Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Gammonsesque Thoughts

  • It was a piece of Gammonsesque serendipity that Lastings Milledge made his Major League debut on a night when Alay Soler started. Milledge was a proven commodity. At the time of his call-up, he was leading the International League in on base percentage despite batting just under .300. Soler, a defector from Cuba, is largely an unknown (both talent-wise and age-wise, some would say). In his first start he followed a three-run first with five shutout innings in a no decision. Tuesday night he was not so lucky, giving up 7 earned runs in five innings of work.

  • Aaron Boone was in the lineup a day after tumbling head first into a camera bay. However, had he gone on the DL, it would have been interesting to see what the Indians would have done to replace him. Option one would have been to call up veteran utilityman Ramon Vazquez to platoon with Lou Merloni. Boone's heir apparent, Andy Marte, would have been option #2. Marte has been struggling to keep his average around .250 at AAA Buffalo, but he is 8 for 19 in his last five games. With Marte struggling at Buffalo and Vazquez struggling while at the Major League level this year, the dark horse in this situation is AA Akron third baseman Kevin Kouzmanoff. Kouzmanoff is currently one of the top hitters in all of the minors with a .410 average. In my mind, asking Kouzmanoff to back up Merloni at third while continuing to let Marte play every day at Buffalo is something to consider.

  • Hey, I found my contact!

  • Sibling Watch: Jered Weaver was dazzling in his MLB debut: 7 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 5 K. Stephen Drew is hitting .310 with 9 HR and 31 RBI for AAA Tucson. BJ and Justin Upton are both batting .297, BJ for AAA Durham and Justin for LoA South Bend.

  • Offspring Watch: Tony Gwynn II is hitting .323 for Milwaukee's AAA affiliate. He appears to be a singles hitter like his dad, with 53 of his 65 hits being singles. Before you know it, the Brewers will be the team to beat in the NL Central.

  • Back in spring training, it was known that Brian McCann would be Atlanta's starting catcher. But the media did quite a bit to hype Jarrod Saltalamacchia (and I'll admit it, I almost took him in my fantasy draft). McCann was near the top of the NL with a .347 average before going on the DL last week. Meanwhile Saltalamacchia is struggling with the Mendoza line at AA Mississippi, hitting .198.

  • Speaking of Atlanta's spring training, the Braves gave prospect Anthony Lerew a few chances to end ballgames, and they didn't go too well. Lerew is currently 1-3 with an ERA of 9.26 for AAA Richmond.

  • The Mets have a pitching prospect named Mike Swindell, who has yet to give up a run in 17 innings of work for St Lucie. He's too old to be a relative of Indians legend Greg Swindell, but I wonder if there's still a connection.

  • The bad news for Jeremy Sowers is that he hasn't been able to keep up his career 4:1 strikeout to walk ratio this year. The good news? Just about everything else. The Indians prospect is 6-1 this year for AAA Buffalo with a sparkling 1.12 ERA. That ERA was aided by a 22 inning scoreless streak that was just recently broken. I wonder how long we'll have to wait to see this 2004 Vanderbilt graduate's MLB debut.

  • Speaking of Indians pitching prospects named Jeremy, it's good to see Jeremy Guthrie back on track. Coming out of Stanford in 2002, Guthrie made 10 starts at AA Akron in 2003 before being promoted to AAA. At Buffalo he promptly fell apart, and he spent the next two and a half years being labeled a bust. Following a decent performance in spring training this year, and aided by a few decent performances out of the Tribe bullpen, it looks like it's time to remove that "bust" label. Guthrie is 3-0 this year at Buffalo with an ERA of 0.53.

  • If the Indians need more bullpen help this season, the Gammonsesque pick is Edward Mujica. Mujica had 8 saves as AA Akron's closer before being called up to AAA Buffalo. Combined, he's pitched 27 scoreless innings this year.

  • Enjoy dining on delicious Rodney Choy Foo while overlooking Bear Bay

  • Just for fun: Which of these Indians minor leaguers has the better name: Bear Bay or Rodney Choy Foo?

  • The one Notre Dame alum that comes closest to the Gammonsesque label this year is Matt Macri. Macri, who passed up an offer from the Twins out of high school to play at Notre Dame, did not always play up to his potential as a member of the Irish baseball squad. Now he's in the Rockies organization, hitting .271 with 6 HR and 26 RBI for AA Tulsa.