Winning a series will always bring hope to a struggling team. Winning consecutive series's may unfortunately bring false hope. If the Indians would have went 2-4 or 1-5 over the past homestand, I believe the "trade CC" talk may have been elevated to sooner rather than later. Now that the Tribe is only 5 1/2 games back, I imagine Sabathia will be around until the end of July. This is in no way inferring that I want the Indians to lose. I just think the front office really has no idea what path to take with the remainder of the 2008 season.
If they trade CC, they are telling the fans that they are raising the white flag and giving up. If they keep CC, they risk not getting anything for him besides two first round picks next year which won't help the big club for 4-5 years. Is this team good enough to contend with four of their top six players on the disabled list? My answer is I have no idea. The team has hit better, and I attribute it to Hafner and Martinez being OUT of the lineup. They were obviously hurt and not the best option at their respective positions everyday. Once they were removed, a healthy nine seemed to take pressure off of each other instead of relying on Victor and Travis.
These injuries should ultimately make the rest of the lineup stronger as guys like Francisco, Choo, Shoppach, and Carroll are racking up major innings played and confidence. The way this team is currently constructed, I don't think they can win the AL Central mainly due to the inconsistent bullpen and Jeremy Sowers pitching every fifth day. If I were a betting man, I would wager the CC is an Indian for the rest of the season, due to the fact 2 1st rounders may be more valuable than medium grade prospects and Mark Shapiro relationship with Sabathia. They are very close and I believe Mark may still feel he has a chance to resign him (a pipe dream at best.)
Here were some of the Highlights:
Grady Sizemore: 3-12 3 HR's 4 RBI's. Grady is second in the A.L. with 17 homeruns. He is just mashing right now, but I would keep him in the leadoff spot because, well he likes hitting there. Why mess with a good thing?
Jamey Carroll: 5-12. Scrappy Doo is a solid utility guy, I will have to admit. Now I wouldn't keep him as out starting 2nd Baseman for more than a month, but he is playing extremely well.
Shin Soo Choo: 3-10, 3 RBI's. I like Choo as a platoon option in right and DH. He drives the ball pretty wll and has a good approach. I don't think he will ever be an everyday guy, but a very useful 4th outfielder on a contending club.
CC Sabathia: 8 IP, 3 earned runs, 10 K's. The hefty lefty pitched another gem. Every time out he has been outstanding, increasing his trade and free agent value along the way.
Areas of Concern:
Jeremy Sowers: 4 1/3 IP, 9 Hits, 4 earned runs. Now I know he had to sit for like 3 hours during Friday's rain delay, but don't you just have the feeling he is nothing better than an average 5th starter? He is a guy who relies on hitting spots, so when he doesn't, he immediately becomes batting practice. Looking forward to Fausto coming back sooner rather than later.
Edward Mujica: 1 IP, 3 hits, 2 Walks, 5 earned runs. He just plain sucks, always has, always will.
Ben Francisco's Defense: He looked like he was getting better in spring training but he has seemed to regress. He is adequate at best in left, and a total nightmare in right. He sure can mash, though.
Jhonny Peralta's eye commercials
: No one will go and get Laser eye suregery at the Cole eye institute of the Cleveland Clinic off of Mr. Peralta's recommendation. He claims he see better than 20/20 now. I would prefer him batting better than .220.
More interleague play for the Tribe as we get to watch Paul Byrd bat tonight! Woo Hoo! He takes on Colorado Rockies' ace Scott Reynolds. At least Scott believes he is an ace.