Some All-Star break notes on the pitching staff

  • Justin Masterson is the 8th Indians pitcher (min 75 IP) since 1990 to post a pre-All-Star Break ERA under 3.00 and the first since Cliff Lee in 2008. The lowest in that time span belongs to Tom Candiotti (2.24 in 1991), who didn’t even make the All-Star team that year.
  • Josh Tomlin is the 10th Tribe pitcher since 1990 with double-digit wins before the All-Star break, but does so with the third-highest ERA of the group. The highest ERA in that span belongs to Charles Nagy, who went 11-4 with a 4.43 ERA in the first half in 1999.
  • Joe Smith has the lowest ERA (min 25 IP) of any Tribe pitcher since 1957 (as far back as the baseballmusings database goes). The previous low belonged to Derek Lilliquist (1.13) in 1993.
  • Amazingly, Mitch Talbot‘s 6.33 ERA is only the 4th highest by a Tribe pitcher (min 10 starts) before the break in the past five seasons. Fausto Carmona (7.42 in 2009), Jeremy Sowers (6.93 in 2007) and David Huff (6.71 in 2009) were all worse. Carmona’s dreadful 2007 first half is the Tribe’s worst since 1957. The only other pitcher above 7.00 in that span was Don Schulze (7.27) in 1985.

Tribe Farm Report

Since Friday’s game at Minnesota was rained out now seems like a good time for an update on some of the Tribe’s top prospects:

  • Down in Columbus, third basemenĀ Lonnie Chisenhall has gotten off to a slow start. He’s batting just .222 with one homer through 14 games.
  • Second-basemen Jason Kipnis has also gotten off to a somewhat slow start, batting jut .255. However, thanks to 10 walks in 14 games, his OBP is .371. That type of patience from a light-hitting second basemen could make for a nice No. 2 hitter behind Brantley or Sizemore in the near future.
  • Cord Phelps, who has split time at second, third and short, is off to a hot start. He’s batting .373 with a .478 OBP and an OPS over 1.000.
  • On the pitching side of things David Huff is solidifying himself as a AAAA pitcher. Through three starts he is 1-0 with a 2.12 ERA. But his 8-10 K-BB ratio indicates he probably won’t be joining the big league squad again any time soon.
  • Alex White, however, is making a strong case to get called up sooner rather than later. Through three starts he has posted a 2.00 ERA with a 0.944 WHIP. With a 20-3 K-BB ratio in just 18 innings of work, he could find himself at the back end of the Tribe’s bullpen in the near future.

David Huff continues to struggle

On April 15 David Huff tossed a complete game against the Rangers. It was his second start of the season. Since that game he’s gone 11 straight starts without pitching into the 7th inning in any of them. Over the last 50 seasons, only four Tribe pitchers have had longer such streaks.

During that stretch Huff is 1-8 with a 7.20 ERA and an opponents batting average of .339.

Essentially everything that could go wrong, has gone wrong. His accuracy has been shaky (28 K-27 BB during the streak). And he’s giving up the long ball (10 HR).

At this rate, its only a matter of time before someone is called up replace Huff. Carlos Carrasco is the most likely replacement, but keep an eye on Josh Tomlin who has a 2.81 ERA in 11 starts at Columbus.