Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Remain calm

Don't overreact to the Scott Lewis implosion in Tuesday's game. Yes, it's the second consecutive egg laid by Lewis since he was told he had won a spot in the Indians' opening day rotation. But that's not an unusual spring training scenario for a young player. I've seen it happen several times in past springs. A player plays well enough to earn a spot on the roster, then as soon as he does his performance takes a dramatic turn for the worse.

Let's wait until Lewis gets a few starts into the regular season before passing any judgements. Even his 4-0 record last September is suspect because many baseball people will tell you the two worst times to evaluate players is spring training and September. That's not to say Lewis gets a pass going into this season. Far from it. In fact it wouldn't be a surprise to see Lewis struggle early this sesaon. If he does, the question then becomes how quickly can he make the necessary adjustments in order to improve his performance?

The last three spots of the Indians' rotation - Carl Pavano, Lewis, and Anthony Reyes - will bear watching all season. There are injury issues and lack of track record issues with those three pitchers that suggest that the Indians will likely need contributions from as many as eight or nine different starting pitchers this year in order to remain in contention all season.


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