Tagged: Choo

Belittling Brantley?


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(Photo courtesy cleveland.com

I said it last year and I will say it again. Michael Brantley is going to be the leadoff hitter for this team. He has quick hands which he can use to turn on the ball or he can wait on the ball and hit it the other way. The thing I admire about Brantley’s play and that sticks out to me is his befuddling ability to work pitchers to the very best of his potential. For how young he is, he sure does make me want to see more of him.

 

I don’t think that the Indians should keep him down in the minors for long. If Laporta struggles, Brantley should be brought up immediately and placed in the one spot. This makes the whole idea of Grady hitting second which in my opinion is regrettable better. He can be moved maybe into the third or fourth spot and Asdrubal can be moved back into his spot in the second spot.

 

Brantley came into the majors last year and hit an astonishing .313 in 28 games. Yes he didn’t have all of the time in the world to show us what he has, but so what. The kid got into the majors but still showed what he could do. He kept the team alive and I think he was the real deal. He does need more time for grooming as the Indians and Manny Acta call it. Sometimes he gets himself out too easily and can be atrocious against lefties at times.

 

But Brantley has shown me something. He has shown me what I thought that was in him the whole time. He has a young Kenny Lofton brewing inside him. No I’m not saying he is going to be as good as Kenny ever was, but he has the potential to become a player like Kenny. He could possibly steal 40 bases, hit .310 while scoring 90 runs in a season. Now this could not happen this year, but I think if Brantley keeps on driving to work on his swing and mechanics, this isn’t out of the question…

 


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(Image courtesy sportsgrumblings)

But my question is “Are the Indians belittling Brantley?” For heaven sakes, the guy almost hit for the cycle against the D-Backs. He only needed a homer to complete it. Do the Indians have full faith in Brantley like I do? I want an answer from Acta. He needs to make up his mind in whether Brantley is going to be the every day left fielder, or if he will be playing in the minors for three fourths of the year.

 

He can’t afford to spend his season in the minors this year as he did last. The problem is and I will say this loud and clear: There are no spots for him to fill. Matt Laporta is expected to hit 20 or more homers this year and is really depended on to pump out 70 RBI or more. The Indians are counting on him to produce. And then you know who we have in center. And right now, no one is going to beat him out. Then you got Choo in right who can’t be beaten.

 


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(Image courtesy CNN)

There is just no where to go. Which is why this “tuning” might be taken place. It could be the Indians excuse of saying “Your not good enough and we don’t have a spot for you.” This I will agree is the main point and argument. Is Brantley good enough to play in front of Laporta? I think it will take a little bit of this year to figure out. And it will be interesting in what Acta decides.

 

Brantley is young as is Laporta. It’s hard to compare a power hitter and a speed guy. But in my utter opinion, I would have to say that I agree with the Indians that Laporta should be the number one while giving Brantley a “tune up.” But when this tune up is over, where shall he go? If there is no spot in the roster for him to go, then what is his purpose for the Indians?

 

It will all play out during the year. You will see moves being made with either Laporta and/or Brantley. It’s going to be a dogfight in my opinion for the role unless Laporta comes out and wow’s the majors in the first two or three months. But are the Indians belittling him? He is very talented but also very young. I think in fact that Indians are belittling him due to the fact that he is a young and inexperienced player.

 


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(Image courtesy lebrownstown)

And I think he knows that the Indians think of him as that. Frown upon it or not, it’s a true fact and he needs to play more mature. He needs to lay off pitches that he doesn’t want and polish his game off. When he comes back to the majors after his tuning we could see a different Brantley, maybe one with a better game.

 

But this all depends on where a spot opens up. Possibly many players could change position at once just for Brantley to come into the opening. He will definetely be up during September call ups, you can count on that. But if he’s not up before that, than that will be a shame. The Indians will have belittled little Brantley to the expiration point.. 

Smashing Victory

Are you kidding me?! I didn’t see the game because I went to the fair yesterday. Boy, what a game I missed. When I saw the boxscore, dang was I surprised. Laporta and Marte are actually on legitimate hot streaks. Laporta (4-4 last night) raised his average up to .296 while Marte (2-4) raised his up to .289. These kids can play, and have finally found out how to hit at the big league level. Next year could be a shocking season Cleveland, you be ready!

 

Marte saved the Indians once again by hitting a three run bomb in the sixth that helped the Tribe topple the Orioles, 5-3. That was the second night of the row Marte hit a game winning homer, and he is on a tear. Marte has a 10 game hitting streak while going (15-36) .417 with three homers and twelve runs batted in. Him and Laporta have really ganged up, and destroyed opposing pitching. Who would have guessed?

 

Is this the same Andy Marte? The guy that was hitting in the low .200’s for his career BA? The same guy who couldn’t catch up to the fastball, and couldn’t lay off of the low curve? Yes, that’s Andy Marte, only he has a different swagger about him. He seems like he has more confidence, and patience at the plate, which leads to him getting his pitch, and nailing it every time. Andy has really came out of his shell, and finally reached his potential after so many years. I stopped believing myself last year when he hit in the .100’s. Guess it’s time to start believing!

 


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Matt Laporta, as I said is an XBH machine. Well, last night, he went 4-4 with a double and a run. Let’s just add another one to his double column. I think he has like a five game double streak? Laporta has hit (16-39) .410 since joining the Indians and has a 10 game hitting streak. Laporta is a great hitter, the question was, “When will he become a big league hitter?” The answer is, “Now.” Laporta has a great swing, and is really seeing the ball well. Like Andy, Matt is staying back and waiting for his pitch, and his patience has really helped him.

 

With Marte and Laporta both on 10 game hitting streaks with similar numbers during the streak, they are adding extra fire power to a young Indians lineup. Everyone in the Indians lineup had one hit last night except for Choo, and Giminez who were 0-fers. That’s never a good night, but I am sure Choo will make up for it tonight with a good 3 hits. He is just like that. That’s how he rolls. That’s how the Indians roll. We love you Cleveland!

 

I can’t believe I missed the game. A friend invited me to go to the County Fair and watch a demolition derby, so I went, and we ended up watching some big smashing and banging and some smoke a-flyin. It was all a good time, but I wouldn’t trade all of that for missing a great Indians game. It’s okay though, I didn’t see the Indians 22-3 win over the Yankees. Dang! I am unlucky, that’s it.

 


Dang water.jpgJeremy Sowers my friend, could you try to go more than 5 innings while giving up 2 earned runs or less? He just doesn’t have the stamina or something, because Sowers pitched pretty well yesterday but only went 4.2 innings. He gave up 2 earned on 6 hits which leads me to think he was near 70 pitches. Why wouldn’t he keep going? Who knows? Maybe Eric Wedge holds him to an 80 or so pitch count so he will ease his way into throwing more pitches. I guess he just dipped his toes in the water cause there is no way he is already halfway in.

 

He almost seems like Pedro Martinez, where they hold him on a leash until he gets to a certain amount of pitches. Hmmm, if only he was him… I see the similarities, 4.2 innings of work, nibbles on the corner’s, and gives up many hits. Jeremy Sowers needs to start throwing more pitches now, and see where he goes with it. Gosh I remember when my grandpa was a boy. Juan Marichal threw something like a 160 pitches and just iced his arm and was ready to throw the next day. Why can’t pitcher’s go back to the past and throw that many pitches?

 

Money factor definitely plays into it. If you lose a guy who threw 120 pitches to injury, or his arm is too sore to pitch for the next month, there goes $3 million right out the window. Back then, they didn’t care about money or anything. They would just go out there and pitch every day for the love of the game. I just don’t feel that factor anymore, everyone is about money, money, money. You see young guys at the Draft holding out to get more money, cough cough Stephen Strasburg. Who cares about the money? Who cares about your arm? Let’s just play baseball.

 


Matthew Marte.jpgAnd play it the right way. The love of the game is almost shattered completely. With players not caring about baseball, just wanting money and more money. That just sickens me that players hold out just for more money so they can pay for the Ferrari, and for a mansion. Heck, $1 million is enough for me by itself! Milton Bradley is a good example, having a crappy year, and just not doing anything about it. What adjustments has he made? None. Zero. He hasn’t even thought of making adjustments. He is laughing at the Cubs because he gets paid, and the Cubs got screwed.

 

The Indians are showing me they have this factor, they go out there every night, gunning for the W. The starting pitchers go out there time after time, and really give the Indians a chance to stay in the ballgame. In Fausto Carmona’s case, keep the Indians within 7 runs. Good enough right? The offense has been shining with the young stars in Andy Marte and Matt Laporta, and have really been playing off of them. They are the energizer bunnies of the Cleveland Indians, and have enough power to run the team.

 

Even though Progressive Field hasn’t let many home runs out of the yard happen, the Indians have still won many games there. And who needs the long ball? The Indians have the gaps and all kinds of time to run! That’s old school, and that is the Cleveland Indians! Progressive Field has been helpful to pitcher’s as it ranks about 20th for home runs hit. I guess it must be the left field wall, the mini monster. Or it could be the 410 wall at center, which doesn’t give up alot of homers. You have to be a man to hit one out there. We haven’t seen many hit it out there.

 

This all leads back to one factor, the love of the game. Players like Derek Jeter, Omar Vizquel, always play for the love of the game. They just love baseball itself, and don’t care about money or if they are sore or not. Cal Ripken Jr. is a great example. He was hurt many times throughout his record consecutive games streak. But did he stop? No, cuz he wanted that record. He has the love of the game and my respect. If only all players could have that, oh how the game would change…

 

Indians, 5-3

 

 

 

 

 

Let one slip away

I don’t really wanna talk about the game last night because all I can say is “wow”. The Indians had 12 hits and couldn’t score more than four runs. Pathetic. You usually see the nice side of Ted, but not this time. I am like a tiger on the prowl ready to pounce when the Indians lose like this. I mean, all I can say is “embarrasing”. That is all Eric Wedge’s deal now. Well, we just didn’t hit with runners in scoring position, simple enough…


shocked.jpgJust like earlier in the season where we beat the Yankees 22-3, we were all laughing while they were cursing their minds out over the loss. I mean a loss is a loss, but when you lose 13-4 something needs to be said, or done. They had 15 hits, a number that is nowhere near where is should have been. The Orioles had three players with three hits or more and had three players that had 3 RBI or more in the game. That just disgusts me… You can’t go out there and think that you are going to win every time, you have to have confidence.

On the good hand, we had three doubles, and Matt Laporta homered. And let me just say this. “Matt Laporta is going to be a star player in two years, count on it.” He is an extra base hitting machine, I know you have heard me say it before, but this time, its for real. Laporta can hit the gaps like no other, and is continuing to dent the pitcher’s ERA. They don’t know how to get him out right now, but for next year’s sake, don’t expect HUGE numbers, because the whole MLB will learn how to get him out, and will be watching his every move.

Kind of like Cal Ripken Jr. was. He is having a great rookie season, and now everyone is going to be on his case. Well, Fausto, Fausto, Fausto, you did us wrong again buddy. Those walks and hits always come in a big inning all together, and it always comes back to bite you. They dented you in the fourth big time, as you went 4.2 uhm…kinda strong giving up 6 earned runs on 9 hits, and 3 BB. It wasn’t a bad outing at all until they totally unloaded on you in the fourth. You weren’t pitching bad at all. And I congratulate you on throwing three innings of two run baseball where at least you kept us in the game.


congratulations_baby.gifI do admit though, maybe you coulda done a little better if the offense had your back, but they didn’t and you should have dealt with it. You didn’t though and that is baseball. It sucks to go out there and have to do things by yourself, but when your needed, you gotta come through buddy. Its not like they are going to give you seven runs everytime out just to save your sorry little butt. What happened to the 07 playoff guru Fausto Carmona who no one could hit off of, and was the ace of the Indians staff? Where did he go?

He must have moved far far away cuz that playoff Fausto and regular season for that matter… isn’t around anymore. I wanna keep thinking that he is, but the truth of the matter is, they have you figured out now, like most one year pitcher’s. Cliff Lee on the other hand, has them figured out. They got Cliff early on in the season, but he steadied out and figured out how to get back into his Cy Young form again. He is now 5-0 with a sub 1.00 earned run average, and is making us Clevelanders cry our eyes out. We should have kept him…

But on the other hand, we got Lou Marson and Carlos Carrasco, who are two great young guys that are coming up in September call-ups. I am not sure about you guys, but I really wanna see these guys in action. Carrasco went 7 strong innings in his last start and gave up 1 earned run. If though he didn’t surprise already, he added onto the hype of him being a big league pitcher. Marson has been hot since he came to Cleveland, and is ready to take over the starting catching role.

Shoppach isn’t the answer for me at catcher, nor is Toregas. Shoppach strikes out more times than he gets hits. He is a good 20 HR guy, but also could be the league leader in strike outs. I would want a catcher that would hit 5 HR and drive guys in all of the time when needed to. That is Marson,… well now at the minor league level however. And Toregas, not a fan. I don’t like how he hits, he has a slow bat, and can’t catch up to the fastball. Well what pitch is he going to hit? The curve? Guess so. Not a big league guy just yet.

And to just make me smile some more, we have Carlos Santana at AA Akron. What a player is Carlos, hitting .285 with 21 HR and 89 RBI. And as I have said commenting on other blogs, “do the Aeros tell their pitcher’s to duck when Santana throws to second, because one of these days, someone is going to get killed.” And that is very true, because Santana has a machine gun of an arm. If you thought Wieters had a good arm, wait til you see this kid, you will be blown away. I know I was. He can flat out play!


holy-crap.jpgI am telling you, Brantley is the answer in the outfield. Brown could DH or share time in LF but Brantley is the long term answer in my opinion. He has 43 stolen bases and has been caught stealing only 5 times. That means he has about an 8 to 1 ratio of stealing a bag. I am really locked in on this kid, because he has so much speed, and speed thrills! If both he and Jordan Brown are brought up, I would put Brown in LF since he is a true left fielder, and I would put Brantley at DH, and leadoff. I would move Grady to the third spot, and Choo to the cleanup spot, leaving the fifth spot in the order to Peralta. Just my opinion.

Rondon wasn’t so successful in his last start, which is leaving me questioning, “is he really the answer for now?” He could be, and could not be. I just need to see him at the major league level and then decide. Pitcher’s can live off of the outside corner and can get away with throwing the ball up in the minors, but not so much in the majors. There is always the “could” factor involved, and I wanna see if he “can” succeed.

Orioles, 13-4