Wednesday, March 17, 2010

A Season of New Beginnings

Tribe Times has taken a long break from posting, but look for some random in depth analysis to come very shortly.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Martinez traded to Boston

per bob nightengale of USA Today. More details to follow.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Cliff Lee and Ben Francisco Traded to Phillies

according to Castroturf. None of the guys are the top 2 Philly pitching prospects closest to contributing soon. See you in 2011.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Wahoo Week of Wonderings

The Indians have have made a whole bunch of news over the past 7 days. Games were won, trades were made, and the real possibility of two Indians All-Stars donning other MLB uniforms after July 31st is a real possibility. Here now is the week that was...

With the chase for the playoffs long gone in the rear-view mirror, the Indians have put together a nice little winning streak. They have won 5 games in a row going into tonight's game with a sweep of the Mariners mixed in. The keys to the club's longest winning streak of the season has been the contribution of the starting staff and the offense. Cliff Lee's greatness, a sprinkle of solid starts from Jeremy Sowers and Aaron Laffey, and an offensive hot streak sparked by Jhonny Peralta have keyed the success of the Tribe. Apparently trades and innuendos have little effect on this club. Also, winning like they have on the road is interesting since their performance at Progressive Field has been less than stellar this season. The bullpen hasn't been bad either, adding to the makings of a solid baseball team. The 2009 season will be analyzed at length at its conclusion, from the GM, to the manager, to the mental psyche of the whole club. I don't think anyone has a clue what the answers to the early season stuggles are, but it is beginning to look like there are the same issues come the second half of the season for some unexplained reason.

Rafael Betancourt was traded to the Colorado Rockies for Class A right-hander Connor Graham. Graham, a traitor who grew up in Bowling Green, Ohio but chose the khaki pants and sweater vests of Miami, OH, is 6'7, 235 lbs and rated the 12th best prospect in the Rockies system by Baseball America. Here is a quick blurb from Mark Shapiro...

Graham is headed to Double-A Akron. Here's Mark Shapiro: "Strike zone command is his area of development, clearly. But he's a guy who has power stuff. Pitching prospect depth is our

greatest area of need."

My fondest memory of Raffy Right will always be him jumping into the arms of Victor Martinez after beating the Oakland A's to cling the Central Division crown. He also entered games to this, which was always entertaining. He posted a 3.25 career ERA for the Tribe over seven seasons, pretty much being a mainstay in the bullpen. Betancourt may have took awhile on the mound and touched his cap a few times, but he was one of the best relievers in Indians history.

Ryan Garko was traded Monday to the San Francisco Giants for minor league lefty Scott Barnes.

The 21-year-old Barnes is 12-3 with a 2.85 ERA in 18 starts for Class A San Jose in the California League. He leads the league in wins, is second in ERA and his 99 strikeouts are tied for ninth overall. Barnes was an eight-round Draft pick in 2008 out of St. John's University. He is listed at 6-foot-4, 185 pounds. Baseball America named him the ninth-best prospect in the Giants' system before this season.

Garko was a solid contributor to the ballclub since 2006. Prone to the more than occasional cold streaks, Gark was a high on base guy who could almost carry a club for a few weeks but look terribly lost (knee hitting the dirt on swings) when he was going bad. Ryan constantly had to prove himself to Manager Eric Wedge, and seemed to do so just in time for him to get traded. He compiled a lifetime .283 batting average and .355 OBP for the Tribe over 4 years, but showed too little pop in his bat to man first base consitently. He tore up 2006 when he was called up, capitalizing on Travis Hafner ending the season on the disabled list. But in 2007, Wedge relegated him to the bench for the first few months in favor of Casey Blake at first when Blake was better suited and needed in the outfield (see Michaelucci). After a solid 2007, Garko stuggled for most of 2008, sans a huge hot streak in September catipulting his stats to level really indicative of his performance.

2009 brought on the experiment of finding time for him elsewhere around the diamond, which meant to even Garko's surprise, the outfield. That experiment worked out horribly, as the 12 games he was forced to play out there to maintain his "position flexibility" was a disaster. Garko to the outfield was also thought up to get both his and Kelly Shoppach's bat in the lineup, and we all know how that went (currently hitting .199). He got a bad rap for being a terrible 1st baseman (when he started off as a catcher), but I thought he was actually getting more comfortable and developing into a solid fielder. Wedge really jerked around with this good natured, good clubhouse guy. Not that I think the Indians trading him was a bad move or that I think he is the long term solution, but the organization always thought they had a betteri internal option than Ryan Garko, and they didn't. I will remember Garko for his great interviews, big smiles, clutch hitting (.314 batting average in 39 post season plate appearances) and solid effort. Here's to raising a Budweiser to ole' Ryan!

As for all of the Trade talk, it is really hard to speculate. Trading Cliff Lee and Victor Martinez raises the white flag on 2010 and really kind of alienates the fan base. If they keep just one, I would bet it to be Cliff Lee as you just can't replace an ace starter, where internal options, although not proven, seem to be more plentiful in the organization at the 1B/C slot. We will just have to wait until Friday and see.

The Indians also acquired reliever Jess Todd as the player to be named later in the Mark DeRosa trade. Todd led the Cardinals Triple A squad with 24 saves and adds to hopefully the increasing depth of relievers in the minors.

The return of Andy Marte happened Tuesday, and as hard as Tribe Times has been on Ole Andy, he deserved the call-up. Marte, once considered the organization's third baseman of the future, has risen from the ashes of the waiver wire. The Indians removed him from their 40-man roster during Spring Training, and he went unclaimed on waivers before being reassigned to Triple-A. All he's done since is rake, to the tune of a .327 average with 24 doubles, one triple, 18 homers and 66 RBIs in 82 games with the Clippers. Who knows if he can translate that success to the big leagues, but it would make for a great story as he is still only 25 years old. He will play mostly first base with the occasional hot corner mixed in.

Jhonny Peralta just smoked another homerun to put the Indians on top of the Angels 4-3 in the fifth. It will be interesting to see if our Wahoos can keep up their solid play and be worth watching for the last two months of the season

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Eyes wide shut

Not much but more losing has been happening for the Tribe lately, so sorry about the lack of posts. I just started a new job last week and will need to budget my time better to post for the site. The Indians have also made it difficult due to the fact that they stink and are muddling through the season with very few changes. Losing 3 out of 4 to the Mariners is more of the same for the team, as the offense looks as lifeless as the pitching. Most of the Indians's potential moves (Trade of Lee, Martinez, Garko, Peralta) has been discussed at nausea here and various other sites. Until a deal is made or some younger prospects (we all know the names) are called up, the season has become a giant yawn. Cliff Lee's starts are about all that is worth watching anymore, and he will probably be dealt within a year. Personally, I try and catch a few innings when I can, but as a diehard fan, I even have trouble watching this debacle of a season.

I went to the game Saturday and it was just really boring to watch. Between Martinez and Choo struggling and Hafner being a shell of his former self, it is just frustrating to watch. Even though old Tomo pitched well, he is not an option for 2010 and should not be on this roster any longer. Let's see what talent the Indians can build on for the next 70 this season to see if contenting in 2010 is a reality. So from now on, look for posts revolving more around prospects, transactions, and overall synopsises rather than series recaps. I look forward to Shapiro and company moving forward with some minor league talent rather than watching guys like Garko, Francisco, and Shoppach being "showcased."

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Trade Cliff Lee Today

After the Tribe dropped another lifeless loss to the Tigers Friday, I have come to the conclusion that Cliff Lee needs to be moved this season. He is getting more frustrated everyday with this team and we all know that he is a hot head. Here are his comments after yesterday's defeat...
Brandon Inge and Magglio Ordonez started the second with singles. Gerald Laird sent a fly toward the right-field corner that Garko dove for and missed. Inge scored, Ordonez went to third and Laird pulled into second for a double.

Asked if he felt the ball should have been caught, Lee said, "Do you? I don't pass judgment on that. I throw the pitches. Where it goes it goes. It's not up to me to move the outfielders or infielders. All I do is pitch.
Duane Burleson/Associated PressA frustrated Travis Hafner reacts to his harmless fly ball to left field in the eighth inning against Detroit reliever Bobby Seay. Trailing 3-1 at the time, Hafner's fly out left three runners on base."It did seem like it was in the air a long time. I don't know if they had him shaded the other way or what. You'd have to ask him or Wedgie."

It isn't Garko's fault that he is being forced to play in the outfield. He should never play out their again, ever. Lee is frustrated, just like everyone else about his run support and this lost season. He needs to keep to himself about his views and not throw his teammates under the bus.
Since 2009 is over and 2010 looks like it won't be much better, I say trade Cliff Lee to the San Francisco Giants. Package Lee with his buddy Garko (Giants always in need for hitting) to the Giants for the no-hit wonder Jonathan Sanchez, their #1 Prospect Madison Bumgarner (who looks like the real deal), and a few more prospects. Sanchez is a bit older (will turn 27 in November) and walks a lot of guys, but he is a pitcher who can be slotted immediately into the rotation. He struck out 11 batters Friday with zero walks, missing out on a perfect game by one error. Bumgarner is a 20 year old stud who's ERA is under 2 and rarely walks anyone, and if you look at the Giants track record, they know a little about starting pitching. If San Francisco acquired Lee, their rotation would be Lincecum/Cain/Lee/Zito/Big Unit, instantly becoming the best in baseball.

Who knows if this is even being discussed, but the Indians should be really targeting the Giants as a potential trade partner. The Bumgarner kid may be a few years away, but he is exactly what the system needs, an ace in the making.

Friday, July 10, 2009

The Beat Goes On

The Indians head to Detroit today for their last three games before the All-Star break. The two teams could not be any more opposite. Both came into 2009 looking to rebound from a disappointing previous season, but the Tigers were able to stabilize their shaky bullpen and have to stud pitchers anchor their rotation, while improving their defense and team chemistry which has led them to first place in the Central Division. The Tribe has had a lousy starting staff and a horrendous bullpen to go along with shaky defense to position themselves last in a mediocre division. There really isn't much left to say about this team that hasn't already been said. I imagine the Indians will go on a bit of a run in the second half as they always do, taunting the fans with solid baseball. Oh, and they also dropped 2 of 3 against the White Sox, playing horribly in the first two games. Until guys like Brantley, LaPorta, Brown, and Rondon are added to the roster, the season has little left to be excited about. It really can put a damper on a summer when your favorite team is out of it by June, but life does go on. On with the randomness...

  • Aaron Laffey looked ok in his start Tuesday, I anticipate him getting better as the season slugs along.

  • Does anyone really think they will be able to trade Carl Pavano? I don't, even if he strings together more solid starts.

  • They better try Sowers in the bullpen at some point this season because he is out of options in 2010.

  • Ryan Garko has played the outfield 6 times this season when David Huff pitches. Give Huff a break already.

  • Speaking of Garko, I like the guy but he has no place left on this team. I anticipate the Indians moving him sometime this July.

  • Wedge needs to let Luis Valbuena bat once in awhile against lefties. We know what Jamey Carroll is, we don't yet know about Valbuena.

  • I really like Tony Sipp and believe he will help stabilize the bullpen.

Jeremy Sowers was sent back to Columbus while Rafael Betancourt was brought back. The Indians still have 13 pitchers on the roster, which is amazing because most of them stink. It will be interesting to see if they make any changes at the All-Star break, because the Indians are losing the interest of the diehard fans (including me).

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Odds and Ends

The Tribe is 2-2 over the past 4 games, which is actually a slight improvement. They took the three game series against the Oakland A's, which was a nice change of pace. Yesterday's game was more of the same, as new Indians Chris Perez and Winston Abreu helped to give up 9 runs in 2 innings. Random thoughts from a horrible season.

  • Eric Wedge and his staff got the dreaded vote of confidence from GM Mark Shapiro Sunday. The team promptly lost the next two games. I don't think Eric will be back in 2010.

  • Shin Soo Choo has been on fire the past few days, and has played like an All-Star. Seems to be one of the position players the team can build around.

  • Victor Martinez is in a huge slump. Hopefully he it is just one of those baseball things and not him being frustrated with the results of the club this season.

  • Trading a 24 year old struggling reliever (John Meloan) for another bullpen retread (Winston Abreu) looks like a horrible trade and makes absolutely no sense at all.

  • Putting Chris Perez in a bases loaded situation in only his third game when he plunked two White Sox batters in his first game as an Indian was just a bad idea. Put him in spots where he can gain confidence instead of throwing him into the fire.

  • Fausto Carmona and Rafael Betancourt are close to returning to the Indians, probably after the All-Star break. Carmona needs to find his control and help stabilize the rotation. Betancourt will help the pen, but also may be trade bait.

  • Jeremy Sowers 5 and fly starting pitching dance is nearing an end. He has proved himself unable to be a consistent major league starter. It is time to try him as a long reliever in the bullpen.

The beat goes on for the beaten Tribe. A few roster moves not posted have happened, as Matt Herges was designated for assignment over the weekend to make room for the amazing Winston Abreu. Also, Rafael Perez and his gas can were sent to Columbus to make room for the return of Aaron Laffey.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Rondon Promoted to Columbus

Not only has pitching been an issue for the Indians this year, it has also been quite awful for their triple A affiliate Columbus Clippers. After reading Scott Leo's Blog, who is the Clippers radio announcer, he commented on the fact that the Clippers starting pitching has tallied only 34 quality starts in 83 games. Furthermore, Columbus has the worst team ERA in the International league which is 4.67. Sound like a chip off the ol' block.

With this being said the Clippers promoted right hander Hector Rondon from Akron over the weekend and they got a quality start from Fausto Carmona last night as the Clippers beat the Mud Hens 8-1. Carmona has made two minor league starts prior to last night, allowing one run in 13.2 IP. He is 2-0 with a 0.66 ERA in the minors. Last night he was mostly strong in his Clippers debut. He went five innings, giving up a run on six hits, one walk and five strikeouts. Rondon, the top pitching prospect in the organization, won each of his first five starts and was 7-5 with a 2.75 ERA for the Aeros. His ERA was the fifth-best in the Eastern League, he was tied for fourth in victories, and tied for fifth with 73 strikeouts in just 72 innings. He was holding Double-A opponents to a .227 batting average. Rondon is expected to start Wednesday against Indianapolis at Huntington Park.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Indians Trade for Reliever Winston Abreu

In a minor move, the Tribe has acquired 32 year old reliever Winston Abreu (pictured left) from the Tampa Bay Rays for reliever John Meloan. Abreau was recently designated for assignment, so he fit in for what the Indians are looking for to fill their pen, journeymen relievers. Meloan was brought to the Indians from the Dodgers (with Carlos Santana) in the Casey Blake deal. He has struggled mightily down in Columbus, posting a 5.52 ERA in 25 appearances this season. With as bad as the bullpen has been up in Cleveland, he was never brought up to the fire. The organization must have been really down on him to favor the various jobbers that have toed the mound in the big leagues this season. I am surprised they have given up on Meloan, since he only just about to turn 25 next week in favor of a well traveled hurler. Winston is expected to be added to the 25 man roster tomorrow.

Abreu, a fastball/slider pitcher, made two appearances for the Rays this year, allowing a run on three hits with two walks and three strikeouts in 3 2/3 innings. He was called up from Triple-A Durham on June 14 and designated for assignment last week.
A native of the Dominican Republic, Abreu has spent the bulk of this season at Durham, where he went 3-0 with a 1.41 ERA in 23 appearances. He's walked 10 and struck out 49 in 32 innings.
Abreu has 13 years of Minor League experience pitching in the farm systems of the Braves, Cubs, Royals, Dodgers, D-backs, Orioles, Nationals and Rays. He has gone 37-36 with a 3.68 ERA in 322 appearances. He has 929 strikeouts and just 374 walks in 776 2/3 Minor League innings.
Who knows if this will work out, but it looks like just another gas can to throw onto the fire.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

The Day the Indians Died

The Monday of June 15th, 2009 was an optimistic one for Tribe fans. Their team had just won 6 of 9 games and just witnessed their reigning Cy Young award winner no hit the first place St. Louis Cardinals for 7 innings, pulling to a record of 29-36, the closest to .500 they had been for a long time. The Indians carried a 12-7 leading heading into the 7th inning over a solid Brewer ball club. Then, as after the bullpen had been somewhat solid for a few weeks, the group of all former 2009 Columbus Clippers gave up a collective 8 earned runs over their collective relief duty and retrospectively finished the teams' chances for a comeback season (fittingly it was Major League the movie Monday, were all fans got Rick "Wild Thing" Vaughn bobbleheads). Wedge went to his bullpen five times that night, and these are the folks (in order) who came out and what they did.

Greg Aquino 1 IP 2 H 2 ER 1 BB
Luis Vizcaino 1 1/3 IP 0 H 2 ER 3 BB
Matt Herges 0 IP 1 H 2 ER 1 BB
Rafael Perez 0 IP 3 H 2 ER 1 BB
Joe Smith 1 2/3 IP 0 H 0 ER 0 BB

Smith did a good job, but that was after Prince Fielder hit a line shot Grand Slam and took the air out of the Indians sails. Perez caught the WBC disease in early April and has been a trainwreck ever since. Looking at the first three names, would you really think any team that hoped to contend for a division would be trotting out these losers? I thought so. Why do I bring this game up? Because it started a string of 15 winnable games for the Tribe, and ended today with a loud thud. The Indians are 2-13 over those contests and look like a pathetic, hapless ball club. Their pitching staff is just terrible, and their hitters seem to be going through the motions over their latest 5 game losing streak. For all the Eric Wedge bashers who believe he should be canned, I can't disagree with you totally, but just look at this roster. If you look to the glorious (and looking like last in a long while) AL Central Division Championship season, their rotation was as follows...


Sabathia/Carmona/Westbrook/Byrd/Laffey (with Lee down in Triple A trying to re-find himself)

2009 current

Lee/Pavano/Huff/Sowers/Ohka (with Lewis and Reyes done for the year and Carmona figuring things out in the minors)

Can anyone expect a team to win with that rotation, coupled with the abomination going out in right-center field? The team does struggle early every season and that could be attributed to the coaching staff. The knock of Wedge moving guys around in the field and the lineup is a 50/50 problem. If the team had guys capable of playing everyday and performing consistantly, the manager would not be forced to do that (I will go over the Pros and Cons of Wedge later this month, probably more cons). Injuries cannot be made as an excuse in 2009 because they stunk when they were healthy. Would I fire the Manager? No, because it really doesn't matter right now, they are going nowhere. If he is brought back in 2010, most fans will be up in arms, so I imagine the Indians will be forced to move in a different direction.

Most of the blame should be put on GM Mark Shapiro for feeling like his staff would be able to compete at previous levels. Besides Lee, there were no sure things in the rotation since Fausto struggled in 2008 and the Pavano/Reyes/Lewis/Huff/Sowers/Laffey poo poo platter contained way too many hopes and iffs. The real key to baseball is Starting Pitching, and no rotation guy(besides Lee) on the Indians has an ERA under 5. If the Indians ever want to contend again, Starting Pitching has to be the focus. Bringing in has-beens like Pavano or bright flashes of success like Reyes and Lewis only mask the real inadequacies in your ballclub (no wonder why Hector Rondon was moved so quickly BACK to starting duty). They need as a front office to come up with a plan today to infuse more upper echelon pitching into Double A and above that can be effective in the next 2 seasons.

After reading Paul's article over at the DiaTribe about Cliff Lee, I am now in the camp of moving him this season. Go get some stud pitchers that may develop into something in a few years, because contending next season seems like a pipe dream, even in a winable division. If they do play better, well then that is a bonus because Lee and Martinez will likely walk the following year, so changes would have to be made. Trade Cliff now when he has his highest value. It's not like attendance is going to drop, this City gave up on the Indians back in May.

As for the White Sox series, well it was awful. The Tribe was only really in the first game, but they didn't even score a run until the ninth when they were already trailing 6-0. Sizemore still looks hurt, Martinez is in a slump, the rest of the guys looked disinterested, and the pitching continues to be piss poor. They should use the Rick Vaughn bobblehead as a "JoeBoo" to exercise the demons that are this season. It is going to be a long 3 months out at Progressive field, so let's hope to see some more of the young guys and see if they are worth a look for the future. 2011 isn't that far away, is it?

Monday, June 29, 2009

Barfield sent to Columbus to make room for Perez

As mentioned several days ago the Cleveland Indians traded utility man Mark DeRosa to the St. Louis Cardinals for reliever Chris Perez and a player to be named later. That being said, the soon to be 24 year old Perez made his way to Cleveland and therefore was activated today. Not only will he be available for tonight's game against Chicago, he will also get to meet his fellow bullpen members (pictured to the left) for the first time. To make room for Perez the team sent Josh Barfield back down to Triple A Columbus. Although Barfield started the year with the Tribe he has been optioned three times this season. In the time he has spent with the club this year he has seen limited playing time in in that he has only appeared in 17 games and had just 20 at bats. Furthermore, this is not good news for Columbus Clippers All-Star Andy Cannizaro as Barfield will likely steal his playing time.

Hopefully Perez can stir something up in this god awful bullpen and show these guys how to actually pitch. On a side note, Aaron Laffey decided that he wants to pitch like the rest of the Indians bullpen and suck it up. He made what was thought to be his last rehab start yesterday at Double A Akron and only lasted 3 1/3 innings giving up 3 runs on five hits. He also walked six (how can you walk that many people) and hit one batter. Eric Wedge actually made a logical comment stating, "We need to see more than that before we bring him up here." Well no crap Wedgie.

The Tribe take on the Chicago White Sox tonight in a three game series at Progressive Field. They have lost their last four series. To take a quote from the Chinese grounds crew from the Movie Major League, "these guys are sh!tty"

*The photo in this article was created by The Tribe Daily

Down on the Farm Report: Nick Weglarz

Last week it was announced that two Indians Minor Leaguers will represent the World Team in the 11th annual All-Star futures game on All-Star weekend on July 12 at Busch Stadium. The two players are catcher Carlos Santana who is the Indians number one rated prospect according to Baseball America and outfielder Nick Weglarz who was rated by Baseball America as the number 3 Indians prospect leading into the season. Both of which are teammates on the Indians Double A Akron Aeros squad. If you watched any of the World Baseball Classic this year you might remember the 21 year old Weglarz as he started in left field for team Canada. Nick also played for the Canadian team in the 2009 Summer Olympics in China as well.

The Indians selected Weglarz in the 3rd round of the 2005 Draft out of high school (Ontario, Canada). In his pro debut in 2005 at rookie level Burlington, at 17 years of age Weglarz held up well and hit .231 with 2 HR and 13 RBI in 141 at bats. In 2006, he played only one game for the rookie level Gulf Coast League (GCL) Indians as he was sidelined for the entire season with a broken hand. Weglarz is one of only a handful of players under 20 to have an OPS in the South Atlantic League of .892 or higher in the last 15 years. Here is what several sites have said about the young up and comer:

Indians Prospect Insider "Weglarz is a developed hitter with above-average hand-eye coordination, and he loves low pitches so he can extend through it either away or down and in. Weglarz has some flaws in his swing that will need to be tinkered along the way, but his long arms and good bat speed generate tremendous power." said he is, "A smart, savvy hitter with strong arms and developing power, Weglarz uses very fast hands to work the bat through the zone quickly, with line-drive power to all fields. His swing lacks the loft of a true power-hitter, though that may come soon as his large frame continues to fill out: In 2007 he produced 24 long balls in 127 games as a 19 year old in A ball. He took a step back when bumped up to high-A in 2008, but he's still a very young player with a lot to learn, so some growing pains are expected. A first-baseman in high school, the Indians have been using him in left field, though that experiment may soon end: his glove and arm are not better than average. While he continues to work on his power swing, his advanced plate discipline looks puts him firmly in the Future Youkilis Junior Achievers camp for now."

This year Weglarz started out the season playing for the Double A Akron Aeros as he spent all of 2008 in Single A Kingston. Although he started out slow by hitting below .100 in the month of April his numbers have really come around in the last two months as he has been on fire. Since May 1st he is batting over .320 for the Aeros. As of today he is hitting .261 and is leading the team in RBI's with 55. His OPS is .900. Furthermore, he was selected as the Eastern League Player of the week back on May 18th and then again this past week ending June 26th. Weglarz was at his best in the three-game series against Trenton last week. Weglarz hit .700 (7-10) in the series, homered in all three games, drove in eight runs, and collected his first four-hit game of the season Wednesday before becoming just the 12th player in franchise history to draw four walks in a game Thursday.

Since Weglarz is only 21 you can only expect more great things out of him. With the Tribe basically being all but out of it in 2009 it would be nice to see them bring up two other prospects from Triple A Columbus in Michael Brantley and Matt LaPorta so they can get some big league experience. The Clippers have been playing Brantley a lot more in left field so hopefully this is a sign that he will come up and get some experience as I would rather watch him than Ben Francisco. Benny boy is just terrible and I am tired of watching him as he is a minor leaguer at best. Bruce Drennen talked about him last night on All Bets Are Off saying that Francisco might be a nice kid but he has to go. I will be amazed if he is on a big league club next year. With this in mind, if either LaPorta or Brantley get called up you can probably expect that Nick Weglarz will be on the first bus to Columbus to play for the Clippers.

Frowns Town: Tribe loses another series

More of the same from the Sons of Geronimo, as the Indians lost 2 out of three to the Reds. The series started off so well, with a 9-2 thumping Friday. Saturday and Sundays performances were a giant yawn with Cincinnati dominating their cross state rivals. If you want to relive this awful year, read this great article, it pretty much sums up everything. More random thoughts from a lost season.
  • Just when you think Jeremy Sowers is dead an buried, he throws 7 shutout innings? I can't figure him out at all, but he probably has a place somewhere in the Indians bullpen potentially in 2010 as a long reliever.
  • Tomo Ohka needs to be back in Columbus where he belongs.

David Huff's performance Sunday was a bit of a disappointment. I was sure he had settled into a groove, due to him stringing together some very good starts. Hopefully it is just a blip on the radar because the Tribe really need him the rest of this year and next.

  • My new favorite Indian Luis Valbuena is in a huge slump (1-22 i think). He needs a day off, but should still get a chance to play a ton for this last place club.

  • The more I see Garko out in left, the more I realize he is terrible out there, but at least he gives effort and doesn't complain when he is benched for 3-4 days in a row. Garko is a good guy, just probably not an everyday 1st Baseman.

  • So long to Mark DeRosa, we hardly knew you. You really didn't have a great glove at 3rd like you were supposed to, but you hit pretty darn well and played everywhere. I wish you the best!

Also, look for newly aquired reliever Chris Perez to be activated today with Josh Barfield riding the long bus back to Columbus.

The White Sox come to town Monday for a 3 game series. Don't miss it, because I am pretty sure most will.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

DeRosa Traded to Cardinals

Mark DeRosa was traded today to the St. Louis Cardinals today for Chris Perez and a player to be named later. DeRosa was batting .270 with 13 homers and 50 RBI for the Tribe this season, playing all over the diamond (3B, 1B, RF, LF). It is ironic that he was traded for pitching because they gave up originally 3 pitchers to get him. Mark was a solid clubhouse guy and will probably be missed in the lineup as well. Look for Asdrubal Cabrera to take his roster spot tomorrow, with Perez possibly snagging Tomo Ohka's.

Chris Perez (pictured above)is a soon to be 24 year old who has went 1-1 with 4.18 ERA with one save in 29 games. The Right hander has stuck out 30 and walked 15 in 23 plus innings of work. He looks to be a pretty solid reliever the Indians are surely missing. The PTBNL is supposedly supposed to be a top prospect that the club will be tracking for the second half of the season (a la Michael Brantley). Look for that acquisition to happen after the season). By looking at his photo, he seems like a dude who likes to have a good time, which is always a welcomed addition.

I don't imagine that there will be many more trades by the Indians in trading off veterans. They don't really have that many assets available to be moved. Carl Pavano was a possibility, but he stinks right now and is probably hurt. This move should also stabilize the lineup a bit more, as Wedge won't have DeRosa anymore to move around the field and lineup each day.
Also, Jensen Lewis was sent to Columbus as Jose Veras was added to the bullpen from Hell. Lewis never could keep the ball down in the zone, resulting in 8 homeruns allowed. He will probably be back in a month. As for the team, they look to win their first series in 4 chances tomorrow with David Huff taking on Micah Owings.