Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Good Luck Jason!

So, last week I was in the Pittsburgh, PA International Airport and I ran into Jason Stanford. He was a left-handed pitcher in the Cleveland Indians organization. He and his wife and baby of 4 weeks were on their way to his first college, Barton County Community College of Great Bend, Kansas where he was being inducting into their baseball hall of fame.
Jason was signed as an amateur free agent by the Indians in 1999 after being an All-Conference selection at the University of North Carolina. He was promoted to the majors from Triple-A in 2007 but released later that year. Last season, he played in the Washington Nationals and the Chicago Cubs minor league systems.
Although Jason did not have a stellar career with the Indians, he rates the Indians organization as the best he has ever been associated with.
Jason has signed with a new agent and is once again a free agent looking to catch on with a team.
Good luck to Jason Stanford. I hope he catches on with someone and gets another shot at the "Bigs." Perhaps it could be with the Indians one more time.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

We Are Ready...Are The Indians?

The recent acquisition of RHP Carl Pavano adds another dimension of talent to the 2009 edition of the Cleveland Indians. They have improved themselves in the off season and look to be ready to compete for the Central Division title once again. But taking into account all of the recent injuries and adding to that the new players that are also so injury prone, the question is, are they ready?
Our pitchers have a long history of abdominal muscle pulls and arm strains. CC Sabathia, Jake Westbrook, Cliff Lee, and many others suffered these injuries over the last several years as Cleveland Indians. We all remember the Joe Borowski (no injury) incident. At the very least, he had to be suffering from a strained neck watching balls go over the scoreboard. Enter Carl Pavano and Kerry Wood, two guys that will need to stay healthy despite their chronic injury problems.
Opening day, catcher Victor Martinez went down with a pulled hamstring as he rumbled into second base. He played on with the injury all while hiding a shoulder problem.
Travis Hafner must be at 100% or he will not produce the numbers he is capable of as well as the numbers the Tribe is depending on him to produce.
Is Shin Soo Choo healthy at this point?
When can Jake Westbrook safely return without risk of additional injury?
Do the Indians have a strong enough medical corps. to support the conditioning and training necessary to last the season in health?
Recent history would support looking at getting a prescription in that department because it is just as critical as what is needed on the field with this collection of talented but injury-prone professionals.

Saturday, January 3, 2009


Yawn! The Tribe acquired Mark DeRosa from the Cubs for 3 minor league pitchers. Don't get too excited, we now have a little more depth. He had a pretty good year in '08 batting .285 with 30 doubles, 21 home runs, and 87 RBIs. That ranks him on the team as 2nd in average, 4th in doubles, 3rd in homers, and 4th in RBIs.
Well, OK...maybe we should get excited a little.
I am sure that Little Italy will embrace him but not to the extent of favorite "adopted" son Rocky Colavito...not just yet.
So, have we improved?
Yeah, sure we have.
Kerry Wood will be a dominant closer if he stays healthy, but the Indians have a poor record of late with keeping pitchers healthy. Almost the entire staff has been decimated over the last several years with muscle pulls that seem to be screaming out to poor conditioning.
Cliff Lee must come back strong.
Travis Hafner must put up very strong numbers and be the dominant force that he once was.
Asdrubal Cabrera has to produce on offense...period.
The outfield of Sizemore, Fransico, and Choo will be solid in offense and defense.
Scott Lewis will be counted on heavily to prove that his late season heroics were for real.
OK, now I am beginning to get excited!