The Dealine Passes
The Major League baseball trading deadline passed yesterday and for the first time in a long time the Indianapolis Indians didn’t have any movement. The parent club added two veteran bats in 1B Derrek Lee OF Ryan Ludwick and didn’t have to give up anybody from the Triple-A roster. When the dust settled everything was normal in the Indians clubhouse after a tension filled 24 hours.
As the Indians prepared to face the Gwinnett Braves on Saturday night the players wondered if a blockbuster deal would send one or two to another organization. CF Gorkys Hernandez has already been traded twice in his career and he was hoping he would not be packing his bags for the third time. Gorkys is 23 and in the eyes of manager Dean Treanor has developed more than any player on the Indians roster. “I had to bench him several times back in April and May. Now he gets it and runs out ever ball put in play and I wouldn’t want anyone else playing in centerfield.” (Gorkys proved his abilities in CF when he went back to the wall in left center and robbed a HR from Braves OF Wilkin Ramirez. The coaches and Gorkys teammates will tell you that right now he’s one of the top CF in all of baseball.) Following the Indians win on Saturday night Dean called Gorkys into his office and the young OF’s mind was racing as he closed the door. “I thought I was going up or I was going to be traded. I didn’t want to be traded and was praying that I was staying here and Dean said I wasn’t going anywhere and I was happy to hear that.” Dean told Gorkys that he was proud of his play as of late and sooner than later his hard work is going to pay off. “The reason I don’t want to leave is I envision an outfield of me, (Jose) Tabata, and (Andrew) McCutchen and not a single ball hits the outfield grass. Do you know how much ground we can cover and the plays we can make? That’s what I hope for and I’m glad that I’m still a Pirate”
Gorkys stays with the team along with young pitchers Justin Wilson and Rudy Owens. I only throw their names out there because they worried that they may have been in a deal. For a lot of the players this was their first experience with the trading deadline. With the players one step away from the big leagues they realize a trade may open up a spot for them or they could be a trade piece and immediately join a new team in the big leagues. For a 23-year-old player it can be stressful and when the deadline passed Gorkys could breath easy. “In the 7th inning I came in and asked Dean what time it was. Once it was passed 4 and I was still in the game, then I knew I was staying.”
The Pirates traded for Derrek Lee late Saturday night and he returns to the NL Central division. Lee will make his Pirates debut tonight vs. his former team the Chicago Cubs. Indians RHP Sean Gallagher was a teammate of Lee’s while with the Cubs. “D-Lee is a great guy and I’m not just saying this, but he is one of the best teammates I’ve ever had. He is so professional and a complete class act.” Sean told me that if he didn’t feel that way he wouldn’t say anything, but he has no problem endorsing Derrek Lee.
NEWS AND NOTES
The team will have a day off on Wednesday August 3rd and it will be their next to last day off this season. Fans are often shocked when I tell them the Indians fit their 144 games season into 152 days. After the day off the Indians will play 28 consecutive days with 16 home games and visits to Columbus, Toledo, and Louisville.
The Indians finished with a winning record in July. The Indians have had three straight winning months for the first time since 2005. If the Indians finish August with a winning mark they will match the ’05 team that had a winning record in each of the seasons first four months.
1B Jeff Clement has arrived and is in the Indians clubhouse. Clement joined the Indians two years ago when the Pirates made a deal with Seattle. He had off-season knee surgery and is finally back with the Indians. Not sure if he will see much time at 1B, but I do expect him to DH in American League games.
Hope you can join us for tonight’s broadcast on SportsRadio 1260 WNDE. You can find the Indians at indyindians.com, wnde.com, or on your iheartradio app.