Sunday, April 20, 2008

What Would You Do?

If you were Mark Shapiro, Vice President and General Manager of the Cleveland Indians, what would you do about the poor start of the team?
Shapiro continues to state that it is too early to react. In defining “react” by Shapiro’s terms, that means changing the 25 man roster by bringing up a pitcher, hitter, or position player for reasons other than to replace an injured player.
Although a couple of the decisions to who made up the 25 man roster breaking training camp were scrutinized, most of the problems the Indians are having probably could not be corrected with new bodies.
Instead, the fans are looking for a reaction with the current team, or better said, they are looking for a reaction FROM the current team.
It appears that the defense has improved recently and so has the pitching, with the exception of C.C. Sabathia. The offense, on the other hand, has failed to improve and that is the root of the problems of the 7 – 11 Cleveland Indians.
What about C.C.?
The speculation has been anything from mechanical, to physical, to contract negotiations weighing heavy on his mind, to this leader trying to carry the team on his shoulders since the playoffs last season. It was reported that Fausto Carmona’s delivery needed a mechanical tune-up. Fausto worked on the adjustments and it appears that this pitcher has returned to form. C.C.’s delivery and follow-through appear to be out of sync since October. I still maintain that because C.C. was not getting the strike calls in the playoffs that he was getting all season long, he is unable to make minor adjustments to his pitch locations and he is over-compensating by leaving the ball to close to the “hot zone” for most batters. C.C. needs two things; he needs to regain his confidence in locating his pitches low and away as well as low and in and he needs to have a road game where he gets run support to allow him to find this confidence. Tuesday against the Royals will do just fine.
What about the offense?
I have not read much of anything about extra batting practice. All we know is that manager Eric Wedge finally became frustrated on Thursday and called a closed-door meeting. The results were an 11 run assault on the Tigers with a fantastic pitching performance by Carmona and a strong relief performance as well. The effects of that meeting carried through the next night as the Indians beat the Twins 4-0. However, the “butt-chewing” might have cooled off unless young pitcher Blackburn was just that over-powering on the offense Saturday. We will see today as the offense faces RHP Scott Baker who is 1-1 vs. the Indians with a 2.80 ERA.
RHP Paul Byrd goes for the Tribe and he has a 6-1 record in the Metrodome with a 2.11 ERA.

If I were Mark Shapiro, I would be mandating a reaction FROM this team before they get a reaction from Shapiro.

Look for the Indians to rebound this afternoon and take only their second series of the young season.

Otherwise, Eric-bar-the-doors and get ready to do your best impression of “Jaws!”

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