"I need all of you to stop what you're doing and listen… Cannonball!"

The minutia flows fast and furious tonight, so let’s get to it.


  • The Indians won’t announce who is starting tomorrow night’s game until after tonight’s game, but a roster move will be made, as David Huff is getting Thursday’s start. My guess is that tomorrow’s start goes to Zach Jackson, as tonight would normally be his turn in the Columbus rotation but the Clippers are instead going with a bullpen day (John Meloan got the start). Jackson is 3-2 with a 3.09 ERA.
  • Eric Wedge said he expects Travis Hafner to be back after playing three straight days for Columbus later this week. Hafner took batting practice here today and will do so again tomorrow before returning to Columbus on Thursday and playing Thursday, Friday and Saturday. At that point, it might be time to promote Pronk, whose rehab assignment expires a week from Wednesday.
  • When Hafner comes back, it might be time for the Indians to make a decision on Grady Sizemore, whose left elbow condition, as mentioned in a previous post, is looking more and more like a DL situation. Here’s the story on Grady.
  • Matt LaPorta will get more consistent time at first base when he return to Columbus. Wedge wants LaPorta to be an option there the next time he gets called up.
  • Trevor Crowe is here because the Indians are going to need options at center field, with Sizemore hurting.
  • LaPorta didn’t make much of an impact up here this month, but he also got the Ryan Garko treatment in that he started sporadically. All in all, I’d say LaPorta didn’t give away too many at-bats, and I’d certainly like to see him in a more extended look. But Wedge, managing with a definite sense of urgency, didn’t opt to give him one at this juncture.
  • All right, about last night… According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the Indians’ 10-run comeback marked the third time in the last 25 years that the Indians won a game after trailing by at least 10 runs. They also rallied from 10 down to beat the Twins in 1984 and came back from a 12-run disadvantage to beat the Mariners on Aug. 5, 2001. Over that span, all other Major League teams have combined for just five comeback victories of that type, so what the Indians have accomplished is pretty remarkable. “It’s a great example of why you always play it out to the final out,” Wedge said. “You just never know. Those fans who stuck around saw a tremendous comeback under extreme circumstances.”
  • The Indians have won 14 straight home games against the Rays. According to Elias, that’s the longest home winning streak for the Indians against one opponent since they won 15 straight against Detroit from 1994 to 1997. The team record is 27 straight against St. Louis from 1952-54.
  • If you’re attending Sunday’s game against the Yankees, come a little earlier than usual. The game time has been moved up from 1:05 p.m. ET to 12:40 p.m. because it will be broadcast on TBS.
  • RHP Jeanmar Gomez is the Eastern League Pitcher of the Week after his perfect game at Trenton on Thursday. Gomez entered his start against Reading tonight with a 4-0 record and a 0.31 ERA.
  • I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that yesterday was the 28th anniversary of the Rangers’ Bill Stein setting an American League record for pinch hits, with seven. Why is this important? Because Bill Stein is the father of Jason Stein, the Indians’ iTrac vision trainer who is better known in these parts as the “Master of Self-Promotion.” Anyway, if you think about it, seven consecutive pinch hits is pretty special stuff.



“Matt LaPorta will get more consistent time at first base when he return to Columbus. Wedge wants LaPorta to be an option there the next time he gets called up.”
**slams head on desk**
Garko is 6th on the team in RBI. Everyone ahead of him has at least 60 more ABs. Some have 80 more.
Jordan Brown is hitting .358 in Columbus.
Michael Aubrey is hitting .328.
Yes, we definitely need another first baseman.

Garko is fine. If Wedge would play him everyday he would be producing more, but when your coming off the bench every 3 days it is hard to produce like you normally would. Garko is a good RBI guy, he chokes up and gets big hits when guys are on base. You would never see Shoppach Choke up and go the other way with the ball. Kelly is always swinging for the fences and striking out.

yep, can’t you wait until next year, when Aubrey and Brown are picked up by other teams and batting over .300? Seriously, what makes them think these guys aren’t major league caliber players? They’ve had Brown playing the outfield down in Columbus, they should at minimum have him on the club in place of Dellucci, so if he bats .350 in the majors they can at least trade him for someone decent. The only knock on him was they didn’t think he had enough power, but this year he’s leading Columbus in HRs too … I really hope that Shapiro is also shopping Garko, I’d be happy with a solid, hard throwing AA relief pitching prospect for Garko, who’s obviously got no place in the Indians’ future

I had hoped to see Dellucci jettisoned when Hafner returned from the DL but it looks like Sizemore might be more logical. It should be time to closely watch and wait for Rafel Perez’s return considering our need to have 8 RPs not to mention two long relievers in Lewis and Sowers. Can I get a Hector Rondon start or is it too soon? I had thought that with Sizemore potentially going on the DL that we might need another outfielder as I loosely include Dellucci in the OF mix but given Wedge’s propensity to throw guys like Garko, DeRosa, Carroll and maybe even Barfield (if he replaces Valbuena as he should IMO) then our lineup will get even MORE fun and illogical. Wedge must like the self-created uncertainty by not going with the same lineup. Does it surprise anyone that Shoppach had 3 ABs with 1 HR and 1 SO? He hit a “big ball” in 3 ABs so now he’s good for another 21 ABs with only 4 hits and 7 strikeouts.

I just noticed this stat and now I’m going to be sick. Victor Martinez has 21 GS at catcher and 25 GS at first base. THAT MEANS HIS IS YOUR STARTING FIRST BASEMAN! What happened to Eric Wedge saying that VMart would get 80-120 games behind the plate? Here is what the math SHOULD be for Victor over the course of 162 games:

(1) give Martinez one day off a week, approximately 26 games

(2) give Martinez 1B or DH duties on the day(s) that Cliff Lee pitches, approximately 34 starts

(3) add up 26 + 34 = 60 starts for Kelly Shoppach, and at least 128 starts for Ryan Garko. Currently, Garko is projected to get 69 starts at 1B!

**someone tell me that they saw this too? Garko has 20 starts at 1B and Shoppach (obviously) has 25 starts behind the plate. One of them is hitting a productive, run-producing .262 while the other is a can’t-put-the-ball-in-play sieve at .224. I think I just threw up in my mouth a little bit.

I forgot to mention, given the aforementioned equation Victor Martinez would get to catch approximately 102 games and play the field 34 times at most. The ol’ cliche is true. Anyone can fudge numbers to say anything they want given the proper direction but SERIOUSLY. This is a joke. Shoppach’s approach at the plate is a joke and his defense has been slipping. And Wedge simply plays into this nonsense by mandating that he catch for a guy like Pavano with no justification behind it. I understand the idea behind Cliff Lee. He and Victor hate each other. Lee did great in 2008 blah blah blah. Save your BS for the sheep Eric because my eyes are open and the wool ain’t comin’ over my eyes simply because you want it that way.

All the Garko love around here is dumbfounding. Putting aside his bizarre last couple of days, here’s the reality: RBI is a stupid stat. Batting average is a stupid stat. Ryan Garko is a defensively mediocre first baseman who doesn’t hit for power (about 75% of his hits are singles) and is about the slowest non-Molina in the majors. He’s played in 75% of the Indians’ games, which is already too many.

fredox, I believe my rant was as much a decree against Wedge and Shoppach as it was for Garko. Let me say this: if you refer to loosely based stats then I am the last person you want checking those numbers. Here’s why. Despite what you say RBI and BA aren’t stupid stats. True speed is a rarity in baseball. Yes, Garko runs like a truck. However, over the course of his 2+ years of service averaged out to 162 games and 565 ABs Garko averages 158 hits, 29 doubles, 21 HRs, 1 triple, 97 RBI and a .281 BA. Those extra base hits accrue to 51 and amounts to 32% of his hits. That means his singles are 68% of his hits, not 75%. Why is that 7% difference significant? Because over the course of 565 ABs it amounts to 40 hits. And while 21 HRs in 565 ABs does not signify a true power hitter (~27AB/HR) the Burnin’ Cuyahoga have not had a masher since Travis Hafner circa 2006 and Albert Belle.

oh and BTW, Garko has a career .297 BA with 164 RBI over 370 ABs with RISP. I know those are “stupid” stats to you but numbers don’t lie. The mistake you made was thinking that I’m a Ryan Garko fan. Self-admitted I am not and have said so previously.

fredox: what makes a good 1B? I’d love to see the qualities that are necessary.

I know someone mentioned Vic Powers on here (or some other blog – blasphemy!) but I have N E V E R seen why Garko is always the last option for 1B. The kid has 19 errors – in his career – over 315 games (that averages out to 0.063/gm) and I honestly for the life of me can’t think of a game that his defense cost us a game… unlike a can’t-miss prospect who vacuumed at 3B for the second half of 2008, or a all-time leader in HRs by **** who is now at 3B.

If Ryan did “throw one away”, I’m listening…

…maybe I shouldn’t have abbreviated ‘shortstop’ (see above). I wasn’t swearing🙂

we’ve all gotten hit on the “a shortstop” abbreviation. No worries.

Here’s the thing, Garko’s OPS last year ranked 9th in the AL, 21st in all of MLB, not good. So far this year, 11th in the AL, and that’s after the 3 HRs in the past 2 days. In 2007, he was 3rd in the AL. Garko certainly showed potential in 2006 and 2007 but there’s no question he regressed big time last year, and playing time wasn’t the issue. At this point, 11th in OPS doesn’t cut it for a team that has Martinez, plus like 5 prospects who play 1B at Columbus and Akron. That said, I certainly think they should have a set infield with Derosa at 2B, Cabrera SS, Peralta 3B, and 1B shared between Martinez and Garko, none of this Derosa playing 1B nonsense. I’m assuming they don’t feel that Martinez can handle catching every day, so with Hafner coming back, Garko’s playing time will be limited regardless. Hopefully he can continue his recent hot hitting so he has some trade value, because face it, that is the only value he is going to have for this team moving forward

AVG and RBI are stupid stats?
Is Wedge posting on here now?

my sentiments exactly LACF. And I would like to point out once again that I am not advocating Garko’s presence in the lineup over Martinez. I’m not even a fan of him long term at 1B. Simply over the sieve that is Shoppach is my preference.

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