"You dipped a chip, you took a bite… and you dipped again."
It’s a doubleheader tonight, but it’s a single serving of minutiae.
Kind of a ripoff, if you ask me.
EXCRUCIATING MINUTIAE OF THE DAY…
- Joe Smith is hurt again. Smith, as you might have noticed, hasn’t pitched since Aug. 29, because he injured his left knee. He’s not exactly sure how he did it, but his best guess was that the injury occurred when he missed a step while walking down the stairs at home on the off day on Aug. 31. Smith tore his posterior cruciate ligament in the knee in 2005, and this injury might be related. He played catch today, hopes to do so again tomorrow and hopes to be ready to throw off a mound by the weekend. Smith has already battled a viral infection, a strained tendon in his right index finger and a strained rotator cuff this season. “It’s been a great year,” he said sarcastically.
- Why Niuman Romero? Well, the Indians had planned to call up Jason Donald, but Donald suffered lower back injury in August and was not deemed ready to help out at this level. Eric Wedge wanted somebody to take some of the load off Asdrubal Cabrera, Luis Valbuena and Jamey Carroll up the middle, so the switch-hitting Romero, who can play all four infield spots, fits the bill.
- Why did Jordan Brown get the shaft? Good question. Wedge said the reason was that there simply aren’t enough at-bats available to him. But Brown’s defense is what hurt him most. He’s still considered a bit of a liability in left field and at first base, so his International League batting title was considered moot.
- Still, it seems certain that Brown will be taken in the Rule 5 Draft if the Indians don’t protect him this winter. I’m surprised they didn’t add him for September to at least try to showcase him, if they don’t feel he’s in their future plans. And clearly, he’s not.
- Indians media relations director Bart Swain points out that Grady Sizemore’s stats after his June 23 activation from the DL were virtually identical to his numbers from 2007 and 2008. From June 23 to Sept. 3, Sizemore batted .270 with a .373 on-base percentage, .470 slugging percentage and an .843 OPS. In ’08, it was .268/.374/.502/.876. In ’07, it was .277/.390/.462/.852.
- Bart’s point, in case you can’t tell, is that the elbow problem, once addressed with a few weeks of rest and rehab, did not affect Sizemore’s day-to-day performance and perhaps did not need the immediate surgical intervention that people have suggested would have been more appropriate than allowing Grady to play. You can take that for whatever it’s worth to you personally.
- Columbus manager Torey Lovullo said Yohan Pino, the player to be named from the Carl Pavano trade, looked impressive. He has a four-pitch mix, so he profiles as a starter. At the time of that trade, it wasn’t expected that the prospect acquired would be of much impact, but Pino has the potential to surprise some people next year. We’ll see. For now, the Indians simply don’t have a need for another starter. So Pino and Hector Rondon are headed home.
- Speaking of Rondon, he got the start in the Clippers’ season finale Monday, and he gave up three runs on eight hits with no walks and five strikeouts over 7 2/3 innings. He finished with a 4-5 record and 4.00 ERA in 12 starts at the Triple-A level. Next stop is a Spring Training competition for a rotation spot, but Rondon will have to develop his secondary pitches more if he’s going to claim a spot.
- The Clippers finished 57-85, 27 games back in the West Division of the International League. Not an auspicious beginning to their Tribe affiliation, though they did set a franchise attendance record in the first season at Huntington Park.
- Double-A Akron opens the postseason with a best-of-five series against Reading. Game 1 is at 7 p.m. ET Wednesday at Canal Park. Right-hander Josh Tomlin (14-9, 4.16) will get the starting nod.
- Short-season Mahoning Valley is also entering postseason play. The Scrappers, led by manager Travis Fryman, posted a franchise-record 49 wins this season and have clinched home-field advantage throughout the playoffs. They play at Brooklyn tonight, with left-hander Vidal Nuno (5-0, 2.05 ERA) on the mound.
- Class A Kinston wrapped up its season Monday with a loss to Potomac. Right-hander Nick Hagadone going three innings and giving up a run on three hits for a no-decision. Hagadone, acquired in the Victor Martinez trade, had Tommy John surgery last year and is already throwing in the upper 90s. He could be a name to watch as the 2010 season progresses.
- The Indians have extended their player development contract with Class A Lake County through 2014. The Captains will move from the South Atlantic League to the Midwest League in 2010.
UPDATE (5:05 p.m. ET): As of first pitch, there might be 350 people in the ballpark. Maybe.
UPDATE No. 2: Jason Stein, the Master of Self-Promotion, points out that if all goes to plan, Wednesday’s 12:05 p.m. ET start time will be the fifth different start time in five games for the Tribe.