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Indians Indians Archive Morning Rundown: Change To Embrace With Perez's Comments?
Written by Nino Colla

Nino Colla

RCanzler01I know every day we lose a few people and with every loss people dropped like flies, but we probably lost as many people as we will all year this morning. Or maybe not.

September 9th, 2012

Cleveland Indians - 7

Minnesota Twins - 8

W: Brian Duensing (4-10) L: Vinnie Pestano (3-2)


Considering the NFL started yesterday in full, most people have probably diverted their attention elsewhere. And in Cleveland that's a pretty standard thing that is expected. Then again after yesterday's loss, the Browns fans might be already looking forward to 2013, but considering it was a close game (not that the Eagles played all that well themselves), there may not be as many abandoning ship as you might think.

But if you're still here, great, thanks for joining me. The game-portion of this will be quite quick, because we have other business to attend to. And of course, this is likely the case from here on out.

This was an interesting game though. It boiled down to one pitch, but how it got that point was a see-saw battle of, well, I really don't know what to call it. So I'll just be snarky about it. Corey Kluber though, was the man who was probably the biggest culprit considering the offense came to play.

"The guys did a great job early of giving me a lead," Kluber said. "I didn't do a good job of making it stand up."

Kluber couldn't get out of the fourth, which has been something Acta's not been understanding with the past few games when he yanked Jeanmar Gomez in favor of David Huff just a night ago. Kluber got a quick hook and even though he didn't walk anyone, he gave up eight hits and a hurtful 2-run shot to Justin Morneau which came off a pitch in a 0-2 count.

That was something Acta harped on and said there were several instances of those, all which attributed to the loss.

The bullpen was see-saw from there, with Esmil Rogers coming in and giving up a pair of runs after Seddon pitched a solid inning and a third. But really as mentioned, it came down to one pitch.

Into the psychology of the game, Vinnie Pestano had Morneau the other night with a pitch in that jammed him. So Pestano naturally went back to that. Pestano knows that the left-handers want to jump on him as early as possible, so he's trying to induce the out.

And he threw his pitch, an inside fastball on the first pitch of the at-bat in the ninth to Morneau. Which is exactly what Morneau was looking for.

"I was looking for the pitch that I got -- just something to drive, something to pull," Morneau said. "I faced him a couple nights ago, he jammed me, so I had a feeling he might try to come in there again, and he did and left it over the plate just a little bit, and I just kept it fair enough and we get to jump up and down and have fun."

That was the problem of course, the fact that Pestano's pitch was just not inside enough. And that's your game. 

Random Details...

Ben Revere made an excellent catch in the top of the ninth inning with a runner on third and two outs. Zeke Carrera did a great job in the at-bat just to fight something off that was looking like it was going to bloop into center, until Revere came riding in on his horse (you got that!) to take it away.

Want a lesson in run-production? The Twins 2-3-4 hitters all scored four runs and their 3-4-and-6 hitters knocked in six runs. So that's how you draw it up.

The Indians were a little more spread out. Carlos Santana obviously had the big shot with the home run and going 3-for-5. But it was just a mess up hits that found them with some runs. Choo walked twice but didn't score a run, however he did not get a hit and seemingly knocked in a run. Go figure.


You want a revolution? You want some change? You want someone to buck the system and make this team take note?

Then you should embrace what Chris Perez is doing. Is it reckless? Is he right? Is it going to get him a one-way ticket out of Cleveland?

Yeah probably, to all three of those questions. Will things change? Is it the right move? How much more is to come?

I don't know the answer to those. But here we are again with Chris Perez speaking his mind. Some would wonder if he's looking to get traded, looking to help the team, looking to gain attention, or just simply spouting off because that's who he is.

I've reached the point where I don't really know what his motive is, nor do I really care. I love Chris Perez. I love his attitude, I love the way he approaches the game and I love the results. I'm not so much in love with him doing things the way he's done them this season as far as talking to the media goes. Whether these things, these comments, these side-bars to what happens on the field are a product of his attitude and the way he goes about things, it has reached the point where it no longer matters though. At least in mind when it comes to what the Indians are going to do with their closer.

I think the Indians were going to trade Chris Perez regardless of his words. If he is 'trying' to get traded, all he is doing is decreasing his trade value. But I don't think, in my heart of hearts, that he is 'trying' to get traded. That is not the type of person that he is. That isn't the same guy that criticized the fans for not coming to games in Cleveland. If anything, he's a team player and not about to cry in order to get moved. That doesn't mean he isn't going to 'cry' though. And boy he's really cried this year.

Again, I love Chris Perez, but I think he's long gone given the situation the Indians are in with a closer in waiting in Vinnie Pestano, depth in the bullpen department, and other needs that Perez can help address. He's talked a little too much in addition to the situation he was in, so if it isn't all but at given the Indians will move him, then well, I'm not sure what more can be done.

However, we should probably be embracing the gift that Perez is giving us on his way out. I think it's funny that he gets flack. He's basically getting flack for talking (and in some people's minds, he shouldn't talk, which I respect that opinion because more times than not, athletes should stay quiet). If he didn't talk, he wouldn't catch any heat. But regardless of what he says, he's going to get it. He's ultimately offending someone. Whether he criticizes the fans, the owners, the front office, the other team, someone is going to scold him.

And some are sick of him. Which is fine.

But he's really doing what most fans, who have a problem with him by the way, have been doing and have wanted someone to do for some time now. He's speaking out. He's challenging the system. Again, I said it earlier. You want a revolution? You got one.

You want someone to call the Dolan's out? You got it. It may not be the one you wanted, but you got it, so you might as well embrace it. I'm not sure who's "job" it would be to call out the management and ownership. Perhaps in the ideal world, they'd take stock of their own situation and admit they need to hold themselves responsible. It shouldn't be a player, a coach, a manager, a fan. But in this instance, no one with a voice loud enough has ever done this. The only thing louder is the silence of fans and that hasn't really effected the Indians in a significant way.

Now there's this guy, who happens to play for the team, willing to go to bat for. Well again, we don't know why he's doing what he's doing, but the fact of the matter is he's going to bat for what is good and what the Indians want. In case you missed the comments that originated in a Jon-Paul Morosi article, that was ironically, about little-market guys that have built their teams the right way challenging down the stretch this year.

“Different owners,” Perez said frankly, in reference to Detroit’s Mike Ilitch and Cleveland’s Lawrence J. Dolan. “It comes down to that. They (the Tigers) are spending money. He (Ilitch) wants to win. Even when the economy was down (in Detroit), he spent money. He’s got a team to show for it. You get what you pay for in baseball. Sometimes you don’t. But most of the time you do.”

Of course there is a difference in the owners, not just the fact that they are different. One is on his death bed and is incredible rich and willing to use that wealth because he is not long for this world. He wants to win a title, badly, and is willing to lose money to do so. Perez in a nut shell though, is right, you do get what you pay for, unless you are smart about it, which the Indians, well, they have not. But that's a different issue for a different day (perhaps tomorrow).

“You can’t miss,” Perez said. “You have to be right. That’s why I say it’s not just ownership. They don’t make the trades. It’s the GMs. It goes hand in hand. The GMs can only spend the money the owners give them, but they pick who they spend it on or who they don’t. They pick. The owners don’t pick.

“Josh Willingham would look great in this lineup. They didn’t want to (pony) up for that last year. … That’s the decision they make, and this is the bed we’re laying in.”

And here we go with the 'loudest voice' point. How many times this year have I said, "Josh Willingham would look good in this lineup"? Many, but all Chris Perez needs to do is say it once. Now that he's said it, maybe ownership is paying attention. I mean, I'm sure they all know that they would have benefited from giving Willingham what he wanted to get him signed, but now they have someone calling them out on it. 

And if the first part of that quote isn't a shot on the Indians choosing to spend on Grady Sizemore instead of Josh Willingham, I don't know what is.

Chris Perez is simply being real. Is he trying to start a revolution? Is he really truly trying to do what he can to get this team to wake up and maybe change the way they do things? I don't know. Maybe he is. We can only really guess. But he may just be doing it right now. 

To tie this up... Morosi joined Jeff Phelps and Andy Baskin and said that Chris was just being "really frank" in his assessment and that he "doesn't want to lose" and that he didn't sense that Perez was trying to get himself out of Cleveland. 

If that is the case and we can believe that, then we do know what his motive is. We can't say for sure but it seems as if Chris Perez should be the one that we all embrace. He's doing what he can to get the fans what they want, and that's a change. Whether it is with ownership, management, or philosophy, change is needed somewhere and Perez, seems to be at the forefront of ushering in that change.

Perez, shrugged the comments off and basically didn't back-track saying, "There you go". 

Antonetti, disagreed and gave you more of the same "Shapiroese" you have become accustomed to in the past decade.

"While we work to understand various perspectives, we strongly disagree with Chris' comments," Indians general manager Chris Antonetti said. "Nonetheless, we are not satisfied with our recent results and our entire organization remains committed to fielding winning teams and that is the standard by which we will continue to operate."

And Acta, basically said that "You deal with it" and "You just have to live with each other" and wasn't really concerned with the comments. He just wants to concern himself with the on-the-field game.

Here I am though. I have always been one who has stood by the regime and the front office. I haven't defended every move, but I've supported the overall plan and the big picture. You need time and a level head in a market like this, and a quick trigger finger will get you going around in a circle like the Browns.

But I've about reached that point where I'm ready to jump on board the "change" barge that Chris Perez is steering, even if he isn't steering it intentionally. I read Antonetti's paragraph and I see the same words that have been spoken for years. I'm quite done with them because they've not produced anything other than the same paragraph of sentences over and over again.

So that's where we are. Chris Perez may not be here at the end of 2012, but he may be doing us all a favor and giving a big loud voice to what we all want. We can either embrace him for that, hate him for speaking, or just be indifferent to it all. 


On the topic of change, I'm not going to step on Paulie C's toes here, but he did an excellent job point out a few key things that, instead of getting into right now, I'll simply quickly run over them. 

Ruben Niebla is trying to put his stamp on this rotation, this pitching staff, by changing things. He's working with mechanics and deliveries and everything a pitching coach works on with a pitcher. 

But is that really the problem? You can mess with Ubaldo Jimenez all you want, but even Niebla said it himself... You don't really want to mess with that "hook" too much because he's pitched successfully with it before, so who's to say THAT is the problem? Cut to Paulie...

But it’s noteworthy for another reason as Hoynes passed this kernel of frustration on the Tribe in the body of the piece:

A scout from another big-league team, who saw Zombie Baseball at its height, said…“I think they also have to make major changes in their pitching program. I didn’t see any adjustments being made. They brought Ubaldo [Jimenez] over there to be an ace and now he’s a No. 5. What’s going on with that?”

Talk away about how Ubaldo was on the decline when the Indians acquired him from Colorado, but he was a 27-year-old with 137 starts under his belt with a career 3.77 ERA PLAYING FOR COLORADO when the Indians acquired him and what’s happened to him since that day more than 13 months ago pretty effectively mirrors how the Indians’ organization has done more than just fall on hard times.

First off.. "What's going on with that?" can essentially be the tag-line to Ewwbaldo's tenure with the Cleveland Indians whenever it comes to an end. But it's a a point laid out in facts. He's getting worse. And you have to start to wonder what can actually be done to fix him other than what's already been done.

So that's where we are with this "change" in that regard. There needs to be some sort of it and it needs to start there. Not necessarily with Ubaldo or anything. But something different needs to happen, something different than what has been going on.

A likely transition for us as we get into more of the more, scattered and random notes you've been accustomed to seeing here is some sort of pitching news. Good news is that Carlos Carrasco made his return on Wednesday as we noted last week. Acta went on to say that Carrasco hit the mid-to-high 90's, which is even better news going forward. Carrasco was at it again last night with the Aeros in their fifth and final game of the playoff series against Bowie, more on that in a second, and he pitched another inning.

Tony Lastoria at IPI noted that from here, Carrasco will go on to pitch in the Parallel League in Arizona and then off into Winter Ball if he continues to progress. But it is all but likely that regardless of where he is at, next year he will be limited in his innings. So you know the Indians not only need to have a plan for other spots, but a backup for Carrasco as well. That's always the case with a rotation though.

Lonnie Chisenhall meanwhile is back and ready to go, likely starting today against the Twins in the final game of the series. He was activated on Sunday but didn't start because he was not with the team in time. Chisenhall finished up his rehab assignment with the Aeros in a third game and really you have to tip your cap to him in his ability to get back and make something else of this season.

"He feels pretty good," Acta said. "When he was down there [with Akron], he felt he was ready to go, like he wasn't limited or anything right now. But I think we saw last year when [Asdrubal] Cabrera bounced back from the broken wrist, a lot of times it takes those guys some time to get the strength back. So that's something to consider."

And its something to consider for next year because now he won't be worrying about that. He'll have the anticipation jitters of getting back out of the way and he can go into 2013 with no real barriers to worry about. That more than anything is a reason for him to have gotten back with the team, that and to get some meaningful at-bats.
Someone who's going to get meaningful at-bats next year is Russ Canzler. I just like what they've got going there in the Crustied one. If you don't go out and get a first baseman, why not just start Russ Canzler there? I mean wow we are going off some really small sample sizes, but there's no reason that he doesn't deserve the opportunity given the performance he put on in Columbus and two years straight in Triple-A and the fact he really hasn't had a shot at the major league level. 
Friday he went 3-for-4 with a home run and three RBI. Saturday he was 1-for-3 and on Sunday he was 1-for-3 with a RBI. So whatever, he's got 10 hits in 26 at-bats thus far. It's small, but you know what he has working for him that many players the Indians have cycled in and out?
He's right handed. He's got some pop too and if you ask me, there's no reason why the Indians shouldn't give this kid a shot. So let's just do it. Crusty Rusty in 2013.
Hats off to the Akron Aeros for forcing a Game Five when it looked like they wouldn't down 2-0. Now they're headed to the Eastern League Finals thanks in part to the great effort from Brett Brach, starter who went 6.2 innings and gave up just two runs. The Aeros took home a 5-2 win and pulled off three straight to claim the series. Not only did Carrasco start and pitch an inning, Hector Rondon made an appearance and saved the game with a shutout ninth.
The Captains meanwhile made quick work of the Bowling Green squad in the three-game series. They've since moved onto the semi-finals of the Midwest League as they are currently tied 1-1 with the Fort Wayne Tincaps. Lake County lost the first game, but came back to win the second one last night 7-4. Jordan Smith knocked in two runs and rooks Tyler Naquin and Joe Wendle also had RBIs. Louis Head with three solid shutout innings of relief work to earn the win. 

Speaking of Captains, the one shortstop, you might know him. Francisco Lindor is tops the list for the Indians top prospects ranked by's team and is now just the one representative in the Top 100 of the MLB for the Cleveland Indians. He's moved up from 32 to 14 from earlier in the season. Ross Atkins provided a snapshot of Lindor's early season success and his adjustment period that followed.

"A young Midwest League initially just came right after him," Atkins said. "He became the key guy and the most offensive player in that lineup at the start of the year. Then they pitched around him and he struggled with that, but he made the adjustments.

"He learned to take his walks and learned to not try to do more than what they were giving him. But that was a process for him to learn that, because of his competitiveness and him wanting to be that guy."

Making a radical jump to two is Dorssys Paulino, who, at 17, has motored up the system through the rookie leagues. He's followed by yet another shorstop in Tony Wolters and the top five is rounded out by another one, Ronny Rodriguez.

Obviously not all of those guys are going to end up as shortstops. Wolters and Rodriguez saw time at both short and second and you have to think one, if not both get moved. Atkins says that they'll continue to develop them to play both and then adjust. I think given the fact that you have Lindor, it'd be smart to see if one of them could work in the outfield, especially with Paulino doing what he's doing. If anything, Paulino seems like he'd be a nice fit to slide over to third base if he can continue to produce those power numbers (7 HR, 19 doubles).


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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