Archive for the ‘Cleveland Indians’ category

Sabathia to the Brewers

July 7, 2008

The Indians traded CC Sabathia to the Brewers yesterday in a deal that effectively throws in the towel for Cleveland.

Indians get:

  • OF Matt LaPorta, 7th overall pick in 2007. .288 BA, .402 OBP, .978 OPS, 20 homers at AA Huntsville
  • P Zach Jackson, 32nd overall pick in 2004. Disappointing minor league numbers so we’ll see.
  • P Rob Bryson (intriguing potential closer)
  • Player to be named

Brewers get:

  • P CC Sabathia, 2008 stats: 6-8, 3.83 ERA, 123 SO, 1.23 WHIP

This trade is going to be beneficial for both sides. The Brewers get immediate help in their rotation which could put them over the top in the NL Central where they trail the Cubs by 3.5 games. The Brewers have a strong staff anyway headlined by Ben Sheets and Manny Parra. CC will be the new ace in Milwaukee if Sheets leaves at the end of the season. He could be the ace even if Sheets stays though. There is doubt to whether CC will stay in Milwaukee though as he may get an offer from a bigger market club following 2008. He had a terrible start to the 2008 season, but has since rebounded to bring his ERA below 4. Since May 14th, he has been arguably the best pitcher in the AL with an ERA of 2.22 and averaging a strikeout an inning. His W-L is low, but that was his team’s fault who rarely seemed to score for him.

All is not lost for Cleveland though. Their GM Mark Shapiro pulled off one of the greatest trades in front office history when he obtained Grady Sizemore, Cliff Lee, and Brandon Phillips among others, for Bartolo Colon who fizzled and Tim Drew. This trade has echoes of Shapiro’s defining work. They were going to lose CC anyway as he wanted Johan money so they picked up three legitimate prospects as they enter a brief setback in their playoff plans. LaPorta may be major league-ready today, Jackson is talented, and Bryson has been labeled as a potential closer in the coming years. Cleveland still has an excellent core of their pitching rotation with Cliff Lee, Fausto Carmona, and Jake Westbrook so they should not worry about the future.

This trade is going to work out for both sides, but Cleveland will still miss CC Sabathia. He pitched eight seasons in Cleveland and seemed to be a fan favorite. This trade definitely makes it the Brewers’ time.

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Piazza retires, Houston (kind of) fixes their outfield, and a visit to Cincy

May 21, 2008

Mike Piazza has retired after 16 seasons in the majors. Piazza was an elite player for a majority of his career, most notably with the Los Angeles Dodgers and New York Mets. A lock for the Hall of Fame (definitely first ballot), Piazza batted .308 with 427 home runs over his career. He is definitely the best player ever picked in the 62nd round of the draft.

The Houston Astros fixed their outfield home run lines that tricked their outfield into thinking the Cubs’ Geovany Soto hit it out. Soto ended up with an inside-the-park homer instead of a real one. While they’re at it, maybe they can flatten that hill in center that is bound to end a career sooner or later. Stadium quirks are only cool when they aren’t intentional. Houston, you’re trying too hard.

I was in Ohio last weekend to visit Dayton and catch a Reds game (Brandon Phillips 30/30 Bobblehead Day) with Phil and some friends. I like Great American Ball Park. It was a good place to watch a game because though we were in the 500s and our noses were bleeding profusely, we were behind home plate where you get a visually pleasing view of the Ohio River and Kentucky. Enough talk of aesthetics though. The Reds beat the Indians in interleague play with a walkoff homer by Adam Dunn that almost left the park. Dunn is still striking out a lot, but he is keeping those homers (11) and BB totals high. He is combating a weak .231 BA with a productive .373 OBP.

And on an irrelevant note, I ate Skyline and Sonic for the first time and it was delicious.

Astros change yellow line in outfield (Yahoo!)

Piazza retires from baseball (Yahoo!)

April (and some of March) in review…(AL)

May 1, 2008

The first month of the season has come to a close, so let’s hand out some hardware.

Note: These are for the baseball played since the first series in Japan in late March, through the end of April. Some of these acknowledgments will be completely irrelevant in May (if they are even relevant now)…

Best Team: Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim

The Angels are tied with Oakland for the best record in the AL. However, I give the edge to the Angels because the A’s will fizzle. LA just has more star power. Their pitching staff, led by Joe Saunders and Ervin Santana, both have ERAs under 3 and Jered Weaver pitched like an ace the other day against the potent Detroit offense. Santana is stepping it up while Jon Garland is sucking and Kelvim Escobar’s career could be over. K-Rod is 11 for 12 in save opportunities.

The offense is really clicking this season for the Angels. They have scored 140 runs so far with their strong lineup. Casey Kotchman is off to a great start batting .344/.406/.594. Chone Figgins is having an all-star season so far batting .313 with 8 steals. Offseason acquistion Torii Hunter is fitting in very nicely with his new squad and Vladimir Guerrero is batting .271, which is good, but will most likely rise because he is very dangerous. SS Erick Aybar is a young guy to keep an eye on batting .318 so far. He also plays a good shortstop.

Los Angeles is doing just fine without stud pitchers John Lackey and Kelvim Escobar. Though Escobar won’t be back, Lackey should be around soon, and he will only help the Angels pull ahead of Oakland for what looks to be another championship season. (more…)

Cliff Lee putting up Nintendo numbers

April 25, 2008

As some of our most diehard readers (no, not ourselves) may have noticed, I have not written an entry for a few weeks now. Conspicuous by my absence during the last few weeks of intensified school work, there has been a lack of entries related to the Cleveland Indians (with the exception of Joe Blow Borowski’s DL stint). In the interest of journalistic integrity, I told myself that my next entry would pertain to something else entirely unconnected to the Indians. Being a student of cultural politics, this week’s celebration of Jackie Robinson was one topic I wanted to write about. However, while I’ve been away jail-raping end of the semester exams, Cliff Lee has been jail-raping American League hitters. The numbers are staggering: 4-0, 0.28 ERA. In 31 2/3 innings, Lee has allowed 11 hits, struck out 29, walked 2, and put up a ridiculous WHIP of 0.411. Last night, Cliff Lee allowed 3 hits and struck out 9 batters in a complete game shut out of the Royals. (more…)

Reds GM Wayne Krivsky fired already

April 23, 2008

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It has only been two years into Cincinnati Reds GM Wayne Krivsky’s tenure, and now owner Bob Castellini is firing him and replacing him with former Cardinals GM Walt Jocketty. As a Reds follower, I definitely saw this coming. It appeared Castellini got impatient with not winning. I like Castellini, I really do. Although Krivsky kind of had an obsession with older, reliever veterans, he made some great trades, like Wily Mo Pena for Bronson Brandon Arroyo, Brandon Phillips for some A-ball player, the Josh Hamilton Rule 5 deal, the Jeff Keppinger trade, etc. Wayne Krivsky was not bad at all.

“Frankly, I blame it on my own impatience,” Castellini said. “I wouldn’t say that it was a particular thing. We’re not going to bat 1.000 [on acquisitions]. The results were not there.”

It is pretty fair to say that the Reds want to win now and not 2009, although I myself would have waited until 2009. It also seems like the Reds were going to turn the corner too. Does this mean we will see more General Manager firings in midseason? We usually see them in the offseason.

Borowski to the DL; possibly through?

April 15, 2008

Cleveland Indians closer Joe Borowski has been placed on the 15-day disabled list with a ‘strained triceps’ (or something worse). This move follows an absolutely horrid outing from Borowski where he blew a 4-3 lead, his second consecutive blown save. He gave up four hits and three earned runs over two thirds of an inning, including a home run to Manny Ramirez who was unsure whether Borowski threw him a fastball or a changeup. A marked decrease in Borowski’s velocity is evident, as he topped out last night at an independent league 83 mph.

Obviously, if this injury is more than just a strain and his fastball stays in this 80-83 mph range, Borowski is no longer a viable option at closer. 83 mph when you aren’t a specialty pitcher (ie. submariner) will not get the job done. Cleveland columnist Patrick McManamon says the Tribe should question whether Borowski should be replaced.
McManamon on Borowski:

When he succeeds, he’s celebrated.
When he doesn’t, he’s a lonely guy.
And when it happens too often it’s time to make a move.
It’s time for the Indians to consider their options.

The Indians have one of the best setup men in the league, Rafael Betancourt, who will most likely be the interim closer, and would be a leading candidate as a permanent solution. Also in consideration would be Rafael Perez (lefty killer), Jensen Lewis, Japanese import Masahide Kobayashi (unproven so far), Tom ‘Nasty’ Mastny (just recalled), and former Orioles closer, Jorge Julio.

Cleveland is off to a slow start, but they will definitely rebound to finish either first or second in the AL Central. They are much too talented to be fourth place. It is only April. C.C. Sabathia is sucking right now, but he is a Cy Young winner. Borowski’s collapse could be a blessing for the Indians because a stud closer may emerge from their above average bullpen.

Indians place Borowski on disabled list (MLB.com)

It’s time for Tribe to take hard look at Borowski’s skills (Ohio.com)

A look at why the Indians will win the AL Central once again

March 31, 2008

Editors note (Mike): We forgot to introduce a third person who will be a guest contributor for us. He already wrote a story for us. Ben is a passionate baseball fan, and possesses homerish tendencies towards the Cleveland Indians. To sum up Ben: opinionated.

Since the Detroit Tigers acquired stud third baseman Miguel Cabrera and pitcher Dontrelle Willis from the Marlins in a deal that included their top two prospects Andrew Miller and Cameron Maybin, a large, loud, obnoxious, arrogant, and ignorant contingent of the Tigers’ fanbase has proclaimed the race for the division title over before the season even started. With that said, let’s let some facts speak for themselves. (more…)