Well I was going to rant about the moral quandary I was pondering as to why Roberto Hernandez still had a place on the Indians roster, but when I woke up this morning the Indians had answered my dreams, designating him for assignment, which basically means... CUT!
For those who missed it, the Indians managed to climb to within 1 run of the Phillies last night in the bottom of the 8th only to have Uncle Eric place a call to the bullpen for Roberto who promptly gave up 3 runs int he top of the 9th to effectively seal the game. It hurt even more when the Tribe scored 1 in the 9th, which would have tied the game and sent it into extra innings had Roberto not given up the aforementioned runs.
Now I was all for Mark Shapiro's plan of signing a bunch of veteran arms and hoping that a few stepped up and performed. But it has been apparantly obvious since the second week of April that Roberto Hernandez did not have it anymore, especially in the tougher American League. So Shapiro was 2 for 4, with Fultzy and Borowski seeming working, Foulke retiring and Roberto well... let's not lament the dead.
The only part of that plan that I didn't like was the seeming disregard of the Indians young talent. The last time I checked, two of the MLB's perennial playoff participants, Atlanta and Oakland, in addition to the locking down of a few key players and a tactical free agent signing here and there always seemed to bring up their young talent and incorporate them into the line-up effectively.
Carmona and Perez have made the most of their opportunities. Mastny and Cabrera remain works in progress. Would Mujica, Lara, Miller or Koplove be any worse that Hernandez was? I find that hard to believe. And yes, I realize that Miller and Koplove aren't young. But the point is when you realize something isn't working, you need to address it. Hernandez hasn't been working since Game 3. It should not have taken this long to act on it.
This applies to the field as well as David Dellucci is headed to the DL for an extended period after pulling his hamstring last night. I haven't given up on The Looch yet but he is not having a great year. Neither is Trot Nixon. So we get to have a look at Franklin Gutierrez and Ben Francisco. Shin-soo Choo is on the DL or he would be here and not Francisco. Jason Michaels will get some more PT but as I have stated before I think he has proven he excels in the platoon role but can not play every day. Maybe one of these guys will step up and we'll get a clear vision if they can ball at this level, a la Ryan Garko at the end of 2006.
The Indians are now forced to depend on some young guys, and maybe, just maybe, that's not that bad of a thing.