Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Onward and Up...er...onward.

Well, Eric Wedge has a couple more months as Chief in Cleveland. That's not what I'm writing about though, that horse has been beaten to death.

I want to talk about the positive, because here at the Wahoo Blues we like to look at the good side of following a last place team.

Grady Sizemore hit two home runs tonight, further improving his status out of the leadoff spot. Choo followed his lead and put one out of the park continuing his offensive explosion and giving fans something to be happy about.

Tomorrow night Aaron Laffey is making his first start since being injured early in the season. It will be good to see his return and hopefully it will give our bullpen a much needed rest. Prior to being sidelined Laffey was 3-1 with a 3.93 ERA in four starts and six appearances out of the bullpen.

The best part of this move means that Tomo Ohka will no longer be starting and (very?) soon Jeremy Sowers will also be out of the rotation. Ohka, to his credit, pitched well in a few outings, Sowers, however, never really lasted well through five innings. Sowers has gone 2-6 in nine starts allowing 33 earned runs in 52 innings pitched.

If there is a silver lining in those poor numbers it's that perhaps Sowers will be a viable bullpen option. I expect the lefty to be sent to Columbus over the All-Star break where he will get an extended look in the 'pen. Should he be able to continue pitching strong early in his appearances there is no reason to believe that he could not contribute in some manner down the road.

Fausto Carmona will be getting one more start at AAA before coming back to the big club. On Friday he will take the rubber for Columbus against Memphis, and should things go well I would expect him to be a part of the break rotation shuffle.

That shuffle could bring an improved looking rotation, lining up something like: Lee, Pavano, Laffey, Carmona, Huff and you have to believe that Jake Westbrook is not far behind.

Of course, who sits when Westbrook comes back? If Huff continues to pitch well it will really put the heat on Aaron Laffey to earn his spot. Right behind him in AAA is the newly promoted Hector Rondon who will be looking to make an impact in Cleveland in the not-too-distant future.

Also tearing up the diamond in Columbus is third baseman Andy Marte who was named the International League Batter of the Week for the second week running. He hit .458 with two homers, six RBIs and eight extra-base hits last week and is currently tied for second in the league in batting average.

Though Marte may not have a spot (or be wanted) in Cleveland, his numbers put him in prime position to become part of a trade before the July 31st deadline.

Other young guns who are proving their worth are Nick Weglarz and Carlos Santana, whom I will be watching play in the All Star Futures Game. I hope to be able to post pictures sometime after the weekend.

Since we're not dwelling on the bad we won't discuss Chris Perez giving up a grand salami to Konerko, or the fact that the team traded a 20-something, unproven reliever for a 32 year old reliever with a spotty record. We just won't.

Stay strong Tribe fans. There's a whole half a season left to contemplate how 2010 will go.

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