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Spring Training Game #31: Rockies 18, Indians 4

Spring Training Game #31: Rockies 18, Indians 4
(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
March 26, 2013
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The Indians made a slew of moves on Monday, which we here at IBI have been covering thoroughly. It appears as though the Indians have settled on their 25-man roster…or so. Like many suspected, they are keeping Carrasco up with the club to burn his six-game suspension. Jason Giambi went on the DL with his “injured back,” and won’t be able to return until April ninth. It’s likely that Carrasco stays with the Indians until then, providing an arm for the Indians until Giambi can return. When he does, Giambi will probably take his slot.
Scott Kazmir was also named the fifth starter for the Indians, which is well-deserved. He won’t officially be added to the roster until April sixth, the day he makes his first start. At that point, one of the bullpen arms will be sent down. I’d say Bryan Shaw would be the guy, definitively, but he’s been lights out this spring, and arguably has been the best righty out of the pen. I could see a scenario in which Cody Allen continues to struggle, and perhaps gets sent down a bit to slow things down. Remember. Two years ago, Allen wasn’t even in the organization yet. He was still a pitcher for the University of Central Florida.
Regardless, the team is set, and the business of getting ready for April 2nd can begin.
On Monday night, the Indians faced off against the Colorado Rockies. On Monday, the Rockies officially signed Jon Garland, who the Indians officially signed a year ago February, sort of. If you remember, Garland refused to take a physical, and the Indians told him to take a hike. This year, Garland opted out of his minor league deal with the Seattle Mariners when they told him that he wouldn’t be a part of their rotation. Garland becomes the Rockies #5 starter, which is significant because he takes the spot that belonged to Drew Pomeranz. Pomeranz was optioned to Triple A today. Boy, do things come full circle, don’t they?
  • Bourn was only hitting .200 during spring training heading into this game, but there’s no real concern yet. Bourn was extremely patient in his first at bat, working the count to 3-2 before hitting the ball off the opposite field wall for a lead-off double. It’s going to be fun watching a guy who can work a count like that lead-off this season.
  • Drew Stubbs was batting second, and I do like these experimental line-ups that Francona puts together when he doesn’t have his full line-up for the road game. Stubbs will see a bunch of fastballs in the two-hole with Bourn on base, which should help him out since he’s a dead-red hitter. It’s doubtful that Stubbs is ever going to hit second in this lineup with any regularity. I’d rather have Cabrera getting those fastballs anyways. Stubbs followed Bourn’s full count with one of his own, then got Bourn over to third on a grounder up the middle.
  • The Rockies announcers Drew Goodman and Jeff Huson discussed the Drew Pomeranz deal with some detail, and focused the discussion on Jason Kipnis. The Rockies initial asking price included Pomeranz,Alex White and Kipnis. Could you imagine if that had happened? Kipnis got Bourn home on a Fielder’s choice, and the Indians took a 1-0 lead.
  • Brett Myers started for the Indians, and was good in the first, but lucky. Dexter Fowler flew out on two pitches. He nicked Jeff Rutledge, putting on his first batter. He struck out Carlos Gonzalez and then gave up an infield single to Troy Tulowitzki, He got out of the first inning with a fly out to center. It was a very inefficient, sloppy inning, and unfortunately for the Indians, foreboding bad things to come. More on that in a minute.
  • Brantley’s really become a go-to bat in this line-up. He led off the second with a single. The Indians’ left fielder gets on base, hits for average, and should drive in some runs in that five hole. He’s a guy that can roll out 180+ hits a year. Brantley then stole second, but he’d have been out by a country mile had the throw been on the money. He ended up with two more hits on the night, and raised his average to .405.
  • Lonnie Chisenhall is on fire. He came into the game hitting .404 on the spring, and singled in his first at bat off of a left-handed pitcher, moving Brantley to third. He would add another hit in the sixth inning, and when it was all said and done, Chis raised his average another eight points, to .412. If people were overlooking him prior to spring training, they likely aren’t anymore.
  • Sloppy doesn’t cover what Myers was in the second. He gave seven-straight hits, and by the time the inning was over, the score was 7-1. Twelve hitters had made it to the plate, and Myers gave up eight hits and a walk in the inning. Myers was leaving too many pitchers over the middle of the plate. How’s that for an understatement.
  • Stubbs launched a one-out double into the power alley in right center in the third inning. He stayed down on a ball and took it where it was pitched, and with really good power. You can see that there is a lot to this kid if he could put it together. I can see why he was so frustrating to Reds fans, since he never really showed off any offensive consistency. Jason Kipnis then roped a single up the middle that scored Stubbs from second. Stubbs can fly…and he’s a big kid at 6’4” tall. What a total package of power, speed and defense he could be. Kip now has two RBI.
  • Mark Reynolds, who hit a 500 foot home run on Friday, had a five-foot single to load the bases for the hot-hitting Lonnie Chisenhall. Chis belted one to the right field warning track. This has the potential to be the longest game of. All. Time.
  • Stubbs drove in Lou Marson in the fourth inning, and the real piece of significance is that Michael Bournwent from second to third on the throw to first. Speed and more importantly, base-running.
  • Myers started the fourth inning, and immediately gave up back-to-back-to-back hits, giving up another run. He left the game after giving up his second run of the inning, but with runners on second and third. I’m sureTerry Francona wanted him to last as long as possible to salvage some of the bullpen, but boy, that was just painful. When it was all said and done, Myers had given up 14 hits and ten earned runs in 3 1/3 innings.
  • David Huff took over for Myers with one-out in the fourth, and you have to wonder if it will be his last appearance as a member of the Indians. The Tribe doesn’t want to just lose him (or Carrera). Ideally, they’d get them both through waivers, but I can’t believe that a left-hander doesn’t have value to a team out there. He can start or relieve. Funny things happen at the end of spring training though. He immediately gave up a single to Jeff Francis, giving every starter for the Rockies a hit, making the score 9-3. Fowler then belted a double, scoring two more runs. Rutledge followed with a single, and by the time the fourth inning was over, the score was 12-3. In the fifth, Huff gave up a Michael Cuddyer lead-off blast and a Todd Helton double, to make the score 13-3. This may be Helton’s 17th season, but he was 4-for-4 by the fifth inning. Not a bad game for the elder statesman. Huff settled down to end the fifth inning to strike out the last two batters of the fifth. He’s got to feel frustrated. So do I.
  • Rich Hill entered the game in the sixth inning, and before you could blink an eye, the bases were loaded without an out. Charlie Blackman crushed a two-run triple over Bourn’s head, and that ended Rich Hill’s night with the score 16-3. The Rockies have 22 hits. There was one-out in the sixth.
  • Joe Smith entered the game and  gave up two hits to his first two batters, but got out of the inning with a double-play. The run wasn’t charged to him, so there’s that. It’s 17-3, Colorado.
  • Holy Toledo, Joe Smith had a 1-2-3 inning in the seventh. He needs a statue. Move over, Jim Thome.
  • Mark Reynolds hit a run-scoring double. I know there are going to be stretches where I don’t like him at the plate, but he definitely is going to be fun to watch. I hate hitting the same point over-and-over…but he hit it over the freakin’ scoreboard.
  • Delvi CID and Carlos Moncrief entered the game as pinch-hitters in the eighth inning. Both are extremely fast. Adam Abraham also entered the game that inning after Mark Reynolds double. He’s not very fast, but it’s good to see the over-achiever in a big league game, even if it is only as a pinch runner, and even if it is only a spring training game.
  • By the time the game was over, the score was 18-3 and the Rockies had 26 total hits. Let the Brett Myers/Derek Lowe comparisons begin…
Tune in tomorrow:
The Indians are set to host the Oakland Athletics today for a 4:05pm ET first pitch at Goodyear Ballpark. RHP ZACH McALLISTER is set to take the mound opposite A's LHP BRETT ANDERSON in a contest that will be broadcast live on SportsTime Ohio. I believe it’s the last game that STO is going to show before the regular season starts next Tuesday. 

Jim is currently the senior editor and Columnist, as well as  the host of IBI's weekly online radio shows, Smoke Signals and Cleveland Sports Insiders. You can follow Jim on Twitter @Jim_IBI, or contact him via e-mail at

User Comments

March 26, 2013 - 4:09 PM EDT
I predict the Royals will, as usual, suck. I would actually point to their signings this offseason as the blueprint of what not to do as a GM. They are paying Ervin Santana $13 million and Guthrie $8 million, $25 million total to Guthrie. For what they've committed to those 2 back-of-rotation starters, they could've signed Lohse for 3 years and had money left over. Trading Myers, etc for Davis and Shields is very questionable because they were so far from contention, they had no money to upgrade elsewhere (after spending $20 million on two bad pitchers) and they actually could use Wil Myers right now to upgrade their outfield. They had some good drafts (though if Hosmer and Moustakas were Indians, we'd already be saying they were busts, especially Hosmer, who was awful), but Dayton Moore does a really bad job in all others aspects of assembling a team. While in a vacuum paying $13 million for Ervin Santana isn't as bad as paying $13 million for Vernon Wells, but when you're talking about a 5th of your payroll, "insane" is putting it mildly.
March 26, 2013 - 3:07 PM EDT
Jim, with the passing (in an Indians uniform sense) of David Huff it kind of brings closure hopefully to a slew of recent high draft pick pitchers who bombed or at least fizzled. I'm thinking Guthrie- who actually has had a pretty good career post Cleveland, Putnam, Pomeranz, White, Sowers as well as Huff and a couple other soft tossing lefties like Aaron Laffey, and Scott Lewis although they were not high picks. The Indians spent a lot of time and money scouting, signing and developing these guys and have very little to show for it. Seems like there may still be just one more in the stinkubator- Dillon Howard.
March 26, 2013 - 12:57 PM EDT
Hell...that's way better than the Rays...who got nothing from Hamilton...Baldelli was injury prone and a bust eventually, Brazelton was a bust...Upton was good...Delmon Young alright (got them Garza and some others)...Niemann's been okay, but nothing special...Wade Townsend is out of baseball...then Longoria in 2006...and Price in 2007...Tim Beckham is suspect...

That leads up to their good hit on other rounds...but other than a few guys...they bombed on early drafts more than they hit...

The Royals first rounders have been exceptional...or haven't been around long enough to call a bust...
March 26, 2013 - 12:47 PM EDT
Butler...14th pick in 2004
Gordon...2nd pick in 2005
Hochevar...1st pick in 2006
Moustakas...2nd pick in 2007
Hosmer...3rd pick in 2008
Crow..12th pick in 2009
Colon...4th pick in 2010...could be in play this year at second
Bubba Starling...5th pick in him...gonna be really good

Acquired Cain and escobar in Greinke deal...

that's essentially their whole starting lineup...other than Franceour and Perez...both free agent signings...
March 26, 2013 - 12:38 PM EDT
There's a reason why they have a really...really good bunch of prospects in Kansas City...

They drafted well...and had a slew of top five picks...

Like I said...built their team like the Rays did..they were really...really bad for a long time...but had a brilliant draft mechanism in place...

Indians didn't...but have top five picks certainly helps...
March 26, 2013 - 12:26 PM EDT
JIm, Looks like they're locked and loaded and thinking dynasty in K.C. That's awright. We got the number 4 starter from the Sugarland Skeeters and Jason Giambi in a greenskin doing the Harlem Shake. Maybe we should wear all those costumes to the plate when we play K.C. Ay, ay, ay!
March 26, 2013 - 11:38 AM EDT
Don't worry shy...I actually mentioned Wade Davis in the actual

Davis is a former top prospect. He was a top 50 prospect in all of baseball, and the only reason why he was a reliever for the Rays is that they didn't have room for him at the time, and then had some other prospects they felt were better than he was move past him. Davis is really...really good, and while he was a reliever last year, he's been a starter for his entire career.

Salvador Perez could end up the best hitter on the team...power and average...
March 26, 2013 - 11:27 AM EDT
I watched both the Royals/Dodgers and the Indians/Rockies on MLB Network last night. Wade Davis looked good- I forgot to mention him yesterday when talking about the other 2 starters Shields and Santana KC in over the winter. Davis was a reliever in Tampa Bay w a 2 something ERA. The Indians reliever turned starter pick-up Brett Myers did not look so good. I will say that some of the early hits were seeing eye and in the second after 6 consecutive batters had reached base, somebody hit a Texas Leaguer to Michael Brantley that he could have caught in my opinion if he had tried a little harder, and after that the wheels came off. When you see Mark Reynolds go upside down in the stands after a foul, it's a reminder that when a pitcher is having a rough nite sometimes it takes one of his teammates making a special play to turn it around. Sometimes you see Brantley do it, other times he looks like he doesn't want to get the uni dirty, not sure if it's aloofness or not paying attention. Royals got some hitters also, I hadn't seen the catcher Sal Perez much- very impressive both w the bat and behind the plate. Adios David Huff and Ezequiel Carrera. I hope they catch on somewhere and we see them again.

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