Friday, July 18, 2008

Back in action

At last, the Tribe will be back on the field again tonight in Seattle. I'm very curious to see how they will perform in the second half of the season. If I'm Eric Wedge, the one goal I'm setting for this team is to get back to the .500 mark by the end of the season. With 68 games remaining, that means they would need to go 40-28 (a .588 clip) the rest of the way. Given the way they've performed so far this year, that may seem like a lofty expectation. But with less pressure, hopefully a more stable roster, and maybe, just maybe some guys returning off the DL (namely Victor Martinez and Fausto Carmona... I'm not really expecting anything from Hafner's bum shoulder this year), the team might start to look more like the AL Central champs of 2007.

But with the trade deadline approaching, there may still be some changes coming. As I noted yesterday afternoon, Asdrubal Cabrera was called back up from Buffalo and will join the team for tonight's game in Seattle. He was able to correct himself at the plate in AAA, hitting .326 (46-for-141). I still expect to see Casey Blake traded to a team in contention before the deadline so that could cause some re-shuffling in the infield. If Blake is indeed moved, then I would really look at DH'ing Jhonny Peralta, moving Cabrera to shortstop (his natural position), taking an extended look at Andy Marte at third, keeping Jamey Carroll at second (damn that Barfield injury and Phillips trade), and getting Garko back to regular time at first. This way you can look toward 2009 to really see what these guys can do.

And before next season, I'd be completely open to bringing Blake back on a smaller contract. He's a great clubhouse guy, a decent hitter, and a very versatile guy on defense. He'd be an ideal utility player for probably a couple more years. But we'll see how everything plays out over the next couple weeks. Terry Pluto also has a plan for the second half, with an eye towards the 2009 season.

Will Casey be dealt before the deadline?

Browns Update: Yesterday Phil Savage confirmed that Joe Jurevicius will likely start the season on the PUP list, meaning he will miss the first 6 weeks (five games) of the season. At this point I'm just hoping he is able to make it back to the field in what will likely be his final season in the NFL. Jurevicius was huge for the team last year, especially on third down, where he so often kept the chains moving with big catches. Get well soon JJ.
''We're obviously very concerned about Joe's situation,'' Savage said. ''It's been very frustrating for everybody. Every time he's taken a step forward it's been two steps back."

Cavs Update:
Not really an update on the Cavaliers, but an interesting story about ousted PD Cavs beat writer Branson Wright. He was definitely not one of my favorite writers, and the biggest newspaper in the state owes it to the team and its fan base to get someone better in there. (Pssst... I will work for much less than you paid him. All I require is a cushy chair courtside at the Q and a laptop.)

The Cavs summer league team will also be in action again tonight at 8:00 in Las Vegas against the Wizards. You can catch the action on NBATV or for free here if you're bored on a Friday night. I promise I won't tell anyone...


sportsgirl132 said...

Branson Wright has completely proven what we all suspected--he is indeed an idiot. Greed will get ya sooner or later.

I can't see anybody stepping in at the PD and being as good as the ABJ's Windhorst though. Sometimes people just get it--and Brian is good.

I think .500 is a good goal for the Tribe. It's a sad reality just how hard they will have to work to get there though.

chiefwahoo56 said...

Agreed 100%, no one will be as good as Windhorst. But I just want the PD to not be a complete embarrassment anymore when it comes to Cavalier coverage. It doesn't seem that unreasonable to hope for that!

And yes, it will be tough for them to get back to .500. Honestly, I don't see them pulling it off, but I think it should be a goal. If they got back there at least it would be something to take away from this miserable season.