Indians get a solid return for Blake
July, 26, 2008
The Dodgers, determined to avoid playing Andy LaRoche at all costs, acquired Casey Blake from Cleveland for two prospects. Blake is in the middle of a bounce-back year at the plate, hitting for the highest average of his career while showing his usual marginal patience and fringe-average power. Blake's problem -- and now the Dodgers' -- is that he's a statue at third base; he's OK on balls hit right to him, but he offers very little lateral range. Add him to an infield that already has pillar-of-salt Jeff Kent at second base, and Derek Lowe might have cause to sue. Carlos Santana is a recent convert from third base to catcher, and like most players converted to the position, he has an above-average arm. He's also a good receiver and has unusually good plate discipline. He has a compact swing and generates power through hard contact and upper-body strength. He projects as an everyday catcher with great defense, average power and an average to above-average hit tool. Jonathan Meloan has worked this year as a starter with awful results. It's no surprise, as he projected all along as a good reliever. He works with a solid-average 88-92 mph fastball, but he's effective because he has two plus offspeed pitches, a 12-6 curveball with great depth and an 86-87 mph cutter with a long, late break. His downside is that despite his size (he's 6-3), he gets no downhill plane on his pitches and tends to leave his fastball up in the zone.