Results tagged ‘ Scott Lewis ’

Lewis has elbow strain, Chulk promoted

As speculated, Vinnie Chulk has been promoted from Triple-A Columbus to bolster the bullpen.

What wasn’t expected was the news that Scott Lewis is headed to the 15-day disabled list with a left elbow strain. He had an MRI this morning, and the results are expected back this afternoon.

I just talked with Lewis, and he said he doesn’t think this strain is as severe as the tear that forced Tommy John surgery in his junior year at Ohio State. But we won’t know for sure until the MRI results are revealed. Lewis also said the elbow began bothering him in his last couple spring starts (both of which were disasters), but he kept pitching through it, because he thought it was just spring soreness that would fade quickly.

Lewis was scheduled to start Wednesday’s game in Kansas City. The Indians have not announced their plans for that start. Eric Wedge might reveal those plans after today’s game. Anybody in the Columbus rotation (David Huff, Aaron Laffey, Kirk Saarloos, Jeremy Sowers and Jack Cassel) is fair game.

UPDATE: Here’s what Lewis had to say:

“Hopefully it’s not the ligament, but it’s definitely the elbow. It had kind of been bothering me the last few times out. From what I felt, it’s not the same as when I tore my UCL [ulnar collateral ligament]. … It kept getting worse, and I think that’s why I haven’t been finishing pitches. I had been over-rotating my changeup and putting extra stress on it. It’s just not calming down with treatment. Hopefully it’s just tendinitis or something and the shutdown will help.”

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

Mama if that's movin' up then I'm movin' out

It's the last day of the month, and my lease is up on my spring rental unit. Ordinarily, move-out day is a celebratory occasion. Today, it just means three nights in an Arizona hotel, as the Eternal Spring continues.

 

EXCRUCIATING MINUTIA OF THE DAY...

 

  • Oh my. Scott Lewis got shelled again today against the Mariners. He gave up 10 runs on 13 hits in 3 2/3 innings, giving up a grand slam to Ronny Cedeno and two homers to Russell Branyan that haven't landed yet. That's 15 runs on 21 hits in his last 6 2/3 innings since being named the Indians' No. 4 starter.
  • Lewis said he's having some issues trying to grip the ball in the dry air. But if I remember correctly, it was pretty dry in his first five appearances, when he had a 3.52 ERA and won the job. Lewis acknowledged that the air won't be any better when he makes the start in assumedly cold conditions in Cleveland at the April 10 home opener. He'll have one more opportunity to figure it out in an extended game here in Goodyear on Sunday.
  • Gary Sheffield cut. Didn't see that one coming. And before you ask (well, actually, some of you already have), while the Indians do have a history of trying to trade for Sheffield, it's hard to imagine them making a run at him here. Last I checked, they already have a DH with question marks. They don't need another. And when you consider that Sheffield's first day with the Tribe would involve him trying to punch teammates Asdrubal Cabrera and Fausto Carmona in the head as retaliation for last September's incident, I don't think he'd add much in the way of clubhouse camaraderie.
  • GM Mark Shapiro met with the media today. Nothing all that newsworthy to report. He offered some thoughts on the division, noting that the White Sox are the defending champs and must be respected as such. But the Twins, he said, have "without a doubt... the best pitching, top to bottom. There's no scenario where the Twins aren't going to be a solid to good team, with that rotation and with the guy they have finishing games for them [Joe Nathan]."
  • Shapiro said 90 wins could be enough to take the AL Central this season. Hard to dispute that, when you look at the rosters.
  • Summing up camp: "The overwhelming positive is we've got a minute injury list right now. At least what that allows is that the club you plan, by and large, will be on the field. It doesn't mean it will definitely be a championship team, but that's a strong positive. That's not something you take for granted. When you like the team you plan, you go through spring training holding your breath every game."
  • One guy we haven't discussed much is left-hander Tony Sipp, who will open at Triple-A Columbus and is very much back on the radar after '07 Tommy John surgery. "I think he's back on the trajectory he was on prior to his injury, which is a good thing," Shapiro said.
  • Getting away from Shapiro and speaking of Columbus, here's the Clippers' rotation (in no particular order): LHPs David Huff, Jeremy Sowers and Aaron Laffey, RHPs Kirk Saarloos and Jack Cassel. If the Indians had an opening in their rotation at this moment, Sowers would probably get the first call. But this will be a fluid situation all season, and any one of those guys (particularly the young lefties) could step up at any time.
  • The Double-A rotation (in no particular order): LHPs Chuck Lofgren, RHPs Hector Rondon, Steve Wright, Josh Tomlin, Frank Herrmann. LHP Ryan Edell has been moved to the bullpen. Lofgren, who was once a promising prospect, is likely on a short leash.
  • It needs to be said: Ryan Garko is not that bad in the outfield corners. He won't be climbing walls or making diving catches in the gap, but it doesn't look like he'll kill the Indians out there, either. And if his bat remains as productive as it was today, when he ripped a two-run single in the sixth, then finding another way to keep him in the lineup is a good thing.
  • Last home game of the spring. And for all that talk earlier this spring about the small crowds, the Indians drew a club-record 99,824 fans, an average of 5,546 per game. Last year, they drew an average of 5,820, with the boost of people paying their last respects to Chain of Lakes. In '07, they drew an average of 4,773.

~AC

"Due to our policy of overselling flights, this flight has been oversold."

I am back in the Spring Training saddle after a few days back in the Cleveland tropics. And it's worth noting that my Continental flight from Phoenix to Cleveland was overbooked, as was every other flight between the two destinations that day.

 

As is the case with, well, most things in life, this puzzles me. What does an airline gain by overbooking a flight? Those who were left without a seat -- or those who were willing to give up their seat -- were put up in hotels, placed in first class on another flight and given vouchers for free meals. This can't be a money-making proposition for the airline, can it?

 

I know this much: It's certainly not an inviting scenario for the passenger. You buy a ticket to one flight and end up on another flight on another day. In what other business does this sort of thing occur?

 

I have never bought Bruce Springsteen concert tickets, shown up to the arena and been told, "I'm sorry, but someone else is in your seat. But we'd be happy to give you front-row seats for tomorrow night's Nickelback show." I have never gone to McDonald's, ordered a cheeseburger, paid for it, then been told that they are currently out of cheeseburgers but I can come back the next day for a free one.

 

Well, not yet, anyway.

 

EXCRUCIATING MINUTIA OF THE DAY...

 

  • Naturally, the rotation battle was settled in my absence. As much as the word "competition" is thrown around, so much of these supposed spring battles are decided upon long before the team even arrives at camp. So it was refreshing to see a guy like Lewis come into camp and win a job the old-fashioned way. Back in January, Lewis' name was something of an afterthought. I remember Mark Shapiro listing the candidates for the fifth spot in the rotation and almost forgetting to include him.
  • Well, Lewis won the job yesterday, then proceeded to go out and get rocked today. He allowed five runs on eight hits with two walks and two strikeouts in three innings against the Angels. Bobby Abreu, Vladimir Guerrero and Torii Hunter went back-to-back-to-back with solo shots off him in the third. And though it was a windy day at the Big Chipotle, none of these were what you'd call wind-assisted. "He wasn't able to get a feel for the baseball," Eric Wedge said of Lewis. "You look at the way he's pitched, and he was probably due for one of those days."
  • Adam Miller will throw a bullpen session Friday. It will be his third bullpen since being cleared to throw with decreased range of motion and strength in his right middle finger, and it will be his last bullpen before the Indians decide whether to let Miller pitch with the problem or to have him undergo season-ending surgery. Head athletic trainer Lonnie Soloff will update the media on the situation, but that update might not come until Saturday. We shall see. For what it's worth, Miller is telling people that he feels pretty good.
  • Masa Kobayashi is showing improvement and not a moment too soon. He worked two perfect innings today, striking out four batters. He's mixing up his pitches better, working in his split-finger fastball more often.
  • Rafael Betancourt stepped off the mound and got looked at by the trainer in the midst of his inning of work. Still not sure what that was all about, but he went on to finish the inning without any problems.
  • For those wondering if the talk about the "dry heat" affecting the flight of the ball in Arizona, PR guru Bart Swain passed along some stats comparing Grapefruit League ERAs to Cactus League ERAs, and there's a discernible difference. The bottom line is that, through yesterday's games, the overall ERA was 4.42 in Florida and 5.68 in Arizona. Also, 10 of the lowest 13 qualifying ERAs among pitchers belonged to guys in the Grapefruit League.
  • Progressive Field press box attendant Joe Corrado is retiring. Corrado spent 59 years with the club at old Cleveland Stadium and the ballpark formerly known as The Jake. He started out as an usher in 1949. He's a good man, and he'll be missed.
  • It's a busy night in the Phoenix area. You've got the Billy Joel-Elton John show at the U.S. Airways Center downtown and the Sweet 16 going on at the University of Phoenix stadium in Glendale. I just hope nobody gets confused and shows up to the concert in their Mizzou gear or the West Regional in their tattered "Storm Front" tour T-shirt.

~AC

"'Cut to the chase'? Who are you, Joe Hollywood?"

I love the NCAA tournament, if for no other reason than it gives the national audience a glimpse at the talents of guys like Western Kentucky's Orlando Mendez-Valdez -- the man so nice, they named him twice.

 

But you know what I don't like? First halves. They're a bit of a tease, really, and they do nothing for me on the drama scale.

 

Perhaps the NCAA should consider just cutting to the chase and getting to the good stuff. How about starting the games at the second half, with a point spread based on seeding? So when a 16 plays a 1, the 1 seed has a 15-point lead with 20 minutes left.

 

This idea sounded so good in my head. In print, it looks pretty stupid. And I'm feeling too lazy to erase it and blog about something else, so let's just get to today's Tribe tidbits, shall we?

 

EXCRUCIATING MINUTIA OF THE DAY...

 

  • Fausto Carmona seems fine after suffering that bruised forearm in a Minor League intrasquad yesterday. Pitching coach Carl Willis said Carmona should be able to throw his bullpen session Saturday and should be good to go when his regular turn in the rotation comes up Tuesday.
  • Strong and deserved praise from Eric Wedge for left-hander Scott Lewis after Lewis went five scoreless innings of relief against the A's today, allowing just four hits with two walks and four strikeouts. Is Lewis now the frontrunner for that last rotation spot? "He's right in the middle of everything," Wedge said. "I'll tell you that much. He's had as good a camp as any starting pitcher we have here. Today was definitely a positive step for him."
  • Aaron Laffey came into camp as the favorite for the job, as evidenced by the fact that he's started each of his five appearances. But Laffey's inconsistency has led to a 6.92 ERA. Lewis now has a 3.52 ERA in five appearances, but he's made only one start, so he hasn't gotten a full taste of real lineups. Still, you have to be impressed with what he's displayed here, picking up where he left off at the end of last season. Today he did a nice job pitching himself out of trouble.
  • It was an ugly start for Carl Pavano, who gave up six runs on seven hits with three walks in four innings. Five of the hits went for extra bases, including Cliff Pennington's three-run triple in the second and Aaron Cunningham's two-run homer in the fourth.
  • The second inning got away from Pavano after a Daric Barton chopper up the middle kicked off his glove for a single. "I lost it in the sun," Pavano said. "In hindsight, I should have let it fall and let [Asdrubal Cabrera] get it."
  • Pavano, as tends to be the case when a guy gets roughed up in Spring Training, said he felt good. He said he was working on using his legs more to push off the mound and get a better finishing action on his pitches. He said he's left camps before with worse stuff than he has now, so he's encouraged. I guess we'll see.
  • Ryan Garko was in left field today, and he did a nice job running down a Jack Cust fly ball in foul territory near the wall in the fourth inning.
  • Wilson Valdez put down a squeeze bunt with two outs in the eighth. You won't see that too often, if ever, especially on a Wedge team. Valdez was acting on his own there, and he nearly beat out the throw. Nearly.
  • The weekend crowds have been good here. Today's game drew 7,571 to Goodyear Ballpark, and the Big Chipotle will be jam-packed tomorrow, when the Dodgers arrive. Not sure if Manny Ramirez will be on-hand, but I do know that sellout crowd of nearly 10,000 fans will be. Fans are encouraged to arrive early. Gates will open at 11 a.m. PT in advance of the 1:05 p.m. PT first pitch.

~AC

This is our kingdom of days

We are now three weeks away from Opening Day. In the meantime, here’s the rundown of yet another “day that ends in y” here at Spring Training camp.

EXCRUCIATING MINUTIA OF THE DAY…

  • The Indians are today’s featured team on MLB Network’s “30 Clubs in 30 Days.” The first airing has already come and gone, but you can catch repeats at 11 p.m. ET tonight, and 6 a.m., 8 a.m., 10 a.m., noon and 4:30 ET on Tuesday.
  • Shin-Soo Choo did not play in South Korea’s 8-2 win over Mexico in the opener of Round 2 of the World Baseball Classic at San Diego’s Petco Park on Sunday. Choo gets one day off per round.
  • Head athletic trainer Lonnie Soloff will update the media on Adam Miller’s finger condition on Wednesday.
  • No player has improved his organizational stock this spring more than Chris Gimenez, who hit the walkoff three-run homer against the Mariners today. He’s proven he can handle his duties behind the plate, the versatility he provides with his ability to play the corner outfield spots and first base is a plus, and he’s been productive with the bat. He won’t crack the Opening Day roster, but he could be one of the first guys the Indians turn to down at Triple-A Columbus, depending on need.
  • Gimenez also won some points with fans today. As I’m typing this, the game ended about 15-20 minutes ago, and Gimenez is still down there signing autographs for fans lined up down the first-base line. He might have to walk back to the complex, as the last shuttle has likely left for the day.
  • A total of seven double plays were turned by the Indians and Mariners today. I neither know nor care if that’s a Cactus League record.
  • What’s more important is that Jeremy Sowers looked good again. He gave up a run on three hits with a walk and two strikeouts in four innings. Afterward, he credited the immortal Sal Fasano with the improvements he’s made in pitch selection. Fasano encouraged Sowers to begin using his two-seamer to right-handers and his four-seamer to left-handers, which Sowers had not done previously. You can read more about Sowers right here.
  • After a slow start, the rotation battle has heated up with the recent performances of Sowers, Aaron Laffey and Scott Lewis. “You like to see what’s happening with multiple guys,” Eric Wedge said.
  • Still waiting for that big hit that announces Travis Hafner is back. He’s driving the ball consistently in BP but that hasn’t translated into the games. Hitting coach Derek Shelton said Hafner’s improvements in approach from last year to this year are noticeable. He said Hafner got into some bad habits last year as a result of the shoulder problem. 
  • Here’s a choice quote from Shelton on outfield prospect Michael Brantley: “When you talk to him, he’s not a 21-year-old kid. His stages of thought and what he watches with pitchers is advanced, and that’s going to help his progression to the big leagues.”
  • Well, now I’m done typing, and Gimenez is just finishing up. He signed for every last fan who waited and even posed for some photos. You’ve got to love that.

~AC

"Some might say he was a cockeyed optimist who got caught up in the dirty game of world diplomacy and international intrigue."

My buddy Brian, a Cleveland native now living in Los Angeles, was in town for today's game against the Brewers. And for what it's worth, he's feeling very optimistic about the Indians' chances this year.

 

Then again, keep in mind that this guy was voted Most Optimistic by our senior class at Euclid High School. (I was voted Future Celebrity. Obviously, we didn't graduate with Nostradamus.)

 

Brian campaigned hard for that honor. And when the final results were revealed shortly before graduation, I asked him how it felt be named Most Optimistic.

 

"Honestly," he said, "I didn't think I had a chance."

 

EXCRUCIATING MINUTIA OF THE DAY...

 

  • The next round of cuts will be made sometime this week.
  • Kerry Wood worked another scoreless inning in his second spring appearance, though he had the audacity to allow a base hit this time. "I can't complain," Wood said. "I feel I'm back to where I need to be, and I still have plenty of time to get the rest of my innings in. My body feels good. It's just a matter of getting the innings in an fine-tuning my offspeed pitches."
  • Scott Lewis looked really good, allowing a run on three hits with no walks and two strikeouts in four innings. He followed what appears to be an organizational mandate to hit Prince Fielder with a pitch (that's a joke, of course... though Fielder has been hit by three pitches in two games against the Tribe).
  • Anthony Reyes only pitched two innings today. Wedge said Reyes could have gone a third (his pitch count is up around 50), but Reyes has been sick with a touch of the flu bug the last couple days, and Wedge didn't want to push him.
  • Wedge on Lewis: "He's been very good all camp. He's done a good job spotting his fastball and changing speeds. He's picked up where he left off last year." Wedge said Lewis hasn't shown any jitters in competing for that fifth spot.
  • Kelly Shoppach did not make any friends on the opposing side when he flipped his bat after hitting a solo homer off Seth McClung in the second inning. "He hit a home run in Spring Training," McClung said with a sarcastic bite. "Good for him."
  • Grady Sizemore tripled off the right-field wall. "I thought it was out," he said. "I guess that's all I've got. No power."
  • I like the slogan used by the Italian ice vendor here at The Big Chipotle. "Only in America!" he says. "Italian ice!"
  • I hear the lemonade guy in Scottsdale is also pretty good. His line is: "Lemonade, lemonade... like grandma made!"

~AC

Stand Up and Cheer

It takes a lot for a guy in Arizona in March to become jealous of a guy in Cleveland in March, but that's just what happened when my buddy Brad called me this morning from the Mid-American Conference tournament at the Q, where our beloved Ohio University Bobcats were taking on Western Michigan.

 

The MAC tourney was the sight of perhaps my greatest heartbreak. In 2001, an Ohio team loaded with such collegiate legends as Brandon Hunter and Steve Esterkamp was humbled in the MAC semifinals, when the unabashedly evil Miami of Ohio guard Jason Grunkemeyer -- the same guy who transferred from OU to J.Crew U. after his freshman year -- hit a game-winning three-pointer with 6.8 seconds left.

 

I'm still bitter.

 

The Bobcats won the MAC in 2005, but I was down in Florida for Spring Training. And today I was stuck in Arizona as OU began its glorious, improbable run to MAC glory with a 62-55 beating of the Broncos.

 

This is not a very good OU team, mind you. The Bobcats are a No. 9 seed in a tournament that probably shouldn't even have nine teams. They will go up against a heavily favored Bowling Green team in Thursday's second round and, contrary to my own grandiose predictions and expectations, will most likely get thumped.

 

But they attend OU. They live in the navel of the universe -- Athens, Ohio. They have the ability to drown any and all sorrows in the hallowed pubs of Court Street. So they are winners, through and through.

 

Here in Arizona, the Indians were taking on the Angels, so here's your daily rundown of all things Tribe.

 

EXCRUCIATING MINUTIA OF THE DAY...

 

  • Shin-Soo Choo, in between rounds of the World Baseball Classic, reported to the Player Development Complex this afternoon to get his left arm looked at by the Indians' trainers. The soreness he was experiencing in his triceps, just above his surgically repaired elbow, still isn't considered serious, but the Indians are taking advantage of the South Korean team training in Arizona to get their hands on him and determine if he should still be limited solely to DH duties. An update on Choo's condition is expected Wednesday, according to media relations director Bart Swain. Korea begins Round 2 of the Classic at San Diego's Petco Park on Sunday.
  • Kerry Wood had a breeze of a spring debut, striking out Howie Kendrick, getting Juan Rivera to fly out to right field (and a nice basket catch at the track by Ryan Garko on that one) and getting Brandon Wood to pop out -- all on nine pitches.
  • Speaking of Garko in right field, that's something we were told we wouldn't be seeing this spring. But Eric Wedge decided that because some parks have less space in right than in left, it makes sense to try Garko there, too. And the fact that Garko was in right today is inherent praise of what he's shown the Indians in left.
  • Starting at third base, Josh Barfield made a nice diving stop of a bouncer down the line to preserve a run. He made an error later in the game, when he dropped a ball after ranging to his left on a tough play.
  • Another note on Wood: In talking about the pitchers he grew up watching, he said he was in attendance for Nolan Ryan's seventh no-hitter against the Blue Jays on May 1, 1991. Wood got the tickets through a grocery store giveaway. After the game, he went around the concourse at Arlington Stadium, picking up ticket stubs. He said he still has about 30 of them.
  • A pair of singles for Travis Hafner in three at-bats, including a liner to right-center field that scored Trevor Crowe from second.
  • I thought this was a big day for Scott Lewis to potentially establish himself in the rather ho-hum starting rotation battle. He went out in the fifth inning and gave up four runs on three hits with two walks and two strikeouts in 2 1/3 innings, largely against the Angels reserves, so that's obviously a concern. But both Wedge and pitching coach Carl Willis nonetheless thought it was a good outing for Lewis. They felt he commanded his fastball well, for the most part. Lewis will get his first start of the spring when his next turn comes in five days.
  • The Indians have come to contractual agreements with all their pre-arbitration players, in advance of MLB's Wednesday deadline. Today the club announced the signings of Asdrubal Cabrera, Trevor Crowe, Ben Francisco, Ryan Garko, Chris Gimenez, Zach Jackson, Jensen Lewis, Scott Lewis, Andy Marte, Ed Mujica, Rafael Perez, Hector Rondon, Juan Salas, Carlos Santana, Joe Smith and Luis Valbuena.
  • Finally, I've got to throw out a quick plug for Maple Street Press' Indians Annual 2009. It's a 128-page, "by fans, for fans" compilation that includes player profiles rife with interesting statistical data (if you wondered what Garko hit against right-handed sliders last season, here's your opportunity to find out), an insightful, in-depth interview with assistant GM Chris Antonetti, several informative features (including the always excellent Joe Posnanski's touching remembrance of Herb Score) and much, much more. Edited by Jay Levin of the LetsGoTribe.com blog, it really is a professional, impressive piece of work. Look for it on newsstands in Northeast Ohio or buy it here.

~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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