is now hitting .295/.365/.474.
On May 25th, he was hitting .191/.266/.277.
On June 11th, he was hitting .206/.272/.340.
Suffice to say, he's been as hot as you can be over the past two and a half months. But over the past three games, he's been retired twice in 13 plate appearances. That's taking it to an entirely new level.
In tonight's win over the Blue Jays, Victor had help; Travis Hafner hit two homers, Ronnie Belliard hit one out, and Grady Sizemore stole home for good measure.
CC Sabathia battled his way through six innings, which is a good sign. When CC has command of his fastball, he can beat just about any lineup, but until recently, if his command wasn't there, he usually wasn't in the ballgame by the middle innings.
In transaction news, the Seattle Mariners have claimed RHP Francisco Cruceta off waivers. It wasn't much a surpise to see someone claim Cruceta; he's shown tantalizing glimpses of success at different times during his stay in the Indians organization. The Mariners don't have a lot of pitching depth right now, so I wouldn't be shocked if they throw Cruceta straight into their bullpen or even give him a start or two in September.
Will this come back to bite the Indians? It depends. You can look at their projected bullpen and see that even if a couple guys leave, there's not too many spots open. Let's assume that Bob Wickman retires, the Indians re-sign Bob Howry, and Scott Sauerbeck leaves via free agency. If you tentatively put Howry in as closer, you already have five spots filled:
CL Bob Howry
RP Arthur Rhodes
RP Matt Miller
RP David Riske
RP Rafael Betancourt
You also have to put Andrew Brown and Fernando Cabrera on the roster, because they will be out of options next season, and because both of them have better track records and 2005 performances than Cruceta.
Of course, there was a reason why Cruceta was DFAd when he was: Jason Young. Young does have an option remaining, so at the very least the Indians can see how he does at normal altitude next season. They didn't have that luxury with Cruceta, and that's why he's now with another organization.
Losing Cruceta means that the Indians no longer have the two players received in the Paul Shuey trade. Ricardo Rodriguez was traded to Texas for Ryan Ludwick, and I guess you could say that Cruceta was traded for Jason Young. Of the four deals that summer of 2002, two seems to been duds (Shuey, Rincon), one looks like a good deal (Finley), and one looks like one of best trades in franchise history (Colon).
Speaking of 2002, I haven't forgotten about the retrospective I started on the old site. Over the weekend, I'll repost the first installment, and post the second one (The Robbie Alomar trade).