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Spring Training Notes and Comments

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Re: Spring Training Notes and Comments

Postby Hermie13 » Mon Feb 24, 2014 2:08 pm

criznit2009 wrote:Shut up Hermie!!! I get it.. I think we all do. Everyone is wrong and you are right.. Even if someone is stating their own opinion, you try to correct them like your opinion is some how more important/better/correct just because it came from your mouth/butthole. Feel free to correct that if you'd like, as in this case I am sure my opinion is technically wrong.

if you want to nitpick- over a .015 difference in OBP (uh oh - here comes another stat-attack) or whether it is more important to get on base via a walk or a hit blah blah blah. Quit being so annoying and quoting people just to disagree with them. Just keep posting your own post and quit being "that guy". Your point has been made - but keep on flapping.

You will always skew stats/statements to fit your argument - it is what you do...I (we) GET IT..... OK??!!!!


I love when there's a good baseball discussion going then someone has to be "that guy" and complain.... :rolleyes


Obviously my point hasn't been made as it's not about me being right and everyone else being wrong. For one, tons of people agree that Kipnis should bat leadoff (including many that write for this site), and two, I may very well end up being wrong. Kipnis could absolutely bomb this year and Bourn or Brantley could rebound/take a giant leap and become great leadoff options. I'd bet against either becoming a better option than Kipnis personally but it's possible.

Also not sure what numbers I'm skewing here. Stated that the samples are still small so not really trying to use them to make my point. Only number that really matters is OBP and haven't skewed that (Kipnis is better than Brantley or Bourn there).

It is Monday so maybe that explains the crankiness. Would love to get back to talking baseball related stuff with fellow Tribe fans, even with you criznit.
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Re: Spring Training Notes and Comments

Postby Hermie13 » Mon Feb 24, 2014 2:22 pm

Prosecutor wrote:Here's where the Indians must improve offensively in 2014. These are 2013 numbers for each player.

Nick Swisher: Hit .164 with RISP. I think he was putting too much pressure on himself trying to make a good first impression after signing a big contract. Hopefully he'll relax this year and that number will make a big jump. That .164 number from a guy with 500 AB's in the 2 and 4 holes really hurt.

Asdrubal Cabrera: Hit .209 at home, .197 with RISP, .169 with RISP and two out, and .133 with the bases loaded. Just a horrible offensive season from another top of the lineup guy. The more important the at-bat, the worse he hit, culminating in the double play with two on and nobody out in the Wild Card game. That at-bat was his season in a nutshell.

I don't know what happened with him last year but it seems he was putting a lot of pressure on himself, especially at home.

Michael Bourn: .314 OBP and only 23-for-35 on steal attempts for a guy that routinely stole 40-50 bases. Could be the change in teams and leagues that threw him off, much like the horrible season Adam Dunn had his first year with the White Sox.

Lonnie Chisenhall: Hit .111 against left-handed pitching. Brutal. He probably could have hit .111 batting right-handed.

Carlos Santana: Hit .212 with nobody on and .335 with runners on base. He needs to be more patient when hitting with nobody on. Nothing wrong with taking a walk with nobody on.


Where did you see that number on Swisher? According to fangraphs and ESPN, Swisher hit .234 with RISP...OPS was .768. Hit .247 with a .755 OPS with the bases empty. With men on base was much of the same, hit .245 with a .772 OPS. Swisher was pretty consistent actually in regards to men on base or not. Definitely agree he needs to improve, but needs to improve all-around, not just with RISP. Had a great month of September...would love to see that Swisher show up everyday (.353 OBP, .868 OPS).

With respect to Bourn...really wonder if it wasn't so much the change in leagues, but the injury he suffered early on that ruined his season. He was off to a very good start in April before hitting the DL. Just never looked the same after that to me. Hopefully he's healed up now and can avoid the injury bug. As much as I wish we could have moved him, do hope he improves and think he will (just don't think he'll end up worth quite what we paid him).

Cabrera....got me there. Just looked lost all year. Did have an injury as well (something that seems to happen a lot)...walk year...can we get another Ubaldo-like rebound year?

And Chiz...yeah just terrible against lefties. Honestly though if he can at least hit righties well I'd say that's a plus for him this year...didn't hit that all that well last year except for a great September. I'd take a platoon from Chiz at this point though clearly want more.

Santana did struggle with the bases empty though not quite as worried about that. Cleanup hitter that just killed it with men on base, exactly what you want from that spot in the lineup. Guy you want up during rallies, not a guy you expect to start one. Did walk nearly 14% of the time with the bases empty so not really him not taking a walk. Interesting split for Santana last year (and remember, SSS applies):

w/ bases empty: .232 BABIP
w/ men on base: .373 BABIP

As said, SSS with both but gotta figure those should even out some next year. BABIP should in a way be higher with men on base though as defenses align differently and holes open up but a difference of over 140 pts isn't something he's likely to maintain. Hopefully though he can improve the bases empty numbers more than we see the men on base numbers drop. Do think he does swing for the fences a bit too much with bases empty...seems to be more willing to get a hit with a man in scoring position whereas with the bases empty still wants to drive in a run. Maybe that's just me though seeing something that isn't really there?
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Re: Spring Training Notes and Comments

Postby GeronimoSon » Mon Feb 24, 2014 3:34 pm

There are Lies...

There are Damn Lies.. and

There are Statistics...

Focus: Nick Swisher...it was two outs and RISP.. Swisher hit .164.(BBRef). Other 'stats' to muse over:

As a 1B Swisher hit .263 in 395 AB's (add 49 BB's & 6 ROE's)
As a RF Swisher hit .348 in 95 AB's (add 14 BB's)
As a DH.. Swisher hit .356 in 74 AB's (add 14 BB's)

Batting either second or cleanup.. Swisher hit about .290
Batting third in the lineup Swisher hit .222..

So from this limited set of data.. don't let Swisher hit third.. don't let him play 1B.. and for pete's sake pinch hit for him when he has RISP and there are two outs...

Or not....then go with nuance/eye test.. that is..let him hit and see what happens..
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Re: Spring Training Notes and Comments

Postby Hermie13 » Mon Feb 24, 2014 5:35 pm

GeronimoSon wrote:Or not....then go with nuance/eye test.. that is..let him hit and see what happens..


Let him hit where though?


Agree some there on the eye test. One reason I believe Kip belongs at the top. Passes the "eye test" in that regard and has the numbers to back it up. Bourn/Brantley don't really pass the eye test and stats show they aren't good leadoff options. Swisher has been consistent and can hit just about anywhere, but numbers/eye test says his OBP should be there and hit near the top (as he did in NY).
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Re: Spring Training Notes and Comments

Postby GeronimoSon » Mon Feb 24, 2014 5:39 pm

New home plate collision rules are revealed just in time for Spring Training games to start. The language is pretty direct:

"...•"A runner attempting to score may not deviate from his direct pathway to the plate in order to initiate contact with the catcher (or other player covering home plate). If, in the judgment of the Umpire, a runner attempting to score initiates contact with the catcher (or other player covering home plate) in such a manner, the Umpire shall declare the runner out (even if the player covering home plate loses possession of the ball).

•Unless the catcher is in possession of the ball, the catcher cannot block the pathway of the runner as he is attempting to score. If, in the judgment of the Umpire, the catcher, without possession of the ball, blocks the pathway of the runner, the Umpire shall call or signal the runner safe..."

-So, if you're the runner and you deviate to create contact, you're out..
-If you're the catcher & you set up to block the base path without the ball, the runner's safe..

Both are discretion calls by the umpire.. the amount of pain that collisions like this cause is tremendous & can be career threatening.. The number of collisions like this are very few.. thankfully.. I'm pretty certain that the number of incidences where this rule is used... is going to remain low. The existence of the rule should lower it even further..

Next up for injuries that can/should be avoided: Padding on outfield and baseline walls.. Score board screen covers and tarpaulins left on the field.. Fix em!
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Re: Spring Training Notes and Comments

Postby GeronimoSon » Mon Feb 24, 2014 5:43 pm

Hermie13 wrote:
GeronimoSon wrote:Or not....then go with nuance/eye test.. that is..let him hit and see what happens..


Let him hit where though?


Agree some there on the eye test. One reason I believe Kip belongs at the top. Passes the "eye test" in that regard and has the numbers to back it up. Bourn/Brantley don't really pass the eye test and stats show they aren't good leadoff options. Swisher has been consistent and can hit just about anywhere, but numbers/eye test says his OBP should be there and hit near the top (as he did in NY).


Swisher: in the two hole.. he's a switch hitter and will break up either Bourny or Brantley in the lead off spot as they're both left handed..
Kipnis with a switch hitter between him and the lead off guy.. same drill.. breaks it up, especially close and late..

If Kipnis leads off (not outrageous) then, Swisher second and a HELLUVA hitter third because that's what it's going to take to displace Kipnis out of the 3 hole in Tito's lineup....
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BTW.. I don't think you're always right.. you don't either......(lol)
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Re: Spring Training Notes and Comments

Postby Hermie13 » Tue Feb 25, 2014 9:21 am

GeronimoSon wrote:New home plate collision rules are revealed just in time for Spring Training games to start. The language is pretty direct:

"...•"A runner attempting to score may not deviate from his direct pathway to the plate in order to initiate contact with the catcher (or other player covering home plate). If, in the judgment of the Umpire, a runner attempting to score initiates contact with the catcher (or other player covering home plate) in such a manner, the Umpire shall declare the runner out (even if the player covering home plate loses possession of the ball).

•Unless the catcher is in possession of the ball, the catcher cannot block the pathway of the runner as he is attempting to score. If, in the judgment of the Umpire, the catcher, without possession of the ball, blocks the pathway of the runner, the Umpire shall call or signal the runner safe..."

-So, if you're the runner and you deviate to create contact, you're out..
-If you're the catcher & you set up to block the base path without the ball, the runner's safe..

Both are discretion calls by the umpire.. the amount of pain that collisions like this cause is tremendous & can be career threatening.. The number of collisions like this are very few.. thankfully.. I'm pretty certain that the number of incidences where this rule is used... is going to remain low. The existence of the rule should lower it even further..

Next up for injuries that can/should be avoided: Padding on outfield and baseline walls.. Score board screen covers and tarpaulins left on the field.. Fix em!


The "new" rule for catchers really isn't that much different that the original rule. Catchers were never really allowed to block the plate without the ball. Unfortunately the way the rule was written...catcher had to be "in the act" of receiving the ball...which is such a judgement call and one you can't really expect an ump to make (at least how can he judge that while also watching the runner/home plate to see if the runner is safe or not?).

Still sounds like a lot of judgement is going to be involved....not really a fan at all of this. Essentially it still leaves open the possibility of runners plowing into catchers provided they don't deviate their paths anymore. Plus this doesn't protect catchers as much as people seem to think. Santana blew out his knee when Kalish went in feet first.



What I hate most about this rule though is that umps can use replay on collisions at the plate now.... :mad
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Re: Spring Training Notes and Comments

Postby Hermie13 » Tue Feb 25, 2014 9:28 am

GeronimoSon wrote:
Hermie13 wrote:
GeronimoSon wrote:Or not....then go with nuance/eye test.. that is..let him hit and see what happens..


Let him hit where though?


Agree some there on the eye test. One reason I believe Kip belongs at the top. Passes the "eye test" in that regard and has the numbers to back it up. Bourn/Brantley don't really pass the eye test and stats show they aren't good leadoff options. Swisher has been consistent and can hit just about anywhere, but numbers/eye test says his OBP should be there and hit near the top (as he did in NY).


Swisher: in the two hole.. he's a switch hitter and will break up either Bourny or Brantley in the lead off spot as they're both left handed..
Kipnis with a switch hitter between him and the lead off guy.. same drill.. breaks it up, especially close and late..

If Kipnis leads off (not outrageous) then, Swisher second and a HELLUVA hitter third because that's what it's going to take to displace Kipnis out of the 3 hole in Tito's lineup....
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BTW.. I don't think you're always right.. you don't either......(lol)



I'm fine with Swish in the 2-hole...but don't care about breaking up the lefties. People worry way too much about that. It's about getting the best bats in the right spots regardless of which side of the plate they hit on. Also don't think it'd take that much to move Kip out of the 3-hole. Maybe I'm naive, but I believe Francona is too smart to waste one of his top bats in that spot, at least if Bourn struggles again. Bourn IMO needs to be near his career best numbers to keep that leadoff spot (and Brantley needs to be better than his career bests).

Well I'd hope you didn't think I was always right as no one is, nor should anyone think they are.
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Re: Spring Training Notes and Comments

Postby daingean » Tue Feb 25, 2014 9:44 am

Hermie13 wrote:
I'm fine with Swish in the 2-hole...but don't care about breaking up the lefties. People worry way too much about that. It's about getting the best bats in the right spots regardless of which side of the plate they hit on. Also don't think it'd take that much to move Kip out of the 3-hole. Maybe I'm naive, but I believe Francona is too smart to waste one of his top bats in that spot, at least if Bourn struggles again. Bourn IMO needs to be near his career best numbers to keep that leadoff spot (and Brantley needs to be better than his career bests).

Well I'd hope you didn't think I was always right as no one is, nor should anyone think they are.


Not breaking up the lefties gives opposing managers an advantage. Most managers have one or two lefties in the BP (with one being a LOOGY). Allowing a manager to use a LOOGY for more than 2 batters in a row certainly gives the opposition an advantage.
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Re: Spring Training Notes and Comments

Postby Hermie13 » Tue Feb 25, 2014 10:22 am

daingean wrote:
Hermie13 wrote:
I'm fine with Swish in the 2-hole...but don't care about breaking up the lefties. People worry way too much about that. It's about getting the best bats in the right spots regardless of which side of the plate they hit on. Also don't think it'd take that much to move Kip out of the 3-hole. Maybe I'm naive, but I believe Francona is too smart to waste one of his top bats in that spot, at least if Bourn struggles again. Bourn IMO needs to be near his career best numbers to keep that leadoff spot (and Brantley needs to be better than his career bests).

Well I'd hope you didn't think I was always right as no one is, nor should anyone think they are.


Not breaking up the lefties gives opposing managers an advantage. Most managers have one or two lefties in the BP (with one being a LOOGY). Allowing a manager to use a LOOGY for more than 2 batters in a row certainly gives the opposition an advantage.


In 2013 though, Kipnis actually hit better against lefties than righties. In 2012 though he really struggled there. Point is just because a manager brings in a LOOGY doesn't mean it hurts the offense. A LOOGY only gives an advantage if the lefty up can't hit lefties.

Also, in 2013 Michael Bourn actually had a better OBP against lefties than righties (though overall very similarly bad against both). In 2012 Bourn's OBP was only 5 pts different between lefties and righties.

Again, don't think having a couple lefties in a row is as big a deal as some make it out to be. The Indians had the highest team OPS against lefties in all of baseball last year and scored the most runs. Bring on the LOOGIES! :cool
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Re: Spring Training Notes and Comments

Postby daingean » Tue Feb 25, 2014 11:36 am

Hermie13 wrote:
daingean wrote:
Hermie13 wrote:
I'm fine with Swish in the 2-hole...but don't care about breaking up the lefties. People worry way too much about that. It's about getting the best bats in the right spots regardless of which side of the plate they hit on. Also don't think it'd take that much to move Kip out of the 3-hole. Maybe I'm naive, but I believe Francona is too smart to waste one of his top bats in that spot, at least if Bourn struggles again. Bourn IMO needs to be near his career best numbers to keep that leadoff spot (and Brantley needs to be better than his career bests).

Well I'd hope you didn't think I was always right as no one is, nor should anyone think they are.


Not breaking up the lefties gives opposing managers an advantage. Most managers have one or two lefties in the BP (with one being a LOOGY). Allowing a manager to use a LOOGY for more than 2 batters in a row certainly gives the opposition an advantage.


In 2013 though, Kipnis actually hit better against lefties than righties. In 2012 though he really struggled there. Point is just because a manager brings in a LOOGY doesn't mean it hurts the offense. A LOOGY only gives an advantage if the lefty up can't hit lefties.

Also, in 2013 Michael Bourn actually had a better OBP against lefties than righties (though overall very similarly bad against both). In 2012 Bourn's OBP was only 5 pts different between lefties and righties.

Again, don't think having a couple lefties in a row is as big a deal as some make it out to be. The Indians had the highest team OPS against lefties in all of baseball last year and scored the most runs. Bring on the LOOGIES! :cool


Your numbers are skewed. Kipnis did have a higher average against lefties but was only 3 for 22 against southpaw relievers. He did almost all of his damage in lefty on lefty situations against lefty starters.

Edit: and the whole team's average against lefty relievers was 40+ points below their average against southpaws as a whole.
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Re: Spring Training Notes and Comments

Postby criznit2009 » Tue Feb 25, 2014 12:10 pm

Hermie please post your ideal opening day line ups. One for Lefty and one for right hand starters please..
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Re: Spring Training Notes and Comments

Postby Hermie13 » Tue Feb 25, 2014 1:08 pm

daingean wrote:
Hermie13 wrote:
daingean wrote:
Hermie13 wrote:
I'm fine with Swish in the 2-hole...but don't care about breaking up the lefties. People worry way too much about that. It's about getting the best bats in the right spots regardless of which side of the plate they hit on. Also don't think it'd take that much to move Kip out of the 3-hole. Maybe I'm naive, but I believe Francona is too smart to waste one of his top bats in that spot, at least if Bourn struggles again. Bourn IMO needs to be near his career best numbers to keep that leadoff spot (and Brantley needs to be better than his career bests).

Well I'd hope you didn't think I was always right as no one is, nor should anyone think they are.


Not breaking up the lefties gives opposing managers an advantage. Most managers have one or two lefties in the BP (with one being a LOOGY). Allowing a manager to use a LOOGY for more than 2 batters in a row certainly gives the opposition an advantage.


In 2013 though, Kipnis actually hit better against lefties than righties. In 2012 though he really struggled there. Point is just because a manager brings in a LOOGY doesn't mean it hurts the offense. A LOOGY only gives an advantage if the lefty up can't hit lefties.

Also, in 2013 Michael Bourn actually had a better OBP against lefties than righties (though overall very similarly bad against both). In 2012 Bourn's OBP was only 5 pts different between lefties and righties.

Again, don't think having a couple lefties in a row is as big a deal as some make it out to be. The Indians had the highest team OPS against lefties in all of baseball last year and scored the most runs. Bring on the LOOGIES! :cool


Your numbers are skewed. Kipnis did have a higher average against lefties but was only 3 for 22 against southpaw relievers. He did almost all of his damage in lefty on lefty situations against lefty starters.

Edit: and the whole team's average against lefty relievers was 40+ points below their average against southpaws as a whole.


Would be curious to see how many team's numbers vs lefties goes down vs relievers as opposed to starters...I'm guessing most would though may be a bad assumption on my part.

And fair point on Kipnis...but consider you just showed he only faced a lefty reliever 22 times last year...22 times out of 564 at-bats on the years or less than 4% of his total at-bats....why would you construct a lineup based on such a tiny portion of the game?

You can safely assume the leadoff guy will come to the plate at least 4 times a game if he's not removed (only a perfect game prevents it). Only once will he likely face a reliever....so even then, why would you construct a lineup based off what may happen in only 25% of the plate appearances? Why not construct the best lineup for those other three plate appearances, or 75% of the times Kipnis would come up in a game?

Again, I feel people worry way too much about lefty/righty when it comes to lineup construction. Who's the starting pitcher? That's really all that should matter, not what may or may not happen later in the game. At least that's my take.
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Re: Spring Training Notes and Comments

Postby A.Zajac » Tue Feb 25, 2014 1:10 pm

According to Hoynes: #Indians line for Wed: CF Morgan, SS Cabrera, 2B Kipnis , 3B Chisenahll, LF Raburn, C Gomes, RF Francoeur, 3 Cooper, DH Adams, 1 Bauer.
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Re: Spring Training Notes and Comments

Postby Hermie13 » Tue Feb 25, 2014 1:52 pm

criznit2009 wrote:Hermie please post your ideal opening day line ups. One for Lefty and one for right hand starters please..


Already have done this a couple times this offseason but guess I can again since you said please....


1. Kipnis
2. Swisher
3. Murphy/Raburn (RHP/LHP)
4. Santana
5. Gomes
6. Bourn
7. Brantley
8. Cabrera
9. Chisenhall/Aviles


As of today I'm still going on the assumption that Santana isn't playing 3B at all as I think until he proves to the Tribe coaches in person during spring training he can handle it this is the fair way to do it. Don't think the lineup would change all that much other than who is in the 9th spot.

Kipnis leadoff if a no-brainer IMO. One of the top two offensive players on the team, good OBP, has some speed. Santana 4th is also a no-brainer, again top two hitter with more power. Swisher in the 2-hole...3rd best hitter or at least who has the track record of that, good OBP skills and think he bounces back from a down 2013. Murphy/Raburn 3rd I know most will hate but if used right you could see 25 HRs and an OPS well north of .800 out of that spot. I really like Murphy there because he walks a good amount and doesn't strikeout a ton. Hitting 3rd he'll see a lot of guys on base and that's the time strikeouts kill you. Raburn in all liklihood won't hit like he did in 2013 again but he has been very good against lefties throughout his career and pretty consistent there (minus a terrible 2012). I know some don't want a platoon that high but there's really no good reason not to utilize one there. 5th I went with Gomes as I'm a believer in how he hit in 2013, especially how he hit well even after getting full-time duties. 6th I probably should have gone Brantley but went Bourn as I think he'll rebound some, especially in the SB department. Brantley being a singles hitter behind him and one that doesn't strikeout much could lead to some nice hit-n-run opportunities with those two. Cabrera 8th....not much to say, really struggled in 2013 and has been declining for a few years now. Would love to see him improve and hit higher but think until he does he belongs lower. Chiz/Aviles 9th is simply putting the worst hitters last right now. Throwing Aviles in there as no one else on the 40-man makes sense, or at least no one that has a good shot at making the team. Aguilar in theory makes sense if you think Santana can play 3B, but don't believe he has much of a chance at making the opening day roster.


This is just how I see it now. Lots can happen in the spring but based both career and recent performances, this is the lineup I'd like to see. Couple spots I'm not married too. Brantley could hit 3rd or 5th and wouldn't be upset, though not a fan of his lack of power in the 3rd spot. If Gomes looks lost I'd probably bump Brantley to 5th and drop Gomes to 7th/8th.



All of that said...I still think this is the lineup we will see (barring injury):

1. Bourn
2. Swisher
3. Kipnis
4. Santana
5. Brantley
6. Cabrera
7. Murphy/Raburn
8. Gomes
9. Chisenhall/Aviles (again at least until we get a better handle on Santana at 3B)


Don't think this is a "terrible" lineup but far from the best the Tribe can make IMO.
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Re: Spring Training Notes and Comments

Postby criznit2009 » Tue Feb 25, 2014 1:54 pm

Thank you.. You sure are putting a lot of faith in Raburn and Murphy IMO.. Why not bat Brantley or Swish 3rd though? Also think Acab has a shot of cracking the top 3 if he plays well. It's his walk year so think he gives it all that he's got. Also, I am bullish on Gomes, hope he can take the reigns and bat clean up. Here is my starting line up (not ideal).
1. Bourn (sink or swim)
2. Swisher (Brantley is a possibility here as well)
3. Kipnis
4. Santana
5. Brantley
6. Gomes
7. Acab
8. Murphy/Raburn (2013 Raburn gets bumped up)
9. Chiz.
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Re: Spring Training Notes and Comments

Postby Hermie13 » Tue Feb 25, 2014 2:28 pm

criznit2009 wrote:Thank you.. You sure are putting a lot of faith in Raburn and Murphy IMO.. Why not bat Brantley or Swish 3rd though? Also think Acab has a shot of cracking the top 3 if he plays well. It's his walk year so think he gives it all that he's got. Also, I am bullish on Gomes, hope he can take the reigns and bat clean up. Here is my starting line up (not ideal).
1. Bourn (sink or swim)
2. Swisher (Brantley is a possibility here as well)
3. Kipnis
4. Santana
5. Brantley
6. Gomes
7. Acab
8. Murphy/Raburn (2013 Raburn gets bumped up)
9. Chiz.


IMO though I'm not putting that much faith in Murphy/Raburn...it's simply just expecting them to hit to their career norms.

Consider this with respect to Raburn: over the last 5 years he's hit 16 HRs, 15 HRs, 14 HRs, 1 HR, and 16 HRs. He had an absolutely terrible 2012. No way around that, but outside of that has been pretty consistent, especially aginst lefties.

vs Lefties the last 5 seasons:
2009: 158 PAs, 12 HRs, .278/.382/.594/.976 and .316 ISO
2010: 146 PAs, 7 HRs, .295/.363/.566/.929 and .271 ISO
2011: 157 PAs, 7 HRs, .274/.321/.486/.807 and .212 ISO
2012: 124 PAs, 1 HR, .165/.224/.253/.477 and .088 ISO
2013: 124 PAs, 7 HRs, .308/.403/.617/1.020 and .308 ISO

Again, 2012 was beyond terrible...gotta wonder if he wasn't hiding an injury or if he was abducted by aliens and replaced with a clone that didn't even know what baseball was. I think that it's safe to assume Raburn won't be as great as he was in 2013 overall (against lefties though it's not out of the realm of possibilities IMO)...but even more safe to assume that barring injury he won't be as bad as he was in 2012. History clearly shows that he's an above average hitter against lefties. Should expect no less than 7 HRs from him against lefties.

Murphy meanwhile since he became a starter (or mostly a starter at least) in 2008 has hit 15 HRs, 17 HRs, 12 HRs, 11 HRs, 15 HRs and 13 HRs. 2012 saw his BA/OBP just plummet (BABIP plummeted with it) but he's been pretty consistent too. And the interesting thing is almost all his power comes against RHP..

Vs righties:
2008: 291 PAs, 13 HRs, .282/.333/.502/.835 and .220 ISO
2009: 330 PAs, 14 HRs, .279/.357/.476/.833 and .197 ISO
2010: 305 PAs, 11 HRs, .298/.368/.479/.847 and .180 ISO
2011: 297 PAs, 11 HRs, .296/.348/.461/.809 and .165 ISO
2012: 382 PAs, 15 HRs, .296/.375/.487/.862 and .191 ISO
2013: 333 PAs, 12 HRs, .219/.286/.399/.685 and .180 ISO

Even in his bad 2013 he still showed good power against righties. His walk rate was also still reasonably good. His career BABIP is .302 and he was at .227 last year...essentially that was difference between his 2011 and 2013 season (BABIP was .299 that year). Consider prior to that how consistent he was vs RHP....combine that with how consistent Raburn has been vs lefties over the course of his career....

If Murphy/Raburn are used correctly you could have a very special RF this year...


Now...I know Murphy played in Texas in the years I posted, which is obviously a great hitters park, but should be noted Murphy never had giant splits. In fact even hit more HRs on the road in 2012 than he did at home and still managed a very solid OPS. I'm sure the park helped but don't think we should expect much of a drop if any from Murphy coming to Cleveland.


As far as why I didn't put Brantley or Swish in the 3-hole...Swisher is easy, I like his OBP too much and the 2-hole hitter should be better than your #3 hitter, at least in terms of OBP. Brantley in the 3-spot I don't "hate" but IMO you should have a bit more power there. I'd like Brantley better in the 5th spot (could argue the #5 hitter actually should be better than your #3 hitter) but I'm going out on a limb (maybe a big one) that Gomes is actually going to continue hitting well and be better offensively than Brantley in 2014. I may be wrong there though, in which case Brantley would make a lot of sense in the 5th spot in the lineup.


Overall I don't think your lineup is a bad one....my biggest issue is obviously Bourn leading off (though again that is what we will see barring injury). Think Raburn/Murphy is low too as I've shown above but guess it's not bad. I also don't understand Kipnis 3rd and Swisher 2nd if Bourn is leading off. Again, this is what we will see but have to ask why? Kipnis was better at getting on base (.366 vs .341), has more speed (30 SBs vs 1), and less power (.168 ISO vs .177 ISO)....I just don't see why would bat him behind Swisher? Obviously Francona has a reason but I don't agree with it.
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Re: Spring Training Notes and Comments

Postby Hermie13 » Tue Feb 25, 2014 5:29 pm

Nick Swisher is being held out the first 4-5 spring training games. Reasoning according to Franonca is Swisher said he "felt we went too quickly last year"....

Gotta wonder if it wasn't as much going too quickly but added length of spring training due to the WBC....


Just curious...is there anyone that likes having the WBC during spring training every four years other than Bud Selig??
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Re: Spring Training Notes and Comments

Postby GoTribe028 » Tue Feb 25, 2014 6:45 pm

Hermie13 wrote:Nick Swisher is being held out the first 4-5 spring training games. Reasoning according to Franonca is Swisher said he "felt we went too quickly last year"....

Gotta wonder if it wasn't as much going too quickly but added length of spring training due to the WBC....


Just curious...is there anyone that likes having the WBC during spring training every four years other than Bud Selig??


I hate the WBC.
Follow me on Twitter @GoTribe028 for useless and random tweets.
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Re: Spring Training Notes and Comments

Postby GeronimoSon » Tue Feb 25, 2014 9:17 pm

GoTribe028 wrote:
Hermie13 wrote:Nick Swisher is being held out the first 4-5 spring training games. Reasoning according to Franonca is Swisher said he "felt we went too quickly last year"....

Gotta wonder if it wasn't as much going too quickly but added length of spring training due to the WBC....


Just curious...is there anyone that likes having the WBC during spring training every four years other than Bud Selig??


I hate the WBC.

Mark me down for having any Indian player skip anything to do with the WBC...
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Re: Spring Training Notes and Comments

Postby Hermie13 » Wed Feb 26, 2014 10:02 am

Personally don't hate the idea of the WBC....I just can't believe they keep doing it during spring training. Why not move it to November after the World Series? You already have a lot of guys go play winter ball. Sure guys will probably pass on it after a long season but have a feeling it'd work better. Risk of a big injury obviously will be there but smaller injuries can be mended over the rest of the winter easier than if they happen in spring training right before the beginning of the season.

Plus...what do you have going on in November during the week? MAC football? Meaningless early season NBA games? In March you have to go up against more meaningful NBA/NHL games plus MARCH MADNESS. I know a lot of people on here probably like MAC football but the majority of the country probably cares less....oops, forgot about those awesome Thursday night football games (who watches those anyways?). And give me baseball in November/early December. I can watch spring training games in March!
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Re: Spring Training Notes and Comments

Postby daingean » Wed Feb 26, 2014 12:33 pm

Hermie13 wrote:Personally don't hate the idea of the WBC....I just can't believe they keep doing it during spring training. Why not move it to November after the World Series? You already have a lot of guys go play winter ball. Sure guys will probably pass on it after a long season but have a feeling it'd work better. Risk of a big injury obviously will be there but smaller injuries can be mended over the rest of the winter easier than if they happen in spring training right before the beginning of the season.

Plus...what do you have going on in November during the week? MAC football? Meaningless early season NBA games? In March you have to go up against more meaningful NBA/NHL games plus MARCH MADNESS. I know a lot of people on here probably like MAC football but the majority of the country probably cares less....oops, forgot about those awesome Thursday night football games (who watches those anyways?). And give me baseball in November/early December. I can watch spring training games in March!


Agreed.....November pitchers are still in shape.......wonder if Pestano's downfall last year was ramping up too early for the WBA (and maybe Perez to a lesser extent).
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Re: Spring Training Notes and Comments

Postby criznit2009 » Wed Feb 26, 2014 6:06 pm

I love everything about the WBC. I love that it is in the spring when many players are excited to "start" the baseball season. I love how it changes the dynamics of Spring Training and how teams adapt to the season because of it. I love the fact many of the players love it.


Now if it is really a big enough deal, clubs could certainly start putting clauses in contracts that would prohibit said player from participating.

Its nice to see an every once in a while tournament that celebrates baseball and allows many players to celebrate their actual home(s) as well.
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Re: Spring Training Notes and Comments

Postby Chiefroy » Thu Feb 27, 2014 2:04 am

My batting order:

1. Bourn
2. Kipnis
3. Santana
4. Swisher
5. Brantley
6. Gomes
7. Cabrera
8. Murphy/Rayburn
9. Chisenhall

I think/hope a healthy Bourn can once again become a terror on the basepaths and a catalyst for the offense. He needs to lead the team in SBs and runs scored....90+ runs and 40+ SBs. He's only 31 yrs. old....run Michael run.

Kipnis and Santana are our two best hitters and the batting order reflects that. I like the vet Swisher at cleanup as protection for Santana. He's supposed to be healthy also and much better #s vs righties should result. Brantley's too good a hitter to be much lower than I have him, but I might swap him and Gomes vs lefty starters.

Cabrera and Murphy need to prove they're not washed up...and I like their chances. Rayburn should bat higher when he plays, but he may get mostly lefties....

....unless Chisenhall hits his way to the minors.

This offense really needs to improve vs right-handed pitching. That starts most importantly with Bourn and Swisher, and continues with Cabrera, Murphy, and Chiz. If we have to use a roster spot on Jason Giambi, then something ain't right.
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Re: Spring Training Notes and Comments

Postby Hermie13 » Thu Feb 27, 2014 12:27 pm

Chiefroy wrote:My batting order:

1. Bourn
2. Kipnis
3. Santana
4. Swisher
5. Brantley
6. Gomes
7. Cabrera
8. Murphy/Rayburn
9. Chisenhall

I think/hope a healthy Bourn can once again become a terror on the basepaths and a catalyst for the offense. He needs to lead the team in SBs and runs scored....90+ runs and 40+ SBs. He's only 31 yrs. old....run Michael run.

Kipnis and Santana are our two best hitters and the batting order reflects that. I like the vet Swisher at cleanup as protection for Santana. He's supposed to be healthy also and much better #s vs righties should result. Brantley's too good a hitter to be much lower than I have him, but I might swap him and Gomes vs lefty starters.

Cabrera and Murphy need to prove they're not washed up...and I like their chances. Rayburn should bat higher when he plays, but he may get mostly lefties....

....unless Chisenhall hits his way to the minors.

This offense really needs to improve vs right-handed pitching. That starts most importantly with Bourn and Swisher, and continues with Cabrera, Murphy, and Chiz. If we have to use a roster spot on Jason Giambi, then something ain't right.


Bourn has only scored 90+ runs three times in his career and never scored 100 runs. While runs aren't the best stat since it is partially dependant on the guys batting behind him, the problem with Bourn is his poor OBP. In those three years his OBP has been about .350. His OBP last year was .316...not sure he has it in him to raise his OBP 30+ points this year, though would love to see it. Very simple though, if your leadoff guy isn't getting on base, he's not going to score runs. Doesn't matter how fast you are, can't score from the bench. Put Kipnis in the leadoff spot though (where your best hitter actually should hit) and he probably scores 100+ runs rather easily.

Would love to hear why people keep saying put your best two hitters 2nd and 3rd in the lineup. Won't go into why I disagree as pretty much beat that into the ground but curious exactly why others disagree. Is it the "it's always been the best hitter 3rd" argument?


Do make a good point on Gomes and Brantley as would make sense to consider flipping them depending on what pitcher is on the mound (lefty vs righty).
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Re: Spring Training Notes and Comments

Postby criznit2009 » Thu Feb 27, 2014 7:56 pm

So whats the over/under on how many more times Hermie replies that he thinks Kipnis should bat lead-off? Is 100 to high?
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Re: Spring Training Notes and Comments

Postby criznit2009 » Thu Feb 27, 2014 8:03 pm

Hermie13 wrote:
Chiefroy wrote:My batting order:

1. Bourn
2. Kipnis
3. Santana
4. Swisher
5. Brantley
6. Gomes
7. Cabrera
8. Murphy/Rayburn
9. Chisenhall

I think/hope a healthy Bourn can once again become a terror on the basepaths and a catalyst for the offense. He needs to lead the team in SBs and runs scored....90+ runs and 40+ SBs. He's only 31 yrs. old....run Michael run.

Kipnis and Santana are our two best hitters and the batting order reflects that. I like the vet Swisher at cleanup as protection for Santana. He's supposed to be healthy also and much better #s vs righties should result. Brantley's too good a hitter to be much lower than I have him, but I might swap him and Gomes vs lefty starters.

Cabrera and Murphy need to prove they're not washed up...and I like their chances. Rayburn should bat higher when he plays, but he may get mostly lefties....

....unless Chisenhall hits his way to the minors.

This offense really needs to improve vs right-handed pitching. That starts most importantly with Bourn and Swisher, and continues with Cabrera, Murphy, and Chiz. If we have to use a roster spot on Jason Giambi, then something ain't right.


Bourn has only scored 90+ runs three times in his career and never scored 100 runs. While runs aren't the best stat since it is partially dependant on the guys batting behind him, the problem with Bourn is his poor OBP. In those three years his OBP has been about .350. His OBP last year was .316...not sure he has it in him to raise his OBP 30+ points this year, though would love to see it. Very simple though, if your leadoff guy isn't getting on base, he's not going to score runs. Doesn't matter how fast you are, can't score from the bench. Put Kipnis in the leadoff spot though (where your best hitter actually should hit) and he probably scores 100+ runs rather easily.

Would love to hear why people keep saying put your best two hitters 2nd and 3rd in the lineup. Won't go into why I disagree as pretty much beat that into the ground but curious exactly why others disagree. Is it the "it's always been the best hitter 3rd" argument?


Do make a good point on Gomes and Brantley as would make sense to consider flipping them depending on what pitcher is on the mound (lefty vs righty).



So are you saying Miguel Cabrera should bat lead-off? You've just been Herminated. Feel free to use that, it's kinda catchy.
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Re: Spring Training Notes and Comments

Postby Hermie13 » Fri Feb 28, 2014 10:06 am

criznit2009 wrote:So whats the over/under on how many more times Hermie replies that he thinks Kipnis should bat lead-off? Is 100 to high?


Depends how long it takes Francona to make the move....took Acta a long ass time to finally move Choo up (something I and a few others on here were clamoring for a while to happen). Eventually I assume Francona will be forced to do it. He's not dumb enough to keep putting Bourn and his lackluster OBP in the leadoff spot. At least I hope not.
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Re: Spring Training Notes and Comments

Postby Hermie13 » Fri Feb 28, 2014 10:07 am

criznit2009 wrote:
Hermie13 wrote:
Chiefroy wrote:My batting order:

1. Bourn
2. Kipnis
3. Santana
4. Swisher
5. Brantley
6. Gomes
7. Cabrera
8. Murphy/Rayburn
9. Chisenhall

I think/hope a healthy Bourn can once again become a terror on the basepaths and a catalyst for the offense. He needs to lead the team in SBs and runs scored....90+ runs and 40+ SBs. He's only 31 yrs. old....run Michael run.

Kipnis and Santana are our two best hitters and the batting order reflects that. I like the vet Swisher at cleanup as protection for Santana. He's supposed to be healthy also and much better #s vs righties should result. Brantley's too good a hitter to be much lower than I have him, but I might swap him and Gomes vs lefty starters.

Cabrera and Murphy need to prove they're not washed up...and I like their chances. Rayburn should bat higher when he plays, but he may get mostly lefties....

....unless Chisenhall hits his way to the minors.

This offense really needs to improve vs right-handed pitching. That starts most importantly with Bourn and Swisher, and continues with Cabrera, Murphy, and Chiz. If we have to use a roster spot on Jason Giambi, then something ain't right.


Bourn has only scored 90+ runs three times in his career and never scored 100 runs. While runs aren't the best stat since it is partially dependant on the guys batting behind him, the problem with Bourn is his poor OBP. In those three years his OBP has been about .350. His OBP last year was .316...not sure he has it in him to raise his OBP 30+ points this year, though would love to see it. Very simple though, if your leadoff guy isn't getting on base, he's not going to score runs. Doesn't matter how fast you are, can't score from the bench. Put Kipnis in the leadoff spot though (where your best hitter actually should hit) and he probably scores 100+ runs rather easily.

Would love to hear why people keep saying put your best two hitters 2nd and 3rd in the lineup. Won't go into why I disagree as pretty much beat that into the ground but curious exactly why others disagree. Is it the "it's always been the best hitter 3rd" argument?


Do make a good point on Gomes and Brantley as would make sense to consider flipping them depending on what pitcher is on the mound (lefty vs righty).



So are you saying Miguel Cabrera should bat lead-off? You've just been Herminated. Feel free to use that, it's kinda catchy.


1st? I wouldn't though not a terrible move. Personally would hit him 4th (1st and 4th are the biggest spots, Cabrera with his massive power fits in the cleanup spot too). 2nd wouldn't be bad either.


IF you really wanted to "herminate" me you should have said that Santana should then bat leadoff for the Tribe (since he actually was/is our best hitter and not Kipnis). As I've been saying all along though, top two hitters should be 1st and 4th...caught me where I only said best hitter (and not hitters) should be leadoff, good catch.
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Re: Spring Training Notes and Comments

Postby Chiefroy » Fri Feb 28, 2014 7:32 pm

I probably agree with Hermie's posts/thoughts more than I do with any other poster here. I'm not even entirely against batting Kipnis leadoff. I'm just expecting a good year from Bourn. He's healthy and he's being paid to be the type of hitter he was with Atlanta and Houston. He has speed and speed causes errors that aren't reflected in OBP. Speed gets into pitchers' heads and distracts them. Speed causes pitchouts, pitchouts are balls, balls run up pitch counts...speed causes fastballs. Give him enough games(150+) and ABs(600+) and 90+ runs and 40+ steals is what he does. He was brought here to hit leadoff, so I give him another chance. Healthy or not, if he has a lousy spring and a bad April, I move him to 9th and move everyone else up a notch.

I like my best two hitters batting 2nd and 3rd simply because they are sure to bat in the first inning and they'll get more ABs than they would hitting 4th or 5th. Kipnis would get a few more ABs batting 1st, but if Kipnis hit leadoff every game, that's 162 ABs guaranteed with bases empty. Batting 2nd, maybe he'll have Bourn on base for many of those ABs...Bourn at 1st with pitcher distracted and 1st baseman holding the bag and SS or 2nd baseman moving to cover 2nd. Speed is Bourn's game and he's better at it than Kipnis...when he's healthy. And I like speed on the bases...if you couldn't tell.

If Bourn and Swisher don't show significant improvement vs right-handers, then my batting order is fucked. But if they DO improve their #s to what they SHOULD be, then our offense can be really good. And we can be downright scary if my bottom 3 of Cabrera, Murphy, Chiz start to mash. Hell, I'll take 3 outta the 5. Some of these guys need to hit dammit, or I'll bring up JoRam , Jesus, and Nyjer What's-his-face. :cool
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Re: Spring Training Notes and Comments

Postby Edible14 » Fri Feb 28, 2014 9:48 pm

I think we're missing a larger point about Kipnis/Brantley being considered for the leadoff role - Michael Bourn is who was tabbed to do it by this regime. Right or wrong. He's going to start in that position. They're paying him a lot of money, and I'm sure they're banking on him having a bit of a return to form now that he's had a year to get adjusted to AL pitching.

I can see the argument for Kipnis (I thought his power was higher - I didn't realize that he was 6th on the team last year in ISO, thought it was more like 3rd). I'm tempted to believe it, and advocate for it. I still think he starts the season 2nd or 3rd. Bourn is going to be given at least a couple of months to prove he belongs there. The 2-4 holes in the lineup will be some combination of him, Swisher and Santana.

I'm not too worried about the lineup configuration being perfect. An "ideal" lineup versus a perfectly poorly ordered lineup of the same players is only 2-3 win difference in most models. Whatever lineup Francona trots out will be close enough to ideal that it's not going to lose us games. The more important part is keeping guys properly motivated and incentivized. I suspect that Bourn thinks of himself as a leadoff hitter, and we know Swisher is proud of the fact that he's the cleanup hitter here. Whatever mental boost they get from that is probably much more valuable than the expected run value of changing their lineup position.
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Re: Spring Training Notes and Comments

Postby criznit2009 » Sat Mar 01, 2014 3:10 pm

Edible14 wrote:I think we're missing a larger point about Kipnis/Brantley being considered for the leadoff role - Michael Bourn is who was tabbed to do it by this regime. Right or wrong. He's going to start in that position. They're paying him a lot of money, and I'm sure they're banking on him having a bit of a return to form now that he's had a year to get adjusted to AL pitching.

I can see the argument for Kipnis (I thought his power was higher - I didn't realize that he was 6th on the team last year in ISO, thought it was more like 3rd). I'm tempted to believe it, and advocate for it. I still think he starts the season 2nd or 3rd. Bourn is going to be given at least a couple of months to prove he belongs there. The 2-4 holes in the lineup will be some combination of him, Swisher and Santana.

I'm not too worried about the lineup configuration being perfect. An "ideal" lineup versus a perfectly poorly ordered lineup of the same players is only 2-3 win difference in most models. Whatever lineup Francona trots out will be close enough to ideal that it's not going to lose us games. The more important part is keeping guys properly motivated and incentivized. I suspect that Bourn thinks of himself as a leadoff hitter, and we know Swisher is proud of the fact that he's the cleanup hitter here. Whatever mental boost they get from that is probably much more valuable than the expected run value of changing their lineup position.


Well put sir. I don't think there is anybody here who deny that Kipnis wouldn't make a good, even great lead-off hitter. I wouldn't be surprised and would want Francona to move Bourn down, way down, if he continues his regression/plays like he did last year. But for now he stays in the 1 hole and having a guy like Kipnis ready to drive him in, sounds like a good professional plan... For now...

For me its pretty simple. By keeping Bourn in the 1 hole for now you create a lot more certainty for the entire line-up. Until, one or more (please more )of the following, Raburn/Murphy combo, Gomes and Acab prove they can be depended on to drive in runs this season, you hand the keys to Kipnis in the 3 hole. He clearly has the ability to do it and IMO, maximizes his skill set... For now. There are too many overall "ifs" in the line-up right now.. Let the dirt settle and then see if any changes need to be made.
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Re: Spring Training Notes and Comments

Postby Hermie13 » Mon Mar 03, 2014 10:23 am

Edible14 wrote:I think we're missing a larger point about Kipnis/Brantley being considered for the leadoff role - Michael Bourn is who was tabbed to do it by this regime. Right or wrong. He's going to start in that position. They're paying him a lot of money, and I'm sure they're banking on him having a bit of a return to form now that he's had a year to get adjusted to AL pitching.

I can see the argument for Kipnis (I thought his power was higher - I didn't realize that he was 6th on the team last year in ISO, thought it was more like 3rd). I'm tempted to believe it, and advocate for it. I still think he starts the season 2nd or 3rd. Bourn is going to be given at least a couple of months to prove he belongs there. The 2-4 holes in the lineup will be some combination of him, Swisher and Santana.

I'm not too worried about the lineup configuration being perfect. An "ideal" lineup versus a perfectly poorly ordered lineup of the same players is only 2-3 win difference in most models. Whatever lineup Francona trots out will be close enough to ideal that it's not going to lose us games. The more important part is keeping guys properly motivated and incentivized. I suspect that Bourn thinks of himself as a leadoff hitter, and we know Swisher is proud of the fact that he's the cleanup hitter here. Whatever mental boost they get from that is probably much more valuable than the expected run value of changing their lineup position.


I don't think we're "missing" a point here...think we all agree Bourn will bat leadoff, but this was about who should bat leadoff.

I'm not "worried" per se about the lineup...but as said, a good lineup can get you a couple wins. And no, I don't think Francona will put out the absolute worst lineup...but it's also not that great of one, unless he thinks Bourn is going to have the best year of his career this year (which hell, maybe he will and I'll gladly eat crow).

Did you mean Santana is proud of the fact he's the cleanup hitter? Cause Swisher never seemed comfortable in the cleanup spot (didn't hit there in NY). Also highly disagree that the "mental boost" of being comfortable in a spot is more valuable than expected run value. Guys like Bourn and Swisher are making $40-50M...if they can't get properly motivated at their ages making that kind of money because they got moved to a spot in the lineup they aren't happy with then we need to trade them ASAP as they aren't players I want around.
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Re: Spring Training Notes and Comments

Postby Hermie13 » Mon Mar 03, 2014 10:30 am

Chiefroy wrote:I probably agree with Hermie's posts/thoughts more than I do with any other poster here. I'm not even entirely against batting Kipnis leadoff. I'm just expecting a good year from Bourn. He's healthy and he's being paid to be the type of hitter he was with Atlanta and Houston. He has speed and speed causes errors that aren't reflected in OBP. Speed gets into pitchers' heads and distracts them. Speed causes pitchouts, pitchouts are balls, balls run up pitch counts...speed causes fastballs. Give him enough games(150+) and ABs(600+) and 90+ runs and 40+ steals is what he does. He was brought here to hit leadoff, so I give him another chance. Healthy or not, if he has a lousy spring and a bad April, I move him to 9th and move everyone else up a notch.

I like my best two hitters batting 2nd and 3rd simply because they are sure to bat in the first inning and they'll get more ABs than they would hitting 4th or 5th. Kipnis would get a few more ABs batting 1st, but if Kipnis hit leadoff every game, that's 162 ABs guaranteed with bases empty. Batting 2nd, maybe he'll have Bourn on base for many of those ABs...Bourn at 1st with pitcher distracted and 1st baseman holding the bag and SS or 2nd baseman moving to cover 2nd. Speed is Bourn's game and he's better at it than Kipnis...when he's healthy. And I like speed on the bases...if you couldn't tell.

If Bourn and Swisher don't show significant improvement vs right-handers, then my batting order is fucked. But if they DO improve their #s to what they SHOULD be, then our offense can be really good. And we can be downright scary if my bottom 3 of Cabrera, Murphy, Chiz start to mash. Hell, I'll take 3 outta the 5. Some of these guys need to hit dammit, or I'll bring up JoRam , Jesus, and Nyjer What's-his-face. :cool


Your #3 hitter is guaranteed to bat in the 1st inning...but he'll also come up to bat with 2 outs and the bases empty more than anyone else in your lineup over the course of the season. I just don't see why you'd want to waste one of your best hitters in that spot. Sure Kipnis will bat 162 times guaranteed with the bases empty as a leadoff guy...but that high OBP is what you want there. Choo is a GREAT leadoff guy...he hits for similar power (if not more) than Choo...no one is complaining about him in the leadoff spot.

Also disagree that the guy batting 2nd will have Bourn on base for "many" of his at-bats. Bourn for his career gets on base only about 1/3rd of the time (worse last year). And is speed still Bourn's game? Cause he was pretty terrible on the bases last year. I know people keep saying it's cause he switched leagues but Stubbs seemed to do just fine switching leagues. Bourn is on the wrong side of 30 and isn't going to get younger. If we're hoping for 50+ SB seasons out of Bourn we're kidding ourselves. Plus, SBs are more valuable down in the order. Doesn't mean you shouldn't or can't steal from the leadoff spot but it's not needed at all. Kipnis at this point is probably the better baserunner/SB vs Bourn anyways...so if you really want speed at the top Kipnis should be the guy no?
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Re: Spring Training Notes and Comments

Postby Hermie13 » Mon Mar 03, 2014 10:32 am

Santana at 3B hasn't gotten off to the best of starts this spring....

On the bright side, nice day for the kid Lindor. I still say scouts are underrating this kid's power potential. Not saying he's a 30 HR guy but think he can easily settle into being a 15-20 HR guy.
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Re: Spring Training Notes and Comments

Postby GeronimoSon » Mon Mar 03, 2014 2:39 pm

Well.. not to weigh in on this already beaten to death topic.. but, while looking for (I don't remember).. I cam across this article by Jake Mann of the Motley Fool:

"...There's a powerful belief held by many baseball fans and coaches: A team's best all-around hitter should always bat third in the lineup.

But is this strategy used in the modern-day MLB, and is the myth true?

Where does the best player bat?

In 2013, the average MLB team used more than 100 different batting orders throughout the season. The upper two-thirds of a typical batting order is reserved for everyday players, and only changes significantly if the injury bug strikes. In many cases, a team's most accomplished players stay put for an entire season, or close to it.

For example, former MVP Joey Votto hit third for the Cincinnati Reds in 161 games last season. Dustin Pedroia, who also has an MVP trophy and four All-Star appearances, was in the Boston Red Sox's number three hole for most of 2013. The same goes for Miguel Cabrera, who almost always hit third for the Detroit Tigers last year, or Prince Fielder, who hit behind Cabrera's spot in 158 of the 162 games he played.

But do teams prefer to bat their best offensive player third?

Yes, at least on an aggregate scale. By OPS+, the typical number three hitter is 8% better than the number four hitter. Offensive WAR indicates a similar pecking order.

Are some teams bucking conventional wisdom?
A growing body of research suggests the smartest move is to place your best hitter second or fourth. The number two spot usually receives 20 or so extra plate appearances per season than the number three, while the number four spot has an advantage in RBI opportunities. SBNation explains: "Because he comes to bat so often with two outs and no runners on base, the #3 hitter isn't nearly as important as we think…. This is a spot to fill after more important spots are taken care of." In essence, the number two or number four hole is a better place for a team's best player.

Twelve teams followed this advice last season, while 14 placed their stud third.

In terms of offensive success, the league's teams that used an unconventional batting order scored more often than their conventional peers. On average, this differential was 24 runs per team, and it was more pronounced when looking at the MLB's upper tier. Only six of the 15 highest scoring teams hit their best player third..."

So, if you exclude the financial burden from the conversation.. there is a growing trend in moving your best hitter from the three hole. It hasn't been fully embraced.. but it's moving in that directly...
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Re: Spring Training Notes and Comments

Postby Chiefroy » Tue Mar 04, 2014 6:01 pm

GSon, I'm not sure that comparing stats from each teams' batting order makes much sense. Each manager puts together a lineup according to the players he has, the style of play he prefers, the ballpark, the pitcher facing them, and other variables. Even "best player/hitter" is debatable for some teams.

And Hermie,

I certainly don't "expect" 50 SBs from Bourn, but I think 40+ is reachable and I don't think he's too "old" to do it. Rios and Rajai Davis are older and did it last season. McLouth and Alexei Ramirez are older and got 30 last season. Ellsbury is only a year younger than Bourn and got 52. Pierre, Rollins, Crisp, Ichiro...all topped 20 SBs and are several years older than Bourn.

Obviously, Bourn's hamstring affected his running last year, but how much did it affect his hitting, his K rate and BB rate? He'll need improvement there, but a few more hits, a few more walks and he'll be fine. OBP is important, but not all OBP are equal. Some guys on base are scarier, more likely to score than others. Bourn was born to leadoff.

You like Murphy hitting 3rd because "he walks a good amount and doesn't strikeout a ton. Hitting 3rd he'll see a lot of guys on base and that's the time strikeouts kill you." That's the same reason I like Santana there. Only my guy is used to being "the guy" and near the top of the order and Murphy ain't. And with Bourn, Brantley, Cabrera, and Chiz at the bottom, we'd be sorely lacking power down there. Murphy/Rayburn batting where they are accustomed to hitting could help.

But no matter, I trust Francona with whatever order he decides on. There's plenty of time to gripe about it later in the season. Hope I don't have to gripe much... :smile
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Re: Spring Training Notes and Comments

Postby 7foot3 » Tue Mar 04, 2014 8:52 pm

Edible14 wrote:I'm not too worried about the lineup configuration being perfect. An "ideal" lineup versus a perfectly poorly ordered lineup of the same players is only 2-3 win difference in most models.



And we lost the division by one game. This team isn't really in a position to give away runs and wins. We've got to be ahead of the curve at all times, and batting a .316 OBP in your leadoff spot is, without a doubt, behind the curve.
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Re: Spring Training Notes and Comments

Postby A.Zajac » Tue Mar 04, 2014 10:57 pm

7foot3 wrote:
Edible14 wrote:I'm not too worried about the lineup configuration being perfect. An "ideal" lineup versus a perfectly poorly ordered lineup of the same players is only 2-3 win difference in most models.



And we lost the division by one game. This team isn't really in a position to give away runs and wins. We've got to be ahead of the curve at all times, and batting a .316 OBP in your leadoff spot is, without a doubt, behind the curve.


I think Bourn will bounce back this year. He's never had an incredibly high OBP in his career, even with Atlanta. I just want to see more consistency in the lineup 1 through 9. Stay healthy and be more consistent. Kipnis and Cabrera both have tended to fade in the second half, Swisher and Bourn struggled to stay healthy last year, and so on.
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Re: Spring Training Notes and Comments

Postby GeronimoSon » Wed Mar 05, 2014 8:45 am

Okay.. who else is at least a little bit excited about the comments from Jon Heyman regarding Justin Masterson's alleged offer to the Indians.. ?

Chief.. your comment is sufficiently vague that it could mean anything, everything, and nothing.. I don't see the Jake Mann story using stats or excluding baseball nuance (player skill sets, comfort zones, park factors, previous history, etc..) as factors in determining the batting order.. Perhaps you might want to clarify what you mean, please..
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Re: Spring Training Notes and Comments

Postby Rocky55 » Wed Mar 05, 2014 8:51 am

GeronimoSon wrote:Okay.. who else is at least a little bit excited about the comments from Jon Heyman regarding Justin Masterson's alleged offer to the Indians.. ?

Chief.. your comment is sufficiently vague that it could mean anything, everything, and nothing.. I don't see the Jake Mann story using stats or excluding baseball nuance (player skill sets, comfort zones, park factors, previous history, etc..) as factors in determining the batting order.. Perhaps you might want to clarify what you mean, please..

The Masterson deal has to get done now. What Tito wants, he gets.

Now let's go out & win some games!
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Re: Spring Training Notes and Comments

Postby Hermie13 » Wed Mar 05, 2014 1:03 pm

Chiefroy wrote:And Hermie,

I certainly don't "expect" 50 SBs from Bourn, but I think 40+ is reachable and I don't think he's too "old" to do it. Rios and Rajai Davis are older and did it last season. McLouth and Alexei Ramirez are older and got 30 last season. Ellsbury is only a year younger than Bourn and got 52. Pierre, Rollins, Crisp, Ichiro...all topped 20 SBs and are several years older than Bourn.

Obviously, Bourn's hamstring affected his running last year, but how much did it affect his hitting, his K rate and BB rate? He'll need improvement there, but a few more hits, a few more walks and he'll be fine. OBP is important, but not all OBP are equal. Some guys on base are scarier, more likely to score than others. Bourn was born to leadoff.

You like Murphy hitting 3rd because "he walks a good amount and doesn't strikeout a ton. Hitting 3rd he'll see a lot of guys on base and that's the time strikeouts kill you." That's the same reason I like Santana there. Only my guy is used to being "the guy" and near the top of the order and Murphy ain't. And with Bourn, Brantley, Cabrera, and Chiz at the bottom, we'd be sorely lacking power down there. Murphy/Rayburn batting where they are accustomed to hitting could help.

But no matter, I trust Francona with whatever order he decides on. There's plenty of time to gripe about it later in the season. Hope I don't have to gripe much... :smile


40 may not be a stretch but he's been trending downward lately. Had 61 SBs in 2011, 42 in 2012, and just 23 in 2013. Plus did lead the lead in CS in both 2011 and 2012. Didn't lead in 2013 but 12 CS and caught over a third of the time. Dont' want your leadoff man getting thrown on out the bases that much. Down in the order when you need to manufacture runs sure, but not at the top. Disagree 100% Bourn was born to leadoff. He may have been Bourn to steal bases and play good defense but his speed/steals belong lower in the order.

Fair point on Santana but IMO you don't want your best hitter batting 3rd (which Santana is). He's an ideal #4 hitter, leave him there and let him be. Also, "your guy" actually has less experience than Murphy (aka, "my guy") near the top of the order. Santana has started 62 games in the 3rd spot with 272 PAs and also has 4 games in the 2 hole with 18 PAs. Murphy meanwhile also has 62 games started in the 3rd spot with 287 PAs but has started 39 games in the 2 hole with 179 PAs and has even started 4 games at leadoff. Murphy has hit lower in the order more in his career but has more experience "near the top" of a lineup than Santana.

Meanwhile Murphy has only started a single game in the cleanup spot....Santana has started 235 games there with over 1000 PAs....his most experienced spot in the lineup :razz


Don't get why you're worried about lacking power in the bottom part of the lineup. Your 6-9 hitters should be your 4 worst hitters, no matter how much/little power. Plus you have Chiz and Cabrera there who have some power (so not like there's none).
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Re: Spring Training Notes and Comments

Postby Hermie13 » Wed Mar 05, 2014 1:08 pm

Rocky55 wrote:
GeronimoSon wrote:Okay.. who else is at least a little bit excited about the comments from Jon Heyman regarding Justin Masterson's alleged offer to the Indians.. ?


The Masterson deal has to get done now. What Tito wants, he gets.

Now let's go out & win some games!


Is nice to hear Masterson wants to stay and seems willing to work with the Tribe. I'm just not as sold as everyone else that he's giving the Tribe a great deal here. Now if it's a 3 year deal then I do think he gave a home-town discount but if it ends up being closer to the 4yr/$60M (the high-end of the rumor) then I think it's more of a fair deal than a hometown discount.

Either way I do agree it's exciting to hear, especially after that Bailey deal which caused a lot of people to lose hope.
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Re: Spring Training Notes and Comments

Postby GeronimoSon » Wed Mar 05, 2014 7:36 pm

This game is starting off very ugly.. The lineup is almost all NRI's and throw ins and guys who just need to play some (Lonnie at 3B and some RP' arms..) Banwart..whoever he is.. goes two thirds of an inning. two k's. one homer a double and a single... and eventually, with the help of Nick Hagadone, gives up four earned runs. Hagadone comes into the game and walks the bases loaded with the first guy he sees on four pitches. Adds a two run single (all charged to Banwart) and another walk, a wild pitch and throws 16 pitches, 6 for strikes before mercifully getting out of the inning. This was one ugly half inning.. fortunately.. that was the only inning like it all day..

Stars of the game. Ryan Raburn.. keeps on hitting.. FranciscoLindor and Carlos Moncrief: both contributed in clutch situations to put the tribe ahead in the top of the 9th.. Austin Adams had a pleasant outing, nice to see with him. Seven pitches.. three outs. Call him a sleeper for the big club sometime this season.. After that first inning.. it looked like these guys with Chief Wahoo on their sleeve would get the L today.. Tito rested his regulars.. and watched the kids excel by scoring 7 runs in the last three frames followed by a Josh Outman close. Nice W by the Sons of Geronimo..
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Re: Spring Training Notes and Comments

Postby Chiefroy » Thu Mar 06, 2014 12:41 am

GSon, here's what I mean...(and thanks for the recaps, BTW)

I don't think arbitrarily batting your 2 best hitters 2nd and 4th is going to automatically lead to more runs.
It can't be that simple. A manager has to look at his own team and do the best he can. How the Tigers or Rangers or Rockies score runs may be a whole different story than how the Marlins, Astros, or Padres score runs. Does my team have a ton of power, or do I need to play smallball? The park I call home may have a lot to do with how my team is constructed. I may need to use my #2 hitter completely different than another team.

Suppose our Indians had the young Omar Vizquel on this team instead of Asdribble. Where would Omar bat? 2nd? Leadoff? 8th or 9th? He'd be in there somewhere. And I wouldn't argue against him batting 2nd, even though he never was one of our "best hitters". It depends on who you got and what you expect them to do.

And that article uses stats from...one season? 2013, that's all I saw. Now the Tigers could probably have used Cabrera, Fielder, and VMart in any order they wished and still gotten good results. But there's no way to know. How the Dodgers batted Puig, HanRam, and Gonzalez has no bearing on what the Tigers lineup did, or the Indians, or anybody. And speaking of Puig, they called him the Dodgers "best hitter". If they're not using a full season of stats, I think Hanley was the Dodgers best hitter... so maybe I trust what they're telling me even less.

"Because he comes to bat so often with two outs and no runners on base, the #3 hitter isn't nearly as important as we think..."

I don't know exactly how much "so often" is, but they must be talking about the 1st inning only. Well, how many times do I have my cleanup guy leading off the 2nd...with bases empty? He's got a chance for 1 RBI, same as the 3 guy hitting in the 1st with bases empty. Is that any better? Are they gonna pitch around Miggy in the first because there's 2 outs? Good, then I got Fielder up...unless I ain't got Fielder no more. I gotta play with what I got of course.

I don't care where we bat Kipnis and Santana...they'll be in the top 4 somewhere. It's the other two there that we need to be concerned about.
And I'll give Hermie credit for thinking outside the box. Because you don't know what's gonna work the best until you try it.
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Re: Spring Training Notes and Comments

Postby Hermie13 » Thu Mar 06, 2014 9:57 am

Chiefroy wrote:"Because he comes to bat so often with two outs and no runners on base, the #3 hitter isn't nearly as important as we think..."

I don't know exactly how much "so often" is, but they must be talking about the 1st inning only. Well, how many times do I have my cleanup guy leading off the 2nd...with bases empty? He's got a chance for 1 RBI, same as the 3 guy hitting in the 1st with bases empty. Is that any better? Are they gonna pitch around Miggy in the first because there's 2 outs? Good, then I got Fielder up...unless I ain't got Fielder no more. I gotta play with what I got of course.

I don't care where we bat Kipnis and Santana...they'll be in the top 4 somewhere. It's the other two there that we need to be concerned about.
And I'll give Hermie credit for thinking outside the box. Because you don't know what's gonna work the best until you try it.


It's simple logic...your #3 hitter is the only guy in the lineup guaranteed to bat 3rd in an inning at least once a game. Even the best hitters only get on base about 40% of the time....meaning 20% minimum in the 1st inning he'll be coming up to bat with 2 outs and no one on and in reality it's probably closer to to 40-50% of the time in the 1st inning. And he's bound to bat with 2 outs and no one on at other times as well, but again, the only guy guaranteed to do it. #6 guy does it a lot too (same with #9) but the #3 guy comes up to bat a lot more than both those spots so again, logic says he'll bat with 2 outs and no one on more often.

Same logic in a way as saying your leadoff man will bat with the bases empty more than anyone, or that the #2 hitter will have more plate appearances than your #3 hitter.

Fair point on the #4 hitter batting with the bases empty a lot....which is one reason why you want a high OBP guy there (like Santana) to get on base for guys behind him. #4 hitter will also bat with guys on base more than the #3 hitter and on average comes to bat in the most important situations out of all nine spots in the lineup. Doesn't get quite the same plate appearances as the #2 guy though so could argue better hitter there but you want power here (hence Santana).

If you're looking for a interesting read, I'd recommend "The Book". I know most will be turned off by all the numbers in it but personally found it very fascinating.
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Re: Spring Training Notes and Comments

Postby 7foot3 » Thu Mar 06, 2014 3:37 pm

Chiefroy wrote:how many times do I have my cleanup guy leading off the 2nd...with bases empty? He's got a chance for 1 RBI, same as the 3 guy hitting in the 1st with bases empty. Is that any better?


I'd say yes, and its definitely much better than him hitting with two outs and no one on. There seems to be some misconception that it's all about who drives in the runs, but it's just as important for guys to be on so that they can be driven. Having your best hitter in a position to drive in a run if someone does get on in the first or set the table with no one out for someone in the second is a really nice "sweet spot" in the lineup for him. No matter what happens, he's got a prime chance to be a key part of getting a run across. Him hitting a double with a guy on first or him hitting a double and someone hitting a single after him count just as much when the game ends.
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Re: Spring Training Notes and Comments

Postby go_tribe » Sat Mar 08, 2014 3:34 am

Santana looking for a 1 year deal now, time to strike. Rotation of Masterson, Santana, Kluber, Salazar and Zmac is pretty damn good on paper. Santana will be pitching his ass off again looking for the big multi year deal next year
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Re: Spring Training Notes and Comments

Postby Edible14 » Sat Mar 08, 2014 6:16 am

I wonder if Kansas City could do a sign and trade with Santana. It would remove the 1st round pick penalty, and I think, since he would've been traded, he wouldn't be eligible for similar compensation next year. The Royals get some trade assets back, Santana gets a team and a guarantee that he won't be in the same limbo next year.

Actually, any team that doesn't have to suffer the loss of a first round pick might be well suited to pick up Santana on a one-year deal. You could potentially get him to lower his price by including a proviso that he cannot be offered a qualifying offer (Beltran did something similar with a clause about no arbitration offers in one of his older contracts, under the old CBA). You get a good pitcher for this year with a small financial commitment and no worries about long-term durability. Imagine if someone like the Astros did that, and got to turn around Santana at the trade deadline for some prospects.
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Re: Spring Training Notes and Comments

Postby 7foot3 » Sat Mar 08, 2014 1:25 pm

go_tribe wrote:Santana looking for a 1 year deal now, time to strike. Rotation of Masterson, Santana, Kluber, Salazar and Zmac is pretty damn good on paper. Santana will be pitching his ass off again looking for the big multi year deal next year



If we're not willing to give up a draft pick for four years of Santana, why would we give it up for one year?

And Edible, S&T's to avoid draft pick compensation would be considered collusion by the league. And you're eligible to get the QO tag only if you are with the same team for the whole season, so as long as he's traded and on a roster by Opening Day, he can get the QO tag.
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