In one of my first posts on this site, I wrote that a Fausto Carmona comeback would be huge for the Indians’ rebuilding efforts.
I still stand by this statement, and while it’s still spring training, and none of these stats or statistics matter, seeing Carmona pitch 6 innings without issuing a walk is encouraging, to say the least. Even better are Fausto’s spring numbers: 13 IP, 5 hits, 1 run, and only two (TWO!!!) walks.
Who is this pitcher and what has he done with the 2008-2009 version of Fausto Carmona? Because I’d sure like to thank him.
According to Anthony Castrovince of mlb.com, Fausto’s spring resurgence is “yet another exhibit of the pound-the-zone commandment of [Manny] Acta and pitching coach Tim Belcher.” Why Eric Wedge and Carl Willis didn’t encourage the pounding of the strike zone is beyond me, but apparently this is a new philosophy in the Tribe clubhouse.
I must use tempered enthusiasm, however. Spring training stats are essentially meaningless, but it doesn’t make these signs any less encouraging for Fausto Carmona. He’s got ace stuff, and having a pitcher like Carmona is capable of being on the staff would shave valuable time off of the rebuilding project.
As for players not playing well, Jeremy Sowers seems determined to hammer the nails down in his own big league coffin. He was roughed up yesterday for 7 runs, 5 hits, 2 walks and a strikeout in one plus innings of work. Ouch. It doesn’t look good for Sowers’s chances with the Indians this year, especially when you consider the Immortal Mitch T is tearing up the Cactus League. Talbot is second in ERA with 0.79, making him the favorite to land one of the final rotation spots. You have to believe, that barring a complete collapse or injury, Talbot is going to make the opening day rotation. Talbot landing a rotation spot would leave Huff the Magic Lefty and Laffey Taffy as the final two starters competing for one spot. And after the way Sowers has pitched this spring, you’d have to imagine that if they decide to go with Huff as the final starter, that Laffey could very easily take Sowers’s potential spot in long relief, leaving Sowers as the odd man out.
If Sowers’s career with the Indians is indeed over, it could go down as one of the biggest miscalculations by the front office in years. That’s a bold statement, but Sowers has been a massive disappointment. Let’s hope I’m wrong, but so far Sowers isn’t doing himself any favors.