Martinez had a pretty good last month in Buffalo, so the Red Sox took a flier on him as a Plan C catcher. Teams have to have a player in their organization by September 1 if they want to use him in the playoffs. Since they already have Jason Varitek and Doug Mirabelli on their team, they probably won't need Sandy, but he's there if one of the other two get hurt. Now if Tony LaRussa were the Red Sox manager, that would be another story altogether.
Recalled C Josh Bard, LHRP Cliff Bartosh, and RHSP Jason Davis from Buffalo (AAA)
These are players the Bisons shouldn't miss during their postseason run. Bard is a better alternative than Tim Laker when Victor Martinez is out of the lineup, Bartosh is back as the token left-hander in the bullpen, and Davis will most likely replace Chad Durbin in the rotation. Once Buffalo completes their season, you'll see (among others) Phillips, Peralta, and Cabrera up with the team. One of the possible reasons why the Indians opted to call up Jeremy Guthrie was that they didn't want to hurt Buffalo's chances in the postseason; keeping minor-league affiliates happy (bringing in minor-league vets like Ernie Young, Jason Tyner, etc) is an unrecognized part of a GM's job, and Buffalo and Cleveland have had a pretty good relationship since the Bisons became the AAA affiliate of the Indians.
Reinstated IF Lou Merloni from the 15-day Disabled List
The Arizona Diamondbacks Claimed RHSP Chad Durbin Off Waivers
If you're the D-Backs, this is a no-brainer. A healthy, young, semi-decent pitcher for free? Where do I sign up? Their season has been over with in Arizona for a long time now, so taking chances on waiver wire players should be part of operations. I guess if you're an Indians fan, the fact that teams are snapping up your cast-offs is a positive sign. I still think Durbin has some kind of major-league future; whether that's as a starter is still iffy, but he'll continue to get opportunities for the next 2-3 years.
Reinstated IF Chris Clapinski from the Disabled List (AAA)
A continuation of the Bisons' stretch drive moves. Clapinski is back after about 7-10 days on the DL, and he should be playing third base in the playoffs. This leads to...
Demoted 3B Corey Smith to Akron (AA) from Buffalo (AAA)
Demoted 3B Kevin Kouzmanoff to Lake County (A-) from (AA)
These two are back to their original teams after a one week promotion. If I had to place money on on Smith on or off the 40-man roster, I'd bet off.
Promoted C/1B Ryan Garko to Buffalo (AAA) from Akron (AA)
Has anyone improved his prospect status in the organization more than Garko? He was hitting as well or better in Akron than he had been in Kinston, and that's pretty hard to do. He was drafted in his Age 22 season, so he had to move fast in order to be a legitimate prospect, and he has. If he can continue to catch, imagine the offensive possibilities in Cleveland. Right now, he's in my "Big Four" of Indians prospects, along with Miller, Aubrey, and Gutierrez.
Reinstated OF Franklin Gutierrez from the Disabled List (AA)
Gutierrez had been playing with a sore elbow all year, and finally had to shut it down in July. Even with the injury, he had pounded out 30 extra-base hits in 252 at-bats. Even so, I have to assume he's going to play in Akron again next year, and make the jump to Buffalo around June; there's no real reason to rush him.
Promoted C Ryan Spilman to Akron (AA) from Burlington (R+)
He'll be backing up David Wallace while the Aeros finish the season.
Promoted C Caleb Brock and LHSP Rafael Perez to Kinston (A+) from Lake County (A-)
Pormoted C Ryan Woodson and RHSP Gerson Mercedes to Lake County (A-) from Burlington (R+)
Pounding a Square Peg Into a Round Hole
Coco Crisp, when he was received in the Chuck Finley deal, looked like a future leadoff prospect. But in the past couple years, he has hit for some power, hasn't walked, and hasn't stole bases (16/26) very well at all. Most of his on-base percentage (.324) is attributed to his batting average (.282). Everyone else in last night's lineup had a larger OBP than Crisp. So why is he batting leadoff? I guess perception sometimes becomes reality; if enough people think he's a good leadoff hitter, then eventually it becomes a reality. Coco doesn't strike out that much, but not striking out and getting on base are two different things. An out is an out, no matter if you ground out to second or you strike out on three pitches. Crisp's season thus far looks closer to Randall Simon's 2002 campaign than Kenny Lofton's mid-1990s efforts:
2002 Simon 482 AB, .301/.320/.459, 17 2B, 19 HR
2004 Crisp 379 AB, .282/.324/.446, 19 2B, 13 HR
Of course the big difference is that Crisp is farther left on the defensive spectrum than Simon, but as far as I know, Randall Simon has never been a leadoff hitter. So why place Crisp there?