Hangin' out in the Tribe Social Deck

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UPDATE:  Sorry about that folks. No, I didn’t die, but I was almost washed away. The game was cruising along nicely until the middle of the fourth and then the rains came. Although to call it rain is a bit of an insult. This was more of a deluge. Then the hail. Then the high winds. The tarp blew off once. It was a wild scene. Obviously the game was postponed. The only people happy about were Jeremy Bonderman and David Huff who got all those runs they gave up erased.

The Indians’ people were awesome about it all, though, and invited the other bloggers and me to come back whenever we’d like, so I’ll definitely be hitting the Social Deck again sometime soon.

And it wasn’t a total loss for me. I met a cool guy: Paul Cousineau of the Indians’ blog DiaTribe.  We chatted for a long time about life, baseball, Mad Dog 20/20 in brown bags at the University of Dayton and everything.  Definitely check out his blog, because it’s one of the good ones.

Friday 7:36 PM: So I’m blogging live from Progressive Field. The Tribe Social Deck was a pretty sweet setup: right on the rail just inside the left field foul pole.  I say “was” because the blogger class has been relocated to a covered section at the top of the lower deck behind the Cleveland dugout. There’s an almost 100% chance of monster rain in an hour or so, and they want us to be able to continue to blog and tweet without the fear of electronics damage.  Good move. Nice seats!

I have to say, I dig the vibe where I am. In front of me are a bunch of Tigers fans that look like they’ve been drinking since they hit the Ohio Turnpike. They’re serious too: they smuggled in multiple Busch Light tallboys which they’ve stashed under their seats. What they lack in taste they make up for in moxie, and so far I’m their biggest fan. Someone on Twitter suggested to me that they’re having an Irish wake for Ernie Harwell.  I’m going with that.

So far David Huff isn’t exactly fooling anyone. Jeremy Bonderman isn’t either, really. Miguel Cabrera and Grady Sizemore have hit home runs.

Everyone who has seen my laptop is asking me for the Cavs-Celtics score. I’ve been telling them that this laptop is specially-wired to only pick up baseball. I know that it’s 32-15 Cleveland, but I’m not tellin’. You people came to a ballgame. If the Cavs are that important stay at home.

Back to the game.  More later.

What’s on Tap: Previewing Monday’s action

DETROIT, MI - JULY 20: Justin Verlander #35 of the Detroit Tigers pitches in the eighth inning of the game against the Minnesota Twins on July 20, 2016 at Comerica Park in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)
Leon Halip/Getty Images
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Tigers starter Justin Verlander got off to a bumpy start, finishing his sixth start of the season with a 6.49 ERA. His velocity wasn’t quite where it used to be and the 33-year-old seemed to be on the decline. Some had already lost faith after a subpar 2014, so his slow start to 2016 wasn’t converting anyone.

Since throwing seven shutout innings against the Rangers on May 8, however, Verlander has been one of the best starters in baseball. Over his last 14 starts, Verlander has a 2.76 ERA with a 106/24 K/BB ratio in 97 2/3 innings. He’s tacked on nearly 2 MPH to his average fastball velocity compared to April, going from below 93 MPH to nearly 95 MPH. Verlander’s overall strikeout rate of 26 percent is close to four percent higher than his career average and is reminiscent of his rates during his prime five years ago.

Verlander will look to keep it going in Monday night’s start at Fenway Park. He’ll take on Drew Pomeranz, recently acquired from the Padres by the Red Sox, in a 7:10 PM EDT start.

The rest of Monday’s action…

Colorado Rockies (Jorge De La Rosa) @ Baltimore Orioles (Yovani Gallardo), 7:05 PM EDT

San Diego Padres (Colin Rea) @ Toronto Blue Jays (Aaron Sanchez), 7:07 PM EDT

Philadelphia Phillies (Jeremy Hellickson) @ Miami Marlins (Jarred Cosart), 7:10 PM EDT

St. Louis Cardinals (Carlos Martinez) @ New York Mets (Noah Syndergaard), 7:10 PM EDT

Arizona Diamondbacks (Braden Shipley) @ Milwaukee Brewers (Chase Anderson), 7:20 PM EDT

Oakland Athletics (Daniel Mengden) @ Texas Rangers (Martin Perez), 8:05 PM EDT

Chicago Cubs (Jake Arrieta) @ Chicago White Sox (Miguel Gonzalez), 8:10 PM EDT

New York Yankees (Michael Pineda) @ Houston Astros (Dallas Keuchel), 8:10 PM EDT

Los Angeles Angels (Hector Santiago) @ Kansas City Royals (Ian Kennedy), 8:15 PM EDT

Cincinnati Reds (Anthony DeSclafani) @ San Francisco Giants (Jake Peavy), 10:15 PM EDT

Report: Mets offered Travis d’Arnaud to Brewers for Jonathan Lucroy

ST. LOUIS, MO - JULY 3: Jonathan Lucroy #20 of the Milwaukee Brewers looks to the dugout during a game against the St. Louis Cardinals in the fourth inning at Busch Stadium on July 3, 2016 in St. Louis, Missouri.  (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images
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In an effort to make an upgrade behind the plate, the Mets reportedly offered backstop Travis d'Arnaud to the Brewers in exchange for All-Star Jonathan Lucroy, according to a report from Kristie Ackert of the New York Daily News. The Brewers turned down a straight one-for-one deal. Bob Klapisch of The Record reports that a Lucroy trade involving the Mets is “not happening.”

Lucroy, 30, can become a free agent after the season if his controlling club pays him a $250,000 buyout instead of picking up his $5.25 million club option. While it’s believed that the Brewers will trade him before the August 1 non-waiver trade deadline, the club could pick up his 2017 option if no offer is enticing enough.

In 359 plate appearances this season, Lucroy has hit .301/.362/.491 with 13 home runs and 50 RBI. Going by the Sabermetric statistic weighted on-base average (wOBA), Wilson Ramos (.393) is the only catcher (min. 200 PA) with a better mark than Lucroy’s .361. Buster Posey is next at .350.

d’Arnaud, 27, has had a tough season. He missed nearly two months between April 26 and June 20 with a strained rotator cuff. Across 34 games this year, he has a paltry .246/.302/.339 triple-slash line with two home runs and 10 RBI in 129 plate appearances. d’Arnaud will become eligible for arbitration for the first of three years after this season.