Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Who is This Kid? He's the Problem Solver

Tribe-Nation knows all about Adam Miller. Wahoo fan can tell you a lot about David Huff by now. Even a casual RWAB follower knows a tiny bit about Chuck Lofgren or Jeff Stevens; but who out there actually thought we'd see a dominating Scott Lewis here in September? Where did this young lefty come from and is this for real?

For the second straight outing, the soon-to-be 25 year old OSU product pitched a shutout as the Tribe topped the second place Twins 3-1. Lewis once again baffled the opposition by moving the ball all over the place and changing speeds and he rarely topped 87-88 mph on the radar gun. If you watch him pitch, he looks like a more confident Jeremy Sowers and reminds me of Scott Kazmir without the heat and David Wells without the beef. 14 scoreless innings in his first two big league outings and he has not done this against chopped liver. The Twins offense ranks 3rd in baseball in team batting average and the Orioles are ninth.

In January, Baseball America had him rated as the 7th best prospect in the Tribe organization and Tony Lastoria even had him as low as 14th. Right now I'd say you can move him up the list. With Sowers and Aaron Laffey having inconsistent seasons, why not put him in the mix for 2009? Again, health is a concern with this kid. Tribe "Top Men" will only give him one more start and then likely shut him down.

While "The Problem Solver" dazzled us once again, Travis Hafner continues to be a shell of himself. I know I know-- Pronk is just getting his feet wet again in the bigs and is going to need time getting used to playing every other day, but, he is 3 for 17 in his four games back with 4 strikeouts and 0 RBI. Last night, Travis came to the plate in the 8th inning with the bases loaded and nobody out. I sat there and said to myself "Come on Pronk.. hit it hard somewhere" knowing full well he would not. Does that make sense? I was trying to will him to a warning track sac-fly and instead he chopped one weakly to Justin Morneau at first and nearly was doubled up 3-2-4 at first. I just hope in March he is pounding the ball again and ready for the 2009 season because he is vital to the team's success. Hitting 198 against righties is not going to cut the mustard.

Next thing you know he will be opting to kick field goals instead of going for the end zone and we cannot have that.

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