Fireworks are hailin' over Little Eden tonight

By Anthony Castrovince/MLB.com
http://castrovince.mlblogs.com
http://www.twitter.com/castrovince  

fireworks2.jpg 
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fireworks3.jpgMan, this recession is brutal. Hope you enjoyed this year’s budget-conscious installment of the Rock ‘N Blast Fireworks.

I kid, I kid. The real thing takes place postgame. As for pregame, here are your news and notes.

EXCRUCIATING MINUTIA OF THE DAY…

  • Kelly Shoppach at DH? Believe it. Travis Hafner was in need of one of his routine days off, Shoppach is 13-for-his-last-41 (.317 average) and the Mariners have a left-handed starter on the mound in Luke French. “It was a good opportunity to get [Shoppach's] bat in there,” Eric Wedge said.
  • Really impressive bounceback start for Justin Masterson last night after a rough one in Minnesota last week. “He has a nice tempo to him,” Wedge said. “Obviously, he’s big and strong, and he does a good job mixing in his changeup, breaking ball and slider. He’s consistent with his command. There are a lot of good things we saw.”
  • I was surprised to see Masterson allotted 110 pitches already. He threw 83 in his previous outing, 61 in his first start and 46 in his last relief appearance.
  • Left-hander Scott Lewis made his first start with Triple-A Columbus last night, and it was a brief one. Lewis gave up four runs on five hits with a walk and two strikeouts in two innings. To clear up Lewis’ injury situation, he has calcium deposits on his ligaments in his left elbow, and that’s causing him discomfort that he’s going to have to pitch through. Lewis was activated from the 60-day DL and optioned to Columbus earlier this week. He’s certainly a candidate to come off the 40-man in the coming months.
  • Wedge heaped praise on Jamey Carroll today, calling him “invaluable” to this team. “He’s a consummate pro,” Wedge said. “He’s somebody his teammates can look to for guidance. In a season that’s been very hectic, he’s been the one constant.” Wedge compared Carroll to Casey Blake, in terms of clubhouse presence and the willingness to take up any position at any time.
  • Wedge said it’s too early to determine which positions are locked up for next year, though obviously Grady Sizemore, Peralta, Shin-Soo Choo and Asdrubal Cabrera are solidified at their spots. As for the other spots, “We’re going to hold off until we watch these young kids for another five or six weeks,” Wedge said. “I think we have to.”
  • It seems fairly obvious that C Lou Marson, one of the acquisitions in the Cliff Lee trade, will be a September callup. “I want to see him myself at some point in time,” Wedge said. “The reports have been consistent on him.” Marson has hit in 11 of 14 games since the trade, batting .360 along the way.
  • Speaking of trade acquisitions, right-hander Bryan Price, one of the Victor Martinez acquisitions, had a rough one at Class A Kinston last night. He gave up eight runs on eight hits, including three homers, in two innings. He is now 3-7 with a 6.10 ERA on the season at the Class A level.
  • Three other recent acquisitions — Carlos Carrasco (Columbus), Connor Graham (Akron) and Jason Knapp (Lake County) — are all making starts tonight.
  • The Indians and Dick’s Sporting Goods helped out 32 members of the Boys and Girls Club’s Lorain and Cleveland branches this morning with the annual “Shop With A Pro” event in Crocker Park. Each kid was given a $100 gift card and was accompanied by a Tribe player. David Huff, Jhonny Peralta, Chris Gimenez, Jeremy Sowers, Aaron Laffey, Trevor Crowe, Tony Sipp and Wyatt Toregas all took part. “They all used their money so wisely,” Gimenez said. “They were so conscious of how much stuff costs. I had a lot of fun with them. I got a kick out of it.”
  • HQ1F1991.jpgIn another community endeavor this afternoon, the Tribe gave a $150,270 check to the Cleveland Baseball Federation to honor Cleveland’s Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities (RBI) tournament teams. The senior girls team ages 15-19 finished runner-up to Hawaii in the World Series championship game, which will be aired this Sunday at 1 p.m. on MLB Network.
  • One last community note: The Tomo Ohka Dream Tour appears to be a success. The four disadvantaged children Ohka invited to the States from Japan have attended Tribe games and visited Berea Children’s Home and Family Services today. Tomorrow, they’ll visit Amish Country, which ought to be a unique experience for them. Smiles abound as they watched BP on field today. Ohka, who came from a single-parent home, has been doing this tour for nine years.
  • The best thing about the Dream Tour? The Japanese kids aren’t forced to sleep in somebody’s dresser, hunt for celebrities from the “Super Terrific Happy Hour” or eat nothing but oranges. (And if you don’t get the reference, I don’t know what to tell you.)
  • The Tribe’s home and road records are currently identical — 26-34.
  • Still waiting for a homer at home. It’s been nine games – the longest such stretch since the end of the 1991 season. The Indians have hit 49 homers in 60 home games this season, while their opponents have hit 50.
  • Add Dan Mendlik of the Indians’ information systems department to the growing list of those committed to the Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band show at the Q in November. The show is just 81 days away, not that I’m counting.

~AC

14 Comments

Well, I hope Tomo at least bought them cowboy hats, though perhaps he understands the yen to dollar conversion rate better and won’t make them spend all of their money.

If there is a concert I really want to go to, I try not to get my hopes way high or go in expecting too much, as that sometimes leaves me disappointed, so may I ask, you seem awfully excited, has the Boss ever left you feeling disappointed? Or is any Bruce show better than no Bruce show?

I would hope that this is Huff’s final start. What, exactly, is the point? I’m not sure under what scenario Huff would actually even be considered for the rotation next year. If Westbrook returns, I’d put Huff 7th or 8th in line. Rondon’s done about all he can do to earn a spot at this point, as long as he doesn’t bomb in spring training he should be in there next year, and Carrasco has more upside than Huff

Yeah, that’s got to be it until next year for Huff. While Sowers has looked better as of late, it seems clear that he can’t go more than four innings at a time. Perhaps these two should compete for the long relief job next year.
In other news, what power does Matt LaPorta have over Andy Marte? Notice that Marte was great in AAA this year — what changed? He’s been hitting the ball well the last two nights — what changed? Matt LaPorta is magic!
Knapp went 4 IP, just 1 ER, but 3 BB to go with his 3 K’s.
Graham’s line is really impressive: 7 IP, 1 ER, 0 BB, 6 K’s.
Carrasco not great, but still good: 6.2 IP, 3 ER, 1 BB, 6 K’s. I don’t know if anyone else has noticed, but Carrasco is a freaking strike out machine. He’s got 33 in 35.1 IP.
If Westbrook does return next year, it should be interesting to see how the rotation pans out.

AC, so you think Peralta is around for the next wave? Even with his $12 million price tag (or just under, rather, for next year and his option year)? You don’t think there’s a chance they deal him to free that up, especially if Marte starts hitting?

hey AC what are my chances bruce will play the song “loose ends” at the concert if i make a sign for it.

hey AC what are my chances bruce will play the song “loose ends” at the concert if i make a sign for it?

while I have said that Carroll is dispensable and also a consummate professional, when Eric Wedge calls him “invaluable” I get frightened that Jamey will be back next season stealing ABs away from others that particularly need them. Once again, our future is in the kids, not a 36 year old utility guy for 2010. God, I hate Wedge and his favoritism.

comparing Carroll to Casey Blake only supports my long ago argument that Wedge prefers veteran guys, despite coming through the ranks with young guys because he is ********** that his career never matriculated into what it was supposed to be. He loves the career minor leaguer who gets a shot and it sticks. He loves the utility guys claiming that we need their versatility and leadership. CARROLL IS PLAYING WELL AND WORTH SOMETHING on the open market right now. Cut the cord Eric. He’s not your son nor is he your future.

oops, I guess you can’t say p.o.’ed

Just to answer the Q is any Bruce show better than no Bruce show? After seeing him about 25 times, there are only two kinds of Bruce shows, Great and Greater. I’m seeing him tonight and tomorrow night at the Comcast Center in Mansfield MA and the shows will be either great or greater than the ones before. The Boss Never disappoints. Being in Boston, it’s still hard to see Vic in a Sox uniform.

Kelly Shoppach should never, under any circumstance, be in a lineup as a DH. Never ever.

What are the odds that Marte cracks the lineup tonight? 4-7 with 3 RBIs in the past 2 games, he deserves to be benched, with Gimenez getting the start. And yes joeybelle, wouldn’t last night have been a good opportunity to put Marte in at 3B, and DH Peralta?

savagetruth, how dare you use logic when talking about the Indians? Logic has no place here. We just want you to grind it out.

AC, I agree. Why have Masterson throw 110 pitches. Another stupid Wedge move.

The Indians better dump Wedge. Otherwise they will lose more than 50% of their current season ticket sales for next year.

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