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Indians Indians Archive Morning Rundown: A Model to Envy and Emulate
Written by Nino Colla

Nino Colla

TNeal01Here it is... The month the Indians have been waiting for. One that is not August. I'll be forever mystified by the "We can't wait til August is over" quotes, but I get it. They've mentally made up in their minds that August has been a total disaster and that once it passes, things will get better. Whatever helps everyone sleep at night I guess. As long as things change in September. If the first two games are any indication, they'll likely win at least more than five.

September 2nd, 2012

Texas Rangers - 8

Cleveland Indians - 3

W: Derek Holland (10-6) L: Zach McAllister (5-6)


The Texas Rangers are in the position you want to be as a MLB franchise. You can take the Yankees, Red Sox, Phillies, Dodgers, Angels, whatever. Give me what the Texas Rangers have going right now.

They have the ability to sign a free agent, like an Adrian Beltre or go after someone like Yu Darvish. Are they able to outspend everyone? No, even they have their limit and have to be smart about their business decisions. But boy have they been in the past few years. Nabbing guys like Beltre who has flourished in Texas.

And then they have the ability to raise homegrown talent because of their deep farm system. You look at Andrus, Kinsler, David Murphy, their pitching. And then the guy that debuted in the nine-hole for them.

They have the ability to have this lineup stocked with those good players so that when they debut a Jurickson Profar, he's hitting ninth. And boy did he make an impact in his first game.

"He's pretty impressive," Acta said. "I saw him before in the instructional league. Obviously, he's one of the top prospects in the game. He showed today how it appears kind of easy for him. First at-bat in the big leagues, no problem, 10 rows back, home run. Second one, double. He looks like he's been there, done that, 19 years old. That's amazing."

And that's another thing, they can get him to move so quickly through their system. Francisco Lindor is probably comparable and he's still in Lake County. You can't tell me that if the Indians were not in the position Texas is, Lindor wouldn't be moving a little faster than he is. After the first-half he had, he'd probably be in Carolina. Not saying they'd move him like the Rangers did Profar (different franchise, different philosophy, different player, different circumstances), but there would be a different outlook.

Right now, they're doing it right and you have to simply envy them and be glad you were able to win at least one from them in this series, especially the way they are going right now and the way the Indians have been playing.

I think Zach McAllister learned very well all of that first hand. Even if they aren't going strong, they have enough guys that can win a few ball games on their own on the right night. And if they're all on? Watch out.

"That's the wrong team not to bring your 'A' game out there," Indians manager Manny Acta said. "They have a very, very good lineup. He was just throwing the ball at times right where those guys have their hot spot. Those long balls kind of showed that."

Not only the Profar jack, but then the three-run homer inning in the fifth where they were just hammering away. You get a few runs worth of a lead and hitters like Beltre, Cruz, Murphy, etc. can just look for their pitch and hack and that's really what they did. Everyone in that inning was just slamming the ball, even the ones who made outs.

These are the growing pains a McAllister has to go through. Someone who found a little bit of success and now has to struggle. It will benefit him in the long run, even though it's tough right now to watch. He has to learn to adjust accordingly to the adjustments the league has made to him. 

I guess on the topic of debuts, we might as we well transition into the talk about the Indians new call-ups. If you missed my recap, you can view that here and look what I had to say specifically about Thomas Neal.

Neal is a great story, but he was hitting fifth in this one. Part of that had to do with all the days off Manny Acta gave his regulars for one reason or another (Choo, lefty & needed a break, Brantley needed a break, Cabrera day-to-day), but part of it also shows you what it has all come to this season.

And say what you want, but Russ Canzler hit a monster double off the wall in his shot as the cleanup hitter, and Neal roped a double down the line for his first hit and RBI. Canzler had two hits last night as well, so, so far, so good.

I guess the overriding issue though is the fact that the Indians need to hit those guys there. So I guess we are saying what we want. A top prospect like Profar gets to debut in the nine hole, while Neal? A guy who was called up from Double-A, much less of a profile and ceiling? Fifth? 

The picture right there is not right. That is by no means a slight to Neal in anyway. It's a great story and I'm glad he got that opportunity. But it shouldn't have to be that way.

But it is and that is what we've come to.

Random Details...

Neal went from partying on Friday night with the Aeros as they clinched their division in the Eastern League, to Akron on Saturday, and up to Cleveland Sunday for his debut. I'm sure it was a whirlwind few days and now he gets to turn right back around and head up to Detroit. Neal's hit came despite jets flying around over his head due to the Cleveland Air Show in town.

"That was pretty crazy to have those jets flying over as I'm swinging," he said. "I was telling [Michael] Brantley I couldn't remember what pitch he threw."

Such a great story for someone who lost his 40-man spot at the beginning of the year. He goes down to Double-A, not even Columbus, hits there all season and now gets the call. It really doesn't get too much better than that.

Let's not forget that two runs were scored thanks to a Carlos Santana two-run shot, his 14th of the year. He's suddenly caught some sort of fire, which, I guess is better than never having caught fire at all and making us wonder if there was anything going on there. A nice follow up to him getting removed earlier in the series for not hustling. It wasn't so much a lack of effort as it was a lapse in thought. He simply got frustrated at himself and caught up in that, I wouldn't worry.

Frank Herrmann is also back, tossing two innings in this one, striking out three and giving up a run. Scotty Barnes looked particularly good in his return, throwing two scoreless frames. Just needs more zeros from here on out.

Matt LaPorta played just once in this series. So much for him getting a considerable chunk of time throughout here. Russ Canzler already has one more hit than LaPorta and he's only started two games compared to the five LaPorta has seen action in since his call-up. That can't be good for that MaTola kid.


You know you have had a bad season when your ERA goes down after giving up four runs in more than five innings. That's been the case for Ubaldo Jimenez in three straight starts as his ERA has gone down despite giving up three, three, and four runs. Jimenez struggled on Friday with the high pitch count once again, throwing a season-high 117 pitches but still not being able to get through six whole complete innings.

"I don't think he's doing that on purpose," Acta said. "I think he wants to get out of the fifth with 50 pitches. The pitching coaches have worked with him. He understands he should be going deeper into the game to help his bullpen and to help us win. Believe me, no one wants to lose, and he doesn't want to go out there and have 100 pitches in the fifth."

Right there, it seems like all Acta can say is "I don't know much else about what we can do with this guy." What else can he say? What else can his coaches do? Of course he's not doing it on purpose. I doubt the guy wants to go out there and do bad. He's just. I don't even know. I guess I know how Acta has to feel. What's there left to say about this guy?

Looks like Robbie Cwill be out for a little longer than one start. Jeanmar Gomez replaced Fausto on Saturday for the start and will likely do so the next time around considering he can't pitch in a walking boot.

"Ideally, the best thing for him would be to make every one of his starts, so the front office could evaluate him and make the decision they have to make, but that's not going to happen now," Acta said. "We'll have to wait until he comes out of that boot and go from there."

Certainly not and it is at least two less chances the Indians have to see him in action to make that decision. It's also more time to see Jeanmar Gomez, who while he pitched well enough to nab that win on Saturday, could self-destruct again at any time.

You could see Lonnie Chisenhall real soon as he's embarking on his rehab assignment. He played third base for five innings for the Clippers yesterday, going 1-for-3 on the game. He will DH tonight getting some more at-bats and then shift his assignment over to the playoff-bound Aeros, as the Clippers will not longer be playing.

Well, my little sad goodbye to Shelley Duncan was all-for-naught as Duncan managed to clear waivers and be returned to Columbus. Whether he returns after today remains to be seen considering he'd have to be re-added to the 40-man roster. Acta seemed to nudge that Duncan was not in any future plans, so again, I doubt we see him back.

Look out, Hector Rondon is moving! The Aeros got to see the continuously rehabbing starter as he tossed two innings for them last Thursday. He gave up a run off three hits and a strikeout. You could see Carlos Carrasco do the same thing in the coming days as he prepares to start throwing in game action.

Chris Perez will return to the team on Tuesday, as he has been away with his wife who gave birth to a baby girl on Saturday. Madelyn Perez is just yet another baby born to an Indians player this year, making Perez the fourth Indians player to have be placed on the Paternity Leave list. Vinnie Pestano will serve as closer if needed on Monday, and he did so successfully on Saturday notching a save.


If I could post this quote to post to my fridge for use at a later date, I really would. Nothing describes and tells every Indian fan yelling at the Dolans to sell the team than this gem from Paul Cousineau yesterday.

Regardless, Beane’s $55M A’s are in the playoff hunt as are the $64M Rays, while the $78M Indians are limping (badly) to the finish line this year. The difference between those two teams in contention and the Indians’ performance this year has everything to do with player acquisition and player development (hey, look where each team ranks in ERA in the AL) and less to do with any kind of money being spent on the MLB roster.

I'll be keeping that one in my back pocket for later use. You should too.


Nino has a blog! Give it a visit at The Tribe Daily, because his fridge is covered in plenty of quotes about the Cleveland Indians.

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