Maybe this Victor Martinez injury is good for the Indians. Last year it would have been deadly, but this year, it’s kind of a shrug-your-shoulders oh well. Vic hasn’t hit a home run and his average has fallen to under .300 and was only about .225 in May. For a clean-up hitter, you aren’t taking that much out of the line-up. He joins Travis Hafner, Jake Westbrook, Fausto Carmona and now Josh Barfield on the DL.
The way injuries are mounting up, you’d think this was the Cleveland Browns of the early 00’s. (That’s 2000’s. Is 00’s the proper way to write that? Or do you have to say 2000’s? If you have to say 2000’s, at what point are you allowed to drop the two-thousand? When it’s 2010-2019, can we say the 10’s? I mean, it should be pretty obvious we aren’t talking about the 1910’s. OK, sorry for that, it was just on my mind.) I believe it was J Beanie commenter Damman who said there are all these signs saying this isn’t the Indians year. Vic’s injury is the latest to be a big neon sign with an arrow pointing to 2009. But I’m not ready to accept that yet. As I said earlier, by the end of June, we should know if these team can compete for the AL Central title or trade away players for 2009.
Coming into the year, everyone expected a Hafner to look like ‘06 Pronk, Vic to be another All-Star, Grady to be the all-everything player, C.C. to repeat as Cy Young, Fausto to be the best two man in the league, Asdriuodble Cabrera to be the next Carlos Baerga and the Indians to run away with the AL Central. None of that has happened. You would think the Indians would be at Kansas City Royal bad, but they aren’t. The injury to Vic isn’t the end of the line. It sucks yes, but look at who’s made the biggest impact on the Indians this year.
Cliff Lee, everyone had him written off but he is in line to start the All-Star game. BENNY, who almost lost his capital letter status but with four hits last night he kept it. Shin-Soo Choo, the guy can just plain hit. These are three guys no one (at least in the origination) was looking to make a huge impact this year. Right now, they are the Tribe’s three best players.
Injures to “star” players can have a negative affect on a team. In the Indians case, I don’t think that will happen. One, it’s not like Hafner and Vic were having great years. Two, it gives guys a chance to play regularly who normally wouldn’t. That has been good for the Tribe so far this year (see, BENNY and Choo) so it should continue. Kelly Shoppach is a good catcher. I have long said he is a better catcher than Vic. His hitting is very solid for a catcher too. Now he’s got a chance to show what he can do everday. Not that much will be lost there. Plus seeing these back-ups and minor leaguers have success has got to get the rest of the team fired up. It’s no surprise that the Indians had a season high 18 hits last night the day they found out about Vic. The guys knew they all had to step up. They were pumped and ready to go. Look at Jamie Carroll. He goes 4-for-4 the day he found out he is going to be the regular second baseman for a few weeks. Maybe, just maybe, these injures are the motivation the Indians needed to turn things around. Either that, or I’m overly optimistic again.
After the game, STO did the top ten plays from the 2007 Cleveland Browns season. I didn’t plan on watching it but how can you turn it off? It did exactly what it was suppose to do, get me pumped for the football season. August can’t come soon enough. I wonder why they didn’t have one of these Top 10 specials in years past.