The Indians get hammered again. I am reverse standings watching (and, I guess, reverse scoreboard watching). The Indians have a realistic chance to move up to the 3rd slot in the draft with a substantial 'cold' streak.
Speaking of streaks, Cody Allen maintained not being scored on in the major leagues tonight. To make it interesting he loaded the bases with no outs on a hit and two walks and got out of it WITHOUT a strikeout (pop up and double play grounder). I know he is likely to come crashing to earth soon as even the best relievers are scored on and the best rookie relievers are scored on more, usually in one implosional outing but man, has this kid been good or what?!?
Cord Phelps goes 4-4 tonight. Admittedly he hit the ball hard vs lefty Cesar Ramos (two doubles and the longest HR I have ever seen hit by a RH batter in Huntington Park) and put an awkward swing on a bloop single that should have been caught by the left fielder while batting lefty off the eventual winner, Josh Lueke. Still, really? Brent Lillibridge is still with the Indians and Phelps is STILL at AAA. Give me a freakin' break.
The Arizona Indians would be fun to watch, if I could watch them. On any night they could have seven .300 hitters in their lineup. In addition, most of our 2012 HS draftees are there, including Brown, Lovegrove and Baker, three young pitchers to keep an eye on. Tonight the legend of Dorsyss Paulino grew even more. He is 10 for his last 14 AB in his last 3 games and has 2 doubles, a triple and 2 HRs in that span and has increased his batting average every month and his recent streak busted him out of a 6-29 funk. Both of these things are impressive for a guy not used to playing this much baseball. Not bad for a guy from Lation America who is playing professional baseball for the first time (he totally skipped the DSL to come straight to the US). If he is not the #1 prospect in the Arizona League I would be surprised.
We really have some players on the Arizona team and, although it is a long shot, we could look back on this team in 7 years and call it one of the best minor league teams in Indians' history in terms of the number of quality major leaguers it produces. No other team in the farm system comes close to the number of quality prospects on this team. There are a minimum of two and maybe 3 of these guys who will be top ten prospects in the Indians system this winter if things stay the same.
Speaking of the AZL team, Caleb Hamrick made his professional debut tonight after Mitch Brown spun 5 hitless, runless innings in his longest start so far. That means that D.J. Brown, our 39th round pick, is the only 2012 draftee who has not played in a game this year.
BTW, did the Indians actually sign any non-drafted US college guys (usually college seniors) this year? I didn't think so and don't find any in the box scores. If I have missed some I apologize but, if not, this would mark the first year in a while that they didn't sign a couple of these non-drafted free agents. Remember, Frank Hermann was not drafted and was signed after the draft so these signings COULD be significant. I wonder, if they didn't, why didn't the Indians sign any of those guys.
Do you notice how we are, all of a sudden, shortstop heavy in the minors? Juan Diaz, Tony Wolters, Ronny Rodriguez, Francisco Lindor and Paulino give us some great depth. The Indians need to pick the two most likely guys and ask them to put on pounds and change positons. The guys most likely to do that would be Paulino and Rodriguez. I would like to leave Lindor and Wolters at SS/2B and Diaz has utility infielder with a little pop written all over him.
I still would trade Joe Smith right now. I can't imagine him being any more valuable than he is now and righty gimick pitchers are worth MOST at crunch time in a pennant race. I know how valuable he could be next year to us but, if we get a great deal, I trade him right now. Chen Lee, if healthy, could replace Smith in a heartbeat and be cheaper and maybe better. The key is if the Indians think Lee will be healthy next year.