I am a stubborn person and a man of routine. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve become more intolerant to change in my day to day life: I wake up, take the baby downstairs, give her a bottle, take her to the sitters, go to work, pack a lunch Monday through Wednesday, get Chinese Thursdays, pizza on Friday’s, go home, watch some TV, maybe work on a home project1 play some Overwatch, bathe the babe and put her down to sleep. Plan the work and work the plan. What’s funny is my wife is the opposite from me when it comes to change; she welcomes it, attempting to hone the perfect scenario for everything until it’s 100% efficient. 85% is not good enough, so that means the baby spoons could move to a different drawer almost daily, and while I’m trying to find the spoons, I could discover the pots are in a new place or we are keeping the water pitcher on the counter now instead of in the fridge. Some might wonder how we manage sanity in an environment where one is resistant to the others changes, but we embrace them as I understand she is trying to make the house and our lives run as smoothly as possible.
As resistant as Terry Francona is to change, his patience on a struggling hitter is a virtue many fans do not possess, it’s time to make a change at the closer position. Our own Mitch Krall wrote earlier this week that Brad Hand would be fine once he starts allowing less contact, but last night was a colossal mental mistake that should necessitate change. Covering first base is one of the first things they teach you when you learn the position and the mental mistakes have to end. The Indians were unable to take advantage of a day game loss by the Minnesota Twins and move back to within two games of the AL Central leaders. Instead, they remain three games behind, and now hold a tenuous half-game lead over the Tampa Bay Rays and Oakland Athletics.
Brad Hand from March 28-June 24: 22 saves, zero blown saves, 1.05 ERA, 50 strikeouts in 34.1 innings (35 appearances)
Brad Hand since June 25: 7 saves, 5 blown saves, 8.33 ERA, 26 strikeouts in 16.2 innings (18 appearances)
— Josh Poloha (@JorshP) August 22, 2019
The options to replace Hand are less than stellar, but it’s better than the net negative we have at the position now. Hand can shift to the eighth inning and allow for one of the Nick’s (Wittgren or Goody) to take over for him in the ninth. I doubt Francona would do it, but James Karinchak is blowing people away in Columbus, and could easily be brought up to help out a soon-to-be depleted bullpen. The best-case scenario from a storytelling point of view would be Carlos Carrasco returning to the majors as the closer, the sound level as he rushes in to close out a big win would trigger some geological study of earthquakes…but it’s too early for him to do that, regardless of the heat he was throwing in his first rehab start. As much as it might not be welcome, something needs to change in this bullpen.
Rant of the week
Be nice to customer service people. That goes for retail, food service, tech support, pretty much anybody you come in contact with on a personal level. I fully understand that you might have been wronged by the corporation backing them. You might feel slighted about something going on, but be aware that the person across the counter more than likely didn’t wrong you.