|LaPorta's on his way to the bigs
The Indians revealed after Friday's game that they're calling up Matt LaPorta, Luis Valbuena and Josh Barfield prior to Saturday's game.
It's a truly bizarre shakeup in that it's a) coming after a victory and b) coming in the middle of a series. The Indians lost Wednesday and didn't play Thursday… if they were going to do something big like this, it's awfully weird that they didn't do it before Friday's game.
Calling up LaPorta with Travis Hafner (shoulder) down makes a ton of sense. They'd be just fine with Kelly Shoppach at catcher and Ryan Garko and Victor Martinez alternating between first base and DH, but it's worth finding out of LaPorta is a legitimate upgrade. He can DH right now, but in reality, he's competing with Ben Francisco for the starting job in left field.
It's the Valbuena move that is disturbing. The Indians might actually be a better team with Valbuena at second, Asdrubal Cabrera at short, Jhonny Peralta at third and Mark DeRosa in a utility role, but that's not the way it's going to work. Valbuena, who was hitting .321/.436/.538 is just 23 and should be playing regularly. He's not particularly versatile and he doesn't offer a whole lot of speed off the bench, so it's not like he's going to be very valuable to the Indians if he plays once a week. There's very little gain to be had here from interrupting his development for a month.
LaPorta, obviously, is the player fantasy leaguers should be targeting. The former Florida Gator was hitting .333/.414/.640 with five homers in 75 at-bats at Triple-A Columbus.