Friday, June 5, 2009

Now that's a demotion

The Indians tried everything else with Fausto Carmona. Friday they tried some shock therapy. The Indians sent Carmona to the minor leagues. The low minor leagues. How low? You can't get sent any lower than Carmona got sent. The Indians sent their struggling No.2 starter to the Arizona Rookie League. That's a league typically filled with first year professionals. That's how much work Indians officials apparently feel Carmona has ahead of him.

The numbers support that feeling. A 19-game winner just two years ago, Carmona is 2-6, with a 7.42 ERA. His earned run average over his last three starts is almost 20. How could Carmona go from so good two years ago to so bad this year? Part of it is that Carmona is a big man physically, and big pitchers are more prone to mechanical problems because of their size. Carmona also has a violent delivery, which frequently requires maintenance. Carmona is also a very emotional pitcher.

All of those are factors in Carmona's demise as a pitcher. The question now becomes, can Carmona be fixed, and how soon? The Indians' minor league staff will undoubtedly take their time with the big right-hander. Surely Indians Manager Eric Wedge and pitching coach Carl Willis don't want to bring Carmona back until they are reasonably sure he's ready to compete again at the major league level.

Until then, the Indians' starting rotation is Cliff Lee, Carl Pavano, and three shaky tomorrows. The bottom three spots in the rotation are currently manned by Jeremy Sowers, David Huff, and Tomo Ohka. My guess is we haven't seen the last change to that rotation.


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