Inside the Wigwam

By: T.J. Zuppe

Cleveland Indians (49-69) at Kansas City Royals (49-69)

  • Pitching Probables

Tuesday: RHP Jeanmar Gomez (3-0 – 1.54) vs. RHP Zack Greinke (7-11 – 3.99)

Wednesday: RHP Fausto Carmona (11-10 – 3.87) vs. LHP Bruce Chen (7-6 – 4.50)

Indians Top Pick Drew Pomeranz

Thursday: RHP Mitch Talbot (8-10 – 4.25) vs. RHP Kyle Davies (6-7 – 5.22)

  • Inside the Wigwam News

Putting Wraps on the Draft: On Monday, the Indians signed their top four draft selections, from the 2010 MLB amateur draft. Those included top pick left-handed pitcher Drew Pomeranz (2.65 million dollars), as well as Levon Washington (1.2 million dollars), Tony Wolters (1.35 million dollars), and Kyle Blair. They also signed eighth-round pick, catcher Josh Lavisky out of Lakewood St. Edward. The Tribe was able to sign their first 14 picks, and 20 of the top 23 choices in the 2010 draft. Overall, 27 of 50 were inked to deals. The organization spent seven million dollars in deals yesterday alone.

Pronk’s Progression: Despite the injury to his shoulder, Indians designated-hitter Travis Hafner has actually been much better in the second half of the season. In the nine games he has placed since the break, Hafner is hitting .424, with three doubles, two home runs, and eight runs batted in, in 33 at-bats. Surprisingly, the good stretch does not end there for “Pronk”, who over his last 106 at-bats, has eight doubles, six homers and 19 RBI. Extending even further back, the oft-injured slugger is hitting a team-best .295, with eight round-trippers since May 4th. Despite hitting much better in the middle of the order, those numbers still are not what the Indians envisioned, when they signed him to his lucrative deal in 2007. Even as the average continues to climb, the power and runs driven in continue to decline, thus defeating the purpose of having him in the clean-up spot.

However, Hafner did add a grand-slam home run, in his return from the disabled list on Sunday, against the Mariners. It was his 11th career grand slam, which puts him second in franchise history behind Manny Ramirez’s 13 career big flies of the grand variety.

Royal Pain: The Indians and Kansas City Royals will start a three-game series on Tuesday at Kauffman Stadium. It is the first time these two squads will square off since May 20th, and sit dead even in the American League Central Division’s cellar. On the season, the Indians and Royals have almost played dead-even as well, but the Royals have taken three of the five games thus far. The Tribe has battled the Royals, and the rest of the AL Central tough this year, and have won 21 out of 40 match-ups with their division rivals overall.

Follow T.J. Zuppe on Twitter @TJZuppe


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