The Cleveland Indians are 8-10 through the first 18 games of the season.
The pitching has actually been fairly decent, with the staff carrying an ERA of 3.94, but that number is a little misleading.
The two biggest offenders to the ERA have been Jake Westbrook at 5.82, who is struggling to find his rhythm after returning from reconstructive elbow surgery, and Justin Masterson at 5.68.
Masterson, as has been his career portfolio, can't seem to get left-handers out. The Oakland A's on Sunday loaded the lineup with six lefties, and they went 7-for-13 against the big right-hander, bringing left-handers' season average against up to a lusty .487 (18-for-37).
The team fell to Oakland 11-0. Lou Marson went 0-for-3, bringing his average down to .088 (3-for-34).
Marson is not just struggling—he is overmatched. His three hits are singles, and he has one stolen base, has scored one run, and has only walked three times.
After settling down behind the plate after allowing a number of wild pitches in the first week of the season, he has started to allow more and for the season is up to eight with one passed ball. The one positive statistic on his card reads 4-of-10 throwing out would-be base thieves.
With the team only batting .223, 11 HR, 57 RBI and Shin-Soo Choo having four of those homers and 13 of the RBI, the team sure could use some offensive assistance. The next highest RBI total is seven, and that belongs to Luis Valbuena with four coming on one swing. How long can the team afford to waste such good pitching?
Has the time come to call up Carlos Santana? He has been tearing it up at Buffalo to the tune of .333, five HR, 16 RBI, five BB, and only three—yes, three—strikeouts. His OPS is 1.158, and after suffering a scare when he fouled a ball off his knee April 21, he is back in the lineup and ready to go.
With veteran stalwart Mike Redmond here to catch Fausto Carmona and Justin Masterson to take the pressure off Santana, I don't see any reason why not. Santana has shown he is ready to learn at the major league level offensively for at least a year.
Redmond has quickly proven an apt resource, so why not appoint him Santana's defensive tutor and let the phenom come help out the parent club?
Let Santana catch Mitch Talbot, David Huff, and Westbrook and save Masterson and Carmona for Redmond. Give Santana a script to follow for each of his pitchers and see what happens. I understand that we risk robbing performance from Huff, Talbot, and Westbrook, but the sooner Santana is here, the sooner he adapts to them and their styles.
The offense needs the help, and the pitchers deserve to look up at scoreboard and see actual numbers, not zeros.
As fans, we deserve it too.
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