I think I've reached the point that I'm asking, "What's the point?"
Seriously, why even bother with the charade in giving Matt LaPorta another opportunity to, as they say it, "force his way into" the first base picture. Or the left field picture, or any picture for that matter.
What's the point?
Sure, he's hit 19 home runs, knocked in almost 80 runs for the Clippers once again. But we've seen it before.
And we've seen this before.
The Indians called LaPorta up from Triple-A yesterday and intend to give him steady playing time from here on out, with the bulk of it at first base being most likely. But the thing is, this isn't any different from any other time. Unless he suddenly goes off and continues to put up the numbers he did down in Columbus, then things won't change. Even if he is marginal, this team is clearly moving on. What they do with Matt LaPorta is irrelevant because he is a bust. He is a lost cause for this organization. They may want to pretend he's an option, but he's not.
He's still around for two reasons. He's depth and he's still under control. Because he's under control and he had an option year left, that's the only reason the Indians kept him around. They see him exactly for what he is, a player who can play well in the minor leagues and hit for power down there, but when challenged with offspeed pitches, the hole in his swing is as apparent as a hole in the back of someone's pants.
The Indians did call him up earlier in the season, but for what reason? To cover the roster spot of Johnny Damon, who left on pataernity leave for a few days. After that, LaPorta was right back down in classic, "You're just a depth guy to us" fashion. He had options, but after this season, he will be out of them and that is when they'll likely cut the cord at the first crossroads they reach in making a roster decision.
Antonetti will say he has an opportunity and his performance matters down the stretch. But it really doesn't. As I said, unless he suddenly fixes everything that has kept him from becoming a Major League hitter and develops into that power-hitting first baseman the Indians THOUGHT they were acquiring when they pulled the trigger on the CC Sabathia deal, his performance does not matter.
The odds of that happening? Very slim in my mind. We've seen this one too many times with LaPorta and the Indians, although they won't say it, are pretty much indifferent about LaPorta being any sort of realistic option for this team. He would have been up sooner if he was. They would have called him up to help this offense when they needed it, not close to September when they're out of the race.
If this team thinks they have something in Lars Anderson, they should just give him the opportunity to start right now and give him the at-bats he needs. His .196 average in Columbus be damned, there's no better time to get someone who needs major league at-bats then right now, with a handful of games left in a season that means nothing standings-wise.
If they don't, they run the risk of dancing with Anderson the for as long as they've danced with LaPorta, which has been entirely too long. This team needs to move on and find a new answer at first base, because they ruled out LaPorta a long time ago.
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