© 2007 MLB Advanced Media, L.P. All rights reserved.
04/25/07 8:22 PM ET
Notes: Barfield stays positive
Second baseman looks to shake funk at the plate
By Anthony Castrovince / MLB.com
CLEVELAND -- Josh Barfield doesn't think a change in leagues has contributed to his season-opening struggles at the plate. It's a change in mechanics that has done him in, he said. "There's not much difference between the pitches I saw in the National League and the American League," Barfield said. "It's more about getting myself right. I'm looking at a lot of video to see what I'm doing mechanically, and I'm staying positive." Staying positive hasn't always been easy, as he's hit just .123 (7-for-57) with a homer, six RBIs and a .153 on-base percentage in his first 15 games with the Tribe. But Barfield said his father, Jesse, who played in the big leagues for 12 years, taught him the value of staying on an even keel at all times, good or bad. "There's a difference between being frustrated and being negative," he said. "If you're struggling like I am and you're not frustrated, there's something wrong with you. You need to get out of the game. I'm frustrated, but, at the same time, I never get too up or too down. It helps in times like these." The 24-year-old Barfield came into Wednesday in an 0-for-14 funk at the plate. Manager Eric Wedge, though, said he saw some positive signs from Barfield during his at-bats in the two-game series with the Twins. "He had better at-bats," Wedge said. "He was making good outs, and having good BP. He's going to be OK. It's not a matter of if, it's a matter of when." Slow returns: The Barfield-for-Kevin Kouzmanoff trade with the Padres, which definitively opened up the Indians' third base spot for Andy Marte, hasn't exactly been a blockbuster for either team yet. Kouzmanoff has been struggling as much as Barfield at the plate. He was batting .122 (6-for-49) with a homer and three RBIs in 15 games, and has begun splitting time at third base with former Indian Russell Branyan. And Marte, who went on the 15-day disabled list with a strained left hamstring earlier this week, is batting just .179 (7-for-39), and has made four errors in the field. Here's the question... In 2005, the Indians' Kevin Millwood led the American League in ERA with a 2.86 mark. Who was the last Tribe hurler, before Millwood, to achieve this feat? Walking wounded: The Indians don't think Marte's injury is all that serious. They're optimistic he'll be ready to return to action in two weeks. But Marte will have to make at least one or two Minor League rehab appearances before returning to the club. "He's felt a little better," Wedge said. "We're trying to get him healthy and out playing as soon as we can." Reliever Matt Miller is still in Winter Haven, Fla., rehabbing the right forearm strain he suffered during Spring Training. "He's been throwing off the mound," Wedge said. "He's working to have a simulated game later in the week. We'll see where we go from there. It's been a slower track than we expected with him." Tribe tidbits: Left fielder David Dellucci was out of the lineup for the fourth straight game with a calf injury. He ran on a treadmill, but still wasn't ready to start. Wedge was hoping to have him available as a pinch-hitter. Shin-Soo Choo got the start in left. ... A scoring change was made from Saturday's game in Tampa Bay. The league took away a third-inning double from Delmon Young and made it an error on Barfield. That means two earned runs are deducted from Paul Byrd's line. ... Temperatures in Cleveland were in the 70s for much of the time the Indians were on their eight-game road trip. Sure enough, they dipped down into the low 50s, with rain dampening the field Wednesday. The rain stopped about two hours before game time. When the grounds crew came out to remove the tarp while Wedge was doing his pregame interview with reporters, the manager said, "We haven't been home much, but when we have been home they've earned their pay." Down on the farm: Left-hander Jason Stanford improved to 3-0 by holding Syracuse to two runs on seven hits over five innings in Triple-A Buffalo's 10-5 win on Tuesday. First baseman Ryan Mulhern hit his third homer of the season, right fielder Brad Snyder reached base four times and shortstop Luis Rivas fell a homer short of the cycle. ... Left-hander Shawn Nottingham, the player to be named in last July's trade that sent Ben Broussard to the Mariners, gave up a run on five hits over 7 2/3 innings to lead Double-A Akron to a 9-2 win over Erie. ... Left-hander David Huff gave up just one run on one hit over six innings in Class A Kinston's 3-2 win over Lynchburg. ... Class A Lake County right-handers Steven Wright, Luis Valdez and Luis Perdomo combined on a four-hit shutout and struck out a total of 14 batters in a 3-0 win over Hagerstown. Kids take over: The fourth annual Cleveland Indians Charities High School Hardball Classic will take place Friday, May 4, and Saturday, May 5. This year's tournament will include eight games over two days, with all proceeds benefiting the education and recreation programs that CIC helps serve the youth of northeast Ohio. Westlake, Avon Lake, Kenston, West Geauga, Gilmour Academy, Beachwood, Mayfield, NDCL, Avon, Midview, Strongsville, Archbishop Hoban, North Canton Hoover, Stow-Munroe Falls, Saint Edward and Walsh Jesuit will all play in this year's event. Advance tickets are available for $5 at the Jacobs Field ticket office, each participating school or at Indians.com. Fans can also buy tickets for $7 at the gate. And the answer is... Rick Sutcliffe led the league in ERA with a 2.96 mark in 1982. On deck: The Indians and Rangers wrap up their two-game set with Thursday's businessman's special at 12:05 p.m. ET at The Jake. Byrd (1-1, 3.00) will oppose right-hander Kameron Loe (1-0, 3.29).
Anthony Castrovince is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.