From the mailbag:
- Mr. Neyer, I am counting on your expertise because nobody else has given me an answer. How much longer does Matt LaPorta sit in Triple-A ripping the ball, while the current platoon of Ben Francisco and Trevor Crowe is hitting about .180? Do you think because he is a Boras client that the Indians are doing the same thing that the Orioles are doing with Wieters?
In case anyone's forgotten, last summer LaPorta was the Brewers' top prospect until they traded him to Cleveland in the deal for CC Sabathia. Now he's the Indians' No. 2 prospect (behind Double-A catcher Carlos Santana), at least according to Baseball America (and others).
Anyway, LaPorta's simply been destroying International League pitchers: .368/.436/.706 in 19 games. Meanwhile, Francisco and Crowe are destroying nothing except the fervent hopes of the Forest City's tender youth.
So what in the name of Rocky Colavito are the Indians thinking? Well, yeah: they might be trying to save a few bucks by delaying LaPorta's arrival in the majors for another week or two. They might also not be completely convinced that he's ready. After all, those 19 games with Columbus are the only games he's played above Class AA.
It's only April, and these things do tend to find their natural balance. If LaPorta keeps hitting and those other guys don't, he'll be up. And my guess is that he'll be up real soon.