In typical Indians’ fashion, not much has gone as planned so far in 2009. With June arriving, here’s a look at how the Tribe got here.
Raise a hand if you thought Greg Aquino, Luis Vizcaino and Matt Herges would be important parts of the Indians bullpen.
Raise a hand if you even knew who Greg Aquino, Luis Vizcaino and Matt Herges were before the season started.
The 2009 Tribe season hasn’t quite gone as forecasted. As June approaches, how did the Indians arrive at this point (21-29 entering Saturday)? Let us ponder the ways, both good and bad:
- Twenty-two different pitchers have graced the Indians roster this season (For fun, try to name each one without cheating). They used 21 in all of 2007. The Tribe also trotted out 45 different lineups through the first 50 games this season. Cohesion anyone?
- After gaining five total wins from May 23, 2005 to April 30, 2009 (a span of 1,438 days) Carl Pavano could get his sixth win this month alone. He takes the hill opposite Phil Hughes at 12:40 today.
- On Rafael Perez’s 15.19 ERA to start the season, Manager Eric Wedge said, “Nobody would have ever guessed that coming out of Spring Training. ... Sometimes you don’t see things coming.” The good news is Perez apparently found himself at Triple-A Columbus and is already back.
Not so surprising
- The Indians helped torpedo their 2008 season by not hitting early in the campaign. This season, they again collectively tripped out of the box, with Grady Sizemore, Jhonny Peralta, Mark DeRosa, Ben Francisco and Kelly Shoppach as the main culprits.
- Travis Hafner didn’t make it through April without a trip to the disabled list.
Don’t blame them
- The performances of Victor Martinez, Asdrubal Cabrera and Shin-Soo Choo shouldn’t be ignored. Martinez spent some time batting .400 before coming down to Earth this week. Cabrera hit so well Wedge inserted him in the lead-off spot the past two weeks. He doesn’t look to be going anywhere. Entering Saturday, he’s batting .347 since going to the No. 1 spot. Choo has been reliable in the middle of the order. He entered Saturday fifth in the American League in walks (32) and ninth in on-base percentage (.408).
- As the national media continues to throw him in trade rumors, Cliff Lee (2-6, 3.16) has pitched well without much help from his teammates. In his six losses, they’ve scored seven runs total and been shut out twice.
- Aaron Laffey was one of the few bright spots of the first two months, whether he was pitching as a starter or reliever. Then an oblique injury landed him on the shelf for four to six weeks.
- The Indians have three starting pitchers — Jake Westbrook, Scott Lewis and Anthony Reyes — on the 60-day DL. Westbrook and Lewis should be back this summer. Reyes probably is done for 2009.
- In a long-awaited move, Sizemore is dropped from the lead-off spot in the order. Now the Indians hope Sizemore’s irritated elbow doesn’t drop him to the disabled list.
- In another long-awaited move, Peralta is moved to third base from shortstop, where his limited range made him a liability. Peralta has looked good at the hot corner.
- Mark DeRosa has started at third, first, right field and left field. But he hasn’t started at second base, his primary position with the Cubs during his career year of 2008, when he hit 21 home runs and drove in 87 runs. Luis Valbuena shows some signs of being a nice player some day, but one has to wonder why DeRosa hasn’t been utilized at second. On a side note, his name has come up in a lot of trade rumors. He’s in the final year of a free-agent deal he signed with the Cubs.
Should we worry?
- Still waiting to see the Fausto Carmona of 2007.
- Kerry Wood has looked dominant at times. He also had a 6.35 ERA entering Saturday.
- Rafael Betancourt has quietly put together a quality first two months of the season. And, with the unlikely contributions of guys such as Aquino, Herges, Vizcaino and Jeremy Sowers, the bullpen finally appears major-league caliber. Now the Indians need Perez and Jensen Lewis to jump on-board.
Bang for the buck
- In the final year of his three-year, $11.5 million contract, David Dellucci was designated for assignment Friday. Which means he earned roughly $169,117.65 for every run he drove in as an Indian.