"Pay me my money down"
By Anthony Castrovince/MLB.com
If you’re sitting in Section 181, Row J, in the aisle seat between Section 180 and 181 tonight, I hope you brought your glove.
The folks at SeatGeek have determined that your seat is “The Money Seat” – i.e., the spot where Alex Rodriguez’s 600th career home run is most likely to land. It’s going to land in the aisle, so be nimble enough to catch it on the stairs.
Of course, a similar calculation was made for Yankee Stadium last week and nothing happened, so A-Rod has to hold up his end of the bargain, too.
But should Rodriguez hit No. 600 in Cleveland, that’s the spot where it is most likely headed. SeatGeak calculated that there is a 15.9 percent chance of the ball going to Section 182, a 12.5 percent chance of it going to Sectoin 181, a 12 percent chance of it landing in the seatless center field area and a 10.2 percent chance of it landing in Section 183.
If you’re in Section 108, sorry, but there’s only a 0.2 percent chance of it coming to you.
And if you’re behind the plate, you’re really out of luck.
EXCRUCIATING MINUTIAE OF THE DAY…
- Does 600 carry the same panache it once did? A-Rod, after all, will be the first admitted PED user to reach 600. But Tribe closer Chris Perez doesn’t think that takes anything away from the mark. “There are a lot of guys who used steroids who didn’t reach that number,” Perez said. Asked if Indians pitcher will approach A-Rod any differently this week, Perez said absolutely not. “You have to take care of the guys in front of him, so there’s nobody on base,” Perez said. “It’s hard to pitch around anybody in that lineup. I know I’m not going to shy away from him. If he hits it, so be it.”
- Cleveland is no stranger to milestone home runs. As loyal reader Jim Dancik pointed out, Babe Ruth hit No. 500 in League Park, and Ted Williams hit No. 500 in Cleveland Municipal Stadium. Press box attendant John “Popper” Krepop noted that Williams hit his 500th off Wynn Hawkins, who went on to become the Indians’ traveling secretary. Now that’s minutiae.
- Josh Tomlin will be thrown to the wolves tomorrow night, making his Major League debut against the Yankees. A somewhat surprising announcement, considering the Indians have made it clear they want to get a good look at Carlos Carrasco this year and Tomlin is not on the 40-man roster. Then again, Tomlin, despite getting little to no publicity throughout his Minor League career, has done nothing but prove he deserves a look, too.
- In Columbus this season, Tomlin is 8-4 with a 2.68 ERA in 20 appearances (17 starts), has struck out 80 and walked 33 in 107 1/3 innings and has a .212 average against and 1.08 WHIP. That last number really stands out to manager Manny Acta. “WHIP stands for traffic,” Acta said, “and traffic stands for disaster.” Tomlin has avoided both. “He hasn’t been high-profile, but he’s proved himself at every level and his record speaks for itself,” Acta said. “His numbers need to be challenged at this level … I don’t think his name was at the top of our board [in Spring Training, when Tomlin wasn't in Major League camp], but he’s worked himself to the top of our board.”
- Tomlin was one of three Minor Leaguers (Beau Mills and Jerad Head being the others) in the Tribe system arrested and charged with felonious assault after a June 3 altercation in Akron. The charges were reduced last week to disorderly conduct. Acta said he has spoken with several people in the organization who know all three players well, and he is not at all concerned about the incident that led to the charges. He said Tomlin has a reputation as a “good kid.” “There are things that happen that are sometimes out of our control,” Acta said.
- So, what about Carrasco? The elbow cramp that pulled him out of his July 20 start was obviously not all that serious, as he worked four innings against Pawtucket on Sunday (allowing two runs on three hits over four innings). Acta said the Indians do still intend to get Carrasco a meaningful opportunity this year.
- Austin Kearns has missed five of the last six games. He dealt with right knee soreness last week and returned Saturday, only to be spiked in the leg on the basepaths. He’s out again tonight, but Acta said Kearns was tested out and should be ready to play again Tuesday.
- Kerry Wood (blister on right index finger) will throw a bullpen session Tuesday, and then the Indians will determine the next course of action with regards to his rehab. No word on whether he’ll have to head to the Minors. When he comes back, he likely won’t be in the closer’s role immediately (similar to his last activation from the DL), but Acta has no plans to leave Perez in the closer’s role permanently and use Wood as a setup man down the stretch. “Whenever Kerry’s ready, he’ll close,” Acta said.
- Anthony Reyes, recovering from Tommy John surgery, is here. He’s starting for Double-A Akron tomorrow night.
- Acta has been pleased with the defensive improvement he’s seen from Matt LaPorta, who turned a 3-6-3 after looking the runner back at third in Sunday’s loss. “A lot has to do with him not bouncing around [between positions],” Acta said. “Not having to work on stuff in the outfield has helped. You can tell he’s made progress because we’re not substituting for him in the late innings. He’s earned that right.”
- Michael Brantley remains in the leadoff spot, despite his .162 average and .229 on-base percentage. Acta said the Indians are still trying to get a read on Brantley at this level, and they believe in his OBP track record in the Minors. They also want to see OBP improvement from Trevor Crowe (.318).
- The Indians will have to make two roster moves after tonight’s game to get Tomlin on the active and 40-man rosters. Not sure what to expect on either front, to be honest. Obviously, a position player has to go. Shelley Duncan has played well, so perhaps Andy Marte gets the boot. Unless, of course, the Indians decide to send Brantley down again to ensure him everyday at-bats.
- Right-hander Alex White was 2-0 with a 1.29 ERA for Double-A Akron in two starts last week, allowing just two runs on 14 hits while striking out 14 with no walks in 14 innings.
- A special congrats to former MLB.com intern Andrew Gribble, who got engaged over the weekend. Save the money, Scribble.
UPDATE: CC Sabathia had more to say about the way the 2007 Indians were broken up, specifically that he never received a contract extension offer from the Indians.
My rant on CC stands.