"Hell, there are no rules here - we're trying to accomplish something." - Thomas A. Edison
"I have found that people who can successfully resist temptation invariably lead depressingly stunted lives." — C.D. Payne
"So don't weep for me now, my friends, because science insists that I have not died.
Energy just always changes state and I refuse to believe that human consciousness is the sole exception to this universal law."
- Mark Millar
"Do only butterflies die in flames? What about those devoured by the flames within them?" - E.M. Cioran

Monday, March 26, 2012

Just In From the Desert

Hot Corner:  The official word is still that the third base job will not be awarded until the last possible moment, but if anyone thinks that Lonnie Chisenhall (.205, .456 OPS, 0 HR, 16/39 K/AB) is going to win it, I have some real estate in Detroit that you would absolutely adore.  Jack Hannahan returned to the line-up today after missing 10 days with a stiff lower back and doubled in both of his ABs.  Cap'n Jack is now clipping at an even .300 with a .900 OPS.

#5:  Despite an inconsistent outing against the Cubs on Sunday (5 IP, 7 H, 3 ER, 3 BB, 3 K), Jeanmar Gomez (1-1, 1.69 ERA, .196 OBA, 1.06 WHIP) still holds a sizable lead in the race for the last rotation spot.  One would have to assume that David Huff (1-1, 5.79, .298 OBA) is ahead of Kevin Slowey (0-3, 6.75, .352), but it's purely academic at this point.

Left Of Center:  I don't care what Manny Acta says or how distasteful a .216 batting average is, Shelley Duncan has won this job with 5 homers and 15 ribs.  Bear in mind though that Acta has directly contradicted himself on the matter this spring.  Back on March 7th, Acta told us that he wanted a player with "a nice blend of offense and defense."  A mere 16 days later, he had changed his tune, stating "You need to hit. We can't have a pecking order for defensive left fielders here. We need to see some stuff, some offense, some production."  16 days!  Did he actually change his mind?  Hell, no!  You know what you call that?  Unrepentant hypocrisy!  The man never tells us anything.  He just keeps talking in his puppy-cute broken English, making funny little jibes and pretending like he actually possesses the ability to evaluate talent or motivate players.  I've said it before and I'll say it again - Manny Acta is an idiot and the Indians organization confirms its dedication to mediocrity by retaining him.

Somewhere Out There:  So who's still competing?  Aaron Cunningham (.222) singled in three trips today, while Felix Pie (.231) had an RBI hit after replacing him.  Ryan Spilborghs (.171) once again went hitless and has simply run out of time to win a spot.  I count Matt LaPorta (.167) and Fred Lewis (.214) out as well.  Although Russ Canzler (.297) has had a solid spring, his .674 OPS is troubling.  Given Cunningham's contract situation and Pie's defense, Canzler has fallen to a distant third.  I don't know why I ever doubted this one.  Unless Cunningham in injured, he will be on the roster.  That's what you get for trading for an unproved kid who is out of options.

Bench MeJose Lopez (.351) was 0-for-4 today, but will be the last man on the bench.  The next person who mentions Andy LaRoche gets busted in the mouth.

Mightier Than the Sword:  Here's where it gets goddamn tricky.  By mid-market logic, newly acquired Rick VandenHurk is a shoe-in because he's out of options, but he got lit up on Saturday (0.2 IP, 2 ER, 2 K) and has an 11.57 ERA and a 2.43 WHIP overall this spring.  Jeremy Accardo has the best numbers of the bunch (1.50 ERA, SV), which obviously means that he's out of the running.  The word on the street is that Dan Wheeler (9.00 ERA, .382 OBA) has nearly pitched himself into a spot.  Great.  I look forward to 5 weeks of Dan the Gas Man fueling the fire before he is unceremoniously released.  And what about Chris Ray?  9.00 is cool, but 11.25 is out of line.  Ray actually has the same WHIP (2.00) as Wheeler and a better OBA (.352).  Oh, but Wheeler was sooooo good with Tampa Bay 3 years ago.  That's an outstanding reason to put him in the bullpen.  Shit, it doesn't really matter.  Frank Herrmann (6.48) has won one spot and he's fine as the long man and the Indians went 30-15 to start last season with Chad Durbin torching shit.

Red Tags:  Expect cuts on Thursday.

The Indians take on the White Sox tomorrow at 4:05p in Glendale.  Should you care to listen, it'll be on MMS @ 7p.