We're goin' to the end of the line
Up in Motown tonight, it’s the showdown for Central supremacy, as the Twins and Tigers kick off a four-game set.
Here in Cleveland, the Indians have already fallen short in the melee for mediocrity, as third place has been locked up by the White Sox.
But the Indians (64-91) can still fend off the Royals (64-92) in the rumble for respect – i.e., the battle to avoid last place in this weak division.
Combine that with the managerial melodrama, and you’ve got the makings of one last week of semi-intrigue in a long and winding season.
Let’s get it started.
EXCRUCIATING MINUTIAE OF THE DAY…
- The Indians announced 15 amateur signings in Latin America. From the Dominican Republic: OF Angel Hernandez, LHP Alexander Joseph, INFs Jairo Kelly, Jorge Martinez, Luigy Rodriguez, RHPs Amiro Santana, Juan Santana. From Venezuela: RHP Yan Carlos Caripa, C Juan Carlos DelaCruz, INF Richard Delgado, RHPs Nietzer Jimenez (18 years old), Alejandro Rivas (18), C Gustavo Rojas (17). From Panama: LHP Jonathan Cedeno (17), C Franklin Moreno. Unless otherwise noted, all of the above are 16.
- Michael Brantley should be back in the lineup Tuesday. He said his sore right ankle is feeling better and he’s ability to do all his agility work. This is the same ankle problem Brantley dealt with at Triple-A Columbus this season.
- Not only is Joe Smith done for the year because of his left knee sprain, but the knee might require arthroscopic surgery. Head athletic trainer Lonnie Soloff will have the details Tuesday.
- David Huff is also done for the year. He reached 167 2/3 innings total between Triple-A and the big leagues, and that will be his cutoff point. Contrary to what Huff told reporters after Sunday’s game, he will not be in the bullpen in Boston this weekend.
- It was an up and down season for Huff, and, more often than not, that’s what you expect from a rookie starter. The 11 wins are nice, but, of course, Huff benefited from getting nearly six runs of support per start. Still, give him credit for finishing strong. He was much more consistent over his last five starts. He went 4-1 with a 2.18 ERA down the stretch, and that might have been enough to make him a favorite for a rotation spot next season.
- The Indians and Major League Baseball announced the creation of the Sandy Alomar Jr. Scholarship Award. It will be given annually to a graduating St. Martin de Porres High School senior who meets scholarship criteria by achieving academic excellence, participating in community service and having financial need. The inaugural recipient announced Monday was Devonte Smith, who is currently attending Kent State University and majoring in nursing. He’ll receive a $2,000 scholarship to be used toward his education, and he’ll be honored before Tuesday’s game. St. Martin de Porres was founded in 2003 to provide high-quality education to young people in Cleveland who would not otherwise be able to afford it.
- The Tribe has had just two winning streaks of four or more games this season (four games, May 25-28; five games, July 23-27).
- The switch-hitting Asdrubal Cabrera is batting .317 off left-handers and .305 off righties. Pretty impressive, considering he came in with a .239 career mark against right-handers.
- No. 1 pick Alex White made his organizational debut at the Instructional League in Goodyear on Saturday. He worked one inning against the Reds, allowing a pair of hits with no walks and one strikeout.
- The upper deck is closed tonight, due to the windy conditions. Obviously, there aren’t enough fans here to fill the lower deck, anyway.