6/1: Indians at Tigers

Tonight’s 7:05 p.m. ET game will be on WTAM and STO.

UPDATE: Here’s a short story on Lou Marson’s progress. And here’s the link to tonight’s notes.

cle.gifINDIANS (18-31):
CF Crowe, RF Choo, LF Kearns, DH Hafner, 3B Peralta, 1B Branyan, 2B Grudzielanek, C Marson, SS Donald. RHP Jake Westbrook (2-3, 4.78).




det.gifTIGERS (26-24):
CF Jackson, LF Damon, RF Ordonez, 1B Cabrera, DH Boesch, 2B Guillen, 3B Inge, C Laird, SS Santiago. RHP Jeremy Bonderman (2-2, 3.78).


The Indians must think they can get something real good in return for Branyan and Kearns, since they’re willing to sacrifice any potential development from Laporta so they can play those guys every day. Remember this: ?Michael Brantley and Matt LaPorta will play every day, no matter where they?re at,? Acta said. And: “At the end of the day, if everybody’s healthy, it obviously will impact one of the young guys,” Acta said. “I guarantee you that both of those guys (Laporta and Brantley) are going to play every single day somewhere this year. Both of them are going to be a big part of our future, but they both need to develop in certain areas.” Can someone remind Acta of his guarantee? Because it actually made sense. Why can’t Indians management follow their own advice?

I hear you ST. Even with Kearns success in April, the team still only has 18 wins. What is the benefit of keeping LaPorta on the bench?

Laporta has played in 4 games since 5/24, a span of 9 days. I wouldn’t consider that anything close to regular at bats. He’s averaged about every other day since 5/1, but his games have come in bunches, like 13th-16th where he played all 4. Prior to the 13th, he hadn’t played since the 8th, and prior to that was a 2-3 game on the 5th. He should at the very least be playing 5 out of 6 games. Until that happens, it’s a very live horse, not a dead horse, and I will continue beating the stupid horse until it’s dead

I sometimes wonder if AC reads these and says to himself “guys, come on, that dead horse has been beaten enough already.” But it IS baffling, the fact that LaPorta and Valbuena are still with the major league team. Sure, as AC pointed out, LaPorta IS getting regular ABs (check his stats and you’ll be surprised by how regularly he’s actually in there), but he needs to be in there EVERY day — and he needs to be playing FIRST every day, just like Valbuena needs to be playing 2B in AAA every day.
More proof that AC reads these comments: his link to the article about Marson. The guy clearly has potential, particularly given how quickly he was able to make adjustments to his game.
Are Bob Wickman and Joe Borowski giving Kerry Wood pitching advice? He really never looks like he has any control when he’s out there.

Also, it must be great to be able to go to Clippers games this year. That team really seems to be coming into its own…I’m almost a little worried about breaking it up as opposed to just letting them get their fill in AAA until they’re absolutely ready. I mean, no hurry, obviously.
But Tomlin and Herrmann had great outings AGAIN tonight and Jordan Brown came in to PH and, naturally, knocked in the winning run.

and rather than adding someone to the FMR that we could actually use at the ML level in lieu of Sizemore’s move to the 60-day DL we pick up some guy off waivers from the Yankees. What?! Who is Shane Lindsay and why is a 25 year old Single-A (Kinston) player worthy of a roster spot? I am at my wits end here people.

Oh, it’s a dead horse, ST. I mean, I think he should be sent down as much as the next guy, but we’ve been saying that for weeks — AC even put a poll about it on the main page. Beating a dead horse doesn’t mean we’re wrong, it just means we’re saying the same thing over and over again and nothing changes. And, technically, he’s only got 2 less ABs than Marson, who starts 4 out of every 5 games.
The bigger issue, as you pointed out, is that his ABs are coming in clumps — not exactly the way to get a guy into a regular rhythm.
Personally, I’m looking forward to trade season (it’s already started!).

I know what beating a dead horse means, I was just making an amusing (to me) comment about beating horses. And I no longer really think they should send Laporta down, not at this point in the season, they should find a way to work him into the lineup 5 out of 6 days. If that’s impossible, then yes, send him down until they offload Branyan, but I think they are fooling themselves if they think they’ll get anything of note in return for Kearns or Branyan. With the positions those guys play they aren’t all that valuable, and they both strike out a ton. Laporta could rotate between 1st and outfield with a few at DH and play 5 out of every 6 games, and Branyan and Kearns could be every other day players.I think Lindsay is a bit of a stretch too, though it’s not really a big deal. If they want to add someone like Herrmann to the big league roster, like I said they can drop Rafael Perez and/or Jeanmar Gomez. But I think they have enough bullpen arms already, and don’t need any more of the “project” variety. 17 walks in 13 innings this year. He did put up nice numbers last year, but as a 24 year old in AA, and he still averaged over 6 walks per 9 innings, and his career number is 6.1 per 9 innings: unless they think he just needs some prescription lenses, not sure why they think that’s fixable. He apparently has a 98 mph fastball and a decent knuckle curve though

Because I’m bored, I took a look at some of the deeper splits from our guy Lou Marson, who has shown such “improvement”. AC really shouldn’t comment on how he uses fangraphs numbers, and then write an article on Marson that quotes his batting average from an arbitrary date to show his progress on offense. Anyway, if you look at some of Marson’s other numbers, it actually looks like he regressed in May. His K rate went up, from 22% in April to 33% in May. His walk rate went down, from 8.5% in April to 4.9% in May. His line drive rate was 21.7% in April, while it was 13.7% in May. His ground ball rate was the same. His BABIP was .219 in April and .353 in May. Since BABIP should be correlated to line drive rate, basically the only difference in Marson from the first month of the year to the second is that his luck evened out, he was unlucky in April and lucky in May. It’s a small sample size, obviously, thus the large variations in BABIP and line drive rate, but you’d be hard pressed to say a guy improved when he started striking out more, walking less, and hitting fewer line drives

Uh, no, it’d be really easy to say a guy improved when his AVG was so much higher, given that’s how often he got hits. I’ll take grounders through the hole over a line drive into a guy’s glove any day of the week.

Really? As a predictor of future success, you’re going with grounders that find a hole over line drives? Interesting take. And yes, it’s easy to say a guy improved when you look just at the batting average, but just because it’s easy doesn’t mean it’s right. If Marson just gets hits on 2 line drives he smashed off of pitchers in the first week of the season (the Buehrle play, and another one a few games later) his OBP would have actually been marginally better in April than May. And if he keeps hitting line drives at a 13% rate while striking out 33% of the time, his batting average will creep down, because over a larger sample size you’d expect around a .250 BABIP, and he wouldn’t even be putting the ball in play a third of the time. I would bet anything that he’d hit no better than .200 the rest of the way if he keeps hitting like he did in May (not to say that he will, he should improve that line drive rate) … Like Valbuena, that’s pretty much exactly where he’s at for the year, 33% K rate, and a 14.3% line drive rate. (Valbuena’s also hitting everything at someone, a .172 BABIP) But what’s the difference between Valbuena this year and last? Last year he hit line drives 22% of the time and struck out 22% of the time. The number of line drives you’re hitting and the number of balls you’re putting in play is what drives the batting average. Like Austin Jackon for Detroit, line drive rate 30.6%. Mauer: 29.1%.

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