Monday, June 30, 2008

How Low Can You Go?

Just when you think it can't get worse, out comes Jeremy Sowers with his gas can and torches the place. The game is still in the 6th inning with the Tribe trailing 8-2. More poor at-bats by the Tribe and worse pitching by Sowers, who clearly has lost his luster as a top prospect, marred another ugly evening.

And you thought rock bottom came with the three stooges (David Dellucci, Andy Marte, Jorge Velandia) hitting 7-8-9 on Sunday.

Sowers gave up a three-run pizza in the first to Jim Thome and a grand slam to Nick Swisher in the third. Eight earned in three innings. Not what the Tribe brass is looking for from a their once-prized prospect and first round pick. As for Sowers, here is the bottom line - he is a soft tossing lefty who at best is a fifth starter in this league. He is a mirror image of the team he plays for; a guy with no margin for error who can't seem to get his act together.

His value peaked last year and Mark Shapiro should have dealt him this spring for a bat. Wouldn't Carlos Quenton look good in left for the Red, White, and Blue right now? He was acquired by White Sox GM in the winter for a A ball first basemen who isn't hitting his weight this year. Quinton, a former top power hitting prospect and came into Monday night leading the AL in homers with 19, fourth in RBI with 61, and hitting .285.

Meanwhile, the Indians went into the season with a platoon of Big Dave Dellucci and K-Mike in left, that lasted a month and a half before the K-Mike was dumped and DD was relegated to pinch-hitting duty while the Indians fell out of contention. Since he stole from us on the Marte is the only player with zero RBI line, we will steal right back from a certain fat-man PD columnist, who dropped this gem line about DD - Dellucci was 15 for his last 27 going into the game. That's 15 strikeouts, not -- don't be silly -- hits.

Mark Shapiro has gotten a lot of heat of late for this poorly constructed roster and rightfully so. I mean come on, are Jorge Velandia, Andy Marte, Sal Fasano, Rick Bauer, Edward Mujica, and David Dellucci all really on this roster at the same time? I don't care about the injuries. This is supposed to be a contender!

But Shappy isn't the only one who deserves blame, what about the men who are in charge of the amateur draft? Of the Indians first and second round picks of the last 10 years, only one, Sowers, is on the current major league roster. For deeper info on how brutal these drafts were, read this. That is a sad, pathetic state if affairs. Want to know why the Diamondbacks and Rays are in first place? Look at their drafts. Arizona, in successive years from 03-05, took starters Connor Jackson, Quenton, Stephen Drew, and Justin Upton. Tampa has seen the careers of first rounders B.J. Upton, Delmon Young (who turned into SP Matt Garza), and Evan Longoria all blossom into studs.

That's a far cry from the likes of Corey Smith (00- out of baseball), Dan Denham (01- still in AA), Alan Horne (01 - didn't sign and is now in AAA with the Yankees), Jeremy Guthrie (02 - a one year wonder struggling in Baltimore), and Brad Snyder (03 - can't get above AAA and can't hit). Nice run. No wonder the cupboard is so bare.

This is precisely why the Indians MUST trade C.C. Sabathia and not allow his to walk for two draft picks. Because lord knows what they will do with said picks!

Seriously, we are running out of ways to describe how this season has become a complete and utter disaster. Since Sowers was the first round pick in 04, we figured we'd go that route. Don't fret, I'm sure we will find more things to pick at over the coming weeks.

oh, by the way, isn't it nice watching Brandon Phillips destroy you one day and Jim Thome the next?

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