Results tagged ‘ Wilson Valdez ’
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.
The sweet sounds of Eddie Money’s “Shakin’” are blaring in an empty Goodyear Ballpark as I type this.
Yep, that’s when you know it’s definitely time to punch out for the day.
But before I go…
EXCRUCIATING MINUTIA OF THE DAY…
- It was already pretty obvious the Indians look at Laffey as their fifth starter-to-be. He is, after all, the only guy competing for the job who has actually gotten the starting nod in each of his appearances. Today he proved he’ll probably win the job, tossing four perfect innings against the A’s and getting eight groundball outs. Really impressive outing, and Laffey’s confidence is demonstrated in this quote: “I’m taking the mindset that it’s already my spot.” That’s the kind of stuff we heard from Cliff Lee last year.
- Rafael Perez is back after a dominant run (for him, not his team) in the first round of the World Baseball Classic. Perez pitched one inning in each of the Dominican’s three games and was perfect each time, striking out three batters along the way. Eric Wedge said he’ll ease off Perez the next couple days before bringing him back into the exhibition fold. The Indians have no concerns over how he was used in the Classic because each of his outings was so effortless.
- Zach Jackson also looked pretty good, for the most part, today. He got into some trouble in the eighth when a fastball got away from him and hit Jack Hannahan in the head. Jackson might profile well for that final bullpen spot, because he could give the Indians length and he’s left-handed (complementing the three right-handed starters).
- Adam Miller began playing catch Wednesday and threw out to 75 feet today. He’ll throw out to 90 feet Sunday. No word on when he’ll go off a mound, but his return-to-throw was expected to last two weeks total.
- Jake Westbrook threw 15 pitches off the 10-inch mound this morning. He continues to progress nicely in his return from Tommy John.
- Nice play for the Tribe in the ninth inning today. Cliff Pennington was on third after tripling off Vinnie Chulk with one out. Joe Dillon hit a grounder to short against a drawn-in infield, and non-roster invitee Wilson Valdez scooped it up and made a nice throw home to catcher Chris Gimenez, who applied the tag for the second out.
- Finally, a big congrats to Frank Viola’s daughter, Brittany, who has been selected to USA Diving’s 2009 World Championships team. She’ll be competing in Rome in July in the 1-meter and 10-meter diving events.