What the?…Pedro Update
The Indianapolis Indians 2010 opener went exactly like the 2009 opener…it was a dud. At least this year the egg was laid on the road and not in front of 9,000 Indians fans. A year ago the Tribe lost to Toledo 16-5 and last night suffered a 17-4 set back against the Columbus Clippers. By no means will this define the season, but the blow out was far from what I expected.
Pirates #1 prospect Pedro Alvarez lived up to the hype. He smoked a rising liner out of Huntington Park last night in just his second Triple-A at bat. The 3-2 pitch was smacked over the 328 sign and left he yard in less than 2 seconds. Erik Kratz says we have not seen anything yet. As powerful and awesome as the home run was, Kratz tells me that Pedro’s power to all fields especially center is rdiculous. I’ll get a great look at this young mans power today during batting practice.
Here is Pedro’s blast. Pedro HR Col.mp3
Kevin Hart made his Indians debut. The righty did not figure in the decision in large part because he was ejected after his first pitch in the 4th inning sailed behind Clippers C Carlos Santana. Hart was retaliating after Indians 2B Brian Friday was hit for the 2nd time in the top of the 4th. Friday was hit on the left shoulder during his first at bat and during his second AB a Carlos Carrasco pitch bounced of the top of his helmet. The Indians were upset about the pitch and Hart sent the message.
After Hart was ejected things quickly went downhill. Jeremy Powell came in and Santana crushed a home run that was as impressive as Pedro’s. Wes Hodges followed up with a solo shot and the back-to-back jacks gave Columbus a lead they would never lose. After the game the hitters felt like they left some runs on the bases and the Indians did have a chance to make it a game in the 7th inning, but could not get the big hit. After they left 2 on base in the 7th, the Clippers put it away with 8 runs coming off reliever Vinnie Chulk.
Last night Neil Walker played in left field for the first time in his career. Neil had some shaky moments in left and did make some nice plays. The glaring mistake was having a routine fly ball land five feet to his left. He appeared to be in the right spot, but must have lost track of the baseball. He was not the only player to misplay a ball; Brandon Jones dropped a ball hit into right centerfield. Jones did collect a couple of hits, including a double.
The team will try and bounce back tonight with Brad Lincoln getting the baseball. “Link” is the Pirates #1 pitching prospect and was a 6 game winner with the Indians a year ago. I’ll be updating this entry with some afternoon pictures. I’ll snap a shot of the new batting helmets the minor legue players are wearing and give you a look from behing the batting cage.
12:15 AM UPDATE:
The Indians pick up their first win of the season tonight by out slugging Columbus 14-12. The two clubs combine for 32 hits (18 by the Indians), 9 home runs (4 by Indy), and the 9-inning game took 3 hours and 52 minutes to play. Right now Huntington Park is playing so small that the Clippers SS hit his first home run in three seasons.
The big story from tonight is the power of Pedro Alvarez. He hit two home runs tonight and drove in 5 runs. His three run home run in the 5th inning put the Indians ahead for good. His swing is so smooth and the power from that free and easy swing is insane. This guy is the real deal and is making this park look like my backyard.
“I try to keep it simple and not try to do too much. That’s when your swing gets long or you start to tighten up. It’s weird you say to keep it loose and easy, but in reality you are swinging hard and you want fluidity. I’m just trying to put a good swing on the ball and not try and do too much.”
You hear it so often from a player “just trying to put the ball in play.” You know what, I believe Pedro. His swing looks like an easy line drive swing, but the ball explodes off of his back. Pedro is built, he’s not muscular, but has thick legs. He must get a lot of power from his core. I can’t wait to see what he does tomorrow night.
Erik Kratz left early tonight after feeling a light pinch in his right hamstring. He will likely sit tomorrow night, but shouldn’t miss much more than that. The news is a little worse for OF Brandon Jones. He was a late scratch tonight because of a bad reaction to his contact solution. Both Kratz and Jones are day-to-day.
I promised a picture of the new helmets. Here is a picture of Tribe strength coach Bar Malik.