Yesterday’s soul-sucking loss has brought up a lot of speculation about sending Luis Valbuena down to AAA and calling up the hot-hitting Jason Donald, whom the Indians acquired in the Cliff Lee deal last year. It makes sense, with Valbuena struggling at the plate and in the field and with Donald tearing it up at AAA Columbus.
Unfortunately, while it may help things, a switch at second base won’t fix the Indians’ woes.
It actually masks a larger problem the Indians have had this season: players the Indians were hoping would take a positive step forward in their development that simply haven’t, such as Valbuena, Matt LaPorta, Chris Perez and Lou Marson to name a few off the top of my head.
The Tribe has Donald as insurance at second base, Marson is most likely keeping the seat warm for Carlos “Smooth” Santana and the Indians always have options at closer (Jensen Lewis anyone? I mean, why the hell not?) plus Kerry Wood will supposedly return.
However, the Indians were counting on Matt LaPorta developing into an offensive force. A .276 OBP and a .519 OPS doesn’t cut it. The Tribe didn’t trade CC Sabathia for that. The Indians expected growing pains with LaPorta, but he’s been abysmal thus far this season. I don’t know what the problem is, but I don’t think sending him down to AAA will fix it. He’s already proven he can handle AAA pitching. He needs to prove he can do it against the big-league pitchers. Or else he’ll be another failed prospect.
Speaking of failed prospects, can we see more of Andy Marte please? It’s not like Jhonny is going to get any better. When Marte was pinch-hit with the bases loaded on Sunday I was pissed. Taking Marte out of those situations is exactly why he fails. You need to give him a chance. /rant