I am thoroughly shocked by this news. For an organization that usually waits too long to shake up a club and call up rookies, they did the complete opposite.
Matt LaPorta (.333 avg, .414 obp, 1.054 OPS in Columbus), and Luis Valbuena (.321 avg, .436 obp, .975 ops) are two potential keys to the Tribe's future and will probably see a bit of playing time over the next two weeks.
LaPorta, the key player acquired in the CC Sabathia trade, will platoon at DH and in left.
Valbuena, the young infielder brought here from Seattle in the Franklin Gutierrez deal, will take the role of a super utility guy able to play second, shortstop and third.
With all of the Super 2 talk with LaPorta, I am very surprised, but not shocked.
This may just be a few week audition for him as if he struggles, he can go back down and still stay under the service time threshold.
Josh Barfield will fill in as a pinch runner, late-inning defensive replacement who will be eventually be sent down again when Jamey Carroll gets healthy.
Trevor Crowe struggled a bit in his first taste of the big leagues, hitting .182 in 33 at-bats but displayed solid glove work and speed. He still looks overmatched at the plate, so playing everyday in Columbus will be a positive.
Tony Graffanino on the other hand was terrible, batting .130 in 23 at-bats. Friday may have been the last day of major league ball for Tony, and he should be proud of his solid career.
Joe Smith was a bit of a surprise, but his 7.11 ERA may have been a strong indicator. He didn't throw a whole lot in Spring Training so the Indians will ease him back to the pen.
As for the relief corps, it now stands at Kobayashi, Perez, Chulk, Sipp, Lewis, Betancourt and Wood. Besides Wood and Sipp (3 IP), the rest looks pretty scary.
There is not much more down in Triple A to help, so look for a possible trade or a guy from Double A shooting on up to the show (Pestano, maybe even Hector Rondon?). Hmmm.
Not to say I called the players who should be called up yesterday and they were, but someone has to pat themselves on the back. It might as well be me.