Welcome back. I made this post in part because I check this page daily, so I know when the blogs I read have been updated, without having to check them all individually, and I am sick of seeing that Fox News video every time, so I needed something fresh.
There are 2 days until President Bush moves back to Texas, and about 77 or so days until the Indians open the season against Bush's former team, the Rangers, in Arlington. Coincidence? I don't see how it could be. I wonder if George will throw out the first pitch.....
Anyways, there are also less than 25 days until Pitchers and Catchers report, which is wonderful news. And while I of course would enjoy a Steelers victory this evening, a super bowl victory won't even be as exciting to me as some come from behind win in May could be.
So anyways, I don't know how I often I will post, but if there is some news I feel like putting here, so goes it....
First, while just looking at the Texas Rangers site to see if tickets were available for opening day, in what could be a 5 hour drive for you (how much for a flight from Houston to Dallas?), the top story on the Rangers website is that they are attempting to sign Omar Vizquel to a deal as a utility infielder. The Rangers, as I am sure you know, asked 2008 Gold Glove winning shortstop Michael Young, to move over to third base, to make room for some hot prospect. So signing Omar would serve as a good fit, so he could give this kid days off, and is there really any one you would rather have mentor a young kid SS than Omar?
Now, the point at hand... For legal reasons I should mention I got this information from Terry Pluto of the Plain Dealer, and was pointed in that direction from the DiaTribe blog on the right.
"As the Indians ponder how to divide up the catching duties between Victor Martinez and Kelly Shoppach, they are considering this: Shoppach will catch Cliff Lee, Martinez will handle Fausto Carmona. Lee had a Cy Young season throwing to Shoppach in 2008 (when Martinez was mostly injured), and Carmona won 19 games in 2007 pitching primarily to Martinez.
In 2008, Carmona had a 7.39 ERA (39 innings) throwing to Shoppach compared to 4.57 (63 innings) to Martinez. In 2007, Carmona had a 2.74 ERA (210 innings) with Martinez, and gave up nine runs in five innings to Shoppach. So there seems to be a reason to pair Carmona/Martinez.
There also is data for Lee/Shoppach. In 2008, Lee had a 2.13 ERA (198 2/3 innings) with Shoppach compared to 5.84 ERA (24 2/3 innings) with Martinez. In 2007, Lee was at 7.35 ERA (74 2/3 innings) with Martinez, 2.78 (22 2/3 innings) with Shoppach."
Interesting information there, and if the Indians decide to follow through with this, if I were writing the opening day lineup, it would look like this...
1. Sizemore - CF
2. Derosa - 3B
3. Martinez - 1B
4. Peralta - SS
5. Hafner - DH
6. Shoppach - C
7. Choo - RF
8. Fransisco - LF
9. Cabrera - 2B
Peralta was too good after taking over the clean-up spot to take it away from him, and Travis has a lot to prove anyways, so I think that could be pretty close to how it looks, though 6-8 could be mixed up.
Two other things worth mentioning. Andy Marte's name is almost never brought up, it too many, it would be an absolute shock if he makes the roster. The only chance he has is for Derosa, Peralta or Cabrera to get hurt, and he still might be out of luck. Also in the never get mentioned category is Dellucci, who, as has been said, if the Indians are going to give Garko, Barfield and Derosa looks in the outfield, while I expect Dellucci to make the team, I would be surprised if he is still on the team by the end of the season.
Paul Hoynes of the Plain Dealer also reported that the Indians looked into signing Brad Penny, but he had more interest in playing for the Red Sox, so for him to sign with the Indians, they were going to have to shell out a good deal more than the $5 mill for 1-year Boston gave him. The Indians also looked in to Jon Garland, someone I had interest in, but didn't want to give him the multi-year deal he so desires (and has yet to get). One last not from Hoynes "Adam Miller, however, is favored to win the [7th and final bullpen] job. The Indians are still buzzing about the way he threw in the Dominican Republic this winter. They think he can benefit from being around Wood." The other 6 are of course Wood, Perez, J. Lewis, Bentancourt, Smith and Kobayashi.
And finally, as pointed to in the DiaTribe too, with less than 25 days until Spring Training, the following players are still unemployed, and in many cases, their markets and potential value, is probably shrinking. Manny Ramirez, Adam Dunn, Oliver Perez, Orlando Hudson, Bobby Abreu, Brandon Lyon, Orlando Cabrera, Ben Sheets, Andy Pettite, Joe Crede, Jon Garland, Ken Griffey Jr., Pedro Martinez, Ivan Rodriguez, Frank Thomas, Eric Gagne, Nomar Garciaparra, and many more.
Anywho, thats all for now. Hope you enjoyed it, feel free to reply here or there.