Tribe Top Prospect Has Nothing Left to Prove in Buffalo
Poetic Justice? A Sign from Above? Sweet Irony? Whatever the case, it was certainly fitting. Jeremy Sowers tossed a stellar one-hit masterpiece in AAA on the same weekend in which Jason Johnson had his worst of many poor outings this year.
Both of the weekend starts certainly continued opposite trends for both pitchers.
Jason Johnson, the Indian’s “we have all the money left and no one to sign” acquisition late in the offseason, has been horrendous since an impressive first few weeks in a Tribe uniform. So bad that his latest drubbing Saturday night raised his ERA to a hefty 6.52.
He surrendered 10 hits in only 3 2/3 innings before finally getting the hook from Eric Wedge.
Meanwhile, Jeremy Sowers is getting more and more impressive each time he takes the bump for the Buffalo Bisons. He is currently the proud owner of a miniscule 1.07 ERA and has been effective in all nine of his starts. He notched his sixth win of the year with Friday’s one-hitter, and has shown a remarkable ability to change speeds and locate all of his pitches.
It is apparent that Sowers is ready for prime time. Getting him to Cleveland, though, may be a bit tricky. From the outside looking in, I see two scenarios in which this can take place.
The first involves an EMT crew on hand when Mark Shapiro tells Larry Dolan to eat the remainder of Johnson’s near $4 million one-year contract. That is not going to happen.
The second would be to move Jason Johnson to the bullpen. This is a viable, reasonable option that should take place.
The domino effect would land Sowers in the rotation to begin the process of becoming a major league pitcher. Johnson, despite his rocky start in Cleveland, is a proven innings eater. He would be a legitimate option to burn through a lot of frames in long relief.
Fausto Carmona, who was excellent in relief for Johnson, could be moved back into the starting rotation in Buffalo. The youngster has three above average pitches and fits the mold of a starter much more than that of a reliever. Nip the Danys Baez experiment in the bud.
With any luck, Tribe management is thinking the same way and we will see Jeremy in Detroit next week.