One of the many positives in the Cleveland Indians camp this spring (never thought I’d say that) has been the resurgence of once-upon-a-time 19 game winner, Mr Fausto Carmona. The fiery pitcher has had a tremendous spring so far, and looks a lot closer to the man who finished 4th in the 2007 Cy Young vote than the walking disaster fans have had to endure since. Nobody wants to see the Carmona of last year again, where his ERA ballooned to an incredible 6.32 and he literally fell apart; he was eventually sent to Arizona to recalibrate. Which is exactly why Fausto’s spring performances have got fans so excited about the big 26 year old from the Dominican Republic all over again.
As of today Carmona has a 0.69 ERA and has been hitting the strike zone consistently, not to mention his walks are way down. His performance against the Cubs recently has earned him some high praise indeed. Chicago manager Lou Piniella had this to say about Carmona’s exploits: “The best Spring Training start I’ve seen here of any of the Spring Training pitchers who’ve faced us... He made it look easy. He was impressive.” Mike Redmond, who is scheduled to be Fausto’s personal catcher this year, had even better things to say. “I can’t believe he was any better in ‘07 than he was today…Those last two innings, he took it to another level. He was phenomenal.” Phenomenal. That’s exactly the word to describe Mr Carmona this spring. He is 2-0, has six strikeouts, only two walks, and has allowed five hits in 13 innings. I don’t think anybody expected these kind of numbers, not after what we’ve become accustomed to over the last two years.
The 2010 rotation in Cleveland is set to experience its fair share of bumps and bruises; there is no doubt about that. However, if Carmona can re-discover some of his 2007 form (early signs are positive) then the situation at Progressive Field this year might be a little more bearable. Fans can only hope and pray, but what we’ve seen from Carmona so far indicates good things to come.
Thanks for reading.