The Indians announced an hour ago that tonight's game has been postponed, and no makeup date has been announced. While you might expect the teams to double-up tomorrow or Sunday to make up the game, as these same two teams did just last Thursday, Anthony Castrovince speculates that August 18 might be the date. That's a common off-day for the two teams, immediately preceding a scheduled three-game set between the two at the Prog, but it would also create a 25-day span with no off-days for the Indians. Both teams might prefer to do a double-header on Saturday, September 13, after rosters have expanded to 40.
Both teams have announced that tonight's scheduled starters (Sabathia and Hochevar) will go on Saturday, with Saturday's original pair (Laffey and Meche) going on Sunday. With a scheduled off-day on Monday, however, if only two games are played this weekend, the Indians could opt to skip Laffey's turn, starting Sabathia and Carmona against the Royals this weekend and then Lee-Byrd-Sabathia as originally scheduled against the Yankees, all on regular rest
They could in fact send Laffey down tomorrow and keep an extra player on the roster for those five games, recalling Jeremy Sowers to make starts on May 9 and 14. It was the first rainout, after all, that forced the Indians to bump Sowers back to Buffalo in favor of Laffey. Neither Ben Francisco nor Brad Snyder is eligible to be recalled this weekend, but the Indians could supplement the bullpen with Ed Mujica, or give a first cup-of-coffee to Wyatt Toregas or Michael Aubrey. Francisco could be recalled in time to start the Yankees series.
Of course, none of this will matter if the teams instead play a double-header on Saturday or Sunday, in which case the Indians rotation will move forward as originally planned.
Tonight's postponement also postpones our first look at Wedge's reshuffling of yesterday's reshuffled lineup — lineup 2.0.1 if you will — in which Casey Blake returns to the #8 spot while Franklin Gutierrez ascends to the all-important two-hole. Blake struggled mightily in the past two series (458 OPS) while Gutierrez thrived (943). Neither man has put up significant power numbers, and Blake has walked more, but I don't think Wedge is just acting in ignorance of BIP variance here. You can see the difference in ther body language at the plate, while the numbers show that Blake struck out 11 times in just 24 at-bats.
As I write this, the Twins are pummeling the TIgers 8-1 after seven innings, poised to move just a half-game back of the White Sox, who lost hours ago, while shoving the Tigers into 3rd place, 1.5 games back. (Tough loss today for Buerhle, who pitched an eight-inning complete game and allowed just two un-earned runs, no walks, four singles and a double.) The Indians are now just one game back of the White Sox for the division lead.