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Game Thread: August 12, 2006 (Game Two)

Kansas City at Cleveland, 7:05 PM (STO)

Starting Pitchers (Game 2):

Cleveland: Jeremy Guthrie (0-0, 6.59 ERA)
Kansas City: Jorge de la Rosa (3-3, 8.60 ERA)

Designated INF Ramon Vazquez for Assignment

Has any player ever been recalled to start Game 1 of a double-header, and then DFA'ed before Game 2?  I guess it's probably happened before, but it's still weird.  In any event, another favorite punching bag of the fans is gone, at least until we give him a minor league deal this winter.

Recalled P Jeremy Guthrie from Buffalo (AAA)

So here it is, Jeremy Guthrie's first major league start, two years late and four million dollars short.  Guthrie was considered one of the best ten prospects in the 2002 draft class and, more to the point, the closest pitcher to the majors in that class.  Repped by Scott Boras and expecting a big bonus, Guthrie was still on the board when it came time for the Indians' first pick, 22nd overall, and it perhaps is no surprise that the Indians decided to take the financial gamble on Guthrie, as they must have already known that they were going to deal Bartolo Colon within a matter of weeks.

Guthrie got his $4 million and a spot on the 40-man roster, the latter being arguably more of a problem than the former.  Had he signed a regular minor-league deal, Guthrie would still have at least one option year remaining.  (And we'd have had an extra 40-man spot in 2003 and 2004, possibly never losing Luna in the first place.)  But of course, the Indians never would have drafted a $4 million bonus baby had they expected option years to be an issue.

So Guthrie signed and went directly to Akron, where he suppressed runs at breathtaking rates (but didn't get many K's) for the first two months of 2003.  His fast success was an early salve to the discomfort of full-on rebuilding and a big-league roster full of rookies.  Guthrie was in Buffalo by June 2003, and the wheels came off.  To put it very simply, he's spent the last three seasons trying to figure out how to be a good pitcher.  He's 27 now and not much of a prospect.  If he's going to be a major leaguer, it's close to now-or-never time for Guthrie.

He has shown signs of life in Buffalo, with his good-not-great 3.25 ERA.  His peripherals are similarly meh ... 6.68 K/9, 1.21 WHIP.  One interesting thing in his line, however, is his stinginess with the extra base hits -- only 22 doubles and four home runs allowed in 17 starts.  It'll be interesting to get a look.  Perhaps anticipating a bunch of baserunners, Wedge is starting Shoppach behind the plate.  Victor gets the start at 1B, while Guthrie's old buddy Ryan Garko will be on the bench.

The Indians are trying for only their second five-game winning streak of the season, the first being a six-game streak in the first week of the season, seemingly a lifetime ago.  The Indians have had two other four-game win streaks this season, May 16-19 and July 1-4.