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Thursday, May 7, 2009
Indians shake up staff

Maureen Mullen writes about the Indians' pitching shakeup: Before checking, I didn't realize how well Perez pitched last year. Yes, his ERA jumped from 1.78 in 2007 to 3.54 in 2008. But he'd been a little bit over his head as a rookie in '07, and his strikeout rate and strikeout-to-walk ratio were still quite good last year. He entered this season, then, with as solid a résumé as you'd find in a 27-year-old lefty setup man.

Looking at Perez's Pitchf/x data, he seems to be throwing as hard as ever. My guess is that he's just going through a little run of bad luck, which perhaps isn't being helped by (now) a small crisis in confidence. If he's healthy, he'll dominate in Columbus and be back with the big club soon.

It's nice to see Sowers getting another shot. The sixth pick in the June draft five years ago, Sowers has little star potential. He just doesn't miss enough bats. But he's only 26 -- well, he turns 26 next week, and in 45 Triple-A starts he's 19-9 with a 2.53 ERA. Aaron Laffey's been good in the minors, too, and he's a few years younger than Sowers. Eventually there will be room for both of them in the rotation, as Anthony Reyes doesn't figure to last a whole lot longer in his current role.