As the Twins sent down Scott Baker and called up Scott Diamond for an emergency start, the Indians were forced to make a similar move by calling up David Huff to make an additional start during yesterdays day-night doubleheader. They also activated Fausto Carmona who had been on the DL since July 3rd with a right quad strain.
The soft tossing 27 year old lefty Huff made a fine start, going seven innings without allowing a run in sweltering heat. The start stands as one of the finest of Huff's career as he's managed to throw seven shutout innings just two other times in his career, both in 2009.
Once thought to be a long term option at the back of the rotation, Huff has never managed to impress as he was routinely roughed up in both 2009 and 2010. The team has now reached a point where it seems set to move forward without him and his future in the Major Leagues, whatever that may amount to, quite likely lies with another organization. With a career strikeout rate of just 4.48 and a walk rate of 3.22 coupled with a rather high tendency toward fly balls, he doesn't do much of anything well.
But for at least one more night, Huff managed to keep his Major League aspirations alive.
On the other hand, the return of Fausto Carmona is more meaningful. Carmona of course was the Indians best pitcher last season, but has been a mess in 2011. He routinely struggles with command, failing to hold the zone or get ahead of hitters. In turn that makes him predictable, and even though he has a live arm and good stuff, hitters have teed of on him this season, plastering him for a 5.63 ERA.
As I discussed last week, the Indians starting pitchers have stumbled mightily since the seasons first month and getting Carmona back to form - or at least close to back to form - should go a long ways in helping to right that ship. To some extent, Carmona has been unlucky, as his FIP of 4.82 is the better part of a full run lower than his ERA, not that a 4.82 FIP would be decidedly better of course.
To make room for Huff and Carmona the team has placed center fielder Grady Sizemore back on the disabled list, this time with a contusion on his right knee (more on that later) and optioned Jeanmar Gomez back to AAA.