Indians' Recap (4/28-5/11): Grady Sizemore Heats Up, Asdrubal Cabrera Slows Down

Nino Colla@TheTribeDailySenior Writer IMay 11, 2008

The "three up and three down" procedure for a smaller grouping became very tough, even when I spread it out over two weeks.

So, with one more tweaking in hand, I now present the two-week recap of Cleveland Indians baseball.


Who's Hot?

Grady Sizemore, of course. I know the ladies will think I'm talking about a different kind of hot, but Sizemore is swinging the bat well.

He's batting .324 since April 28, and including Saturday night's bashing, he has four home runs, and eight runs batted in.

He had a two-homer, five-RBI performance on his fleece blanket give away night on Saturday. It was a perfect way to give all those young ladies justification to come out to see him. I myself have never seen so many girls in Sizemore T-Shirts.

With that, you have to hand it to the Indians marketing team. I get tired of all the Grady promotions, but they are straight-up geniuses for thinking them. The more Sizemore giveaways they offer, the more tickets the will sell, because a Grady Lady will never pass up free Sizemore stuff.

Who's Not?

Asdrubal Cabrera did have the walk-off hit against the Mariners, and two runs batted in on Saturday.

But that has been all he has done. Since April 28, Cabrera has hit .120 with three runs batted in. He's also struck out six times.

He only has three hits as well, and two of them came in that 12-0 blowout of the Blue Jays.

Cabrera needs to pick up his hitting, or else he could be a prime candidate to get replaced in the lineup by the guy he unseated last year, Josh Barfield.

Best Pitcher

Cliff Lee has become such a cliche response, so I will highlight Aaron Laffey, who has filled in admirably for Jake Westbrook.

In his three starts he only won a single game, but he is shutting down the opposition and keeping his team in the game.

He gave up four runs against the Yankees, but that was after he no-hit them for five innings. You have to admire his effort; four runs against the Yankees is far from bad.

The next two starts were shut-down work. 14 combined innings, and no earned runs. In The past two weeks, he has struck out eight hitters and posted a 1.83 earned run average.

Jake Westbrook could be back in a few weeks, but the Indians won't mind some more starts like the last two Aaron Laffey has given them.


Francisco In, Michaels Out

The big move the Indians made was long awaited by a lot of fans.

Ben Francisco was given his shot to compete in the big leagues. To give him that chance, the team traded Jason Michaels to the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Francisco responded to the call up by hitting .333 with four runs batted in. His biggest at-bat was against Toronto on Friday, when Francisco was called upon to pinch-hit for Dellucci with the bases loaded.

The pitch was high, but Francisco smoked it off the wall for a two-run double to give the Tribe a 4-1 lead.

The move to bring in Francisco might have just sparked the team enough to get the offense going, similar to what Cabrera did last year. Manager Eric Wedge hasn't been afraid to use "The Frisco Kid" in big situations, and even to bat him as high as fifth.

Down at Buffalo

Michael Aubrey was called up to Triple A Buffalo to take the place of Jordan Brown, who was placed on the disabled list.

Aubrey has responded by hitting .364 with five runs batted in and six runs scored.

Jason Stanford has made a successful return to the Herd's rotation. In 21.2 innings, he's let in only four earned runs and struck out 11.

What's on tap?

The Indians will finish their four game series with Toronto on Monday. Because of the postponement on Sunday, a true doubleheader will be played.

After that, the Tribe will welcome Oakland for their final meeting of the year in a three-game set. Then it will be a six-game road trip to open interleague play against the cross-state rival Cincinnati Reds.

The Tribe will finish the road trip in Chicago against the White Sox before returning home to face the Texas Rangers for three games.

Joe Borowski is due back pretty soon, as he is set to take some more bullpen sessions before he goes on some rehab assignments.