I've never felt so strange, standing in the pounding rain

Still no clue if they’ll get this one in tonight. It has begun to rain again, and a flash of lightning just sparked the evening sky.

So with this game already in delay mode (even if it starts, it won’t be until after 8 p.m. ET), we might as well dive into the Tribe tidbits, right? Right.

UPDATE: The Indians announced an 8:15 p.m. start time, but the tarp was just pulled back on the field at 8 p.m. So we’re back to wait-and-see mode.

UPDATE No. 2: 9 p.m. start time.

EXCRUCIATING MINUTIA OF THE DAY…

  • Travis Hafner will play Thursday, Friday and Saturday in Columbus and will probably be back in the Indians’ lineup on Monday.
  • Joe Smith threw his live batting practice session here today and will go out on rehab later this week. Not sure of the exact day, but he might go out Friday, as well.
  • Rafael Perez should be back soon. He tossed another two scoreless innings for Columbus yesterday, giving up three hits and striking out a pair. “He’s throwing the ball well,” Eric Wedge said. “He’s starting to get some consistency. He’ll be up here sooner rather than later.”
  • Grady Sizemore remains in DH mode as he waits for his sore left elbow to calm down. To be clear, there is no structural damage or bone chips or anything of that nature in the elbow. This is inflammation of the joint, and it’s flared up over the last couple weeks. “We’ll try to get him through the weekend and see how it plays out,” Wedge said. And when Hafner returns and that DH spot is no longer open, it should be time for the Indians to decide what to do with Sizemore. They might even make that decision beforehand.
  • Don’t even try to guess what’s going on with the rotation. The Indians are just riding it out and taking things day by day. Jeremy Sowers will be available out of the bullpen after a few days of rest, but he could be slid back into the rotation the next time through. A lot depends on how Zach Jackson and David Huff pitch over the next two days. Wedge still views Sowers as a starter, not a reliever. Sowers doesn’t warm up quickly and doesn’t have the groundball tendencies of an Aaron Laffey.
  • Jackson is the Tribe’s ninth starting pitcher this season. They’ve played 47 games.
  • Someone asked about Ben Francisco’s numbers against Andy Sonnanstine, and, well, let’s just say putting Francisco in tonight’s lineup is about the easiest decision Wedge will make this year. After his two-homer day against Sonnanstine earlier this month, Francisco is now 6-for-7 with a double, four home runs, a walk and eight RBIs against him.
  • If, for some reason, you needed statistical data to illustrate that Carl Pavano didn’t pitch very much with the Yankees, here you go. Pavano has five wins this month. He recorded the same number of wins from May 23, 2005, to April 30, 2009 — a span of 1,438 days. Pavano is the only pitcher in baseball with five wins this month. He is sixth in the AL in strikeout to walk ratio (3.54) and eight with 2.1 walks allowed per nine innings.
  • Looking ahead to Saturday, and CC Sabathia’s return to Cleveland, I asked pitching coach Carl Willis what type of reception he thinks CC will receive. “I certainly hope he gets a nice reception [from the crowd] and then a rowdy reception from us on the field,” Willis said.
  • Double-A Akron RHP Jeanmar Gomez followed up his perfect game with a dud against Reading last night. He gave up five runs (four earned) on eight hits over six innings, raising his season ERA from 0.31 to 1.29.
  • ESPN Radio’s “Mike and Mike in the Morning” program will be broadcast live from Progressive Field’s Batter’s Eye bar from 6-10 a.m. ET tomorrow. Hosts Mike Greenberg and St. Joe’s alum Mike Golic will be here and will throw out a ceremonial first pitch before tonight’s game.

~AC

29 Comments

Anthony,

Ok, here is an idea. We cannot contend with David Huff, Jeremy Sowers, and Zach Jackson in the rotation. We can have one of them, but not all three at once. Why not go out and sign Paul Byrd and Pedro Martinez. Pedro was great in the WBC and Pauly is fine for 70 pitches. I think they give you a better shot to stay in games than the other guys.

You have $10million to spend on 2 old pitchers with old arms for half a season, jpoorbaugh? Yeah, this team doesn’t either.

Do you want to contend or not? We will not win many games with Jackson giving up 7 in four innings. Plus, Pedro wants 5 million and Byrd doesn’t want that much, so it wouldn’t be 10 million.

The Frisco Kid is absolutely lights out against Sonnanstine. Chalk another homer up for him against him! 2-for-3 thus far tonight!

19-28, 20-28. it doesn’t make any sense to add to your payroll given these numbers, jpoorbaugh. The current Indians would need to show a lot more before they become buyers for this year. Not sure that either of those guys have anything left anyway, NL hitters were batting .294 against Pedro last year, and now he’s older and hasn’t pitched in a while. At this point, someone (Fausto) on the team needs to step up, otherwise they could add Pedro circa 2005 and still lose 90 games. If they DO somehow manage to get back to .500 by the all-star break, and still be within striking distance of Detroit, they should have Westbrook and Laffey back, in which case they wouldn’t need those guys. I think a lot of this depends on Fausto, as well as obviously the bullpen, and they need one of the young guys to step up. The offense seems to have finally come around, and Hafner could be back soon and hitting well, but that still leaves them with only 2 reliable pitchers (Lee and Pavano) on the entire team. If Carmona can somehow turn it around, and either Sowers or Huff could be decent, the Indians could have a chance, otherwise, wait until next year

Zach didn’t look too good, no lies there.

However, its nice to see the pen be consistent over a long period of time, although these two have been pretty good since their call ups. Maybe some of the inconsistent guys can pick something up from them!

good a 3rd consecutive win. not bad. but still we need to fire wedge & willis. definitely, tonight zack jackson corroborates that he doesn´t belongs to the majors. the poor guy has such an amazing aim to get well hit: 14 hits allowed just on 8.2 innings, 2 homers served & 9.35 era!!! how many times i said that Reyes won´t last the whole season? bingo! he has a glass arm. i´m also tire of reading those mails saying that the season has 162 games, be patient, after the all-star game we would play over .500 & shall win the division crown… remember that when Noah buildup the ark yet there were no rain. still i think that peralta can´t hit in the clutch. so he shouldn´t bat neither on 5th or 6th hole. we should have derosa & garko on that order: both has proven they can hit on the clutch. why don´t we go to the trade market looking for 2 reliable starting pitchers? we has plenty talent to get those badly needed starting pitchers to help lee & pavano. we can offer peralta, francisco, sowers, jackson, perez & also fausto to get someone like jake peavy & ray oswalt. can we try?

Oh I want to contend, but facts are facts. What I want to do and what are possible dont jive, in fact they rarely do.

Peavy and Oswalt? Are you kidding? Houston is in the same situation as the tribe, about the same record and same games out of first. And Oswalt is making 14 million this year, which unless the Indians can unload Hafner and Derosa, where exactly do you get the money? Peavy obviously isn’t going to choose to go to the Indians. You could’ve at least suggested Brad Penny … if the Indians can unload Derosa, the salaries would be a wash … Garko and Shoppach for Penny, with Derosa going somewhere else for a reliever, leaving the Indians with a lineup of Vic at C, Jordan Brown or Matt Laporta at 1B, Valbuena 2B, etc.

Great win tonight, and great blog post headline!

(The Gaslight Anthem is the bee’s knees)

wow I have a feeling that this thread will be popular over the next 24 hours. Some much to address in so little space.
(1) oilyharry, while I have never been a Peralta supporter b/c of his defensive deficiencies he is the only hitter we had to successfully carry our offense through the 2007 playoffs and that is the definition of clutch. He almost single-handedly beat NY. Check the numbers. I’m right. You’re off-base. Next case.
(2) PEAVY AND OSWALT??????? If our team sucks so bad, our coaches need to be fired and guys can’t stay with the ML club consistently then WHY would anyone trade our garbage for their jewels? Wow, that was just ridiculous. We move on…
(3) isavage, I do not know why you are stuck on Jordan Brown and I take into account his MVP year. Personally, I have more faith (based off ML experience) in Michael Aubrey than Brown who is now listed as an outfielder for Columbus. He needs to go somewhere like Washington or Pittsburgh to get a shot IMO. I would like to discuss this further though.
(4) WE ARE NOT MAKING ANY (significant ML roster) TRADES BEFORE JUNE 1. STOP CREATING THESE SCENARIOS. DeRosa will not be moved. Shoppach won’t be moved. While I never say never b/c desperate teams do desperate things (like the Mets trading away Scott Kazmir for Victor Zambrano) the ballclub is starting to play better of late going 6-2. Shapiro and Wedge have gotten what they wanted only a month too late. They rode out the rough stretch and are praying to get back to .500 ASAP.

AM, let’s not forget that June 1st is next week. And I agree with isavage: I think Brad Penny is the most likely option. I just read an article mentioning that the Red Sox are looking for some outfield back-up and I know they need catching depth, so perhaps a Dellucci/Shoppach offer would bring Penny on board. And let’s face facts: Penny isn’t exactly a gem these days. He’s winning because he’s pitching for a great offense.
But the Sowers/Jackson/Huff trinity needs to be broken up, and I would imagine it will fall to one in the ‘pen, one in the rotation, and one back to Columbus. A #4 like Penny might keep us afloat (thanks to our bats) until Laffey, Lewis, and Westbrook come back.
Yeah, I don’t see how anyone could think a guy who shot down a deal to Chicago would okay one to Cleveland. That’s just nonsense.

Exactly AM, Brown can play OF and1B! So can Laporta! Think of the versatility. Aubrey is a little behind the curve, only manning one position … I’d actually be fine with any of those guys, I’m probably most curious about Brown, his numbers would make you think he should be high on their radar but I never even see his name mentioned, is there something about his swing that makes him not an MLB caliber player? Did he anger Wedge somehow? Is he goofy looking, and they don’t want any goofy looking dudes on the team, other than Kerry Wood?

Hey Kids – this isn’t fantasy league. No player with any kind of value will be traded here. We’re not the franchise that can take on “expiring contracts” and if they were a good player, why would their existing club want to get rid of them?

You’re not dumping Dellucci unless you cut your ties and eat the contract: if you were another club out there, would you make a trade for a guy who got a week of solid playing time and then was buried on the bench in favor of a minor leaguer with 12 games of AAA experience under his belt?

Another nice job by Mr. Garko last night. Hmm, where’s Fredog? Maybe re-watching that play Ryan made last night in the 6th?

I don’t understand the whole love affair with all our minor league players. Guess what – how do you think we got in the position we’re in now? We rushed guys with minimal success through to the majors and now?

I think isavage is secretly Ross Adkins :)

bviel, we will need some of these minor league players to produce if we are to contend now or in the future, you have to trust that when you selected a guy in the draft, or traded for someone because you liked them, that you were correct in these evaluations. Aubrey is 27 years old, and Brown is not far behind, Aubrey was a 1st round draft pick, and Brown was 4th round. Right now, the only move I’d be in favor of would be moving Derosa, so he’s not stealing ABs from Garko, and the defense is much better with Cabrera at SS. This would free up some money so that if the Indians can somehow get a winning streak together, they could look to swing a deal for a pitcher

But what is the difference between that strong whiff of desperation of calling the hot bat up to Cleveland to watch them drop to a .185 batting average, and developing players? Right now, not much.

We’re willing to hand the keys over to a kid who might have 15 games at AAA under his belt over players with 3, 4 years of major league experience who have a rough start?

We never fully develop our talent anymore because we get desperate and play the hot hand. It pays off for a while, but it hasn’t remained consistent. You need to develop these players and that also means teaching them how to work through the adversity.

You know what we haven’t heard in a while? “The Plan”… what is that now? Where do we stand on that? Is there one?

If there was a plan, we wouldn’t have three 1B prospects at Columbus. I agree on the player development, that’s why, without a trade first, I don’t see the sense of having Valbuena and previously Laporta on the team. At the same time, the team obviously has major holes on the pitching side, so I would certainly like to see some deals made, if not for this year than for next. They’re not going to get anything for a Jordan Brown or Aubrey, teams could’ve had those guys for free and didn’t take them. Garko and Derosa, however, because they are established major leaguers, might have some value. If I could trade those guys for good relievers I’d do it, put Valbuena in full time at 2b and call up Aubrey or Brown to play 1b when Martinez is catching. If they start slow, so what, give it time. If Valbuena hits .230 this year, so what, he doesn’t need to carry the offense or anything, and the defensive upgrade of no Derosa at 1b will cancel out some of that. Aubrey and Brown are certainly capable of Garko numbers, if not better, but if they utterly suck this year, they have Laporta for next year as a 1b option, or Martinez fulltime 1b, with Santana at C. If Valbuena, Laporta, Santana, Aubrey and Brown all prove to be incapable of playing in the majors, then that just means the Indians are terrible at evaluating talent, and they probably won’t be any good in the near future, but you have to think that some of these guys can play, so use the depth in these positions to make moves to benefit the areas of the team where there’s a lack of depth

Like I said earlier – I don’t get the love affair with the minor leaguers. And I don’t think that whatever we’d get in return for the trades proposed with the veterans constantly listed is worth making the moves to call these kids up from Akron and Columbus.

BTW: does anyone know how to teach a co-worker to use a computer mouse without it sounding like he’s bludgeoning it to death? Just curious :) I thought the point of them was to glide them along…

isavage, I do like Jordan Brown. His minor league career raises an eyebrow and questions why he’s never been given any type of shot. I was perplexed when they left him unprotected for the draft. Even more shocked when he wasn’t selected. The only reasoning behind I could think of is guys potentially in front of him at 1B with a ML club that didn’t want to guarantee him a roster spot. And you are totally correct, we have such a logjam at 1B at the major and minor league levels it makes it hard to find PT for everyone. Martinez, Garko, DeRosa (ugh, Wedge you fool), LaPorta, Brown, Aubrey, Mills. And while I went off on the trade discussion I would say that we have talked about Penny before and I did not consider him to be part of the “ridiculous” part of my rant. I would still consider Shoppach too valuable to deal for a guy like Penny (1yr/$5M) if only b/c Boston is SO deperate to find that catching centerpiece for years to come. Shoppach for Manny Delcarmen is something I would think about though.

I don’t think Boston would part with any of their relievers, though. Their rotation’s ERA is almost as bad as ours (which is saying a lot), yet their overall ERA is great — and it’s entirely because they have the best bullpen in baseball. I can’t see them messing with that, since it’s what is keeping them at the top.
bviel, I don’t think anyone’s expecting to drop Dellucci and his contract. But his remaining salary and, say, Penny’s are pretty close.
I would also argue that we’re not really talking about trading for anyone of huge value (well, most of us). We’re looking for stop gaps until we get healthy.

You’d have to think about Shoppach for Delcarmen? I imagine Shapiro’d make that trade in a heartbeat, but I can’t imagine Boston’s THAT desperate. I agree on Penny, or any trade for someone who’s only signed through this year, I was just suggesting a trade that’s realistic. You don’t trade for 1-year rentals when you’re 20-28. If they can move any of those guys for pitching that will help them this year AND next, then the sooner the better … If they win like their next 6 games, I guess then it might make sense to make a move for Penny, and if that meant trading Shoppach I’d probably do it. I’m not sure what Victor’s situation is though, if he can play C every day, that would be ideal, because that would open up 1B for full time Garko. The lineup would basically get better by trading Shoppach, and they’d get a starting pitcher out of it … bviel, what are prospects for? They’re not meant to suffer in Columbus forever. If I were Aubrey, I’d have my agent requesting my release, so I could sign with another team. He’s not a kid, he’s 27 years old, he deserves a shot in the majors somewhere … The only reason the Indians came within 1 win of the World Series two years ago was they rolled the dice on some prospects, Rafael Perez, Jensen Lewis, and Cabrera.

If they dealt Shoppach, they could call up Toregas to catch for whichever AAA pitcher is filling the #5 spot in the rotation, which would still give Victor at least one day off a week. And those two (the AAA pitcher) and Toregas will already know how to work together from Columbus.
The key thing, for me, is the fact that we will, in theory, get Laffey, Lewis, and Westbrook back at some point — that’s a heck of a boost to our rotation.

LACF, absolutely accurate on the boost to the staff with those 3 guys by mid July (especially Westbrook) left alone a potentially effective Perez and hopefully a middle ground with Jensen Lewis. Stopgaps are what we are seeking. isavage, let me clarify since I suggested it. I would trade Shoppach for Delcarmen right now given the opportunity! He’s only 27, experienced and currently cheap.

A week ago I asked for the team to finish the month of May at least 22-30. Since we’re at 21-28 with 3 games left in the month with Lee, Carmona and Pavano going it would be great to get a split against NY by winning the Lee and Pavano games (and therefore finishing the month at 23-29) while probably losing the Carmona and Sowers games. I would take 23-30 on June 1 given where we were. Additionally, we have played 3 more away games than Detroit. This also bodes well for our current group of cellar dwellers. Here’s to all us honks that still blindly believe despite our derogatory rants, raves and philosophical vernacular about our team.

I would also argue that we’re not really talking about trading for anyone of huge value (well, most of us). We’re looking for stop gaps until we get healthy.

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