33 In - What We Know (But the Tribe Won't Admit)

It is 33 games into the 2010 campaign. While I’m one to stress sample size, and 33 games is indeed a terrible sample size, but a few things are obvious to me with the 2010 Tribe. Let’s take a look at them:

Something is wrong with Grady Sizemore.

I don’t know what it is that’s wrong with him, but it’s clearly bothering him and he’s digging himself even further into his slump. In 31 games Sizemore has a misrable .270 OBP and is displaying none of the power he was known for. It’s clearly a cause for concern among Tribe fans but the Indians seem to be keeping quiet about it (either through ignorance or through a gag order), perfering to let Sizemore work though his problems because, well, what else are they going to do? Besides, his error last night aside, it’s not like he’s killing you on defense.

Justin Masterson is NOT a starter.

Let’s not mince words. Masterson has been woefully underwhelming as starting pitcher for the Indians (5.92 ERA, 1.82 WHIP, opponents are hitting .312 off him). Yes, he does have 43 strikeouts, but eventually you have to wonder when the Indians will say enough is enough. Fortunately for Masterson, he apparently has all the time in the world with David Huff struggling since his complete game and Aaron Laffey being the only consistent reliever (along with Tony Sipp) in the pen. The Indians are reluctant to make a quick move with Masterson and he’ll continue to be given every chance to turn things around as a starter.

It’s time to cut ties with Raffy Perez.

Perez has gone from being my favorite Indian during the 2007 and 2008 seasons to a total waste of a roster spot. He’s allowed 18 hits in less than 10 IP, for an ungodly 2.59 WHIP. He really should have been designated for assignment when the Indians brought back Kerry Wood, as Jensen Lewis was pitching well. Unfortunately for Lewis, Jensen has options and Perez doesn’t. The Tribe is terrified of giving up on Perez and having him regain his dominant form. At this point, let him go. If he regains his form, good for him. It isn’t going to happen in Cleveland, and you can’t say you didn’t give the guy a chance to redeem himself.

Luis Valbuena is not the answer this season at second base.

Calling Valbuena’s season rocky is being kind. He’s got an OBP of .299 and an OPS of  .577 in 25 games this season, and his defense has been questionable at second base. While there’s no need to get rid of Valbuena completely (as he has options left), it’s clear that for both his sake, the team’s sake, and the fans’ sake, he needs to be send down to Columbus and Jason Donald needs to be given a shot. Such a move would probably slide Asdrubal Cabrera back to second base, but I’m ok with this as long as Donald is defending well. It’s a move that should be done sooner rather than later before Valbuena is ruined.

Some minor matters to get in to, my boy Andy Marte was placed on the DL with a non-baseball medical issue. I have no idea what’s going on, as soon as I do I can let you know. OF Trevor Crowe was recalled to take his spot. Also, LHP Scott Lewis, who started on Opening Day at Progressive Field in 2009, has been released. He was pitching at Columbus and had been dealing with elbow issues.

Tags: Aaron Laffey Andy Marte Trevor Crowe David Huff Grady Sizemore Jason Donald Jensen Lewis Justin Masterson Kerry Wood Luis Valbuena Rafael Perez Scott Lewis Tony Sipp

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