Your 2nd installment of the early weekend 6-pack.
1. Carlos Santana knows how to make a .262 average look sexy. Beau Mills (thus far) does not.
For Santana – 6 HRs, a .405 OBP, and 4 more walks than Ks, good for an OPS over 1.000. Casey Blake never looked so good. For Mills, who I had (and still have) very high hopes for this season, not so much. Just one HR and only 2 walks in more than 80 plate appearances.
2. A year ago the Indians were 12-15, 2.5 games out of first place, and David Dellucci was our best hitter (.871 OPS).
Sunrise, sunset. Sunrise, sunset…
3. The Indians minor league system is functioning properly
I’m going to put together an April summary over the weekend, but there are reasons to be encouraged about our minor league system. Our five highest ceiling (arguably) prospects; LaPorta, Santana, Rondon, Huff, and Valbuena, are off to great starts. Add in great starts from two young pitchers, Aaron Laffey and Jeremy Sowers, and a great major league debut from one of our top relievers, and our system is doing what it is supposed to.
4. If Akron were a major league team, we’d all be kings (or queens)
The Akron Aeros are 16-4 so far this season. Going back through 2002 the Aeros are 591-419 (W% .585). The only season they’ve had with a winning percentage below 56% was the anomalous 2004 season in which they were under .500. Maybe the Tribe should play some "special" games at Canal Park. Or maybe you should just go check out the Aeros.
5. Old man McBride probably should be above A-ball
Former catcher Matt McBride, who missed most of 2007 following shoulder surgery and will be 24 next month, probably shouldn’t still be beating up on A-ball pitching. It’s great to see him perform well, but with 15 extra-base hits in 20 games (10 2Bs, 5 HRs) and an equal number of BBs and Ks (9), McBride probably should get promoted. McBride is not much of a prospect, but his 1.187 OPS coupled with his age should give him a ticket to the baseball mecca of Akron
6. The Indians aren’t getting as many groundballs as you might think.
I think we all tend to think of the Indians as being a groundball heavy pitching staff. And indeed, Aaron Laffey (57.1), Fausto Carmona (55.2), and Joe Smith (60.0) are all getting groundballs at good rates. But no one else on the staff is getting more than 46% groundballs, and Masa, Clifton, Betancourt, Reyes, Wood, Perez and Sipp, have all had decided fly ball tendecies. Gutz – where have you gone?