Friday, July 27, 2007

Lofton heading back to Tribe; Lee heads to Buffalo

The Indians today brought Kenny Lofton back to Jacobs Field as they search for more offense and some stability in the outfield for the stretch.

To get Lofton from the Rangers, the Tribe gave up 22-year-Class-A old catcher Max Ramirez.

Ramirez was batting .303 with 12 homers and 62 RBIs at high-Class A Kinston, and he played in the All-Star Futures Game earlier this month. The Tribe got him from Atlanta last year in the Bob Wickman deal. To make room on the 25-man roster the Tribe sent Ben Francisco to Buffalo.


The Indians also made the move on the pitching staff that obviously needed to be made. They sent Cliff Lee down to Buffalo. For now they've recalled Buffalo's closer Edward Mujica, who has had a couple of unimpressive visits to the big club already.

At first the choice of Mujica was a little surprising - Since he's a reliever and Lee's a starter.

But, Lee's old rotation spot doesn't come up again for four more days, so the Tribe can take a bit of time to decide what to do about the position and use the extra arm in the pen in the mean time.

Right now Aaron Laffey and Jeremy Sowers - both at Buffalo - are their top options. Laffey has pitched great all year at both Akron and Buffalo, while Sowers has been a bust at both the major league and minor league levels until his last two starts at Buffalo (14 IP 1 run).

There's also Jason Stanford, currently the long man in the Tribe's pen, but he's done nothing to deserve a promotion to the rotation.

Lofton will likely platoon with Jason Michaels in left field. Maybe, just maybe, they'll turn over right field to Franklin Guttierez, but I'm assuming we'll see him split right field with Trot Nixon.

Of course, the trading deadline is still four days away, so there may be another starter or reliever on the way. But given the players currently in tow, that's what we're looking at for the stretch.

The Tribe is better today than yesterday. They still need to add pitching in the next four days to be good enough.


moose said...

looks like lofton paid dividends already - looked like a different team - going to game tomorrow santana vs. westbrook

dont know what to think

Ron Vallo said...

Good luck with that matchup. Though the Tribe has beaten twice this year.

Yes, it was like night and day.

And lot's of fun.