Monday, March 24

Jake Pitches A Gem & No More Fultz

I really won't continue to post everyday, but I felt some Tribe-related things needed to be addressed. Also I hate the idea of bumping Andy's well written article on sports trading below.

Originally this was just going to be a post about the Tribe designating Aaron Fultz for assignment, but a spring training game also occurred so that's also going to be quickly touched on.

The first big thing I think I heard today was Cliff Lee being awarded the 5th starter spot for the Tribe, with Jeremy Sowers and Aaron Laffey being sent to AAA. In that same article the DFA of Fultz was also mentioned. Obviously as speculated here the Tribe front office thinks that either Breslow is their LOOGY (Lefty One-Out Guy) or maybe they don't need one. The slight surprise in all of this is the Tribe having to "eat" Fultz's 2008 option of $1.5 million. It is my vague recollection that Fultz struggled down the stretch last year and was anything but a consistent bullpen option. Well forget him, because he's gone. The Lee news isn't too surprising but here's hoping Lee rediscovered himself after a stint in AAA last year.

The other exciting/interesting news is Jake Westbrook pitched a gem against the Braves today. Yeah, I know, spring training is meaningless, but if that were really true Fultz would still be in the Tribe's bullpen. Jake pitched six perfect innings and even had eight strikeouts, which is unusual for the sinker-ball pitcher. The other interesting piece of news is Jorge Julio pitched today going an inning giving up one hit and striking out two while allowing no runs to lower his spring ERA to 1.64. I've briefly discussed Elarton and quickly name dropped Mastny; now Julio could be the favorite for the Tribe. When it gets down to it the only thing that is certain about a bullpen is that the bullpen at the beginning and end of a season will almost never look the same. That and if someone isn't in Wedge's Circle of Trust then it doesn't matter what I think of them they'll just be used for garbage innings anyway. But it's still nice to see Jake pitch well - let's hope he keeps this up. Oh, and the Tribe won today, 8-0.

Tomorrow the Indians take on the Yankees at Winter Haven, with Byrd pitching for the Erie Warriors.


Nick said...

I have zero faith in Cliff Lee. Less than zero, actually.

His ground ball/fly ball ratio suggested for years that his day of reckoning was coming, his reputation is that he's difficult to coach, and his curve ball sucks. I'd love to be proven wrong, so we'll see.

Personally, I give Lee seven starts before the Indians bring up Laffey Taffy.

JHH said...

Statistically Lee had the worst season of his career in 2007, so maybe Lee has nowhere to go but up from there.

Unfortunately we can't just send him to Buffalo this time, I think.

I wonder if the Tribe won't try to trade Lee and one of our older OF players before too long.

Nick said...

Lee will hit 5 years of ML service sometime in June, and when he hits that mark he will have the option of declining an option to Buffalo. Obviously, the Tribe needs to figure out what to do with Lee before that time.