Tag:David Huff
Posted on: March 2, 2012 12:08 pm
 

Indians pick Masterson for opening day duty

Justin Masterson

By C. Trent Rosecrans


In somewhat of a surprise, the Indians have named right-hander Justin Masterson on opening day against the Blue Jays on April 5, instead of Ubaldo Jimenez, manager Manny Acta told reporters on Friday.

"It wasn't a tough call at all," Acta told reporters, including Paul Hoynes of the Plain Dealer. "Everyone knew this guy was our horse last year and Ubaldo wasn't on top of his game. Justin wasn't our opening-day starter last year and he eded up being our No. 1. That's just one date. After the season starts rolling over, everyone is No. 1 on their day."

Jimenez will be the second pitcher in the rotation, while the last three spots will be occupied by Josh Tomlin, Derek Lowe and another pitcher, with that order to be determined later in camp. Kevin Slowey, Jon Garland, David Huff, Jeanmar Gomez and Zach McAllister are battling for the fifth spot in the team's rotation.

The Indians acquired Jimenez from the Rockies at the trade deadline last year, but he didn't quite live up to expectations. After finishing third in the Cy Young voting in 2010, he went 10-13 with a 4.68 ERA overall in 2011, and 4-4 witha  5.10 ERA in 11 starts for the Indians.

Masterson, on the other hand, was 12-10 with a 3.21 ERA in 33 starts and 34 appearances for the Indians last season.

Last year Fausto Carmona (or, Roberto Hernandez) started the season for Cleveland, allowing 10 earned runs in three innings in a loss to the White Sox. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, that was the most runs ever allowed by a starting pitcher who threw no more than three innings in his team's first game of the season.

"I hope I can do a little better than what Rob did last year," Masterson told reporters (again, via the Plain Dealer.) "It's an honor to be out there. I want to set the tone for the team, the game and for the season."

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Posted on: February 13, 2012 10:09 am
Edited on: February 13, 2012 10:55 am
 

Indians add RHP Jon Garland on minor-league deal

Jon GarlandBy C. Trent Rosecrans

The Indians have agreed to a deal with veteran right-hander Jon Garland to a minor-league deal with an invitation to big-league camp pending a physical, CBSSports.com insider Jon Heyman reports.

Garland, 32, was 1-5 with a 4.33 ERA in nine starts for the Dodgers last season. He had shoulder surgery in July, ending his season.

In parts of 12 seasons with six different teams, Garland is 132-119 with a 4.32 ERA. He won 18 games in back-to-back years for the White Sox in 2005 and 2006.

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Garland should join in the competition for the Indians' fifth starter, along with Kevin Slowey, David Huff, Jeanmar Gomez and Zach McAllister.

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Posted on: February 8, 2012 4:11 pm
 

Spring position battle: American League Central



By C. Trent Rosecrans


Gearing up for spring training, we're headed east -- -but not too far east, just east from west, or in other words, to the Central, starting in the American League and what positional battles will be fought in the American League Central this spring, continuing the spring position battles series.

Chicago White Sox
Closer: Matt Thornton vs. Jesse Crain vs. Addison Reed

With Sergio Santos in Toronto and Chris Sale headed to the rotation, the White Sox are once again looking for a closer. Thornton saved three games last season and Crain one, but both are more or less keeping the seat warm for Reed, the team's top (and perhaps only) prospect. Thornton, an All-Star in 2010, won the closer battle last season before blowing his first four save opportunities to start the season and he was ultimately replaced by Santos. Crain pitched well last season, but it's Reed that has a chance to be special.

Cleveland Indians
Fifth starter: Kevin Slowey vs. David Huff vs. Jeanmar Gomez vs. Zach McAllister

Ubaldo Jimenez is the team's opening-day starter followed by Justin Masterson, Derek Lowe and Josh Tomlin. The fifth spot is probably Slowey's to lose. The 27-year-old right-hander was twice traded this offseason, first to Colorado and then to Cleveland. While he struggled last season (0-8 with a 6.67 ERA in eight starts and 14 games), he's a proven back-of-the-rotation starter with a 39-29 record and 4.66 ERA. He's also familiar with the AL Central. Gomez made 10 starts for the Indians last season, as did Huff, the only lefty of the group. McAllister made four starts and wasn't overly impressive.

Detroit Tigers
Third base: Miguel Cabrera vs. third base

When the Tigers signed Prince Fielder, the stated plan was that Cabrera will move to third, leaving the DH spot for Victor Martinez -- who isn't playing this year. The Tigers, it appears, are trying to keep Cabrera from getting too big to play third in preparation for 2013 when they'll really have a logjam at the position with Fielder, Cabrera, Martinez and Delmon Young. For now, it seems like wishful thinking that Cabrera can play a passable third base. But if he can, it helps the team out -- especially defensively in the outfield with Young not trying to figure out what to do with that that thing on his left hand.

Kansas City Royals
Second base: Johnny Giavotella vs. Chris Getz vs. Yuniesky Betancourt

What you've heard is true -- there's a ton of talent in Kansas City. In fact, the lineup is nearly set, except for second base and center field. Center should be manned by Lorenzo Cain, who doesn't have a realistic competitor for the spot, but second could be a question. Giavotella came up in 2011 to middling results - .247/.273/.376 with two homers and five stolen bases in 187 plate appearances, but he has a chance to take the position if he can play at the level he established in the minors, where he was a .305/.375/.437 hitter since being taken in the second round of the 2008 draft. While just 5-foot-8, he has shown the ability to make contract (striking out no more than 67 times in any of his minor league seasons) and walk nearly as much as he strikes out (192 minor-league walks to 212 strikeouts). He's not the best defender, but he's adequate. Getz is nobody's idea of a long-term answer. He hit .255/.313/.287 last season, but plays good defense. And then there's Betancourt, who was signed not add depth. The former Royals shortstop will not and should not be pressuring light-hitting Alcides Escobar, but he could add some pop to the infield at second.

Minnesota Twins
Disabled list: Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau vs. the disabled list

No two players may be as essential to their team's success as Mauer and Morneau. The two made a combined $37 million last season -- more than the entire Royals team. And, by the way, Kansas City finished eight games ahead of the Twins in the AL Central. The Twins just barely avoided being a $100-million, 100-loss team, but it took a 1-0 victory over the Royals on the last season to do it. Mauer played in 82 games, while Morneau played in just 69, with the two combining to hit seven home runs between them. Morneau's never seemed to fully recover from the concussion he suffered in July of 2010 and Mauer's had a variety of injuries, missing games with a leg injury, as well as lower back stiffness, a bruised shoulder, neck stiffness and pneumonia. Both players will play first base and DH some to try to keep them healthy, but questions will continue until either plays a productive 130-game-or-so season.

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Posted on: September 15, 2011 1:36 am
 

3 Up, 3 Down: Kershaw dazzles before ejection



By Evan Brunell

Clayton Kershaw, Dodgers: A one-hit shutout for Kershaw. Rather, it would have been if not for home-plate umpire Bill Welke tossing Kershaw in the sixth. Backstory: Last night, Gerardo Parra received a brushback pitch he didn't appreciate and launched a home run, pimping it out. The Dodgers weren't pleased as Parra jawed with catcher A.J. Ellis. Kershaw was also caught yelling from the dugout and allegedly telling Parra he would "get him" Wednesday night. Well, the first at-bat went without incident, Parra rapping a single. Allowing just one hit while punching out five as Kershaw took the mound for the sixth, he threw a pitch that grazed Parra's elbow. It certainly wasn't a full-on plunking, but Welke tossed Kershaw immediately without warning. Skipper Don Mattingly was thrown out in the ensuing argument. On one hand, you can understand why Welke would have been monitoring this situation and perhaps even a bit jittery about something exploding and wanting to keep a lid on it, but this was just silly. On a pitch that grazed Parra in a 2-0 Dodgers game during a shutout? It's hard to believe that warranted being ejected -- again, with no warnings issued prior.

Roy Halladay, Phillies:
It was yet another divine performance for Halladay, who coughed up just six hits and one walk en route to blanking the Astros in a complete-game victory that edged his record to 18-5 and ERA down to 2.34. The win clinched a playoff berth for Philadelphia and was Halladay's eighth complete game of the year. "That's the beauty of being here," Halladay said, referring to the Phillies' muted celebration after the game. "We expect to win. You convert to that quickly, coming from a team where that wasn't the case. We had some big wins last year and come into the clubhouse and that's where we expected to be."

Carlos Beltran, Giants:  It was a big day for Beltran, who blasted two home runs en route to a 3-1 drubbing of the Padres. Beltran was responsible for two of those runs off his solo homers in the 1st and 6th, pushing his overall line to .289/.386/.524 with 20 homers, notching 300 for his career. Beltran, once his injury subsided, arrived too late for the Giants to be of any good but has clearly proven San Francisco had the right idea in dealing for the outfielder. Now S.F. has to worry about extending him, as he'll be a prized player on the market.



Andrew McCutchen, Pirates: The Pirates are now officially going to lose more games than they win for the 19th straight season. The club wasted a promising start that had them in contention at the trade deadline by immediately falling off a cliff and McCutchen is a prime culprit as to why. Prior to the All-Star Game, the center fielder hit .291/.390/.505 with 14 homers and 15 steals. But since then, in 203 at-bats, he's slashing .222/.330/.399 with eight homers and five steals. It's a disappointing end to the year for the 24-year-old after going 0 for 4 with a strikeout against the Cardinals.

Daniel Bard, Red Sox: Bard has been on rocky terrain lately and blew a 4-2 lead against Toronto by giving up three runs in the eighth, two earned. His ERA cracked 3.00 with the shoddy outing, rising to 3.10. He's now given up at least a run in his last three appearances, including five on Sept. 7 which is when his troubles began. Before that, his ERA was 2.10. Now, the team's best relief pitcher is imploding. It was the sixth loss in seven games for the Red Sox, who begin a crucial four-game series against the Rays on Thursday, where the AL wild card will hang in the balance.

David Huff, Indians: A grand slam highlighted David Huff's night, and not in a good way. Huff allowed eight runs in four innings, including Josh Hamilton's slam. But only three runs were earned, thanks to a Lonnie Chisenhall two-out error off the bat of Ian Kinsler. It was a dazzling game all around for Texas, who won 9-1. "That's what a team that was in the World Series last year looks like, a team that will probably win their division," Indians manager Manny Acta told the Associated Press . "We have some catching up to do."

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Posted on: September 8, 2011 10:43 pm
 

Juan Pierre joins 2,000 hit club

Juan PierreBy C. Trent Rosecrans

Juan Pierre's third-inning single against the Indians' David Huff on Thursday gave him 2,000 for his career. He's the 268th player in Major League history to reach 2,000 career hits and the eight player to reach the milestone this season. Pierre's the second White Sox to reach the career mark this season, joining Paul Konerko who notched his 2,000th career hit on Aug. 23.

It was only fitting that Pierre reached 2,000 with a single -- it was the 1,667 single of his career.

Also reaching 2,000 hits this season were Carlos Lee, Orlando Cabrera, Albert Pujols, Michael Young, Scott Rolen, Adrian Beltre and Konerko. He figures to be the last to get to 2,000 this season -- but 10 players are in striking distance to reach the mark next season -- Placido Polanco (1,947), Jason Giambi (1,945), Derrek Lee (1,940), Carlos Beltran (1,895), Andruw Jones (1,880), Jimmy Rollins (1,846), Torii Hunter (1,803), Lance Berkman (1,795) and Raul Ibanez (1,774).

Pierre, 34, is the 23rd active player with 2,000 hits, led by Derek Jeter with 3,069.

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Posted on: July 23, 2011 10:46 am
Edited on: July 23, 2011 10:55 am
 

On Deck: Jumble atop NL Central standings

OD

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Jaime GarciaKevin CorreiaKeeping pace: With Friday's victory, the Cardinals are now tied with the Pirates -- a game behind Milwaukee in the National League Central. The Cardinals have lefty Jaime Garcia on the mound. Garcia pitched well in his first start since his new extension last Sunday, but he picked up the loss against the Reds despite allowing just one earned run (two total) in seven innings. In his only career start at PNC Park, he lost in similar fashion, allowing a run and seven hits in six innings in a loss last season. Pittsburgh's Kevin Correia has struggled at home this season, going 2-5 with a 5.94 ERA at home and 9-2 with a 2.85 ERA on the road. Cardinals at Pirates, 7:05 p.m ET (Follow live)

Adam DunnProgressive steps for Dunn: Chicago's Adam Dunn was 2 for 5 in Friday's victory over Cleveland, raising his batting average from .158 to .163. He's 6 for 15 with a homer at Cleveland's Progressive Field this season and is 2 for 2 with a double against Indians starter, lefty David Huff. Sure, that's not a whole lot of reason for optimism, but for the White Sox version of Dunn, it's about as good as you can get. White Sox at Indians, 7:05 p.m. ET (Follow live)

Sneak peak at fall? Milwaukee took the first game in this weekend's only series between two first-place teams behind Shaun Marcum's performance and has lefty Randy Wolf on the mound for Game 2. Wolf's had success in his career at AT&T Park and against the Giants. He's 3-2 with a 2.59 ERA in nine career starts in San Francisco and 9-5 with a 2.77 ERA against the Giants. Ryan Vogelsong has already beaten his previous career best for wins with seven and has a 2.02 ERA. Brewers at Giants, 9:05 p.m. ET (Follow live)

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Posted on: September 3, 2010 5:31 pm
 

Looking ahead at Indians 2011 rotation

Fausto Carmona It's possible the Indians' rotation could have five new faces in it for 2011.

Granted, Fausto Carmono would have to be traded, Justin Masterson sent to the bullpen, Carlos Carrasco back to Triple-A and even then that leaves Mitch Talbot to deal with.

Regardless, the 2011 Indians rotation has the potential to be drastically different than the five pitchers who logged the most starts: Masterson, Carmona (pictured), Talbot, Jake Westbrook and David Huff.

Huff seems to be on the outs as the organization has soured on him, plus his 6.21 ERA is rather unsightly. Masterson has struggled against left-handed batters and may be better suited to the bullpen, where he will move to shortly as he approaches his innings limit. While Masterson may be better suited in the bullpen, the Indians have so far refused to make that official switch with manager Manny Acta saying Masterson "will be sent home as a starter," reports Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer .

Then there's Carmona, who is just 26 and locked up to a deal through 2011 plus affordable club options through 2014. That made him a hot commodity at the trade deadline, and even though Carmona can log plenty of innings for the Indians in that time frame, the fact remains the Indians are one-to-two years away from even thinking about contending. Carmona is one of the team's remaining valuable trade assets, so bet on Cleveland heavily considering moving him.

The last member with a lot of starts is Mitch Talbot, who got the year off to a promising start, posting a 3.99 ERA in 17 starts, but the second half has been full of injuries and regression to the mean. Oh, and did I mention he has a 6.03 ERA at home and 2.86 mark on the road? Not exactly the model of consistency you're looking for out of a starter.

So what will happen in 2011? The guess here is that recently recalled Carlos Carrasco will find himself with a rotation spot after a successful Triple-A stint, with Talbot and Masterson joining them. Talbot is a young, cost-controllable righty who can at the very least soak up innings, while Masterson and the organization needs to come together and find a pitch to get lefties out with.

Another rotation spot will likely go to one of Jeanmar Gomez, Aaron Laffey or Josh Tomlin. Assuming Carmona is moved, the final spot would go to to a veteran right-hander who signs a deal after finding the free agent market chilly. Could that mean the return of Kevin Millwood?

-- Evan Brunell

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Posted on: August 23, 2010 11:07 am
Edited on: August 23, 2010 11:09 am
 

Indians could expand to six-man rotation

Justin Masterson The Cleveland Indians might have a different look in their rotation come September.

Not only may the team head to a six-man rotation, but they may bounce Justin Masteron to the bullpen, according to the Akron Beacon Journal .

"Justin Masterson will probably meet his innings requirements by the second week of September,” manager Manny Acta said. "We want to limit him to about 180 innings, but he doesn’t have to get every single one of them. If we bring up a starter, Masterson could finish his innings out of the bullpen."

Masterson's future is probably out of the bullpen regardless as his first full season as starter has not gone well. He has a 5.33 ERA in 25 starts, struggling against left-handers (who have an .850 OPS against). As he showed with the Red Sox, he could be a real late-inning weapon out of the bullpen, facing just right-handers. Perhaps this is the beginning of that conversion in Cleveland.

To replace Masterson, the Indians will likely tab Carlos Carrasco, who was part of the package for Cliff Lee in 2009's trade to Philadelphia. The 23-year-old has a 3.77 ERA in 24 starts, punching out 127 in 143 innings and limiting his walks to 45. He could eventually emerge as a mid-rotation starter for the Indians.

As for who else could jump into the six-man rotation, Sheldon Ocker of the Beacon Journal says that while David Huff is an option, the team clearly isn't enamored of the left-hander. Some of it may be the Twitter incident Huff found himself in, some may be Huff's production. In 15 early starts, the 25-year-old went 2-11 with a 6.21 ERA. While he isn't wild, he makes it far too easy for the hitters to jump on his offerings and can't seem to translate his minor-league results to the bigs.

If not Huff, the team could turn to Anthony Reyes, currently winding his way back from Tommy John surgery. Reyes, acquired from the Cardinals in midseason 2008, impressed down the stretch for Cleveland before getting 2009 off to a horrible start and going under the knife. Now 28, Reyes still has the chance to become a solid starter but is likely to have the bullpen in his future.

Reyes recently had a setback in mechanics in his return, as Acta noted to the Beacon Journal .

"He's been going through some mechanical adjustments," Acta said after Reyes coughed up seven runs in one inning in Triple-A on August 11. He walked six and gave up just one hit. "This is nothing physical,'' the manager added, saying that Reyes would take the mound again August 30 most likely. Barring any setbacks, he's expected to join the big-league staff.

-- Evan Brunell

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