08/17/2004 8:18 PM ET
Notes: Elarton finds success
Broussard impresses Wedge with consistent play
By Robert Falkoff / MLB.com
ARLINGTON -- For Scott Elarton, who will make his 13th start for the Indians Wednesday against the Rangers, every day in a Cleveland uniform is a good day.
|Scott Elarton has turned his season around since coming over from Colorado. (Mark Duncan/AP)
Coors Field is in Elarton's rearview mirror and now he's in the starting rotation for a club that is in playoff contention. Suffice it to say, Elarton's decision to sign a minor league contract with Cleveland on May 25 is looking increasingly astute.
Like many pitchers, Elarton struggled to find success while working in Colorado's thin air. But after going 0-6 for the Rockies with a 9.80 ERA this season, Elarton has taken steps toward rediscovering his groove with a 2-2 mark and a 4.94 ERA since joining the Tribe.
"The biggest battle at Colorado is when you go on the road and have to find a different release point for your breaking ball," Elarton said. "Then you come back home and you have to find it again there. It's a constant battle."
Elarton also said the body doesn't recover in Colorado's thin air like it does on the road.
With the Tribe, Elarton has limited hitters to a .237 batting average. Opponents were hitting .328 against him through eight starts at Colorado.
"I'm with a great group of guys and they've treated me very well so far," Elarton said. "I hope I can stay awhile."
Soaring Broussard: First baseman Ben Broussard went into Tuesday's game hitting .387 since the All-Star break.
If Broussard keeps thriving, there's going to be plenty of competition for infield spots next year when Aaron Boone figures to be part of the corner infield equation.
Those who envision Boone at third and Casey Blake at first next year should keep Broussard's recent accomplishments in mind.
"There's nothing but positives in that," Cleveland manager Eric Wedge said. "You can talk about the way Ben plays first base and the clutch hitting he has done. He has been about as consistent as you can ask a player to be over the last couple of months. You've got to feel good about Ben Broussard and what he has been doing at first base. "
High on Howry: Based on what Bobby Howry has accomplished with the Tribe as a setup man, Wedge said he sees no reason why Howry couldn't be an accomplished Major League closer.
Prior to Tuesday's game, Howry had a 1.29 ERA in 21 games and opponents were hitting just .219 against him.
"You look at his experience, his demeanor, his presence on the mound," Wedge said. "We love the way the ball comes out of his hand."
Double delight: Texas GM John Hart, who guided the Tribe during their glory years in the 1990s, is taking a lot of pleasure from the 2004 season.
Hart is thrilled about his surprising Rangers club, which has battled its way into playoff contention. In addition, Hart is pleased that Cleveland is in the playoff hunt under the direction of GM Mark Shapiro, who worked with Hart in Cleveland.
Hart was prepared to give up his GM duties after this year and settle into a consultant role with Texas. But Texas owner Tom Hicks approached Hart at the All-Star break and asked him to stay on as GM, at least through the 2005 season.
"I have great respect for [Hicks]," Hart said. "I love my staff and Buck [Rangers manager Showalter] is a terrific guy. I thought [staying on] was the right thing for the organization."
Robert Falkoff is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.