6/8: Indians vs. Red Sox

By Anthony Castrovince/MLB.com

Tonight’s 7:05 p.m. ET game at Progressive Field is on WTAM and STO.

cle.gifINDIANS (21-35):
CF Crowe, RF Choo, LF Kearns, 3B Peralta, 1B Branyan, DH Duncan, 2B Valbuena, C Marson, SS Donald. LHP David Huff (2-6, 6.08).




bos2.gifRED SOX (34-25):
SS Scutaro, 2B Pedroia, C Martinez, 1B Youkilis, DH Ortiz, 3B Beltre, LF Hall, CF Cameron, RF McDonald. RHP Tim Wakefield (1-4, 6.02).





  • Pleased to announce that associate reporter John Barone is on board, hoping to follow in the big footsteps left behind by past interns David “Young Zeus” Briggs and Andrew “The Scribble” Gribble. We’ll have to work on getting Barone a nickname, but for now you can expect to see his byline plenty on Indians.com for the remainder of the season.
  • In fact, you can check the site later tonight for Barone’s full roundup of all the Tribe’s Day 2 Draft picks. The team has already refuted a report that it had agreed to terms with No. 2 pick LeVon Washington (when they negotiate, they must heed Elton John’s warning that “LeVon likes his money”).
  • Spoke with top pick Drew Pomeranz today. Here’s the full story.
  • Nice to see the Tribe pick up local product Alex Lavisky, a catcher from St. Ed’s. Then again, the last time the Indians drafted a local catcher, it was the immortal Chris Bando.
  • Asdrubal Cabrera was in the clubhouse after batting practice today. His broken left forearm remains in a cast, but he said he began moving the arm around, doing various exercises, three days ago. He’s three weeks into his eight- to 10-week stay on the DL and, as you might expect, he misses being out there every night. I asked him if he’s watched the replay of his May 17 collision with Jhonny Peralta, and he said he has. “It’s really tough to watch,” he said, “but that happens.”
  • Nice to see Victor Martinez, obviously, but it’s also nice to see his son, Victor Jose. The 5-year-old boy was in full Red Sox uniform this afternoon, including batting gloves and wrapped wrists, as he took batting practice at Progressive Field. He’s a natural, lining shots to both sides of the infield. He also has an exact replica of his daddy’s stance. Little Vic, though, only bats from the right-hand side. For now.
  • Working on a feature on Martinez and his host family, Bob and Patty Bixler, from his days at Class A Mahoning Valley. He’s actually staying with them at their home near Warren this week. You can look for that on MLB.com and Indians.com on Thursday.
  • The Indians only had one at-bat with a runner in scoring position in Monday’s loss.



Some of those in the starting line up need sent back to the minors…

Huff throwing 17 of 26 first pitch strikes is a good thing. 3 innings of bullpen relief and only yielding on hit is progress. 2 total walks over 9 innings is an improvement. Yes, I am grasping at positive straws here but there really isn’t much else to do.

You would think that Crowe’s days as a regular are numbered but who knows when it comes to this organization. We had been saying that same thing about Marson and LaPorta but to no avail until recently. Can I get a Jhonny Peralta-less lineup sometimes in the near future?

A nickname for John Barone? It absolutely, positively, monumentally has to be “The Red Barone”.

May have to paint him red first, though.

Encouraging game going on in Columbus today. Laporta 4-4 with 3 HRs. That one’s hard to believe. He must like playing 2 days in a row. Carrasco 7 shutout innings, 9 Ks. Brantley 2 steals. Some sweet pitching from Masterson as well, more what I was expected him to do coming into this year.

Masterson seems to have made some adjustments in his last few starts, particularly against lefties. And it seems like he made that adjustment just as everyone was expecting him to get moved to the bullpen. So far, credit to Acta for letting him start one more game.
AM, I think Crowe read your comment. I can’t imagine his days as a starter are numbered — who would replace him? Kearns is going to be gone soon, so that’s another open spot in the outfield.
We’ve actually gotten some encouraging starting pitching in this series, all things considered.

Keith Law’s insider analysis of Cleveland’s draft:

It’s an interesting mix with a lot of notable names. LeVon Washington was a first-rounder last year, and I know many teams believe he needs a second surgery on his shoulder to allow him to throw, but he has enough ability with the bat that he was worth a flier somewhere in the second to third rounds. Third-rounder Tony Wolters is the scrappiest guy in this draft, a favorite of SoCal scouts, who probably moves to second but should hit enough to at least reach the majors. Kyle Blair was a first-round talent out of high school and had a good year performance-wise, but his slider isn’t what it was and he needs to pitch more to the inner half. Robbie Aviles would have gone in the top three rounds but blew out his elbow last week and probably needs surgery; I think he’ll sign a deal for a discount and start his pro career rather than heading to Florida.

Masterson’s the only pitcher on the staff who I really like to watch throw. When he controls his pitches, he is tough against any hitter. Funny that the guy doesn’t win a game in forever, then wins 2 games by a combined score of 21-1 … The thing with Crowe, is he seems to be a bit spacey. He screws up on the bases quite frequently, doesn’t make easy plays, sometimes he seems to get a great jump on the ball, and other times he looks perplexed out there. Always been an extremely streaky hitter in the minors too, so it would seem he has issues concentrating in general. Sort of like Jhonny … Even if they move Kearns, there is still Brantley and Brown, plus Laporta, so Crowe definitely has guys who can and probably will replace him

I really doubt they’ll play LaPorta in the outfield once they call him back up, particularly since it’s probably safe to assume Branyan will be gone by then. And what are the odds they call up both Brantley and Brown before September? Heck, a snarky person other than myself would ask what are the chance they bring up Brown at all?
Decent pitching match-up for us tomorrow. Tonight was really the one that, on paper, benefited the Red Sox. It would be great to salvage a split.
As much as I like Talbot and as much as Carmona has turned it around, Masterson is the only who shows flashes of ace type stuff, although at this point it’s only coming about once every year.

just bought tickets for Strasburg’s start on Sunday. It is sad that it’s come to this for Cleveland, relying on some other team’s player to generate revenue. We’re last in overall attendance in case anyone is scoring at home.

I would agree LACF. I cannot see the FO promoting Brown prior to September unless we unload some of the usual suspect trade pieces AND then suffer injuries. They didn’t bring him topside last year so I cannot see it happening this year. I see too many people in front of his due to perceived long term expectations: LaPorta, Brantley, and Weglarz to name a few.

ST, did you see that it looks like Cord Phelps got promoted to Columbus (seeing as he’s on their roster now). I would imagine that this means Kipnis would move from Kinston to Akron.

My suggestion for John’s nickname:

John “Don’t Call Me Ray” Barone… a play on “Everybody Loves Raymond” since he was a sports writer too.

The feeling that I get is actually that they will promote both Brown and Brantley, probably if/when the drop Kearns and Branyan. Brantley will take over CF, Laporta will take over 1b, and Brown will play in the outfield and play 1b when Laporta isn’t. I don’t think they view Crowe as a viable future starter, so he’ll probably be more playing a couple games a week in place of Brown and Brantley. They don’t know what they have in Brown, and obviously have a need for some good hitters in their lineup. Obviously it depends on whether all 3 of those guys can stay healthy, since Laporta and Brown have had trouble with injuries this year, and I also think that Brantley had/has something bothering him, judging by the low stolen base number. I think he did miss some games early in the season with the Clippers for some sort of leg or ankle injury … and yeah, Kipnis and Phelps both moved up a level.

I disagree, ST. Coming out of spring training, they made it clear they thought Crowe could be an every day player. It was the reason they gave for picking Kearns instead of Crowe as the 4th OF (great move in hindsight!). Given Brantley’s less than stunning performance in Columbus and the fact that they seem determined to leave Brown in AAA until he’s 50, I’d be surprised to see Crowe get the boot unless he really struggles — like on a LaPorta level (or Brantley level).
I also think they want to get a long look at him, as we have no idea what we’re going to get from Grady in the future, and Choo’s time is obviously finite with this team.
Peralta is going to be an interesting one. I can see team’s dealing for Kearns and even for Branyan as an option off the bench, but I really don’t know what value Peralta has. But whether we like it or not, I think we have to get Marte over there every day to see if he’s manageable for next year.
Yet another reason to think that this team will compete in 2012 — aside from an extra year for development, we should have a decent amount of cash set aside for FAs.

If John’s last name is pronounced like a guy I know (Ba-roan-ee), how about The Barone Pony, or John “Oscar Meyer” Barone.

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