During today’s two intrasquad games a new star was born, right? Jordan Brown who has hit over .300 consistently in the minors and has caught the eye of many burst into the seen by going 2-2 and hitting a homer in day 1 of Spring Training. What does this mean? It means that Jordan will be full of confidence heading into the rest of the spring, and might be able to show a few people that he belongs in the majors.
Of course, he will need to earn his spot in the lineup and in the outfield if at best he
wants to play a good 50 games in the majors in the next two years. We have Grady in center, Laporta in left (if we so choose) and Choo in right. The only way that Brown will get to play this year will be during call ups and I think that the Indians will choose to move a few people around just to fit him in.
I’m not going to guarantee anything here, but I think this kid has a good stroke, and he’s off to a good start. Who says he can’t go throughout the Spring and wow the coaches? I don’t think you can bet AGAINST this kid. He has a wonderful swing and I really believe that he can play in the majors. (Quote via cleveland.com) “Jordan is a talented player,” said Acta. “He proved that by being the batting champ at Triple-A last year. He’ll play some left field and get some reps at first base. He’s going to have to fight for it and he knows it. Our depth in the outfield is very good.”
I wonder why Brown didn’t get a call up last year, it’s a shame that the poor kid had a whirlwind turnaround of a season but didn’t get called up. He hit about .330 and he was sitting in the minors in September? Big mistake. I told everyone in the blogging world that Michael Brantley would come on strong and he did so. I’m going to predict that Brown does too. He has a brighter shot than Brantley does I think… which can be scary if you think about it.
The Indians should try him out this year at least for a month. I mean the kid has obviously shown that he is worthy for a shot. You don’t have to praise the kid, but just buy his contract and give him some time. When your the Cleveland Indians, all you can do is give chances. That’s why we are who we are today. So why not give one to Brown?
Jordan Brown has definetely gotten off to a good start. Do you think that he has the potential to come on as strong as Brantley did? Or do you think he will be better? What are your opinions on what the Indians should do when September call ups begin? Do you think that they should give their outfield a rest?
*Photo via clevland.com*
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…
Just 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.
I 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!
I 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.
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.
This is a make or break business, and if you don’t show yourself the first oppurtunity you get, you might not get a second. So over the past few weeks, there has been big discussions in the Indians blogosphere about bringing up either Michael Brantley or Jordan Brown? Well Ted has this covered, top to bottom. Here, I will show you both points of view, me and a fellow Indians blogger. And we will let the fans decide, Brown or Brantley?
On the blog, Castroturf, He recently discussed September call-ups and another Indians fan got in a heated discussion. His name is Savage Truth, and he seems like he knows a bit about the Indians, but he is the bad guy in this.
Savage: Grady would bat 4th because he’s the best power hitter on the team, and his strikeout rate doesn’t make him ideal as a 1-3 hitter. Choo is a decent power hitter, but his biggest strength is that he’s a high on-base guy, so he needs to be batting before the heavy slugging guys, in this case Sizemore and hopefully Laporta, and Choo seemed to admit in an article a few days ago that he wasn’t mentally prepared to bat 4th … You have 2 players on the same team, player A is batting .333 with 32 doubles and 12 HRs in 97 games, and player B is batting .260 with 18 doubles and 5 HRs in 107 games, and you are going to take player B? I like Brantley a lot, I like the fact that he has 39 SBs and only 44 SOs, and 53 walks (the one area where Brown’s stats could be better is walks, but he also hasn’t struck out much and has hit around .333 in AA and AAA in two of his past 3 years) but I fear
Brantley would be overmatched if he started next year in the big leagues, and then you have a Andy Marte/Brandon Philips situation, where his confidence takes a hit. Valbuena can be Cabrera with a little better power (19 doubles in just 237 ABs), and is hitting .293 since the all star break, I stand by Valbuena in the 2 hole, mostly because Choo, Sizemore, Laporta as 3,4,5 makes so much sense … I personally would prefer to put Toregas in before Marson, I don’t see much use for slow-footed singles hitters. I would trade Marson this offseason for either another hard-throwing relief pitching prospect, or a AA-level middle infield prospect, and go with wonder-boy Gimenez as the backup C, with Santana potentially moving into the starting role sometime before the end of the year.
Ted: Now let me ask you this. Eddie Taubensee, for Kenny Lofton. Who was Kenny Lofton back then? He was a Michael Brantley. But oh Kenny, blossomed into the best leadoff hitter for the Indians in this ERA. Michael Brantley is compared to Lofton, and who cares if his BA is low. Give him a shot. Cabrera in the two hole because well, he gets on alot. Brantley would get on, steal second, and Cabrera can bunt, so why not bunt him? Grady pulls the ball as
always and knocks him in. That’s my thinking. Choo gets on base as you said, “he is a great OBP guy.” Laporta, the Double machine, doubles in a gap and Choo scores with his speed. Now you know my thinking. Grady isn’t a four hitter. He has too much speed and shouldn’t be put there. Three is the only place I can see him going if he is not 1 or 2. And yes I take Brantley. Minor League numbers don’t matter! Major league pitching is ten times better. Brown could be an Andy Marte for all we know, and Brantley could be a Lofton. Or it could be the other way around, who knows, but you can’t go out and pull minor league numbers out, cuz they don’t matter. I wanna see each of them play a good 40 or so MLB games and then decide.
Savage: But why isn’t Brown expected to be good? He was a 4th round draft pick, they must have thought fairly highly of him. If you look at his minor league progression, you can see why before this year he’d somewhat fallen off the radar, his slugging numbers had been dropping precipitously. I believe he led the Eastern League in BA in ’07, but his power dropped off from A ball. Last year he was injured, and didn’t have a very good year at all. This year though, he’s slugging is the best it’s ever been at any level. Facing the same pitchers, Brown’s slugging % .526, Laporta, .530. So why is Brown not expected to be good? Because he wasn’t acquired in a famous trade?
Ted: Brown’s number’s dropped. Why? Because he is facing better pitching. And the minor league to major league level goes from hard to unbelievably hard. You are telling me Jordan Brown can go from facing an A ball pitcher
and having a high slugging percentage to facing Roy Halladay? Uhmm,… no. Okay, you just proved me right, you said Brown had a lower slugging percentage than Matt Laporta. Laporta is hitting .200 currently so you expect Brown to do better? What world do you live in? Just cause Laporta was acquired in a trade doesn’t mean that he is god. I never said that.
Andy Marte, in 82 games hit .327 with 18 HR. He has the most chances out of anyone to succeed yet, oh He can’t because the MLB level is so much harder than the minors. Numbers look familiar to Brown’s right? How about an underachiever achieving at the MLB level? You said it happens every once in a while. Well how about Brantley achieving greatness? I have made my case…
Savage: I don’t know that I follow your logic there, Ted. If you expect Laporta to hit .200 for an entire season, then I guess the Indians got pretty screwed over in the Sabathia trade. He has like 40 ABs, as does Marte, batting average is meaningless with that small of a sample size. And yes, Marte was hitting .327 with 18 HRs, that’s why I’ve been banging my head on my desk every time I see Wedge’s lineup that includes Marte every other day, because they need to see if his success can translate. Previously, Marte DID
NOT do well in the minors either, so I wasn’t surprised when he did not do well in the majors … I wouldn’t hate it if the Indians did choose to go with Brantley next year, but, whatever kind of swing you think he has, you can’t change the fact that he’s hitting .260 facing the same pitchers Brown is facing. Jordan Brown is currently having the best season he has had at any level, he is hitting BETTER than he ever did in A and AA ball.
Savage: The only way anyone, including Indians management, can know how well Jordan Brown, or anyone, will perform in the majors is to call him up and have him play every day for an extended period of time. Brown could suck, Laporta could suck, the point is they need to find out. Brown’s development in the minors indicates that he COULD be a solid major league hitter, by numbers alone and not reputation he should certainly be considered one of the top 4 position player prospects in the organization, and the top AAA player not currently on the team. He certainly should rank above Gimenez, who’s never done much of anything at any level, but is not only on the 40 man roster but is currently on the major league team stealing ABs from Marte. Doesn’t it make sense to give Brown a shot, rather than let another team have him for nothing, when you have no idea how he’ll perform? He could be the 2nd coming of Mark Lewis, or Sean Casey, I don’t know, but more importantly, there’s no way the Indians know either.
Ted: I agree the Indians should give him a chance. But why Brown? 38 SB is a great feat even at AAA. Could you compare that stat with a .330 average? In my case, yes. Brown shows that he could be a great prospect and is. But he hasn’t gotten any AB’s at the major league level so what gives? He
Could? Not good enough for Mark Shapiro. Andy Marte could have been a good major league hitter? Was he ever? No. The Indians gave him at least five chances to succeed but no he didn’t. I know Brown hasn’t gotten a chance yet, but neither has Brantley. And Michael Brantley was one of the biggest talks of spring training, because he hit well. He showed Wedge, and the Indians that he could play with the big boys. So….? Brantley could be a better AVG hitter, but what could Brown be better at? You tell me.
Savage: Ted, Brantley is 22 years old, Brown is 26. They either give Brown a shot now, or he gets a shot with another team next year. Brantley remains in the Indians organization whether he’s at Columbus or Cleveland, they can and should be patient with Brantley.
Ted: You got me there, Brown does have the experience. But if he is that much older, how come he is still in the minors? If he didn’t get injured, things would be much different? Maybe. How come he hasn’t gotten a shot at the
majors yet? Maybe he isn’t good enough. It isn’t like Mark Shapiro has been blowing him off for four years. He knows who he is and when and if he is good enough he will bring him up.
And that was the end of the conversation. See, numbers in minor leagues don’t matter, as you have seen in my last “numbers”, where I hit upon Andy Marte’s minor league numbers and also Nelson Cruz’s. Savage was whipping out all kinds of minor league numbers which forced me to say, “Dude…” Tell us what you think. And show us your side, either with Savage, or Ted. (I hope you side with me.)
So who wins? Savage or Ted? Brantley Or Brown? Tell me what you think in the “comments” section. May your voice be heard, and your herd be voiced! And if you like it, recommend it!