Buffalo (and Akron) Soldiers

Demoted RHSP Jeremy Guthrie to Akron (AA) from Buffalo (AAA)

A lot of good is happening with the Bisons, but there’s one bad spot so far this year. Jeremy Guthrie, who was supposed to make his major-league debut, has been demoted to Akron. The article mentions mechanical concerns, and I hope that’s all it is. Jeremy’s velocity hasn’t really decreased at all, but he simply can’t find the plate at all this year. He’s walked 18 batters in 19 innings.

Now onto the promising stories; namely Brandon Phillips and Jhonny Peralta, who could make the rebuilding effort a heckuva a lot easier if they develop as promised. Brandon especially has been very promising at the plate. He’s only struck out twice in 57 ABs, an astounding turnaround from last season. And the new plate discipline has not come at the expense of power, either; he’s slugging .491 so far.

Jhonny Peralta has been as good as Phillips or better. He’s hitting .351/.433/.483.

Now what will be interesting to see is where both will end up on the infield. Phillips is a natural shortstop, and he’s looking like the heir apparent to Omar Vizquel. Brandon has played 8 games at 2B, and 9 games at SS, so he’ll probably be the first called up if Vizquel or Belliard have to go on the DL. Jhonny Peralta has also played some games at short (7), as well as third (9). I don’t think the acquisition of Russell Branyan will cut down on Peralta’s time at short, as there’s more a need in Buffalo’s outfield than at third.

Speaking of third, Corey Smith is raking in Akron. He’s slugging a cool .710, and has cut his strikeouts dramatically. But his errors are still a big problem; he’s booted the ball 7 times in 16 games at the hot corner. The Indians have been beyond patient with Smith, and haven’t moved him to the outfield as of yet, but the time is coming when a decision has to made on him.

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