After another clunker by Sowers (where he remains that one pitch away from magically getting out of an inning, instead victimized by that one pitch that becomes a 3-run HR), remember that Westbrook is still probably 4 weeks away from returning; so Sowers will likely have at least 4 or 5 more starts to rectify his issues. If, by that time, no progress has been made, a move to Buffalo is inevitable as the Indians need their 5 best pitchers in the rotation, regardless of past success. Here’s hoping that Sowers can figure out what ails him in Cleveland, which is the best place for him to do so; but with the Tigers not slowing down, the Indians need their best chance to win every night. When Sowers no longer fits into that category, a change will be made. Until then, he’ll be in Cleveland.
Passing the quarter pole last night, I decided it’s time to get into some projections of where the Indians players statistics might end up this year; but before we get into the numbers game, a quick Lazy Sunday:
Paul Hoynes reports that Andy Marte will play against LHP upon his return from rehab, but doesn’t address the reason why. The fear that Marte’s return would take Blake, Garko, or Nixon out of the lineup brought out the “if it ain’t broke…” argument, but Nixon’s performance against LHP (.504 OPS vs. LHP, .838 OPS vs. RHP) and the fact that he’s coming off off-season back surgery became the deciding factors in bringing Marte back to Cleveland, rather than having Gutierrez take those AB vs. LHP. Against LHP, Marte will play 3B and Blake will play RF; while against RHP, Blake will stay at 3B and the Dirt Dog will patrol RF.
Hoynes also touches on the fact that Brandon Phillips doesn’t give interviews to Cincinnati reporters. It’s been well-documented here, but Phillips’ belief that he is destined for enshrinement in Cooperstown, meaning he’s held to a different set of rules makes me happy that he no longer takes up a spot on the Tribe roster, regardless of his performance on the field.
During Friday night’s game, Phillips took off 2nd base with one out as the batter lined an out to CF. Phillips, mid-way between 2nd and 3rd, immediately stopped, took off his batting helmet, and started walking back to his spot in the infield for the next inning as he was doubled up at 2B. Phillips made zero effort to make it back to prevent the inning-ending force out as his arrogance, petulance, and penchant for prima donna behavior showed through in one simple play.
SI.com’s Gennaro Filice (which sounds, frankly, like a made up name) lists Carmona and Sowers in his 5-up, 5-down column.
Apparently, Keith Foulke’s retirement may be short-lived. That is, if you believe anything in a Boston paper.
Finally under the “A Man Can Dream, Can’t He?” ledger, the Rangers’ reporters believe that Texas may have an interest in moving Mark Teixeira. He in under contract until the end of 2008 and is a GIANT bat at a Gold Glover at 1B.
With that out of the way, we’ve officially hit the quarter pole of the season and it’s time to pull out the calculator and make some projections. Using some simple math (and an Excel spreadsheet, but please excuse the way the tables look as Blogger is not exactly easy to import a table into), here is how the Indians’ position players project out over a full season. Since it’s often difficult to figure out how a player is doing regarding RBI or HR or R without looking at the League Leaders, this provides an easier way to look at what the Indians are on pace to do.
With the obvious caveat that this is simply taking the numbers of the players thus far and extrapolating those numbers out, here we go:
Yes, that would be 60 RBI from the LF platoon of Dellucci and Michaels and 60 RBI from Garko. If not for the run production from the C and the SS position, that would be unacceptable. Speaking of the SS position, welcome back Jhonny v.2005!
While compiling the pitchers, something stood out that was shocking – had you told me at the beginning of the season that the Tribe would hit the quarter pole with 3 combined wins from Westbrook, Lee, and Sowers, I would have bought stock in Mylanta. Yet, here they sit, atop the AL Central, on pace for 100 wins with the pitchers that entered Spring Training as their #2, #3, and #4 starters combining for 3 wins.
Here are the rest of the projections for the pitchers:
Obviously, Sowers isn’t going to to 0-16 (is he?) and Aaron Fultz isn’t going to go 12-0, but how about those 2 horses at the top?
As serial poster Tyler pointed out earlier in the week, the number of appearances for The Big Borowski is pretty high and may be the reason that the Indians look to fortify the bullpen – to take some of the load off of JoeBo’s arm. Remember, he failed a physical in Philly, so that many appearances could not be a great idea.
Those numbers can change pretty dramatically one way or the other, but we’re getting to a point where the sample sizes are big enough in 2007 to make some judgments.
These projections could go a long way in determining what those judgments would be.