5/5: Indians vs. Blue Jays

Aquí están las formaciones de Cinco de Mayo.

cle.gifINDIANS (10-16):
2B Grudzielanek, CF Sizemore, RF Choo, 3B Peralta, DH Hafner, 1B Branyan, LF LaPorta, SS Valbuena, C Redmond. RHP Fausto Carmona (3-1, 4.05).




tor2.gifBLUE JAYS (15-13):
LF Lewis, 2B Hill, DH Lind, CF Wells, 1B Overbay, SS Gonzalez, 3B Bautista, RF Snider, C Molina. RHP Brandon Morrow (2-2, 5.46).


I agree 100 percent. Also if Redmond is hurt, call up Santana . They really needs his bat in the worst way.

I don’t think you can even refer to that as an error. There should be a new name for whatever it was that Valbuena did. Easy grounder, didn’t take any weird hops, a little leaguer makes that play, game over. Grudz with yet another GIDP and Valbuena cost them multiple runs today, after Valbuena cost them a run yesterday. No one should attend their games until they at least call up Donald, which should have happened a week ago. Otherwise, they’re clearly not even pretending to try to win, or field a team that isn’t painful to watch, so why bother? Same deal with Rafael Perez. If there are no consequences to going out as a relief pitcher and literally getting no one out, what’s the point for the fans to watch the games, or for the rest of the team to try? (I know I know, they don’t want to lose Perez when they DFA him. Because there’s a huge market for relievers with a WHIP of 3.0) Hard to believe, but I’d say this team is way worse than anyone, even the ardent pessimists, predicted. No one thought the offense would be pathetic, or that they’d by losing games up 4-2 with 2 out on an easy groundball to short.

Jay-son, Don-ald. Clap clap. Clap clap clap.

Valbuena has become a liability. Failure to get the bunt down last night and then the error today? That’s not gonna cut it when you’re not getting it done at the plate. I think he needs the kind of humbling experience in AAA that helped Cabrera get his game tight a few years back.

I can’t tell you how close I am to pitching all of my Indians gear, and buying up new, better looking, & less offensive Rays gear. Ah, who am I kidding….. My life would be boring if I didn’t have the Tribe to b*tch about. ST…. can you clue me in on the Santana/Donald situation? I’m not very knowledgeable about June callups. Since these guys haven’t played an inning in pro ball…. at this point, wouldn’t it be beneficial to wait until June 1??

June 1st isn’t a cutoff, as far as arbitration eligibility or anything. If they want to prevent a prospect from being a super 2 and gaining arbitration eligibility a year early, it’s generally sometime in late May or early June. Which with the Indians sucking so badly, I’d agree there’s no reason to rush Santana and they should wait until June to be safe. With Donald, I’d think it’s a non-issue, because he’s not a high-end prospect anyway. The Indians supposedly had an organizational mandate to not make any moves before June 1st though, which if true is pretty stupid, you need to react to what is happening on the field. What kind of message does it send to the team when no one is held accountable for anything? I think at this point they’re hurting prospect development by keeping guys like Laporta and Valbuena in the lineup when it looks like they need to go to AAA to get things sorted out. In Laporta’s case, Kearns is taking most of the ABs anyway, so he’s doubly hurt by keeping him on the big league team. Isn’t that what they have a guy like Crowe in the organization for? Crowe isn’t considered a top prospect anymore, so why not call him up to backup Kearns and get Laporta steady ABs and outfield experience in Columbus, where he can work on getting his swing back in an environment with less pressure? At this point they are severely disrespecting the fans if they don’t make a move. They would certainly have won 1 and likely have won 2 of 3 from Toronto had Rafael Perez and Valbuena not been with the team for the series. Perez gave up 2 and Valbuena cost them at least 1 yesterday just by failing to move a guy to 3b and striking out instead, and Valbuena lost the game for them today.

Screaming for Jason Donald and Carlos Santana will not change how this team plays. It is a young team, and those players will commit rookie mistake over the course of the season too. If you follow the team closely then you knew going into the season that we are in a rebuild. The only way to get better is to let these kids play everyday and get experience. The Indians will bring up Donald/Santana if and when they feel the time is right. I don’t think a month into the season is the right time.

We knew last season that this season was going to be a rebuild. Everyone is in a rush to call everybody up. When you know as soon as Donald/Santana struggle you will be complaining for the next player.

I find it ironic how the Browns have been a joke since they have returned and people continue to support that team year in and year out.

Laporta seems to be the odd man out right now though. With Kearns and Branyan taking up playing time. I wouldn’t be against sending him down until Branyan is traded. LaPorta needs everyday playing time. I agree with that, but i am in no rush to call up anyone in particular.

Really indians, how far into the season would you think is the right time? We are 1/6 of the way in. It’s getting to be a pretty large sample size with Valbuena and Laporta. You actually think it helps a player’s development to go out and strike out or ground into a double play half the time? Do you think it helps the team’s overall mental makeup to lose games like today? I don’t think so. If a guy isn’t ready for the big leagues or is struggling badly they should go to AAA. It’s not like I’m asking that they replace Valbuena with a veteran who doesn’t have a future with the team, I’m saying they should replace him with Donald, who was always considered a better prospect than Valbuena and is more likely to have a future spot at 2b anyway. There is no rational reason to wait. Donald has earned the right for a shot in the big leagues, and the two players who’re currently blocking him on the big league team have been terrible … What did Valbuena and Grudz account for today, like -4 runs, with Valbuena’s bases loaded strikeout, 3 run error, and Grudz based loaded double play? At this point, I’m not sure how anyone can use the term “rebuild” with a straight face. Who are we rebuilding with? Sizemore, who moved down in the order so he could stop hitting home runs and getting on base? Laporta, who has serious trouble hitting the ball out of the infield? Valbuena, Marson? The offense now and in the immediate future appears to be Choo and Cabrera and 7 guys who can’t hit, and the pitching staff is Carmona and Talbot, who might be okay number 3 starters, and the best relief pitcher might be a guy they picked up in the Rule 5. If they shake things up a bit, maybe guys who should be hitting who aren’t (Sizemore, Hafner) will get a little more focused and come around, and they can actually start building on something. It does not help the “rebuilding” process if they lose 105 games and Sizemore hits .210 with 5 HRs and Hafner is released, and Valbuena and Laporta’s confidence is permanently shattered.

It’s no seceret that the offense is struggling. I posted that LaPorta is the odd man out with Kearns and Branyan for playing time. I am in no rush to call anyone up. why? Were 26 games into the season. Valbuena could get hot on friday. Marson looked overmatched to begin the season, but has heated up in the last ten games. He’s hitting .323 with four doubles and 5 runs during that stretch. LaPorta, even though his playing time has been limited, had (i think) two hits today.
I don’t think their confidence is going to be shattered in that short amount of time. If that’s the case Marson has to be distraught, but the stats i just wrote say he’s fine and adjusting. Sizemore does strike out a lot, but he’s not going to hit .210 the whole season. Just like Victor Martinez isn’t going to hit .240 the whole season. Did you expect this team to be at the top of the division? I hope not.

It’s not the strikeouts that are bad with Sizemore, it’s the 0 home runs and low walk rate. Marson still has 0 RBIs, and .211/.564, which is really, really bad, and it doesn’t really matter, since he’s not going to be the starting catcher much longer anyway. And Laporta can get a few singles, but until he starts hitting the ball into the outfield, and deep, there’s something wrong with his swing. “did you expect this team to be at the top of the division” Come on, no, but no one expected the source of their struggles to be the lineup, and the “strength” to be the starting rotation. If the offense had performed somewhere near expectation, the Indians WOULD be near the top of the division, or at least above .500 by a few games. The fact that the offense has been really, really bad is looking like a huge problem, and 27 games is quite a long time to continue with this level of awfulness yet still insist on maintaining the status quo. (actually been longer, the offense was terrible last Sept. too) Like I’ve said on here before, I’d be fine with them losing games 9-6 every night. In the meantime you can talk about rebuilding all you want, but there’s absolutely nothing to build on. That needs to change sooner rather than later, or next year they’re going to once again end up with more question marks than they had going into this year. It’s like every year we lose a player we thought we could trust, this year, Grady. That could change, but I don’t think it will until some of the guys who’ve been killing all potential rallies are removed from the lineup. If you don’t think subbing out struggling players can galvanize an entire offensive team, you’re wrong. We’ve seen it here when they brought Cabrera in to replace Barfield in ’07, when they finally put Martinez and Hafner on the DL in ’08 and sent Cabrera down, the entire offense picked up, and then Cabrera came back after getting straightened out in the minors and performed very well. Not to say it will happen here, but they have to try … there is no argument for leaving Valbuena in Cleveland. They think he’s their future utility infielder anyway. “He could get hot on Friday” is not a reason to leave him in, especially when there is a valid replacement for him available. He has been given an opportunity, and he has failed. It’s not the end of the world, he can get another opportunity, but right now, actually like a week ago, his opportunity should be over.

we are right where we belong… dwelling in the cellar. And despite what we all want to happen in 2011, there is a sizable amount of people (myself included) that expect 2012 to be our actual year of contention, not 2011. There are plenty of reasons to suggest this.

I’m also not sure about that June 1 roster mandate considering we’ve already added Ambriz (out of necessity) not to mention what AC proposed about Saul Rivera considering his May 15 out clause. Unless you were referring to only position players ST b/c I have never seen nor read anything about a mandate but it wouldn’t surprise me if something like that existed for guys like Santana, Brantley and now Donald.

I said it before and I’ll say it again: poor hitting can be infectious and early season woes are magnified significantly. If we started the season 17-10 we all wouldn’t be printing our ALDS tickets now would we? Give it some time and let it develop.

I, for one, am sickened by what’s going on recently and for the start of this homestand I did not even attempt to watch/listen to these games (but I did see today’s blow-up). ST is right about potential change being desired by some of the fans. I’d prefer it to be in our play, not our roster.

As a non-NFL supporter, I entirely agree with indians regarding the Browns. They’ve been terrible since they returned, but still sellout the place every game and get a free pass every season for being crap. The Indians get no such treatment.

Who do you think would close if not Perez? Ambriz?

I never said i was against bringing Donald up. Do I think he is going to solve all the problems? No. Hafner, Sizemore and Peralta have to start hitting to take some of the pressure off of the young kids. Until those three start hitting the Indians will continue to struggle offensively. No matter who they bring up. Those three are getting paid the big bucks to drive the runs in and have failed miserably. You could add Branyan to the Mix too.

Let me rephrase that. I am not against bringing Donald up later in the season.

First off I think we all (myself included) need to settle down about this team. We were teased earlier by being at 500 and that got our hopes up. To be truthful we’re back to where we’ll probably be all year.

Overall I like the way the coaching staff and front office are doing things. The best way to find out what a player, or person for that matter, is made of is to see them in adverse situations. Laporta is in that boat – not many ABs and can he make the most of the ones he gets and work with the coaches when not playing to get better? Can Valbuena get it together and be consistent at the plate and the field? Can Perez remember how to get more than one batter every 3 times on the mound out? All of that is being watched closely I’m sure.

I’ve been talking all season about how I like that a starter isn’t being yanked out right away, showing confidence in them. Sometimes they live up to it, sometimes they don’t. Yet we stick with them the majority of the time. Well, we’re doing the same with the rest of the team as well. This is what this season is all about, learning about what we have and not jumping around throwing players here and there hoping to find 2-3 that can do it for a team that wasn’t expected to do anything. The mentality of yanking someone for a few failures is why we call for coaches heads in every sport in this city when we lose a game. (See Gm2 of the present Cavs series and talk radio chatter since then for a recent example – or the Browns every year since they came back)

Yes, changes will be made in this team, and many will be very deserved. Yes, I’d love to make this team more watchable. Yes, I’d like to feel like we have a chance of winning in the 8th or 9th more often – however that isn’t the most important thing right now. It’s about development of each and every one of these players. That is in both physical and mental areas – and these troubles are trials that will make each player and eventually the team stronger in the long haul. We’re not playing for this year, we’re playing for the future. We have to get use to this and settle down.

I think that is well said, Norwalk. That is the point i was trying to get to. This season is set to find out who will be part of the future, and yanking young players after a short amount of time will be counterproductive. Let’s see if they can adjust at the big league level. The Indians will know when the right time will be to send a player down. Brantley, for the most part, was sent down because of Branyan. Cleveland fans have a habbit of rushing things when it comes to their sports teams. How long did it take for them to start screaming for Quinn? How long do you think it will take for them to start screaming for Colt McCoy? Luis got better as the season went on last season. In the first half, he hit .219. In the second half, he hit .272.

Well played, norwalkemo…. well played. However, garbage like Valbuena’s (1st) error is inexcusable, and only belongs in amateur ball. It’s like this team is so used to losing that they will go above and beyond to find new ways of doing so. It’s always an error on a routine play or a wild pitch or a simply not being able to lay down a bunt. May I also add that this team is the most unlucky team I’ve ever watched? Whatever could go wrong…. ALWAYS DOES! I’m not ready to settle down. Sorry that my sole reason for ever posting to this site is to vent. Sorry I’m such a Debbie Downer. And, yesterday, I was sorry to be an Indians fan.

Evidently, AM and I are on the same wavelength, as I’ve been MIA recently, too. Life kind of got in the way of baseball watching, but it doesn’t seem like I missed anything good.
Did anyone happen to see AC’s notes from yesterday? They were posted on Facebook, but not here. He mentions that the Tribe has always viewed Valbuena as a utility guy, as evidenced by their attempts to sign Orlando Hudson. I don’t think Valbuena’s play is coming as a surprise to them. AC also runs down Donald’s very impressive AAA numbers so far and says we should keep an eye out for him.
All that said, I’m sticking to my wait and see philosophy. It’s not that I think this team is suddenly going to turn around, it’s that we’ve got a fairly favorable May ahead of us. If we win every single game we should and lose every single game we play against teams over .500, we’ll end the month a game under .500. We’ve got the Royals, Orioles, and White Sox coming up, so I’m willing to wait and see how things are at the end of the month.
The other reason I’m willing to wait is that, at some point, they need to start dealing. I agree that LaPorta needs to be playing every day, but if we’re not going to compete this year and he’s our first baseman of the future, it seems counterproductive for him to get those regular ABs in Columbus instead of Cleveland.
I understand that it’s different for Valbuena and Donald, though, as there’s a legitimate competition brewing there. But LaPorta more or less has the job, assuming he doesn’t tank.
As for closers, AC also mentions in his notes from yesterday Hermann in Columbus. He’s been lights out for them and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him get the call at some point, at least as a set up man.
I don’t think they can waste any more time on R. Perez.
The one saving grace for following this team is the roster we’ll put out there post-trade deadline. It’s going to be a great squad to watch.

Patience can certainly be good, and fans are always eager to jump the gun for the obvious reasons, but every other team in the league would have at least sent Valbuena down and released Rafael Perez by now. How much of a sample size do they need with Perez? It’s been a year and a month since he’s been able to get more than 50% of the batters he faces out. He has a below average fastball and a slider that he can’t get over the plate, and that when it is over the plate gets crushed. That said, it’s not like he’s blocking a relief prospect so if they want to give him some more time, whatever, it’s just kind of silly that they still think he’s going to magically resurrect his career. I don’t understand why you guys think bringing up Donald is rushing anything. It’s not like Donald is a 21-year-old kid. If not for his injury last year, he’d have been competing for a spot this year and probably would have beaten Valbuena out of spring training. So what’s the big deal with making this move now, versus some time in the near future, when it’s going to happen anyway because Donald is viewed as more of a potential “second baseman of the future” than Valbuena? Completely illogical … There is nothing wrong with making changes to try to give the team a boost, norwalkemo. The biggest problem with this team right now is that it looks like they have no passion, that they expect to lose, and that they’re already mailing it in. Watching guys like Sizemore and Hafner, the “good” veteran hitters, bat is like watching bad video game simulations, they’re the “rookie” level computer players, they take pitches down the middle and once they get two strikes, I immediately think in my head “swing and a miss on a pitch in the dirt or around their head” and that’s exactly what happens. I think it’s a very bad thing for the future of this team if they’ve quit trying in May. Getting used to failure is exactly what you don’t want from a young team. The knock on Acta in Washington was that he was too soft, and no one was held accountable for bad play and it led to lots of guys underperforming. Seems like it’s already showing itself here, and that Acta learned nothing from his failures there.

Travis Snider of the Jays is currently hitting .195. Why is he still at the big league level? Why is Rick Porcello and Max Scherzer still at the Major League level with the Tigers? Both have struggled to this point. Obviously the Indians are not the only ones with players struggling, but choose to give their players more opportunities.

I think it’s ridiculous to think the players are already quitting in May. What’s quitting? Are they quitting if they are showing up early before every game and taking extra BP and working on grounders etc?

According to the announcers, some of the players were showing up early and working on going the other way with the ball. Valbuena happened to be one and Hafner was the other.

It’s a young team, and they are going to take their lumps. It may appear to us that they aren’t trying or even care, but were not their when they are doing extra work underneath before the games.

As usual, I agree with Norwalkemo. We need a sparkplug…. somebody to step up and lead this team. The Twins got that this past offseason when they signed O-Hud. Since I live in the Twins market…. I waste countless hours watching that team. Hudson started slow, but has come around as of late. He is extremely fun to watch…. not just with his ability, but his antics. He is constantly talking somebody’s ear off (teammate or opponent)…. and you can just tell that everybody on that team loves him. It would have been great to land that guy, but I don’t blame him for taking less money and going with the Twins. Solid team in MN. If the Tribe don’t make a comeback this year… I would love to see the Twins win the division. It’s hard to hate a team like that…. especially with their new vets, Hudson and Thome. That being said…. I hope the Tribe beats the piss out of them when I’m down there in July and September.

Look, I’m not saying I don’t want to see Perez, Valbuena, and others go (read Peralta). What I am saying is that I see why they would be doing it.

I am not a Valbuena fan at all. I think we’ve seen his potential and he’s just blocking the way. I also feel that the Branyan move was horrible. Why sign a guy with a bad back to get in the way of LaPorta who just needs time at this level? That I question.

I wouldn’t say that I think guys on this team are giving up, I’d rather say that some haven’t put out enough effort. Branyan looks horrible, Peralta decides to hit here and there, and Valbuena shows not to be good enough. I also think that Sizemore still looks like he’s hurting.

I agree we need a spark, but I don’t think any young player will bring that to the team. They haven’t shown any fire for the last 2-3 years if you ask me. We need players who have a fire that is contagious, and we don’t have that on this team from what I see. Until a leader from the players shows up we won’t have any real fire – and we’ll continue to be a below average team.

The funny part is that he we all are writing stuff about this team on a day off because of how much we love the Tribe. We all write this because we want them to get better, which is why we’re all so emotional about it. Wouldn’t it be nice to see that from the team now too? A player calling out others to the media is always messy – but maybe things like that is what the team needs? Anything is better than what I’ve seen lately.

yep, the two I’m really concerned about are Grady and Laporta. They’ve shown no signs of coming out of it. In Sizemore’s case it’s just like he’s not seeing the ball. He constantly takes pitches that are right on the plate and then swings at anything when he gets 2 strikes. It’s become mildly amusing to watch Sizemore, Hafner and Branyan, yesterday every time Branyan went up there and had 2 strikes, I told my television: “curveball in the dirt, don’t swing” and Branyan swung at the curveball in the dirt. Grady and Hafner same thing. Laporta, I just don’t know. He hasn’t hit anything remotely deep since early spring training. Remember when we were all asking last year why they didn’t shut Grady down in like June/July, when it was clear his injuries were effecting him and the team was out of the race, and Wedge scoffed at that suggestion? I wonder if Sizemore would be struggling like this had he had surgery last summer, came back last September, and had all winter to prepare like normal? Either that or he’s going Baerga on us, and he’ll soon be nothing more than a pinch hitter/late inning defensive replacement.

I would have absolutely no problems with sending Valbuena down and calling up Donald. I see second base as a toss up position that needs to be decided, and given that Valbuena didn’t really have a good spring, either, I say why not make the move? It’s clearly a position that needs to be figured out by the end of the year.
Besides, Valbuena was with the team last year, so it’s not really a small sample size. And he gets a shorter leash than, say, LaPorta because we’re not committed to him at second. If he WAS our second baseman for the future, then you could justify letting him work through is problems. But that’s not the case.
I do think this team has passion, but I think the problem is that the veterans that the young guys are looking to are just not pulling their weight. It is impossible to understate how Grady’s problems are effecting this team.
Like I said before, though, this is the month that makes or breaks them, IMO.

I have never been sold on Valbuena but his 25 doubles in 368 ABs last year probably sparked the Indians’ curiosity with his gap power. Donald is putting together a strong start and Luis is struggling so it makes sense to make this move. Between Valbuena, Donald, Phelps and Kipnis I just need one of them to be a viable option.

I have a question with regards to Valbuena as a utility guy: could we use a player with a .330 BA, 3 HR, 16 RBI, .383 OBP, .486 SLG, .870 OPS??? Umm, yes. Those are the numbers for one Franklin Gutierrez. So we traded that guy who couldn’t hit a curveball UNTIL he got to Seattle for a future utility infielder and a right-handed relief specialist that can’t get anyone out? I remain salty about that whole ordeal but I digress.

Nick Hagadone looks like a monster

What happened to the idea that Lou Marson was of the Jason Kendall ilk: high average, no real power

Between CC Sabathia, Cliff Lee, Casey Blake and Victor Martinez would anyone have thought that Blake gave us the best prospect in their respective deals?

My sister sent me an email yesterday “asking” for my help in writing a baseball book titled “Money Matters: Why the Tampa Bay Rays are Ruining the Game of Baseball”. Look for it this December.

If you feel so inclined to give me some food for thought it is apparently based on the economics of baseball, a topic we have covered many times in this blog. Perhaps I can get her to include the “new baseball league” thread we had going in the winter.

Hey guys, it’s been a while.
For the record, my Valbuena obsession has now passed. Passed like a kidney stone from my screaming body.

yes AM, the Gutierrez trade is starting to look pretty bad. At the time it was hard to argue with though, even going into this year with Brantley, Laporta, Sizemore and Choo, the outfield looked set. With the benefit of hindsight, you’d actually have to say they should have traded Grady for a couple real good prospects and moved Gutierrez to CF. Obviously no one would have thought that a year ago. I’m not necessarily sold on Gutierrez as an offensive force though, I doubt he remotely keeps that BA up … Marson’s minor league numbers were pretty inconsistent, he had the one good year in AA where he put up a .433 OBP and got people excited. Other than that, not anything too special. He hasn’t drawn any walks this year, because pitchers could just throw it down the middle and there was a good chance he’d miss the pitch anyway. He could be a decent backup, which is all he was ever going to be for the Indians anyway … Kipnis is like the only player hitting on Kinston, and he’s hitting very well, Phelps has a ridiculously high BA for Akron, though still doesn’t show much power, and Donald is back to performing the way he did prior to last year, OPS around .890, right now second base is the deepest position in the organization. Which is why I think it’s doubly silly to have Valbuena floundering up here in the big leagues … what are they actually going to do if Valbuena DOES start hitting, and his BA’s back up around .250 at the end of May? And Donald, Phelps, and Kipnis are still hitting well? Call up Donald to be a platoon player, and only bat against left handers? Bench Valbuena, cut Grudz, and have Donald start? They have an opportunity right now to see what Donald can do while getting Valbuena hopefully squared away in Columbus for a month or so… I don’t get it

As AM said, Valbuena’s numbers from last year much have given the front office pause as far as considering him just a utility guy, but right now there’s no reason to let him flounder around in the majors. I mean, let’s look at it from the other side: while calling up Donald might improve our roster, sending Valbuena down to Columbus might also help HIM get better.
Yeah, the Gut deal looks pretty bad now, but I just chalk that up to karma, since we basically stole Choo from Seattle.
jkrum — classic.

while tonight’s game didn’t count I would consider Hafner and Sizemore’s HRs to be important for their confidence and psyche. Neither one of them seem to be very superstitious but it’s still gotta make a difference to them personally just knowing that they put good swings on the ball.

I didn’t intend on playing revisionist hindsight with the Gutierrez trade but I’m glad to see that others view its debacle-ness like I do. I still question why he learned to hit a curveball once he got to Seattle. Does that say something about Derek Shelton? On a related note, Ben Francisco has 18 ABs this year. Perhaps they are waiting to see if Jayson Werth leaves via FA.

And yes, it’s time to demote LV

ugh, Kerry Wood

Acta clearly explained that it was a numbers game with available options that prompted this move. Totally understandable IMO. Why do you continue to get upset and search for what you think is a reasonable explanation while completely ignoring the explanation provided? The move made sense.

I understand “rebuilding”, but I don’t get not trying to win games. Are the Indians shooting for the number 1 draft pick or something? Trying to alienate the fan-base and lose as much money as possible? Leaving Wood in after he’s walked the bases loaded in a tie game is something that makes sense in spring training. At no other time is that a sane baseball move. And is there any move more ridiculous than sending Jensen Lewis down to the minors? Other than a recent bad outing, had anyone pitched better out of the bullpen than Lewis? Rafael Perez better reward them for their patience. I really have to wonder, is it really a fact that a team would claim Perez? No one claimed Sowers. Of the two, I’d say Sowers is closer to being an asset to a team than Perez. I find it highly unlikely that anyone would actually claim him.

Here’s the thing: I don’t even think some of the moves even follow the “rebuilding” philosophy. I mean, let’s just take Perez off the table and assume they think they can salvage him. Is Jamey Wright the future of this bullpen? I mean, the five guys on the team this year that have higher ERAs include two starters (Masterson and Westbrook), the aforementioned Perez, the newly returned Wood, and Joe Smith…who is now in Columbus. Who has potential to be with this team next year or even the year after? Wright or Lewis?
If the Tribe isn’t going to win, then they should be preparing for next year by playing guys to see if they’ll work out.
Speaking of which, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Huff only make a few more starts. I think we all expected this of him, but I know I was blinded by the idea of another lefty come off a mediocre year and dominating guys with a well located fastball.
Still unsure about Masterson, but in his defense 4 of the 5 hits he gave up today were from right handed hitters, which is a pretty marked improvement from the rest of the season, so perhaps the potential really is there.

I’m not ignoring the explanation they’re giving, and I understand that they somehow think they’re making an intelligent move, I just think they are in actuality making an indefensibly idiotic move. I’m not sure how you can think the move is defensible AM, except that you haven’t watched very many games this year, so you’re not aware of how truly awful Rafael Perez has been, that he is literally incapable of getting guys out, and how Jensen Lewis has normally looked like the just about the best bullpen pitcher that they have. And yes, why hang onto Wright at this point, rather than Lewis? Lewis has been better than Wright, and he has a possible future with the team. You don’t send one of your better bullpen arms down to the minors simply because he has options available. Laffey, Sipp, and C Perez have options too. If anything, other than the obvious of removing Rafael Perez, they should have sent Laffey to AAA to get stretched back out as a starter. Rondon’s been really bad so far, so they actually have less AAA starting depth than we thought–basically just Pino and Carrasco–and Huff, Masterson, and Westbrook may all need to be replaced within a month or two. Who knows, maybe Rafael Perez will figure out how to throw a good slider again, and someone would actually claim him off waiver if they DFA’d him now, I figure both of those things are highly unlikely though.

Here’s the other thing that bothers me about the Lewis demotion: This is a guy who finished ’08 strong as our closer, then had a pretty awful ’09. And, yes, he’s barely pitched 1/6 of the innings he pitched last year so far, but as of right now his ERA is a full TWO runs lower. He’s obviously made some adjustments since last year, and his reward for that is to get sent back to Columbus.
And while I realize that Lewis has never been as dominant as R. Perez was in ’07, he’s at least showing improvement. Perez has gotten worse every year.
But, like I said, the Perez argument doesn’t really matter when Jamey Wright is around.
I’ll add this tidbit in FAVOR of holding on to Perez — I think whether or not they manage to set him right will have a direct impact on what they do with Laffey. I think we’ll see Carrasco and/or Pino (and possibly others, if they turn it around) before we see Laffey in the rotation. I don’t think they want to drop to just Sipp as the left handed option in the bullpen.

my best guess would be for Wright to get released when they call up Saul Rivera before May 15. In that scenario Rivera would replace Wright on the FMR. The only other option would be Frank Hermann as AC had mentioned his name as a darkhorse. The darkhorse might have been Josh Judy had he not gotten injured and started the year in Columbus like he was pitching in spring training. The question would be, are they willing to lose Rivera in lieu of promoting Hermann? My assumption would be no.

Look at who is in our bullpen that may not be there in a month (Ambriz, R. Perez) or even two months (Wood). Lewis has proved himself as a RP that adjusted to the league when the hitters adjusted to him post 2008.

And ST, you’re right in the fact that I haven’t “seen” a lot of games this year but I’ve listened to every single one (during the week) and watched the weekend games on tv like everyone else. I would actually make an argument that Tom Hamilton brings a better perspective to the game than Manning and Underwood. So while I haven’t seen Raffy Perez blow up constantly I know he’s putrid from having listened to the games. Heck, maybe they release Rerez rather than Wright to make a spot for Rivera.

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