Sunday, August 06, 2006

This Pen is Dry

Consider the Fausto Carmona-Closer Experiment over. Unless the Indians plan on trotting the kid out again, only to develop a Byung-Hyun Kim complex, it’s time to move Carmona to a different role in the bullpen.

You don’t want to send Carmona down to Buffalo, as that would completely destroy his fragile psyche right now. Sending him down would essentially relay the message that he’s gone from the best arm in the bullpen to the worst arm on the team.

Remember that he’s still a 22-year-old that proved that his stuff translated to the Majors for 2 months. The last week has proven that he’s not ready to close, not that he’s ill equipped to stay in Cleveland.

Carmona’s quickly entered the national spotlight, and not really for something that a young pitcher aspires to be known for. The guys on “Baseball Tonight” were just groaning after the Pudge HR. Carmona’s even a part of the Sports Guy’s mailbag.

Put Carmona in the long relief role for now and let him work some bullpen sessions to iron out whatever has suddenly gone wrong (if that problem is not strictly between his ears).

As soon as Wedgie remembers that he has more than 4 relievers in the bullpen (did anyone realize that Tom Mastny is on the roster, and has been for 2 weeks) there will be the opportunity to evaluate all of these young arms on the ML level.

Does anyone think it’s time to see if Jeremy Guthrie can succeed in the Bigs, before the Indians need to make a decision on him next year (he’s out of options)? Can’t we see someone like him, rather than castoff Sikorski?

When Mujica was sent down to Buffalo, I thought that the reason was that he could get “regular work” in AAA rather than getting inconsistent work in Cleveland. But you’re not going to get an idea if you can bank on these guys next year (Mujica, Perez, Guthrie, and even Andrew Brown) by having them throw against AAA hitters.

If the remainder of the 2 months of the season is all about evaluation and determining where the team needs additions in the off-season, shouldn’t these spots in the bullpen be Priority #1, #1a, #1b, and #1c?

While it’s true that the rest of the team can’t be enjoying this whole “go into the 9th innings with leads in 6 games against two of the best AL teams only to get 1 win” thing, they have to understand that the Indians aren’t exactly going to be able to pull Mo Rivera off of waivers to correct the bullpen.

GM Mark Shapiro was on WKNR with Kenny Roda on Friday and had some interesting thoughts (outside of comparing Roda to Roger Brown on the air). He stated that the pitching and defense are what let the team down this year and that the Indians will make moves that would be deemed “unlike” what they’ve done in the past to correct the problems.

He singled out C.C. and Westbrook as having career years, while pointing out that Lee should be having a better year. He made no mention of Sowers, who has done nothing BUT impress, or Byrd, who has nothing TO impress.

The crux of the conversation sounded as if Shapiro didn’t sound opposed to moving one of those veteran arms (likely Lee or Byrd) if he can improve the team in other spots.
Carmona, if the decision is made to move him back to the rotation in the latest yo-yo act for a young pitcher, could factor in as a starter next year, Adam Miller (who likely needs more seasoning) or a FA pitcher would have to be counted on for them to make that kind of move.

Also, from the Department of Obvious Statments, he intimated that the bullpen would be completely redone in the off-season.

He made no mention of the offense being a part of the big problem, only saying that the inconsistency of the lineup has been as frustrating to him as any part of the club.

He went further to say that this year has “humbled him” and taken a “considerable toll on him mentally and physically”

Finally, for all of the Dolan-bashers, he indicated that the Indians would not be as low as they were this year in the payroll rankings (they’re 24th this year), as the Dolans have apparently authorized him to spend significant money in the off-season to get this ship righted.

With that out of the way, a brief Lazy Sunday with not a lot of notable articles today. Only Sheldon Ocker’s examination of the trade-deadline deals and their impact on 2007 makes the cut.


Rockdawg said...

Going back to the last posting, i REAllY wish I didn't know about Jason Davis and his animal stuffing ways.

Cy Slapnicka said...

I wish Viper was our manager, Fausto would be back out there in no time. He'd get it back, even with his pitching coach Jester doubting him.

I really would like to see Andrew Brown pitch some innings this year. Any word on how he's been pitching lately?

Also, found it interesting that Tim Laker and Einar Diaz both have pitched an inning for the Bisons this year. Laker even has a strikeout.

Baltimoran said...

Thanks iceman, I needed a laugh after this weeks debacle. Laker sounds like a closer to me

Rockdawg said...

I just saw in the newspaper that Alfonso Soriano hit his 31st leadoff HR, tying him for 8th all time with Chuck Knobloch (sp?) This got me thinking, was there anything better at the time than the Blockhead just "forgetting" how to throw the ball from 2nd base to 1st?

Baltimoran said...

How about when that guy on indians blew 3 straight saves

Rockdawg said...

now THAT'S funny

Cy Slapnicka said...

So my sister in law got us free tickets from a supplier to the Sox/Spankees game tonight for free, first row...I'm assuming between the dugouts. I hate both teams and I'm not a fan of Comiskey but they are awesome free seats and my wife wants to go.

This brings about an interesting dilemma, what exactly do I do at the game? I'll be sitting in expensive corporate seats, so chances of being hassled by real White Sox fans are slim. The only people I can bring myself to cheer for are Sandy (won't play) and Thome. I guess I'll be able to heckle at A-Rod and AJ, so I got that going for me.

Being a baseball fan in general and this being a big game for both teams, I can enjoy it....but I don't think I can even pick a side to cheer for. I guess I'll sit silently except for Thome's 4-5 AB's.

If someone thinks of a good sign to make, I'll try and bring one. Just to set the limits, I once made a sign that said "Art Modell is a salad tosser" and held it up in Houston when ESPN was broadcasting sportscenter from downtown. I was seconds from getting it on TV behind Berman's head when a security guard snatched it outta my hands and suggested we leave. Suggested insults for any players are also welcome.

Cy Slapnicka said...

Lee signed a contract extension, details are available here.

Good to see. It makes me wonder though, Shapiro has always maintained they do not work on contracts during the season. I wonder if they have anything in the works with Pronk. Hopefully they learned their lesson with from what happened with another left handed power hitter.

Rockdawg said...

The signing of Lee is a solid move. I was wondering if anyone thinks that perhaps Wickman and Belliard were let go, Lofton style, with a "wink, wink, see you next year" smile from Shapiro. Just a thought.