8/22: Indians vs. Mariners

Tonight’s 7:05 p.m. ET game will be broadcast on WTAM and STO.

cle4.gifINDIANS (52-69):
CF Grady Sizemore, SS Asdrubal Cabrera, RF Shin-Soo Choo, 3B Jhonny Peralta, DH Travis Hafner, 2B Luis Valbuena, C Kelly Shoppach, LF Matt LaPorta, 1B Andy Marte. LHP Aaron Laffey (7-3, 3.38).



sea4.gifMARINERS (63-59):
RF Ichiro Suzuki, CF Franklin Gutierrez, 2B Jose Lopez, DH Mike Sweeney, 1B Russell Branyan, 3B Bill Hall, C Kenji Johjima, SS Josh Wilson, LF Michael Saunders. RHP Doug Fister (1-0, 1.93).


Nice! I was hoping Ichiro would play steady-outfielder tonight!

Nice – the LaPorta/Marte combo lives on for another game! I’d rather they were higher in the order, but I’ll take what I can get. Here’s hoping they continue to hit.

I would’ve lost money on that one, thought for sure Gimenez would be playing 1b … are Shapiro and Wedge getting, like, smarter or something? Jordan Brown just came off the DL at Columbus today, how about putting Hafner on the DL and calling him up? Is that too … smart? Also noticed that Jason Donald is on the DL with Columbus, anyone know what the deal is with him?

Give it a break…. you guys should really consider applying for front office jobs in Cleveland with the baseball genius you’ve apparently been blessed with.

Maybe if they hired you it would put an end to the non-stop negative comments that show up on a DAILY basis around here. Go upstairs and punch your Chief Wahoo pillow until you’re out of breath, then sit down, take a deep breath, open a beer, and watch the game like a fan.

Yes, savagetruth, how dare you make suggestions about a team you care about. How dare you suggest that they take a top performer in AAA and use him to replace an injury guy in the majors!
Non-stop negative comments? We’re actually incredibly balanced around here, unlike most places.
In other words, back in your cave, troll. How’s that for negative?

Look man, I’m just sayin’, not trolling. It’s pretty obvious if you and savage were making the decisions who would be in the lineup and who wouldn’t (one only needs to read the comment sections). Would we be that much better off? I doubt it.

And I thought that was a POSITIVE comment … before this year, there weren’t really too many decisions this team made that I felt negatively about. I can remember once when Charlie Manuel pinch hit Russell Branyan for Omar Vizquel in a game against Minnesota when they were trailing by 1 with 1 out and a guy on and Robbie Alomar due up next. Even before Branyan struck out I thought it was an incredibly stupid decision, that at the very least Omar would advance the runner, and then Alomar got a hit, but they didn’t score because the guy was still on first, and that was enough for me to want Manuel gone. But this year, there are just too many things to question about Wedge’s, and strangely, Shapiro’s, decision making. I would love to have Charlie Manuel back managing the team. I’d rather have Manny Ramirez, or Albert Belle managing this team than Eric wedge (maybe Manny can manage and Albert could be the pitching coach, he’d probably do just as well as Willis, he’d could just threaten to punch Carmona in the face if he walked more than 2 batters per 9 innings) Wedge makes decisions on a nightly basis that are indefensible … sending Masterson out when he’d already thrown 100 pitches, sending Laffey out tonight, DHing Shoppach, I could go back pretty much every game and find something idiotic. As a fan, it’s annoying to watch. Once they start making more intelligent decisions, I’ll stop feeling annoyed and commenting about these annoying, obviously bad decisions

and yes, we would be better off if I made these decisions. We’d be better if any sane person were in charge. I can name 5 games off the top of my head where Wedge did something that made me smash my head against a wall, and know that it was a terrible decision. Yankees game early in the year, pulling Pavano when leading by 2 runs and sending in R Perez of all pitchers, and then after he predictably lets 2 guys on, and putting Jensen I’ve Given Up A Home Run Every Time I’ve Pitch Lewis in to … guess what, give up a 3-run homer. Putting same Rafael Perez in against Toronto a couple weeks later, to do much the same thing. Sending Huff out against the Angels about 3 weeks ago in the 8th leading by 2 runs when Huff had already thrown over 100 pitches. Opening the season with Masa Kobayashi on the pitching staff, instead of Chulk. Keeping Perez on the staff when he was letting more than 50% of the guys he faced on base. Keeping Jensen Lewis on the staff when he gave up a home run every time he pitched. Playing Sizemore all year when he was injured and ineffective. I, and any sane person, would have done none of these things, and you can’t tell me the Indians wouldn’t be better off for it.

nm, you are the definition of a troll. You’ve never posted here before or, if you have, you’ve done if very, very rarely, and the one time you do, you insult one of the regulars. That’s a troll.
For that matter, nearly every single person who posts in AC’s comments’ section make suggestions or gives their opinions on the line-ups. Heck, even AC himself has been known throw a remark into his blog from time to time.
Besides, I don’t think it’s particularly negative to suggest things like, say, pulling are injured guys (Hanfer and Sizemore) so they can get healthy for next year as opposed to risking further injury by playing in games that don’t matter — particularly when pulling them now opens up room for the next generation to get time in the majors.
We don’t make negative comments around here unless they’re warranted.

Just voicing my opinion there too, LACF. Don’t act like the “regulars” (there’s a high and mighty title) are the only one’s allowed to do so. Besides, you’re the guy getting all defensive about it, and I wasn’t even talking to you in my op. I didn’t want to incite an argument for my own amusement (as a troll would do). I’ve commented a few times before, and I’m not heartbroken you can’t remember. Back off.

Savage: I’m with you on a lot of points (roster, specifically), but to me those in-game decisions are coin-flips. The WHOLE bullpen was a wreck for the first half. It didn’t matter who was sent out there at that point, every coin-flip would have come up tails. Who could have seen that situation coming though, Wedge certainly didn’t (with good reason, a lot of those guys were set for promising seasons). It’s really easy to criticize all that at this point, hindsight is 20/20. I think on these boards the management gets an unfair amount of blame for what I see as an even mix of some questionable decisions and underperforming talent. Do you think Wedge foresaw the huge drop off in Shoppach/Perez/Carmona/Sizemore/Kobayashi etc etc? How about the disappointment of Wood/Marte/Peralta’s position change? Let’s face it, the competitive window was shut before this season began, it’s just recently become apparent. That’s not all Wedge’s fault, heck you could even say that underperforming forced Wedge into creative decisions that turned out questionable. The point is, we are where we are, and I honestly believe we are headed in the right direction for 2011. I just don’t agree with your assessment of Wedge making a move you agree with as “getting, like, smarter or something”.

How is “regulars” a high and mighty title? That’s just baffling.
And I never said you couldn’t express your opinion, I called you out for insulting another one of the posters. And while your comments were obviously directed at savagetruth, you used him as a blanket example of everyone else who criticizes this organization. You actually said “you guys.”
Feel free to say what you want about the line-ups, about Wedge, about Shapiro, etc. I’ve yet to make any statement on your opinions on those things. But I DO have a problem with you going off on a tangent (speaking of acting high and mighty) on those who are voicing their views on what this team should or shouldn’t be doing.
And, again, most of the time someone posts something negative about the Indians on this blog, it’s justified. Most of the people who post here don’t just yell “fire Wedge” without giving well thought out reasons for saying it.

I disagree, certainly the individual performances have been lacking (not Peralta’s, he’s hitting about like he always does, everyone just seems to forget every year that for Peralta, batting .220 is a GOOD April), and while I don’t think they’d currently be in first place with a different manager, I definitely think they pick up about 6 games if they make better roster moves, lineup and in-game decisions. You never know though, look at the run the Rockies went on after they changed managers. The “dropoff” in Sizemore’s production is due to an injury which they foolishly had him play through, just like they foolishly had Victor and Hafner play through theirs last year. I have no idea how Jordan Brown would perform, but how do you defend calling up Gimenez, when Gimenez plays the same positions as Brown, but is batting a full 100 points lower at AAA? We all saw Kobayashi’s failure coming a mile away. I complained about the trade they made for Derosa the day they made it, because they traded away bullpen depth (and because it meant they were leaving Jhonny at SS). As soon as they finally sent R Perez and Lewis down, the bullpen was solid for about a month. As far as in-game decisions, you can say it’s a coin flip, but if I HAD to take Pavano out of that Yankees game due to pitch count, I’d have opened the 7th inning with Lewis, not Perez. Lewis was at least getting guys out. If he gave up a solo HR, they would’ve still been ahead. It’s not hindsight, I’m thinking of games where I, and I’m sure most fans who were watching, saw them make a move and we were sure at the time that it was going to backfire, and it did. As far as lineups, the Garko/Shoppach/Martinez juggling, and the weird refusal to play Derosa at his natural position, 2b (I like Valbuena, but at the time, a set infield of Peralta, Cabrera, Derosa, Garko with Victor catching except on Hafner off-days was obviously the best lineup, how much production and how many wins did this cost them?) … A final point as far as pitching production is concerned is that I think Carl Willis needs to go as pitching coach. The Indians have developed one pitcher, starter or reliever, who had success for more than half a year during Willis’s tenure: Cliff Lee. I can’t say that this is all Willis’s fault, but he’s certainly not HELPING anybody (Carmona, R Perez, J Lewis, Sowers, J Guthrie, Ed Mujica certainly have talent, right?) For all of these reasons, I 100% disagree that this team doesn’t compete for the weak AL Central crown with the players they have, if not for bad roster moves and Wedge’s management.

I thought of another bad talent evaluation/roster decision, Laffey, by far the Indians best starting pitcher this year, began the year in AAA? It didn’t matter much since S Lewis got hurt, but what does that say about these guys’ ability to evaluate talent? … If you disagree with any of what I’m saying, then feel free to make your own points about why Wedge/Shapiro’s decision making makes sense in these particular instances, and about why Carl Willis is the most awesome pitching coach ever. For now, I stand by my negativity as being the only rational reaction to the stupidity that I see emanating from this managerial staff (I am, however, strangely positive about this team’s future, especially since the Martinez trade, and think they CAN compete next year, though probably only if Wedge and Willis are gone … you never know though, maybe they can learn from their mistakes, so when Cabrera breaks his leg in spring training next year, they send him to the DL, instead of hoping he can play through it)

Dude, Laffey is an easy one. The front 4 of the rotation was bound to be Lee/Carmona/Pavano/Reyes. That left Lewis/Jackson/Sowers/Laffey for the 5th spot. They gave Laffey plenty of opportunities in spring training (5 starts, only 13 IP, 6.92 ERA). I duno how much more evaluation you need to do there. Laffey was just not that impressive this spring.
I’m not going to overly praise Carl Willis, but he has coached 2 Cy Young winners the last 2 years.

Actually, I’ll defend Laffey starting in AAA. He lost that last spot. He had a bad spring and started off even worse in AAA. I’ve got no problems with the fact that he didn’t get a spot he failed to earn during the competition.
But while I liked DeRosa well enough (and had no real problems with the trade at the time, considering how well both R. Perez and J. Lewis looked in the spring), the decision to keep Peralta at short was a bad one. The two weren’t mutually exclusive, though, as DeRosa is, by number of innings played, a second baseman. The fact that he was never moved over there is mind blowing to me.
And I will never stop questioning why Grady bats lead off, particularly when Cabrera has shown some talent for it — and we’ve lost a lot of our power this year. I can’t think of any scenario that would make sense next year that has Grady batting lead off.

Yes, Laffey had a 6.92 era in ST. But S Lewis had a 8.22 era. How did Lewis “earn” that spot?

NM, why did you put “only” next to Laffey’s 13 IP in ST? You do realize that SP are on limited pitch counts in ST? Lee “only” had 16.2 IP in 6 starts.

And as far as your first post, why would you think that the Indians are any smarter than us, based on their record of underperforming their talent level?

Everyone else saw the dropoff in Masa why didn’t Wedge? Masa was horrible the 2nd half of last year. He was horrible in ST. Yet because of the dumb 2 year contract given to him by Shapiro, Wedge kept throwing him out there.

One more thing on Masa. Why on earth did Wedge think that Masa could throw 44.1 IP in the first half of 08, and not have a huge dropoff in production, when the guy was only throwing 45 IP for a full season in Japan.

Savage Truth,
If you and LA Cleveland Fan have all the knowledge in the world, then you should become GM’s. Cuz you know who should be called up and who shouldn’t be. Cuz your right. And don’t double team ohio.edu. He is trying to keep it steady here with you guys shouting and screaming at the Indians. Mark Shapiro is one of the best Gm’s and will make the right move at the right time, he always does. So go punch your chief wahoo pillow and LA Cleveland Fan can go and learn more about the Indians. How do you follow them from LA?

I’m not exactly sure how they picked that 5th rotation guy. I probably would have gone with Sowers out of the group. As the season progressed, it was an inconsequential decision anyway the way our rotation shook up time and time again. To me, the most puzzling move was Laffey’s experiment in the bullpen. I think that was a major part to why he got injured earlier in the year. Speaking of injuries, why doesn’t anybody flick crap at Lonnie Soloff (head athletic trainer, I think that’s his name)? He’s supposed to be the guy keeping these players in shape and on the field, and his track record is atrocious the past few years.

With the Indians bringing up Carrasco, they will get a good look of him before next season, and can decide whether he will stay or go back down. Good call-up Eric Wedge!🙂 Also, Lou Marson is expected to be a call up. That makes since because Wyatt Toregas hasn’t showed much in his 30 or so AB’s.

I personally would’ve picked Laffey over S Lewis, even without the injury I didn’t think Lewis had the stuff to be successful in the majors, that the league would catch up to him quickly. He didn’t throw hard or have a lot of movement. It’s a moot point now, since he was injured (and they knew he was injured before the season started, right? That’s why he bombed in his last 2 spring starts, but they still sent him out to play through it) Talent evaluation should, and does, involve more than just looking at a guy’s spring training stats. You should be able to tell who your best pitchers are. Lee had a much worse spring than Laffey, are they going to bench Lee? But whatever, you can DEFEND the Laffey decision, though it was another example of a BAD decision, but I’m really curious to see what your defense is of every other bad roster, lineup, and game decision I pointed out? And I love the argument that Willis has coached two Cy Young winners. Did Willis teach Sabathia how to throw 97 mph? Sabathia was successful before Carl Willis’s tenure. As I said, Lee is the one and only pitcher developed when Willis was around who’s maintained success, and he only became great after getting sent down to the minors, so you can’t really say that Willis did anything to help him either. In fact, Lee’s numbers had been getting progressively worse every year he pitched until he went down to AAA. I see a common theme here, do the Indians lead the league in pitchers who are successful in the majors and then need sent down to the minors to get straightened out? Let’s see, just in the last couple years: Lee, Laffey, Carmona, Rafael Perez, Jensen Lewis, Sowers … and guys who were never successful with the Indians, but had immediate success when they left: Jeremy Gurthrie and Mujica. That’s pretty much every talented pitcher who’s come up through their system in the past few years who wasn’t derailed by an injury.

Ted, you crack me up. Though I think you do provide valuable insight into the kind of thinking that goes into the Indians’ decision making: “Lou Marson is expected to be a call up. That makes since because Wyatt Toregas hasn’t showed much in his 30 or so AB’s.” I imagine that’s about how the conversation will go. Wedge: “Did you see the way the kid Gimenez played in 40 ABs in spring training? Who needs Santana, he could be a STAR!” Shapiro: “He’s not really a kid, he’s actually almost 27, and we already have 2 catchers, but hey, if that’s what you think, let’s call him up!” Wedge: “I heard someone mention a guy we have named Jordan Brown? Who’s that? How many positions does he play? Three? Four?” Shapiro: “Oh, he’s just a 4th round pick of ours who’s performance has exceeded our expectations. He only plays two positions, I was thinking I’d keep him off the roster so Baltimore can pick him up. I really feel bad for those Orioles, I gave them Guthrie and Aubrey, and they still suck. Maybe Brown will pan out for them.”

To say that Carl Willis had no part in the 2 Cy Young’s is, well, the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard. What is it exactly that you think a pitching coach does? If a coach can’t take any credit for their players’ success, then why do we even have them? Plenty of guys throw 97 in the league, college, and maybe even some HS kids, that alone doesn’t win you a Cy Young.

Ted, this might be a hard concept for you to grasp, but I *gasp!* grew up in NE Ohio. And I’d hold my knowledge of the Tribe up next to most fans. I was raised on them. My dad even went to the ’54 series.
I pay $20 a month to watch the Indians on MLB.tv, that’s how I follow them. I also drive to Orange County when they play the Angels and saw them play the Dodgers last year. I also make it home once a summer and go to a game with my dad and my brother.
And I, like most fans, have ideas on what this team should and should not do. Are all of my ideas genius? Of course not. But, then again, it’s clear that no one’s are (or we’d have a few championships by now).
One more time: I went after nm because he insulted someone who was posting. I’ve yet to go after him or anyone else simply for voicing their opinion on what they think about this team or this organization. I might debate them, but I’ll never attack them. I reserve that for those who attack first.
If you want to have a lively discussion on where this team is headed, I’m all for it. But don’t be a jerk about it.

savagetruth, if I’m not mistaken, Lewis’ spring ERA only exploded in his last two starts, after Laffey had already been sent to Columbus. Up until that point, he did have the better ERA. So when the decision was made, Lewis had won the spot.
Of course, it wasn’t until later that we found out Lewis was pitching injured during those last two starts.

I bet if you asked Cliff Lee, he wouldn’t be giving a lot of credit to Carl Willis. Again, he only became dominant after being sent to the minors, what exactly do you think Carl Willis did to help him when he was in Columbus? But anyway, I already gave Willis credit for Lee as his one and only success story, albeit with the “sent to minors to get fixed” caveat. And as I said, Sabathia was successful before Carl Willis. Was he a Cy Young? No, but he certainly always had that potential. He’s pitched just as well or better since he left the team, are you going to give credit to the Yankees and Brewers’ pitching coaches for it? That’s ridiculous, he’s a mature pitcher, and a very good pitcher, you or I could be his pitching coach, it’s not going to make any difference at this point. I don’t expect any veteran to need much from a pitching coach. It’s not like they need to be changing his whole delivery. That’s what I’ve said before, the only pitchers who have success with Cleveland are veterans like Millwood/Pavano, and young guys who were just promoted from the minors, but the young guys ALWAYS regress quickly. I’m not saying Willis is a terrible pitching coach, I have no idea, the only person who can say for sure is probably someone who’s played for him, but name one pitcher who you’d say, oh yeah, Carl Willis helped him, pointed out a flaw in his delivery, whatever, we absolutely need to keep Carl Willis or we’re DOOMED! What does it hurt to change? This is a team that despite their Cy Young winners, have overall been terrible at pitching, especially when it comes to their bullpen, and in developing any young pitcher. Another set of eyes might be able to come in and try something different with Carmona, or Rafael Perez, or Jensen Lewis that works. Maybe not, but those guys can’t really perform worse than they have this year. Who knows, what I do know is everything they have tried is obviously not working, so they should try changing the system that’s in place, and that means Wedge and Willis … But we’re off track with these Willis and Laffey arguments, good job of attacking my two weakest points, which were presented as afterthoughts to my larger discussion of specific instances of bad management. What about the lineups? The preference towards players like Dellucci and Gimenez? Playing Marte every other or ever 3rd day? (think about this, we applauded the fact that Marte was in the lineup last night, first time he’s been in 3 games in a row, but that means they are basically saying to Marte, the only way you’re guaranteed to start tomorrow, is if you get at least 2 hits tonight. Seriously. How’s that for a confidence booster? Do you think Marte feel a little pressure to perform? I say let the dude relax, tell him he’s the starter at first base for the rest of the year, what does it matter if he hits .155? If he hits .320 and smacks 5 HRs in September though, that means they can comfortably trade Peralta) Kobayashi, and the slow reaction to the awful bullpen performances of Perez and Lewis? The fact that they currently have 5 catchers on their 40 man roster? Everything I said about specific games where Wedge made decisions that seemed bad at the time and directly led to losing games?

LACF, all I’m saying in regards to Laffey and Lewis is that I have seen both of these guys pitch, as probably have you. Laffey impressed me more last year than Lewis ever did. I believe I watched the last 3 of Lewis’s games last year, him getting people out reminded me of Borowski getting people out, a guy would absolutely crush a ball but it would happen to be right at someone. His performance got progressively worse with each start. I certainly wish Lewis the best, and hope he can return and be successful, just offering my opinion, that I’d say he’d never be anything better than a 5th starter sporting an ERA above 5.00. I thought the Indians put too much stock into his performance in those September games in making the quick decision of Lewis over Laffey. I would hope that the team could see in Laffey that they had a player with a lot of potential, who had already done all he could in the minors, and that they would find a place for such a player on their weak-*** pitching team

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