Game Thread: September 23, 2006

Cleveland at Texas, 8:05 PM (STO)

Starting Pitchers:

Cleveland: Brian Slocum (10.57 ERA, 1)
Texas: Vicente Padilla (4.65 ERA, 80)

The Indians are going with a 6-man rotation from here on out, and choosing Slocum over Guthrie was a very surprising decision. Guthrie had the most consistent season of his professional career in 2006, finally having success against AAA hitters. Of course, a 27-year-old pitching well in the International League isn't that exciting, but we're comparing Guthrie with Slocum, not Adam Miller. So why not give Jeremy two starts to at the very least give him more trade value?

Now this isn't slighting Slocum; he had a successful season as well, pitching effectively both in the rotation and the bullpen. But he has options left, and Guthrie doesn't.

Eric Wedge clarified his previous comments on Jhonny Peralta last night:

"We want him to be our shortstop," said Wedge. "We want him to be our guy. But he has to understand what it takes to be a big-league player. You have to be relentless. If you let your guard down for one moment, it's no good."

Wedge said Peralta, 24, is "in the trenches right now."

The key here is not to throw Peralta under the bus. The Indians need badly for Jhonny to rebound, as they don't really have any other internal options at shortstop. So while it might feel good to make a reactionary move, the right move is to determine what he needs to do in order to regain his former performance level. Trading Peralta now for pennies on the dollar would be an extremely short-sighted move.

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