"Ruth, Gehrig, DiMaggio, Mantle… Costanza?!"

If you’re like me, you are eagerly anticipating the big-league promotion of Jose “Can’t Stand Ya” Constanza, who is currently at Double-A Akron.

The day that transaction takes place, we can say “Con-stanza!” in “By Mennen” cadence every time he comes to the plate. When he makes a mistake, we can say, “And you want to be my latex salesman?” And when he’s asked to bounce around between multiple spots in the outfield, we can say, “A Jose, divided against itself, cannot stand!”

But until that day, Constanza remains a prospect to watch. And he’s not the only one, as the Tribe’s farm system has been boosted considerably by last month’s trades.

With that in mind, let’s check in with the new guys, shall we?

RHP Carlos Carrasco (Cliff Lee trade): As mentioned yesterday, Carrasco tossed an eight-inning gem at Indy on Tuesday and is now 3-0 with a 4.29 ERA in three starts since the trade. He’s struck out 21 and walked three in 21 innings.

C Lou Marson (Lee trade): In nine games with Columbus, Marson is batting .333 (11-for-33) with a pair of RBIs, three walks and four strikeouts.

SS Jason Donald (Lee trade): Donald is about two months removed from knee surgery and still struggling at the plate. He’s 6-for-31 with 10 strikeouts and three walks at Triple-A Columbus.

LHP Scott Barnes (Ryan Garko trade): Barnes made his Double-A debut last night and tossed five innings, allowing a pair of runs on four hits with no walks and six strikeouts in a victory over Connecticut. Barnes is now 1-0 with a 2.55 ERA in five starts since joining the organization. He made four starts with Class A Kinston.

RHP Connor Graham (Rafael Betancourt trade): Graham is 0-1 with a 4.38 ERA in three appearances, including two starts, at Akron. He’s struck out 14 and walked 11 in 12 1/3 innings.

RHP Bryan Price (Victor Martinez trade): Has made two starts at Class A Kinston, going 2-0 with a 1.50 ERA. He’s struck out nine and walked three in 12 innings.

LHP Nick Hagadone (Martinez trade): Made his second appearance for Class A Lake County last night, allowing a pair of runs on one hit with two walks and three strikeouts in 2 2/3 innings. He’s still limited from a pitch count standpoint because he’s about 14 months removed from Tommy John surgery.

RHP Jason Knapp (Lee trade): Made his organizational debut Tuesday at Lake County, allowing two runs (one earned) on one hit with two walks and two strikeouts over two innings. He missed about a month of action with arm fatigue.

And on the opposite end of the spectrum, what have the former members of the Tribe been up to?

Mark DeRosa, Cardinals: Is batting just .216 in 27 games with the Cards. Eight of his 21 hits have been homers, and he’s struck out 27 times.

Rafael Betancourt, Rockies: Has logged eight scoreless appearances covering 6 1/3 innings since the trade. He’s allowed just two hits and two walks.

Ryan Garko, Giants: Has tailed off at the plate, batting .225 (9-for-40) with a triple and three RBIs in 13 games.

Cliff Lee, Phillies: He gets the starting nod this afternoon at Wrigley Field. It will be his first start in seven days because of an off day and Pedro Martinez joining the Phillies’ rotation. Lee is 2-0 with a 1.12 ERA since the trade, striking out 15 and walking three in 16 innings.

Ben Francisco, Phillies: Has played nine games with his new club, batting .261 (6-for-23) with a pair of homers and four RBIs.

Victor Martinez, Red Sox: Had the five-hit, four-RBIs outburst against the Orioles on Aug. 2. On the whole, he’s 12-for-46 with two homers and eight RBIs.

Carl Pavano, Twins: Drove from Cleveland to Detroit to start for the Twins on Saturday and tossed a gem. Gave up no runs on five hits over seven innings to get the win over the Tigers, then drove back to Cleveland to pack up his belongings and move to Minnesota. He’s pitching today against the Royals.

EXCRUCIATING MINUTIA OF THE DAY…

  • The Indians made another trade today, but this one shouldn’t require explanations to the fanbase from ownership and the front office. Infielder Andy Cannizaro, who was on the disabled list at Columbus, was sent to the White Sox for cash. He joins the Charlotte roster.
  • Asdrubal Cabrera’s .310 average, entering today, ranks 12th in the AL. He’s batting .344 with eight doubles, two triples, three homers and 10 RBIs over his last 20 games. Today marked his second start in the No. 3 spot of the order.
  • Omar Vizquel has been impressed with what he’s seen from Cabrera this series. “Somebody with the kind of talent he has and who is from my country and wearing my number makes me proud,” Vizquel said.
  • Cabrera and Luis Valbuena seem to get more comfortable playing alongside each other by the day. “They really fit well together,” Eric Wedge said. “And they’re two of the most vocal guys we have here. They’re not afraid to speak up. I like that.”
  • Short-season Mahoning Valley has the best record (34-19) in the New York-Penn League and has placed five players on the league’s All-Star team. Three are Draft picks from this year (infielder Kyle Smith, outfielder Jordan Henry and right-hander Corey Burns), while two are Draft picks from ’08 (right-handers Marty Popham and Clayton Cook). Travis Fryman will manage the NYPL AL squad.
  • Keep your eye on Class A Kinston OF Tim Fedroff, a seventh-round selection in last year’s Draft. Fedroff is riding a 12-game hitting streak and is batting .379 with seven doubles, a homer and 11 RBIs since July 3.
  • The new Indians.com toolbar might be of interest to you.
  • Same drill this weekend as last weekend, as the blog will be in shutdown mode. On the Indians.com site on Monday, Matt O’Donnell will have a profile of Justin Masterson that allows us to get to know the Indians’ newest starter, and I’ll have another edition of the Inbox.

~AC

13 Comments

seeing Choo strike out with 1 out and runners on 2nd and 3rd (the tying and go-ahead runs) I wanted to point out that while Choo has a .298 overall BA, his 52 SO in 193 AB and .269 BA with runners on leaves more to be desired. Without a doubt this next statement will be in the severe minority: Choo is not as productive as we all think.

WHY is Gimenez playing? No stick.

I’m waiting for Constanza to join Niuman Romero with the Clippers…

AM, you’re not wrong, and I think it’s because of where they’ve got him in the order. He seems more concerned with driving in runs than getting on base these days.
I have a question for anyone and everyone regarding the September call-ups and how that works. I understand that our roster expands, but we don’t suddenly start playing more games in the month, right? We’re not playing doubleheaders every day or anything, yes?
So my question, then, is this: if there’s no room on the roster NOW for a guy like LaPorta, someone would have to LOSE starts to get him on the field on a regular basis, correct? And, if that’s the case, why wouldn’t we just do that NOW?
The same applies to Carrasco. If we want the guy to get regular starts (for a month) in the bigs, someone is going to have to lose starts, right? So what happens to those players — they just sit on the bench?
And, if we’re really out of it in September and we do call up all these players, why should we keep playing Grady instead of sending him off to have surgery?

Going with AC’s theory on our rotation next year (which I agree with) of Carmona, a healthy Westbrook, Masterson, and Laffey, it will be really interesting to see how that last spot plays out, particularly if Rondon keeps pitching like he has in Columbus.
His line tonight is misleading, since he gave up 4 runs in 6.2 IP, but only 1 of those runs was earned. He also had 7 K’s, which brings his total in AAA to 42 in 41.2 IP. He’s actually LOWERED his ERA since getting promoted to AAA.
I don’t think he’s get called up at any point this year, which I think is for the best. There’s no reason to rush him. I do think, however, that he could be a serious contender for the #5 spot next season, and looks like he has potential ace type stuff.

Rough game tonight. It was hard to watch the young guys, Masterson and Todd, struggle like that. I really like Masterson, and I know tonight was not a true reflection of his capabilities. At least he got his work in though, and got closer to being totally stretched out into a starter. The highlight of the night was definitely Wedge getting ejected. Him and the ump were just goin at… great TV.

The Tribe has so many catching options it isn’t funny. With Santana hitting .290 20 HR, 84 RBI in the minors, why not promote him to AAA? Marson who we acquired is also hot in the minors. Why not call him up. That will get rid of Giminez. i hate him.
http://tribewithted.mlblogs.com/

LACF, the point of leaving Laporta and Carrasco in AAA now is that they’ll continue to play full time. In September, the Columbus season is over, so they wouldn’t otherwise be playing at all. They probably go to a 6 man rotation or maybe end Laffey’s season early and Carrasco and Rondon each get a start or two, and Laporta gets a few more ABs … The infatuation with Gimenez is hilarious because I know in seasons past that one of the Wedge/Shapiro spring training mantras is “we don’t look just at what the guy does during spring training, we look at the whole package” — used as justification for dumping Brandon Philips after he had a great spring, and others, but with Gimenez, they are obviously ignoring everything the guy’s ever done at any level and only paying attention to what he did in 28 ABs in spring. But then Aubrey hit .455 in spring, and no one cared. I really think Wedge lets personal feelings for players get in the way, he must LIKE Gimenez, just like he didn’t like Philips, Marte, Aubrey, etc. (Fortunately, Wedge seems to like Valbuena) I’m not sure now that Gimenez is even a viable backup, sure he can play a bunch of positions, but Torregas or Marson would be a better backup catcher, and Crowe would be a better backup outfielder, and Marte would be a better backup 1B … speaking of catchers, what’s the deal with Shoppach? Can they trade him in the off season, or is he a free agent? I know I’m in the minority of Cleveland fans on this, but I think he’s a valuable player, given a full season he’ll hit .250 with 30 HRs and 100 RBIs. Even this year, if you project his stats to 550 ABs, he’d have 27 HRs and 90 RBI (and over 200 SOs, but whatever), with the .351 OBP. I think the BA, HR rate and RBIs go up if he’s playing every day like he was last year, and the SOs go down a bit, to Ryan Howard levels at least.

Shoppach is the best backup catcher in baseball. Keep him there. Go Tribe! Bring up Marson.
http://tribewithted.mlblogs.com/

it’s slightly disconcerting that the Indians may be one of those teams that do not sign their #1 draft pick for what amounts to a range of about $1.7M to $2.3M. The kid turns 21 later this month, has a good track record and plays at an elite university against top talent. I do find it coincidental that the so-called knock on this guy is the same as Carrasco: they pitch off their average secondary off-speed repertoire rather than their plus-fastball. I understand why the guy is holding at $2M plus because of the players selected behind him that were signed above slot.

perhaps it’s because we announced hours after drafting him that his future was in our bullpen. it’s like Goldmen Sacks recruiting a top economist out of business school and telling him he’s on the fast track to the mailroom.
I don’t blame him

joey, I don’t particularly remember if they said that he’d be a reliever in our organization without question. I seem to remember hearing Shapiro use his age old mantra that his fastest track to the majors would be as a reliever. Perhaps you are correct though. Either way we have about 50 minutes before the dust settles and we won’t sign this guy b/c I don’t think they will.

That’s what I’m saying, isavage. Unless they shutdown Laffey or bench Gimenez, the call-ups aren’t going to get regular playing time. It’s one thing for pitchers, but the idea of bringing up LaPorta AGAIN and not getting him in every day isn’t exactly thrilling. And, of course, there’s the fact that we don’t know where they’d even play him — or does Marte have until the end of the month to prove he belongs?

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