7/4: Indians vs. A's

A happy Independence Day to you and yours. Before you blow some stuff up, you can watch today’s 1:05 p.m. ET game on WTAM and STO.

The bad news from pregame is that Shin-Soo Choo will miss the next six to eight weeks with a right thumb sprain that might require surgery. So it’s Trevor Crowe in left, Michael Brantley in center and Austin Kearns in right today, and it will remain that way for a while.

Also today, Fausto Carmona, who gets today’s start, was announced as the Tribe’s lone representative at next week’s All-Star Game.

cle3.gifINDIANS (32-48):
CF Brantley, 2B Nix, C Santana, DH Hafner, RF Kearns, 3B Peralta, 1B LaPorta, LF Crowe, SS Hernandez. RHP Fausto Carmona (7-6, 3.68).




oak3.gifATHLETICS (40-42):
CF Crisp, 1B Barton, RF Sweeney, DH Cust, 2B Ellis, LF Gross, 3B Rosales, C Powell, SS Pennington. RHP Vin Mazzaro (3-2, 4.25).


Missed the game this morning (10 AM start time in Los Angeles on a holiday weekend means I slept right through it), but I’m really happy to see that they not only stuck Brantley in the lead-off spot, but in center field, too. Because, really, why not? I can perhaps understand some hesitation in playing him in center field, but as someone (ST, maybe?) mentioned before, the possibility that Grady might have to move to the side when he returns is real, as is the fact that Grady will probably only be with us for another couple of years.
It’s crazy to think how injury plagued this team has been the last few years, though. I mean, Grady, Cabrera, and Choo are all guys you figure we’ll count in next year, and in theory were going to count on this year.

It’s definately crazy the extent to which this team has been affected by injuries. Looking back at ’05 and how close that team came to making it is interesting. We’ve had teams more talented overall than that one had been, but that team was healthy all year and they made it interesting.

I think of the 3, Choo’s is the only injury that wasn’t really preventable. Sizemore’s seemed like something that could have been a minor problem, or perhaps wouldn’t have happened at all, had they not kept playing him when he was hurt both this year and last, and Cabrera’s was a result of the Indians’ infield position shuffling, where you have a career shortstop playing 3b Hopefully we’ll see a little more of Duncan now and less of Trevor Crowe, and eventually Jordan Brown in place of Kearns. I’m surprised they haven’t been able to move Kearns already. Doesn’t help that he’s been sucking lately, but someone should be able to use him. Boston, for example. I’d say the Indians should trade Kearns and Marson to Boston, actually, except Marson’s been so bad that he’s valueless, and whatever scrub Boston picked up off of waivers after Martinez and Varitek went down would do better than him. If the guy had just managed to hit .250 this year, something like Kearns and Marson to Boston might have returned a legitimate prospect.

ST, I had been agreeing with you too much on your recent comments so I will take this time to get back to my norm and vehemently disagree with you on Jordan Brown. I realize that he is one of your go-to topics of discussion but if he didn’t get a September call-up last year (when he deserved it) then he won’t get an AS break call-up this year when he’s done nothing to set himself apart from the rest. Did Brown get a raw deal last year? Yes. Does he deserve a call-up this year based upon his performance? No. Does he have a future with this team IMO? No. Had Brown performed this year like he did last year then I might have changed my opinion of his potential future with the organization but as it stands right now he’s just a filler.

yeah, 15 doubles in 177 ABs isn’t bad and neither is his .288 BA but only 2 HRs? I realize that he’s still getting himself back from injuries. We know he’s not really a power guy but more of a gap hitter so the doubles are encouraging but his OBP, SLG and OPS are not what they were last year.

Brown will almost certainly be called up when they trade Kearns. He’s a much better prospect than Crowe. He hasn’t had a great year to this point in Columbus but he’s not having a BAD year when you consider the injuries he’s dealt with. It’s hard to miss spring training, and then another two weeks after you come back and start hitting right out of the gate. He still has 15 doubles and 37 RBIs in

Brown will almost certainly be called up when they trade Kearns (not sure who else you think would be. Weglarz is the only other outfield prospect, and definitely needs more time in AAA) Brown’s a better prospect than Crowe, definitely a better hitter than Crowe. He hasn’t had a great year to this point in Columbus but he’s not having a BAD year, especially when you consider the injuries he’s dealt with. It’s hard to miss spring training, and then another two weeks after you come back and start hitting right out of the gate. He hasn’t hit many home runs yet and the BA is a little low for Brown, but he has 15 doubles and 37 RBIs in 47 games, and he’s hitting .288. Don’t know why you’d argue that Crowe should be up here playing instead of Brown. Crowe, who hit .244 with a .601 OPS, 4 doubles, in 29 games in Columbus? Crowe is the filler. Brown could still beat out Brantley for a spot in the outfield next year.

Sizemore, Brantley, Choo for 2011. As the fourth outfielder Crowe’s skillset and versatility trumps Brown’s perceived potential not to mention his evolving defensive abilities in left field. And suggesting that Brown could beat out Brantley for a starting spot next year is an argument that I don’t think you could defend. I don’t think the organization would allow it to happen either. I still think that Sizemore should move to LF next year. If that happens then Brantley is secure b/c Brown can’t play CF.

Yes, Sizemore is the wildcard there, I actually suspect he won’t be able to play CF. But there’s no saying that Brantley will be able to start anywhere either. To say “I don’t think the organization would allow it to happen” is a little naive, don’t you think? The organization has no say in how Brantley performs, or Brown. Brantley isn’t secure in anything until he shows he can hit major league pitching, and steal bases off major league pitchers and catchers. For all we know Brantley is the next Lou Marson, and will post a .200 BA over the next 3 months, and won’t even be a prospect worth mentioning by next spring. For all we know, Brown will replace Kearns and hit .320. Or the reverse could happen. The Indians organization is not sold on Brantley: why would they be? Why are you apparently sold on him? He still only has 1 more steal than Donald had in his time in Columbus, while being caught 3 more times. He has displayed limited to no power, he’s balanced that in the minors with a lot of walks but it’s tough to maintain a high OBP when major league pitchers don’t fear what you can do with the bat. He’s not some can’t miss type prospect, where they’re going to ignore other potential future options. The rest of the year is for that evaluation. And Crowe, he has been so bad in CF, and has done little with the bat to show there’s any reason to keep him.

I don’t think its naive in the slightest. There is certainly a difference between players you are vested in and those you are not. In this instance we will simply agree to disagree.

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