The Indians finally got a win last night; a win they desperately needed in order to end a 5 game losing streak and remain a game and a half up on the surging Detroit Tigers. Granted, it wasn’t the most convincing of victories. It wasn’t a 10-2 route. It was a 1-0 shutout that only helped prove as evidence that the lineup right now is in a bad place. Luckily for the Indians Carlos Carrasco showed up big time to end up on the winning side of last night’s pitchers duel.
Carlos Carrasco showed up with a man’s game. All he did was pitch 8.1 innings of shutout baseball allowing only 4 hits, striking out 6, and walking 1. It’s exactly what the Indians needed. They needed one of the starters to come out, be a stopper, and shut down the opposition. Normally that pitcher is Justin Masterson, but on this night Carrasco came to the rescue. It goes to show the kind of potential Carrasco has and just how good he could be down the line. Chris Perez came in with one out in the 9th to get the final two outs and pick up his 15th save of the season.
The only Indians run came in the 4th inning when Shelley Duncan grounded out to short and scored Carlos Santana. Of course, Duncan’s reward for driving in the lone run for the Indians was a pink slip. That’s right folks, the Indians finally made a move! This morning Duncan was optioned back to Triple A Columbus, making room for Lonnie Chisenhall… wait what? It’s not Lonnie Chisenhall? Oh… Correction! The Indians called up Cord Phelps to make his major league debut this afternoon against the Twins. and play second base.
The Indians are hoping to find some kind of spark to reignite the lineup. Hopefully, Phelps can be that spark. He had been playing short for the Clippers so that Jason Kipnis could get reps at second, but second is his natural position. This season, Phelps was batting .299 in 55 games. He’s not a power hitter in any way shape or form, but has shown a tremendous ability to hit for a high average and get on base. With virtually everyone on the team hovering in the mid .200’s, getting a guy who has the potential to hit .300+ could be helpful. Phelps is also a switch hitter which would help keep a right-handed hitter in the lineup against left-handed pitching. The Indians, as everyone is well aware, are a predominantly left-handed hitting team.
If this is any indication, then the Indians are probably beginning to look for answers at certain positions. While Orlando Cabrera has been phenomenal defensively and provided a spark in the club house, but offensively he looks like he’s running on fumes. He’s been nonexistent. The combination of being 36 years old and playing virtually every day so far this season has probably taken its toll. I doubt Phelps is being brought up to usurp Cabrera, but being able to give him more days off is probably a plus.
Phelps can also play third base which could help fill the hole offensively currently being filled by Jack Hannahan. While Hannahan has been remarkable defensively, he has come back to Earth offensively, batting only .224 overall. I also wouldn’t be surprised to see Lonnie Chisenhall make his move to the big club sometime in the near future as well. What move they would make in order to free up space for Chisenhall I’m not 100% sure, but I can see it happening. My best guess would be to option either Adam Everett or Hannahan, or designate them for assignments depending on their option statuses. But we’ll see.
In the meantime, let’s all just enjoy the Tribe getting back on the winning track. They’ll look to win the series this afternoon in the rubber match between Justin Masterson and former Indian, Carl Pavano.