Thursday, March 27, 2008

OUCH! That's Gonna Hurt (For A While)...

Ben Francisco gets shipped off to Triple A Buffalo!
In the final roster move today, the Cleveland Indians got down to their 25 man team to begin the 2008 season. In a move very similar to the start of the 2005 season, the Indians kept David Dellucci over Ben Francisco. In 2005, the Indians kept injury-prone Juan Gonzales in their starting outfield over Grady Sizemore, to enable Grady to play every day until he was ready to come back to the "bigs". It turned out that Juan injured himself in his first at bat and Grady was called up to stay almost immediately.
That is not to say that I am wishing anyone gets hurt. On the contrary, I have tremendous respect for David Dellucci. I love his enthusiastic approach to the game and I love his fire when he comes to the defense of his teammates. You will recall, on Friday, May 4th, 2007, Dellucci, who was on deck, saw a clean and aggressive play unfold before his eyes as teammate Josh Barfield attempted to score as Blue Jays catcher Jason Phillips blocked the plate. Barfield was called out but Phillips took exception to the hard-hitting slide. As Phillips went after Barfield, David Dellucci fearlessly got in Phillips grill big time! Dellucci is a very lovable and colorful player. As you will recall, in one of his slumps last year, he called on a hometown friend to help him out. Sister Dolce told David, "Relax and take God to the plate with you." David hit a triple and a home run that night to win the game. Dellucci went down with a leg injury running out a grounder soon after that, another admirable baseball trait.
The point is, the better player is going to AAA. This spring, Dellucci batted only .220 with an OBP of .319 and a slugging % of .390. Francisco batted .362 with an OBP of .404 and a slugging % of .617. Neither player made an error and actually both players made some very nice plays in left field.
I want David Dellucci to be very successful, hopefully with the Indians. I want Francisco to be on this team because I think he should start in left field for us. I see Dellucci as a utility player and Francisco as an everyday player. I see Francisco as the corner outfield slugger this team needs everyday.
That’s the tough part of breaking camp from Spring Training. Someone gets a tough deal with a pat on the back and hope for the future.
What can solve this dilemma?
A trade! We are rich with outfielders. Jason Michaels would probably draw much interest. We have a pretty good hitting but average infielder in Andy Marte, who is considered by many teams as a future star. We are pretty strong in pitching as well.
Anyway, we gotta get Francisco on this team quickly.
But it’s all good!
It’s all positive!
We’ve been waiting a long, long time for these type of “problems!”
It is a great time to be a Cleveland Indians Fan!
Come back, Ben Francisco, the sooner the better!

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