Drop it because it's hot. Zeke Carrera's gonna create a new song here soon.
July 24th, 2011
Chicago White Sox - 4
Cleveland Indians - 2
W: Edwin Jackson (7-7) L: Justin Masterson (8-7) S: Sergio Santos (20)
Michael Brantley, from before the game, about him and Ezequiel Carrera in the outfield.
"There's not going to be too many balls that drop in," Brantley said. "I got his back and he's got mine. It's a great thing to watch."
Unless of course the balls that drop in are...dropped.
Pip-Zeke (as I've now dubbed him) dropped a rather routine ball in deep center field with two outs. The catch would have ended the inning and secured a 1-1 tie for Justin Masterson. Instead the ball hit the turf after bouncing off the facing of the glove of Carrera and two runs scored. Effectively giving Justin Masterson a well un-deserved loss.
"That type of ball, in a big situation like that," Carrera said through an interpreter, "I can't remember the last time. It doesn't feel good."
It doesn't. It also makes me curious as to why Zeke was wearing a nice pair of white expensive sunglasses on the top of his hat. Let's just say, for kicks and giggles that the sun was out. It's still daytime and when you are running, do you think you really have the coordination to take them off the top of your hat and put them on your face while you are also trying to corral a ball hit high in the air?
Sure, he probably would have had them on to begin with. But it's still light out. Why not put them damn things on? What good do they do on top of your hat?
And Rick Manning contested that the sun wasn't the problem. But Carrera struggled with that ball the whole time. He stumbled, moved to his side and when he finally located it, he closed his glove too early. Showing me he lost the ball and was simply guessing based off time. The sun effected him, he had his glasses on top of his hat, and he looks like a fool, double time.
I hate to boil the game down to one error, but that really was it. Of course, three errors, a season high, actually contributed to all but one run being scored, but that was a huge momentum shift. Masterson was out of the inning. The Indians went on to score their second run of the game in the bottom of the frame. Instead of taking a one run lead, that run only brought them within one.
What it really does, is ruin what was another fantastic start by Masterson. What does this guy have to do to get a break? A little run support? Some good defense? A little something something would go a long way. Instead the guy gives up one earned run and losses the game.
The errors take away largely from the poor offense, which failed to score more than two runs in these quick two games against the White Sox.
Tony Sipp put on his best Rafael Betancourt impression in the ninth inning. Holy smokes did that ballgame hit a screeching halt when he came in.
The sequence against Santos in the ninth inning was stomach turning. You have a guy coming in to get two outs and he can't throw two strikes without the help of the umpire. Four straight to Santana puts him on, two more to Orlando before he starts chucking away. Really, the guy can't hit the zone, and you're swinging? Take at least two pitches. When you get up 2-0, don't even think of swinging. Just let him get himself into trouble.
Chisenhall has one eye and he had a better at-bat than Cabrera did. It ended with Vizquel having to make a good play to record the out, but he was really making Santos work. And if not for an excellent frame job by Punch A.J. on Lonnie's first strike, who knows.
Santos recorded two saves this weekend but recorded three outs. Showing how some saves can be really overrated.
Carrera did knock in one run in this one. But he gave up two with his error. So that's a -1 in hockey world, or whatever.
If I could backup to Friday, that game essentially came down to one pitch to Carlos Quentin. I'm a little concerned with four walks by Carrasco though. Along with six strikeouts, that's really erratic. He went into the seventh, and that resembles some of the starts he'd put up in Columbus last year.
[THE KIP SHOW]
Many are outraged at the "timeshare" going on at second base with newly promoted stud Jason Kipnis and aging veteran Orlando Cabrera.
I'm one of them.
Let's let Manny Acta state his case first.
"[I'll decide by] mostly matchups and stuff," Acta said.
And stuff huh? Look, I love Manny Acta, for quotes such as those. But I think he opens himself up for the second-guessing when he uses reasoning like this. If you wanna encrypt your messages, that's cool. But "and stuff?" And stuff?
That's like a mother asking her son what he did at school today.
"What do you do at school today, Manuel?"
"We learned, and stuff."
I prescribe to the Manny Acta idea (that isn't just his idea) of everything working itself out. But this isn't a time to see how things work out. Matchups and stuff isn't going to work for me. Because I see Orlando Cabrera up in there swinging at a wild Sergio Santos, and I get really irritated.
Mainly, I get irritated because this is exactly how Cord Phelps ended up doomed. This is why you don't bring players up from the minor leagues, of the ilk of a Kipnis or a Chisenhall (highly regarded prospects), unless you are going to play them full-time at their own position. Phelps mainly failed offensively and defensively because he got inconsistent playing time. Acta started favoring his veteran, who went on a hot-streak and that's all well and good.
But now you've Jason Kipnis up here. And Jason Kipnis is not Cord Phelps. He's been a much ballyhooed second baseman of the future. He's ripped it up with Columbus and he's here to not save the offense, but perhaps give it a much needed boost along with Chisenhall. He's not going to do that sharing time and getting inconsistent at-bats and starts.
So when Manny Acta says "and stuff" he damn well better mean "I'm going to play Jason Kipnis more often than not." He did say that it isn't a "straight-up platoon" but that he'll play Kipnis "as he sees fit." He saw fit to play Orlando Cabrera against Edwin Jackson because of career numbers. However Cabrera's career line against Jackson has been tilting downward the past few times out, so it wasn't a well researched decision.
Acta also said that Kipnis isn't a finished product but that they still feel he "can come in and help us win." I translate that as, they aren't looking for him to light the world on fire, but just to contribute. And that's fine, but Acta can't play him as if he's looking just for a contribution here and there. He has to go out and give Kipnis more than the lion's share of the playing time. If Kipnis and Cabrera have both purchased this timeshare. Kipnis better own 90 percent of it.
Chisenhall said something interesting in regards to his playing time, not directly, but just in talking about playing for a first place club.
"It's nice to be battling for first place," Chisenhall said. "To have these guys be a part of it and them to sneak us in the lineup every now and then, that's pretty fun to build on that and develop in crucial situations."
"Sneak us in the lineup every now and then?"
Is that what "and stuff" means? I know what Lonnie mean, but he shouldn't be taking that attitude. He should be taking the attitude that he's here to play everyday and do more than contribute. He's here to hit and play everyday.
And so is Kipnis. So let's go ahead and play him everyday...and stuff.
[AN OUTFIELDER WILL CARRY US HOME]
Well, in case you were wondering, the Indians aren't sellers.
"This year, we're not just developing guys and using the year just to rebuild and be buried 20 games out of first place," Acta said. "We're in it, so there's a possibility that we'll be buyers instead of moving guys out of our locker room. It's a totally different story."
Acta said post game, very oddly, that "the truth will come out" and that everyone will be shocked for a long time after they "find out what effort the team has put into" making a move in the trade department. Acta went on to say that the right deal would have to be made and that this isn't just about this year, it's about every year.
"We're involved. All of us are involved. We're just looking for the right deal. If we are going to give away some of our best guys, we're going to have to bring somebody that is probably going to be under control, too, for us where we can keep him around. It's just going to have to be the right deal. They're working hard -- believe me. I have no need to be sweet-talking anything or to lie to you guys."
So rest assured Cleveland, the Indians are working to make a deal.
Acta was also asked about moving Kipnis in the outfield, but seemed pretty committed to that idea not happening. He said it's a possibility down the road, but if it was me, it wouldn't even be considered. The kid hasn't started there since 2009 and the whole point of moving him to second base is so his bat translates. And he made a nice play there on Friday. So why do that?
After all this work and time you've put in for the past two years making him a second baseman, it seems stupid to just put him in the outfield anyway, even though it would be temporary.
The latest in terms of the trade market? Hey, remember what I said about the whole "rumor" thing. Plenty of rumors are out there, but really, you just have to wait until things are really close before you get excited. And you'll know it when it's close. The latest name coming up is B.J. Upton of the Rays. Again, another nice name to think about, but to me, looks like more of a Beltran or a Pence-like package than a Ludwick/Willingham deal.
On a more smaller scale, it appears that the Indians have at least talked to the Dodgers. Again, not unlikely because they've probably talked to a lot of teams that have declared themselves as "sellers" this trade deadline season. But not for Matt Kemp. They apparently had eyes for Jamey Carroll (eh?), and starter Hiroki Kuroda. They also were linked to Padres starter Aaron Harang, as well as Ryan Ludwick, but there's been nothing on that front.
Oakland doesn't just have Josh Willingham, but apparently, Coco Crisp's (Easter Egg for ya) name came up, according to Jon Heyman. The SI Writer seems to have a lot of names always coming up though. I take his trade rumors with a grain of salt really.
One thing to remember about B.J. Upton is he would actually be more than a half-year rental. He'd come with a larger price tag because he'd be a player you could keep for more than just a half a season.
As for who would be outgoing prospect-wise. The Indians claim four untouchables, Kipnis, Chisenhall, Alex White, and Drew Pomeranz. I wouldn't deal any of them, mainly because I wouldn't be making a deal for a Pence or a Kemp, and those are the guys you'd be dealing to get a Pence or a Kemp.
CPD's Dennis Manoloff says Nick Hagadone, "a shade below" untouchable status garners interest from clubs. I'm not trading Hagadone either. He presents an interesting piece because he's now a reliever, a dominant one at that. But he could be a great starter. But you are unsure as to if he'll ever make it there. For that, he has a lot of value, but there could be a lot left on the table with Hagadone, making it rather risky to deal, but also a good trade chip if he is nothing more than an back-end reliever.
Terry Pluto's wish of bringing Beau Mills up to Columbus was granted. He's having a comeback run after falling on hard times the past few years in Double-A Akron. The former first round pick seems like a perfect sell-high candidate to me. Although the risk there is the first base depth in the Indians organization is pretty weak. And Matt LaPorta is leaving a lot to be desired.
This heat did get to somebody. Michael Brantley specifically. The speedy outfielder was slowed down by "heat exhaustion" this past week.
"It was terrible," Brantley said. "I really couldn't keep fluids down or food down. Everything I ate or drank came right back up. When you're doing that, you don't really have much energy and it's really hard to play like that, so we just thought it was best to take a couple steps back and rest."
It's a shame too, because Brantley was swinging a bat that was hotter than the weather. He was really on to something and at a time where offense seems to be non-existent, you could really use the numbers he was putting him.
One guy that is starting to find himself is Lonnie Chisenhall, who seems to be settling in at the big leagues. Not only is it great from a "hey we called this guy up to contribute and he's doing it" perspective, but after getting hit the face by a baseball, you have to be extra relieved.
Chisenhall has five hits in his last three games now, including a solo home run.
Alex White went through a full bullpen session on Friday, throwing all his pitches and is slated to toss a simulated game on Monday.
White felt fine Saturday, which gives the Indians the go-ahead to progress. If all goes well in the simulated game, that could likely mean a rehab assignment.
The rotation now looks like this after the shuffling, then re-shuffling after the rain-out on Saturday: Carmona on Monday against Haren, Tomlin versus Weaver on Tuesday, and David Huff goes on Wednesday. Huff was moved up to face the White Sox instead of Carmona, but now will not pitch until Wednesday, after last pitching on Monday.
Finally, congratulations to former Indians Roberto Alomar and Bert Blyleven for entering the Baseball Hall of Fame on Sunday. Both did not go in as Indians and didn't spend a whole lot of time in Cleveland, but both had a lot of success while with the Tribe and of course, Robbie is pretty near and dear to our hearts in Cleveland, not just for the era of Tribe ball he played in, but because his brother is pretty near and dear to our hearts as well.
Speaking of Hall of Fame. How about Omar Vizquel's play to end the game yesterday? Old man still has it.
[RAFAEL PEREZ TWEET WATCH]
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You can follow Nino on Twitter @TheTribeDaily where he doesn't tweet unfounded rumors to get your hopes up. You can also read more Morning Rundown and other features at his blog, The Tribe Daily.