5/13: Indians at Royals

Today’s 2:10 p.m. ET game is on WTAM and is not on TV in Cleveland.


cle3.gifINDIANS (13-18):
SS Cabrera, CF Sizemore, RF Choo, DH Hafner, LF Kearns, 3B Peralta, 1B LaPorta, 2B Valbuena, C Marson. LHP David Huff (1-4, 4.60).

 

 

 


kc4.gifROYALS (11-23):
LF Podsednik, 2B Aviles, RF DeJesus, 1B Butler, DH Guillen, 3B Callaspo, C Pena, CF Maier, SS Betancourt. RHP Zack Greinke (0-4, 2.50).

51 Comments

First time I’ve seen Laporta hit one deep all year, double off the wall. Maybe I’m wrong, and all he needed was a few days off working with Nunnally. But the lack of Branyan in the lineup after hitting 3 HRs in 2 days still kinda sucks.

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Where is Mike Hegan on the Indians radio games?? Been missing for at least a week. Do NOT like the replacement guy at all – having Davy Nelson sweats – is this permanent?

Hegan was sick last week and supposed to just miss the home stand to recoup. I guess he’s still feeling under the weather. Maybe he saw the 6-9 hitters in the line up today and got the dry heaves.

Didn’t see the game today, but it’s encouraging to see Raffy on the box pitching an inning and 1/3 without allowing a hit, and only 1 walk.

Oh ya…. we were playing the Royals.

Yes, two amazing things about this game, Perez only allows 1 baserunner, and Laporta hits a double off the wall and a fly ball to the warning track … also it appeared the home plate umpire was drunk. For some reason, 6-8 inches off the plate on either side was usually a strike, but pitches that were actually on the corner of the plate were balls. It was really funny when they’d show the pitch track thing on the Royals network, because there’d be entire at bats where the one pitch that was actually on the plate was the one pitch that was called a ball … I’m not sure how you can be that bad at your job and keep it

ST and I are agreeing too much lately. It’s creepy.
The ump was crazy. I particularly feel bad for Hafner, who struck out swinging on a pitch that was outside, but it’s not like he had much of a choice.
I meant to post this after the non-game against the Tigers, but I think we’re seeing the true Huff now. I was as excited as the next guy about the way he started, but I expect him to be the first one sent down (although I suppose Westbrook could get dealt before then).

I miss Mike Hegan too, nothing against Rosey, but where’s Mike been? is everything O.K.?

ST… funny you should mention something about somebody keeping their job…. because Hillman was unable to. “Hey Trey…. thanks for the win, but your time is done here. Bu-bye!”

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CastroTurf: 5/12: Indians at Royals

As long as I have at least one person to argue with I’m fine … And yeah that Hafner one was one of the ones I was thinking of, after he struck out, the announcers were looking at the pitch placements and commented on how he swung at so many pitches off the plate, apparently forgetting that the pitch he struck out on had been called a strike earlier. I think the worst was someone on the Indians had a 3-1 count, took a pitch well inside that the guy called a strike, then took one on the outside half of the plate that was definitely a strike and he called it ball 4 … As far as Huff, I don’t think they send him down anytime soon. Who would you call up? It would be one thing if Rondon and/or Carrasco were dominating in AAA, but Rondon was terrible before he got hurt, Carrasco’s been halfway decent, as has Pino, but neither’s been outstanding. Tomlin’s probably done the best, but isn’t really considered a good prospect. Huff was actually really going well the first few innings, I never remember seeing him even have a curveball but it looked pretty good today, and he had a good changeup working too, then he just lost his control. I don’t know what their plan was on that HR he gave up either, the guy crushed an inside pitch that got too much of the plate, but it went foul, you’d think you’d go with something outside after that, preferably off speed since I think it was fastball he yanked, but no, they throw the same inside fastball and get the same result, except this time it’s a fair ball, tie game.

Scott Lewis released? They have also traded Neil Wagner for Cash.

Any confirmation on that Lewis being released bit? It seems like only Hoynes is mentioning it.

yeah, Tony Lastoria also reported they released him. Lewis has a permanent issue with pain in his bicep. That’s why he keeps ending up on the DL. Apparently Jordan Brown is back on the DL as well … I wonder how much longer they’re going to go with Masterson as a starter? I expected more from him this year. It’s odd that his strikeout rate is way up but guys are hitting him better than in previous years. Not too often that you see strikeouts and BAA both moving up. I imagine he has a long leash to try to make it work … With Huff and Masterson both struggling badly, I go back to what I said when they sent Jensen Lewis down: why not instead send Laffey down to get stretched out as a starter? He’s done well out of the bullpen, but right now they have more bullpen prospects than they know what to do with (and if someone takes Masterson’s place in the rotation, Masterson probably goes to the bullpen himself), while the starting depth options are surprisingly limited. Pino got rocked tonight and has an ERA around 4.50, Carrasco has a WHIP around 1.50, and Rondon was horrible before he went on the DL. I imagine Masterson has a pretty long leash to see if he can get straightened out though

yeah, Tony Lastoria also reported they released him. Lewis has a permanent issue with pain in his bicep. That’s why he keeps ending up on the DL. Apparently Jordan Brown is back on the DL as well … I wonder how much longer they’re going to go with Masterson as a starter? I expected more from him this year. It’s odd that his strikeout rate is way up but guys are hitting him better than in previous years. Not too often that you see strikeouts and BAA both moving up. I imagine he has a long leash to try to make it work … With Huff and Masterson both struggling badly, I go back to what I said when they sent Jensen Lewis down: why not instead send Laffey down to get stretched out as a starter? He’s done well out of the bullpen, but right now they have more bullpen prospects than they know what to do with (and if someone takes Masterson’s place in the rotation, Masterson probably goes to the bullpen himself), while the starting depth options are surprisingly limited. Pino got rocked tonight and has an ERA around 4.50, Carrasco has a WHIP around 1.50, and Rondon was horrible before he went on the DL. I imagine Masterson has a pretty long leash to see if he can get straightened out though

http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20100514&content_id=10039310&notebook_id=10039916&vkey=notebook_cle&fext=.jsp&c_id=cle

I don’t like the idea of releasing someone who is on the DL. I hope that doesn’t mean he is on his own when it comes to rehabing and health insurance and all that. If a player gets hurt playing for your organization, I hope they at least get taken care of until they are back to full health. But I am also not sure why he was released to begin with. Was he really blocking anyone else’s progress? Seems to me like the Indians had less to lose by holding on to him than letting him go, but what do I know? And maybe Scott asked to be released.

He could have been blocking players if he was due to come off the DL. They just released Stiller and Wagner, who were not bad prospects, from Akron because they needed to make room for some of the guys coming up from Kinston. Not sure what the impetus was to release him now, with Rondon on the DL and no one in the starting rotation at Akron who was doing well, they did just promote Pestano to Columbus but he’s a reliever. But the thing with Lewis is that he was never really going to be back to “full health.” He has chronic bicep pain that he’d have to pitch through.

actually, I realized that Sowers was just put back in the Columbus rotation while Lewis was on the DL, so that’s probably why. Sowers took Lewis’s rotation spot, and Pestano took Sowers spot in the bullpen. So Rondon (when he’s back), Carrasco, Pino, Gomez, Sowers, there wouldn’t be a place for Lewis … this is why I wouldn’t get too excited about the return they’ll get in trades for players like Westbrook, Kearns, Branyan, Wood, they have too many of these middling prospects already, and that’s all they’d get in return in a trade, more average guys that they have no room for

Have to agree with christopherw on the timing. It seems like a questionable move to let him go while he’s on the DL, particularly since he’s obviously not blocking anyone. Then again, maybe he’s giving up and asked for the release.
Laffey didn’t look too good today, but I agree that the Tribe are going to need to bring him back to the rotation at some point. I’m willing to bet they give Huff and Masterson at least until the All-Star break to work things out. Assuming Jake goes by the trade deadline (and I’m sure he won’t be alone), I would expect to see the rotation changes happen then.
I know Rondon had a good stretch in Columbus last year, but I really didn’t expect him to be an option for Cleveland this year, anyway. He didn’t have that many starts in AAA last year.
My only concern with moving Laffey is the lack of left hander in the bullpen other than Sipp (I refuse to count R. Perez any more), but I guess a lot of teams carry only one lefty.

I don’t know, if he keeps playing like he does, they could get a solid prospect for Kearns. They could get solid prospects for a lot of guys, they’re just going to be prospects who are currently playing A ball. Teams in a race at mid-season have been known to deal away gems to plug holes.

sure, there’s always the Carlos Santana for Casey Blake insane trades. But highly unlikely. It would be nice to get a good outfield prospect, all of a sudden seems we’re short of outfielders, with Sizemore seemingly done at age 27, and Laporta seeming like a bust, Brown unable to stay off the DL, who knows with Brantley, Weglarz has been decent in Akron, but Abner Abreu down in Kinston appears to be a bust … is Kearns going to even play? Since sending Laporta down to the minors hasn’t even “been discussed” by Indians management?

And don’t forget that Choo’s a Boras client now. That basically removes him from our future.

ST, I’m glad that I can currently be “the one” you argue with at the moment. It’s all in good fun and good debate of differing perspectives. In that vain I will say that suggesting young guys are busts this early in their development is a slippery slope. Abreu is a guy you’ve been high on for a while but his early season struggles at Kinston shouldn’t change that opinion. I personally have been monitoring the development of Bo Greenwell. He has the pedigree that you cannot teach and would appear to be a ballplayer. Then again, Josh Barfield had the pedigree as well and we all know where that got him.

As for the rest of our outfield prospects I am less concerned with what we have down on the farm and more concerned with what’s happening at the ML level. The Choo-Boras conglomerate is obviously a lose-lose for the Indians. He will be traded at some point in the future IMO simply b/c we won’t be able to keep him. He should yield quality talent in return but we might get shafted on his value based on his agent’s asking price/signability.

Sizemore is more of an enigma at this point. I would not have thought that a natural athlete such as Grady would struggle for this long. It’s more of the unknown that makes me question him. I am less concerned with LaPorta and Brantley than you are. While I sometimes think that you take your harsh analysis (or praise) of players to the extreme based on what they are doing at that exact moment there are real truths that need to be addressed by the front office in regards to the issues you bring up. Every front office would love an Austin Jackson type of splash at the ML level (or Evan Longoria in a dream scenario) but those types of things are few and far between. Remeber last year when we were all high on Matt McBride? Snapshot numbers can be deceiving and while we fans can act immediately, those in the FA need to see the bigger picture. The problem recently for Shapiro is that his bigger picture has been terribly skewed.

Abreu was considered a top 10 or even top 5 prospect in the organization. He has a ton of strikeouts and has hit for no power when he moved up to the tougher level at Kinston, so that is concerning. Certainly in all of their cases, Sizemore, Laporta, Abreu, they could turn it around, but right now there’s no reason for optimism. Seemed like Sizemore had a better grasp of the strike zone the past couple games, but it hasn’t translated to him driving the ball well. Laporta is the most concerning, they are screwed if he doesn’t pan out. It’s still a small sample size with him, sure, but take Marte’s ’06 numbers as a comparison, Marte had about twice as many ABs as Laporta does right now, and he hit 15 doubes, 1 triple and 5 HRs, with 23 RBIs. Laporta would have to do very well in his next 80 at bats just to mimic Marte’s ’06 power and RBI numbers, which were not very good … So far it’s been a bad year across the board for the Indians big league team and the minors. Rondon and Abreu have been terrible, as has Jeanmar Gomez (not really unexpected with Gomez), Chisenhall doesn’t have a HR yet and has an OPS around .650, the only prospects who’ve met or exceeded expectations are the Kinston pitchers, Greenwell, Kipnis, Phelps, Weglarz, Santana and Donald, and 3 of those guys are second basemen.

What up with AC? Where is he? I have no idea who Crowe came up for and a missing my minutiae, and tweets.

Marte’s on the DL with a non-baseball related injury, that’s the extent of what’s been released as far as I know.
Man, Trevor Crowe, you have made a great return to this team! Just picture being his position: what’s that? Grady Sizemore is still slumping? Austin Kearns will most likely be dealt at mid-season? Choo signed with Boras? Why, yes, yes I would like to be in the starting line-up…
Hafner might not be hitting the ball like we’d like, but he’s clear gotten his eye back.
When Marte returns, they better send LaPorta down. He’s just wasting away.

wow, I guess that was a interesting game. See Grady, it’s not that hard. Crowe was hitting like .240 in AAA, but he already has 1 more HR than you. Crazy. And yes, nothing more can really be said about the idiocy of keeping Laporta in the majors, while not playing. How long have I been saying they should call up Crowe, who at the very least can provide good defense off the bench, in his place?

agreed, the time to demote LaPorta has come and gone but they should still make that move upon Marte’s return only b/c no one else can play the corner positions if they send LaPorta packing right now. He’ll get it figured out in Columbus. Even in the worst case scenario Crowe can provide the days off needed from all 3 outfield positions.

De la Cruz continues to impress and we might be seeing why the Indians protected him for the R5D. He’s still developing (as seen by his 5 BB yesterday) but they are right when they say this kid has electric stuff. He and Hagadone make me smile. If only we could see Knapp. Speaking of which, is he in Arizona? Connor Graham, Bryan Price and Scott Barnes are getting roughed up in Akron though.

Is it me or did anyone else see Austin Kearns snub Sandy Alomar Jr. when he hit that go ahead 3-R HR? From the camera angle it looked as if Alomar extended his hand and Kearns simply gave him a head nod. I was a little disturbed by that.

the things is, the current Indians team isn’t 14-20 because of pitching. If they still had Sabathia and Lee at the front of the rotation, they’d probably be … 15-19. So right now, talk about any future contention is probably more dependent on guys like Laporta, Sizemore, Brantley and Santana, then Hagadone, De La Cruz, Knapp, etc … IPI just had something on Knapp today: “The Indians are also being very extra cautious with right-hander Jason Knapp as he is still progressing in his throwing program. Though no exact timetable has been set, he is supposed to start pitching in extended spring training games very soon, possibly within the next week or two. He threw his first bullpen on Friday.”I just noticed that Grudz has 0 extra base hits on the year. 20 singles. That’s hard to do.

Didn’t see it, AM, so I couldn’t say. I do like the bond Kearns and Grudz seem to have formed in the clubhouse.
Say what you want about Marson’s bat, but he can gun some people down. The second pick he had yesterday was about the most perfect throw to second I’ve ever seen (he obviously got help from Cabrera on the first one).
I tried to track down Knapp the other day myself, and couldn’t find him, so I’m guessing he’s still in AZ. Between Hagadone and De La Cruz and the struggles of pretty much all of our starters in AAA, I think it’s probably more realistic to look at 2012 as our next, best shot to make a run. I mean, maybe we can compete for the division next year, but I mean really compete on an ’07 level.

ST, I agree with your dependent contention list but I was simply stating that I enjoy what I’ve read from those two guys.

WOW, what a throw from Choo!

LACF, I think most people would agree with 2012 as our year for a realistic potential shot at the division so long as they are objective.

I see Grudz as a cheaper, older, less gritty Jamie Carroll. We all assumed that he would win the utility job. He’s done that and more considering Valbuena’s struggles. With regards to LV I would agree with ST: perhaps he needs a Asdrubal Cabrera type of demotion to get his head straight and hopefully right the ship. Problem is, with that in mind they would almost certainly have to promote Donald to take his place. If not, then LV wouldn’t get the playing time necessary in Columbus. AC seems to think that the FO is not interested in making that move just yet.

WOOHOO, Matty LaPorta hit a ball out of the yard!

Me: “I’m worried about Tony Sipp.”
Sipp is arguably our best reliever now.
Me: “Send LaPorta down.”
LaPorta hits a 2 run homer.
I should be more critical of everyone on the team.
Okay, it sounds like Cabrera isn’t running well and now Grady is out of the game.

yeah, the hometown announcers said that he knew he’d be doubled up and it looks like he’s able to play but definitely not 100%. Looks like Crowe is here to stay for a while. I heard something on the radio too about Marson. After his wretched start he’s been hitting at a .293 clip.

LACF/ST, check out the new poll question that AC put up on the main page. Should make you happy.

And I take full credit for Abner Abreu’s 3-4 with a HR yesterday, he was obviously responding to my comment about his lack of HRs. Laporta, Branyan going deep, all of a sudden we have too many 1st basemen, haha … how do they work Laporta in every day? Or are we getting close enough to being able to trade Branyan and/or Kearns that it doesn’t matter? I actually kind of want Marson to hit badly, don’t want them to have any reason to not call up Santana in 2 weeks … They’re going to need to promote Phelps and Kipnis at some point, if they keep hitting as they have, probably mid-season at latest they should both jump a level. So if there’s any time to get Valbuena down to Columbus and play every day, it is now, not a month from now, when Phelps will be blocking him.

ST, I would probably agree with you on the promotional timeline of Kipnis. It is usually assumed that full time collegiate players at big schools SHOULD get through the system faster than the rank and file guys that might peak out at Triple-A.

sooner or later we will need to start talking about who they will take with the #5 pick in the draft. There is supposed to be a surplus of high school pitchers this year…

They’ll probably draft a left handed hitter. They have a huge need for those.

wow, I just saw that the Rays’ team ERA is 2.75. And Travis Hafner is actually performing better this year than the average DH. I guess the post-steroids era has truly arrived.

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