Thursday, July 26, 2007

Cliff Diving

Cliff Lee’s usefulness, to me, in the Indians’ organization has come to an unceremonious end. Tipping his cap (not in this picture, but as he ran off the field) to the cascade of boos raining around him as he exited his 3rd straight start allowing 7 runs has brought me to the conclusion that it’s time to cast him aside and see what other options exist internally to take the bump every 5 games.

Finishing the month of July with a 1-4 record, an ERA of 9.00, and a WHIP of 1.71, Lee has earned himself a trip to Buffalo (that one option remains as a wake-up call to Cliff), the bullpen, or elsewhere. If this were a blip or had the look of an aberration, the leash would be longer; but Lee has been regressing for 1 ½ years now and seems to be too headstrong to accept what is happening to him.

Perhaps that pitcher that held such promise a few short years ago exists somewhere under Lee’s jersey, but it’s getting harder and harder to imagine as his starts have become embarrassments, particularly when they follow the virtuoso performances of C.C. and Fausto the previous two nights.

There’s no mystery about why Mark Shapiro has spent the past two days in Buffalo watching Jeremy Sowers (5 IP, 8 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 5 K yesterday) and Aaron Laffey (6 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 3 K today) start, both of whom are on schedule to take Lee’s next start which is…July 31st!
Isn’t there something else happening on July 31st?
Can Cliff Lee be an active participant?


Voltaire said...

I take issue with the statement that Lee has been regressing over the past 2 1/2 years - 2 years ago was his best season. Last year was below average, and this year has been awful.

I think it would be rash for the Indians to trade Lee simply to be rid of him. I would prefer he go to the bullpen or Buffalo. If another team eyes him as part of a deal, then, and only then (so says me), should he be dealt.

Why? Because you never want to get rid of a starter who has shown success when you don't have to.

Paul Cousineau said...

Absolutely right on the years.

Switched to 1 1/2 years.
The vitriol clouded my eyes and judgment.

t-bone said...

I'm even more mad at Lee today for denying to reporters he tipped his cap. They even showed it on the WWL, for Pete's sake!

Cy Slapnicka said...

i just read that lee has 2 options left but would have to clear waivers if he was optioned. what is true? i remember you wrote something about this recently or linked to someone writing about it but am too lazy to look it up.

i don't know if i want to trade him just yet, but the club definitely needs to send him a strong message. this is the only time i can remember him acting like a prick since he's been an indian. we don't know what caused the problems between him and the stick, so its unfair to jump to conclusions. we have the luxury of having mgmt that built a team of what on the surface appears to be decent human beings. lee acting like a child in not the response we want from him, but remember, he is probably more frustrated (i hope) with his performance than us!

and lets not forget he won 14,18, and 14 games the past 3 years, came in 4th in Cy Young voting 2 years ago(behind these scrubs: Colon, Rivera, & Santana), is only 28 and is signed for 3 more years at a steal if he gets back on track. we are not dealing with an unproven rookie or jason johnson here. so everyone take a deep breath and step away from the trade button. unless we get real value for him, i think it is foolish to trade him. i know he's regressing, but he only has 3 full years in the show.

on to more positive news, glad to see garko-my-god-did-you-see-how-far-he-hit-that continue hitting the cover off the ball. these are his July numbers OBP/SLG/OPS/AVG .486/.767/1.253/.417!!! good golly miss molly. the only reason his stats aren't as amazing is b/c his June was awful and he has about 100 less ABs than full time starters. I think its high time we find him more ABs and move him into the 4-hole until Pronk gets going. May as well ride him while he's hot.

btw, if you get the MOJO HD channel (I have Comcast) they have an outstanding program called "The Show" where they document some Diamondback players experience in the minors by following them around.

Cy Slapnicka said...

what i also meant to say about lee and how mgmt has built this team, i think his actions stand out more to us b/c we don't have a sheffield or bonds or various others that get lots of attention for being jerk-offs.