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
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.