Three Up, Three Down: Cleveland Indians, Week One

Nino Colla@TheTribeDailySenior Writer IApril 7, 2008

Not only will I be doing it for the entire major leagues, but every Sunday evening I'll be doing it for my beloved Cleveland Indians.

Incase you are not familar with the format, here is a quick reminder.

I highlight three players or coaches that are are having a week that is considered up, or good.

I'll then do the same for three players or coaches that are having a down week.

There will be no wacky stats in this edition, like there is with the MLB.

First Up: Ryan Garko

Ryan Garko was outstanding this first week of the regular season. He's been the most consistent hitter from the start of the year.

Garko is hitting .333 with four walks, four runs batted in, and a home run.

Ryan has played half of the games so far on the West Coast, his home area where he is notoriously good.

He's also had the luck of facing the A's, a team he hits well against. Another team he does well against, the Angels, are up on deck. Expect his hot start to continue.

Second Up: Grady Sizemore

I'm always mum when talking about Grady. I think he is an awesome player, but I also think other people give him way too much credit.

I spread the love around.

But Grady deserves it. He's leading the team in batting average, homers, runs knocked in and total bases.

He started the year off great with a big home run in his second at bat, and has just continued to get on base and hit the baseball.

I mean the reason he is up this week is because of his statistics, but watching him swing the bat you can tell he's improved.

He's making great contact, hitting the ball hard to the gaps. It's really exciting to watch him mature as a hitter.

Third Up: Craig Breslow

How about this for a late season addition?

Breslow came over after being cut by the Boston Red Sox in Spring Training.

The Indians were not impressed with Aaron Fultz and decided to make the change to a kid they've had their eye on for awhile now.

Breslow has come right in and has been impressive.

In two appearances he's pitched in two innings and given up only one hit with a strikeout. He is earning more than just left handed specialist appearances.

For now he will be brought in to face lefties, but Eric Wedge has shown he isn't afraid to use him more.

Breslow has met that challenge head on and is running with it.

First Down: Jason Michaels

Jason Michaels started the year off in a bad way.

He played opening day against the left handed throwing Mark Buehrle.

Michaels was not swinging the bat well. Sunday was the first game where he collected a hit.

His worst performance was his debut in the third spot, where he struck out in his two at bats.

Michaels, when he plays against the left handed pitchers, is the normal second hole hitter. He has to be able to create for the guys behind him.

So far he has collected only two walks and struck out four times. If this team is going to get some runs against the lefties, Jason has to have the year he did in 2007.

Second Down: C.C. Sabathia

In his 10.2 innings so far this season, C.C. Sabathia has given up nine runs and walked seven batters.

Sabathia has struggled against both the White Sox and the Athletics in his first two starts. His control has not been great and he's having trouble locating his pitches.

It's nothing to get worried about at this point in time, but it certainly deserves being pointed out.

Sabathia only walked 37 batters in 34 games last year, so the walks are something to be concerned about.

But don't expect this trend to continue. C.C. has notoriously been bad at Oakland and the cold weather might have hurt his control in the opener.

Third Down: Eric Wedge

I've learned to live with Eric Wedge and some of the decisions he's made, I rarely want to second guess and blame him for things.

But, this first week he has earned it.

With Victor Martinez out, Wedge has had some lineup shuffling to do.

He choose to revert to a lineup that worked for awhile, but eventually fizzled because of the pressure Jhonny Peralta couldn't take.

For the first few games Peralta batted third and was absolutely awful. The pressure was too much for him and he at times would kill rallies. Including one where he hit into a double player with the bases loaded.

Wedge's latest decision on Saturday was to bat Jason Michaels in the third spot.

What would possess a man to do this? With Ryan Garko swinging the bat like he is, why not give him a shot?

Low and behold in Sunday's game, Wedge had Hafner back in the three spot and Garko hitting cleanup. It's no coincidence that Jhonny Peralta had two hits.

Victor Martinez should be back on Monday, so we can forgive Wedge for now.


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