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What the Indians need to do to contend

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What the Indians need to do to contend

Postby Prosecutor » Wed Dec 26, 2012 11:14 pm

In a nutshell, everybody, and I mean everybody, has to play up to his potential, and they have to be used correctly. Going around the diamond...

Carlos Santana: Needs to be consistent. Pre-All-Star he hit .221/.675. Post-AS he was at .281/.887, which are All-Star numbers for a catcher. Santana needs to find a way to be consistent all year. I'd be happy with a .260 average with 25 HR's and a ton of walks. I think that's realistic.

Mark Reynolds: Needs to bat with men on base. Nobody on: .205 BA. Runners on: .241. Scoring position: .286 (2012 stats). They need to bat Reynolds behind Santana since he has a high OBP.

Jason Kipnis: Needs some rest. Pre-All-Star: .277/.764. Post All-Star: .233/.650. They need to give him some days off in the first half. Kipnis vs. lefties: .215/.580. Versus righties: .280/.787. They need to play Aviles at 2nd base against lefties when possible.

Mike Aviles: Versus lefties: .286/.754. Versus righties: .236/.626. Aviles should play for Kipnis or Chisenhall against left-handed pitching.

Asdrubal Cabrera: Pre-All Star: .286/.831. Post-All Star: .251/.676. Like Kipnis, he faded badly in the second half. They need to use Aviles to give him some days off in the first half.

Lonnie Chisenhall: Versus righties: .298/.848. Versus lefties: .184/.442. Chiz needs to hit lefties better, period. That's a ridiculous average. Can Aviles play 3rd base?

Michael Brantley: Hitting leadoff Brantley batted .227/.612. Batting in positions 5-7 Brantley hit .319 with a .410 OBP. This guy absolutely needs to hit 5th or 6th. Batting leadoff he is not aggressive and tries to work the count, which results in him falling behind and hitting .227. Hitting down in the order suits him much better. Hopefully Francona will recognize this.

Drew Stubbs: Versus lefties: .283/.789. Versus righties: .186/.541. If he can't hit right-handed pitching any better than that they should put Fedroff in left and Brantley in center against righties.

Nick Swisher: Hit .267 with nobody on, .278 with runners on, and .301/.995 with RISP. Like Reynolds and Brantley, they need to get him up to bat with ducks on the pond.

So the best lineup will probably be something like:

Kipnis
Droobs
Santana
Swisher
Reynolds
Brantley
DH
Chiz
Stubbs//Fedroff/Zeke

They still need to come up with a DH unless they want to use a bench guy like Fedroff/Zeke Carrera, McGuiness, Aviles, or Marson, none of whom inspire confidence. Manny Ramirez?

Kipnis, Droobs, and Santana all had one good half and one bad half last year. They need to figure out what went right in the good halves and maintain it all season.

Chisenhall and Kipnis both sucked against left-handed pitching. Stubbs was horrible against right-handers. They all need to balance it out a little better.

Reynolds and Brantley just need to be placed in the lineup so they come up with men on base.

Swish just needs to keep being Swish. He hit pretty well in every situation, but especially well with RISP.

The starting pitching is another story.

Ubaldo was 9-17 with a 5.40 ERA. He fell apart in the second half. Pre-All Star: 4.50 ERA. Post All Star: 6.63 ERA. He wasn't good in the first half, but if he could continue to take the ball every 5th day and post a 4.50 ERA for the year, I'd be thrilled with that. His problem was command; he went from 78 walks in 2011 to 95 last year in 12 fewer innings. That's an increase of close to 25%.

He's in a contract year so maybe those numbers will improve somewhat. But he obviously no longer has the stuff he once had. He needs to simplify that delivery so he can hit his spots.

Masterson's ERA dropped from 3.21 in 2011 to 4.93 last year. His problem was also command; he went from 65 to 88 walks in 10 fewer innings, an increase of almost 40%! He says he couldn't prepare as usual last year because of the off-season surgery, so we'll see if he can return to his 2011 form. It's crucial that he does.

Kluber was 2-5 with a 5.74 ERA in his first big league go-round. He had some nice starts and struck out a lot of hitters, so the stuff is there if he can master it. He needs to get strike one. After an 0-1 count batters hit .206. After 1-0 they hit .355 and after 2-0 they hit .405. I never saw a pitcher less able to pitch behind in the count. Kluber needs to get that first pitch over consistently, and when he doesn't he needs to learn to work his way back and get the out.

McAllister was 6-8 with a 4.24 ERA, which made him the ace of the staff last year. He just needs to take another step forward and keep improving.

Obviously Trevor Bauer needs to step up and have a successful rookie year, and when Carlos Carrasco is ready to pitch he needs to have a successful return from TJ surgery. Both of these young pitchers need to have good developmental seasons to set themselves up to be dominant starters in 2014. If that doesn't happen, the Tribe will continue to flounder with .500 being the best case scenario. Bauer and Carrasco are the players most important to the Tribe's future success, IMO.

The bullpen should be solid with Smith, Vinnie, and Rage coming off excellent seasons. Albers had a nice year in 2012 with a 2.39 ERA. However, his ERA's the previous two years were 4.52 and 4.73, not exactly what you want to see out of a relief pitcher. I wonder if AZ sold high on him. He could regress to his career norms, unfortunately.

Bryan Shaw had an ERA of 4.35 at home and 2.54 on the road. Maybe getting out of that dry desert air will help him out. He has a nasty L-R split, though, as lefties hit .333 off him whereas righties hit only .211. He's strictly a situational guy.

So who's going to get the lefties out now that Raffie and Sipp are gone? Hagadone had an ERA of 6.39 before he prematurely (and immaturely) ended his own season. Barnes is a possibility, I guess. Scott Kazmir? I'm not liking any of these options.

In middle relief they have Cody Allen and Frank Herrmann, a couple of hard-throwing righties. I read somewhere that the Tribe thinks Herrmann finally figured it out - he only allowed 12 hits in 19 innings with 4 walks and 14 K's. He'll take over for the departed Esmil Rogers. Allen is like Kluber - great stuff and just needs to take the next step.

Basically they need Masterson to return to 2011, they need Ubaldo to get motivated for his next contract and somehow produce a 4.50 ERA, and they need Kluber and McAllister to take the next step. Finally they need Bauer and Carrasco to emerge and they need to find somebody in the pen who can get lefties out.

It's going to take a lot to go right for the Tribe to contend. Like a perfect storm.
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Re: What the Indians need to do to contend

Postby BrianM » Thu Dec 27, 2012 12:13 am

I would just like to say congratulation to Prosecutor for doing what no one else on this board has done in about 3 months...create a new thread.

Bravo Sir.
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Re: What the Indians need to do to contend

Postby GoTribe028 » Thu Dec 27, 2012 1:02 am

2 things

1. Mike Aviles has played all over the infield except 1B. He's as good a backup infielder this team has had since Jamey Carroll. Compliments Kipnis, Chisenhall, and Cabrera perfectly.

2. Manny Ramirez? Hell no. Can't field, questionable he can even produce in the league now. Always a distraction. Team is better off keeping a rotating DH if they can't find a semi regular DH who can spell someone on the field from time to time. Delmon Young (just an example as he's a distraction at times himself just couldn't think of anyone else ATM) in theory, can play left field a few times a month. Slide Brantley over to center while sitting Stubbs against leathal right handers.
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Re: What the Indians need to do to contend

Postby homerawayfromhome » Thu Dec 27, 2012 1:20 am

It seems pretty simple to me, SP. For the Tribe to contend they need to acq. at least one MOR arm or two MOR / BOR types to solidify the rotation and provide depth. The Tribe is actually in good shape to do so at some point, IF they choose to cash in a trade chip or two (Perez, ACab, Lindor) between now and the start of next season.

Personally, I'd prefer to see them acq. another high upside arm or two to cpl with Bauer to front the rotation.

The secondary needs; LHRP and another veteran bench bat, especially if they end up trading ACab.
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Re: What the Indians need to do to contend

Postby daingean » Thu Dec 27, 2012 8:27 am

I think it might be about 2 weeks into the season before TF finds the best line-up. I'd also try:

Kipnis
Brantley
ACab
Santana
Swisher
Reynolds
Stubbs
Chiz
Aviles

This puts a lefty at #2 in the line-up which if Kip is on then Brantley will have a bigger hole to aim at. Also puts your 3 best run producers in the 3-5 spot. Also drops Reynolds to 6 and Stubbs to 7 thus reducing the negative impact of their high K rates but giving them good ops to drive in runs. If the back-to-back K machines of Reynolds/Stubbs becomes an issue then move Chiz or Aviles between them (depending on what side of the mound the opposing pitcher throws from).

Yes 1 additional part time hitter would be nice (someone that can play 1B/Corner OF) but that could be McGuinness or McDade.

As for the pitching, I think that if we can get to the middle innings from our starters and still be in the game, our BP could be a huge advantage (especially if they add another lefty to the mix maybe Barnes).

As it stands right now, I don't believe we will be favourites in our division (Detroit will carry that mantel) but we should be contenders. If we can keep it close, we'll have a chance (or jump out to a big lead as we've done in recent years and hold on).
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Re: What the Indians need to do to contend

Postby Prosecutor » Thu Dec 27, 2012 9:32 am

I was just kidding about Manny Ramirez at DH :lol

But I'd like to see us sign a bat. That lineup daingean proposed is interesting and makes sense, but it has Aviles at DH. I think he had 13 HR and 60 RBI in over 500 at-bats last year. As someone who got spoiled on Travis Hafner, I'd like to see a little more punch than that.

I'd also like to see Droobs and Kipnis get complete days off, not DHing when they don't play in the field. By the way, Droobs needs to take his off-season conditioning a little more seriously.

The only problem I have with that lineup is Brantley in the 2 hole. He hit so well at 5-7 last year I hesitate to move him back up. But since he's not hitting leadoff, he won't feel the need to take pitches and try to draw walks, so he may be fine there. I have no problem with giving that lineup a shot since it does allow Santana, Reynolds, and Swisher to fit in the right spots.

As for starting a new thread, this just seemed the time to do it now that most or possibly all of the roster shuffling has been completed.
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Re: What the Indians need to do to contend

Postby ironmike » Thu Dec 27, 2012 9:51 am

What the Indians need to do to contend? It won't matter until they get a new owner, who knows how to hire the right baseball executive.

All of this other stuff is just more insanity.

They did well in getting Swisher, but he's about 25% at the ML roster of what they really need to win. Plus, their farm and developmental instruction system, scouting is far from the best in ML baseball. Until they repair these flaws they will only get so far and then start sliding back again.

Only one way to do it, find another Hank Peters. It all starts with a new owner and the right business plan.

Hiring Pat Gillick as a consultant would be a good start toward recovery for the franchise.
Last edited by ironmike on Thu Dec 27, 2012 9:56 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: What the Indians need to do to contend

Postby daingean » Thu Dec 27, 2012 9:54 am

Prosecutor wrote:I was just kidding about Manny Ramirez at DH :lol

But I'd like to see us sign a bat. That lineup daingean proposed is interesting and makes sense, but it has Aviles at DH. I think he had 13 HR and 60 RBI in over 500 at-bats last year. As someone who got spoiled on Travis Hafner, I'd like to see a little more punch than that.

I'd also like to see Droobs and Kipnis get complete days off, not DHing when they don't play in the field. By the way, Droobs needs to take his off-season conditioning a little more seriously.

The only problem I have with that lineup is Brantley in the 2 hole. He hit so well at 5-7 last year I hesitate to move him back up. But since he's not hitting leadoff, he won't feel the need to take pitches and try to draw walks, so he may be fine there. I have no problem with giving that lineup a shot since it does allow Santana, Reynolds, and Swisher to fit in the right spots.

As for starting a new thread, this just seemed the time to do it now that most or possibly all of the roster shuffling has been completed.


On days that Aviles is not in the field, I could see either Gomes, McDade or McGuinness hit. If given enough days off during the season (once or twice a week) they would be fresh without having to have complete days off. Now when a lefty is on the mound, I could see Chiz and maybe Kip getting the whole day off.

As for Brantley, yes he hit better in 5-7 slots but I prefer guys in those slots being able to consistently drive in guys from 1B (need double/HR power). Brantley's .402 slugging pct is not out of the range for those spots but I think we could see better which IMO would lead to better run production. It is worth a try since he won't be hitting lead-off.

Agreed on Asdrubal's conditioning but the extra weight may be what is making him strong in the Spring but fade as summer's dog days arrive. We'll see how it is with extra days off sprinkled throughout the season (instead of as he's already into his summer swoon.)

Edit: Added Gomes as the more probable DH when Aviles is not on the field.
Last edited by daingean on Thu Dec 27, 2012 10:34 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: What the Indians need to do to contend

Postby ironmike » Thu Dec 27, 2012 9:57 am

Just what we don't need, "I could see either McDade or McGuinness hit", two minor league cast offs in our line up. The very same line up that can't score runs. Wow!
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Re: What the Indians need to do to contend

Postby ironmike » Thu Dec 27, 2012 10:03 am

So the best lineup will probably be something like:

Kipnis
Droobs
Santana
Swisher
Reynolds ( big hole)
Brantley
DH ( a huge hole)
Chiz (unproven rookie)
Stubbs//Fedroff/Zeke (two more rookies and a guy we HOPE can comeback)

Let's examine this realistically, we are going to compete in the AL Central with almost 33-50% of our line up unproven. I'll give you Stubbs IF he can hit .260 otherwise the line up put forth won't even come close to competing.

We need two more professional hitters and then could afford to bring Chisenhall along without putting pressure on him. Plus, we have NO outfield depth to speak of. IF we would have been drafting correctly the last ten years instead of celebrating our farm system, spinning it, we would not be in such dire straights.
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Re: What the Indians need to do to contend

Postby GeronimoSon » Thu Dec 27, 2012 10:39 am

The height of ridiculous is achieved when expectations are placed that have Murphy's Law's chance of happening, that is 99.44 % chance of NOT happening.. Example of an obvious posting that is nothing more than ridiculous:
... I'll give you (Drew)Stubbs IF he can hit .260 otherwise...

Drew Stubbs has a MLB lifetime BA of .241. Drew Stubbs has hit .260 or higher one time during his ML career, that being in a 42 game call up as a raw rookie getting his first taste of ML pitching. Even as a minor leaguer, Drew Stubbs has a lifetime BA of just .268. So, to say.. if he hits .260.. well, guess what.. he's not going to hit .260. You know before the ridiculous comment was posted. You know that this player has the absolutely slimmest of chances (o.56%) to achieve this kind of performance. In reality, he does not have the kind of skill sets to make this happen.

This is the height of ridiculous as a posting..

It's similar to the whining about 'change the owner', 'score 850 runs' (no team in 2012 did), 'go get Andrew McCutchen', etc etc etc.. These are the kinds of postings that find a home on Cleveland.com!! Mouth breathers & knuckle draggers are more than welcome there..
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Re: What the Indians need to do to contend

Postby GeronimoSon » Thu Dec 27, 2012 11:05 am

The stars have to align for the Indians to be in contention. What does that mean? Starting Pitching is the key...

Starting Pitching: The top three starters for the Indians REALLY MATTER. It has been widely stated that Ubaldo's first half of 2010 was what the Indians saw that made them decide to send away a reliever and minor league starter for this hard throwing hound. Ubaldo's 2008, 2009 and 2010 were magnificent displays of a starting pitcher coming into his own. That three year or two and a half year period is what the Indians need to see from Ubaldo. Justin Masterson has to repeat his 2011 season, not his 2012 season. That starts with throwing strike one. When he does, he's a beast. Bottom 3 in the rotation: Carlos Carrasco was showing signs of becoming a good middle of the rotation starter. Carrasco's health is key, but, more important, is his ability to repeat his ability to be a ground ball making machine. The K's are nice, but when Carrasco is inducing GO's, he can dominate. The remaining two spots should belong to a group that includes Zach McAllister, Corey Kluber, Trevor Bauer and or a possible trade candidate.

We shall see.
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Re: What the Indians need to do to contend

Postby ironmike » Fri Dec 28, 2012 11:33 am

This article which came out after my previous post supports it ...

This from ESPN's Tristan Cockroft on Nick Swisher:

"As for Swisher, he's one of the more underrated power/on-base players in the game, one of only eight players to have managed at least 20 homers and a .330 on-base percentage in each season since 2006. He's hardly a ballpark product, either: Of his 105 home runs during his four-year Yankees career, only 49 were hit at homer-friendly Yankee Stadium. In only two of those seasons did he hit more homers at home than on the road, and in each he managed only one more at home than on the road (15-14 in 2012, 12-11 in 2011).

In other words, Swisher's homers and walks should scarcely change in Cleveland, the only impact being a slightly weaker supporting cast, meaning he might be more of an 85-RBI, 70-run performer as a No. 3 or 4 hitter rather than the 93-75 performer he was with the 2012.

EOM

The Indians still need to add offensive impact players, two more would make a huge difference. Guys who hit .210 are not going to benefit our already weak offense. Both Reynolds and Stubbs must hit .260 or better to make up for their huge K totals which border on ridiculous in order to help our line up.
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Re: What the Indians need to do to contend

Postby ironmike » Fri Dec 28, 2012 12:05 pm

Fox Sports buys STO for $230 million and agrees to give the Indians $400 million over the next 10 years to broadcast the games. Let's hope the discussions heat up at Goldman-Sachs and hopefully the sale of the Indians comes next. Where is smoke there is usually fire.
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Re: What the Indians need to do to contend

Postby Prosecutor » Fri Dec 28, 2012 6:01 pm

Both Reynolds and Stubbs must hit .260 or better to make up for their huge K totals which border on ridiculous in order to help our line up.


I guess this guy didn't help his team. He only hit .204.

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Re: What the Indians need to do to contend

Postby OhioBaseball » Sat Dec 29, 2012 4:19 am

The Indians need a lot of help. The Indians were really bad last year, perhaps worse than we even realize. There appears to be no major loss from last year (Swisher replaces Choo), but the Indians will add Carlos Carrasco, Trevor Bauer, Drew Stubbs and Mark Reynolds. The line-up is predominantly young, so they get an extra year of developed talent in guys like Santana, Kipnis, Brantley, Chisenhall, which means something. I really like both Carrasco and Bauer and think they'll make a difference, but the Indians need a lot of guys to break out in a major way. The Indians have had a nice off-season, but they need a lot.

The Indians won 68 games last year. If you use the Pythagorean expectation formula (using runs scored and runs allowed), the Indians should have won 62 games in 2012. If you use an equation utilizing the Indians WAR last year, it suggests the Indians should have won 64 games. The Indians appear fortunate to have won as many games as they did in 2012. Adding two young, unproven (but quite talented) SP's and a new manager won't be enough to compete in this division. When Vegas sportsbooks come out with their over/under win totals for 2013, I'd guess the Indians total will be 74.5.

The Indians focus should be 2014 and beyond. Some will cite the 2012 Oakland A's playoff run as a possibility for the Indians, but the 2011 A's team won 74 games (77 wins by Pythagorean, 74 wins by WAR totals). The 2011 A's were significantly better than the 2012 Indians.
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Re: What the Indians need to do to contend

Postby GeronimoSon » Sat Dec 29, 2012 8:45 am

OhioBaseball wrote:The Indians need a lot of help. The Indians were really bad last year, perhaps worse than we even realize. There appears to be no major loss from last year (Swisher replaces Choo), but the Indians will add Carlos Carrasco, Trevor Bauer, Drew Stubbs and Mark Reynolds. The line-up is predominantly young, so they get an extra year of developed talent in guys like Santana, Kipnis, Brantley, Chisenhall, which means something. I really like both Carrasco and Bauer and think they'll make a difference, but the Indians need a lot of guys to break out in a major way. The Indians have had a nice off-season, but they need a lot.

The Indians won 68 games last year. If you use the Pythagorean expectation formula (using runs scored and runs allowed), the Indians should have won 62 games in 2012. If you use an equation utilizing the Indians WAR last year, it suggests the Indians should have won 64 games. The Indians appear fortunate to have won as many games as they did in 2012. Adding two young, unproven (but quite talented) SP's and a new manager won't be enough to compete in this division. When Vegas sportsbooks come out with their over/under win totals for 2013, I'd guess the Indians total will be 74.5.

The Indians focus should be 2014 and beyond. Some will cite the 2012 Oakland A's playoff run as a possibility for the Indians, but the 2011 A's team won 74 games (77 wins by Pythagorean, 74 wins by WAR totals). The 2011 A's were significantly better than the 2012 Indians.


OB.. it appears you are writing a epitaph, not a comment on what the Indians need to do to contend. Pythagorean equation and WAR calculations that show last seasons dying optimism only brings the conclusion reached by Lou Brown "..I'd just like to point out that every newspaper in the country has picked us to finish last. The local press seems to think that we'd save everyone the time and trouble if we just went out and shot ourselves..." OB, while you're certainly not Lou Brown, your comment rings true to that kind of appraisal. It's not the time nor will it ever be the time to shut it down and work for the next season when this season hasn't even begun.. While what "...won't be enough.." is stated, what posters believe will be enough is the purpose that defines this thread...

Thanks for nothing.... implied and defined by your insight into what the Indians need to do to contend...
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Re: What the Indians need to do to contend

Postby ironmike » Sat Dec 29, 2012 10:53 am

Prosecutor ==> Dunn DID NOT help his team in 2011. The Sox wanted to move him. His run production was way down compared to 2012. If you would read what is posted carefully and get your ego out of the way you would not have posted what you did. If a player hits, 40 HRS and drives in 85+ runs you can put up with high K's and a low batting average. When they don't they are HUGE liabilities. If you would read prior posts instead of jumping to conclusions to try and push me in a corner your ill-thought logic won't do it. Solid, baseball fundamentals / tangibles take on all arguements and win them. As a matter of fact those that argue against them really show how much of a baseball IQ they really lack.

IF Stubbs can hit .260, he can help. However, he has spiraled downward the last 3 years, not a good sign. Walt Jocketty said he did not take coaching very well or make adjustments. He should know. We shall see if a change of scenery helps Stubbs. He has only one way to go up or Stubss will be out of baseball in two years continuing on the path he is currently on. Stubbs, if he can improve his average and his ability to get on base more he could be a 5 tool player. He's worth a gamble, but he's got to get on base more often. He should be scoring 90+ runs every year with his ability. His plate approach needs much more discipline. Reynolds ONLY helps this team if he puts up numbers like Dunn did last year. There is a reason he has been with 3 teams in the past few years. If he matches his big year in Arizona, great. Otherwise, he and Stubbs don't help us become a winner. No way. Teams can't score runs if they can't get to first base.

Difference between you and me, you buy into EVERYTHING the Indians do and tell you. Just go back and examine all your prospect picks the 10 years and tell me if you weren't sold a bill of goods. Just look at the track record. Start thinking for yourself, you have the ability to become very good at your profession, provide well for your family, be in the class of a Ken Rosenthal, but you think from your heart, and don't factor basic talent evaluation criteria, not good. Stop being a all fan and more talent engineer, student of talent evaluation it will bring you much wealth.

Have I been critical of every move Antonetti made? No. Shapiro? Yes, he deserves it. Took the best team and baseball and crashed it.

Applauded Ubaldo, called for the Indians to acquire Swisher long before any one across this forum did. It is archived. Why, just look at his BB-K, and runs scored numbers the past 7 years. Get two more guys like him in this line up and we can win. These type of players are not cheap, but if you want to win a championship they are a requirement. Reynolds ain't even close, Stubbs, roll the dice on him for a year or so, he's worth the gamble. Go get more offensive players like Swisher, it needs to be a priority. Hart / Peters left the formula to build a great team. Shapiro didn't value their business and baseball operatin model and the fact he wasn't a true baseball guy created the results we have now.

As stated here, during my October 2011 face -to face with Paul Dolan at McDonald's, he was coming back from a Western NY business trip ... "Mr. Dolan we need three more professional hitters." He answered, "no, we need one big bat." Our big bat was Casey Kotchman.

Therein lies the problem with the Cleveland Indians, hopefully he changes or we get another owner. I'm rooting for the latter.

This ain't my first rodeo with the Cleveland Indians, suffered going all the way back to the days of Kirby Farrell, Joe Adcock, Dick Stigmann, Willie Tasby, Tony Martinez, Angel Hermosa, Karl Pagel, Willie Kirkland. Went to Tucson many times before the Indians left for Florida, spent tons of money with the team. Then it all started to change in 1994. The Peters / Jacobs / Hart business model started to put forth REAL results. Then the charades and spin from all those past trampled, ill-fated regimes was easy to finally see through, but it is now here again. This time there are no clouds to impare one's vision it is all crystal clear.

Don't get overly excited Indian fans they gotta a long way to go before they ever go on a real winning run again, no matter what they tell you.
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Re: What the Indians need to do to contend

Postby Prosecutor » Sat Dec 29, 2012 12:14 pm

Prosecutor ==> Dunn DID NOT help his team in 2011. The Sox wanted to move him. His run production was way down compared to 2012.


Yeah, he sucked in 2011 as he had a tough time adjusting coming over from the NL. Are you agreeing that he helped the Sox in 2012? They gave him 524 AB's in the #3 position, so they must have thought he was doing something. Maybe it was the 47 home runs. Anyway, my point was that a player does not have to hit .260 to help his team. Dunn hit .204 last year and the White Sox put him in the 3 hole every day. Dunn was just the first example that came to mind.

If a player hits, 40 HRS and drives in 85+ runs you can put up with high K's and a low batting average. When they don't they are HUGE liabilities.


Unless they play a critical defensive position and play it very well, while also providing speed and some power. Then their lack of a high batting average may be offset by the defense, speed, and power to the point where they are not a HUGE liability, but maybe a zero or even a small asset.

IF Stubbs can hit .260, he can help. However, he has spiraled downward the last 3 years, not a good sign. Walt Jocketty said he did not take coaching very well or make adjustments. He should know. We shall see if a change of scenery helps Stubbs. He has only one way to go up or Stubss will be out of baseball in two years continuing on the path he is currently on.


I agree with you here. Stubbs' OPS the last three years is .778, .685, and .610. He's definitely in a downward spiral, which is not good when it occurs between the ages of 26-28. His WAR during that period went from 2.8 to -.02.

Since he hit .255 in 2010, I suppose he could do it again if he were willing to make the necessary adjustments. I suppose Ublado Jimenez could start next year's All-Star game if he made some adjustments and got back to where he was three years ago, too. Hopefully the trade will be a shock to Stubbs and he will wake up and realize he needs to make some changes.

Difference between you and me, you buy into EVERYTHING the Indians do and tell you.


Well, I can usually see the rationale in what they're doing. They needed to balance the lineup and add some right-handed power and they did that. They needed to add some young starting pitching with upside, and they did that. They needed to do something about the mess in left field, and they did that. They needed a versatile UIF who can give Droobs and Kipnis a break while not hitting like John McDonald and they did that.

I didn't like the signings of Lowe and Damon last year. But I'm willing to give them the benefit of the doubt because they have a good track record in under-the-radar signings like Casey Blake, Jack Hanahan, and Eduardo Perez, to name a few. They've signed a few guys off the trash heap that turned out to be productive and in some cases they were able to flip for guys like Santana and Choo. Mabye Kazmir will be the next one but I'm not holding my breath.

Don't get overly excited Indian fans they gotta a long way to go before they ever go on a real winning run again, no matter what they tell you.


I haven't seen any quotes from anyone in the Indians organization predicting they will be a winning team for the next few years, or even next year. In fact, they really haven't said anything at all, but if you look at what they're doing, the moves make sense, from the big Choo deal right down to the Aviles acquisition.
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Re: What the Indians need to do to contend

Postby OhioBaseball » Sun Dec 30, 2012 2:28 pm

GeronimoSon wrote:
OhioBaseball wrote:The Indians need a lot of help. The Indians were really bad last year, perhaps worse than we even realize. There appears to be no major loss from last year (Swisher replaces Choo), but the Indians will add Carlos Carrasco, Trevor Bauer, Drew Stubbs and Mark Reynolds. The line-up is predominantly young, so they get an extra year of developed talent in guys like Santana, Kipnis, Brantley, Chisenhall, which means something. I really like both Carrasco and Bauer and think they'll make a difference, but the Indians need a lot of guys to break out in a major way. The Indians have had a nice off-season, but they need a lot.

The Indians won 68 games last year. If you use the Pythagorean expectation formula (using runs scored and runs allowed), the Indians should have won 62 games in 2012. If you use an equation utilizing the Indians WAR last year, it suggests the Indians should have won 64 games. The Indians appear fortunate to have won as many games as they did in 2012. Adding two young, unproven (but quite talented) SP's and a new manager won't be enough to compete in this division. When Vegas sportsbooks come out with their over/under win totals for 2013, I'd guess the Indians total will be 74.5.

The Indians focus should be 2014 and beyond. Some will cite the 2012 Oakland A's playoff run as a possibility for the Indians, but the 2011 A's team won 74 games (77 wins by Pythagorean, 74 wins by WAR totals). The 2011 A's were significantly better than the 2012 Indians.


OB.. it appears you are writing a epitaph, not a comment on what the Indians need to do to contend.

Thanks for nothing.... implied and defined by your insight into what the Indians need to do to contend...



(A) The title of the thread is "What the Indians need to do to contend"

(B) I provided objective analysis, explained my rationale and answered the question of "What the Indians need to do to contend" with "The Indians' focus should be on 2014 and beyond"

If you have a better idea of what a message board should be (other than discussing ideas and explaining them with objective analysis), please enlighten us all.
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Re: What the Indians need to do to contend

Postby Prosecutor » Mon Dec 31, 2012 10:42 am

OhioBaseball wrote: There appears to be no major loss from last year (Swisher replaces Choo), but the Indians will add Carlos Carrasco, Trevor Bauer, Drew Stubbs and Mark Reynolds. The line-up is predominantly young, so they get an extra year of developed talent in guys like Santana, Kipnis, Brantley, Chisenhall, which means something. I really like both Carrasco and Bauer and think they'll make a difference, but the Indians need a lot of guys to break out in a major way. The Indians have had a nice off-season, but they need a lot...


Yes, you can look at it in terms of trades. In right field we basically traded Choo for Swisher, which is probably a wash.

At first base we traded Kotchman for Reynolds. Should be a plus.

In the outfield we traded Damon and Duncan for Stubbs. Should be a plus.

In the rotation we traded a combination of Lowe, Gomez, and a couple of other guys for Bauer. Probably a plus.

We're also getting Carrasco back, although probably not for the entire season. Should be a plus.

But all these small pluses aren't going to add the 20+ additional wins it will take to contend for the division. As I said in my initial post, it's going to also require, as you put it, "a lot of guys to break out in a major way." Or as I would put it, to have complete seasons rather than Jekyll and Hyde seasons - half good and half bad.

Santana, Asdrubal, and Kipnis all had Jekyll and Hyde seasons. They need figure out how to put two good halves together. Asdrubal needs to take his conditioning more seriously and get more days off during the first half. Kipnis needs more days off. The deal for Aviles should enable that.

Chisenhall is the guy that needs to stay healthy and have a breakout season. Mainly he needs to improve against left-handed pitchers, who owned him last year.

Stubbs needs to hit better against right-handers, who owned him last year.

The Indians' problem is they have a lot of incomplete players. Some only play well for half a season. Others hit great from one side of the plate but are helpless from the other side. Some hit for power but strike out at a ridiculous rate. For the Indians to contend, EVERY player is going to have to figure out how to balance out his productivity, whether it be staying productive for a full season or being at least average from his bad side of the plate.

That's simply not going to happen, and even if it does the starting pitching was the worst in the AL last year and unless Bauer and Carrasco explode onto the scene and Masterson returns to his 2011 form, it's not going to be good enough to contend. But I could see a 76-82 win season if half of these guys can make modest improvements.
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Re: What the Indians need to do to contend

Postby MadThinker88 » Mon Dec 31, 2012 12:36 pm

I think that deal for Aviles looms very large. You can easily say Donald & Lillibridge departing for Aviles is a huge upgrade that enables ACab (if still here) and Kipnis to have better seasons and perhaps as much as 4 more wins right there.
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Re: What the Indians need to do to contend

Postby GeronimoSon » Mon Dec 31, 2012 1:06 pm

MadThinker88 wrote:I think that deal for Aviles looms very large. You can easily say Donald & Lillibridge departing for Aviles is a huge upgrade that enables ACab (if still here) and Kipnis to have better seasons and perhaps as much as 4 more wins right there.

Not to mention the negative WAR that has departed with the likes of Grady, Fausto and Hafner.. perhaps another four?
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