Happy Cinco de Mayo from the Cleveland Indians

by Cleveland Frowns on May 7, 2012

You’ll be glad to know that the Battle of Puebla was foremost in the minds of the Progressive Field crowd on Saturday night. The sense of historical perspective was palpable.

In other news, Bud Shaw’s take on Seneca Wallace and mentoring is spot on; Here’s Andrew Perloff’s way-too-early look at the 2013 NFL draft’s first round at SI.com; Here’s a really good read from Erick Trickey in last month’s Cleveland Magazine on Dr. Martin Luther King’s Cleveland campaigns of the late 60s; and another reminder that we’ll be at the Happy Dog tomorrow night with a bunch of great folks for an Ohio City Writers panel on writing about Cleveland sports. Hope everyone’s week gets off to a decent start.

  • BIKI024

    UBALDO!

    • Bryan

      Promising start. Touched 95 in the 7th. Had 6 ks. But he still had 5 walks. If he figures it out, the Tribe could be a real threat.

      Kipnis is like a young Carlos Baerga… with a beard.

    • Jim

      His best performance of the years sans the large number of walks. Hopefully he can build on this.

      I still feel like he is just one inning away from disaster when he pitches and yesterday was no different. Regardless, for this team to compete they need Ubaldo to pitch like he is capable of.

      Very pleased with the pitching overall this weekend (sans Tony Sipp); the Tribe went head to head with arguably the best team in baseball and took two of three. Things are looking up, especially if Big League Choo continues to show signs of life.

      • BIKI024

        not to take anything away from the series win, but Rangers were playing without one of their best hitters: Beltre, who obviously killed us as a PH. so who knows how we would’ve done if he was in the lineup for 15 ab’s instead of 2.. but wins are hard to come by and i’ll take em.

        agreed on Choo, was nice to see him get that homer. we definitely haven’t gotten the type of production we need from plenty of guys on the roster and yet we’re still 15-11, mainly due to pitching and timely hitting, let’s see if the bats can pick up the pitchers when they don’t have their stuff. let’s see if we can shake off the White Sox monkey off our back, 2-4 against them this year.

        • kjn

          Our offense is in the top third in terms of R/G, so it’s not like we’re completely devoid of offensive production.

          Think of how good we’d be with a.) a Matt Laporta that turned out even somewhat close to what he was touted as and b.) Carlos Beltran playing in the outfield.

          • BIKI024

            yeah we’ve def had some timely hitting, and there were a few games there that really padded our numbers, but overall we aren’t really hitting the ball as well as we could be. (.243 BA, 7th in AL, 19th overall)

            book isn’t closed on LaPorta, he’s hitting the ball well down in Cbus, so who knows, maybe the next time he comes up he’ll far better. as far as Beltran, I’m not sure how close we were to getting him, so it seems pointless to wonder “what if” with him.

          • kjn

            He’s always hitting the ball well down in Columbus.

            My point on Beltran is more to say that we’ve been pretty solid despite having huge holes at some pretty important offensive positions.

      • kjn

        I think most pitchers, except the best, are usually one inning from disaster.

        • Jim

          Valid point. I feel that Ubaldo’s margin of error is slimmer than most given his propensity for walks. See walking the bases loaded in the third.

          • TWMBrad

            I liked Ron Washington’s “wildly effective” description…that about says it all.

    • CleveLandThatILove

      VINNIE!!!

      • BIKI024

        love that guy. but Chris Perez pitchin lights out as well, 11 saves already! he’s on pace for 68! that’s obviously not gonna happen, but good to see he’s got his ERA and WHIP down after that horrible first start and all the fairweather Tribe fans ripping on him. where are they now?? #crickets

        • kjn

          Perez has been good. I’m still not sold on him, but I’m starting to hope that his lackluster strike outs numbers were a sample size issue.

          • BIKI024

            what does he have to do to make you sold on him? since he’s been with the Tribe he’s up to 70 out of 79 save opportunities, and 47 of last 52, slightly over 90% closing rate.

          • CleveLandThatILove

            A grown up haircut would be a good start.

            (They said this would happen, I’m becoming my mother.)

          • Petefranklin

            If the GEICO caveman can save 11/12, Id love to see him close.

          • Jim

            Agree plus a “save” is a terrible statistic and not really a good gauge of how well someone is pitching. Tribe fans only need to look back to 2007 when Joe Boroski had 40+ saves.

            That being said, Perez’s velocity is up from last year, and he seems to be locating his pitches better. We’ll see if it continues.

          • BIKI024

            he was AL leader with 45 saves (2nd in MLB), but he also led the league with 8 blown saves.. 85% in closing situations. not the worst, but the 8 blown saves and over 5 ERA probably is what leaves a bad taste in your mouth about Borowski. Perez has 9 blown saves since 2010. big difference between the 2.

        • CleveLandThatILove

          Yes, and http://www.fantasyplaymakers.com/baseball_comparisons.php?compare_id=19690 Chris Perez/Vinnie Pestano 2012 Comparison

          I know, take out CP’s opening day and it looks much better. But it happened.

          I’ll keep them both, thank you. But Pestano’s demeanor scores double for me, that’s all.

          • BIKI024

            pitching in the 8th inning is a different animal than pitching in the 9th.. i love Vinnie too, and he seems to have what it takes to eventually become a closer, but until then it’s pure speculation and all we can go in is CP’s 90% closing rate with the Tribe. it may not be as pretty as you’d like with a little heart sewn into a baseball, but you really can’t ask for more. :-)

          • http://twitter.com/musicman06 Chris Music

            Pitching in the 8th inning isn’t necessarily different than the 8th. A one run lead in the 8th or 9th inning is technically a “save” situation. Fangraphs has a pretty good alternative to the save:

            http://www.fangraphs.com/library/index.php/pitching/sd-md/

            http://www.fangraphs.com/leaders.aspx?pos=all&stats=pit&lg=all&qual=0&type=3&season=2011&month=0&season1=2011&ind=0&team=5&rost=0&age=0&players=0&sort=13,d

            http://www.fangraphs.com/leaders.aspx?pos=all&stats=pit&lg=all&qual=0&type=3&season=2012&month=0&season1=2012&ind=0&team=5&rost=0&age=0&players=0&sort=13,d

            Based on this it looks like CFP and Pestano are on par…

          • BIKI024

            @ Chris Music, not letting me reply to your comment below.

            yes, a pitcher who comes in the 8th inning with a 3 run lead or less, can receive a Save as long as they get all final outs in the 9th. and the heat in the kitchen is a little bit hotter when that is the case. of course being the setup guy has it’s pressures as well and he certainly gets credit for “holding” the lead (he gets rewarded a Hold), but it’s still a different situation.

            i’m not taking anything away from VP, love the guy, but i think people need to get off CP’s back, he’s a good pitcher and his results speak for themselves. is he as clean on the mound (both his hair and pitching style) as we’d like, no, but you play to win the game. and he helps us close down wins at a rate as good as some of the best in the game.

          • CleveLandThatILove

            Just admit it, you have avatar envy.

  • bupalos

    Ubaldo’s start was the most promising thing I’ve seen for the tribe in almost a year. If he can turn things around it will be the tastiest words I ever ate.

    • BIKI024

      that rotation he can get on the ball, wow.

  • dubbythe1

    Re: Wallace,

    What a bunch of dead weight. Given his history (not being very helpful, can only read half the field) as a backup here, we are so better off without him. That is also a pretty good chunk of cap space to utilize (possibly bringing steinbach back?) on improving the team. Also sort of plays into the story of Hoggrem catering toward stars and fostering diva attitudes when he was in Seattle?

    Do I want Wallace to be the backup? Heck to the no.
    Do I think Colt can be? possible. Will he? Doubt it given his daddy issue.

    So whats next?

    • BIKI024

      as the backup (or even 3rd string), it seems that Seneca has significant advantages over Colt, mainly because he has played in the system for over 10 years and Colt hasn’t even been around it for 10 months. plus it seems he knows what time it is now with Weeden coming in (28 year old #1 pick is gonna play).

      spending a combined $3M for your 2nd and 3rd stringers is pretty much status quo. i really see no harm in keeping Colt at least through the preseason and letting him get a full offseason of working with the coaches, etc and then see if he made some positive progressions and maybe we can flip him if he makes a good showing in preseason, etc.

      • dubbythe1

        and after 10 years he still sees only half the field. what I am saying is I dont think Seneca’s 10 years brings anything significant to warrant the 2.5mil that we could use elsewhere on the roster, but I also dont think Colt will be here because his father is a meddler. Seeing my hypothetical through, who becomes #2? Thaddeus?

        But what if Colt stays, Seneca is cut? try to get Steinbach back for less? Try to get Drayton Florence for a year? There are possibilities and more upside than downside to cutting Wallace.

        • BIKI024

          not sure what else his father has meddled in other than being a concerned father worried about concussions. after what’s been going on lately, it seems even more warranted to be upset with how the Browns and their medical staff handled it.

          • dubbythe1

            no doubt the Browns erred, as they have erred in other decisions, however, Big Daddy has been known to be a overshadowing influence in Colt’s life long before the Browns (not talking simple parenting, but the football side of stacking-everything-in-Colt’s-favor like manipulating where he goes to high school, and who plays with him, then extending through to college and now this meddling in the Pros. He is an enabler, as a LOT of parents are nowadays, and that is not a good thing. Lets take it outside of the Browns and Football in general, but stay on the subject of this ‘enabling’.

            http://www.empoweringparents.com/blog/adult-children/generation-y-in-the-workplace-would-you-call-your-childs-boss/#

            Take a gander at that small article(blog). Viewing Football as a business should plant a firm view that this is unnecessary and uncalled for in a professional setting. These young men are adults now and have networks and resources available to them to navigate their chosen profession. Hand-holding and coddling only prolongs the ability to gain experience and aquire a maturity that promotes self-sustinance.

            I bet Weeden’s parents wont be calling the principal when he gets sacked.

          • BIKI024

            it could’ve been handled better by all parties, not just Brad McCoy.. but dissirregardless, that was really the only time I’ve heard him speak in reference of the Browns, so I’m not sure where the evidence of him being a meddler is.

  • kjn

    I think Ubaldo fell in the Carmona trap: sky-high, unrealistic expectations based on a lucky single season that completely misrepresented the type of pitcher he is. So even if or when he ends up pitching well, the best thing people can say is “maybe he can finally turn it around”, even though he’s pitching pretty like he always has.

    • Bryan

      From 2008-2010, he had a sub 4 ERA pitching in Coors field (culminating in a 2.88 ERA in 2010), averaged over 8k’s per 9 innnings, and walked less than 4 per 9 inning. This year he is walking 6 per 9 innings and striking out 5.

      If he returns to the form he has in 2008-2010, and you account for the removal of Coors Field, it is reasonable to expect him to be have a sub 3.5 ERA. This would make him a great 2-hole pitcher.

      There is nothing comparable to Fausto here. Fausto had only 1 good year followed by several bad. Ubaldo has had all good years, followed by 1 bad.

      http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/j/jimenub01.shtml

      • kjn

        Completely agree. I didn’t mean to imply that their performances were similar in the least. They are not. That I am aware of.

        I was comparing the expectations people have placed on the two pitchers. Hernandez’s ’07 and Jimenez’s ’10 have made it so that even performing to career norms (which for UJ are really pretty solid), illict shaking heads from your average fan.

    • BIKI024

      Ubaldo had a very solid 3.5 year run in Colorado prior to his shaky 2011 campaign, so it wasn’t just a “lucky single season”. In 2009, a year prior to his “lucky single season” he was 15-12 with 3.47 ERA, 200K and a 1.23 WHIP. his w/l record wasn’t as great as the rest of his statline due to poor run support.

      yes this past year has been shaky, but at the end of the day we’ve won 3 of the 6 games he’s pitched in, so it could’ve been much worse while he continues to hopefully improve.

      • kjn

        I understand that completely. You won’t find a bigger Ubaldo fan. I’ve been over his numbers way too much. Even last year while pitching for us, his K and BB rates were at career norms.

        To clarify, when I say lucky, I mean his ERA looked a lot better in 2010 thanks to a low home run rate and BABIP. He also racked up 19 wins (a stat that’s very arbitrary).

        My point is that even if he ends up pitching like he always has and posting a 3.50 ERA, your average Cleveland fan will criticize him because “he was so much more awesome in 2010!” which isn’t really the case.

        • Bryan

          I agree with this. Its a fair point.

          And speaking of Hernandez, when is he coming back?

        • bupalos

          The problem is more that since you gave up your realistic long-term shot at an “ace” for a two year stint of Ubaldo, the guy has to be all that and a bag of crack.

          If he’s the victim of anything, it’s the tribe overpaying for him in talent terms because they liked his contract.

          I was beyond pumped to see he hit 94 yesterday. I’ll probably never like this trade from a strategic point of view, but if he can return to form I’ll back off the ledge at least.

          • kjn

            This is true. Whether or not Pomz and White are/will be good, they were definitely sold to us as the pitchers of the future by the front office.

          • BIKI024

            well good thing we have 3-4 starting pitchers that will still be under contract in 2 years. our Ace, Masterson is locked up, Tomlin looks pretty good (hopefully he comes strong tonight) Gomez looks like a keeper, and McCallister held his own tonight. we still have 2 more seasons to figure it out. until then, i’d rather have Jiminez than Pomz as we try to win the division NOW

          • kjn

            McAllister would have had a better line if not for those two errors.

            Hagadone looked good too.

          • ClevelandFrowns

            Hagadone looks good.

          • BIKI024

            the errors don’t count towards McCallister’s line.. he only got charged with 2 ER, thru 6 innings and i believe 5 or 6k’s, i’ll take a quality start from a spot starter anyday of the week.

            yep, Hagadone is lookin sharp, making that Victor trade look better and better everyday.

            and guess how we got McCallister? traded the Yankees Austin Kearns for him a couple years ago. could be another steal by the FO

          • kjn

            Doesn’t effect his ERA, but runs are runs imo. Also errors tend to run up the old pitch count.

            And Tomlin looked downright awesome – 8ks, 2bbs, 7.1 IP, 0 HRs

  • BIKI024

    PRONK!

    • kjn

      When he is healthy, he is dangerous.

      • BIKI024

        he’s also in his contract year, so hopefully that should be additional motivation to show he is still dangerous when healthy. he’s on pace for 25+ homers and 90+ RBI, which would be great. speaking of great, what has gotten into David Ortiz? everyone almost wrote him off a couple years ago and the dude is still mashing.

        • smittypop2

          Have more roids gotten into him?

  • kjn

    Humber is pitching batting practice.

  • kjn

    re: Slider picture

    Thank God MLK day is in January.

    • bupalos

      ouch.

  • rodofdisaster

    I’m sorry but I have a real problem with Seneca Wallace. If you’re so concerned about beating out Colt McCoy for the starting job when you have a 10-year head start in the system then that says a lot about how much you a) fear his game or b) fear your game.

    Once the position is decided, there is absolutely ZERO reason for Seneca Wallace to not help the team. Sure, they might not have gone 10-6 but perhaps showing the kid something he might not have seen might have resulted in a tad more success and would have been better for the parties involved. It says a lot about how petty and unprofessional someone can be if they can’t be a team player no matter how they feel about their own personal role.

    The year before, when Colt was forced into action, Delhomme was constantly in his ear on the sidelines and they used to drive to and from the facility and Jake took it upon himself to tutor up the kid. For his shortcomings on the field, Delhomme seems to have been very valuable to the kid otherwise. Too bad Seneca couldn’t find it in him to put the team first until now when it’s obviously self-serving.

    • CleveLandThatILove

      He’s made a nice living on the sidelines, too, with minimal effort and maybe even less wear and tear.

    • BIKI024

      do we know how much Seneca did or did not help Colt after the season started? all of Seneca’s quotes were relating to training camp, so who knows what went on during the season. but yeah, if he wasn’t helping him out during the season than that is definitely bush, and I’m sure the coaches and Holmgren are aware of that and how that would work with Weeden. but he’s Holmgren’s boy and you know how much he loves lamontism, I mean nepotism, so I doubt Seneca is gonna be cut, but who knows, we shall see how it plays out.

      • rodofdisaster

        Biki…true. I can’t help thinking, however, that Wallace is Holmgren’s boy and basically is his little lockerroom insider. The song is invariably different now that it’s Weeden and it may all be about preserving himself and showing he somehow merits the $2 mil salary he’s slated to make.

        • bupalos

          The right football decision is to keep Colt as the backup (at least if you can’t trade him.) There is no way Seneca is worth the extra money, unless this coaching staff is too weak to face the horrors of a “QB controversy” that isn’t.

  • rgrunds

    Where’s Rod? I don’t like when Rod is not here.

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