When you're sitting back in your rose pink Cadillac, making bets on Kentucky Derby Day
Several readers have written in to blast the Indians for getting rid of Louie Isaac, only to see the bullpen spontaneously combust again here in the early going this season.
The Isaac dismissal still puzzles me. The pitchers loved working with him, and one would think that if his working relationship with Carl Willis wasn’t quite up to par, such a move would have been made several years earlier.
That being said, I highly doubt Isaac’s absence is the main issue at hand. After all, it was a pretty bad bullpen a year ago, when Isaac was still around.
But I can say that it’s a bit bizarre to not have Isaac here on Kentucky Derby Day. He loved the ponies, and he always had a prediction — usually, an accurate one.
So as my dad calls me from Thistledown to ask which horse I want to bet on and I pathetically search the list of entries in the wake of I Want Revenge getting scratched, I’m sending this out to Louie Isaac. Maybe he’s reading and can drop a prediction in the comments section.
EXCRUCIATING MINUTIA OF THE DAY…
- None of the new guys were in the lineup today, and that was expected. But the next few days will be interesting. It’s good to see the Indians getting proactive and shaking things up at this still-early juncture. They wouldn’t be calling LaPorta up if they didn’t intend to use him. My guess is we’ll start to see less of Ben Francisco.
- LaPorta started at first base last night for the first time this season. Eric Wedge said he is an option there.
- The Indians groomed Valbuena to be more versatile. He saw regular time at second base, third and short in Columbus. And that order I just listed those positions is the order in which Wedge views Valbuena as an option. He could allow Asdrubal Cabrera to move over to short, or he could allow Mark DeRosa to get a breather.
- Wedge on the moves: “We’re more versatile than before. We’re going to be able to do things we want to do with regard to playing that particular day.”
- Joe Smith’s shoulder injury does not sound serious. In fact, head athletic trainer Lonnie Soloff said Smith’s condition has already improved since he last threw on Tuesday. This DL move is more about getting Smith regular work in Columbus on rehab, because his Spring Training was drastically affected by his bout with a viral infection. Smith will return to Cleveland on Sunday and will play catch early this coming week.
- Scott Lewis (strained left forearm) is throwing bullpen sessions in Goodyear. He’s still at least a couple weeks away from being eligible to return.
- Jake Westbrook (Tommy John surgery) will throw two bullpen sessions next week and, if all goes well, will be ready to toss one inning of game action on Monday, May 11.
- Jamey Carroll (broken bone in left hand) has been taking grounders and soft toss. He’ll take batting practice with the club in Toronto and should be ready to begin a rehab assignment late next week, most likely with Columbus.
- Wedge has started Shin-Soo Choo in left and Francisco in right because of the layout of Comerica Park. Left field has a little more terrain than right. It was the same program in Yankee Stadium and will be the same when the Indians play in the Metrodome.
- Cliff Lee got a haircut before today’s game. He didn’t seem too happy with it. In fact, he was seen carrying clippers, presumably to fix it himself.