"Dogs and cats living together… mass hysteria!"
My old college friend Catie called the other day, and she asked how the Indians are doing. She’s not a big sports fan. She’s not even a microscopic sports fan. In the midst of our conversation about the Indians’ cellar-dwelling ways, she dropped this on me.
“Hey, you know what I just learned?” she asked excitedly. “Teams have more than one pitcher. I always thought they all just had one, but I guess it makes sense that they have more than that.”
Stepping away from the obvious jokes about our Ohio University education, looking at tonight’s matchup has me thinking that maybe Catie’s previous assumptions about the makeup of a Major League club aren’t such a bad idea.
The Indians would love to get nine innings out of Cliff Lee tonight. And tomorrow night. And Sunday afternoon. Who would you rather have on the mound in the seventh inning of a one-run game? A tired-out Lee, on zero days’ rest and on the verge of having his left arm completely detach from his body, or a fully rested Masa Kobayashi?
That’s what I thought.
Well, I had a few of my regular days off (yes, I get days off like a normal human being), and all heck broke loose with this Tribe team. Aaron Laffey’s a reliever (?), Jeremy Sowers is back, Chulkamania is no longer running wild, Matt Herges is up, Juan Salas is out, Kobayashi could be next, and now Luis Vizcaino is coming aboard to save the season — or something like that.
One can only imagine what’s in store tonight. But for now, let’s play a little catch-up on the Tribe tidbits, shall we?
EXCRUCIATING MINUTIA OF THE DAY…
- Jhonny Peralta is getting what sounds like at least a couple days off to clear his head. Peralta is in a season-long slump that has been especially rough of late. He is 8-for-his-last-63 (.127) with a homer and five RBIs over his last 15 games. Eric Wedge talked to Peralta about the benching. “He’s fighting it right now, offensively and defensively,” Wedge said.
- Laffey isn’t the only starter taking on a new role in this turbulent time. Zach Putnam, a fifth-round pick in last year’s Draft, was promoted to Double-A Akron today after going 2-0 with a 4.13 ERA in five starts (23 strikeouts and five walks in 24 innings) for Class A Kinston. He’s converting to relief work for the Aeros.
- Putnam will join an Akron bullpen in which right-hander Steve Wright has also made the transition from starting to the bullpen. Wright is 2-0 with a 2.70 ERA in five appearances, including three starts. He’s struck out nine and walked seven in 11 innings.
- Right-hander Frank Herrmann has moved up to Triple-A Columbus’ bullpen after beginning the season in the Akron rotation, where he was 2-1 with a 2.93 ERA in five starts. With the Clippers, he has made one relief appearance, giving up a pair of runs on five hits in three innings.
- If it’s your team, do you move right-hander Hector Rondon — the hottest arm in the system — to the bullpen? Rondon had another excellent outing for Double-A Akron last night, giving up just a run on three hits over 6 1/3 innings in a 5-1 victory at Altoona. Rondon is now 5-0 with a 1.23 ERA in five starts, with 26 strikeouts and just five walks in 29 1/3 innings. Eastern League batters are hitting just .208 off him.
- Of the 178 runs allowed by the Tribe this year, 100 of them (56 percent) have come in the sixth inning or later. The Indians have been outscored 100 to 70 from the sixth inning on.
- The Tribe’s bullpen has allowed 34 of 65 (52 percent) inherited runners to score.
- It was reported by the Plain Dealer this week that Fausto Carmona is no longer talking with reporters this season after he was ignored by reporters following Monday’s game in Toronto. But Fausto assured me today that he was only joking.
- Jamey Carroll’s rehab assignment at Triple-A Columbus begins tonight. The plan is for Carroll, recovering from a broken bone in his left hand, to play seven innings at second base tonight, DH tomorrow, take Sunday off and play at third on Monday.
- The Indians didn’t take BP before tonight’s game. Had they done so, they might have been joined by Travis Hafner, who is taking hacks in the indoor cages.
- In case you missed it, Tony Graffanino cleared waivers and was outrighted to Columbus.
- The Indians’ appeal of the Asdrubal Cabrera scoring change from last Saturday in Detroit was rejected by MLB.
- Tomorrow night’s game will be on WMMS 100.7 FM because of the WTAM conflict with the Cavaliers.
- The batting gloves Matt LaPorta used during last summer’s Beijing Olympic Games are in the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown as part of an “Olympic Baseball” exhibit.
- Congratulations to Kate Vale, of the Indians’ community outreach department, for being recognized as one of Cleveland’s professional women of excellence by the YWCA.