Young guys are proving they can play – the bullpen is showing it can shut opponents down. I think this team is ready. I give us a good two years to contend. The Indians will be AL Central Champs again, and playoff baseball will be brought back to Cleveland. The thought of it sends chills down my spine – remembering the 07 playoff run.
Every team in their brother in this offseason will be looking for ways to get Matt Laporta and Andy Marte out this next year. They will exploit their weaknesses and go after them. Next year should be a tough year for both and Valbuena so don’t be so sure of powerhouse number’s. Let me show you an example.
In 2007 Asdrubal Cabrera hit .283 with 30 runs in 159 at bats. He wasn’t quite figured out until the next year when he went .259 with 48 runs in 352 at bats. When getting almost double the at bats he did in the first season: his number’s slipped because opposing pitcher’s figured out how to pitch to him over the course of the season. They exploited his weakness’s and made him ground out again and again. Once they figure you out – its awful hard to come back strong.
This year: although Asdrubal is hitting .315 with 16 stolen bases and 67 runs. He has been one of the leader’s on the team and has really shown he can fight at the plate. He learned how to hit the away pitch – and every pitch for that matter, and just lines every thing back where it came from. He has come a long way, and it has finally payed off.
The pitching just isn’t deep enough to contend next year: even if Carrasco dazzles. The fact is – that Laffey should be your one starter, with Masterson at two, Huff at three, Carmona four, and Carrasco five. That means Sowers is out – or could fight Fausto for his job. Carmona hasn’t been controlling his pitches at all: and like Masterson, has really gotten behind hitters. Fausto walks alot of people which is what leads to many runs scoring. In his past ten starts: Carmona has walked more than one batter all but once.
That just shows me the batter’s are starting to work him – and he isn’t able to keep pounding the strike zone consistantly. He hasn’t shown he can keep the Indians in ball games giving up 4 or more runs in 5 of his last 10 games pitched. Where did the dominant Fausto go: where he won 19 games? That Fausto controlled his sinker and was one of the most dominant pitcher’s in the game. Until he finds his mojo – the Indians won’t have the pitching.
In 2011 – I figure that we will have Carlos Santana behind the dish: and nor Wyatt Toregas or Lou Marson will have the job. Santana has an absolute gun behind the plate and is a true hitter. Carlos is hitting .290 with 21 homers and 93 RBI at the AA level. Those are some very good numbers: especially for a young guy like Carlos. I expect next year he will get a promotion: and if he can hit at the AAA level, I think he will be a for sure midseason call-up. What have we got to lose?
Playoff fever back in Cleveland would feel amazing. The 07 ALDS was a memory I will always have. The crowd was going crazy: waving their “Its Tribe Time Now” towels all crazily in the air. You couldn’t hear anything – and no one was going to miss any part of the game for oh: a bathroom break, food, or an Indians team shop.
People in the street were happily playing guitars: and playing hermonica’s all for the joy of playoff baseball. I tell you – we have some of the most true fans over here in Cleveland: we aren’t band wagon at all. We love the Indians and have from day one. Some of Red Sox nation and probably a third of the Yankee’s fans: don’t know anything about them. They just like them cuz they are good. That isn’t what being a fan is like though. Winning all the time: just isn’t fun.
When you are on the brink of elimination – and everyone in the stadium is biting their nails: that is fun. Like when Travis Hafner hits a walk off to win the game in the ALDS – that is fun. But what fun is winning 100 games year after year and winning the division? Then you take the playoffs by storm and win the world series: is it that fun to repeatedly say “We win, we win!” And do you cheer? Or do you try to cheer? Like you don’t have the inner fan: to start shouting and screaming and romp around the house.
The Rays made alot of die hards happy when they made it to the world series: something that no one expected them to do. Now that is baseball – the celebration: fans not giving up on one of the worst teams in baseball, and then celebrating the huge win and the world series birth. In fact: I would be happy just to be a part in the world series.
The last time we were in it, 1997: the dang Marlins got us. They came back on us in game 7 and beat us. My dad was there – he experienced it all. The heart break: the long trip back home: the angst of losing. It sucked, but that is what a true fan is being like: always there rooting your team on.
When playoff baseball comes back – I will treat it like church. I will be attending almost every game: ready to cheer on the Tribe. In 2011 the year I picked: I will be there, ready for the Indians to go to the world series. Jon Adams will be there banging his drum of course.
But we need pitching in order to get there: In my eyes – with the talent coming up we have a potent lineup that I would compare to the Red Sox. We have to make our starting pitching better though – we can’t get to the playoffs without pitcher’s who can go 6 to 7 innings giving us a chance to win every night. Hopefully all the young guys will have it figured out by then and will perform well: but you can’t guaruntee anything. That is why I am not so sure about 2011: “Is the pitching going to be there?”
I can’t answer yes. The pitching was there in 07. Although Sabathia sucked in the postseason: he still won the Cy Young, and really led the Indians to the playoffs. Fausto Carmona was a stud: having won 19 games and really showing he could pitch. Paul Byrd had a good 15 wins adding on to the Indians 96-66 record. They have to be complete: and I believe this team can do it.
So reserve your playoff tickets for 2011 Cleveland, make sure you grab them quick: they are selling fast. Make sure we come out with new towels and signs too – we can’t have the old “Its Tribe Time Now” rally towels anymore. Jon Adams: bang away as loud as we can – and we will be yelling with you. Let’s go Tribe – its our turn to win!
Huff had the stuff going vs. the Royals yesterday, as he went 6 strong giving up 2 earned on 7 hits. He pitched great when keeping the ball down. When he got ahead of hitters, and pitched in his counts he was very successful and that is how he pitched so well.
The big lefties for the Royals (Dejesus and Jacobs) combined for 1-8, so Huff did a good job of mixing it up, and really focusing on getting the lefties out. He started using a tight fastball inside and ran a curveball away. That’s just how you pitch!
“It was important for him to come back after his last outing,” manager Eric Wedge said. “He separated and threw the ball better. I like the way he used all his pitches as the game wore on.” Indeed it was, and David Huff came on to get his 8th game, and is ready for his next start.
We know Matt Laporta had David Huff’s back yesterday night! Laporta went 2-4 with a double, and a homer. Wow can Laporta hit the gaps! “He’s playing every day and getting regular playing time,” Wedge said of LaPorta. “He’s working in the right direction. He just needs to continue to learn. That’s part of being a young player.”
Matt Laporta is an extra base hitting machine! He hit his 6th double and his 2nd homer yesterday at Kauffman Stadium, and is on a tear. Laporta has no intentions on going back to the minors and thinks nothing other than being the starting 1B or LF of next year.
(Shin Soo-Choo, above —- hit by a pitch in the Indians 4-2 win over the Royals)
Not only did Laporta have the back of Huff, but Shin-Soo Choo had a great game as well. Choo went 2-4 with a double and an RBI. He has been hot of late as well. When Choo stays on the ball and hits it to left he is money. But when he tries to start pulling everything, he gets into trouble.
He had a great game last night though! Two hits is good for any night! The Indians have caught the winning fever, but why now? Why here? Why this late into the season?
Chris Perez threw another scoreless inning yesterday, bumping his scoreless innings streak up to 16 1/3. He has been dynamite for the Tribe and isn’t looking back. Joe Smith also notched a hold yesterday, his 9th, while striking out one, and giving up no hits in an inning pitched.
Ole Kerry Wood was back to business yesterday, as he pitched his way to his 16th save of the year. As he finished off the game strong, striking out one batter. Now let’s just hope he can always do this.
Down on the farm:
Jordan Brown isn’t considered a September call-up yet. But he is rumored to get some time in LF by the end of the season. Brown is hitting .328/.517 with 12 HR and 58 RBI.
- With Jason Donald’s injury, his chances are not good to get called up. Donald, a shortstop, might have taken time away from Luis Valbuena
- Lou Marson is a definite September call-up and will share time behind the plate with Wyatt Toregas and Kelly Shoppach. Marson hit .290/.369 with 31 RBI. He has great contact, and could be a great hitter in the majors.
- Michael Brantley — .263/.350 has 41 SB will most likely stay in the minors, but should recieve a call up by the end of the year.
The Indians, are dazed, wobbling, and teetering, but still, they are not out of the Central. They just haven’t gotten that finishing punch just yet and could still be a threat to the division at large. 12 back, at the start of today, the Indians are very well in the hunt for the AL Central Pennant. The Tribe has gone (14-9) in their last 23 games, and if they get the win today, will have won 6 out of their past 8
series’. Who says that they “Can’t” come back? Why “Can’t” they take a few series from the Tigers and White Sox. It’s possible, anything is, and this seems in reach.
Asdrubal Cabrera is hitting .310 entering play today, which ranks 12th in the American League. Over his last 20 games, Cabrera has hit .344 with three homers, two triples, eight doubles, and 10 RBI’s.
Ted’s Take: Asdrubal has been seeing the ball well, as today is his second start in the No. 3 hole. He is sizzling, as he seems to build off of each game, and has been hitting the gaps very well. It won’t be too soon before Cabrera anchors the No. 3 spot in the Tribe batting order.
He has caught my eye, the way he plays… He goes out day after day and has fun, just like being a kid out there. He plays a solid defense, and can steal a base if you aren’t careful. Watch for him to keep on going.
Aaron Laffey, (6-3, 3.25) has been the Tribe’s ace this year. Aaron Laffey is (3-1) with a 1.40 ERA in his past four starts. In three of those outings, he didn’t allow an earned run. “He’s been more aggressive around the plate,” Indians manager Eric Wedge said. In his last 10, Laffey is (5-2) with a respectable 3.17 ERA. As said on http://indians.mlb.com/ Laffey’s ERA would rank eighth among all AL pitchers if he had the required number of innings—40 short.
Ted’s Take: Laffey has caught the eye of Eric Wedge, and me. He has been the Tribe’s ace as of late, and has always been a great pitcher. He can go 6 innings and always give his team in his case (the Indians) a chance to win, everytime he goes out there. He is a warrior, who lives off of changing speeds and fooling hitters. If he keeps up his hot streak, the Indians could gun down the top teams of the Central. It is possible.
David Huff, who pitched Friday vs. the Twins, went 5 strong giving up 9 hits, and 2 Earned Runs. Huff, (7-6, 6.55) is (2-0) with a 5.28 ERA. He is continuing to throw strikes, and get ahead of hitters, but also continues to give up way too many hits when he is ahead in the count. Huff, has also struggled against lefties, a stat that is rare for a left hander to do. Lefties are hitting .386 (51-132) against Huff this year, and the Twins lefties, (Mauer, Span, and Morneau) went 3-7 against him in Friday’s game. Huff had to say about Mauer, “Mauer is unbelievable. I tried to throw everything at him today. The only time I got him out was a changeup that I accidentally left up around the letters and he hit it straight up in the air. I guess that’s what I need to do — I just need to start making mistakes to him.”
Ted’s Take: If Huff continues to be knocked around by lefties, then maybe he just needs to face the White Sox every outing because they are chalk full of righties. If Huff continues to struggle, opposing managers will start to put in all of their lefties to make it tough on Huff, (Hey that rhymes.) He needs to really work on his curveball and his changeup, and make sure he keeps them down vs. left handed hitters, or we will see alot of balls leave the yard.
“Yes, I am a Browns fan, and proud of it!”
-Tribe Talk With Ted
The kid can pitch. He is 3-3 on the year and has already pitched twice for the Tribe, once out of the bullpen, and once as a starter. He was recently acquired in the Victor Martinez trade along with three other top prospects in the Red Sox system. He has a nasty slider, and a fastball which on average is in the 92-96 range. He is a young kid and looks like he is growing off of each outing.
The year 2008 was a big year for Masterson as he
FROM JAMAICA: Is the first Jamaican-born pitcher in major league history and just the 4th player overall, joining Chili Davis (1981-99), Devon White (1985-2001) and Rolando Roomes (1988-90). AS STARTER: Started 4 games at Double-A Portland to begin 2008 before making his major league debut in a spot start on April 24 vs. the Angels…Allowed 2 hits and one run in 6.0 innings without a decision in Boston’s 7-5 win…Was the 3rd Sox pitcher since 1956 to pitch at least 6.0 innings while allowing 2 hits or less in his debut, joining Jim Lonborg (April 23, 1965) and Billy Rohr (April 14, 1967)…Was optioned back to the Sea Dogs later that day. Returned for a 2nd start on May 20, beating the Royals for his first career win…Gave up 3 hits and one run in 6.1 innings…Was the 4th Sox pitcher to ever allow 3 hits or less in each of his first 2 major league starts, joining Blaine Thomas (1911), Lee Rogers (1938), and Frank Baumann (1955). Recalled for a 3rd time on June 3 and went 3-3, 4.32 (20 ER/41.2 IP) in 7 starts…Won his first 2 outings, both at Fenway Park, becoming the first pitcher in Red Sox history to go undefeated in each of his first 4 major league appearances, all as a starter at Fenway Park…
Was 4-1, 3.00 (12 ER/36.0 IP) in first 6 major league starts before going 0-2, 5.00 (10 ER/18.0 IP) in his last 3 outings…Worked at least 6.0 innings in 8 of 9 starts with high of 6.2 innings on June 13 at Cincinnati…Set a major league career-high with 9 strikeouts in that game.
IN RELIEF: Was optioned to Pawtucket on July 7 and made 3 relief appearances for the PawSox before returning to Boston for remainder of year on July 20…Issued runs in 9 of 27 bullpen outings and permitted 3 of 17 inherited runners to score (17.6 percent)…Had 3 holds and finished 6 games with 10 of 27 first batters reaching base…Held opponents to a .231 batting average in relief. Tossed 2.2 scoreless frames in his first major league relief outing, July 23 at Seattle and had a 1.89 ERA (4 ER/19.0 IP) over his first 14 appearances through August 26…Compiled a 2.93 ERA (5 ER/15.1 IP) in final 13 games…His 2.36 ERA beginning July 23 was 6th lowest among all A.L. relievers with at least 30.0 innings…Worked 2.0 or more relief innings on 7 occasions…Gave up just 2 homers in relief…Was 5-0, 3.10 in 20 games/5 starts at home and 1-5, 3.23 in 16 games/4 starts on the road.
IN THE MINORS: Began the year at 1-0, 0.95 in 4 starts at Portland to earn 1st recall to Boston… After return was 0-3, 7.45 in 4 starts…After 2nd start with Boston, was sent to Pawtucket and defeated Scranton/Wilkes-Barre in lone start for the PawSox on May 29…Allowed 2 runs in 3.1 innings in his 3 relief appearances at Pawtucket, July 10-17.
POSTSEASON: Set a Red Sox rookie record with 9 appearances in the 2008 playoffs, going 1-0 with a 1.86 ERA (2 ER/9.2 IP)…Only 4 major league rookies have ever logged more post-season outings in a season: Julian Tavarez (12 in 1995), Brendan Donnelly (11 in 2002), Francisco Rodriguez (11 in 2002) and Tyler Johnson (10 in 2006)…Pitched in each of Boston’s first 6 games, joining Scott Williamson (6 in 2003) as the only Sox hurlers ever to do so in a single post-season. Logged a 2.25 ERA (1 ER/4.0 IP) in 4 ALDS games against the Angels…Made his playoff debut in Game 1 at 23 years, 191 days old, the youngest Red Sox pitcher to appear in a post-season game since Ken Brett (19 years, 24 days) in Game 7 of the 1967 World Series…Went 1.0 inning in each of the first 2 games, recording holds in both contests…Combined to allow one run over 2.0 innings in ALDS Games 3 and 4…Suffered a blown save in Game 4, but did not take the loss as Jed Lowrie’s walk-off 9th-inning single gave the Red Sox the 3-2 victory and clinched the series. Pitched in 5 of 7 ALCS games against the Rays, going 1-0 with a 1.59 ERA (1 ER/5.2 IP)…Allowed just one hit in his first 2 outings (1.1 IP)…Turned in his longest playoff appearance in Game 4, giving up one run with 4 K’s over 2.1 frames…Tossed a scoreless 9th to earn the 8-7 win in Game 5… At 23 years, 208 days, became the 7th-youngest Sox hurler to win a post-season game…Babe Ruth was the last to do so at a younger age, 21 years, 246 days, in Game 2 of the 1916 World Series.
Although the Red Sox get the big household name, in Victor Martinez, I think the Tribe gets the upper hand in the deal. Masterson, is the bargain, he is a workhorse who will blossom to be the Tribe’s #1 and will become the ace of the team in years to come. Now the Indians are (49-65) currently 10.5 back of division leading Detroit Tigers. If the Indians can go on a big stretch, and can come within a good 7 or so games, watch out! They have some young players playing but they are doing better without their studs, (Lee, Martinez, Francisco.) Look for it to be a strong finish. The pitching staff out to get better if they wanna continue to be in the hunt.
The rotation looks somewhat like this,
1. Aaron Laffey, (6-3 3.25)
2. David Huff, (6-6, 6.76)
3. Justin Masterson (3-3, 4.22)
4. Jeremy Sowers, (4-8, 4.88)
5. Fausto Carmona, (2-7, 6.37)
The Tribe doesn’t really have a particular rotation right now, as they are seeing how everyone pitches. It looks right now that Laffey has it going as well as Huff. And the newly acquired, “beast” Justin Masterson has done well in his first start with the Indians. Like I said the Pitching needs to get to the point where they can go and give 5 strong and give the Tribe offense a chance to win.
The offense has been decent. I am not going either way on this, but Grady Sizemore has gotten back on track, as Asdrubal Cabrera the team leader is staying hot. Pronk looks like he is mashing the ball again. So who knows. Cleveland Rocks! But does their baseball team? Let’s see….
Tribe Talk With Ted