"I still love you, New York"
By Anthony Castrovince/MLB.com
In an unsurprising development, I have definitely enjoyed spending Memorial Day weekend in the Big Apple.
Oh, sure, maybe I didn’t enjoy it quite as much as the Navy servicemen in town for Fleet Week, some of whom have been seen walking the streets with a babe on each arm and a smile as wide as a ship’s hull. They probably have a slight edge on the enjoyment scale. But I’ve enjoyed it all the same.
From here, we regress back to reality. Actually, not even reality. We move on to the near-dystopia that is Detroit.
This is quite the road trip, if you think about it. The Indians go from New York City to Detroit to Chicago. One wise member of the traveling party compared this three-city jaunt to an Oreo cookie. But if you’re like me, and you happen to like the cream of the Oreo cookie, let’s call it an Oreo cookie with anchovies in place of the cream. That paints a picture, doesn’t it?
EXCRUCIATING MINUTIAE OF THE DAY…
- David Huff threw a bullpen session this morning, the first step in determining if he’ll make his start Thursday against the Tigers. The Indians have not made a decision yet and might not until as late as Wednesday. But Huff hasn’t shown signs of a concussion as a result of that A-Rod liner bouncing off his skull, and the chances of him getting the starting nod appear to be in his favor, as of now.
- Unlike the Navy guys, Tony Sipp hasn’t had the most enjoyable weekend in New York, but he’s handled it well. This is Sipp’s first visit here, and, to his credit, he has nothing but nice things to say about it, regardless of what’s transpired on the mound at Yankee Stadium. Sipp served up the game-winning grand slam to Robinson Cano on Friday and the game-winning, three-run blast to Mark Teixeira on Sunday. This came after Sipp had tossed 15 1/3 scoreless innings over his previous 15 appearances.
- Manny Acta said he couldn’t be less concerned about Sipp putting the events of the weekend behind him. He’ll continue to lean on the lefty Sipp in late-inning situations. “It was dramatic,” Acta said, “but it wasn’t against Joe Blow. It was against Mark Teixeira and Robinson Cano … He has the perfect demeanor for the job. He’s really got some ice-cold veins. He’s a cool cat.”
- Didn’t get the win, but Justin Masterson, turned in a strong effort against a tough lineup Sunday, amid speculation that his days in the rotation might be numbered. No telling how much of a rope he bought himself with that start, but I know it encouraged and Indians team that desperately wants to believe Masterson can use his strikeout-inducing stuff to have sustained success in a starting role.
- Aaron Laffey’s rough one against the Yanks in an emergency scenario Saturday didn’t do much to help his cause to replace Masterson. But there’s a difference between jumping into a ballgame when a guy gets hit in the head and having the routine and prep time that comes with being in a rotation. Laffey will have the latter down in Triple-A Columbus, and I’m curious to see how quickly the Indians call on him, if at all.
- I get asked about Carlos Santana coming up to the bigs on a daily basis, and that interest will only intensify when the calendar flips to June. Worth noting that Santana has thrown out just seven of 28 base-stealers this season, an obvious sign that his development as a catcher is not complete. Also worth noting that Marson leads the AL in that department, having thrown out 10 of 32 would-be base-stealers for a 31.3 percentage.
- Marson has heated up at the plate this weekend, doubling his season RBI total. He’s hit .278 since April 27. Acta said Marson has been a little more aggressive against the Yankees, and that’s helped. Marson has shown good plate discipline this season, swinging at just 20.7 percent of pitches outside the strike zone, but the Indians wanted him to be more willing to swing at some borderline pitches so that he doesn’t find himself behind in the count as often.
- The above stat came from Fangraphs.com. I cite it often in my stories, as it’s a fantastic site for all the statistical minutiae that helps us better understand what we’re watching. And Acta uses it, too. He mentioned Fangraphs when talking about Marson and said the Indians used it to take a look at Grady Sizemore’s numbers when he was struggling earlier this season.
- Still no word on the exact date of Sizemore’s impending surgery, but it will be sometime in the next week. I’d be extremely surprised if this turns out to simply be a scope and Sizemore is back in action in six to eight weeks.
- Nick Hagadone is movin’ on up to… Double-A.
- Joe Gardner, third-round pick in last year’s Draft, is now 3-0 for Class A Kinston after allowing just two runs on seven hits with a walk and five strikeouts in six innings in a win over Salem on Sunday.
- Yet another stat about that ridiculous four-hour, 22-minute win over the Yanks on Saturday: 12 of the Indians’ 13 runs came with two out. For the season, 47 percent of the Tribe’s runs have come with two out.
- The Nos. 7-9 spots were 7-for-21 with seven runs scored and eight RBIs on Saturday and Sunday.
- Acta viewed this as an important developmental weekend for Trevor Crowe, Marson and Jason Donald, each of whom have had a solid series.
- Shin-Soo Choo got a needed day off today, his first of the season. Choo was 0-for-the-series (more specifically, 0-for-his-last-17).
- If you like the white caps with the red, white and blue block “C” that the Indians are wearing for today’s Memorial Day game, you’ll see them again July 4 and Sept. 11. Actually, you’ll see them again July 4 and Sept. 11, whether you like them or not.
- The New York Post referred to the Indians as a JV team this weekend.
- A recommendation and a new discovery for yours truly this weekend, thanks to a tip from a trusted source, was Lombardi’s Pizza on Spring and Mott. Worth the hour wait. Those in the line out the door would assumedly agree.