"Wait a minute. Are you Ken Griffey Jr.? Sorry. Didn't mean to get your hopes up."

The only thing that puzzles me about the Mark DeRosa trade is the fact that it didn’t involve the promotion of Matt LaPorta (.302 average and .898 OPS at Triple-A Columbus).

On Sunday, the Indians went with a lineup that included Ryan Garko in left field. This lineup should never, ever happen again.

The Garko-in-the-outfield experiment began as a pre-Spring Training source of amusement that I, for one, never expected to see the light of day (or, more accurately, the regular season). When Garko dropped that ball Sunday, I hope the message got through that first basemen should not be moonlighting as corner outfielders in the Major Leagues.

Ben Francisco isn’t the answer in the corner outfield, either. He’s batting .225 with a .659 OPS this season. He’s batting .133 with three RBIs in his last 22 games and is currently 3-for-35 and 0-for-10. Last season, he hit .251 with a .745 OPS from July 1 on. Francisco is a nice guy and a hard worker, but the results speak for themselves. He should be sued used (no litigation necessary) to spell Grady Sizemore and nothing more.

Tonight, Chris Gimenez gets the start in left. Gimenez is a versatile player who certainly could have a future at this level. But for this team at this juncture, I’m not sure he’s the right fit.

Fans want something to latch onto in a lost season. If it’s my team, I’d give them LaPorta. Or, to bring in another option to back up Sizemore, I’d give them Michael Brantley. But I wouldn’t give them Garko or Francisco in left field any longer.

EXCRUCIATING MINUTIA OF THE DAY…

  • Aaron Laffey isn’t joining the rotation this week, after all. His rough start for Akron on Sunday (3 1/3 IP, 3 R/ER, 5 H, 6 BB, 1 HBP) sealed the Tribe’s decision to give him another Minor League rehab start, most likely Friday for Columbus. Laffey said he understood. “I can’t do the same thing everybody else is doing,” he said. “They need someone to come in and give them quality starts and not go to the bullpen after five innings.”
  • So it looks like the Tomo Ohka era continues.Actually, I forgot to take the two upcoming off days into consideration. The Indians can get away without using Ohka as their fifth starter the next turn through the rotation. 
  • Chris Perez already gets points from the local media for being a quality sound bite/interview subject. Now, we’ll see how he does on the mound. He said it was tough leaving a first-place team, but he really did seem excited to be joining an Indians team certain to give him plenty of opportunity in the ‘pen. Perez, after all, logged just eight innings of work in the month of June for the Cards. “They were trying to trade me,” he said, “so they didn’t use me.”
  • Rafael Betancourt (strained right groin) threw a simulated session today and is expected to throw another Wednesday. If all goes well, he could be out on a rehab assignment by the end of the weekend.
  • A FOX Sports report indicated the Indians are now taking offers for Cliff Lee. Last I heard, the Indians were still operating under the mindset that they’d have to be completely overwhelmed to deal the reigning Cy Young Award winner for the second year in a row. They have an affordable $9 million option on Lee and no other viable options to lead their rotation in 2010. But you never say never.
  • I know this much: If Lee is traded this year, that would be a tough sell to the fan base.
  • Masa Kobayashi gave up the game-winning run in the 13th inning of Columbus’ 8-7 loss to Durham on Sunday. Kobayashi, still getting paid $3 million for this season, has allowed seven runs on 23 hits with seven walks since his ousting to Triple-A.
  • On the bright side, catcher Wyatt Toregas has hit .327 (16-for-49) with three doubles, three homers and eight RBIs over his last 15 games.
  • Brantley leads the International League with 29 stolen bases.
  • Down at Double-A Akron, 1B Beau Mills has heated up. He’s driven in 10 runs over his last eight games.
  • OF Nick Weglarz was named the Eastern League player of the week. He’s reached base safely in 22 straight games, going 23-for-71 with 19 walks, five homers and 21 RBIs in that span.
  • While the AL as a whole posted a .569 winning percentage against the NL in the last two years of Interleague Play, the Indians were going 11-25.
  • More than 20 former Indians players will take part in the 2010 Fantasy Camp, set to take place Jan. 16-23 in Goodyear, Ariz. Among those scheduled to take part are Bob Feller, Rick Manning, Jim “Mudcat” Grant, Carlos Baerga, Scott Bailes, Len Barker, Dave Burba, Brook Jacoby, Mike Hargrove, Charles Nagy and Cory Snyder. Fans can register by calling (216) 420-HITS or visiting the “Fans” section at Indians.com.

~AC

UPDATE: Apparently, an effort is being made to land Shaq to throw out a ceremonial first pitch sometime this week. I’ll let you know if it becomes official.

UPDATE No. 2: Someone commented on Victor Martinez being listed as an infielder on the roster on Indians.com. I pointed this out to the people who control such things, and it’s been changed. He’s once again listed under catchers, so you can get some sleep tonight.

35 Comments

Hey, AC, I don’t know how these things work, but I’ve read elsewhere that there’s some magical date that the Tribe might be waiting for as far as LaPorta’s eligibility and options and contracts and things like that. I have no idea what it all means, but that’s what I’ve read elsewhere. I also have no idea when that magical date is, when they can call him up and it doesn’t effect what they do with him in the future.

I noticed in your fourth paragraph, you have “sued” instead of “used”. Just thought I’d point it out…

Sued to spell Grady Sizemore, eh? Like some wacky judge sentences them to switch jobs? Seems like I’ve seen that movie already…

And I believe that a player’s arbitration and then free agent status is determined by MLB service time. Once the player is called up, his clock begins ticking with each day in the bigs. After three years, they are arbitration eligible, and after six, are free agents. Thats why teams like to keep big prospects stashed if they can, so they can delay his service time, and control him longer. Basically.

Oh, yeah. Chris Perez is a perfect fit for this ‘pen. I’m stoked.

Classic.
Just…classic.

Well, the trade for Chris perez looks like it’s going to be a good one, 4 runs in 2/3 of an inning. Why does management continue to make these “great trades”. Shapiro needs to go along with Wedge, neither has a clue as to what they are doing. They have ruined this team that looks destined for last place in the AL.

Aw, c’mon, wahoo0752, where’s your sense of humor? If you can’t laugh about it at this point, you’re going to kill yourself.

The judge decreed that Ben Francisco be Grady Sizemore’s butler. I smell a sitcom.

Better to look at it this way: Pavano goes 7 innings, only gives up 2 runs, and strikes out 6 — that’s trade value, baby!
Maybe we can get the next Chris Perez!

I don’t blame Chris Perez. I’m sure he was nervous. He did throw some good pitches, but just wasn’t focused. I’m sure he will be a great acquisition. I also heard that Francisco Samuel and Jess Todd (the closers in the Cardinals’ AA and AAA) were possible players in the pool for the PTBNL. Don’t hold me to that.

I’m sure we will, we always seem to give up the steak to get hamburger helper.

Funny coincidence, I just had Hamburger Helper for dinner. I had steak last night. Both got the job done. No need to complain about what was in front of me.

I’ll say this much for Chris Perez’ debut: if you can’t get outs, the next best thing is to throw at White Sox. It’s a surefire formula to endear yourself to Tribe fans everywhere. ;)

Thank you Castrovince for the changes to the catcher section, much appreciated.

Okay I figured out C. Perez he hits two walks a third and scares the he!! out of the rest of the lineup. Man I was scared and I was in my living room lol.

I think “A bit wild” is an understatement. I hope folks are right and he was just nervous, though I have seen nervous pitchers hit batters in the arm go over the head, behind the player, but yeah…

Thank you Castrovince for the changes to the catcher section, much appreciated.

Okay I figured out C. Perez he hits two walks a third and scares the he!! out of the rest of the lineup. Man I was scared and I was in my living room lol.

I think “A bit wild” is an understatement. I hope folks are right and he was just nervous, though I have seen nervous pitchers hit batters in the arm go over the head, behind the player, but yeah…

Welcome aboard Chris!!!
no need to make waves and show up your new mates.

So if anyone on the team still has a sense of humor, they should give Chris his very own Ricky Vaughn style black-rimmed glasses for his next appearance…

I am not defending Perez by any means, but he only appeared in 8 games for the Cards in the month of June. So he was certainly not ready tonight…Wow.

tribe4me, that is a top-notch idea.

Anyway, let’s not get ridiculous and say the trade is a bust already.

And Rick Vaughn went on to win the World Series… maybe there is still hope? :-)

AC – I totally agree. Garko should never be in the outfield again. Period.

Any news on Fausto Carmona? Today would be the 5th day since he pitched quite well for the Lake County Captains.

Fausto is supposed to pitch on the road for Akron this week. I cant remember which day exactly.

LaPorta should be in left every day. Brantley should not get called up until September. Hitting .259 at AAA does not get you a midseason call-up. He is still very young, and needs more playing time at the AAA level before he gets any kind of shot at regular PT in the majors. We can see where he is in September, and in spring training next year. BenFran is a 4th outfielder/platoon player, no more than that at this point. And why is Kelly Shoppach anyone’s personal catcher? Does it gives Cliff Lee some sort of boost between innings to watch him whiff three times? With the way he’s hitting and striking out, he needs be scaled to the typical back-up catcher. He should work day games after night games, one half of a doubleheader, etc. Wedge (assuming he’s still the manager by the time I finish this) needs to carve into stone line-ups against lefties and righties, and stick to them, barring injury. This versatility stuff is way overrated. The only thing the Indians have been versatile at is their manner of losing games. And, after all of this criticism of the Tribe……….I still really believe they have a shot (a long-shot, but not an unrealistic one), of really making noise in this division. Really. I like having the two lefties (Perez and Sipp) here, and I think they should both stay (Gosling is probably gone as soon as Betancourt is healthy). After Kerry Wood, a Joe Smith, Rafael Betancourt, Chris Perez, and Jose Veras stable of righties is actually pretty solid. There are a lot of if’s (Jake Westbrook, Betancourt, Travis Hafner), but IF the injured players return to contribute, IF the team leaders play like they have in the not-so-distant past (Grady Sizemore, Hafner, Fausto Carmona, Wood, even Shoppach), they can make a run in a fairly weak division. If the Tigers run out to 95 wins, forget it. But if 85-87 wins takes the division, don’t be surprised if the Indians are right there.

leonard, you are a devoted, delusional fan. I will give you that much. We are 16 games under .500 so perhaps we all should be happy for the few wins we get and look for alternative avenues to create conversation… i.e. trade speculation and the organzational favorite prospect watching.

I know, I know. But I can’t stop thinking that a healthy Tribe is just as good or better than the Tigers. The Indians starters have had some brights spots, but have been either inconsistent or on the DL. The Tigers have been pitching out their minds all season (Edwin Jackson?!?), and I just keep waiting for the bubble to burst. If their (Cleveland’s) pitchers get healthy and pitch well in July, and they can whittle this 12 game lead down to 6 or 7 by the trade deadline series with Detroit (they play six times by August 2), maybe they can sustain it until the end of the season? I know it’s wishful thinking, but I doesn’t seem as impossible when you factor in that they play each other 12 more times this year. Maybe the Tribe takes 9 or 10? Unlikely, but what if?

Hey I thought Perez looked… well… nervous? Those two pitches that he nailed guys were breaking balls that he just overthrew. I thought he made good pitches to Thome, but missed just enough to walk him. Once he loaded the bases with no outs on no hits I think the situation just got the best of him. I’m not ready to call the trade a bust yet. The fans gave him an earful.

leonard71, you make some good point and I applaud your optimism. I don’t really share it (aside from that little spot in my brain that remembers when the A’s won 21 games in a row), but I do appreciate it.

Its very nice and good article but i have no much introduction about this..but sentence is very clear. but i want to know who is Jr.

Griffey is not here, but very nice post, i would like to read this blog regularly. Thanks
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thanks for including the two updates later on after publishing the article
Adam @ financial help

I’ve been reading a lot of your articles and still not getting tired! Great job!

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Hey I thought Perez looked… well… nervous? Those two pitches that he nailed guys were breaking balls that he just overthrew. I thought he made good pitches to Thome, but missed just enough to walk him. Once he loaded the bases with no outs on no hits I think the situation just got the best of him. I’m not ready to call the trade a bust yet. The fans gave him an earful. casino online

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