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Tag: Cleveland Indians

Code of Hammurabi? Meh.

Joe Girardi, Gene Monihan, Alex Rodriguez

Alex Rodriguez was hit by a pitch for the second time this week. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

An excerpt of the Code of Hammurabi, courtesy of Thinkquest:

Although it follows the practice of “an eye for an eye”, it does not allow for vigilante justice, but rather demands a trial by judges. It also glorifies acts of peace and justice done during Hammurabi’s rule.

What does this have to do with the Yankees? Alex Rodriguez got plunked in the sixth inning of today’s game after Curtis Granderson homered to make it 2-0. Much will be made of Alex Rodriguez getting plunked in the sixth inning after Curtis Granderson’s home run increased the Yankees’ lead to 2-0. There will be much ado because while Mitch Talbot was ejected immediately (wet mound conditions or not), yet again, the HBP went unanswered by a Yankees pitcher. The Yankees have had eight hit batsmen in the last five games. They’ve hit only one. The Boston Red Sox sent a message that teams can hit the Yankees’ batters without repercussion.

To date, despite Joe Girardi’s emphatic stance, the message has gained traction.

Columnists are clamoring for the Yankees to follow Girardi’s lead, to start showing some fight and “protect their own.” David Wells, who was patrolling the clubhouse on Saturday, told reporters the Yankees need to “grow some.”

Perhaps Talbot’s ejection led the Yankees to be more cautious in their retaliation strategy. But a passive-aggressive approach has been the Yankees’ stance for years. The recent beanball wars are reminiscent of 2003, when the Red Sox, more specifically Pedro Martinez, routinely hit Yankees batters, often without repercussion. On July 7 of that year, Pedro and Mike Mussina engaged in a classic pitchers’ duel. Martinez opened the game by hitting Derek Jeter and Alfonso Soriano on the hands, knocking them both out of the game. Mussina wouldn’t retaliate. Didn’t even buzz anyone. Fans were miffed. Writers were, too.

At the time, George Steinbrenner said of Martinez: “I don’t know what was going through his mind, but if it’s what it looked like, it’s not good. It’s not good for his team, not good for baseball.” Mussina’s response: “It was a situation that was pretty delicate. I think if I go inside to somebody, the umpire’s going to warn both benches. I didn’t want to lose half the plate. It’s a tough spot. You try to do what’s right. I’m not sure what anybody was thinking, but I felt I had to get guys out.” Not until Game 3 of the American League Championship Series, when Roger Clemens threw a fastball to the backstop with Manny Ramirez at the plate, igniting a bench-clearing brawl for the ages, did the Yankees exact revenge according to the common interpretation of Hammurabi’s Code.

If the code glorifies acts of peace and justice, then the Yankees are doing the right thing and should be applauded by being professional, acting above hitting Indians’ batters and winning the game. But do they have to hit someone to demonstrate protection? Pitch inside. Buzz someone. Make the batter uncomfortable. Move his feet. That could work.

Would the umpires allow the Yankees to pitch inside or buzz someone, or would they warn the benches immediately and put the pitchers in a bind, as Mussina feared? It’s a tough call. Joe Torre, who managed the Yankees in that 2003 game, now sits in the League Office and has jurisdiction over this exact issue. He also caught Bob Gibson, who you know full well would have given an opposing batter a shave by now if his teammates were getting hit at the rate the Yankees’ guys are. At what point will Torre get involved? Should he get involved?

It’s unlikely. The Yankees will do what they believe is right. But will they lose players as they consider the appropriate time to punch back?

OH YEAH, THE GAME …
Three solo home runs and a clutch RBI single by Jorge Posada in the seventh inning provided the scoring for the Yankees. The arms of Bartolo Colon, David Robertson and Boone Logan did the rest. The most important juncture of the game was the eighth inning. While it won’t go in the box score as a save, Robertson should get one for his yeoman effort. After allowing consecutive singles to start the inning, and then balking the runners over to second and third, respectively, his strikeouts of Asdrubal Cabrera and Grady Sizemore preserved the shutout and pretty much ensured the Yankees would emerge victorious.

Robertson and Logan combined to allow just two hits and struck out four. Contrast that to Friday night, where in a blowout, mop-up scenario, Kevin Whelan and Lance Pendleton yielded five runs on five hits, and walked five. Their performance led Girardi to pull an “I have no other recourse” move, bringing in Mariano Rivera to end the losing streak.

HAMSTRUNG
Big Bart pulled up lame covering first base in the seventh inning. He had thrown just 83 pitches and was working on a two-hit shutout at the time of his exit. Given his age, weight, and conditioning (or lack thereof), Colon could be looking at a long stint on the disabled list. The only good news from this: if and when Phil Hughes returns, there’s no doubt where he’ll be slotted in the rotation.

NEEDLESS COMPARISON
Granderson’s home run was his 20th. Mark Teixeira’s was his 19th. YES Network’s announcers got homer happy. Ken Singleton brought up 1961, and that the recent home run barrage reminded him of that seminal year in Yankees history. Michael Kay mentioned that Maris had 20 home runs and Mantle 18 on this date 50 years ago. Please stop. Granderson and Teixeira are not Mantle and Maris. Moreover, the 2004 Yankees hold the team record for home runs in a season (242). Granted, they didn’t have two guys going shot for shot the way Granderson and Teixeira seem to be right now, but it’s worth noting that the ’04 group, not the ’61 group, is the most prolific Yankees team in that category.

Throwaway Game

At first glance, Thursday night’s Yankee lineup — Jeter, Granderson, Teixeira, A-Rod, Canó, Swisher, Gardner, Cervelli, Curtis — gave the impression that Joe Girardi wasn’t treating the game with the utmost seriousness. It was questionable to go with a lineup that was essentially six-deep, since the Rays beat the Tigers earlier in the day for their sixth consecutive victory, and Dustin Moseley was getting the start.

The proof, or so I thought, came in innings 2-6, when the Yankees continually had base runners advance to scoring position, only to have poor situational hitting lead to nine men stranded. Not coincidentally, their success in putting runners on base aligned with Indians starter Mitch Talbot leaving the game due to a back strain. But the Yankees couldn’t capitalize; they were 0-for-10 with runners in scoring position until Derek Jeter’s two-out single in the sixth plated Brett Gardner to break a 1-1 tie.

In the seventh, Robinson Canó’s solo home run began a two-out rally and a string of nine straight Yankees reaching base. The Yankees broke the game open during that stretch, scoring six more runs as Francisco Cervelli, Curtis Granderson and A-Rod all had singles and Jeter had drew a bases-loaded walk to score a run. The Yankees stranded two more runners that inning, but at least they finally took advantage of an overtaxed Indians bullpen.

Two more two-out runs were scored in the eighth to pad the lead to 11-1. And again, multiple runners were stranded, thanks to A-Rod’s inning-ending strikeout with the bases loaded.

A-Rod’s strikeout was the last piece of drama to the evening. Six more plate appearances, no home runs. Stuck on 599 for more than a week now. He got on base twice and drove in three runs, though, so while at times it appears that he’s pressing, he’s still managing to contribute.

The real story, though, was Moseley. Girardi had said before the game that he’d be happy to get six innings out of Moseley, and that’s exactly what he got. After a rocky first inning that saw him throw 31 pitches, Moseley settled down and cruised through the next five, striking out four batters, walking only two, and retiring eight via the groundball. If the Yankees do not trade for a starting pitcher between now and next Tuesday, Moseley likely earned himself another start.

The rout improved the Yankees’ record in July to 18-6, tied for the best in MLB with the Rays. The only way the Yankees leave St. Petersburg without being in first place is if they get swept. The only team to sweep the Yankees this season? The Rays, May 19-20 at Yankee Stadium.

Should be a fun weekend. Let’s see if Girardi crafts a lineup card like Thursday’s at any point against Tampa.

NOTES AND NUMBERS
* Ten of the Yankees’ 11 runs were scored with two outs.

* After the 0-for-10 start with runners in scoring position, the Yankees went 7-for their next 11.

* Have you seen anyone get more at-bats with the bases loaded than A-Rod? Three more tonight, one last night; I checked his season splits during the game and was shocked to find that he only had 14 ABs with the bases loaded prior to Thursday.

* Both Mark Teixeira and Brett Gardner walked three times. Gardner reached base in all four of his plate appearances to raise his on-base percentage to .397. Conversely, Jeter, who has batted leadoff for most of the year, has an OBP of .338. At what point will Girardi even consider placing Gardner in the leadoff spot, considering the 59-point OBP differential?

* The two pitching staffs combined to issue 17 walks and throw 386 pitches. The strike percentage: 57 percent. The Indians’ staff WHIP for the game was 2.67.

* WTF: Andy Marte pitched the ninth inning for Cleveland and was able to retire the Yankees in order. On the other side of the ninth, Chan Ho Park, in his second inning of work, gave Girardi and pitching coach Dave Eiland major agita by allowing three runs on two hits, three walks and two wild pitches. Only when Swisher caught Luis Valbuena’s fly ball on the warning track was anyone able to breathe a sigh of relief.

Now That’s Progressive

The Cleveland Indians, stuck in last place in the AL Central, one game behind the Kansas City Royals, inspire such excitement that the following exchange took place during the YES telecast in the top of the fifth inning:

KEN SINGLETON (To John Flaherty): “Take a look a the light towers here. … Look at ‘em! Don’t they look like toothbrushes?”

FLAHERTY (after a long pause): “You know, I see it more looking at the shot on TV. I was looking out there and I didn’t get that feel.”

Oh yeah, exciting stuff. Never mind the fact Singleton had a point: the light towers at Progressive Field do resemble the shape of a flat-headed toothbrush.

Amid the stimulating intellectual chatter, a baseball game did occur, albeit a largely nondescript one save for the eighth inning. In the top half, with the Yankees trailing 2-1 and making Jake Westbrook look like he should be pitching for a contending team before the end of the week, Jorge Posada led off, battling back from an 0-2 count and singled to left. It was only the Yankees’ third hit of the night. Curtis Granderson followed by drilling a sinker that didn’t sink deep into the right-field seats to put the Yankees on top. The 8, 9 and 1 hitters — Francisco Cervelli, Brett Gardner and Derek Jeter — went quietly to hand the lead to Javier Vazquez.

Vazquez had pitched reasonably well through seven innings. Yes, Vazquez benefited from an impatient Indians lineup that swung at anything near the strike zone, which kept his pitch count low, but he threw strikes and when he put runners on base, he did a fine job pitching out of jams and minimizing damage. It was one of those outings that had “hard luck loser” written all over it until the Granderson bomb. Vazquez faltered when handed the lead, though, walking leadoff man Michael Brantley. The hiccup prompted Joe Girardi to bring in David Robertson, who succeeded in his audition for “the 8th inning guy.” Robertson threw a first-pitch ball to Asdrubal Cabrera, but overpowered him with fastballs thereafter. On the fifth pitch of the at-bat, Cabrera bounced one to short that seemed to handcuff Jeter, who uncomfortably backhanded the ball but quickly fired to Robinson Canó at second. Canó’s quick turn and rocket toss to Mark Teixeira completed the double play and eased tensions. That was until Joe Girardi emerged from the dugout to take the ball from Robertson and hand it to Boone LOOGY. LOOGY did his job, though, striking out Shin Soo Choo to set up the inevitable with Mariano Rivera.

As Yankee fans, we truly are spoiled. Even when Rivera allows a leadoff hit and that runner advances to scoring position, rarely is there a doubt that he’ll pitch out of the jam. Three broken-bat groundouts later, game over.

The Yankees needed this one because Rays won’t go away. They blanked the Detroit Tigers 5-0 paced by Matt Garza finally putting Tampa on the correct side of a no-hitter. The lead is still three games and hasn’t wavered from that number since July 18, when the Yankees took two of three in the Bronx. The Yankees and Rays are the only two teams in MLB with 60 wins and run differentials of more than 100 (the Yanks are at +129, the Rays are +120). Clearly, they’re the two best teams in the game and they’re both treating games at the end of July as if they were being played in mid-September with a playoff spot and seeding on the line.

THE UMPIRES STRIKE BACK
On June 2, Jim Joyce gave Jason Donald a gift call in Detroit and in the process, took a perfect game away from Armando Galarraga. Tonight, second-base umpire Dale Scott gifted two calls to the Indians in consecutive innings. In the top of the fourth, with one out and Mark Teixeira on first base, Alex Rodriguez hit a sinking liner to left field that Trevor Crowe appeared to have trapped. It was ruled a catch, he quickly threw the ball to the infield, where Donald promptly tagged Teixeira to complete the double play. Teixeira, A-Rod, and Joe Girardi protested the call. In real speed, it looked like a trap, and the slow-motion replay confirmed it. The biggest clue was that Crowe slowed up as the ball continued to sink, and then squared up to field the ball like an infielder. If Crowe intended to catch that ball on the fly, he’d have charged it.

In the top of the fifth, with one out and Posada on first, Granderson hit a long line drive to right that caromed off the top of the wall. Choo played the ricochet perfectly, barehanding the ball off the wall and hurling a seed to second base. The throw beat Granderson by about a step, but Granderson’s slide looked to have beaten the tag from the shortstop, Cabrera. Maybe it’s me, but I don’t believe the thought that if the throw beats the runner, the runner will automatically be out.

At least neither blown call changed the complexion of the game.

Cleveland Indians II: Comin’ Up

The Yankees took two of three from the Indians at the end of May, but the Indians team they face for four games this week is better than the one they faced two months ago. Since June 27, the Indians have gone 15-9 (.625) thanks to an improved performance from their pitching staff, and a coalescing young offense.

Blue-chip catching prospect Carlos Santana made his major league debut on June 11 and has hit .270/.418/.516 since, most impressively racking up more walks (34) than strikeouts (25). Matt LaPorta, the blue-chipper received from the Brewers for CC Sabathia in 2008, returned to the majors on June 27 to replace Russell Branyan at first base after he was dealt back to Seattle, and has hit .320/.386/.560 since. Shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera just returned from the disabled list last Tuesday and has hit .294 in the Tribe’s four games since. Cabrera has pushed Jason Donald, the infielder received from the Phillies in the Cliff Lee deal, over to his proper place at second base, which should only increase his comfort level. Donald has hit .304/.366/.461 since June 10 and .321/.345/.571 in eight games at second base this year. Heck, even 30-year-old Yankee castoff Shelley Duncan is contributing, hitting .283/.359/.522 while spotting in the outfield corners, first base, and DH.

On the mound, former Red Sock Justin Masterson, who had a 6.13 ERA entering the Indians’ last series against the Yankees, has settled down with a 4.56 ERA in 11 starts dating hack to his quality start against the Yankees on May 30. Jake Westbrook, returning from Tommy John surgery, has posted a 4.38 ERA in 14 starts since May 11. Former Rays prospect, rookie Mitch Talbot, who faces Andy Pettitte’s vacated rotation spot on Thursday, has been solid all season (3.89 ERA). Ditto All-Star Fausto Carmona, who will bring his 3.51 ERA to face A.J. Burnett on Wednesday.

The Cleveland rotation did spring a leak in David Huff’s old spot. With replacement Aaron Laffey having just gone down with a bum shoulder, the Tribe will turn to 25-year-old rookie righty Josh Tomlin Tuesday night against their former ace CC Sabathia. I’ll have more on Tomlin tomorrow, but “25-year-old rookie righty vs. CC Sabathia” tells you most of what you need to know.

The Yanks face former David Justice trade bait Westbrook tonight. By providing 1,183 1/3 league-average innings for the Indians over the years, Westbrook has actually made that trade a net loss for the Yankees, though I can’t imagine many Yankee fans have any regrets about the deal. From 2003 to 2007, Westbrook posted a 4.11 ERA in 922 2/3 innings over 143 starts and 15 relief appearances for the Tribe, but in 2008 he made just five starts before going down with an elbow injury that led to Tommy John surgery. He then missed all of the 2009 season, but has returned to his old form this year and, in the final year of his contract, is actually considered a low-end starting pitching option for teams looking to fill a back-end-of-the-rotation hole prior to the trading deadline, teams that could include the Yankees in the wake of Andy Pettitte’s groin injury.

I still think the Yankees would be better off giving Ivan Nova a look, but that’s a rant for another day. Tonight, they have Javier Vazquez looking to rebound from a poor start against the Angels. Vazquez seems to have finally settled in as the mid-rotation starter the Yankees hoped he would be when they acquired him from the Braves this past offseason. He hasn’t had consecutive poor outings since April 25 and May 1 and nine of his 12 starts since then have been quality starts. Vazquez hasn’t faced the Indians since he was with the White Sox in 2008, which means half of the Cleveland lineup has never seen him before.

The Yankees run out their standard lineup tonight with Jorge Posada at DH and Francisco Cervelli behind the plate. Despite his hit-by-pitch scare, Alex Rodriguez is back at third base, still sitting on 599 career homers. Nick Swisher remains in right, batting second.

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2010 Cleveland Indians

There are four basic steps to rebuilding a ballclub. First, trade your marketable stars and veterans for prospects, retaining only the core, team-controlled players around which you plan to build. Second, evaluate your new assets to determine which will hit, which will miss, which might benefit from a position or role change or a particular mechanical or coaching fix, and identify what holes are likely to remain on your roster once those players have graduated to the majors. Third, once those players are established at the major league level, compliment them with one or two big free agent signings and perhaps another trade that target the remaining holes. Step four: win.

It’s not that easy (not that it sounds easy), but that’s the plan. The Indians are currently in Stage Two. Beginning with the trade that sent CC Sabathia to the Brewers in July 2008, Cleveland has traded CC Sabathia, Cliff Lee, Victor Martinez, Casey Blake, Franklin Gutierrez, Rafael Betancourt, Ryan Garko, Kelly Shoppach, Ben Francisco, and Mark DeRosa. That’s a pair of Cy Young award winners, more than half of their 2008 starting lineup, an ace set-up man, a productive back-up catcher, and their 2009 Opening Day third baseman.

That has left them with a core of center fielder Grady Sizemore, 27, middle infielder Asdrubal Cabrera, 24, (both, cruelly, on the disabled list at the moment with injuries that could keep them out for a significant portion of the season), right fielder Shin-Soo Choo, 27 and the team’s best hitter for the last two seasons, and right-handed starter Fausto Carmona, 26. Travis Hafner, Jhonny Peralta, and Jake Westbrook are still around, but Hafner is tied down by a bad contract, the market for Peralta dried up last year when he moved to third base and stopped hitting, and Westbrook was frozen in place by his June 2008 Tommy John surgery.

To that core, the Indians have added these young players and prospects via trade:

2B – Luis Valbuena (from Seattle for Gutierrez)
SS – Jason Donald (from Philadelphia for Lee)
C – Lou Marson (also for Lee)
C – Carlos Santana (from the Dodgers for Blake)
OF/1B – Matt LaPorta (from Milwaukee for Sabathia)
OF – Michael Brantley (also for Sabathia)
RHP – Mitch Talbot (from Tampa Bay for Shoppach)
RHP – Justin Masterson (from Boston for Martinez)
RHP – Chris Perez (from St. Louis for DeRosa)
RHP – Jess Todd (also for DeRosa)
RHP – Carlos Carrasco (also for Lee)
LHP – Scott Barnes (from San Francisco for Garko)
RHP – Nick Hagadone (also for Martinez)
RHP – Bryan Price (also for Martinez)
RHP – Rob Bryson (also for Sabathia)
RHP – Jason Knapp (also for Lee)
RHP – Connor Graham (from Colorado for Betancourt)
RHP – Joe Smith (from the Mets in the Gutierrez deal)
LHP – Zach Jackson (also for Sabathia)
RHP – Jon Meloan (also for Blake)

Valbuena, Marson, LaPorta, and Brantley were in the Indians Opening Day lineup at second, catcher, first, and left, respectively. Talbot and Masterson are in their rotation. Perez was their closer while Kerry Wood was on the disabled list. Donald is now their starting shortstop with Cabrera on the DL. Santana is expected to be called up in June to push Marson into a backup role. Of those 20 players, only relievers Jackson and Meloan are no longer with the organization (both were throw-ins that yielded no lasting value for the team).

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Cleveland Indians II: Baby Boogaloo

The Indians helped open the new Yankee Stadium last month, and while their 22-run outburst in the third game of that inaugural series (most of the runs coming off Chien-Ming Wang and Anthony Claggett) is what sticks in the mind, they only managed a split of the series. In fact, the Indians had not won more than two games in a row prior to their just-completed four-game sweep of the Rays in Cleveland. When the week started, they were 17-28 and 8.5 games out of first place in the American League Central.

Things just aren’t going well for the Tribe. Travis Hafner is back on the disabled list. Grady Sizemore his hitting just .223/.313/.411 and is now DHing due to a sore right elbow that could soon land him on the DL. Since leaving the Bronx, they’ve turned over more than half of their bullpen, restocking with veteran retreads including Matt Herges, Tomo Ohka, and former Yankee Luis Vizcaino, and two fifths of their starting rotation has landed on the DL, with Anthony Reyes possibly out for the year.

Still, that sweep of the Rays was encouraging, and despite the injuries to Hafner and Sizemore and Jhonny Peralta’s power outage (.342 slugging, one homer), they’re third in the AL in runs scored per game. That’s due in large part to a tremendous comeback season from Victor Martinez (.359/.434/.557), a nice rebound by Asdrubal Cabrera (.321/.385/.439, seven steals in eight attempts), and a strong showing from right fielder Shin-Soo Choo (.289/.408/.457). They’re also benefiting from the fact that their non-stars (including Cabrera) are performing at or around league average, preventing any drains on the lineup beyond those being created by Sizemore, Hafner, and Peralta, the last of whom is at least getting on base more than a third of the time.

Their real problem has been pitching. Their starting rotation has a 5.70 ERA, better than only the Phillies’ among the thirty major league teams. Their bullpen as been a bit better, but still ranks ahead of the relief units of just four American League teams. Amazingly, Carl Pavano, who will face Phil Hughes on Sunday, is one of the three Cleveland starters who hasn’t hit the disabled list. After a rough start, Pavano has pitched well over his last six starts (5-1, 3.58 ERA), and Cliff Lee, who faces Andy Pettitte tonight, is leading the staff with a 3.04 ERA, but Fausto Carmona, who faces CC Sabathia tomorrow, is pitching like 2008 all over again (6.42 ERA, more walks than strikeouts), and the back-end of the rotation is halfway between a mystery and a horrorshow. Meanwhile, Kerry Wood is closing like Joe Borowski, converting eight of ten save opportunities, but with a scary 6.35 ERA, and the team’s sub-par defense isn’t helping matters.

Getting back to tonight’s starters. Lee is also pitching like it’s 2008, posting a 1.86 ERA with a 4.33 K/BB ratio over his last eight starts. However, he’s not getting any run support. The Indians have scored zero or one runs in five of his ten starts, are averaging 2.87 runs per game for him, and have gone just 2-8 in his starts, though one of those wins came at Yankee Stadium in the only game this season in which Lee has received more than five runs of support. The Yankees, meanwhile, are 7-2 in Andy Pettitte’s stars despite his comparitively inflated 4.30 ERA. Over his last five starts, Pettitte has compiled a 5.46 ERA, but the Yanks and their AL-leading offense have still gone 4-1 in those games and scored six runs in the one they lost.

Meanwhile, Jorge Posada’s back, catching, and batting sixth, making the league’s best offense that much better. Kevin Cash is in Scranton. Brett Gardner is in center for the still achy Melky Cabrera, and the bottom third of the order is now Hideki Matsui, Nick Swisher, and Gardner. Not bad at all.

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Cleveland Indians

Cleveland Indians

2008 Record: 81-81 (.500)
2008 Pythagorean Record: 85-77 (.525)

Manager: Eric Wedge
General Manager: Mark Shapiro

Home Ballpark (multi-year Park Factors): Progressive Field (103/102)

Who’s Replaced Whom:

  • Mark DeRosa replaces Casey Blake and some of Jamey Carroll (DL)
  • Shin-Soo Choo and Travis Hafner inherit playing time from Franklin Gutierrez
  • Victor Martinez reclaims playing time from Kelly Shoppach and Ryan Garko
  • Trevor Crowe is filling in for David Dellucci (DL)
  • Tony Graffanino is filling in for Jamey Carroll (DL)
  • Anthony Reyes replaces Paul Byrd
  • Carl Pavano replaces CC Sabathia, Jake Westbrook (DL), and Matt Ginter
  • Aaron Laffey is filling in for Scott Lewis (DL) who replaces Jeremy Sowers (minors)
  • Fausto Carmona and Lewis take over starts from Laffey
  • Kerry Wood replaces Edward Mujica and Juan Rincon and takes over the save opportunities given to Jensen Lewis, Rafael Betancourt, Rafael Perez, Masa Kobayashi, and Joe Borowski
  • Joe Smith and Vinnie Chulk replace Tom Mastny, Jorge Julio, Joe Borowski, and assorted others
  • Vinnie Chulk is filling Josh Barfield’s roster spot; Barfield replaces Andy Marte

25-man Roster:

1B – Ryan Garko (R)
2B – Asdrubal Cabrera (S)
SS – Jhonny Peralta (R)
3B – Mark DeRosa (R)
C – Victor Martinez (S)
RF – Shin-Soo Choo (L)
CF – Grady Sizemore (L)
LF – Ben Francisco (R)
DH – Travis Hafner (L)

Bench:

R – Kelly Shoppach (C)
S – Trevor Crowe (OF)
R – Tony Graffanino (IF)

Rotation:

L – Cliff Lee
R – Anthony Reyes
R – Fausto Carmona
R – Carl Pavano
L – Aaron Laffey

Bullpen:

R – Kerry Wood
R – Rafael Betancourt
L – Rafael Perez
R – Jensen Lewis
R – Masahide Kobayashi
R – Joe Smith
R – Vinnie Chulk
L – Zach Jackson

15-day DL: LHP – Scott Lewis (elbow strain), OF – David Dellucci (strained calf), IF – Jamey Carroll (broken hand)
60-day DL: RHP – Jake Westbrook (TJ)

Typical Lineup:

L – Grady Sizemore (CF)
R – Mark DeRosa (3B)
S – Victor Martinez (C)
L – Travis Hafner (DH)
R – Jhonny Peralta (SS)
L – Shin-Soo Choo (RF)
R – Ryan Garko (1B)
R – Ben Francisco (LF)
S – Asdrubal Cabrera (2B)

Note: Trevor Crowe is sharing left field with Ben Francisco. Otherwise, the most common lineup variation sees Martinez shift to first with Kelly Shoppach taking his place behind the plate and Garko’s spot in the lineup.

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"This ain't football. We do this every day."
--Earl Weaver