(Image via Let’s Go Tribe)
The Indians just won their first Spring Training game of the season 9-2. Shocker, isn’t it? The Indians hit well thanks to their new hitting coach and Lou Marson had one heck of a game. Throw in a couple well alot of extra base hits and you have a huge win for the Indians. But it’s Spring Training.
When I think about the multitude of players contributing to the win yesterday, I become apolled. It’s amazing how many players had great games in their first game of the year. Yes I know it’s one game, but it was the first of a long season ahead. And many players out there had integrity and looked like they had a burning passion to play ball. But most of these guys were younger guys trying to make the team.
Manny Acta had a comment after the game saying “We swung the bat well, but that’s already there.” I don’t know where he’s coming from. Yes the Indians do have a great young lineup but I don’t remember anything from last year or the year before that where the Indians always “had the hitting there.” I do agree that they put on a circus show in their game yesterday, but I don’t think that they had the hitting there the whole season last year.
Yes there were bright spots in which I did say that “the Indians had the offense down pat” but those were at certain times. The offense wasn’t there as a whole last year as Acta is claiming to. But that’s his opinion, and for all I know he might be right. They hired a new hitting coach in the offseason, the hitting coach from Columbus who is said to be an outstanding coach. He is working with everyone on their swing.
For all you fans that said that Asdrubal should be the leadoff hitter, I am thinking maybe you are right. He hit a homer in his first at bat, and really works the pitchers well. I do agree with you on that perspective, but where my friends will Grady go? This is a laughing matter. There is no possible way he is going to maintain the two spot all year. He has to be moved to the three or four spot.
(Image via Let’s Go Tribe)
I thought that Grady did pretty well in his first game I have to admit. Rick Manning commented saying that “The team builds off of Grady”. Where have we heard that one before? I think I remember saying that about a few days back. Grady does give the team a discharge that they use to get on rallies. I do think that with a healthy Sizemore, a good team comes.
And no I’m not saying that we are going to win the Central, I’m just saying that we aren’t going to be a basement dweller if Grady has a good year. But the first step in making this year a good one, will be for Acta to take him out of the two spot. It is the best thing for the team right now and for the next step forward.
My personal thoughts on this situation are bring Brantley up in the opening day lineup. Put him first, Asdrubal second, and Grady can go in the third or fourth spot. But that’s just my opinion. It does make sense though on a degree. Brantley can hit all pitching and is just as effective as Asdrubal Cabrera is plus Brantley can steal 30 some bases in a season. The move for Asdrubal would make sense because numbers prove that he is a better hitter in the two spot.
(Image via Let’s Go Tribe)
But let’s lose the argument. It was a sunny, warm, humid day in Arizona. And when I got off of the bus from school, I ran home to turn on the game. It was a very exciting one if you were an Indians fan, not so much if you were a Reds fan. Back to the drawing board I guess. I saw fans that had no shirts on, sandles, and bathing suits. That’s the life eh?
Indians baseball is back for good. At least for the whole season. I craved it during the offseason and had to keep reminding myself that I didn’t need it. But it’s back, and this sudden urge of baseball makes me want to scream. It’s time for the sun to come back out, weather to reach the 70’s, and ESPN to air those Sunday night baseball games. And with Indians baseball comes more speculation and more questions which I love.
And what better than to start the season (well Spring Training that is) off with a win. Why don’t we just quit? Don’t worry fans I am just kidding. But if the Indians were to quit then well… They would set a record. A record that well, we would always hold and cherish. We would go undefeated in a season. Yes we would be accounted better than any of those 90’s teams that were amazing or any of the teams in the 50’s that were ridiculously talented.
Too bad we can’t just quit. But then baseball would be gone, and I would be bored once more. Good thing we’re not. I did hear a comment yesterday on the climate in Arizona, “It is harder to pitch in Arizona because of the humidity. The ball is slick and you can lose grip easily.” That can’t be too good for pitchers. But I guess Justin Masterson is slick proof. And guess what, Bob Feller was at one of the practices. Maybe Bob let Justin in on a few of his techniques? Possibly so.
(Image via Let’s Go Tribe)
But Justin pitched a heck of a game yesterday as he single handedly lead the Indians to a 9-2 win over the Reds. Justin went scoreless giving up one hit and gaining three strikeouts. He looked like his movement was back, and that he could put the ball wherever he wanted to. I can’t describe how he pitched in words you can understand. He came out and threw the ball like a man.
Well, Indians baseball is back on the globe and with Indians baseball means more of my thoughts and more of my anger towards the team that I love. It’s a shame that Walt Jocketty had to go on the air yesterday and embarrass himself. He didn’t seem like he was ready for his interview.. “I, I um think that the uh Reds had a um good offseason you know? Uh, we um, got Cabrera and he has showed us what he can, uh can do. So I …. *pause* I uh think we have a good um what’s that word again? Oh yeah… team.”
Oh you forgot about that? Okay Walt. At least Mark Shapiro can talk to the public. On a brighter note we won and the baseball season has begun for us. I hope that we can keep it up today. Here are the lineups via Castroturf:
INDIANS (1-0): CF Michael Brantley, 2B Mark Grudzielanek, DH Shin-Soo Choo, 3B Jhonny Peralta, LF Nick Weglarz, RF Austin Kearns, 1B Andy Marte, C Wyatt Toregas, SS Jason Donald. LHP David Huff.
REDS (0-1): CF Chris Dickerson, SS Orlando Cabrera, 1B Joey Votto, 2B Brandon Phillips, 3B Scott Rolen, RF Jay Bruce, LF Jonny Gomes, C Corky Miller, DH Devin Mesoraco. RHP Johnny Cueto.
Make sure you tune in for the game on STO or Fox Sports Ohio. It shall be another good one, and I will make sure to get a post on it. I am so proud of the Indians on their opening day in Spring Training. They are looking pretty good (*knock on wood*). Hopefully no hexes get us *knock on wood again*. Let’s just hope we can
keep this up. Until Next time…
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!
It came to an end yesterday. The long 10 game hit streaks by both Laporta and Marte finally came to an end as they both respectively went 0-4. Both of them deserve a round of applause, because they have done most of the hitting for the Indians over the past 10 games. They really built off of each other making one another better. And I really saw some talent in both of them. Time to start over, all good things come to an end.
It wasn’t like they were going to both go on 20 game hit streaks, I don’t see that being possible. But they both did go on 10 game hitting streaks, which really opened the eyes of many, and turned a few heads. Matt Laporta showed that he can hit the gaps while Andy Marte showed he can battle in at bats and come out the winner. They both really showed us something, they can play with the big boys.
Justin Masterson pitched 5.2 innings giving up 4 earned on 4 walks and 8 hits. He really didn’t give the Indians a chance to stay in the game. He once again, couldn’t find the strike zone, and got behind batters, leading to having to walk them, or give them a hitter’s pitch. You can’t live in the majors behind in the count, and that is what Justin does. I know he is a relief pitcher and all, but if he is going to make the transition he needs to know how to pound the strike zone. Should we have held out for Buchholz?
Yes. Buchholz is a major league pitcher, and really has three out pitches, fastball, curveball, change. He mixes well, and gets batter’s to chase his pitch. Most importantly, he doesn’t walk batters. His last start he went 8.1 innings giving up 1 earned run on 3 hits while striking out 9. That is what a good young pitcher does. Justin, not so much. Buchholz has the control down, Justin… not so much. Buchholz also gets ahead of hitters and Justin gets behind. That is the difference between these two young guys. You tell me, Buchholz or Masterson?
If Justin could hit his spots 3 out of 5 times, he would be fine. But he doesn’t do that, maybe one out of five would do the trick for him. Not exceptable, that leads to walks and hits, due to the fact he’s always behind in the count. Should we have held out for Buchholz? Heck yeah. He is young, knows how to pitch, and really has potential. He doesn’t need any polishing right now, and can just go out every time and pitch his game. Justin, not so much.
It’s not like we would of had to kill someone to get Buchholz. If we added in, oh Jhonny Peralta into that Victor Martinez trade, I think we could have gotten the job done to get Buchholz. But we got screwed, getting Masterson who goes out and works half the innings Buchholz did, giving up twice the amount of runs. We got ripped off, and that sometimes happens. But we are going to have to work with Justin and make him a heck of a lot better.
Maybe Justin Masterson wasn’t the guy we were going for in the trade though? Maybe there was another guy who we thought had the potential to become very good. Nick Hagadone throws a 98 mph fastball with a nasty slider, combined with a half decent changeup. Oh my gosh, another Randy Johnson? Could be. I am not saying he would be as dominant, I am just saying Nick has the potential to pitch exactly like Randy did. Hagadone throws hard, as well as Johnson and has a nasty slider. Maybe we didn’t get screwed?
I remember Eddie Taubensee for Kenny Lofton, just another one of those, “nobody” trades. Turned out to be one of the biggest ones in Cleveland history when Kenny started consistantly hitting .300 and stealing 50 bases. Then there was Eddie Taubensee, a no name lack luster catcher who had no potential at the big league level what so ever that ended up hitting like a career .200. We got the big end of the deal. They didn’t and that’s baseball.
We should have held out because we needed another starter. Justin as I said is a relief pitcher and hasn’t really pitched as a starting pitcher while Clay has been a starter all of his life, and really knows how to pitch in different situations. The Red Sox just didn’t want to give up Buchholz because of his raw talent at starting pitching and knew he would be a phenomenal pitcher in the future. There’s nothing you can do about it.
But then again in the Cliff Lee trade, the Indians got Lou Marson, and Carlos Carrasco who were big household names in the Phillies organization. The Phillies fans think that Cliff Lee was the best thing since slice bread, and he has pitched like it but the guy is human, he loses too. And they found that out his last start. Cliff Lee isn’t going to pitch undefeated with a sub 1.00 ERA for the rest of the season. I think we got the better half.
Carlos Carrasco is making his major league debut tomorrow vs. the Tigers. Carrasco showed to be a strong pitcher in AAA going 11-10 combined between the Phillies and Indians this year while leading the International league in innings (157) and strikeouts (148). Carlos also has gone 5-1 with a 3.19 ERA since the trade. I totally agree with Carlos coming up, as he has been pitching great. He could really open eyes during call-ups and could secure a spot in next year’s rotation if he really surprises.
Lou Marson isn’t the kind of guy who will hit 15+ homers and 70+ RBI each year. But Lou will give you this, a .270 average with 50 RBI and a good 50 runs. He doesn’t strike out as much as Kelly Shoppach, and doesn’t swing the bat at all like Wyatt Toregas, so I think Marson has the job. Kelly Shoppach strikes out so much I am sick of it. He almost has more strike outs than hits this year. Toregas can’t hit to save his life. He hasn’t seen daylight yet in the majors. Marson is my guy at catcher, just to hold it down until Santana gets up here, and then look out!
You do know that the Indians and Rays are both 11.5 games out right? I mean, the records aren’t the same, but the number of games is. The only factore is the Rays are in the wild card race and the Indians are no where near the wild card. It’s just a matter of who’s in your division. The Yankees, the best team in baseball are leading the East, making the Red Sox and Rays battle the wild card out. Looks familiar right? That’s always how the AL East goes.
The Indians haven’t had a great division this year in the Central, with the Tigers being (69-60). If the Indians could have played well in the first half, who knows how things could’ve changed? Maybe they could be leading the Central? Maybe half their team would’ve stayed? I don’t know? But I wish that would have happened, because now, we are back to phase one, rebuilding. And it sucks!
We always rebuild, that is Mark Shapiro 101. “If you suck, rebuild” And this year we “suck.” So Mark got to work and made a few trades, bringing in new faces to the Indians organization. Now we will finally get to see Carrasco’s true colors, and if Shapiro made the right deals. And you know, if we don’t succeed next year, look for some new faces. I think we will falter next year in our pitching. It isn’t looking strong enough to me. I think Shapiro needs to go out, and get a veteran pitcher for the Tribe in the offseason, just to strengthen it. It wouldn’t hurt.
I gotta say, being an Indians fan is the toughest job. You can’t expect to be good two years in a row with this shaky club, but the love of the fans and hope of the city always will’s a no good season into becoming a strong finish. That’s Cleveland for you. We don’t leave a game just because we are getting beat 6-2 in the third inning, we don’t throw beer on the field cough cough… Cubs. We have one of the best fan bases in baseball, and we are proud to be Cleveland!
We aren’t Red Sox Nation, and we aren’t Yankee Nation, but we sure as heck have some loyal fans over here in Cleveland Nation! In the 07 ALDS, that is when I got my first real chance to see what real fans are. And that was Cleveland, the loudest park in the playoffs. We love our playoff baseball in Cleveland, and next year we will be gunning for a spot. Be on the lookout!
––– Tribe Talk With Ted
Could you hear the whiffs on tv? There were so many, I can’t even count them. Zach Greinke set a Royals record for most strikeouts in a single game. Great job Zach we salute you! Great game pitch, and way to shut down the offense.
For the offense, it’s alright to have a bad game, we won three outta four, what’d ya expect 7 or 8?
They had that one game where they just couldn’t get the bat on the ball, and Zach Greinke didn’t help at all. It all started in the first when he struckout Carroll and Choo to start it. And it never stopped there. Greinke (15 strikeouts) is the new record holder as a Royal. Great thing for Zach, not for the Indians. It sucks to be on the wrong side of history, but at least your in it. And look at this year, we set some history against the Yankees, sorry Bombers fans.
Remember how we had that 22 run outburst? The Yankees were on the wrong side of history…
A loss is a loss though, and shows up that way on your record, (which this year I don’t even pay attention to.) We aren’t in any race, I don’t care win or lose but I just am hoping to see our starters next year doing something productive. Like Valbuena, he is hitting the ball great, and Pronk is seeing the ball well, and hitting it to opposite, when is the last time you saw him doing that?
Well, at least we didn’t get shut out last night…
Andy Marte went yard (1) for the first time this year. Congrats Andy, they couldn’t hold you in the park this time! And Matt Laporta, jeez this guy is a machine, hit another double (5). Can this guy find the gaps or what? I am really investing in Laporta, he is a great player and is going to turn out to be a big fit in Cleveland in a year or two, you just watch!
Justin Masterson, oh Justin,.. pitched okay. He couldn’t find the strike zone, and definitely couldn’t keep the ball low enough to where the Royals hitters couldn’t hit it. He took the loss, (4-5 4.47) going 6 strong (?) giving up 4 earned on 7 hits. He actually limited some damage, so it could’ve been worse.
Hey, our pitcher’s actually have been giving up big innings, but have kept going on and deep into the ballgame not letting anymore runs score.
So there are some positives. But the offense needs to get rolling. They aren’t going to face any ‘Zach Greinke’ in Luke Hochevar (6-6). So they should go out, and knock him outta the ballgame as quick as possible. Let’s be on the right side of history today. Not the wrong side of it,…
It was then, I knew the Indians were going to win the game. In the bottom of the 1st, a (1-1) game, 1 out, 1 baserunner, with a (1-1) count, while Jhonny Peralta was at the plate. Justin Masterson gave up 1 unearned run in his masterful start. Matt Laporta had his 1st three RBI
game of his career. The Indians scored 11 runs. Last but not least, 1 player on the Angels, (Bobby Abreu) had more than 1 hit. The ‘Aces Were Wild’ last night, and they played to the Indians advantage. Oh yeah, the Indians took 1 out of three from the Angels.
Besides all of the Aces, there was a game to be played. Justin Masterson let up one unearned run in the first inning, and then didn’t think about letting another runner get to second. He was “masterful”, as he went 6 1/3 strong innings giving up 1 unearned on 3 hits and 4 BB. “That’s the hardest I’ve seen him throw, and we’ve faced him a few times,” said Angels catcher Jeff Mathis, who entered the game 3-for-5 with three RBIs in his career against Masterson. “He kind of slings it. Sometimes it goes straight, sometimes it sinks. He threw the ball well.”
Ted’s Take: Justin threw the ball great, as he had nasty movement on his two seam, and had his slider working as well. Masterson used his slider primarily to be a setup pitch so he could jam the hitters in with his two seamer. He pounded the strike zone, and made hitters hit in pitcher’s counts. There is room for improvement though, as he gave away some at bats while he was 0-2 or 1-2. Great game pitched Justin!
Shades of yesterday scared me, as the offense didn’t score again until the sixth. But, with great pitching from Masterson, the Indians knew they were in it. They kept battling and finally got that big inning, which they have done alot this year. It looks as if they get to the pitcher late in his start and get him good. Which they really turned Lackey’s beautiful start, into just another bad one… The Indians offense has really improved with these young guys, and I tip
my cap off to Matt Laporta.
The offense didn’t seem to figure John Lackey out until the sixth inning, while it was still a (1-1) game. The Indians, again put together a string of hits to really put down the Angels. Shin-Soo Choo got it all started when he singled to start it off, followed by Jhonny Peralta’s single which Choo went first to third. Travis “hitting backwards” Hafner came up to the plate next, and some how hit a double down the right field line, but wasn’t able to score Peralta.
After Luis Valbuena walked, Kelly Shoppach hit a sac fly to score Choo, and to advance Hafner to third. At that point, Matt Laporta came up and doubled down the left field line scoring a pair making it (5-1) Tribe. Three hits later the scoring stopped and it was (8-1) Tribe.
Ted’s Take: The Indians always find those big innings to score in late in the game when the pitcher doesn’t have his “stuff” he did early on. It was big that Choo singled to start off the inning, because he is saying to the team ‘Hey guys, he doesn’t have anything that we can’t hit.’ With Jhonny following that up with a single, you knew the Indians were in business.
And I would like to shout-out to Matt Laporta. His first game back with the Tribe, he has three RBI and a huge clutch double in the sixth. Matt Laporta, believe it or not, was the reason the Indians scored eight runs. His double was huge and he ended up continuing the rally. Great job Matt.
Call to the bullpen: The Indians have had a pretty decent bullpen, ever since they traded Rafael Betancourt, and brought some people up, they have been half good. The bullpen is built around Rafael Perez and Kerry Wood. And they both have been pretty decent since the break. I tip my hat off to Tony Sipp though, as he has pitched phenomanaly for the Indians throughout the year. Getting out of jams, weaving his way through innings, Tony Sipp is a guy you never here the name of, but he is a top relief pitcher in my eyes.
It all started in the seventh, when Justin Masterson got the bases loaded with one out. The Indians brought in lefty, Tony Sipp. He came right in and struck out the first batter and got a flyout to right to end the inning. He also is a game saver for the Indians. That could have been a big inning for the Angels if Tony didn’t pitch good.
Oh Joe, you did it again. Joe Smith gave up a big two run home run to Kendry Morales, his 27th, and completed his inning of work against the Halo’s offense. Rafael Perez came in for the ninth and gave up one hit and striking out one, in route to the Indians victory.
Ted’s Take: No one knows who Tony Sipp is, just yet anyways. He will be a great relief pitcher in years to come, and everyone is going to want him, I guaruntee you! He came right in and shut the door on the Angels with the bases loaded! That is one of the toughest things to do as a relief pitcher, is how to not let inherited runners score. Sipp did that though, because he constantly pounds the strike zone and gets ahead of hitters.
Joe Smith does the opposite of Tony Sipp and nibbles at the corners, and gets behind hitters, thus having to give them meat balls to hit out of the stadium. If you want to keep your job, keep the ball low Joe! Rafael Perez, did great in the ninth for the Tribe. He came in, and besides giving up a hit, was perfect. He used his curveball nice, and mixed it well with the fastball. Look to see more of Rafael Perez instead of Kerry Wood.
-Tribe Talk With Ted
The Cleveland Indians, a team that everyone loved in the late 90’s, early 2000’s, would win AL Central title, after AL Central title. And to tell you the truth, that team was still rebuilding. They have always been “rebuilding” but is that the case? How about the 07 team? The one that featured C.C. Sabathia, Fausto Carmona, Grady Sizemore, Pronk? The bug game? Yes, actually that team had been rebuilding for about 5 years, and finally blossomed as all Indians teams’ do, at one point. The fact of the matter is, they always rebuild, but is that so bad?
In 2002 GM Mark Shapiro traded Bartolo Colon, a centerpiece in Cleveland, who was guarunteed to get them a playoff spot, for three prospects. They are,… Grady Sizemore, (current CF for the Indians, amazing talent,) Cliff Lee, (Cy Young award winner in 2008, outstanding pitcher,) and Brandon Phillips, (Reds 2B, great power and team leader.) If you look back, the Indians didn’t lose anything by the Bartolo Colon trade, they gained something, and something huge. With out Grady Sizemore, the Cleveland franchise is still is shambles. Last year, the Tribe isn’t 81-81 without Cliff Lee going 22-3. Is that the answer for the Indians bouncing back? You tell me…
In 2008, the Cleveland Indians traded C.C. Sabathia to the Milwaukee Brewers for Matt Laporta, lefthander Zach Jackson, righthander Rob Bryson, and Michael Brantley. Many were shocked by the move, some say it was a stupid one. Why? Why is this stupid? The Indians weren’t in the title contention. It wasn’t like they were going to the playoffs? So why not take one of the best prospects in the game from the Brewers, and rebuild? It was a great trade in my opinion. Matt Laporta, has 15 HR, 58 RBI, and 58 runs in 88 games with the Clippers. Those are good numbers! He looks like he can be a star in the future. Why not jump on his bandwagon?
Zach Jackson has been up and down this year between the Majors and Minors, he is (4-8, 6.02) for Columbus and (0-0, 9.35) at the Major league level. But that’s okay, the guy can still pitch pretty well. Another pitcher the Indians acquired, Rob Bryson, the Indians 31st ranked prospect, possibly a closer, the Indians say that this kid has a top shelf fastball and a nasty slider. He mixes them very well, and is sort of like a young Mariano Rivera. His potential is huge, http://indiansprospectinsider.com/ says. He is supposed to be a big time back end of the bullpen pitcher, so watch for him! Michael Brantley, possibly a next Kenny Lofton, kid you not, and is the future starting left fielder in 2010 possibly, so says http://www.cbssports.com/mlb/players/playerpage/1103277
Brantley can hit, and can run. Kenny Lofton could hit, and run. I tell you, if you underestimate this kid, then you should just go and be a Reds fan because you don’t know baseball. Brantley is hitting .260, 75 R, 39 SB, in 107 games for the Columbus Clippers. Possibly another Kenny Lofton, or another Carl Crawford? Who knows, but I do know this, the Indians made out with this deal. The Brewers didn’t resign Sabathia, and they paid…
Victor Martinez has been traded to the Red Sox for Justin Masterson, Brian Price and Nick Hagadone. The Indians again made out as Victor clogged up the Red Sox lineup, and has given problems to everyday starters such as Jason Varitek, Youk, Mike Lowell, and David Ortiz. The Indians on the other hand, recieved a stud pitcher in Masterson, as well as two top tier minor league pitching prospects, Price and Hagadone. So far, Masterson is (3-3, 4.22) with the Red Sox/Indians, as he has made one start and one relief appearance for the Tribe. He will be starting today as he is looking for some strikeouts. He is rumored to stay in the bullpen, but he is two good a starter for the Indians to do that.
Bryan Price has been pretty mediocre in A ball as he has been giving up the long ball. Nothing says he can’t turn around though. The finesse pitcher throws his fastball mainly in the low 90’s and needs to gain control or else he can watch it sail into the seats every time. Hagadone is a stud pitcher, as said by a college coach in the nearby area. His fastball tops at 98, as he throws a ton of strikes and gets ahead in counts. The big lefty also has a hard bite to his slider and a decent changeup which he is improving. The Tribe made out again. 3-3. Good job Mark Shapiro!
-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