseeley said, Laporta plays every day. Now if they’d only trade Shoppach or Garko for a decent relief pitcher. Perez, Lewis, and also Betancourt have got to be on a short leash. Perez should’ve been in Columbus 2 weeks ago, and I’d give Betancourt another 2 weeks to show improvement or he should be demoted or released.

Very interesting moves. I can’t wait to see what LaPorta can do to help our offense.

are luis or matt getting in the lineup today?

AM, I think Valbuena and LaPorta will get plenty of ABs. Graffanino got into 7 games and there was no incentive to start him aside from resting some of the other guys. And with Hafner down and Wedge mixing up the outfield so much, I would expect to see LaPorta get it a good amount, too. I think they’ll get their chances.

I wouldn’t be shocked to see either or both of them start tomorrow.

LACF, lets hope so and I would imagine they will find the opportunities.

djacks, your opinion of Barfield is noted, I just happen to disagree. Nothing wrong with quality conversation and disagreements though.

isavage, I agree on the RP front. Perez and Lewis have options and need fixing NOT the the ML level. I don’t think Betancourt does. He will be here to stick it out no matter what. As is the case with Kobayashi, barring him bringing a gas can and lighter to every relief opportunity he gets until the All Star break.

I forgot Kobayashi was even on the team. Which begs the question, why is Kobayashi on the team? Is he the late-inning blowout specialist? At this point Betancourt’s been pitching with an era above 6 for over a year. It can’t be that hard to find someone who can get 3 outs without giving up a run, can it? Betancourt’s ERA suggests you have a less than 1 out of 3 chance of putting him into the 8th inning of a 1 run game and getting out of that inning with the lead intact. One thing I’ve noticed this year about him though, is he sees to do ok the first inning he comes in, like yesterday, but then Wedge brings him back to start the next inning and he implodes. For now they should use him as a matchup guy only, facing 2-3 batters max, and he might be able to turn it around. Unfortunately, they currently have 0 other relievers to turn to in the 7th and 8th inning. Shapiro needs to use their depth in other areas to swing a couple trades, and if not, maybe they can use Huff or Rondon in relief role. This the reason I hated the Derosa trade when it happened. They dealt one of their best relief prospects for someone they had replacements for who can be just as good or better, Valbuena and Peralta

Kobayashi’s presence is mandated by the $3 million dollar remaining on his deal much like Dellucci. It was unfortunate the he was burned out last year and imploded this spring. Wedge has a history of burning relievers out (see remarks from Betancourt after the 2007 ALCS). The same might be the case of Rafael Perez. Kobayashi had almost as many appearance by the AS break in 2008 than he has the entire YEAR in 2007.

I’m glad to see management doing SOMETHING to try to shake things up, but I think it’s time to start thinking real seriously about trades for better pitching if they want any chance this year of actually contending. I personally think it’s time to put Grady Sizemore up for sale. His trade value is still probably quite high, but may not be after he bats .250 for yet another season, and the rest of the world starts noticing his penchant for striking out with runners on base. Trady Sizemore! Trady Sizemore!

I have been and Indians fan since 1954. In my opinion, we currently have 3 major league hitters (Martinez, Sizemore, Cabrerra) and one major league pitcher (Cliff Lee). Where are we going ???? Talk, stratagize, plan, shuffle line-up……,you don’t take a knife to a gun fight !

interesting post… i really like it thanks!!! Herpes Simplex

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