It was cold today in Buffalo. The temperature held steady in the low 60’s, but the air here is damp due to Lake Erie so it’s a cool 60 degrees. The Indians played an early one today falling at Buffalo 2 to 1. Left-handed reliever Donnie Veal made his Indians debut pitching two scoreless innings of relief. Veal is here on a ML rehab assignment and will be with the team for a couple of weeks. He is scheduled to pitch every two to three days with each outing lasting at least two innings. Prior to this season the 24 year old never pitched above double-A and made his Major League debut this year because the Pirates selected him in the Rule V draft from the Cubs. Since Veal isn’t fully ready for the Bigs, but has to stay on the roster, he’s only pitched 6 innings this season for the Pirates. Think about that for a moment…SIX innings in the 50 or so games he was with Pittsburgh. Donnie told me he felt really good out there and it was great to face a live hitter. I asked him when he last pitched and after racking his brain for a good 30 seconds couldn’t come up with the answer. All he knew was the last time he pitched (May 29 vs. HOU) was 21 days in between appearances (May 8 at NYM). Today Veal retired all six batters that he faced throwing 15 of his 23 pitches for strikes. I expect to see him throw on Thursday or Friday at the latest.
By Gosh Jen Langosh is reporting that Indians 3B Neil Walker will miss 3-4 weeks with a knee injury. That is a little better than the word I received a few days ago when I was told Neil could miss up to 6 weeks. Is Pittsburgh planning on sending the Indians an additional position player? The Indians will not have the DH in 5 of their next 9 games and could use an extra body or two. Things are so thin right now that Virgil Vasquez was used as a pinch-hitter last night because the Indians can’t afford to burn a position player. So how about sending us a little help?
The Walker injury is the bad news, so how about some good news. The Pittsburgh Post Gazette is reporting that pitcher Brad Lincoln will be joining the Indians rotation. Lincoln was the Pirates first round pick in ’06 (fourth overall) and is having a great year in Altoona. The 24 year old has an impressive 1.95 ERA in 11 double-A starts. He is only 1-3, but has 60 strikeouts and only 15 walks in 64.2 innings of work. You can’t always believe what you read in the Post Gazette (yesterday they had Donnie Veal reporting to Bradenton when he had already landed in Buffalo), but the promotion of Lincoln makes sense. Here’s why…this afternoon I walked back to the hotel with Charlie Morton and he was asking me about the guys on the Pirates roster. He wanted to know if they were good guys. I told him that I don’t know everyone, but that from what I understand Zach Duke is a great guy, I’m friends with Sean Burnett and Jesse Chavez and I told him that Nyjer Morgan is a fantastic dude. I think Charlie is a little concerned about how he will be received when he joins the Pirates. It can’t be easy to be a part of a deal that has upset players and has the locals wondering if the Pirates got enough for Nate McLouth. Charlie Morton is a really good pitcher who doesn’t feel fully accepted, but he better get over that because from what I’ve heard his next start will be for Pittsburgh. He is scheduled to throw for the Indians on Thursday, but that is up in the air because he may be facing his former organization on Wednesday. HOW ABOUT THAT! Morton facing McLouth a week after they are traded….stay tuned.
Tomorrow I’ll be posting some pictures of Coca-Cola Field in Buffalo,but I have to post this picture.
I snapped this just as Garrett Jones smacked a solo home run in the 6th inning. You can see the ball has just left the bat and is in between him and the pitchers mound. It was Jonesy’s 7th of the season and his 9th career home run at Coca-Cola Field. He absolutely crushes at this yard hitting better that .340 with 9 home runs and 22 runs batted in since 2005. Prior to this season Garrett was with Rochester from ’05-’08 and the North Division rivals hook up multiple times each season. Jones has better numbers here than any other park in the league and his home run gave the Indians a short lived one run lead.
I want to thank Charlie at Bucs Dugout for finding my interview with Neil Walker and Andrew McCutchen. I was hoping some people would read that post because the guys has some really good answers.
11:45 PM UPDATE:
I’m following the Pirates game and Bucs pitcher Jeff Karstens has entered in the bottom of the 15th inning. Karstens was the Pirates probable for Wednesday so I’ve got to believe that Charlie Morton will make his Pirates debut Wednesday against Altanta. The Pittsburgh and Atlanta scribes are going to have a field day with that one.