Summer days, summer nights are gone… I know a place where there's still something going on

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

September is here, and the race for third place is officially on.

And the CastroTurf blog is back up and running just in time for the stretch run. So let’s get to it.

EXCRUCIATING MINUTIAE OF THE DAY…

  • The Indians are considering shutting down Grady Sizemore and having him undergo arthroscopic surgery on his left elbow before season’s end. Sizemore is batting .317 with eight extra-base hits over his last 19 games, but when you see him struggle to throw the ball to the infield, you wonder what he’s still doing out there. Eric Wedge said Sizemore’s elbow condition is no worse now than it was, say, a couple months ago. But with Michael Brantley here and Trevor Crowe nearing his return, the Indians are considering the possibility of giving Grady a headstart on his rehab.
  • Wedge also said Shin-Soo Choo will probably get spelled more down the stretch. Choo is two years removed from Tommy John surgery, so the Indians might still take some precautions with him.
  • Travis Hafner had his ailing left shoulder examined in Cleveland on Monday, and “nothing extraordinary” (those are Wedge’s words) was found. Pronk should be back in the lineup tomorrow night.
  • Crowe, on the 15-day DL with a right oblique strain, is here in Detroit to ramp up his baseball activities. He hopes to be activated by the end of the week. Wedge didn’t reveal a specific timetable.
  • Kerry Wood is available tonight. He had been dealing with a minor shoulder issue that is apparently not bothering him anymore.
  • Brantley will see time in both left field, where he’s starting tonight, and center field, where he spent the majority of his time in Triple-A. Brantley batted .298 with five doubles, a triple, a homer and 10 runs scored in 21 games in August.
  • Brantley’s father, Mickey, is in attendance tonight. Mickey is a former Mariners outfielder and Blue Jays coach. He’s a good man, and he’s raised a good son. From the way he carries himself, you would never suspect that Michael is just 22 years old.
  • The August deadline for clubs to add players eligible for postseason rosters passed, and Jamey Carroll is still here. I can’t say I’m completely shocked, and neither, for the record is Carroll. “I’m a utility guy,” he said. “When’s the last time a utility guy was traded?”
  • Andy Marte, a favorite of the CastroTurf Commenters (sounds like a band name… and an awful one, at that), is on fire. Marte has three homers in his last six games and six RBIs in his last four games. He’s batting .375 (15-for-40) over his last 11 games after batting just .125 (7-for-40) over his first 12 games. Wedge had said last week that Marte was missing “hittable” pitches (drawing the ire of the CCs). Here’s what Wedge had to say about Marte today: “He’s made some adjustments. There are real reason things are happening for him up here. The last week to 10 days, he’s really found his swing. It’s great to see, because he’s a great kid. He’s never given in to the fight or the frustration.”
  • Jose Veras was getting Triple-A batters out. If his performance with the Tribe is any indication, that success won’t translate up here, but we’ll see.
  • Speaking of wayward relievers, John Meloan was designated for assignment by the Pirates. When the Indians traded him for nothing (aka Winston Abreu), it was a sign that there must be something wrong with this guy. Now that the Rays and Pirates have both passed on him in the past month, I’m convinced.
  • Speaking of the Buccos, the Indians traded LHP Bobby Livingston to them for cash.
  • How many Minor Leaguers have the Indians traded to the Pirates for cash the last two years? We have to be in or nearing double digits.
  • We haven’t had any minutiae up here the last few days, but some things haven’t changed. Chris Perez is still mowing them down (17 1/3-inning scoreless streak… the longest by a Tribe reliever since Rafael Betancourt worked 19 straight scoreless in 2007), and Asdrubal Cabrera (.370 average and 14 RBIs in August) is still hot.
  • Luis Valbuena has had a hot enough second half to bump up to the No. 5 spot of tonight’s lineup.
  • The Indians were named one of the best workplaces in Northeast Ohio by NorthCoast 99, an annual recognition program that honors 99 workplaces for top talent in the region. The program was developed and is presented by the Employer’s Resource Council.
  • I sense a few jokes about trades coming after that last note. If you post one, do us all a favor and at least make it remotely clever, all right?

~AC

14 Comments

I was just surprised there are still 99 workplaces even in Northeast Ohio.

(bah dum ching)

I thought Carroll would of been gone.. He is a veteran that has playoff experience and does his job at the plate. (Getting on base and moving runners) I am sure a team could use him, heck, the Dodgers just got Ronnie Belliard.

Trade him to the Pirates for some cash.

The Indians filled the spot of several industrial jobs which were all traded to japan for a player to be named later.

Not surprisingly, the sole criteria for best workplace was how well employees could grind it out.
Halfway through next season, 2009 Best Workplace Award will be traded for prospects.
Full title of award: “Best Workplace to Retool.”

Strangely enough, while Carraso got hit hard in his debut, Yohan Pino got the start for Columbus and went 7 IP, with 2 ER and 8 K’s. Assuming the rotation holds, he should get another start before the AAA season ends, but his numbers look pretty good. I wonder if there’s any chance we’ll see him (I tend to doubt it, but you never know).

if a core (Sizemore/Choo) or high paid (Hafner/Wood) are hurt – shut them down. They should have figured this out months ago. Props to Brantley and Marte for their play tonight. The Pino situation could be an interesting one to follow

Wow, Asdrubal Cabrera simply put is the most improved hitter in baseball. I can’t think of any other hitter make a complete transformation like he has and I think the organization should truly promote him as much as possible to ESPN and any other market willing to listen. He never was known to be a hitter, but now he has. I also think of Luis Valbuena as a number 7 hitter long term, and I hope the Indians too.

By the way, can I be a part of the “Castroturf Commentators”? I can carry a tune, and we will be performing at the Grand View Mariott on Friday September 18th, come see us all. We will belt out tunes from “Saved By the Bell”, you should hear my rendition of “Friends Forever”

We will also be performing scenes from “Weekend at Bernie’s, the musical.”

and our encore will be scenes from “Weekend at Bernie’s 2: Who Knew?”

“He’s batting .375 (15-for-40) over his last 11 games after batting just .125 (7-for-40) over his first 12 games.”

And what’s the main difference between those two stretches? During those first 12 games Marte was on the bench 6 out of the 18 games the Indians played. During the last 12 games Marte started every game.

Same with Laporta, they called him up earlier and he played very inconsistently and hit .190, now he’s up playing every day and hit .372 in August. I’m curious whether their everyday play is something that Wedge decided to do on his own, or if Shapiro told him to start doing this when Laporta was called up … I’m not sure what to think of this post, it begins promisingly enough, talking about shutting Sizemore down, but then two minutiae later we’re told that Hafner should be back in the lineup tonight. In what world does this make sense? Personally I’d call up Jordan Brown and shut down Hafner, then Brown and Brantley can begin battling for the 2010 LF position. Can anyone present a logical argument against this? Mark Shapiro, I’m waiting … Do they want to give Brown a chance to up his average to try to win the IL batting crown? Brown was the Eastern League batting champ in ’07, has a chance to be the Intl League champ this year … I see a trend emerging

I wonder if the reasoning behind playing Pronk is to get his timing and strength back through regular play. Perhaps he’s gotten as much as he’s going to get from just the cages and machines and they want to see him work back to his old self gradually against real MLB pitching. I would MUCH rather have a healthy Hafner than nearly any other slugger the league (that the Tribe could afford, anyway).

That would be pretty counterintuitive, Wedge or someone was quoted a little while ago saying that Hafner would take two months after the season to rest the shoulder, not picking up a bat at all. So it stands to reason he’d be better off starting that rest now, rather than a month from now, so he’ll be fully ready by spring training 2010. I don’t think facing live MLB pitching now would affect his timing for next year, and to get his strength back, it certainly sounds like he’d be much better off resting now, so he can start working on building strength sooner rather than later. But like I said, I don’t think there is a rational explanation, when you have the added bonus of getting one of their prospects more ABs if Hafner’s shut down it’s a no-brainer

I am hoping and guessing that after next week, that is when they will rest Hafner and maybe Grady (Although I need him for my Fantasy Baseball team in the playoffs…LOL). Then they will call up Jordan Brown if he is fit to play, remember, he just came off the DL himself.

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