"We lit out down to Florida and we got along all right"

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

central-florida-map.jpgWhile driving home from last night’s game at The Trop, I calculated that, between four Spring Training camps, several Tribe-Rays series and, of course, that brief and ill-fated stint playing Donald Duck at Disney World, I have spent roughly half a year of my life in Central Florida.

And yet I still have to Mapquest directions from here to the airport.

EXCRUCIATING MINUTIAE OF THE DAY…

  • The Indians have not announced a timetable for Asdrubal Cabrera’s return. But he’ll have surgery on his broken left forearm in Baltimore on Wednesday, and it’s reasonable to expect him to miss somewhere in the six-to-eight week range. Again, that’s my approximation, not that of the Indians’ medical training staff. They’ll provide an update Wednesday.
  • With Cabrera out, Jason Donald will get a decent look at short, and I’m sure Luis Valbuena will fill in there, as well. Mark Grudzielanek is hot (.444 average over a seven-game hitting streak) and will seem ample time at second. One thing Manny Acta won’t do is move Jhonny Peralta from third to short, even for a day.
  • This Grady Sizemore left knee injury is lingering, and he’ll undergo an MRI exam Wednesday. It’s not looking particularly promising for Sizemore to return to the lineup anytime soon, as he’s not able to participate in pregame drills or even test out the knee.
  • Last week, when asked whether it’s tough to get Rafael Perez some work in non-pressure situations, Acta said, “Life is tough. Get a helmet.” Acta updated that quote today when asked about losing his Nos. 1 and 2 hitters in consecutive games. “Life is tough,” he said. “Get a double-flap helmet. It provides more protection from both sides.” Obviously, this is a motto Shin-Soo Choo already lives by.
  • Naturally, Sizemore’s injury came a day after Trevor Crowe got the call up from Triple-A Columbus. Now, Crowe is the guy filling in for Sizemore in center field. Crowe got the call over Michael Brantley because, at the time, the Indians didn’t expect to have many at-bats available, and they want Brantley playing every day. But if the Sizemore injury becomes a more long-term situation, then you’d have to imagine Brantley gets consideration for a promotion. He is batting .329 with a .764 OPS down at Columbus.
  • It was a Crowe text message that alerted Donald to the fact that he’s starting today. He was in the Columbus airport when he received it and immediately started stretching. His parents, Tom and Debbie, arrived here from Clovis, Calif., via red-eye flight from San Francisco.  
  • The Indians have played 36 games this season and lost two of them on walkoff bunts by the opposition. That strikes me as an unusually high percentage.
  • What frustrated Acta about Jason Bartlett’s game-winning bunt (it was ruled a sacrifice and fielder’s choice though just as easily could have been ruled a hit) last night was that Jamey Wright wasn’t able to scare Bartlett off with some high-and-inside heat beforehand. Acta visited the mound and instructed Wright to deliver just that to give Bartlett “something to think about,” But Wright’s pitches were lower in the zone. “Thirty teams are telling their pitchers to throw strikes, and it doesn’t always happen,” Acta said. “If they’re unable to do it, that’s human nature. It’s a disappointment [that Wright didn't execute], but there’s only so many things you can do. You want every pitch on the black and can’t do it. I want to eagle every hole, and I can’t.”
  • But Acta seemed amused with Wright’s statement that he’s been groomed from the time he was 12 years old to throw low in the zone and that it’s difficult to throw high and tight when instructed. “That’s his opinion,” Acta said. “When a manager calls for a pitchout, don’t you have to throw up and away?”
  • Carlos Santana is unreal. He homered twice in Columbus’ 5-1 win over Durham on Monday, driving in five runs along the way. He now has a .333 average, nine homers, nine doubles and 37 RBIs in 37 games. He’s ringing in with a 1.087 OPS. The clock is ticking toward June, and Lou Marson is batting .215 with no homers and one RBI to his name. I’m not saying, I’m just saying.
  • Veteran lefty Mike Gosling announced his retirement Monday, and he went out with a bang. He tossed 6 1/3 scoreless innings in an emergency start for Columbus, getting the win to improve to 3-0 with a 2.96 ERA. He wants to spend more time with his family. Gosling made 58 career Major League appearances from 2004-09, including 15 with the Tribe last year.
  • Lonnie Chisenhall is sidelined at Double-A Akron with a right shoulder impingement and will probably be out another week or so. Chisenhall got off to a nice start this season but quickly cooled. He’s batting .261 with no homers and a .641 OPS.
  • The Indians’ 49 double plays turned this year are the most in the Majors.

~AC

15 Comments

I was just wondering, does anyone know why there are no commercials during the game on TV today?

Matt Underwood said on Facebook that it’s a technical problem.

Cool, thanks. I guess it was fixed.

I know arbitration reasons are what is keeping Carlos Santana in Columbus, but the Tribe is only 6 games under .500 in a division that 5-10 games over could win it. Enough with the excuses from Shapiro about “defense” and “game calling”. Get him up and the Indians line-up is nasty to opposing pitchers.

The back and forth between Wright and Acta isn’t good and, as I said earlier, adds fuel to the fire over the Jensen Lewis demotion.
Speaking of which, ST, you mentioned that Wright doesn’t let inherited runners score, but all that means is that the majority of time he lets a guy on base, that guy comes around to score — it’s the only way to explain his ERA. So once HE lets a runner on base, the result is pretty much a given.
Regardless, I find his comments to Acta more disconcerting than anything else. A veteran like that should be able to brush back a hitter.
Nice to see Donald get a hit his first time up. He’s got to know this is a big opportunity for him to make the team, particularly since Cabrera most likely won’t be back until right around when we’ll be shopping Grudz.

Sofla20, do you honestly believe that Carlos Santana is going to improve an entire line-up that much? We need more than just Santana for this offense to improve. We only have 3 guys hitting around .300, not counting Crowe, who just got called up. I’ve not doubts that Santana could help us offensively, but he’s certainly not going to save this line-up unless Peralta, Hafner, Branyan, et al. hit as well.

But why not walk the bases loaded? To me it’s just bad strategy by Acta. You have a sinkerball pitcher on the mound, if the bases are loaded they don’t do a safety squeeze because there’s a force play at the plate, and you set up a conventional double play possibility, any groundball you have a chance at the guy at the plate … Like I said with Wright, there was one game where he gave up a lot of runs in a meaningless situation. Skews his season results … I’d certainly take Jensen Lewis over Rafael Perez. They’re basically down a man in the bullpen. They might as well pay me instead of Perez. I can go out and let 3 guys on base without getting anyone out too

I wonder why they don’t put Sizemore on the DL? Retroactive to a few days ago? It’s not like he couldn’t use some time to work on his swing anyway. Call up Brantley?

Donald has as many hits as Valbuena does for the month in one game. Shapiro! Why not 3 weeks ago?

Yeah I’m not saying they’d be good for 10 runs a game with Santana, but it’s clear Marson can’t hit major league pitching. Santana could probably hit in the middle of the order right now, bumping Peralta/Branyan down a spot, which makes the lineup more potent top to bottom.

The Indians should consider moving Hafner up to number 2 in the order. Came into today with a .396 OBP. Cabrera was at .322 before the injury, Sizemore .272, Grudz .358. Shouldn’t we have someone who can actually get on base ahead of Choo and Kearns? And Santana could change the dynamic of the lineup quite a bit, depending on how well he did. Not enough to suddenly compete for the division, the Twins are pretty good. Regardless, there is no reason to hold back his development longer. He should be up after super 2 is no longer an issue so he can develop as a hitter against major league pitching and so he can start working with the pitching staff

Listened to the radio feed today (at work) and I didn’t realize that Acta had told Wright to throw up and in TWICE, and Wright didn’t. You’re right, ST, walking him probably would have made more sense, but at the point Wright was doing whatever he wanted. Had he thrown two balls up and in, who’s to say Acta wouldn’t have given the 4 fingers? I just can’t get past a reliever who doesn’t do what a manager specifically goes out to the mound to tell him.
Got to like Donald coming out like he did. I’m eager to see more from him. I can see why Shapiro didn’t call him up sooner, though. With Cabrera and Grudz, there was no guarantee of getting him in there on any kind of regular basis. Now, though, he should be in there every day.
Huff is always going to be a 5-6 ERA kind of guy. Masterson has a team tailor made for him to rebound coming up.
We need to take these two from KC to get back to five games back.

LACF, wouldn’t you consider it to be a good thing that Acta responded to Wright’s (in)action on that particular at bat and then his subsequent response to Wright’s own comments?

The way I look at it is Acta probably gave the veteran a lecture about executing what HE wants rather than what Wright thinks he’s been groomed to do. Call me old fashioned but I thought a player was supposed to do what a manager asked? ManAct did not flambay him in the media (ala Wedge v, Peralta last year) but he did speak his mind openly to the media. ST has been rather vocal (and critical) about Acta’s demeanor and style where nothing concerns him as that was the knock on him in Washington. To me this is a good thing. It shows me that he is growing into the position and learning from his past. Maybe I’m over-analyzing the situation though.

I felt like the comments reeked of Acta trying to deflect blame from his own questionable game management onto Wright. Am I the only one who thought it was completely insane to have Laffey pitching in the 8th when that’s what Sipp and Chris Perez should be for, and to then not walk the bases loaded, and tell your pitcher to throw up and in: what’s that even going to do if Wright succeeds at it? Scare the guy from bunting?

Yes, scare the guy from bunting is exactly what it would have done! Also, brushing him back would have set him up for low and away. Assuming it worked, even if he hit it, it would have been off the end of the bat and not far enough to do any damage.
I don’t think it was deflecting at all. Personally, I’m glad it got out, because Wright needs to be held accountable. I don’t see how it’s that different from the Hanley Ramirez situation, to be honest.

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