Indians

What Are We Going To Do About You, Fausto?

It’s getting downright frustrating. Aggravating. Upsetting. How many more adjectives can we use to describe the pitching of the Indians Fausto Carmona every fifth day?

The big right-hander was this year’s opening day starter. That seems like 10 years ago, doesn’t it?

Carmona set the tone for his horrifically inconsistent season in that first game when the White Sox lit him up like a Christmas Tree for 11 runs on 10 hits in three innings. Fast forward to September and he has 15 losses and an ERA north of five. Last night in Texas was just another in a long line of poor showings by Fausto, the Rangers sweeping the Indians out of Arlington 7-4.

“Carmona was overthrowing everything,” Acta said. “He walked five guys. He was throwing it side to side. He didn’t have good sink on his fastball.”

Once again, he was spotty with his command and danced in and out of trouble before finally succumbing to the juggernaut Texas offense. He entered the fifth inning trailing 1-0, but was rattled by an Endy Chavez lead-off single and steal. Fausto would then walk Ian Kinsler. Elvis Andrus placed a perfect sac bunt to third and with first base open, the smart play was to walk All World OF Josh Hamilton. We should know by now how Carmona handles these situations.

With the bases loaded, my man crush Michael Young doubled to left, clearing the bases and putting the Rangers ahead 4-0. The next batter, Adrian Beltre, crushed a two-run shot to the seats in right. It was 6-0, and the game was essentially all but over. Beltre’s blast was the 20th given up by Carmona this season, easily leading the team.

So this begs two questions:

1. Who was that guy who won 19 games and had nerves of steel in 2007?

2. How in the world can the Indians pick up Carmona’s $7 million option for 2012?

My answers to these questions:

1. It’s been proven over the past four years that 2007 was the anomaly of Carmona’s career. The up and down, mentally soft version is the real guy. Sure, he teases us with flashes of brilliance, like we saw in July and half of August. But when the chips seem to be all in on the table, Carmona has wilted.

2. They have no choice. They have to pick up the option. If the Jimenez trade never happened and Carlos Carrasco hadn’t gone down for 12-18 months because he needed Tommy John surgery, then the Indians could let the enigma that is Carmona walk. But the starting pitch depth has all but evaporated. Letting Fausto walk would essentially put the Indians in the mode of needing to look at the lower tier free agent starters on one year deals and hope you can catch lightning in a bottle. So essentially, guys of Fausto’s ilk.

As if things weren’t bad enough for the ice cold Tribe, the just activated Shin-Soo Choo lasted one whole at-bat before re-injuring his side. It’s a lost season for Choo, who just couldn’t stay healthy for the first time in his career.

Said Acta:  “He’s done for the season. Despite doing everything the last five days, hitting and everything else and not feeling any pain, he re-aggravated it. It just goes to show you that there’s nothing like game speed.”

The Tribe mercifully ended their season series with the Rangers with a 1-9 record.

“They overmatched us,” Acta said. “Other than that series we had over here, when we had a chance to win the series, we were in every game, they just kind of outplayed us the whole time.”

This weekend, the Tribe heads to Minnesota for a three-game set with the last place Twins.

Related: Figuring Fausto’s Contract Status – Decliing the Option

 (AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

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  • kingdiesel

    Very good Read here TD. I do not necessarily think he is a lock to come back next year, especially if the team picks up Grady’s option.. which they will. Trading Choo may be the move, if Fausto stays. It is always about $$$.

  • Boomhauertjs

    Actually, Tomlin allowed 24 HRs.

  • NJ

    It sure seems like every time Fausto does horribly we have to hear, “his sinker just wasn’t sinking”. I’m no scout, but that tells me that he’s basically just got the one good pitch.

    But yes, at this point you have to extend the contract I think. That said, if they didn’t and had something else in mind, I wouldn’t complain.

  • Karsten

    My 2012 Solution:

    1: Send Fausto off to a Sport Psychologist in the offseason.
    2: Spend money (Yes, Dolans, real money) on a #3-type reliable starting pitcher
    3: Trade Grady for a power hitting, respectable-average 1st Baseman
    4: …….???????
    5: Profit/win!

  • GhostToMost

    Im over Carmona. I mean if they evaluate the situation and decide they are better off with him than without, Ill accept that. Grudgingly, but Ill accept it.

    If they decline the option and send him on his way, I wont lose any sleep over it. In fact I would probably feel a slight sense of relief if it did happen.

    Im no longer waiting for “the light to come on” or whatever analogy you want to use with Fausto. I think this is just who he is, a pitcher with above average stuff who cant harness it because he has no command, no mental toughness, etc….

    For 7 million dollars, Im sure we can find somebody who couldnt do any worse. Jeanmar Gomez or a AAA pitcher couldnt do any worse that Fausto this season. Fausto has been awful, take away 2007 and hes had a pretty awful career as well.

    The guy is not very good, period.

  • mgbode

    @1 – i do not believe in trading players at their absolute lowest points of value. i think Choo rebounds next year (even if not all the way back to where he was, he should at least get close).

    @4 – your #1 and #2 solutions are solid. for #3, if we extend Grady, then I doubt anyone is giving us a respectable-average power-hitting 1B for an oft-injured declining CF at $9mil. if we resign him to a smaller deal, then why wouldn’t whatever team that is just sign him instead?

    ———-

    I think we cut Grady loose and try to resign him cheaper (and fail to do so).

    I think we pickup Fausto for one more wildly inconsistent year (and it’s the right move).

  • Ben

    I guess it comes down to this for me…would Mcallister or Gomez have done any worse for the entire year?

    Move on. This team is still trending up but they have a lot of tough decisions this winter.

  • christopher

    I hear the Rockies have two promising prospects and are in the market for an absent minded fireballer since they lost Jimenez. :)

  • 216in614

    a.) Let him go, he will join victor and jhonny and tear it up in detroit returning to his 07 form.

    b.) Keep him, he will be stinking it up here in cleveland next year wasting the Dolans 9 million that they wouldnt use to sign a FH anyways.

    I choose option B…

  • mgbode

    @Ben – you reminded me of one positive point with Fausto. he is an innings eater.

    sure, he’s inconsistent in the quality that you will get in those innings, but he will eat those innings. if you go entirely young, then you need to be really careful about not jumping up the IP too quickly or risk burning out their arms. it can be done (see TB, TX), but you have to have a ton of quality depth to manage it (which, as mentioned, we no longer have).

  • Shamrock

    Carmona should have been jettisoned by now but if you can see his problems you know other major league teams can too. He’s had plenty of time to turn it around, it’s not happening.

  • GhostToMost

    @9

    Ive played that nightmare scenario in my head several times already, Fausto goes to Detroit and wins 17 games next year. I dont think he’s ever going to find that “2007 form” here. Wouldnt shock me at all to see him go elsewhere and flourish. But the likelihood of it happening in Cleveland is slim to none.

    They can only pick up that option though is if there are no other options. It doesnt make sense for the Indians to pay a AAAA pitcher 7 million dollars.

  • Ben

    Carmona going anywhere does not scare me…for some reason Sizemore going to the White Sox scares the crap out of me.

  • Lars

    This team can’t afford to pay Fausto 7 million for the production of David Huff.

    Cut bait with him and Sizemore and see what you can do with 16 million plus whatever they had scheduled to increase payroll for the ‘window of contention’ that Jimenez brings.

  • christopher

    @14

    agreed…no better time to free up every penny we can for one Mr. Fielder.

    We’ve emptied Columbus with our best infielding prospects over the past two years, establised Asdrubal as an All-Star, groomed Masterson into a stud, made the move for the supposed staff ace in Jimenez, found our closer in Perez, secured a decent OF in Brantley, Fukodome, Choo and Carrera, the last piece of the puzzle is big Prince at 1B.

  • Ben

    Offer Prince 3yrs 90 Million…sadly that is what I think it would take to pry him from a big market. It has to be insane for someone else not to match it.

  • christopher

    @Ben

    maybe throw in an offer of building a statue of him outside of Jacobs Field as well as ownership in a big and tall (well mostly just big) clothing line when he retires to seal the deal?

    insane enough yet?

  • mgbode

    Grady to Chicago could happen too. Juan Pierre is a FA and made $8.5mil this year. They could probably get Grady for $7mil or so and “if he stays healthy…”

    he’d just be yet another in the long line of Indians to go to the White Sox after his prime years in Cleveland.

    ————–

    $30mil / year for Prince is silly for our team. that would be at least 40% of our opening day roster salary. for one player who would set the league record for walks.

  • Ben

    Of course it is insane. That is the point. There is ZERO chance of Prince coming here so to even talk about is crazy.

  • Ben

    You have to remember that some of my comments are due to the fact that I just stopped drinking after the whole Pomeranz thing.

    Good thing that the Rockies are taking their time with him and not rushing him to the big leagues…

  • Elizabeth

    The Indians don’t “develop” pitchers. If they throw hard, they’re called up. If they hit their spots, they get called up. If they dominate at the minors, they get called up.

    BUT – they don’t know how to handle diversity. Its a whole different game facing big league talent. And when these kids hit the wall, they send them back down – but what gets accomplished?

    Fausto.07 could’ve been a fluke. He might be legit – but until they teach him HOW to pitch, its never going to matter. You can add Carrasco to that list too. You can’t bring a kid up from Mahoning Valley to Cleveland in the same season – that’s not developing. If the Indians are going to live on their minor league system alone, they need to develop it.

  • NJ

    @21 – We don’t develop pitchers? I just don’t see that at all.

    We’re just going to ignore Cliff and CC – two Cy Young, all-decade pitchers? What about Chris Perez, Rafael Perz, Vinnie Pestano, Josh Tomlin, and Tony Sipp? Pretty much our whole bullpen (the best part of this squad) was drafted and developed by this organization.

    Some guys just don’t have it. Jesus could be the pitching coach and I don’t know think he could have turned Jeremy Sowers into an everyday starter.

    With Carmona, I just don’t think he has it. He had one good year with one good pitch and, once everyone got a book on him, he was done. I don’t think you can blame the staff for that. Talent in baseball is just a game where you miss forty times for every one hit.

  • Ben

    Wow…I never said we don’t develop pitchers. I just disagree with the timeframe. Pomeranz was ready to be called up when we acquired Ubaldo.

    If throwing hard was the only prereq to a big league call up we would have seen De La Cruz years ago. He scares me when he comes into games at Akron…and I’m in the stands.

  • mgbode

    @Ben – he was referring to post21, not yours.

    btw: “some of my comments are due to the fact that I just stopped drinking after the whole Pomeranz thing”

    made me laugh.

  • Ben

    @mgbode

    I do what I can. I have embraced the whole small market/contention window idea. It is why the Pomeranz trade drove me insane. It is why people thinking Dolan will even have Fielder visit is more insane. The team is still trending up I just hope people don’t actually think there is a free agent splash coming…because it is not.

  • mgbode

    i haven’t seen anything that said Fielder would even be a consideration. that is silly.

    i’m laughing at the idea that the Marlins think they can sign Fielder AND Reyes (new ballpark, lure of Miami – but, still…)

    as far as ‘splash’ the biggest splash I think we would do is a $7-10mil guy. could be a key piece (if we actually get one right this time), but not going to make huge headlines in the offseason.

    on the positive side, we passed up Toronto in attendance:
    http://espn.go.com/mlb/attendance

    note the White Sox only get 2K more fans per game than us, but had 3X team salary. this doesn’t make sense until you remember that they have a Comcast Chicago SportsNet deal that helps them a great deal.

  • Ben

    The question is what 7-10 M guy out there is the right fit for this team? Probably better odds of finding a LF than a 1B.

  • mgbode

    list from: http://mlbcontracts.blogspot.com/2001/04/potential-free-agents-for-2012.html

    man, that’s a depressing list once you get past the few big names.

    maybe gamble on a guy like Hawpe who is only a couple years removed from consistent good offensive production and had to deal with Petco this year?

  • NJ

    @28- A few weeks ago I spent some time looking through that same list and came away very, very bummed.

    I think this team is going to look pretty much the same next year. There really aren’t any realistic big moves out there for the club to make, barring some surprising, crazy trade.

  • Ben

    Looks at list…goes back in the corner drinking.

  • NJ

    Heh, I’ll be joining you in about an hour.

    I think that’s why we keep both Sizemore and Carmona. What else are we going to do with the money?

  • mgbode

    we could spend the $9mil on medical equipment instead of Grady. might as well help the rest of the team stay healthy rather than just keep trying to fix him up :)