Don’t Tell My Heart, My Aiken Breaky Heart: Tribe Notes 6/10

Rock the (2015 MLB All-Star Game) Vote, fools

What’s the Damage?

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If home is where the heart is, the Indians have been a bunch of heartless bastards so far in 2015. Their 11-17 mark in Cleveland is worsted by only two other teams in the majors. The Philadelphia Phillies, owners of the worst overall record in baseball, have four more home victories than the Tribe. If you double the eleven wins the Tribe have accidentally stumbled upon on their home diamond, you only have two more wins than the Minnesota Twins have at Target Field.

The good news is that nobody in the division is playing particularly well, either. Our 5-5 record is tied with the Royals and White Sox for the best in the Central over the past ten games. In fact, the entire American League is pretty cozy:

The Royals and freakin Twins have been jockeying for first place for a couple weeks now, with the former regaining the top spot after taking the first two games of a three gamer in Minnesota. They’ll travel to St. Louis for three after the finale tonight, and won’t dance with another central team until the Twins visit Missouri the first week of July. That series will close their book on divisional play for them until after they face off against the National League in the All-Star game on July 14th.

With losses in the first two games against the Royals, the Twins are going to drop their second consecutive series (the first was to the 22-37 Brewers). Hopefully these bozos are coming back down to Earth cause I don’t think I can handle another Cinderella team coming out of our division in October.

The Tigers recent eight game losing streak was pretty much baseball euphoria for me. So naturally they’ve won three in a row, send David Price out against the Tribe on Friday and get Justin Verlander back for his first start of the season on Saturday. DH Victor Martinez has started hitting but there’s still no timetable for his return from knee inflammation. And, lastly, Rajai Davis.

Glad we’re finally back down with the Windy City boys after we briefly considered getting back to .500. Always utilize the buddy system, especially with these damn crowds downtown for basketball games. Rookie phenom Carlos Rodon is still walking too many guys (5.31 BB/9) but he’s also sitting their asses down (10 k’s last week in Texas). Former Yankee closer David Robertson in his last 4 appearances: 3 saves, 5 innings, 7 k’s, 0 walks.

In Other News

  • The big news of the week was a certain delivery to Cleveland from Columbus. Giovanny Urshela made his major league debut last night at third base. He went 0-3 at the dish but had a single up the middle taken away by Robbie Cano before he was pinch hit for by Michael Bourn in the 9th. I hope Tito gives him regular playing time over there, and unless he completely faceplants, I have to think he will. You don’t call up somebody (somewhat) unexpectedly like that to ride the pine. His glove is an instant difference-maker, and his bat has shown tremendous growth in the past two years. Bottom line is it’ll be damn near impossible to have a net loss in production from Urshela and Aviles than you got from Lonnie and Ramirez.

I love the move from two perspectives. First, it’s classic Tito. The team obviously needs a spark and people are starting to call on the front office to see what we have in some of these young bucks on the farm. But he knows Cleveland would be expecting Francisco Lindor to be a savior, and when he inevitably wasn’t, things could get rough quickly for a kid who’s still only 21 years old. So he lightens the blow by giving another prospect, albeit one with less expectations, a shot first. That’s why guys love playing for Francona, he’ll always take a bullet for his players and guard them from outside pressures.

Secondly, I’m glad they didn’t leave Ramirez up here to play once or twice a week. He’s been around and playing consistently for so long that people forget he’s only 22 himself. He’s going to get regular playing time in Columbus, which is great, and at a bunch of different positions other than shortstop, which is even better. I wrote in the initial blog that I wished for an Urshela-Lindor-Ramirez-Santana infield before the season started, and I still do. He’s much better suited for second base, Kip was an All-American outfielder at Arizona State and it would mean less ABs for Swisher.

  • With the MLB Amateur draft wrapping up this afternoon, I’ll save the results as a whole for a separate blog, but I do want to mention our first round pick Brady “Don’t Call Me Clay”* Aiken. If you’ve read this far into the recap you obviously give a little shit about the Tribe, which probably means you know about Aiken’s story, but I’ll re-hash it anyway. He was drafted first overall last year by the Astros. They lowered their initial contract offer to him because of something they noticed in his physical, he didn’t sign (first player to go 1st overall and not sign since 1983), went to some boarding school to pitch for a year, got pulled in the first inning of his first start, had Tommy John.

It’s a risky pick, sure. But this is a guy that, when healthy, has been compared to Clayton Kershaw. A fastball that can hit 97 and a curveball that can do this:

And at this point, getting Tommy John out of the way this early is almost an advantage. It’s about as close to a layup as you can get for a major procedure on a pitcher, and the list of names that come back stronger after having it done is lengthy. He won’t have a ton of bargaining power coming off an injury, so we should be able to sign him. He obviously won’t pitch this year, and who knows when he’ll be able to ramp it up in 2016, but once he does, buckle up.

Hard to see,  but there seems to be an item missing…

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KEEP THE CHIEF

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