Matt and Aaron mentioned the Ryan Garko trade last night, but I'm still thinking about one aspect of it this morning, and that's the fact that the Tribe called up Andy Marte instead of Matt LaPorta to take Garko's spot on the roster. Let's suss that out a bit, shall we?
Matt LaPorta was the centerpiece of the CC Sabathia trade last year, and he's gotten nothing but a courtesy callup so far. For now he's like me: Tearing it up, but largely wasting his time, in Columbus, Ohio while the big old world slowly passes him by. Andy Marte, on the other hand, has had approximately 1,257 chances to make it work in the Major Leagues and has failed every time. Yes, he too is raking in Columbus this year, and yes he stands to be a minor league free agent this winter, but those 1,257 previous chances still weigh heavy on the mind. Could he be the next Carlos Pena? Sure. But I think it far more likely that he's the AAAA player that he's shown himself to be for several years now, and if you have to choose between him and LaPorta, you have to give LaPorta the shot.
Of course the dumbest thing about all of this is that the Indians didn't have to choose between Marte and LaPorta. They forced that choice upon themselves by carrying a 14 man pitching staff.
Let me repeat that.
The Indians have five starting pitchers and nine -- nine! -- relievers on their 25 man roster. Mark Shapiro, in his infinite wisdom, has decided that he wants to give his embattled manager the option of running ten pitchers out in a given game. And that happens so often!
Here's something that doesn't happen so often, but happened last night: Because Garko was traded, Travis Hafner couldn't play (he gets mandatory days off to rest his shoulder or whatever it is on him that doesn't work so good) and Grady Sizemore was sick, the Indians played the entire game against the Angels last night with literally no one available on the bench. If Asdrubal Cabrera went down, Cliff Lee is probably playing short. And who cares? They're trading him anyway!
In light of that, and in light of the fact that you have two guys worthy of a callup to the big leagues, you'd think that the Indians would maybe think about going from the monumentally stupid 14-man pitching staff to a merely idiotic 13 or a somewhat excessive 12. But far be it from me to argue against success.
[cough!] 42-58 [cough!]