"I want it all or nothing at all"

By Anthony Castrovince/MLB.com
http://www.twitter.com/castrovince

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.

~AC

9 Comments

Excrutiating baseball….ineffective pitching with no ability to throw strikes and more hitters at .200 or less with no pop. They are awful to watch.

Current Indians lineup rankings:
AA:Laporta: 1 RBI, despite mostly batting 6th. 2 hits against left handers all year. ISO of .030. 6 GIDP. Fly ball rate 29.4%. Fangraphs gives his value at -$1.8 million. And I’m not sure those numbers do justice to how bad he’s actually been. Ability to strike out with a guy on 3rd and less then 2 outs, or ground into a double play if the guy on 3rd is accompanied by a guy on 1st, is truly amazing. Marson: has been hitting better, but still gets the AA ranking because despite coming up to bat with the bases loaded and 1 out in extra inning, he still doesn’t have an RBI, and his OPS is .550. And it still appears when you factor in defense, that he’d probably be the 3rd best major league catcher in the Indians’ system.Hafner: Has seemingly been rather unlucky, with a .214 BABIP and 19% line drive rate. The fact that he’s a DH and isn’t really producing better than say, Cliff Lee would do in this position, lowers his ranking.AAA:Sizemore: Paul Hoynes said before the season that the Indians will trade Sizemore this year or next. The question then becomes: will there be any takers? Walks are down sharply, strikeouts are up sharply, still 0 HRs. Hitting more ground balls at the expense of fly balls.Valbuena: At least he hit a grand slam against Verlander.Major League Ready:Kearns: the one guy I didn’t want to even make the team, is the one guy who’s performed the best. Too bad he’s probably not going to be around for too long, and he’s bound to come down to earth sometime soon.Choo: though if you take away his one great week, he’s been pretty average. Cabrera: maintaining a decent BA, though his overall power and OBP numbers have slipped. Peralta: One of the few Indians hitters with an OPS above .700, has been drawing a lot of walks.

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I liked it all really! Thank you very much for posting this “EXCRUCIATING MINUTIAE OF THE DAY…” I only wanted to learn more about excrutiating baseball . I got interested in it indeed and would like to find out what so awful there is about it all. So, I will be eagerly waiting for coming updates. Don’t delay it! Best regards.

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