Eight final thoughts for the Indians' 6-4 win over the Blue Jays on Easter Sunday.
1. A lot was made over the Indians giving $12 million over two years to David Murphy instead of $8 million for one year to Nelson Cruz. Murphy is now hitting .288 with two home runs and 15 RBI, and he came up with the huge hit today against a lefty. And, if not for Michael Brantley being so damn clutch, he'd be leading the team in RBI.
2. He's doing OK for himself, considering he's in a platoon with Raburn, who DH'd Sunday.
3. Brantley went 2-for-3 with a home run, a double and two RBI. All the guy does is produce. He leads the team with 16 RBI. After he and Murphy, Nick Swisher is in third with eight RBI.
4. Swisher didn't have a bad day, going 1-for-3 with an RBI. But he also struck out twice, and Carlos Santana struck out three times. Swisher, the team's No. 2 hitter, is hitting below .200. Santana, the cleanup hitter, is below .150. Those things will change, but question is how quickly and to what extent. The Indians can't go too long with no production from the heart of the order, even with Murphy and Brantley playing so well.
5. Carrasco had another difficult outing. He said the other day his goal is to last deeper into games, and he couldn't get out of the sixth inning today. That might have been a goal.
6. The real concern is that he told me a few days ago that he needs to stay back in his delivery, which allows him to keep his arm up as he goes to the plate. That's exactly what Francona said Carrasco failed to do—saying as he gives up hits, his arm drops lower and lower. So Carrasco knows what he's trying to do but hasn't been able to do it. Francona said that can be fixed with reps, but how long are the Indians willing to roll Carrasco out every fifth game while he struggles and Bauer excels in Triple-A?
7. Francona seems to love Carrasco's potential, but he doesn't have forever to reach it.
8. John Axford got the save, and he now has six this season already. One worrisome number is that he's now walked seven batters in 7 2/3 innings pitched. That's not ideal out of your closer.