"I want it all or nothing at all"
By Anthony Castrovince/MLB.com
Let’s talk about Indians media relations assistant Matt Whewell’s brunch yesterday.
As the Tribe’s 1:05 p.m. game against the Twins began, this is what the 6-foot, 182-pound Whewell was putting down in the press box:
1. Bacon-filled scrambled eggs
2. A heaping mound of hashbrowns
3. Three sausage links
4. A lemon poppyseed muffin
5. Iceberg lettuce with cucumbers, black olives and croutons, topped by a chicken breast drizzled with ranch dressing
6. A bowl of tortilla chips covered with chili, nacho cheese and salsa
7. A brownie
But Whewell drank water. No pop. Gotta watch those calories.
And he’s threatening to top his performance tonight.
EXCRUCIATING MINUTIAE OF THE DAY…
- The Indians will tinker with their rotation slightly coming out of Thursday’s off day. Huff will bump up a spot and start Friday night against the Tigers, with Justin Masterson going Saturday. When Masterson was in the third spot, the Indians had three right-handers in a row (Jake Westbrook and Fausto Carmona being the others) who relied predominantly on their sinker.
- If you haven’t already, start the Jason Donald watch. He went 2-for-3 with a triple and two RBIs in Columbus’ 3-2 win Sunday and has hit safely in 13 of his last 16 games. he’s batting .377 with eight doubles, a triple, two homers and 15 RBIs for the season. He’s third in the International league in on-base percentage (.454), tied for third in doubles and fourth in walks (16).
- In a related story, Luis Valbuena is batting ninth today. He had a rough spring, and that’s carried into the season. The Indians demonstrated this winter that they view Valbuena more as a utility guy, or else they wouldn’t have aggressively pursued Orlando Hudson. And you can’t discount the positive PR that comes from a prospect acquired in the Cliff Lee trade coming up and contributing. For now, Valbuena appears to have Manny Acta in his corner, but this would be a good time for Valbuena to start rewarding that confidence.
- Travis Hafner was on the bench for the last three games against a left-handed starter, but Acta insisted there is “no platoon whatsoever” at the DH spot (he pointed at me when he said this, no doubt having read what I wrote in this space yesterday) and proved as much by playing Pronk tonight against lefty Brett Cecil. Still, the point remains that it’s troubling to see a healthy, full-time DH with an $11.5 million contract protected from left-handed pitching. But Hafner, 2-for-his-last 20 overall and 4-for-30 against lefties this season, is back at it tonight and the Indians obviously have a lot riding on his improvement.
- Shin-Soo Choo has three outfield assists to his credit already, thanks to an incredibly strong and accurate arm. Acta has said that sometimes Choo is overly aggressive with when he chooses to throw home, saying, “Ninety percent of the time an outfielder thinks he can throw a guy out, he can’t.” Choo agreed with this. “Maybe it’s second and third with one out,” he said. “It’s a routine fly ball. I throw home, but the runner is safe, and the other runner goes from second to third. That’s happened a couple times … Sometimes I try too much and overthrow.” Still, there’s no denying that when Choo chooses correctly and nails a guy at the plate, as he did when he nabbed Justin Morneau in the first inning Sunday, it’s a thing of beauty.
- Lou Marson’s batting average has increased from .088 to .224 in his last four games. He has notched four consecutive multi-hit games. He is still a rookie, of course, as evidenced when he dropped a routine force out at the plate yesterday and had that baserunning gaffe Saturday. But he’s no longer an automatic out, and that’s a start.
- Not sure how serious this is, but Columbus outfielder Michael Brantley jammed his wrist Sunday and was out of Monday’s lineup. Brantley is batting .333 (16-for-48) in 11 games since his demotion.
- Right-hander Alex White, last year’s No. 1 Draft pick, tossed seven scoreless for Class A Kinston on Sunday. He allowed just two hits, one walk and struck out five. White is 1-2 with a 2.81 ERA over his first five professional starts.
- Right-handed reliever Frank Herrmann has been impressive at Columbus. He is 1-0 with two saves and a 0.75 ERA in nine appearances, striking out eight and allowing just a .171 average against in 12 innings.