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Fixing the Indians bullpen

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Fixing the Indians bullpen

Postby TonyIBI » Thu Oct 09, 2008 6:31 am

This bullpen in my view is not far off from being a good bullpen again.

Betancourt came back down to Earth, almost the ying to Cliff Lee's yang where Betancourt had the career year in 2007 and Lee was in the dumps and this year Lee had the career year and Betancourt was in the dumps. Prior to 2007, Betancourt was always a mid 3's ERA guy and a solid reliever, and post-All Star break this year Betancourt showed some promise with a 3.72 ERA in 27 games.

I think Perez has solidified himself as one of the top late inning lefties in the game. Lewis is at worst a good middle relief option, but may have settled into the closers role where he is not anywhere near elite, but is reliable. Maybe am Isringhausen type? Masa is the one I question the most.

To me, they have could have some incredible depth in the minors to start the season in Columbus with guys like Sipp and Rundles from the left side and Miller, Meloan, Stevens, and even Newsom from the right side. Some of this depth could be packaged this offseason in a trade to fill a need.

Bottom line to me is that unless they can find a legit, real impact closer, then Lewis should keep the job. That guy won't be found in FA, but possibly in a trade. Either way, I do think somehow, someway they need to find a dominant late-inning hard throwing reliever. We have too many guys who sit at 88-92, and I think we need a "different look" from the pen.
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Re: Fixing the Indians bullpen

Postby gotribe31 » Thu Oct 09, 2008 4:35 pm

Totally agree. Closer continues to be the most overrated position in sports. No reason to overpay for one, especially on the Indians budget. RP's are so volitale from season to season that it simply doesn't make sense to throw big $$ at them. Howry, Linebrick, Betancourt, Zumaya...the list goes on. These guys are good one year, terrible the next, and somewhere in between from then on out. If healthy (a BIG if) Meloan and Miller can be the hard-throwers from the right side, and Sipp can be the same from the left if he produces in AAA. Plus you still have Stevens and Rundles for depth. Add to that Shapiro's usual RP cast-off reclimation project (Julio, Donnely, Roberto Hernandez etc), and you have some guys who will slot themselves by the way they pitch. Use the $$ for a bat, which can be had much cheaper.
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Re: Fixing the Indians bullpen

Postby MickS » Thu Oct 09, 2008 6:18 pm

I'm scared to death that we're going to over-react and throw silly money at K-Rod. If Lewis can do just a respectable job then why not go in that direction and hope that, by mid-season, Miller or Sipp or someone else grabs the bull by the horns.
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Re: Fixing the Indians bullpen

Postby GhostofTedCox » Thu Oct 09, 2008 6:46 pm

Bullpens are like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna' get. I think the Indians bullpen has a good mix of good young arms, and young vets right now. But adding the right pieces, to work the right roles, would be valuable.

Two names I would hope the Indians would pursue would be Huston Street and Bob Howry. The Indians can't compete for Rodriguez, (nor should they). Street and Howry are names we can realistically obtain. Howry had an off year with the Cubs. But he's bounced back before, and is comfortable in the bullpen. I also feel he left here on good terms with Shapiro. Street also had a sub-par year. I am surprised to hear the A's would listen to offers for a young and affordable player. Word is he was claimed on waivers by a non-contender in September. Brief trade talks were held, but obviously no deal was reached. Was that the Indians?
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Re: Fixing the Indians bullpen

Postby MadThinker88 » Thu Oct 09, 2008 7:03 pm

I have maintained for a month plus that the Tribe needs 1 arm for 1 season to 'fix' the bullpen. There are a number of good arms working their way through the farm system.

While I fully understand not all of those arms will pan out, even looking at 1 quarter of the arms 'making it' gives the Tribe a surplus for a number of years to come.
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Re: Fixing the Indians bullpen

Postby TonyIBI » Sat Oct 11, 2008 8:55 am

I am becoming a big believer that bullpens may be one of the most important pieces of a baseball team and their success. We all know good starting pitching, good defense, and timely hitting have always been the staples of success in baseball. But, with how teams succeed and fail so much because of their bullpen, and its volatility, I think it is the hardest and maybe most important aspect of a team.

For the most part, teams' can figure project out what they can expect out of a starting rotation and lineup. That is not the case with a bullpen as performance usually fluctuates to extreme levels from year to year, and even month to month in the same year! Because of this, it is so damned hard to really put together a good bullpen. I mean, the Rays went from the worst bullpen last year to the 3rd best in baseball this year. You think that was a HUGE reason to their success this year? The Indians had a Top 3 bullpen in 2005 and 2007 (both 93+ win seasons), but one of the worst in 2004, 2006, and 2008....all disappointing seasons where the play of the bullpen was instrumental in their failures.

Again, I like our depth. I think we need one very good late inning addition, and maybe one more arm depending on who it is.
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Re: Fixing the Indians bullpen

Postby jellis » Sat Oct 11, 2008 11:16 am

Consigliere wrote:I am becoming a big believer that bullpens may be one of the most important pieces of a baseball team and their success. We all know good starting pitching, good defense, and timely hitting have always been the staples of success in baseball. But, with how teams succeed and fail so much because of their bullpen, and its volatility, I think it is the hardest and maybe most important aspect of a team.

For the most part, teams' can figure project out what they can expect out of a starting rotation and lineup. That is not the case with a bullpen as performance usually fluctuates to extreme levels from year to year, and even month to month in the same year! Because of this, it is so damned hard to really put together a good bullpen. I mean, the Rays went from the worst bullpen last year to the 3rd best in baseball this year. You think that was a HUGE reason to their success this year? The Indians had a Top 3 bullpen in 2005 and 2007 (both 93+ win seasons), but one of the worst in 2004, 2006, and 2008....all disappointing seasons where the play of the bullpen was instrumental in their failures.

Again, I like our depth. I think we need one very good late inning addition, and maybe one more arm depending on who it is.



I totally agree if any doubts how important a solid pen is look at how good the white sox were when that pen was at full strength I thought they were dumb to try and make a run this year and they proved me wrong. They had a mediocre offense that lived and died with home runs, but it was that pen really put them in first most of the year
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Re: Fixing the Indians bullpen

Postby TheWord » Sat Oct 11, 2008 4:32 pm

How much do you want to bet the Rays come crashing back down to earth when their bullpen fails to have the success it did this year?
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Re: Fixing the Indians bullpen

Postby jellis » Sat Oct 11, 2008 9:04 pm

TheWord wrote:How much do you want to bet the Rays come crashing back down to earth when their bullpen fails to have the success it did this year?



Not a lot actually with all there talent and SP I am sure they will be fine and have the players to trade to help stabilize the pen if they have any issues
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Re: Fixing the Indians bullpen

Postby toledobuck » Tue Oct 14, 2008 1:12 pm

No thanks to any trades for Street or Howry. We already went down that road with Howry and he does not want to play here. Street was terrible last year. Unless you are comfortable with a guy like Betancourt as closer (terrible last year, good in previous years), why would you be comfortable with Street. I would love to throw some cash at Fuentes and land a decent 3/4 starter in FA (ie J. Garland) or trade. I am content to let the OF sort itself out. I would love to add a capable 3B or 2B in FA or trade as well. If all of that comes to fruition, I will be a happy camper and most all of the Tribe's offseason needs would have been met.
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Re: Fixing the Indians bullpen

Postby jellis » Tue Oct 14, 2008 1:20 pm

What we need to find is a player like lidge who needs a change of scenery not sure who if anyone really struggled last year. Its kind of a shame between valverde and lidge last year was the year to trade for a CL
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Re: Fixing the Indians bullpen

Postby TheWord » Tue Oct 14, 2008 3:38 pm

I'd love to see what the Royals would want for Soria.
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Re: Fixing the Indians bullpen

Postby toledobuck » Tue Oct 14, 2008 4:58 pm

BJ Ryan is a decent trade target as well. Not sure what it would take to get that done and Ryan is injury prone to boot. When healthy Ryan is pretty dominating though.
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Re: Fixing the Indians bullpen

Postby TonyIBI » Tue Oct 14, 2008 11:13 pm

I'd like Soria too, but they'd want a king's ransom, especially trading to a team in their own division.

I have always felt that Street and Ryan would be two guys we would go after in a trade this offseason. The Indians went after Ryan and Hoffman hard three years ago, so I would believe we still would have serious interest in Ryan. I know he has had some injury issues, but when the guy is healthy he is lethal. If the price is right, I could see us taking a chance knowing we have a backup plan in Jensen ready and waiting.
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Re: Fixing the Indians bullpen

Postby dazindiansfanuk » Wed Oct 15, 2008 9:13 am

I like Ryan, i really do, but I find it very hard to believe that Shapiro will be able to rationalise this team giving up valuable prospects AND taking on $10m/year salary as well.

I know it's only for 2 years, but I just don't see it.

Now, Street for 3 arb years I can see (he's not gonna make as much as $10m).
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Re: Fixing the Indians bullpen

Postby toledobuck » Fri Oct 17, 2008 11:38 am

Would you rather want Street at $7.5MM / year for 3 yrs and not being good in the bullpen or Ryan at $10MM / year for 2 yrs and performing well? No contest to me - Ryan. The question is what would it cost to get Ryan. I think the Blue Jays need a catcher don't they so that is a starting point + prospects.
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Re: Fixing the Indians bullpen

Postby TheWord » Fri Oct 17, 2008 6:58 pm

I would most certainly take Street, he is almost 8 years younger, cheaper, and despite his "struggles" this season still posted a WHIP lower than BJ Ryan.

The cheaper contract and extra year are just bonuses.
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Re: Fixing the Indians bullpen

Postby jellis » Fri Oct 17, 2008 7:48 pm

Really? Street has declined and has never really been a dominate type closer . Ryan has that and seemed to have bounced back from surgery. I would rather have him for 2 years and assume that some one could step up and replace him after that
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Re: Fixing the Indians bullpen

Postby TheWord » Sun Oct 19, 2008 12:44 pm

Even in his "decline" he's still put up similar numbers. Although I would argue some of the "decline" was mainly due to injuries limiting his effectiveness.

He put up a lower WHIP in a down year, I'll take that for cheaper and an extra year, especially when that is not at his best. Plus, he's 8 years younger.
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Re: Fixing the Indians bullpen

Postby TonyIBI » Sun Oct 19, 2008 9:40 pm

Street is someone I think may be more affordable as far as prospects go. I am not a huge fan of his, but would think he can be had for one very good prospect or two "good" prospects.
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Re: Fixing the Indians bullpen

Postby Hermie13 » Wed Oct 22, 2008 2:26 pm

I thought Street only had 2 arbitration years left....but maybe I'm mistaken.

What about trading Shoppach and a guy like Stevens or Mujica for Ryan? They need a catcher badly. Barajas is not what he used to be and Zaun is in the twilight of his career. Maybe throw a guy like Laffey there way too if they take all of Looch's salary (they could use a starter with the injuries and Burnett leaving).

I wouldn't give up too much for Street as his velocity is down, which could mean an arm injury. Still young and a nice guy to have around. Tribe had interest this year, this winter should be no different.

Kevin Gregg of the Marlins is another guy I think the Tribe will go after. He's got 1 arbitration year left.....and is definately heading out of Florida. Started off well...but had a leg injury then fell off at the end. Not an ideal candidate but shouldn't take much to get him. Or could get packaged with Uggla to kill 2 birds with 1 stone.

Juan Cruz is another interesting option. Very nice setup guy that could work out in the closers role. I'd love to sign him and let him and Lewis (and Perez, who IMO should be the closer anyways) battle for the job in ST.


I also want to see the tribe add another lefty to the pen, for 2 reasons. ONE to ease the workload on Perez, and TWO, to allow Perez to move to the closers role where Wedge hinted he's best suited. Wedge was quoted as saying Perez has the best stuff in the pen (hmm, closer is suppose to be your best reliever) but couldn't use him in the 9th because he was the only lefty and he likes using him more than 1 innings.

Why not make him the closer and let him get some 2 innings saves then? Adding a guy like Shouse, Damaso Marte, Wil Ohman, or Joe Beimel would allow the Tribe to move perez and still have a lefty. Rundles did pretty well...but I'd rather have a more seasoned guy like a Paul Assenmacher type back there to get those lefties out late in games.


And watch out for Meloan. I think this guy is gonna break out and could be the closer by mid-season (if none is brought in).
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Re: Fixing the Indians bullpen

Postby TonyIBI » Wed Oct 22, 2008 5:27 pm

I like Ryan, but I am not sure i am firing our biggest bullet (Shoppach) in a deal for him. I'd prefer Shoppach to go for a Top 3 rotation pitcher or an impact corner bat. Otherwise, I am fine bringing him back. I mean, geeze, Victor is a FA after 2010 anyway.
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Re: Fixing the Indians bullpen

Postby jellis » Wed Oct 22, 2008 5:39 pm

I know you like cruz a lot but so does everyone, I think after fuentes and Krod Juan Cruz will get the third highest relief money in FA, I dont see him in cleveland
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Re: Fixing the Indians bullpen

Postby TheWord » Wed Oct 22, 2008 11:52 pm

I think Rafael Perez, and his ability to pitch effectively for more than one inning is more than enough reason to keep him right where he is.

Perfect set up man, something we've seen used by the Rays that has been very important down the stretch, which is their ability to throw a lefty out there in the mid innings that can face left or right to get a game to the closer.

I'm of the impression that your closer most certainly does not have to be your best reliever, for the sheer fact your set up man will see more innings. Thus, you're getting your best pitcher on the field more, as opposed to just the 9th.
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Re: Fixing the Indians bullpen

Postby Hermie13 » Thu Oct 23, 2008 10:07 am

Consigliere wrote:I like Ryan, but I am not sure i am firing our biggest bullet (Shoppach) in a deal for him. I'd prefer Shoppach to go for a Top 3 rotation pitcher or an impact corner bat. Otherwise, I am fine bringing him back. I mean, geeze, Victor is a FA after 2010 anyway.


Yeah but Shoppach will be a free agent after 2011....not like we'd have him that much longer. And Santana should be ready to go by 2011 at the latest.

I don't see Shoppach getting us a top 3 rotation pitcher unless packaged with something else (which would work for me). 1 good year won't get his value that high. Plus his insane strikout rate will scare some people off (struck out at a higher rate than even Ryan Howard).

I just only see a few teams that are good fits for Shoppach: Boston (Bard or maybe Masterson if we're lucky?), Toronto (Ryan?), Cincinnati (Harang?), San Diego (extreme longshot, Peavy?), possibly Houston (not seeing a good match though), and Detroit (might be best match....but not trading in the division).

Florida I don't see working. Baker played well and had a solid OBP. Plus they already have 18 arbitration eligible guys....don't think they'll want to add another in Shooppach (even if they're getting rid of 1 or 2 in the deal).




I'm not a fan of a closer only going 1 inning though. If they're getting paid that much, they should pitch more than an inning and have to come in with men on base in the 8th inning to truly 'save' the game. Perez is that type of pitcher. If in the 8th inning there's men on base, you can bring him in to face a righty or lefty to work out of the jam. Then bring him back out for the 9th to lock it down. That slider is the best pitch anyone has in that pen.



And I agree Cruz will be highly sought after.....but I just don't see him getting 'that' much money. I think his deal will be in line with what Linebrink got this winter from the ChiSox (4yr/$19M I believe). I'd give Cruz a 3yr/$14M with an option for a 4th at $8M (with $1M buyout). The $8M will be to entice him to come. If he does become your closer then $8M in 2012 isn't that outrageous. The total value of the contract could be 4yr/$21M (more than the more proven Linebrink got). More than a fair offer to him, and don't see him getting much better elsewhere....

Knowing that we don't have a true closer could get him to come here too rather than another place (though if i was a betting man, I'd put my money on the Mets getting him).
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Re: Fixing the Indians bullpen

Postby jellis » Fri Oct 31, 2008 6:17 pm

I have been doing a lot of research and really feel like the biggest stat for any BP pitcher is their WHIP. I am currently trying to make a a way to show this exactly, making something a little different than just the WHIP, but for now its the best thing out there. A great example would be Betancourt whose WHIP doubled this year.

Here are a few people I like based on WHIP numbers (In no order)

Dave Bush ( I know hes an SP but he had 9th best WHIP of any starting pitcher in baseball, might be a more effective in the pen)

Cory Wade ( one of the lesser guys in the pen there and did have a rough play off game but a below 1 WHIP and the best on the dodgers, 6th best WHIP in baseball)

Matt Capps ( 10th best WHIP amonmg pitcher with at least 49 ING, is all he had CL in Pit can be boring)

Taylor Buchholz ( might be my favorite would be the 11th best WHIP last year and was actually a very good minor SP also sporting excellent WHIPs, pitched in the 2 of the worst parks in baseball HOU and COL)



None of these guys might be CL, but I think any would be that extra arm the indians have looked for to add to the pen
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Re: Fixing the Indians bullpen

Postby MickS » Fri Oct 31, 2008 8:31 pm

I've been wondering if Huntington's demands for a Snell/Capps trade would be reasonable. They are not going to compete next year and should still be collecting prospects. How about a 5 prospect swap for these 2 guys?
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Re: Fixing the Indians bullpen

Postby TonyIBI » Fri Oct 31, 2008 10:34 pm

With all due respect, why would we want Ian Snell? We have about 5-6 Snell's on the 40-man roster already. Capps would be interesting though, and I do agree that we try to tap that Hungtington-Shapiro pipeline.
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Re: Fixing the Indians bullpen

Postby jellis » Fri Oct 31, 2008 10:47 pm

got to agree with tony, even in his best years snell lets too many guys get on base, i would be interested in signing John Van Benschoten's as a minor league FA and making him a hitter, I thought then and still think now that's what he has always been, Pit apparently released him today

I wonder what we could do to get capps I would imagine franklin would be part of the deal though since I believe Huntington was always a big fan of his, and if you look at the nady deal it is also obvious that Huntington has no issue adding a laffey/sowers type as they are both much better then jeff karstens if we use the yanks deal as a basis and I think thats fairish they traded marte who is meh and nady who is solid for a 5th SP type sowers/laffey, a 4th OF on a good team (franklin), and a spec who has talent but has faded a bit maybe Carlos Rivero? And that is more than I think it would cost just basing on the there other deals this past year, I could even see the spec being a player like Jordan Brown as neither Laroche brother has shown anything
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Re: Fixing the Indians bullpen

Postby toledobuck » Sat Nov 01, 2008 11:28 am

jellis- You sure are giving up a lot for Capps. You want to give up Gutz, laffey or sowers, Marte & Rivero? I am sure Huntington would jump all over that. Capps is a great bullpen guy with closer stuff but I think we could definitely pull back one of the four players to get the deal done. I have no problem trading Gutz, Sowersm and Marte for Capps but I would be leary of throwing in Rivero. If you switch Rivero with J. Rodriguez, we may have a nice deal if PIT really wants us to add a minor league MIF.
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Re: Fixing the Indians bullpen

Postby TheWord » Sat Nov 01, 2008 12:01 pm

Josh Barfield and Carlos Rivero sounds about right.
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Re: Fixing the Indians bullpen

Postby MickS » Sat Nov 01, 2008 12:12 pm

I took a look at Snell's numbers and you're right. Nothing there. He got stuck in my mind as an up and coming talent from years ago. He's no longer young and no longer up and coming. Capps still looks pretty good though.

I guess the starting pitching that is worth pursuing via trade (i.e., better than what we already have in house) is going to cost us dearly.
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Re: Fixing the Indians bullpen

Postby jellis » Sat Nov 01, 2008 1:25 pm

toledobuck wrote:jellis- You sure are giving up a lot for Capps. You want to give up Gutz, laffey or sowers, Marte & Rivero? I am sure Huntington would jump all over that. Capps is a great bullpen guy with closer stuff but I think we could definitely pull back one of the four players to get the deal done. I have no problem trading Gutz, Sowersm and Marte for Capps but I would be leary of throwing in Rivero. If you switch Rivero with J. Rodriguez, we may have a nice deal if PIT really wants us to add a minor league MIF.


I was saying sowers/laffey, gut, and Rivero but thought maybe brown instead of Rivero, CL are valuable and Pit will want a spec in the deal marte has zero trade value when I mentioned marte I was referencing Pits deal last year with they traded Damaso Marte and Xavier Nady
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Re: Fixing the Indians bullpen

Postby TheWord » Sat Nov 01, 2008 3:11 pm

I would not include Gut in any deal right now. JMO.

The guy's second half numbers would indicate to me that he may be figuring it out at the plate. Couple that with his defense, I'm much more likely to trade the one dimensional Francisco instead.

Francisco and Barfield for Capps works. No way do I include ANY potential top prospects for a closer who expects to make the jump to the AL. It's just not a smart decision, as we've seen in the past. I have no problems trading secondary guys who will fill holes in their roster like Ben and Josh.
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Re: Fixing the Indians bullpen

Postby jellis » Sat Nov 01, 2008 3:50 pm

TheWord wrote:I would not include Gut in any deal right now. JMO.

The guy's second half numbers would indicate to me that he may be figuring it out at the plate. Couple that with his defense, I'm much more likely to trade the one dimensional Francisco instead.

Francisco and Barfield for Capps works. No way do I include ANY potential top prospects for a closer who expects to make the jump to the AL. It's just not a smart decision, as we've seen in the past. I have no problems trading secondary guys who will fill holes in their roster like Ben and Josh.


heres the issue though, Francisco value would be less to Pit, were Huntington was always a Gut guy. Barfield has zero value so people really should stop throwing his name around he has about as much value at this point as Tom mastny. If you want a anyone you have to give up players you cant trade two big ups and get a CL who has a good backround, and NL might be the worse league but its not like its a difference enough to make a guy like Capps worthless

The other issue is Gut's not going to have playing time next year, they will start with Ben and I expect Laporta to be up quickly, its not like he will even get the playing time he needs to rebound and his too much o a free swinger to ever be a solid hitter, his swing inspires no confidence in me. the guy might be bale to win a gold glove, but his swing has a lot of work yet
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Re: Fixing the Indians bullpen

Postby TheWord » Sat Nov 01, 2008 7:13 pm

jellis wrote:
TheWord wrote:I would not include Gut in any deal right now. JMO.

The guy's second half numbers would indicate to me that he may be figuring it out at the plate. Couple that with his defense, I'm much more likely to trade the one dimensional Francisco instead.

Francisco and Barfield for Capps works. No way do I include ANY potential top prospects for a closer who expects to make the jump to the AL. It's just not a smart decision, as we've seen in the past. I have no problems trading secondary guys who will fill holes in their roster like Ben and Josh.


heres the issue though, Francisco value would be less to Pit, were Huntington was always a Gut guy. Barfield has zero value so people really should stop throwing his name around he has about as much value at this point as Tom mastny. If you want a anyone you have to give up players you cant trade two big ups and get a CL who has a good backround, and NL might be the worse league but its not like its a difference enough to make a guy like Capps worthless

The other issue is Gut's not going to have playing time next year, they will start with Ben and I expect Laporta to be up quickly, its not like he will even get the playing time he needs to rebound and his too much o a free swinger to ever be a solid hitter, his swing inspires no confidence in me. the guy might be bale to win a gold glove, but his swing has a lot of work yet




Why is Francisco a lock to start? He showed in the 2nd half of the season he is not a starter for a contending team, and I see absolutely no reason why Gutierrez, with better defense, speed, and youth, won't be in the running to win the left field job.

I agree, IF LaPorta can produce in AAA, he might be up quickly, especially if Choo, Ben, or Gut struggle. The fact of the matter is Ben has not won anything yet IMO, and until he learns to hit the other way, he is nothing more than a stopgap with mediocre speed, defense, and arm. Gutierrez IMO has the ability to start, and has for more potential than Ben...not to mention 2 years younger.
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Re: Fixing the Indians bullpen

Postby jellis » Sat Nov 01, 2008 8:41 pm

TheWord wrote:
jellis wrote:
TheWord wrote:I would not include Gut in any deal right now. JMO.

The guy's second half numbers would indicate to me that he may be figuring it out at the plate. Couple that with his defense, I'm much more likely to trade the one dimensional Francisco instead.

Francisco and Barfield for Capps works. No way do I include ANY potential top prospects for a closer who expects to make the jump to the AL. It's just not a smart decision, as we've seen in the past. I have no problems trading secondary guys who will fill holes in their roster like Ben and Josh.


heres the issue though, Francisco value would be less to Pit, were Huntington was always a Gut guy. Barfield has zero value so people really should stop throwing his name around he has about as much value at this point as Tom mastny. If you want a anyone you have to give up players you cant trade two big ups and get a CL who has a good backround, and NL might be the worse league but its not like its a difference enough to make a guy like Capps worthless

The other issue is Gut's not going to have playing time next year, they will start with Ben and I expect Laporta to be up quickly, its not like he will even get the playing time he needs to rebound and his too much o a free swinger to ever be a solid hitter, his swing inspires no confidence in me. the guy might be bale to win a gold glove, but his swing has a lot of work yet




Why is Francisco a lock to start? He showed in the 2nd half of the season he is not a starter for a contending team, and I see absolutely no reason why Gutierrez, with better defense, speed, and youth, won't be in the running to win the left field job.

I agree, IF LaPorta can produce in AAA, he might be up quickly, especially if Choo, Ben, or Gut struggle. The fact of the matter is Ben has not won anything yet IMO, and until he learns to hit the other way, he is nothing more than a stopgap with mediocre speed, defense, and arm. Gutierrez IMO has the ability to start, and has for more potential than Ben...not to mention 2 years younger.



still doesnt change the fact of who Huntington likes better and still doesnt change that the player is a place holder, I just dont see the big reason for holding onto Gut instead of Francisco when both are going to be 4th OF's. To me you trade who ever has the most value
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Re: Fixing the Indians bullpen

Postby Jennifer » Sat Nov 01, 2008 10:02 pm

The Indians are not going to sign free-agent closers Francisco Rodriguez (wants $15 million annually for five years) or Brian Fuentes (looking for $50M for five years). Internally, they have been talking about Rafael Perez as an alternative to Jensen Lewis, if Lewis falters as a closer. In 135 games with the Tribe, Perez has a 2.89 ERA with 163 strikeouts and just 44 walks in 149Ð innings. Opposing batters are hitting only .213 off him for his career. Last season, the left-handed Perez was nearly as effective against righties (.243) as lefties (.222).

I sense the Indians will bring in a couple of veteran relievers, such as Bob Howry, to fill out the bullpen, and then see if Lewis and/or Perez can close. They have three off-season priorities: 1. Add a solid starter; 2. Add a second or third baseman; 3. Add to the bullpen. My guess is the big money goes to the starter. No, Jake Peavy is not coming to Cleveland. He has a no-trade clause and wants to stay in the National League.

Last week, I pushed Jeff Stevens as a sleeper to be in the Tribe's bullpen on Opening Day roster. Here's another -- Jon Meloan, acquired along with Carlos Santana in the Blake deal. He has a career 2.09 ERA as a reliever in the minors, averaging 11 strikeouts per nine innings. Because the right-hander has four pitches -- including an excellent, big curveball -- the Dodgers made him a starter, and he was 5-10 with a 4.97 ERA at Class AAA Las Vegas. The Indians have moved him back to the bullpen. Yes, I hear that Adam Miller is throwing faster than 95 mph in the winter leagues, but until he shows he can stay healthy for more than a few months, Stevens and/or Meloan are more likely to come out of nowhere and make an impact than counting on Miller. Rich Rundles could make the team as a lefty reliever for the middle innings.


http://www.cleveland.com/pluto/blog/ind ... s_hop.html

Is there any team stupid enough to give a closer a five year $75 million contract?
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Re: Fixing the Indians bullpen

Postby jellis » Sat Nov 01, 2008 11:00 pm

yes there is I would not be surprised if the mets were that dumb
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Re: Fixing the Indians bullpen

Postby toledobuck » Wed Nov 05, 2008 3:54 pm

I bet you the Yankees will end up paying two FA contracts this year that each have values of over $20 million per season for multiple years. So yes, some big market team will probably pay FRod some obsene amount of money this offseason.
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Re: Fixing the Indians bullpen

Postby Hermie13 » Thu Nov 06, 2008 11:28 am

I REALLY hope we sign a lefty to allow Perez to move to the closers role. He's got that ability to go mulitple innings ala Papelpon and Rivera. Something we NEED from our closer. Affeldt, Shouse, Biemel, D. Marte, or Ohman would be excellent pickups. 1 of those 5 should be able to be had pretty easily (Shouse is pushing 40, a lot like Assenmacher and would be a great addition on a 1yr deal with an option).
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Re: Fixing the Indians bullpen

Postby MadThinker88 » Thu Nov 06, 2008 12:07 pm

Personally I think another lefty does not need to be brought in. We have the options in house already (Sipp, Rundles, Zach Jackson and other lefties not already in the rotation).
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Re: Fixing the Indians bullpen

Postby Hermie13 » Thu Nov 06, 2008 12:36 pm

Sipp is still coming back from TJ surgery and you don't know if you can count on him quite yet. Jackson isn't a bullpen guy or situational lefty (at least not yet, could be made into one but I don't think the Tribe will). And Rundles....well I do like him, but we NEED a lefty to help take the pressure off Perez.

Right now only Perez and maybe Jackson (due to being out of options) will be our lefties in the pen.......1 would help out immensely.
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Re: Fixing the Indians bullpen

Postby TonyIBI » Thu Nov 06, 2008 1:15 pm

Hermie13 wrote:And Rundles....well I do like him, but we NEED a lefty to help take the pressure off Perez.


Perez is your primary lefty....so a second lefty to use earlier in games is definitely a need that would help Perez. This is why Rundles has a good chance of being that guy and making the team....maybe even Jackson.

We don't need a lefty. We have enough good candidates for that 2nd lefty spot.
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Re: Fixing the Indians bullpen

Postby JP_Frost » Thu Nov 06, 2008 7:40 pm

Consigliere wrote:Perez is your primary lefty....so a second lefty to use earlier in games is definitely a need that would help Perez. This is why Rundles has a good chance of being that guy and making the team....maybe even Jackson.

We don't need a lefty. We have enough good candidates for that 2nd lefty spot.


Would it be stretch to see Sipp in the pen as the 2nd lefty? I know he just came off TJ surgery, but he has already reached Akron, and looked very good towards the end. The most logical thing to do is send him to Columbus after spring training and call him if needed, but I wouldn't be against him making the team if he has a good ST. All of this depends on the offseason as well of course and the moves that will be made if any.
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Re: Fixing the Indians bullpen

Postby Hermie13 » Fri Nov 07, 2008 9:33 am

Consigliere wrote:
Hermie13 wrote:And Rundles....well I do like him, but we NEED a lefty to help take the pressure off Perez.


Perez is your primary lefty....so a second lefty to use earlier in games is definitely a need that would help Perez. This is why Rundles has a good chance of being that guy and making the team....maybe even Jackson.

We don't need a lefty. We have enough good candidates for that 2nd lefty spot.


Perez should be the closer though. Has the best stuff and has the ability to go multiple innings.

Getting a lefty is much easier than landing a solid closer (and cheaper). I'm just not totally sold on either Jackson or Rundles in the pen next year (I like Sipp....but too risky to count on him IMO). Signing a guy like Shouse who'll probably only cost you a 1 year deal and max of $3M is a low risk move that'll trully help the club. He'd be a vet out there in the pen and can come in to be that situational lefty that we've lacked for the last 2 years.

I know I'm in the minority, but I'll say it again. A lefty-seteup/specialist is what this club needs more than anything this winter.

Lefties hit almost over .350 off Jackson last year with Cleveland.....only .167 with Rundles (but in less than 10 innings).

Brian Shouse held lefties to a .180 BAA (and a 0.69 WHIP). Brings that veteran presence plus allows Lewis to go back to setup role where he belongs and Perez to move to the closers role. Still leaves open the door for Jackson or Rundles to land at the back end of the pen and also leaves money for the IF and rotation.
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Re: Fixing the Indians bullpen

Postby dazindiansfanuk » Fri Nov 07, 2008 10:59 am

Hermie13 wrote:Perez should be the closer though. Has the best stuff and has the ability to go multiple innings.


If you ask me, I think you just gave a pretty good summation of exactly why Perez shouldn't be the closer.

He's much more valuable being used in more high-leverage situations earlier in the game in my opinion.
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Re: Fixing the Indians bullpen

Postby Hermie13 » Fri Nov 07, 2008 12:00 pm

Everyone keeps saying that....but it's absolutely wrong.

Perez's ability to go more than 1 innings makes him a GREAT closer candidate and is exactly why he should be. Why are Papelbon and Rivera such great closers? It's because they can be brought in during the 8th inning during high-pressure situations with men on base and get out of the jam, then come back and finish out the 9th and the game.

Obviously you need someone in the 7th inning to get it to him, but that's why I'm saying get a lefty like Brian Shouse to go along with Lewis and Betancourt.
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Re: Fixing the Indians bullpen

Postby MadThinker88 » Fri Nov 07, 2008 12:07 pm

3 Million spent on a lefty specialist means 3 Million less for spending on other needs (starter, infielder, etc).

Raffey Left's chance to be the closer might have to wait until a Rundles or Sipp can show they can back-fill Raffey's current role.
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Re: Fixing the Indians bullpen

Postby Hermie13 » Fri Nov 07, 2008 2:02 pm

$3M spent on a lefty specialist means you don't have to spend $4M plus on a closer. Shapiro is aggresively going after a closer (unless you think he's totally lying). No options are cheap. Street is pricy. Gregg could be had easily...but will cost $4M at least.

I'd rather grab a lefty like Shouse or Marte and give the job to Perez, then spend the money on the IF and Starter.

Now, if Shapiro does get a closer, then getting a lefty setup man isn't necessary.....but seems like it'll be a LOT tougher landing a closer than a lefty setup guy.....but we'll see....
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