Results tagged ‘ David Dellucci ’

I've been out in the desert, just doing my time

Having been here long enough to run for Goodyear City Council, I’d say today was a welcomed day on the spring calendar. It’s getaway day, and never has the prospect of flying to Houston for a pair of exhibition games sounded so good.

state-flag-arizona.jpgAh, but Arizona will be missed on some levels. Goodyear itself and the rest of the Phoenix area grew on me — from the beautiful mountain scenery in Sedona to the sizzling chicken fajitas at Raul and Theresa’s Mexican restaurant near the ballpark, there were plenty of stimulating sights to take in.

Not everybody had the best of times, of course. Jhonny Peralta’s wife was bitten by a scorpion, Bart Swain’s 2-year-old son grabbed a cactus, and Andy Marte didn’t find any takers.

As for the rest of us, we’ll always have the memories of the Affliction T-shirts, the Goodyear Ballpark scoreboard and its inaccurate ball and strike counts and the unsold packets of Dippin’ Dots.

Now, let’s carry on…

EXCRUCIATING MINUTIA OF THE DAY…

  • In a stark contrast to previous spring wrap-ups, Eric Wedge did not have glowing things to say about this Arizona camp. “There was some good, some bad,” he said. “It was unusual. It was a tough camp to read, because of the World Baseball Classic and [the fact that] we had so many players in competition [for rotation and bullpen spots]. It was a camp like no other we’ve been a part of.”
  • Wedge admitted his analysis was affected by what’s transpired the last few days, which have been particularly brutal pitching displays.
  • In general, the Indians played very lethargic baseball the last couple weeks. Not the way you want to “ramp up” (a Wedgeism if ever there was one) just before the start of the season proper. Wedge said he’s hoping the move to Houston and a big-league ballpark will be a shot in the arm for this club. He thinks the seven-week grind has gotten to them, and it’s time for a needed change of scenery.
  • The bottom 11 ERAs in MLB this spring all belong to Arizona-based teams, while 16 of the top 19 team ERAs belong to Florida-based teams.  
  • As far as Anthony Reyes’ performance today, this was the first time all spring that he hasn’t looked very sharp. Reyes admitted he just didn’t have it this afternoon. He gave up seven runs, six of which were earned, on five hits over two innings. He’ll have one last tuneup on Tuesday, when he starts for Class A Kinston in North Carolina.
  • Scott Lewis will also stay behind. He’ll start a Minor League game in Goodyear on Sunday before joining the Tribe in Texas.
  • While Lewis will start the home opener on April 10, Reyes, the No. 5 starter, won’t follow him on the 11th. That start will go to Cliff Lee, who will be kept on four days’ rest (there’s an off day Tuesday, in case you lost track). Reyes will start on Sunday, the 12th.
  • Head athletic trainer Lonnie Soloff said the Indians are in the process of working out the upcoming schedule for Adam Miller, who threw another bullpen this morning. At some point in the near future, Miller should progress to facing live hitters.
  • David Dellucci said he strained his left calf rounding first base in a game on March 26. He tried to loosen it up before the game two days later, and it did not cooperate. That’s when he was scratched. He’s not anticipating a long rehab, though he admitted he has some “much-needed at-bats” in store in extended spring and Triple-A before he’ll be ready to join the Indians. Dellucci missed time this spring not just with the calf and thumb injuries but also with pink eye and a cortisone shot to the hamstring (which he said is a standard part of his spring each year).
  • The latest version of the Indians Inbox is up and running. If you’d like to submit a question for the next one, you can do so at tribemailbag@yahoo.com. If you do, don’t forget to include your name and hometown.
  • Lots of Journey and other ’80s classic rock blaring in the clubhouse this morning as players packed. These guys are ready.

~AC

Dellucci to DL, Crowe recalled

David Dellucci won’t be breaking camp with the Indians, after all.

The left calf tightness that led to Dellucci getting scratched from Saturday’s lineup has now landed him on the 15-day disabled list. Trevor Crowe, who was optioned out of camp on Saturday, will assume Dellucci’s spot on the Opening Day roster as a reserve outfielder.

Dellucci is entering the final year of a three-year, $11.5 million contract that hasn’t turned out the way anyone expected. He missed the majority of 2007 with a torn left hamstring and he hit just .238 with 11 homers and 47 RBIs in 113 games last season. Dellucci will make $4 million this season, and his spot on the roster was considered tenuous even before the injury.

 

The Indians gave Crowe, their No. 1 pick in the 2005 Draft, a good, hard look in camp. He was under consideration to either bump Dellucci or to claim the utility job that went to Josh Barfield. Ultimately, the Indians decided Crowe, who batted .289 (13-for-45) with six stolen bases in 17 Cactus League games, was better off getting regular at-bats at Triple-A Columbus. He was optioned out of camp mere hours before Dellucci’s calf began bothering him.

Got on my dead man's suit and my smilin' skull ring


322938259.jpgI thought the Indians' clubhouse featured a lot of guys in Affliction T-shirts.

 

Then I went to dinner last night at a restaurant next to an arena hosting a Disturbed concert. The attendees were lined up outside, ready to rock out and bang their heads to such easy listening tunes as "Down with the Sickness," "Violence Fetish," "Sons of Plunder," and "Ten Thousand Fists."

 

There are graveyards with fewer skulls and crossbones than what I witnessed last night.

 

The Affliction epidemic continues, as does the Spring Training that won't die.

 

EXCRUCIATING MINUTIA OF THE DAY...

 

  • Just hours after Trevor Crowe was optioned down to Columbus, David Dellucci's calf muscle tightened up on him. If it doesn't respond to treatment immediately, Dellucci's spot is very much in jeopardy. If he has to start the year on the DL, I'd expect Crowe to get called up, unless the Indians decide to keep Tony Graffanino around for a little while. Not much word on Dellucci's condition, other than it was the same today as yesterday and he was getting treatment back at the complex. So stay tuned.
  • Expect an announcement about the last bullpen spot either Monday or Tuesday. It's coming down to Zach Jackson and Vinnie Chulk, and Eric Wedge made it clear that Saturday's game, in which Jackson struggled and Chulk shined, will not serve as a deciding factor. "We look at everything," Wedge said. "I don't think [Saturday] was necessarily good or bad for either one of those guys. We're working through some other things outside of that... what we saw last year, where we're at now, how we see us breaking, how we look at the entire year. So we're going to still stay with that criteria."
  • Given all those qualifiers, it appears to me that the Indians are still leaning toward Jackson. He'd be a left-handed complement to their three right-handed starters, and he can provide length. But that's my own speculation. I guess we'll know the answer any day now.
  • Mark DeRosa made quite an impression on the Cubs and their fans in just two years in Chicago. He was getting lots of love pregame today at HoHoKam Park. And then he stepped up and jacked the first pitch he saw from Ted Lilly over the left-field wall.
  • DeRosa wasn't done. In his second at-bat, DeRosa took Lilly deep to left again -- this time nailing the top of the scoreboard. In his third at-bat, DeRosa hit a shot off the center-field batter's eye that, strangely, is in play. That was very nearly homer No. 3. Looks like DeRo is locked in.
  • Wedge says Masa Kobayashi is on the club, but he took another step back today (two runs on three hits, including a Reed Johnson homer, in one inning). He'll be on a short leash this season.
  • You might want to check out the Bill James Goldmine 2009, which is filled with little nuggets of info, as well as essays and statistical profiles. James unearthed several interesting facts about the '08 Indians. I'll share a few of them here. 
  • According to James' research, the Indians were leading their opponents 83 times in the fifth inning last year, and that was the best fifth-inning record in the AL and the third-best in the Majors. The fact that the club went 81-81 just shows you how lousy that bullpen was, because no other team in baseball finished the season with less total wins than fifth-inning leads.
  • James found that Grady Sizemore's batting average on pulled grounders was .172 last year, compared with .202 in 2007. Defenses have begun to shift on Sizemore, and it's worked pretty well.
  • Asdrubal Cabrera reached base leading off an inning 27 times in '08, and the Indians scored 43 runs in those innings. James says that's the highest production rate in the Majors in that situation.
  • There's plenty more where that came from, but I'll leave it to you to seek out James' book.

~AC

I'd drive all night, just to buy you some shoes

Nothing like driving two and a half hours to see a starting lineup featuring Damaso Espino, Wilson Valdez and Jose "Can't Stand Ya" Constanza.

 

Well, at least the game was played in a crisp two hours, 10 minutes.

 

EXCRUCIATING MINUTIA OF THE DAY...

 

  • David Dellucci was dealing with a tight left calf muscle before today's game against the Diamondbacks, and he never got loose. He was scratched just minutes before the game started. Doesn't sound all that serious, but he'll be monitored day to day.
  • If the battle for the last bullpen spot came down to today's action, then Vinnie Chulk is your winner. Stretched out to three innings for the first time this spring, he allowed just three hits, lowering his spring ERA to 1.72. Eric Wedge called Chulk "one of our most consistent guys" in camp.
  • But Wedge tried to make it sound as though the battle, which is clearly down to Jackson and Chulk, is still undecided. He was sure to point out that Jackson can give the Indians more length (even though Wedge has tried to make it clear he doesn't view this job as the "long man" role) and is left-handed, which is considered a plus because of the three right-handed starters.
  • Jackson, though, turned in a real clunker today -- five runs allowed on six hits over four innings. He locked in after his first two innings of work, but, you know, that's not exactly what you want to see from a reliever. His ERA is up to 6.87.
  • The Indians have the ability to option Jackson to Triple-A. They can also send Chulk there, but they'd have to decide if they want Chulk in the big leagues by May 15. He has an out clause at that time.
  • Josh Barfield over Trevor Crowe for that last bench spot. This might be one of those competitions you're better off losing. It's hard to envision Barfield getting a heck of a lot of playing time up here. Crowe, on the other hand, will be an everyday guy at Triple-A Columbus.
  • This is just my opinion, but if the Indians really felt Barfield is their second baseman of the future -- and they will probably need a second baseman in the not-too-distant future, if they shift Jhonny Peralta to third and Asdrubal Cabrera to second -- they'd have him playing every day in Columbus, and they wouldn't have acquired Luis Valbuena.
  • Shin-Soo Choo was pounding the ball in BP before he left for the World Baseball Classic. He's looked a little rusty since his return. He went 1-for-4 today, striking out three times.
  • I'm told that during a batting practice session back at the complex Friday, while most of us were in Scottsdale, Travis Hafner and Kerry Wood took to the field to man shortstop and second base. How's that for a double-play combo?

~AC

"I'm good enough, I'm smart enough and, doggone it, people like me"

Spring Training is six weeks old (and counting), and the upcoming regular season is six months long.


cheers.jpg 

That's a lot of time for a ballclub and its fans to get emotionally off-track, so a little daily affirmation could be in order.

 

With this notion in mind, I submit to you a proposal that you all stock up on your copy of the "Cheers to You" CD now, while supplies are still in stock. You can do it! I believe in you! 

 

EXCRUCIATING MINUTIA OF THE DAY...

 

  • The Indians looked lethargic and in need of "Cheers to You" agains the Giants today. Asdrubal Cabrera and Josh Barfield each made an error and, in general, guys were slow to get to balls and quick to make outs. "We're entering unchartered waters, in regard to the length of camp," Eric Wedge said. "We've got to sharpen ourselves and pick it up this final week, no doubt about it."
  • Cliff Lee was roughed up again -- eight runs (seven earned) on 12 hits with no walks and six strikeouts over five innings. He was much better late than early, and his defense didn't play well behind him, but it's still not the type of performance you expect from the reigning Cy Young winner in his penultimate spring tuneup. "It's definitely a little harder to get up for a game in Spring Training than it is in the regular season," Lee said. "It's a different intensity. But I've still go to work on locating my pitches and getting better at something each time I'm out there."
  • The rather uneventful battle to be the guy sitting on the bench, occasionally but not too frequently inserted into the lineup and a little-more-occasionally inserted as a pinch-runner will probably draw to its anticlimactic close tomorrow or Sunday. It's still expected to go to Barfield, who started in left field today.
  • Barfield still hasn't caught on at the plate. The Indians feel he has a better approach, but the results haven't been there. Barfield is an excellent athlete and a great guy, so you root for him to catch on in this utility role, because it's difficult to imagine him once again emerging as an everyday player... at least, in this organization.
  • There's only one spot open on the bench. David Dellucci is indeed on the club. Or at least, "as of today," as Wedge said. Obviously, Dellucci's roster spot (and Masa Kobayashi's, for that matter) is tenuous, but it looks like the Indians will at least give him the benefit of the doubt at the outset of the season. He's still not expected to play much as the fourth outfielder, especially with Mark DeRosa and, I'm assuming, Barfield in the outfield mix.
  • Trevor Crowe won't win the job. Wedge said Crowe is "still not exactly where he needs to be," and he's better off, in terms of development, getting regular starts in Triple-A.
  • Tony Graffanino won't win the job. He's had a nice camp and can bounce around the infield. But the Indians don't have a need for another veteran infielder in his mid-30s. They need speed off the bench, and it looks like Barfield will be the one to provide it.
  • Of course, we knew that in February, didn't we?
  • While the bench job announcement is impending, it will probably be a few days before we know the winner of that seventh bullpen spot. Though Wedge won't call it a "long man" role, for all intents and purposes that's what it is, which is why Zach Jackson is a favorite and Vinnie Chulk will be stretched out to pitch two or three innings Saturday in Tucson. Jackson, who is already stretched out as a result of his inclusion in the rotation battle, will start that game.
  • You have to figure Jackson is the favorite for that job. Though he has a fourth Minor League option available, he's already on the 40-man, whereas Chulk would have to be added. And the Indians would have about six weeks to look at Chulk in Triple-A before they have to act on him. He has an out clause in his contract that kicks in May 15.
  • Rafael Betancourt was relieved mid-inning by Joe Smith today. It had nothing to do with the neck kink that Betancourt suffered while on the mound yesterday. Betancourt (two runs on two hits in two-thirds of an inning) is fine physically. Wedge said he wanted an opportunity to get Smith into the middle of an inning. 
  • I'm sending a shout-out to my buddy Big Bob Petriella, who was in attendance today. We used to work as sports clerks together at the News-Herald in Willoughby, Ohio, in our youth. Until today, he had no idea I had this blog, so perhaps I can use this space to rip him.

~AC

General Manager Minutia

shapiro.jpgMark Shapiro arrived to Goodyear one month ago today. This morning, he met with the media to talk about his impressions of the first month of camp and his thoughts with three and a half weeks remaining before the opener.

Here’s a sampling of what he had to say, with a full story to come on Indians.com this afternoon…

  • General thoughts: “I’ve been very happy with most of what’s happened in camp. But if you had to point to one area of concern, it would still be the rotation.”
  • Shapiro likes the way Fausto Carmona is leveraging the ball, he believes Carl Pavano is on track to be a veteran, stabilizing starter, and he’s encouraged by Anthony Reyes’ stuff and health. But Shapiro, like everybody else, is waiting for somebody to step up and take the No. 5 job.
  • At this stage, he puts very little stock in spring numbers, especially in the Arizona conditions. He pointed to Scott Lewis’ outing yesterday (2 1/3 innings, 4R, 3H, 2BB, 2K) as a prime example of an impressive appearance thrown awry by one or two bad pitches.
  • Trevor Crowe, Wes Hodges, Carlos Santana, Hector Rondon, Chris Gimenez, Luis Valbuena, Matt LaPorta and Michael Brantley have all made a very favorable impression, and Shapiro expects this team to rely on that depth. “This is the best layer of talent we’ve had here in a long, long time.”
  • Crowe is not only battling for the final bench spot but also the fourth outfield spot. But that latter spot is still David Dellucci’s to lose, and Shapiro likes what he’s seen from Dellucci (3-for-8, a homer, a double and two walks) since his return from the thumb injury.
  • The extended camp has been nice from the standpoint of getting young players more looks, but it’s made evaluation difficult. He said it’s tough to know when to start cutting guys — a process that ordinarily would have begun by now.
  • Another downside to the long camp: “We already went through a bunch of nicks and bruises and scrapes that kept a bunch of guys off the field. Now we’re almost completely back to full health, but there’s enough time to go through it again. That’s how long we’re here for.”
  • Speaking of health, he was really happy to see Victor Martinez hit back-to-back home runs on Feb. 27 and really happy to see Travis Hafner “nearly decapitate” Jered Weaver with a liner up the middle yesterday. “When you don’t see those things for a long time, it affects you emotionally.” 
  • On that front, he talked about defense, and he said fans and writers are often so emotionally affected by Jhonny Peralta’s inability to get to the occassional grounder up the middle that we ignore his ability to field every routine ball. Our response? Hey, we were emotionally affected long before Jhonny Peralta came into our lives.
  • The Indians use four metrics to evaluate defense. One of them is John Dewan’s Fielding Bible, which I’ve often referenced here, another is internal, and he wouldn’t reveal the two others. But he noted that objective analysis of defensive play is always imperfect.
  • He’s been impressed with Ryan Garko in the outfield and beyond. “[Garko] deserves some credit. He was the first guy through the doors of this place in October and the most consistent guy here all winter long. He clearly has worked with a sense of determination."

~AC

None of this has happened yet

I guess what I'm really wondering in life is when Dippin' Dots will become the ice cream of the present. It's been billed the "ice cream of the future" since I was about 11 years old. That's a pretty bold and pompous claim.


637px-Dippin'_Dots_Rainbow_Flavored_Ice.jpg 

There's a Dippin' Dots stand here at Goodyear Ballpark that had no action when I walked by it during today's game. Meanwhile, further down the first-base line, the homemade ice cream stand had a line that stretched past several sections. We clearly are not living in the future.

 

Actually, given people's general love of nostalgia, if I'm the guy running the ice cream stand, I throw up a sign that says, "Ice cream of the past." That ought to bring them in.

 

Anyway, what's going on with the Indians of the... right now? Allow me to fill you in.

 

EXCRUCIATING MINUTIA OF THE DAY...

 

  • Very uneventful debut for Travis Hafner. He saw all of five pitches in two at-bats against Dave Bush, striking out in the first and popping out weakly in the third. He admitted he swung at a bad pitch on that pop-out and said he has work to do in the area of plate discipline. He should be back in the lineup Sunday for another two at-bats.
  • David Dellucci, also making his debut after his left thumb injury held him back, also looked a little impatient in his first two at-bats. But he cranked out a solo homer in his third.
  • Grady Sizemore will be back in the lineup Sunday. He and Hafner will split at-bats at DH.
  • Cliff Lee looked rusty against the Brewers, but, well, it's the first time out. Can't judge much off of that.
  • Jeremy Sowers, on the other hand, has looked a little rough around the edges a couple times now. He gave up three runs (one earned) on two hits wiht two walks in one inning today. "The ball's really coming out of his hand ," Wedge said. "He needs to do a better job finishing his pitches and commanding his fastball." What else is new? 
  • As expected, Shin-Soo Choo did DH in South Korea's opening game of the World Baseball Classic - a 9-0 rout of Chinese Taipei. Choo went 1-for-3 with a walk and a run scored. The Koreans will play Japan on Saturday.
  • Here the link to an interesting article from The Baseball Analysts points out that the Indians' have been among the Majors' best teams, in terms of payroll efficiency, over the last three seasons.
  • Opening Day is one month from today.
  • I’m putting the brakes on the blog for the weekend. I’ll catch back up with you on Monday.

~AC

A life of leisure and a pirate's treasure don't make much for tragedy

milton4.jpgAh, the first off day of the spring. It is finally here, and I plan to soak it up like a real Arizonian — 18 holes of golf in the morning, laying by the pool in the afternoon (hopefully there won’t be any big grains of salt floating in my margarita), and a little wining and dining at night.

That’s the plan, at least. Sometimes these things have a way of deviating into sitting on the couch watching “Wonder Years” reruns.

Hey, either way, it’s OK.

But before I flick the switch, let’s give you the requisite news and notes from before, during and after today’s game against the Cubs.

EXCRUCIATING MINUTIA OF THE DAY…

  • Now it sounds like Grady Sizemore (sore left groin) won’t be in Friday’s lineup. Rather, the Indians will test out his legs by having him do some running and shag work. He’ll then be evaluated Saturday. He could be in the lineup then or early next week.
  • Cliff Lee, Travis Hafner and David Dellucci are all a go for Friday. That is, assuming Lee isn’t too dizzy from his F-16 trial.
  • How does Mark Shapiro feel about his Cy Young winner breaking the sound barrier? “As long as he’s not the one flying [the F-16], I’m OK with it,” he said. Lee should be in good hands. 
  • A couple weeks back, I told you Fausto Carmona was looking a little plump in the gut. He appears to have tamed that little issue — the last thing the Indians need is another abdominal/oblique strain for a prominent member of their starting rotation — for the time being. “I lost a couple pounds,” he said today. “I don’t know how many, but I feel better now.”
  • Pitching coach Carl Willis said Carmona will need to be careful in that department: “He has to watch it, because, if it gets away from him, he could get behind the eight ball really quick."
  • As for Carmona's performance, he was a little more erratic this time than the last, but he still turned in two scoreless innings.
  • Carl Pavano had a rough one -- three runs on four hits with a walk and a strikeout in two innings. But he maintains that he feels great.
  • Juan Salas got the save today and has now pitched two scoreless innings in garbage time. "He has a lot of action on the plate and a loose arm," Wedge said.
  • Big, Bad Beau Mills went deep with a two-run shot off Chad Gaudin in the first inning. Wedge was really impressed with the way Mills carried himself last year in camp, and that opinion hasn't changed. "He still needs a lot of work at first base," Wedge said. "But with his aptitude, he'll pick it up quick."
  • Jensen Lewis is off to a much better start this year than last. His velocity appears to be where it needs to be this time of year, and he's rattled off three scoreless innings in three appearances.
  • Still waiting for "No Line on the Horizon" to grow on me, but I agree with the reader who spoke fondly of "Magnificent." Good track. One of the few on there.

~AC

Let me in the sound

u2-2.jpgI've got to get back to digesting the new U2 album, "No Line on the Horizon," which, upon first listen, sounds a lot like "Zooropa II" -- and that is in no way a compliment. But hey, I'll listen to anything twice.

 

But before I go, allow me to wrap up today's news and notes from before, during and after the Tribe's kiss-your-sister finish with the Royals.

 

EXCRUCIATING MINUTIA OF THE DAY...

 

  • It could get crowded at DH on Friday against the Brewers. That's already the targeted debut for Travis Hafner, and now Grady Sizemore's return to the lineup might get pushed back to Friday. The Indians had considered starting Sizemore at DH on Wednesday, but Eric Wedge said he's leaning toward taking advantage of Thursday's off day to give Grady extra time to rest and test that sore left groin. So it's conceivable that you'd see each guy get a couple at-bats Friday.
  • Friday is also the day Cliff Lee makes his Cactus debut and David Dellucci is expected to return after getting three stitches removed from his left thumb.
  • Speaking of Lee, he'll spend part of Thursday's off day flying in an F-16 fighter jet. Luke Air Force Base, located nearby, invited him out to film a public service announcement for their upcoming Air Show and to get a special orientation on the maneuverability of the aircraft from Major Dan "Dutch" Munter.
  • And to think, Lee is the same guy who turned down a World Baseball Classic invitation because he thought it was too dangerous.
  • Wedge's take: "I'm sure [Lee] will throw up all over the place, but other than that, we'll see what happens. He'll be all right. I don't know those guys, but I trust those guys."
  • LHP Tony Sipp looked good in his spring debut, tossing a scoreless inning.
  • Ed Mujica, on the other hand, continues to look like Ed Mujica. Today he came on with the bases loaded and served up a grand slam to Alex Gordon, followed immediately by a solo shot from John Buck. Fighting for a bullpen spot, Mujica now has a 19.64 ERA this spring. Wedge thinks he's trying too hard and therefore overthrowing.
  • No new developments with Adam Miller. He's still resting that sore right middle finger.
  • Joe Smith is still playing catch after missing a week of workouts with a viral infection. No word yet on when he'll start throwing bullpens.
  • When it comes to third base, now that Mark DeRosa's gone, Wedge said he wants to get a good look at Wes Hodges. Jamey Carroll, who started in center today, will also see a good deal of time there. Tony Graffanino, Josh Barfield and, to a much lesser degree, Jhonny Peralta and Andy Marte are also in that third-base mix.
  • The challenge for Josh Barfield in his adaptation to the outfield and third base is his arm strength. Wedge said it's a work in progress as Barfield is still "getting under" some throws.
  • I did a feature on Anthony Reyes and his work with Tom House this offseason. House is the guy known for having his pitchers throw footballs to warm up when he was pitching coach for the Rangers. House, who is now pitching coach at USC, doesn't make his guys do that anymore, but Reyes will fire the pigskin around, anyway. "I'll launch 'em," he said.
  • Finally, a very happy birthday to inimitable Plain Dealer scribe Paul Hoynes.

~AC

I have to get up and climb that hill again

The Indians last played at Phoenix Municipal Stadium in 1992. The concourse and press box have been renovated since then. The mountains in the distance, on the other hand, haven't moved.

 

EXCRUCIATING MINUTIA OF THE DAY...

 

  • Not sure what to make of the news that Adam Miller has soreness in his right middle finger. Frankly, you take any negative news regarding Miller's physical condition at its worst and work your way down from there. His history has allowed no other perspective. For now, Eric Wedge insists this is nothing major, but I'll provide another update on his condition Sunday.
  • As reported in that Miller story, Travis Hafner and David Dellucci are both expected to join in on the Cactus action later in the coming week. The non-injured Cliff Lee will also make his first start around that time.
  • Apparently the pitchers are now ahead of the hitters, as there was a grand total of six hits today between the Indians and A's.
  • Carl Pavano looked good today -- as good as you can look the first time out. He threw two perfect innings, getting five groundball outs. When asked the last time he felt this good, he replied, "I don't know if I can think back that far."
  • Scott Lewis also pitched well in two scoreless innings. He hit a batter to open one inning and walked a guy to open the other but worked his way out of trouble each time. "The game doesn't speed up on him," Eric Wedge said of Lewis. "He does a good job staying in his tempo and his routine."
  • Matt Cassel, better known as Jack Cassel's brother, was traded from the Patriots to the Chiefs today.
  • Single-game tickets are now on sale for all the Indians' home games. You can get them right here. If you buy four or more tickets today or tomorrow, you get a free Grady Sizemore fleece blanket (and, for the person who asked, it's a different blanket than the one given out at the games last year).
  • Wedge has been impressed with what he's seen from right-hander Hector Rondon, who worked a scoreless eighth. "He has a live arm and a good fastball," Wedge said. Rondon went 11-6 with a 3.60 ERA in 27 starts at Class A Kinston last year and was added to the 40-man roster at season's end.
  • Happy birthday to Indians PR director Bart Swain.

~AC

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