Last season, my friend Gina (of Alesci’s Downtown) said she wanted to start a fan club for Mitch Talbot called Mitch’s Bitches. Kind of a counterpart to Grady’s Ladies for those of us who don’t want to marry the guy but actually like what the player does on the field. Last night, in his second start since coming off the disabled list, he had a great outing, leading the Indians to a much-needed win against the Blue Jays team that had trounced them the night before.
I like Talbot. He’s tough and persistent, and definitely put in his time in the trenches. Drafted by the Astros in the second round of the 2002 MLB Amateur Draft, he spent three and a half season kicking around Houston’s minor league system before being traded to the Tampa Bay system in 2006. Cleveland acquired him in December 2009 when we traded Kelly Shoppach to the Rays.
His first start off the DL was the 14-2 loss to the Red Sox. That day, he looked as though he could have used a rehab start or two in AAA, giving up 12 hits and 8 runs in only 3 innings. But somewhere in the 74 pitches he threw that day, he must have figured out a few things. Whatever he did, it worked because the Talbot who showed up last night was more like the guy who went 10-13 for us last year. If he doesn’t have any more problems with his elbow, depending on the rest of the rotation, he could get anywhere from 20-22 starts through the rest of the season. If the offense gives him the run support, there’s no reason why he can’t win another 10-12 more games for us this season. I don’t know that Talbot will ever be one of those hugely dominant pitchers from whom you expect a win every time he starts. That doesn’t mean I’m still not a charter member of his fan club.