Friday, July 1, 2011

The Daily Take: What to do with Fausto?

The Indians were able to go 2-2 after going 1-4 previously.  The hitting and the pitching were both there like before, but the hitting was also much more timely, which helped.  It seems like the recent influx of young hitters is just what the Indians needed.

To add to Cord Phelps, Lonnie Chisenhall was recently called up.  Chisenhall is hitting well and Phelps has been producing well the last 2 weeks.  Having both of these bats in the line-up means the Indians also can give Orlando Cabrera a rest occasionally, which has helped him to hit .400 over the past week.  The key going forward will be how can Travis Buck play and how much time they give him.  Austin Kearns just looks terrible and its a bad idea to rely upon him in the order.

The biggest question about the Indians has to be do they keep Fausto in the order and how long do they wait until they send him to the bullpen.  While Fausto had a decent start in his last start, the Indians still lost.  Even so, I think its the best we can expect at this point from Fausto.  Fausto was 20/28 on fist pitch strikes and had an 11/2 GB/FB ratio.  Both of these are great and normally, you would expect a dominant start.  However, this was a very mediocre start where he had a 1.3/1 K/BB ratio and gave up 3 runs on 7 hits.  At his best, Fausto is mediocre with bouts of control problems.  At his worst, well lets not get into that...

Fausto has always had bouts of consistency.  Even when he was pitching good in April and Early may, he would have a dreadful start about 1 every 4 starts.  Fausto can be very streaky, and unfortunately he is streaking the wrong way right now.  Yes, Fausto has had one dominant season and another very good season.  However, this is also his 3rd very poor season as a starter (not including his rookie season) and could end up being his overall worst.  At least in 2008 and 2009, he could use the excuse of some lingering injuries.  Over the last 9 starts, his ERA is around 8.00, easily his worst stretch in an up-and-down career.  I think they should move him to long relief.  Jeanmar Gomez and Huff are dominating in AAA and have experience on the Indians roster.  Acta insists that they will not move Fausto, but if this team is serious about competing, it may have to happen.

In Cavs news, JJ is officially traded.  They traded him to the Kings for Omri Casspi and a possible late-lottery pick (a pick that is very protected).  I like the trade.  I was a bit disappointed in JJ Hickson's performance last year.  While he improved offensively, he didn't ever seem to try on D, was not a good passer, and overall did not seem to have a high basketball IQ.  This is why the Cavs got Thompson.  I also like Casspi and think he has the potential to be a really nice SF.  He is a good athlete, has good length, and is a very good scorer.  He is still a bit raw on D, but if he can get stronger and better on D, he can be a very good wing player.  He could be like a better Andres Nocioni (when Nocioni was good).  The Cavs need a wing shooter much more right now than they need Hickson, plus he will be under contract for one year longer

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