5/30: Indians at Yankees

The Indians made a roster move before today’s game, promoting right-handed reliever Jensen Lewis from Columbus and sending left-hander Aaron Laffey down. Laffey is expected to get stretched back out as a starter, which would make him an option should the Indians make a change in their rotation.

Speaking of which, Justin Masterson is on the mound today in the Bronx. WTAM and STO will carry the 1:05 p.m. ET game. Mike Snyder is filling in for Tom Hamilton, who is attending his daughter’s graduation party back home.

UPDATE: Head athletic trainer Lonnie Soloff announced that Grady Sizemore will have arthroscopic surgery on his left knee in Vail, Colo., this week and will miss at least six to eight weeks. Possibly more, if microfracture surgery is deemed necessary. More to come on Indians.com.

Also, the Indians are still hopeful David Huff will make his next start against the Tigers. He will continue to be evaluated over the next few days but he looks and feels great.


cle3.gifINDIANS (18-29):
CF Crowe, RF Choo, DH Hafner, LF Kearns, 1B Branyan, 3B Peralta, 2B Valbuena, C Marson, SS Donald. RHP Justin Masterson (0-5, 6.13).

 

 

 


nyy3.gifYANKEES (29-20):
SS Jeter, CF Granderson, 1B Teixeira, 3B Rodriguez, RF Cano, DH Swisher, LF Miranda, C Gardner, C Moeller. RHP A.J. Burnett (5-2, 3.55).

14 Comments

trade value or not, Austin Kearns is hitting more like his norm in May (80 ABs, .250 BA, 31 SO, .687 OPS) than his April surprise (51 ABs, .373 BA, 11 SO, 1.056 OPS). Hence, I am not happy that LaPorta is benched today after yesterday’s performance. Trade value notwithstanding, one is our future and the other is not.

Aaron Laffey has got a multitude of problems. Hopefully he can get them straightened out in Columbus b/c right now he’s on a bad run. While he is prone to stretches of ineffectiveness this latest development is concerning b/c no one is stepping up right now at the ML or minor league level.

Way to call the roster move ahead of time LACF. Right on man.

If we could ever use a bullpen-saving performance from Justin Masterson then today would be the day. Here’s hoping for the best.

It’s really promising to hear the news about David Huff. That was scary, Herb Score-esque.

I don’t think Brantley deserves a call-up. Anyone notice that Carlos Santana has twice as many steals as Brantley? Brantley’s also been caught twice. Makes me wonder if he’s injured. Depends on their performance down in AAA as the year goes on, but I would prefer they call up Jordan Brown. If Brantley isn’t stealing bases, he’s basically Lou Marson.

You know, the sad thing is that my roster move prediction was based on a) our discussions here (I think ST was the first person to suggest sending Laffey down to get stretched out, even before he started having problems) and b) logic. It’s sad because logic would also dictate things like sending down LaPorta and/or Valbuena.
Matt Underwood just suggested, based upon things he’s heard around the clubhouse, that Grady actually hurt himself in spring training. *sigh*
It’s going to be interesting to see when they call up Brantley. There doesn’t seem to be a reason to rush him.

AC’s newest article on the main page also mentioned the spring training injury. Go figure. When do you bring up Brantley then and how do you find playing time for him? I think that we are all expecting some sort of movement (i.e. trades) to occur with the position players but in the meantime it doesn’t change our logjam of corner outfielders, first basemen and DH’es. It would appear that calling up Brantley would be demoting Crowe to the 4th OF job. Duncan really isn’t an issue long term but ManAct has a preference for Kearns despite his struggled this month. If we said that Kearns played his way into the lineup in April then he has done the opposite in the month of May.

I gotta say that I cannot wait for Marte to come back from his hiatus. I am flat out tired of seeing Peralta flail at balls in the dirt or chase eye-high fastballs when he’s down in the count. And to think, Peralta is THE reason why Brandon Phillips switched positions. I don’t care if he gets to his career averages by the end of the year. I’m done with this bum. Send him packing for absolutely nothing in return except monetary relief. We’re not going to pick up his option so it’s not like we’re losing anything special. Save some money and gimme Marte, Hodges or even Buscher for the 2011 stopgap to Chisenhall for 2012.

Peter Gammons’ article from a week ago said that Grady first injured the knee in LA during the Dodgers game the last couple days of ST. And that doctors looked at it then and told him there was no structural damage, so he was okay to play on it. But it bothered him at least a little bit all throughout April and early May.

Would explain why he looked like old Grady in ST (because he basically *was*) then completely different during the season.

Man, Sipp, why don’t you just toss it in there under hand for him? A pretty amazing outing from Masterson just completely ruined.
And what was up with Crowe bunting with Donald at third? Crowe’s 2 for 4 (2 for 3 at that point) today — why did he bunt?

If Masterson just plays better defense, he goes 7 shutout innings. He really should have made the play on that ground ball hit back towards him by Gardner that he missed and went for a single. Really, 3 of the hits Masterson gave up should have been outs, the bunt single by Jeter, the Texeira ground ball that Peralta made a bad throw on that went for a single, and the ground ball up the middle that Masterson didn’t make the play on. I wonder what Masterson’s ERA would be if he had better defense behind him, and if he played better defense himself. I remember a game against the Twins earlier in the year, when Cabrera had a double play ball go through his legs, and then Masterson didn’t make a play at the plate in the same inning … I guess the trip to Columbus didn’t help Jensen Lewis much. And yeah, Sipp, you picked a great time to start sucking. If the Indians could just beat the Yankees, I’d be fine with them losing every other game they play this year

Masterson’s line should be much worse this year, as there have been a couple of games where he gave up unearned runs that were the result of his own errors. I don’t blame Peralta for that throw — that was a hard play to make.
I find it interesting that Masterson was basically down to his last start to stay in the rotation, and turned in a good performance. Then you have Crowe, in theory warming a starting spot for Brantley, performing well. And finally there’s Marson, whose days are clearly numbered, who’s finally hitting. Perhaps a sense of urgency is what these guys needed.

Hard play to make, but a play a good defensive player makes more times than not. And unearned runs that are the fault of Masterson’s errors don’t mean his line should be worse: his defense is part of the equation. If he fielded his position like Westbrook, he’d have had a 7 inning shutout today, and probably a win. His fault, but my point is Masterson’s been somewhat victimized by bad defense, including his own Coming into the game today, Masterson’s FIP was 4.17, with an ERA of 6.13, and a BABIP of .405. His line drive % is somewhat high, 21.5%, but .405 is still high, more balls that are hit are falling in than you’d expect. In ’08 with the Red Sox, Masterson had a line drive % of 18.5 with a BABIP of .243. So that year he was really lucky, the BABIP should have been more around .300. And that year his FIP/ERA was reversed, FIP was 4.69, ERA 3.16. But look at the defensive players he had behind him, Youkilis, Pedroia, and Lowell had UZRs of 7.9, 9.9 and 9.2. SS was the only position where the player had a negative UZR, with Lugo/Cora getting more of the games there, but they were still better than Cabrera’s -4.4. So it makes sense that his defense made him look better than he was, just like with the Indians it makes sense that the defense behind him now makes him looks worse than he’s been. Because now he has Peralta (-6.4), Valbuena (0.5, -6.7 last year), Grudz (0.0), Branyan (2.4) and Laporta (1.8). The Red Sox defense was likely getting to a lot more of those ground balls … The Indians are bad on a lot of levels, and defense is one of the underrated ones, whether it’s from their infielders or the pitchers themselves not making plays that better fielders would. You’d think when they acquired all of these sinkerballers who don’t strike anyone out (other than Masterson), they’d have thought to look for good or at least average defensive infielders and maybe spend a little more time with their pitchers working on defense

My point is that Masterson’s line should be worse, but isn’t because the unearned runs don’t go towards his ERA. I’m of the belief, though, that a run that’s the result of an error by the pitcher himself should count, but that’s just me. In other words, his ERA should be much higher.
Did they acquire many sinkerballers other than Talbot? Most of them seem to have already been in the system. And I don’t think they’re all that concerned about Peralta’s defense because I don’t think they consider him a part of the future infield — or Grudz or Branyan, for that matter. If they can get a solid combination of Cabrera and Donald/Valbuena/whoever, I think they’d be happy.
And from what they said early on this year (I know Underwood and Manning have both brought it up), they spent more time this season working on fielding with the pitchers than ever before, which is why Masterson’s errors are so baffling.

Where did Frank Herrmann come from? He had another scoreless outing again tonight in Columbus.

Masterson, obviously, is a sinkerballer, but by acquire, I mean through any means, and in the past. Carmona, Westbrook, Masterson, Talbot, Laffey (Masterson is 2nd in MLB in ground ball %, and Westbrook 7th)… Cabrera is not loved by defensive metrics. Seeing him play this year, I could kind of see why. UZR seems untrustworthy with smallish sample sizes, but Cabrera’s put up a -10.1 so far at SS, which is really bad, and that’s over enough games now where I think it’s somewhat reliable … my point is on overall player acquisition. Things have perhaps changed somewhat in the past few years: Chisenhall’s supposed to be a very good defensive player, and they’ve moved towards drafting strikeout pitchers. But it’s like the unbalanced left handed acquisitions as far as offense is concerned. They never seem to have the bigger picture of the team in mind. If you’re going to go with a bunch of pitchers who don’t strike anyone out and are hugely weighted towards ground balls, you should probably also go out of your way to look for above average defensive infielders. Instead, the Indians have had below average fielders at every position

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