Sunday, March 29, 2009

Lazy, Link-Filled Sunday

Hey Troops. T-Bone again pinch hitting as Paul is wrapping up a long weekend in Arizona. I’d say it’s safe to say Paul is making the most of his trip out west, as I received the following text from him late-afternoon yesterday: “I’m sitting 8 ft from Wedge.” This was followed about 30 seconds later with the picture over to the right. Very jealous I am.

OK, let’s get onto the link-filled Lazy:

Soon after we posted yesterday the 25th man spot was down to BARField and Graffanino, Castro updated his blog to finally confirm BARField indeed won the job, with Terry Pluto reporting the same. As Paul has covered in depth as recently as Tuesday, Josh’s transformation into a “super-utility guy” and his speed on the base paths made the decision easy for Wedgie. Well, that and the fact the brass would prefer Trevor Crowe get some regular ABs down in Columbus. "If there were room for Trevor to play once or twice a week, he may have made the team," said Wedge.

And if you’re iffy on the current OF situation, you have to like this quote from Asst. GM Chris Antonetti:

“He [Crowe] is very close to big-league ready. We have three outfielders at Columbus [Matt LaPorta, Michael Brantley and Crowe] and all three could conceivably be ready to help us this season. They all had good camps and give us real depth.”

Looch, if you’re reading, I’d advise going month-to-month on your lease rather than renewing for the year. You’ll thank me later.

With the last bench spot being decided, the last decision to be made is the last bullpen spot. Like with Laffey/Slewis and the fifth starter race, it seems the Tribe wanted to hand the last bully spot to Zach Jackson, but noneother than Vinnie Chulk is pitching his tail off and may be the go-to guy here. At the game Paul witnessed yesterday, Jackson started and gave up five runs in four innings (and that’s 21 hits and 14 earned runs in 18 1/3 innings if you’re counting at home). Chulk followed Jackson, tossing three scoreless innings allowing just three hits and lowering his Cactus League ERA to 1.72. Castro points out Jackson has the facts he can go long and is left handed going for him, but his spring ERA of 6.87 isn’t helping his cause. Also worth noting is while both Jackson and Chulk can be sent to AAA, Chulk would have to be in the bigs by May 15th or can opt out of his deal.

Time to see what else is being talking about…

Like Paul, Terry Pluto has been taking in Cactus League action this week. On Thursday, while first giving every disclaimer he could possibly come up with, Pluto writes on Carl Pavano showing promise this spring. Friday Terry went talking to himself, touching on the Tribe trio of lefties, concluding that amongst Slewis, Laffey Taffey and Sweet ‘n Sowers, in time one will emerge as a consistent MLB starter. Also on Friday, TP hits up minor league camp and talks Carlos Rivero, John Molean, Lonnie Chisenhall, Wes Hodges, Carlos Santana and Michael Brantley. Yesterday brought another piece on The Artist Formerly Known as Pronk, and today’s “About the Indians…” notes Grady and Jhonny are looking good, Garko has emerged as the fourth outfielder rather than the Looch, Laffey gave away the fifth rotation spot, and Sowers will probably be the first brought up should a starter get off to a rocky start.

Atom Miller’s prognosis got slightly better this week, as he’s now had nine throwing sessions with no setbacks and may be able to avoid this season-ending/career-threatening surgery.

The Tribe claimed Jae Kuk Rye Thursday, in case you missed it.

Handful of good reads over at The Cleveland Fan, including minor-league guru Tony Lastoria’s wrapup on his Top 100 Prospects list, Swerb’s 16 Greatest Trades in Tribe History, and Lastoria’s nightmarish tale of getting from Cleveland to Goodyear on Thursday.

My favorite read of the week comes from Adam Vanarsdale over at Let’s Go Tribe, as he watched the Tribe/Padres game Wednesday over the shoulders of Mark Shapiro and Chris Antonetti. LOTS of great material here, including seemingly “off the record” thoughts on Pavano, Hafner, Crowe, Chulk, Sizemore, Marte, and the current state of the Padres.

Quickly looking around the Central...

Be happy you’re not a Tiger fan. Not only does Detroit not know their fifth starter, they don’t know their fourth, Bonderman could miss the start of the regular season, and both Joel Zumaya and Dontrelle Willis were put on the 15-day DL today, Willis with an anxiety disorder.

The Royals too are having rotation questions, so much that Sidney Ponson is being considered.

The uncertainty of the Joe Mauer injury in Minnesota, is looking eerily similar to what we went through with Pronk.

And in Chicago, good ol’ Bartolo Colon is making strides towards making the rotation.

In housekeeping items, we’re going to try the Twitter thing. Could use it as little as Paul’s stories are posted, could send out “tweets” any time any Indians-relevant news happens. If you’re so inclined, jump aboard!

Alright troops, that’s all I’ve got for now. In closing, we’ll go out of the box and ask y’all to sign Jimmy Fallon’s Saved By The Bell Reunion petition. In honor of SBTB’s 20th anniversary, he’s trying to assemble the cast on his show, already having Mr. Belding on board. SBTB is 20 years old already? Yikes, I’m getting old.

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