5/2: Indians vs. Twins
By Anthony Castrovince
Today’s 1:05 p.m. ET rubber match is on WKYC Channel 3 and WTAM 1100.
INDIANS (10-13): SS Cabrera, CF Sizemore, RF Choo, LF Kearns, 3B Peralta, 2B Grudzielanek, 1B Marte, DH LaPorta, C Marson. LHP David Huff (1-3, 4.10).
TWINS (15-9): CF Span, 2B Hudson, RF Cuddyer, 1B Morneau, DH Thome, LF Young, SS Hardy, C Ramos, 3B Punto. LHP Francisco Liriano (3-0, 0.93).
EXCRUCIATING MINUTIAE OF THE DAY…
- Kerry Wood’s rehab assignment begins Monday at Double-A Akron. He’ll get at least two appearances before he’s activated off the DL.
- Chris Perez has been routinely ripped by fans for those two rough outings he had early in the year and his postgame complaints about Lou Marson’s blocking of wild pitches and Howie Kendrick’s game-winning bunt single the other day. But Perez is 4-for-5 in save situations, hasn’t allowed a run over his last 4 2/3 innings over seven appearances and looked downright nasty in the ninth last night. I’d say he’s filled in for Wood admirably, all things considered.
- The Indians have four wins when trailing after the seventh inning this season. They had just eight of those all of last year.
- Travis Hafner, 2-for-his-last-20, is once again benched with a left-hander on the mound today. The Indians obviously aren’t paying Pronk $11.5 million to be a platoon guy… and a light-hitting one at that. His start to the season and subsequent diminished playing time is certainly a troubling development.
- Austin Kearns’ hot start has taken some playing time away from Matt LaPorta, who is batting just .217 with two doubles and an RBI. LaPorta isn’t yet deemed ready to play seven days a week, just like Russell Branyan. Branyan’s status and the Pronk platoon afford Manny Acta ways to give LaPorta adequate playing time, but his development as a Major League hitter is one of the more important things the Indians need to get out of this 2010 season. Thus far, it’s not going particularly well.
- The Indians would love to have a guy hitting .414 with a 1.148 OPS. Alas, those are left-handers’ numbers off Justin Masterson, through five starts.
- Third-base coach Steve Smith got aggressive sending Lou Marson home on that Grady Sizemore single in the 10th inning last night. But Marson was not nearly aggressive enough. He stopped to look at the play in center and make sure the ball wasn’t caught, rather than trusting the instincts of his coach. And he might have been able to slide in safely and catch the corner of the plate, but instead went in still standing. Chalk it up as rookie running.
- Marson nearly gave Twins manager Ron Gardenhire a heart attack on that play at the plate. Joe Mauer was unavailable to Gardy. Had backup Drew Butera been taken out on that play, Gardenhire would have had to go to an emergency scenario. He said he might have used Orlando Hudson, if only because he would talk the opposing hitters to death. The Twins called up Wilson Ramos to handle the catching duties today.
- I can’t help but wonder if the Indians will give Saul Rivera a look in their bullpen this month. He has an out in his contract on May 15, and he’s been dominant in Columbus. He’s posted a 1-0 record and 0.82 ERA in 11 innings over 10 appearances. The only negative is that he’s walked seven guys.
- Jordan Brown, recently recovered from knee surgery and activated off the DL, cranked out six RBIs in Columbus’ win over Syracuse last night.
- Chris Gimenez, playing primarily in right field for the Clippers, has a 1.048 OPS and four multi-hit efforts in his last six games.
- It’s a clean-shaven, short-haired David Huff taking the mound today. After two rough starts, he cut all the hair off. He’s a superstitious guy when it comes to the mane. When he was rolling in the Minors a couple years back, he grew his hair long and topped the look off with a heroic ‘stache.
- Don Felder was in attendance here the other night. You might know Felder from his work with the Eagles. Or, more importantly, his work in a high school band with Indians guest services supervisor Rik Danburg. Also in that Gainesville, Fla., band, The Continentals, was Stephen Stills of Crosby, Stills and Nash.