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Game Sixty-Five: Indians 3, Marlins 2

Box Score
Win Probability Added @ Fangraphs

Highest WPA:

Jason Stanford .184
Roberto Hernandez .159
Victor Martinez .097

Lowest WPA:

Grady Sizemore -.069
Ryan Garko -.060
Jhonny Peralta -.054

Whatever the future holds for Jason Stanford, his return - heck, his entire career - has been a great story. He's beaten the odds twice now, and even if he doesn't stay in an Indians uniform, he'll get his chance somewhere else thanks in part to last night's game. I'm not saying he'll be anything like last night over the long hall - we've seen what happened to Jeremy Sowers, and Stanford's stuff and command is inferior. But given the scarcity of anything resembling a decent major-league pitcher, someone will give him a chance. Jason's out of options, meaning that either the Indians keep him on the 25-man roster or he's gone. If Jake Westbrook returns on schedule, that gives Stanford one more start, and then the Indians have a decision to make, a decision much more important than simply optioning a player to AAA. If Adam Miller and Brian Slocum were healthy, the decision would be a fairly easy one - trade Stanford while his value is probably as high as it's going to get. But right now, Stanford's the sixth starter, at least until Jeremy Sowers figures things out in Buffalo.

Mark Shapiro's recent comments about the rotation were pretty interesting:

Miami- Manager Eric Wedge, GM Mark Shapiro, pitching coach Carl Willis and others will meet today before the Indians open a three-game series against Atlanta at Jacobs Field to discuss the Tribe's starting rotation.

"Right now we've got two spots in the rotation that are unsettled," said Shapiro. "We've got an answer for one of them internally."

Jake Westbrook, when he comes back, will solve one unsettled spot. The other one currently belongs to Cliff Lee, who's pitched better in his last couple starts, but that's faint praise considering what those starts were improving upon. My guess is that Lee stays in the rotation, though the Indians do seem to at least be considering alternatives to Lee. Whatever the case, Lee's next start is pretty important, since Jason Stanford would still be around, and the Indians would probably like a conveinient excuse to keep him.

Next Up: The Braves come to Cleveland for the first time since 1995. Sabathia vs. Carlyle, 7:05 PM