9/16: Indians at Twins

It’s farewell to the concrete bubble, as the Indians play their last-ever game at the Metrodome today. The 1:10 p.m. ET game will be broadcast on STO and WTAM.

cle4.gifINDIANS (61-83):
CF Michael Brantley, SS Asdrubal Cabrera, RF Shin-Soo Choo, 3B Jhonny Peralta, DH Travis Hafner, 1B Matt LaPorta, 2B Luis Valbuena, C Kelly Shoppach, LF Trevor Crowe. LHP Aaron Laffey (7-5, 3.79).



min3.gifTWINS (73-72):
CF Denard Span, SS Orlando Cabrera, DH Joe Mauer, RF Jason Kubel, 1B Michael Cuddyer, LF Delmon Young, C Jose Morales, 3B Matt Tolbert, 2B Nick Punto. RHP Nick Blackburn (9-11, 4.39).



UPDATE: Asdrubal Cabrera left today’s game with a right knee contusion after fouling a Matt Guerrier pitch off the knee in the ninth inning. He is listed as day to day and will have an X-ray taken of the knee tomorrow in Oakland. He’s not expected to be in the lineup when the Indians open a four-game set with the A’s.

I won’t be in the lineup, either. Or on the trip, for that matter. The blog will be back up and running next week, when the Tribe returns for its final homestand of ’09. For now, allow me to pay my final respects to the Metrodome, including the unisex bathroom in the press box.


Looks like Marte’s once again on his way out… figured LaPorta would be the 1B of the near future, but thought we would give Marte every chance to win a job.

Twins are on a roll.. .can they keep it up? They have the right guys to do it with.. no offense Indians. ; )

Buz – http://buzblog.mlblogs.com/

Yeah, with Crowe back and Brantley playing well, I think the Marte 2.0 experience is coming to an end.
I suppose we’ll hold on to Peralta, now, and hope that Hodges or Chisenhall or able to really step up their game in the minors next year so we don’t have to fork over the money to pick up Jhonny’s option for 2011.
Who knows — maybe they’ll be bold and decide to move Jhonny anyway, and just take a chance at someone panning out? We could probably use another pitching option, if we could get one.
Much like the Jordan Brown debate, I’m ready to let this one go.

I think after today’s game, the Indians have tuned out Wedge. This defense was very sloppy, all players involved.

I know Masterson would never admit it but I think that incorrect call on the pickoff attempt at second base bothered him

Kudos, AM, for still watching the games. Granted, you can actually just turn on the TV and watch them, as opposed to having to pay for them like I do.
Uh, so, we’re just going to keep starting Marson from here on out, yeah? Because I don’t see why we wouldn’t.

LACF, it would seem to make sense that Marson get the bulk of the opportunities in the remaining 16 games. And while everyone has conversed about a Peralta/Marson available for trade at the winter meetings we both seem to think that ‘insurance’ would be the reason not to make such a deal. Give Santana a full season in Columbus where hopefully he progresses as a game caller and stays relatively healthy. That way we find out what we have in Marson. Either Marson flops in his first year or he proves to be a capable everyday catcher. In either scenario unloading him prior to the 2011 season should be easy.

I do find it interesting how one injury-plagued season can remove a prospect’s name from the tip of fans’ tongues, such as Wes Hodges. He and Beau Mills were all the talk last year. Now Lonnie Chisenhall is all the buzz.

for an interesting comparison look at these two sets of numbers:

90 G, 324 AB, 45 R, 76 H, 22 doubles, 3 triples, 8 HR, 25 RBI, 24 BB, 74 SO, 1 SB, 3 CS, .286 OBP, ..389 SLG, .235 BA

and then

130 G, 420 AB, 53 R, 102 H, 19 doubles, 3 triples, 3 HR, 50 RBI, 14 BB, 90 SO, 14 SB, 5 CS, .270 OBP, .324 SLG, .243 BA

Those would be the stats of Luis Valbuena and Josh Barfield (2007), respectively. I am not trying to start a debate, just simply showing that I am in the minority when I say that I am not sold on Valbuena. I say that with as much conviction as those who suggest that Barfield cannot play at this level, to which I disagree.

Those numbers make it all the more baffling that Romero isn’t getting any time at all. I mean, what do they have to lose?
That said, Romero is no Cabrera, so there was never anyone behind Valbuena in the system to replace him like there was for Barfield. Also, we’ve never really been in it this year, whereas Barfield was on a competitive team.
A few more factors to consider:
Barfield’s year with Cleveland was his second, and marked a severe downturn in his abilities. His numbers plummeted, as opposed to Valbuena’s which improved (and it was his first year, after all).
Two other things to consider: Valbuena’s RBI rate is much better (by nearly 5 ABs) and Valbuena, in more games, has only 6 errors, while Barfield had 15 — two and a half times more.
Also, Valbuena proved himself in AAA. When Barfield got sent down, he failed to do that.

Wow — 15 K’s. Very impressive, Tribe.

The Tribe is atop the majors in K’s its nothing new LACF. We need to start cutting down the K’s, but then again you know these are our “young guys.” Its September call-ups and we aren’t competing anymore, so it doesn’t matter win or lose, we are trying to get good looks at the players of “next year and the years after.” Thanks. New post up check me out here…

Ted – http://tribewithted.mlblogs.com/

I think the fact that they made Anderson look like Greinke is new and pretty impressive.

look at the infield lineup for the Aeros, that’s where our competition will come from for the future infield, along with Cord Phelps (Kinston) and Hodges (Columbus).

LACF, while Barfield’s sophomore slump was multi-faceted IMO (i.e. changing leagues) and terribly ugly you can make the case that Valbuena will endure the same hardships of those before him in his second season, ala Peralta. Plus, no one will ever consider either Barfield nor Valbuena to be a gold glover. And if you wanted to compare Barfield’s rookie season to Valbuena’s it is no contest. Josh needs a change of scenery and Luis has the backing of the organization, something that is given out as a gift from Wedge oftentimes inexplicably.

You can’t compare Valbuena’s rookie season with Barfield’s, though. Aside from the fact that they were in different leagues, it doesn’t matter. What matters is how they performed with the Tribe — Barfield playing great with San Diego is irrelevant. Josh HAD the backing of the organization and failed to perform during a time when a) his margin for error was small and b) we had someone else available to fill his role who, when given the chance, performed better.
If Valbuena has a second year like Barfield, and if the Tribe are competing for a play off spot, and if they have a better option in AAA, then the comparison is appropriate. But it’s not particularly accurate just yet.

Not to bash Barfield (because I liked him just fine), but when they moved Peralta to third, Valbuena won the 2nd base job by his performance in AAA — something Barfield has failed to do.

agreed, Barfield has never stolen the job away from anyone like Cabrera did. In fact, Cabrera stole the job in 2007, got rightly demoted for hitting like .183, worked his way back with good numbers in Buffalo and then brought that success to the ML level. Another reason why I think Barfield needs a change of scenery. My point wasn’t to rehash Barfield, it was to temper the “Valbuena is the ultimate answer” rationale. Cabrera is locked in, as is Peralta so it seems. If LaPorta is locked in and therefore so is Brantley then Valbuena MUST continue to evolve as he has done in the second half. I want to see more consistency from him, particularly if and when he’s given a chance to hit against LHP. I cannot reiterate how much I do NOT want to see a platoon situation at 2B next year between Valbuena and Donald/Romero not to mention Carroll if he resigns here so long as Wedge is still managing.

I cannot reiterate how much I do not want to see a platoon situation ANYWHERE next season. I realize that it will be necessary from time to time, but it’s gotten so out of hand over the last year. For the sake of argument, a best case scenario next season should allow us to have an actual, set roster, depending upon what happens in the off season. I’d be fine with getting Crowe in there to relieve Brantley somewhat regularly, just because it will be his first season in the majors.
I agree about Valbuena, which is why I wish they were doing more to at least entertain other options. I realize that Donald is hurt, so he’s not an option, but I find it hard to believe getting Romero in regularly would be a bad thing — or at least better than giving starts to Carroll, which doesn’t really benefit anyone (other than Carroll’s free agency prospects).

these last few weeks are beyond discouraging

exactly right. Without getting anyone else in the lineup it once again begs the question, is Wedge steering this ship for another year because the decisions downs the stretch have been made in parallel with his philosophies and player preferences. I have to imagine that if the FO made the decision to fire him then one might rationally think that they would have given Wedge specific directions as to how to finish the last 20 games or so.

The counter-argument to that point is that the FO feels that they owe Wedge something for his years of service and are willing to let him finish out the season the way he believes is appropriate, whether or not the FO agrees with him. I would say that argument is nonsense but I can see someone trying to make it. In professional sports if one thing is certain it is that players, coaches, owners, and anyone else within the organization is not owed a darn thing. IMO the only group of people that are owed anything is the fans.

Well, I know people have mentioned the possibility of moving Wood in the past, and I’ve never really considered it, in no small part due to the fact that we’d have to eat a decent chunk of that salary. That said, these last few games have given me reason to believe that it might be smart to do that.
I don’t see that there’s any way we’re going to seriously compete next year; our rotation is just too far away. We’re going to need to wait on a guy like Rondon to develop, see how Pino works out, and hope some of the others improve with time. That being the case, if we’re looking at 2011 as our goal, I see no reason to believe we can’t find a closer in our system somewhere by then…Chris Perez makes a decent case for himself, and supposedly Jess Todd has the potential. It’s basically the same as the Peralta situation — if we’re going to compete starting in 2011, then we should be building towards that; there’s no point in keeping anyone around who’s not going to be on the team from that point on.

the Indians are now 1-12 since they called up Niuman Romero. Obviously the only thing that was keeping the players going was the thought of watching Jordan Brown’s first big league action. Once this dream was pulled away, they had no more reason to grind it out … I think the team needs a pep talk. Come on guys! I know it’s sad. But you have to move on. Detroit’s coming up. Detroit winning the division would be an embarrassment. Residing in a division that calls the Tigers champions would be like living in the United States if Sarah Palin were President, you’d have to go though life (or at least baseball games) looking like a dog that accidentally took a big dump on the bedroom floor. At least Minnesota has Mauer and Morneau. Plus it’s the last year for the Metrodome. Only fitting that the dome should go out in style. So guys, I know your dreams were crushed, but forget Jordan Brown, forget that Jhonny Peralta will be your 3b next year, get your act together, start grinding it out and take at least 2 of 3 from Detroit to give the Twins a fighting chance. That way you can come into spring training next year with a look of pride, knowing that you finished in last place in a division where the mighty Twins were the champions! Go tribe!

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