"I almost went to barber school. I always felt I had a talent for it."
By Anthony Castrovince/MLB.com
Sitting next to Indians media relations assistant Matt Whewell in the Progressive Field press box is a daily education. We learned a few weeks back that a human being is capable of consuming upwards of 42,388 calories in a single meal and still keeping an accurate box score after the fact.
Today, we learn what probably should have been a point hammered home to all pubescent males as a forewarning: Never let your girlfriend cut your hair. No matter what. If you’re on a budget and aren’t the salon type, well, by all means, go get a $7 cut on E. 185th Street. Pull the Sawzall out of storage and find a good angle in front of the mirror, if you’re really desperate. Do whatever it takes to avoid asking your girlfriend to bring scissors anywhere near your scalp. Because the only potential outcomes in that scenario are hurt feelings, a lopsided dome or some combination of the two.
EXCRUCIATING MINUTIAE OF THE DAY…
- I’m not a doctor and don’t play one on TV. I am not medically qualified to know about treatment options for a “deep knee bone bruise.” But I do know that Grady Sizemore is seeing not one but two specialists this week (in Vail, Colo., and New York City) for second and third opinions on how to treat his condition. Clearly, this is not your standard bruise. Cartilage damage is a possibility, as is surgery. We should know more later in the week.
- Trevor Crowe has been impressive filling in for Sizemore thus far. He doesn’t look as uncomfortable at this level as he did in ’09. Manny Acta and the coaching staff liked his energy in Spring Training, and Acta likes having a switch-hitter with speed on the active roster. Many fans would rather see Michael Brantley right now, but Crowe has clicked the nine games since his promotion. Also worth noting that just four of Brantley’s 32 hits with Columbus this season have gone for extra bases — three doubles and a triple. That’s worthy of some concern.
- Justin Masterson on the hill tonight, and you know the story line there. He’s looking for a win. Hasn’t notched one since last August. His losing streak is at 10 games, covering his last seven starts of ’09 and his first eight of 2010. In Indians history, only four pitchers have had losing streaks of at least 11 games. They are: Guy Morton (13, 1914), Rod Nichols (13, 1989-91), Steve Hargan (11, 1971-72) and Fausto Carmona (11, 2006-07).
- The good news on Masterson? He’s striking out 9.6 batters per nine innings, the third-best ratio in the AL.
- Some fans want to see Masterson dropped to the bullpen and Aaron Laffey reinstalled as a starter. Worth noting that Laffey has labored a bit lately. “He hasn’t had his command his last few outings,” Manny Acta said of Laffey, who has allowed four runs on five hits with a walk over his last 2 1/3 innings. .
- David Huff had just about pitched himself into the Columbus rotation before rebounding a bit with his start in Tampa Bay last week and against the Reds on Sunday. Tim Belcher and Acta were frustrated with Huff shaking off the catcher and going to his breaking and offspeed stuff more frequently than they’d like. They’re much happier with his last two starts. He still got burned on two changeups to Scott Rolen on Sunday, but his job isn’t in as much jeopardy as it was a couple weeks ago. “I was kind of going down the wrong path and getting away from what I do,” Huff said. “Manny and Tim saw that and yelled at me. They lit a fire under my butt.”
- According to fangraphs.com, Huff is actually throwing a similar percentage of fastballs this year as he did last year (62.2 percent this year, 63.6 percent in ’09). He’s throwing more sliders (13.3 percent vs. 10.9 in ’09), less curveballs (4.4 vs. 7.0) and more changeups (20.1 vs. 18.6).
- The back end of the Indians’ bullpen is set right now with closer Kerry Wood and setup men Chris Perez (zero earned runs allowed over his last 12 1/3 innings) and Tony Sipp (zero earned runs last 15 1/3 innings). Middle relief is a little more murky. If the Indians make a move, you’d have to imagine Jensen Lewis is the first name on the totem pole. He’s posted a 2.08 ERA in 8 2/3 innings since his demotion to Columbus a few weeks back. Joe Smith is 2-1 with a 3.48 ERA in 10 1/3 innings since he was sent down.
- Alex White made his Double-A debut on Sunday and delivered seven strong innings against Harrisburg. He picked up the win by allowing just two runs on five hits with two strikeouts and a walk. He’s now thrown five consecutive quality starts between Class A Kinston and Akron, allowing just eight earned runs over 32 1/3 innings in that span.
- Left-hander Scott Barnes, the Ryan Garko trade acquisition, was named Eastern League pitcher of the week after tossing five no-hit innings against Altoona last Tuesday. He’s starting again tonight.
- Class A Kinston right-hander Joe Gardner was also named his league’s pitcher of the week. He has ye to allow an earned run in 16 2/3 innings since his promotion to Kinston. He’s also on the mound tonight.
- Garko, by the way, has been employed by four organizations in the last 10 months and is currently playing for Triple-A Oklahoma City. Ouch.
- Acta began his pregame presser today by grabbing the STO microphone out of a cameraman’s hands and holding it himself for the length of the interview. “It’s excruciating to see you have to hold this and do the camera, too,” Acta said with a smile. And, as you know, if it’s excruciating, it has to be documented in this space.
- Got an Inbox coming Thursday. If you’ve got a question, post it in the comments section below, and don’t forget to include your name and hometown.