Brad Lincoln (1-5, 2.28 ERA, 65K, 75IP) left Double-A Altoona early this morning and walked into the visiting clubhouse around 10:45 am. Lincoln is expected to join the Indians starting rotation, but I have not been told when he will pitch or who moves to the bullpen. It’s only speculation, but Lincoln may replace Ty Taubenheim and if that’s the case Lincoln would start for the Indians Wednesday evening at Lehigh Valley. He told me he was tired from the two short plan flights and to my surprise he is shorter than I expected. I didn’t anticipate him standing 6-3, but he is only about 5-10. (I should have checked, he’s only listed at 5-11) We spoke for a couple of minutes and he seems like a nice enough guy and his numbers prove that he belongs in Triple-A.
Today’s scheduled double-header is currently on hold. PNC Field has taken on too much rain and the grounds crew is currently using leaf blowers to dry up the wet and sloppy outfield grass.
That picture is from the radio booth and you may be able to make out the three members of the grounds crew drying the right field grass. The Indians are scheduled to start LH Tom Gorzelanny in game one and RH Daniel McCutchen in game 2.
Dejan Kovacevic has a nice article on Andrew McCutchen and Nyjer Morgan. This is a neat little back story on the great picture of the two speedsters. Since the Pirates began their working agreement with Indianapolis, Indians fans have been treated to some terrific centerfielders. How about this list of the men who have patrolled center since 2005; Chris Duffy (’05, ’06, ’08), Nate McLouth (’05), Rich Thompson (’05, ’06), Rajai Davis (’06, ’07), Nyjer Morgan (’07, ’08), and Andrew McCutchen (’07, ’08, ’09). That is an awesome list featuring terrific fielders and some blazers. I was not with the Indians during the 2005 season, but from all accounts Chris Duffy is the best defensive centerfielder of the group. When you combine his ability to read the ball of the bat and his routes you have a gold glove centerfielder. Yes, even he is even better than reigning NL gold glover Nate McLouth. Too bad Duffy was a knucklehead, but that’s a topic for another day. When it comes to defense I’m told none of the men listed above were better than Duffy.
The conversation gets exciting when you talk about the speed of this group. All of them can run and the sleeper speedster is Rich Thompson, but there is no denying Davis, Morgan, and McCutchen are the three fastest of this group. I have had the pleasure of watching all three guys and in my opinion it’s McCutchen #1, Davis #1A, and Morgan #2. The fastest runner to first base was Nyjer Morgan (left-handed hitter) and I believe he was the best base stealer. NO ONE in baseball runs faster than Andrew McCutchen does from 1st base to 3rd base. Dejan’s article in the today’s Post-Gazette does a nice job of explaining why ‘Cutch is so good at running the bases. Here’s a hint for youngsters…he practiced running the bases. I loved watching McCutchen run the bases and marvel the amount of stand-up triples he has this season. It seems he never needs to slide into the third base. With all of that said, Rajai Davis would give ‘Cutch a run for his money. I believe in a straight line race Davis is the fastest of the three. Davis is a true sprinter who can flat our fly on the bases. Someone in Pittsburgh has to tell me if Davis, Morgan, and McCutchen ever dueled in a sprinting contest during spring training. My guess is Morgan finishes third with a photo finish between Davis and McCutchen.
News and Notes:
If we play today the Indians will look to snap a three game losing streak. The Tribe has lost five of their last six games and currently sits 5.5 games behind Louisville. The Bats are 14-5 this month jumping from third place to first place, 5 games clear of 2nd place Columbus.
I took at deeper look at the Indians DH situation. Due to the Pirates playing in the NL, the Indians have never had a true DH slugger. For a time Brad Eldred was that guy, but even he played at first base. I have always felt the Indians were at a disadvantage when they play a team like Scranton or Toledo. Those squads can get away with signing an aging free agent and have them DH every game. Well the Indians have used several different players in a DH role. The DH has been needed in 38 of 66 games and the combined numbers include a batting average of .208 (25/120), 2 homers and 14 runs batted in. Ugh, how ugly is that? On the flip side pitchers are batting .170 (9/53) with 2 extra-base hits and 6 runs batted in. Don’t get me wrong, a pitcher is not going to add to your offense, but this illustrates the lack of production from the Tribe’s DH spot. What can I say, I had some time in the hotel room last night and when I get bored I like to research numbers.
Hopefully we’ll play sometime this afternoon. I want to wish everyone a very happy and safe Father’s Day. I placed the call to my Dad earlier today and when I get back home we are going to hit the links.
The field is still unplayable. They just announced today’s DH has been postponed and a DH is scheduled for tomorrow at 5:35. That means the Indians will only play three of the scheduled four games and the Indians season has been cut from 144 games to 143. I still get paid for 144 game right?