Sunday, July 23, 2006

Sweet-N-Sowers

Trying to keep an even keel (not getting too low on the this disappointing season) also means that you can’t get too excited about isolated incidents or players without having a grain of salt handy.

That being said, Jeremy Sowers’ performance against a scorching Twins team (a complete game 4-hitter in which no Twin advanced past 1B) was about the most encouraging thing we’ve seen all season. If Sowers has the ability to do that out of the 5th spot in the rotation, it bodes pretty well for next year’s rotation, which will likely mirror the current rotation.

Sowers was in complete control all night, getting ahead of hitters, keeping his pitch count to a minimum, and getting out some tough LH hitters (whom he has struggled against).

The biggest thing that can be taken out of Sowers’ night, though, is the confidence that he’ll take out of the experience. Oftentimes, when a player is promoted to the Majors for the first time and struggles, he starts to question his talent and ability, causing a never-ending quest for the feeling that they truly belong. Once that player has that success, though, they gain that confidence to trust their ability and just go out and play baseball. A perfect example of this is Jake Westbrook’s performances a few years ago out of the bullpen against the Tigers when he absolutely dominated them, and parlayed that confidence into a full-time spot in the rotation.

It’s easy to look too far into Sowers’ performance and get overly excited (remember that Billy Traber once threw a one-hitter against the Yankees); but, even with that grain of salt in tow, it provides some optimism for the future.

The other players who have impressed since being promoted (other than Sowers and, obviously, Carmona) have been Super Joe Inglett and Kelly Shoppach. Inglett provides a spunky attitude to the team, seemingly out to prove everyone who’s ever told him that he’d never see the Majors with each at-bat. Whether he’s the long-term answer at 2B (or even at a utility spot) remains to be seen, but that’s what this next 3 months has boiled down to. By the same token, Shoppach has impressed in his limited time with the Tribe. He’s shown some pop and looks more in control of the game defensively than Victor does (watch the energy that Shoppach brings behind the plate, namely in his footwork). With him, again, it’s time to figure out if he’s a part of this team for 2007.

Time to go around the horn on a Lazy Sunday:
Terry Pluto weighs in on the possible move of Jhonny Peralta to 2B and his perceived lack of focus.

Paul Hoynes examines the trading deadline environment.

Sheldon Ocker expresses his view on why Aaron Boone remains in Cleveland, and may for the rest of the season.

Expect Andy Marte very soon (maybe this week or just before the next road trip which starts, ironically, in Boston on August 1st) as the service time that he will accumulate for the rest of 2006, when combined with the service time from his time with Atlanta last year no longer would make him a Super 2 player in terms of arbitration eligibility.

Ken Rosenthal mentions that the Brewers are now looking more and more like sellers on the trading market, which could explain why they weren’t willing to give up too much for Wickman. Remember, according to various reports, Wickman was willing to waive his no-trade only if he was going to a team that he would immediately close for – with the Brewers and Braves being the only 2 teams in that category.
By the way, further proof that the Reds-Nats trade was the exception, not the example for this year’s trade market on relievers – the Padres got Scott Williamson for two Single-A pitchers, each of whom has an ERA over 5.00.

The final wrap-up appears in the last post’s comments with Jerry Crasnick’s article on the Indians that appeared (courtesy T-Bone) on ESPN.com.

Finally, Jerry “The King” Lawler presented Pronk with a wrestling belt prior to Saturday’s game, producing one of the greatest pictures I’ve ever seen:

9 comments:

Cy Slapnicka said...

That Sheldon Ocker piece was a beauty. Based on what everyone says about Boone, I'd expect him to take that as a slap in the face were it true.

Didn't see it, but Hammy made it sound like Jhonny cost us another game today. He wasn't the one striking us out, but may as well be.

Baltimoran said...

5 unearned in the first, i can hear the tigers fans chanting; reminds me of when 20 or so Bowling Green drunks went up to watch the late 90's version of the tribe score over 15 runs in Mo-town. We had fans leaving thier seats to get away from the idiocy (that swyt character was obviously the biggest jerk), great times...its just not funny when its reversed

T-Bone said...

yeah, i was there. another odd thing was what i thought was thunder on the horizon midway through the game. however, i then looked at the time and it was 9:00 sharp. WWE Raw was starting next door at the Q. must have been a hell of a pyrotechnic show.

T-Bone said...

wonder who harold reynolds pissed off???

Cy Slapnicka said...

Wow, thats nuts. This is what Deadspin has...
http://www.deadspin.com/sports/top/was-this-why-harold-got-the-axe-189733.php

Rockdawg said...

I wonder how many times Reynolds hit on Suzi Kolber at office parties, Joe Nameth style. (I could care less about the Jets struggallling....I wanna kiss you.)

Baltimoran said...

I've heard that the front office doesn't think Inglett is starter potential, but from the little I've seen and the fact that injuries may have prevented more output in the minors, I hope he gets a shot at the 2nd base job. If he can be an above average infielder (it would be nice to have one) and just put the bat on the ball (like he's been doing), i would take him over Belliard despite a dropoff in homeruns.
It was great to hear the ESPN announcers talking about A-Rod being booed in NY today during the tribe game, I don't think BBT or sportscenter has given this stupid story enough attention.

T-Bone said...

Tribe trade Broussard to M's for minor-leaguer
Associated Press

Ben Broussard
Broussard

CLEVELAND -- The Seattle Mariners acquired first baseman Ben Broussard from the Cleveland Indians on Wednesday for a minor-league outfielder.

The Indians sent Broussard and cash to the Mariners for Shin-Soo Choo and a player to be named later.

Broussard hit .321 with 13 home runs and 46 RBI in 88 games with the Indians but was spotty defensively and committed seven errors.

Choo has spent most of this season at Triple-A Tacoma, where he hit .323 with 13 home runs and 48 RBI. He played in four games for Seattle between July 3-13, going 1-for-11.

The trade came a month after the Mariners got first baseman Eduardo Perez in a deal with the Indians for minor-league infielder Asbrudal Cabrera on June 30.

Seattle is in last place in the AL West but only 3½ games behind the division-leading Los Angeles Angels.

Choo stole 26 bases in 30 attempts at Tacoma and was picked for the Pacific Coast League's All-Star team. He was a member of Korea's provisional roster for the World Baseball Classic in March.

Seattle will travel to Cleveland to open a three-game series with the Indians on Friday night.

rodells said...

Later Broussard, you bum. It's about time.

Bring on Big League Choo!