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2012 Spring Training Comments and Conversation

Talk about the Cleveland Indians, Major League Baseball, and other sports.

Re: 2012 Spring Training Comments and Conversation

Postby ironmike » Sun Mar 25, 2012 9:10 am

Tony, in response to your weekly column.

You wrote -
Shelley Duncan continues to have a big spring as he socked a few more homers this week. His five homers this spring ties him Alfonso Soriano for the most in Cactus League play this spring, and his 14 RBI are 2nd in the league. He is on the team one way or another and at this point – barring an injury the final few days of camp – is unofficially the winner of the left field competition.


Shelley Duncan, Cunnigham, Spillborgh, Pie = Willie Kirkland, Willie Tasby, Chuck Essigian, Chuck Hinton, Al Luplow, Roy Foster, Allan Bannister, Don Dillard, Gene Green, Ron Pruitt, Jason Michaels and the list goes on and on.

When teams like the Indians have to depend on these type of journeyman players to provide contending type offense they never sniff the playoffs. No matter what you write, or what you are sold and told, these players are what they are.

The Indians have not produced a home grown power hitting outfielder of any substance since Belle, Ramirez, Sexton and Giles??? None in the Shapiro reign of terror.

In fact, our entire starting line up for 2012 with the exception of Kipnis have come from other organizations.

Hell, trading Franklin Guiterrez could be considered a real mistake. He'd look dam good right now in CF. A player who should have never been traded for many reasons, the main one is we had no one to replace him. The Indians mission statement defines pitching and defense. Then how can Duncan be cosidered an asset in LF? Duncan is a good team man, hard working utility player, helps coming off the bench which should be his continuing role, not starting. By the way, defensively Duncan will be a liability in LF.

Don't see this monster problem the Indians have in LF as being fixed internally. I've been a fan of Chris Anotonetti so far, but he really needs to address this issue quickly if the Indians intend to maximize their window of contention.
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Re: 2012 Spring Training Comments and Conversation

Postby A.Zajac » Sun Mar 25, 2012 9:39 am

ironmike wrote:Tony, in response to your weekly column.

You wrote -
Shelley Duncan continues to have a big spring as he socked a few more homers this week. His five homers this spring ties him Alfonso Soriano for the most in Cactus League play this spring, and his 14 RBI are 2nd in the league. He is on the team one way or another and at this point – barring an injury the final few days of camp – is unofficially the winner of the left field competition.


Shelley Duncan, Cunnigham, Spillborgh, Pie = Willie Kirkland, Willie Tasby, Chuck Essigian, Chuck Hinton, Al Luplow, Roy Foster, Allan Bannister, Don Dillard, Gene Green, Ron Pruitt, Jason Michaels and the list goes on and on.

When teams like the Indians have to depend on these type of journeyman players to provide contending type offense they never sniff the playoffs. No matter what you write, or what you are sold and told, these players are what they are.

The Indians have not produced a home grown power hitting outfielder of any substance since Belle, Ramirez, Sexton and Giles??? None in the Shapiro reign of terror.

In fact, our entire starting line up for 2012 with the exception of Kipnis have come from other organizations.

Hell, trading Franklin Guiterrez could be considered a real mistake. He'd look dam good right now in CF. A player who should have never been traded for many reasons, the main one is we had no one to replace him. The Indians mission statement defines pitching and defense. Then how can Duncan be cosidered an asset in LF? Duncan is a good team man, hard working utility player, helps coming off the bench which should be his continuing role, not starting. By the way, defensively Duncan will be a liability in LF.

Don't see this monster problem the Indians have in LF as being fixed internally. I've been a fan of Chris Anotonetti so far, but he really needs to address this issue quickly if the Indians intend to maximize their window of contention.


Oh, for Pete sake, ironmike.. you ramble about the same exact crap in every single post of yours. Give it a rest. Geez.
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Re: 2012 Spring Training Comments and Conversation

Postby TonyIBI » Sun Mar 25, 2012 3:31 pm

Edible14 wrote:De La Cruz now gets claimed by the Tigers. It's been a wild spring for him.

Why exactly did the Indians decide they needed Vanderhurk?


Not sure why they wanted van den Hurk, but it shows how much De La fell in their eyes that they DFAed him for van den Hurk.
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Re: 2012 Spring Training Comments and Conversation

Postby Prosecutor » Mon Mar 26, 2012 8:32 am

Not exactly spring training related, but I have a question for the board. Assuming the Indians are sellers again this summer, who are the players that we could get some prospects for?

The candidates:

Hannahan - hopefully the Chiz will be ready to step in as the every day 3rd baseman by the second half.

LaPorta - nowhere for him to play now that we have Kotchman unless he goes back to left field. LaPorta has killed AAA pitching the last couple of years. Maybe if he does it again this year somebody else will give him a shot.

Joe Smith - just read the write-up on C.C. Lee, who sounds like a Smith clone. If Smith repeats his outstanding performance from last year he'll be in demand.

Raffie Perez - Hagadone has looked great in camp and appears to be ready, making Raffie expendable. Also, Smith and Raffie are getting up there in salary and close to free agency if I'm not mistaken, so Lee and Hags would be much cheaper alternatives.

Pronk - finally on the last year of his contract, an A.L. contender in need of a DH could take him on for the stretch run without getting stuck with paying him $13 million next year. He has to stay healthy and play well, of course.

Lowe - he looked very good the other day, giving up one earned run in five innings and getting nothing but ground balls. If he has a strong first half we could flip him for a prospect. Possible replacements include Roberto Hernandez, Barnes, Slowey, and Armstrong.

With the addition of a second wild card team it's less likely the Tribe will be out of contention by July. If by chance they are, I think they'll have a lot of ammunition. Am I missing anybody?
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Re: 2012 Spring Training Comments and Conversation

Postby GeronimoSon » Mon Mar 26, 2012 10:22 am

While it can be argued that the players described in your posting are all integral pieces of the Indians for the start of the 2012 season and should be kept until there is no hope, there is no doubt that every player on this roster has to be considered 'available' for the right price/player returns:

Hannahan as trade bait: The next two weeks is one of the 'times' during a baseball year when sudden and unexpected trades come to pass. Teams that have gone into Spring Training with a plan.. find out that the downside of their plan has come to fruition.. For example: The Indians would be WISE to make the phone call to Frank Wren with the Atlanta Braves. The Braves, already with a mess at SS, now have Chipper Jones going to the DL with knee surgery. The Braves are contemplating moving Martin Prado to 3B, thereby making their current starting LF into their starting 3B and further degrading their infield defense. None of this looks good for the Braves..

Also, last week, Rob Neyer had an article regarding the Indians 'choice' for starting 3B: http://mlb.sbnation.com/2012/3/21/28918 ... -projected

LaPorta: Right now, Matt LaPorta will return a used bag of fungoes and a partial case of David Sunflower seeds. He may become an add on player in the event the Indians do make a trade.. but would hardly be considered a centerpiece of any trade, imho..

Smith/Perez: Both are key cogs in the Bullpen Mafia.. As long as a glimmer of hope exists (for a playoff spot) and both are pitching splendidly (or how they pitched last year), neither will be going anywhere.. If their performance falters, then the potential for a trade goes down..

Lowe: Derek Lowe as trade bait.. absolutely.. the same caveat for Smith/Perez exist w/r to performance...

PRONK: Correction: Travis Hafner is in the last year of the guaranteed portion of his contract. The Indians hold an option for the 2013 season at $ 13 MM with a buyout of $ 2.75 MM if they do not retain him. In other words, PRONK is guaranteed $ 2.75 MM for 2013 and may have the rest of his option picked up for up to $ 10.25 MM more. PRONK has looked beastly in ST.. He is swinging the bat as well as he has in years.. dare I say, since 2006. It would not be a surprise to see Hafner retained for the full ticket including 2013, however, it might be on an extension instead of a straight option pickup. The extension wouldn't be more than two years with a possible option for the third year... Don't laugh.. it could happen...

There is no doubt.. If Hafner continues to produce like he is in ST, he lengthens the order, and makes the Indians offense all that more dangerous.. (i.e. an impact hitter, already on the club)..

As far as missing someone.. yes.. Shin-soo Choo.. as trade bait..
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Re: 2012 Spring Training Comments and Conversation

Postby daingean » Mon Mar 26, 2012 10:34 am

GeronimoSon wrote:
Hannahan as trade bait: The next two weeks is one of the 'times' during a baseball year when sudden and unexpected trades come to pass. Teams that have gone into Spring Training with a plan.. find out that the downside of their plan has come to fruition.. For example: The Indians would be WISE to make the phone call to Frank Wren with the Atlanta Braves. The Braves, already with a mess at SS, now have Chipper Jones going to the DL with knee surgery. The Braves are contemplating moving Martin Prado to 3B, thereby making their current starting LF into their starting 3B and further degrading their infield defense. None of this looks good for the Braves..


Except that 3B is Prado's natural position and will be there next year after Chipper retires. I think the Braves would rather add a LF than a 3B. Until Chipper returns, I see the Bravos going with a Hinke/Matt Diaz/Jose Costanzo solution in LF. SS is probably the biggest concern but I see Pastornicky/Jack Wilson solution unless Wren can upgrade SS w/o taking away from their pitching.

As far as end of spring training, yes you see deals but seldom/never do you see key pieces traded. Most deals are the Slowey or Cunningham type trades. Would hate to see this as an opportunity to fuel the poster who will remain nameless from going on his rant about adding an impact bat like McCutcheon (because these type of deals just don't happen at this juncture).
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Re: 2012 Spring Training Comments and Conversation

Postby Hermie13 » Mon Mar 26, 2012 12:17 pm

A.Zajac wrote:
Hermie13 wrote:I fully expect Santana to be beyond McCutcheon level (at least offensively) this season. I will be disappointed if he doesn't hit 35 HRs this year with at least a .380 OBP and .900 OPS. Perhaps too high of standards but after last season combined with a healthy offseason for once, think it could be an undersell.


I disagree in terms of HR total.. I see somewhere between 28-30 HR this season for Santana... granted not a huge difference. :geek


I'm actually predicting 40 HRs from Santana this year. 35 is my low-mark and I'll be disappointed if he's under it. Slugged 27 last year as a near rookie and coming off a major knee injury.

I really think Santana is a dark-horse MVP candidate this year if the Tribe can contend.
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Re: 2012 Spring Training Comments and Conversation

Postby Rocky55 » Mon Mar 26, 2012 12:28 pm

daingean wrote:
GeronimoSon wrote:
Hannahan as trade bait: The next two weeks is one of the 'times' during a baseball year when sudden and unexpected trades come to pass. Teams that have gone into Spring Training with a plan.. find out that the downside of their plan has come to fruition.. For example: The Indians would be WISE to make the phone call to Frank Wren with the Atlanta Braves. The Braves, already with a mess at SS, now have Chipper Jones going to the DL with knee surgery. The Braves are contemplating moving Martin Prado to 3B, thereby making their current starting LF into their starting 3B and further degrading their infield defense. None of this looks good for the Braves..


Except that 3B is Prado's natural position and will be there next year after Chipper retires. I think the Braves would rather add a LF than a 3B. Until Chipper returns, I see the Bravos going with a Hinke/Matt Diaz/Jose Costanzo solution in LF. SS is probably the biggest concern but I see Pastornicky/Jack Wilson solution unless Wren can upgrade SS w/o taking away from their pitching.

As far as end of spring training, yes you see deals but seldom/never do you see key pieces traded. Most deals are the Slowey or Cunningham type trades. Would hate to see this as an opportunity to fuel the poster who will remain nameless from going on his rant about adding an impact bat like McCutcheon (because these type of deals just don't happen at this juncture).

Saw the Braves in a ST game the other day & the announcers were speculating that Andrelton Simmons might beat out Pastornicky. Also heard some noise that Bobby Abreu might be a trade target if the contract situation is addressed. I agree that insofar as Prado has a position, 3B would be it. He might actually be a defensive upgrade over what Chipper has been lately.
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Re: 2012 Spring Training Comments and Conversation

Postby Hermie13 » Mon Mar 26, 2012 12:44 pm

dazindiansfanuk wrote:Indians searching for a LFer.... the Angels becoming increasing frustrated with Abreu...... is there a match there?

Granted Abreu isn't the force he once was, but he gets on base and there's the potential of one last big season in him..... some media outlets are suggesting the Angels might release him after recent comments made in the Spanish speaking media, so there my not be a high acquisition cost..... something to consider!


One issue with Abreu (among a few) is how happy will he be in cleveland? Not like we can really guarantee him any more playing time than the Angels can. When Grady comes back (or if i guess), then what....Abreu to the bench? Could split time with Hafner at DH but doubt Abreu would be happy with that either.
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Re: 2012 Spring Training Comments and Conversation

Postby GhostofTedCox » Mon Mar 26, 2012 1:12 pm

I think recent events could be affecting the trade market:

Joba Chamberlain is out for the Yankees
Ryan Madson is out for the Reds.
Utley is out for the Phillies.
The Braves are looking for INF.
Angels are unhappy with Abreu, while Morales is getting close.
Chris Carpenter out for the Cards indefinitely.
Robbie Hernandez may be back sooner than expected.

I know we have matches with some of these teams. Reducing Hernandez's salary means we may be able to take on some money. The Indians "solutions" for the OF do not look strong if you want to contend. I also would be inclined to give jobs to people that have earned them, rather than go with the safe choice.

There is no "buzz" in Cleveland right now for the Indians. That's sad. Adding a name that is slightly recognizable might help change that.
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Re: 2012 Spring Training Comments and Conversation

Postby daingean » Mon Mar 26, 2012 2:49 pm

GhostofTedCox wrote:I think recent events could be affecting the trade market:

Joba Chamberlain is out for the Yankees
Ryan Madson is out for the Reds.
Utley is out for the Phillies.
The Braves are looking for INF.
Angels are unhappy with Abreu, while Morales is getting close.
Chris Carpenter out for the Cards indefinitely.
Robbie Hernandez may be back sooner than expected.

I know we have matches with some of these teams. Reducing Hernandez's salary means we may be able to take on some money. The Indians "solutions" for the OF do not look strong if you want to contend. I also would be inclined to give jobs to people that have earned them, rather than go with the safe choice.

There is no "buzz" in Cleveland right now for the Indians. That's sad. Adding a name that is slightly recognizable might help change that.


If the Indians would be willing to part with a reliever (i.e. C. Perez), they could fill the LF hole with a useable bat. Best match ups would be Yankees and Reds (with maybe the Angels). I don't see a match up with the Braves as they don't have an OF bat they would be willing to part with. In fact, the Bravos would be looking for a SS and a LF.
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Re: 2012 Spring Training Comments and Conversation

Postby daingean » Mon Mar 26, 2012 2:53 pm

Rocky55 wrote:Saw the Braves in a ST game the other day & the announcers were speculating that Andrelton Simmons might beat out Pastornicky. Also heard some noise that Bobby Abreu might be a trade target if the contract situation is addressed. I agree that insofar as Prado has a position, 3B would be it. He might actually be a defensive upgrade over what Chipper has been lately.


I think the chance that Simmons being on the 25 on opening day for the Braves is pretty low (10%). He's not out hitting Pastornicky by much and he is definitely not hitting enough to make the jump from Single A to the show. The Braves could land a SS for a Beachy type pitcher or a minor league guy like Zeke Spruilll but as it stands I think Jack Wilson will be the opening day starter at SS with Pastornicky getting 2-3 starts a week.
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Re: 2012 Spring Training Comments and Conversation

Postby artgold » Tue Mar 27, 2012 12:06 am

With the injury problems Utley is having with the Phillies, I'd probably see if they'd be interested in obtaining either Donald or Phelps as a stopgap 2nd base solution.

They have a minor league pitcher who may end up being a pretty good major league starter, Jonathan Pettibone, who could be available in a deal. In addition, we might be able to pick up someone like Cody Overbeck, a guy with decent power who is major league ready, as a throw in.

Could be a good example of dealing from strength. The Indians are at a high risk point in their team evolution, Pettibone could be a good fit in terms of someone who could join the rotation as a decent starter around 2014.
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Re: 2012 Spring Training Comments and Conversation

Postby criznit2009 » Tue Mar 27, 2012 4:21 am

The indians want another OFer... Can't blame them, considering the situation but Duncan is not the problem,.... It is Brantley. As it is now Brantley looks to be a poor mans Gerut with the ability to play CF, and even that is questionable. When you throw around defensive abiltily in regards to your BASEBALL teams strength, that is not a good sign. It means you are grasping at straws, looking for ways to make your team sound better... Brantley is not a good CF right now. Could end up being ok (defensively), but really his bat will decide how good of a CF he really is.

Trying hard to see anything good this off season, but sadly all I see is a tight-wad owner and a F.O doing their best with what they got. I am not impressed with how the F.O is dealing with the situation....

I will always be an indians fan, meaning I will alway cheer for whoever runs out to the field to actually win or lose the games, not the F.O not matter who is up in charge. Right now, I hope the few guys we have who could make an impact do it - Kipnis, Santana should have fine years. That slug Kotchman (the bottom of the barrrel in F.A this year) and Hafner could end up being more burden then help...

don't know what the point of this post is really - other than it is "hard" to be an indians fan right now... How can you expect any fairweather fan to want to part of the current state of the indians right now? The Brass (F.O and owner) have alienated both fans and players - no one wants to part of this current mess except those willing to expect heartbreak, pain and enjoy the true beauty of 9 innings of baseball.

Mr.Dolan - please sell the team.
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Re: 2012 Spring Training Comments and Conversation

Postby ironmike » Tue Mar 27, 2012 7:05 am

Word out of Florida by many baseball people is the Detroit Tigers are poised for a huge season. The Indians can ill afford to get off to a slow start the season could be over for them prior to June.

In the meantime, there remains a huge hole in our line up. We need a young, dynamic All-Star caliber every day impact player for LF. Without one this team will struggle mightly to score enough runs to compete.
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Re: 2012 Spring Training Comments and Conversation

Postby daingean » Tue Mar 27, 2012 8:06 am

Tribe looking at Vlad Guerrero

http://www.cleveland.com/tribe/index.ssf/2012/03/tribe_bats_have_been_silent_th.html

Can he still play in the OF? Can he still hit HRs? This is probably a reach to believe he can be an everyday OF at this point in his career. I'm not as concerned about the K's if he can be anywhere near his career .379 OBP but not at the .317 OBP he accumulated last year but only if he can play 130 games in LF (or about 80% of the games until Grady returns - if he returns). But in reality this is the kind of player that is available at this point or at least until June.

I agree with the frustration many have about not getting the hitter for LF this past offseason but one has to remember the financial situation this team is under. I know it is not easy on our eyes to see a team that could compete not get that extra piece that can put us over the hump.
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Re: 2012 Spring Training Comments and Conversation

Postby Prosecutor » Tue Mar 27, 2012 9:00 am

Vlad hit better against right-handed pitching than left last year (OPS of .743 versus .709). He also hit only .695 OPS on the road with a pathetic .386 slugging percentage. Away from Camden Yards he was a crappy hitter, especially for a DH. It looks like his power is pretty much gone, with only 13 HR in nearly 600 at-bats.

Unless he was playing with some undivulged injury last year that has since healed, I don't see how he's an improvement over the cast of thousands we have out there now. His horrible OBP combined with minimal power, no speed on the bases, and no abilty to play in the field makes him unworthy of a big league job. We'd really be in a jam in interleague play with two players who can't play in the field. The Indians must be really desparate. There's a reason he's not in a major league camp right now.

This is going to be like last year when we started out with Austin Kearns in left and he hit about .150 before he was released. We're going from Jason Michaels and David Dellucci to Austin Kearns to somebody like Spilborghs or Cunningham or Duncan. The names change but the talent level is the same. They really need to put together a package for a legitimate left fielder. But for now I think they're going to try and get by with Duncan for 2-3 months until they find out if Grady can play. If he can, Brantley or Grady will play left. If he can't, they'll have to make a major trade like the Ubaldo deal if they're still in contention.

The failure of either LaPorta or Weglarz to develop into a legitimate major league left fielder is killing us right now. Along with the Sizemore injury.
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Re: 2012 Spring Training Comments and Conversation

Postby GhostofTedCox » Tue Mar 27, 2012 10:26 am

Checking out Vlad Guerrero is curious to say the least.

I don't see Vlad and Hafner coexisting on the same team. I know Vlad is RH, but he can only play the OF in case of emergency. You can't have 2 DH only people on a 25 man roster.

Could the trade winds be blowing? Supposedly Hafner's swing looks pretty good this spring. Might he be attractive to a contender? How about to Texas for Michael Young as the bones of a deal. Young at 3B and Vlad at DH would give us a totally different look. You also could live with an under-preforming LF then.
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Re: 2012 Spring Training Comments and Conversation

Postby A.Zajac » Tue Mar 27, 2012 11:44 am

Chisenhall and LaPorta have been optioned to C-Bus... Well, there ya go, folks!
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Re: 2012 Spring Training Comments and Conversation

Postby daingean » Tue Mar 27, 2012 12:01 pm

GhostofTedCox wrote:Checking out Vlad Guerrero is curious to say the least.

I don't see Vlad and Hafner coexisting on the same team. I know Vlad is RH, but he can only play the OF in case of emergency. You can't have 2 DH only people on a 25 man roster.

Could the trade winds be blowing? Supposedly Hafner's swing looks pretty good this spring. Might he be attractive to a contender? How about to Texas for Michael Young as the bones of a deal. Young at 3B and Vlad at DH would give us a totally different look. You also could live with an under-preforming LF then.
Don't ask me about the money to pay them.


I highly doubt the Indians would bring in Guerrero to replace Hafner. My guess is they are looking to see if he can still play OF. As for that possibility, I'd put it as doubtful but maybe he rehabbed his knees this off season because he wasn't pleased with his 2011 season. If that is the case, maybe he rebounds but I'm not holding my breath on that one. :redface
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Re: 2012 Spring Training Comments and Conversation

Postby Hermie13 » Tue Mar 27, 2012 12:18 pm

A.Zajac wrote:Chisenhall and LaPorta have been optioned to C-Bus... Well, there ya go, folks!


Not surprised at all on Chiz and good for the Tribe for realizing they rushed the kid and he needs more time at AAA. Lots of talk was on his defense, but more worried about that plate discipline. Hopefully 2-3 months at AAA can help help.
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Re: 2012 Spring Training Comments and Conversation

Postby Hermie13 » Tue Mar 27, 2012 12:22 pm

Yeah I'd rather bring in a guy like Johnny Damon than Guerrero. Damon is more a DH now than an OFer obviously as well, but he at least didn't flat out embarass himself out there last few times out (anyone remember the 2010 WS with Gurerrero?). Damon is a lefty but doesn't have bad splits, plus can provide as much power.

Not saying the Tribe should sign either guy, but Damon makes more sense to me despite being a lefty.
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Re: 2012 Spring Training Comments and Conversation

Postby OhioBaseball » Tue Mar 27, 2012 1:44 pm

I'm scared to death that Drew Pomeranz is going to out-pitch Ubaldo Jimenez this year. Reading about Jimenez' 90-91 mph velocities is scary, b/c he AVERAGED 96 mph in 2009 and 2010. I know it's March and guys can bump up the velo through time, but I'm concerned. A 10BB/10K ratio for Jimenez is no bueno (once again, it's just March and only spring training, but I'd far prefer to see him throwing hard and more effective this spring).
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Re: 2012 Spring Training Comments and Conversation

Postby daingean » Tue Mar 27, 2012 2:01 pm

OhioBaseball wrote:I'm scared to death that Drew Pomeranz is going to out-pitch Ubaldo Jimenez this year. Reading about Jimenez' 90-91 mph velocities is scary, b/c he AVERAGED 96 mph in 2009 and 2010. I know it's March and guys can bump up the velo through time, but I'm concerned. A 10BB/10K ratio for Jimenez is no bueno (once again, it's just March and only spring training, but I'd far prefer to see him throwing hard and more effective this spring).


I'm concerned too but not panicy yet. Often times, guys in ST are working on certain things and thus throwing differently than when games count. Now with just a few weeks left in camp, we will see what his performance is from here on out (with 1 or 2 starts left for him). ST numbers are really practice numbers and vets like Ubaldo know they are not competing for spots so they are using ST to work on specifics.

Now offensively, I'm worried about this team.
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Re: 2012 Spring Training Comments and Conversation

Postby criznit2009 » Tue Mar 27, 2012 2:56 pm

It will be interesting to watch the seasons of Pomeranz, White and even Gardner. In Gardners case I don't believe he has fallen to "bullpen depth" like some have. He did have a fairly nice run once in Colorado's system and could very easily re-establish himself as a MOR/BOR guy this season.

Its look likes Colorado is in much better shape after the trade then the tribe, but we will see. Wouldn't surprise me to see Pom as a legit choice for ROY in 12.

Ubaldo needs to have a hell of a season this year, and at this point it's not looking so good. Guess we will see when the games actually count.
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Re: 2012 Spring Training Comments and Conversation

Postby GeronimoSon » Tue Mar 27, 2012 5:27 pm

Through Four Innings pitched by Ubaldo.. 24 pitches, total.. 23 strikes.. how can you do that?...
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Re: 2012 Spring Training Comments and Conversation

Postby Prosecutor » Wed Mar 28, 2012 8:22 am

Pomeranz has allowed one run in 11 innnings and has nailed down a starting job. White is still inconsistent but has been permanently moved to the bullpen and is hitting 97 mph. At this point I'm really wondering whether the Indians can salvage this deal.
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Re: 2012 Spring Training Comments and Conversation

Postby A.Zajac » Wed Mar 28, 2012 8:43 am

Prosecutor wrote:Pomeranz has allowed one run in 11 innnings and has nailed down a starting job. White is still inconsistent but has been permanently moved to the bullpen and is hitting 97 mph. At this point I'm really wondering whether the Indians can salvage this deal.


I'm not losing sleep over White. More of my attention is on Pomeranz at this point. I'm still not ready to hit the panic button like most people are.
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Re: 2012 Spring Training Comments and Conversation

Postby ClevelandBlues » Wed Mar 28, 2012 9:44 am

Pomeranz has looked pretty good, but Coors Field isn't exactly known for being kind to young pitchers, or veteran pitchers for that matter. It should be interesting to see how he handles it. I am not sure Damon or Guerrero would be an upgrade over Duncan. They both are designated hitters at this point. The fourth outfield spot is still a bit of a mystery. No one is really standing out. Lou Marson is having a nice spring. He is hitting for average and drawing a lot of walks. I hope he can continue it into the season.
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Re: 2012 Spring Training Comments and Conversation

Postby daingean » Wed Mar 28, 2012 11:57 am

Casey Blake was released by the Rockies....not that I think he's really an option for LF (4 games in the last 3 years)...

http://www.cleveland.com/tribe/index.ssf/2012/03/casey_blake_released_by_colora.html
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Re: 2012 Spring Training Comments and Conversation

Postby Hermie13 » Wed Mar 28, 2012 12:32 pm

A.Zajac wrote:
Prosecutor wrote:Pomeranz has allowed one run in 11 innnings and has nailed down a starting job. White is still inconsistent but has been permanently moved to the bullpen and is hitting 97 mph. At this point I'm really wondering whether the Indians can salvage this deal.


I'm not losing sleep over White. More of my attention is on Pomeranz at this point. I'm still not ready to hit the panic button like most people are.


Yeah I'm with zajac here. Pom has had a good spring...Chisenhall had a great spring last year too. I wouldn't look too much into it. I'm reaching a bit, but Cliff Lee's 2008 spring training numbers were uglier than Ubaldo's this year: 8.31 ERA, 5K/4BB. Bad spring after a bad year doesn't mean the end of the world, especially when Ubaldo isn't know for great springs.

The time to panic on the Ubaldo deal will be if Pomeranz becomes an Ace this year and Ubaldo struggles again. So far though we've traded a bullpen guy (White), fringe starting prsopect, minor league filler, and a potential front line pitcher (Pomeranz). I actually think this trade looks better for Cleveland now than it did this summer.
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Re: 2012 Spring Training Comments and Conversation

Postby OhioBaseball » Wed Mar 28, 2012 1:51 pm

Pomeranz has had a good spring, but he's also a good pitcher. I followed him in college and have always loved him. Like Andrew, I'm not losing sleep over Alex White, so I'm not even considering him in this analysis;

The whole thing about the Jimenez trade, as to how I read it, is that the Indians window of greatest opportunity to compete is 2012 to 2013 (maybe 2014, too). At the time of the trade, Pomeranz had a couple starts at Double-A, so expecting him to contribute to the Indians staff in 2012 was a stretch. Even for 2013, you don't know if he'd be any good in the majors even by then as a 24 year old. I've considered myself bullish on Pomeranz for years (I love his arm action and slot), but even I thought him contributing value to a major league team in a starting rotation was a stretch.

The Rockies brought him up to the majors at the end of last year and he pitched OK. Now, it's only spring training, but he's been very good and its looking *possible* that this guy throws 180 innings in the majors this year and has a 4.10 ERA and 1.28 WHIP (or something close to it). He's developing faster than anticipated. The thing that ALWAYS struck me about Pomeranz was his ability to throw 90-91 MPH fastballs consistently past GOOD hitters in the SEC. His fastball comes in on such a good, leveraged plane that it's tough to hit, and add in his good curveball and nice deception and you've got a good pitcher.

The Jimenez trade was pulling future Pomeranz-related 2014 and 2015 production FORWARD to 2011 through 2013 (maybe 2014), years where the Indians were supposed to be competing for the AL Central title. If Pomeranz is already outperforming Jimenez in 2012, you've got to regret doing this trade.

I still like the Indians' young team and think they can win division (I actually just put $20 on them at +1000 pricing -- or 10/1 odds to win the AL Central), but Jimenez worries me. His arm action is so terrible; its very choppy, abrupt and noone in their right mind would teach a pitcher to throw the same way Jimenez does, so the velo drop concerns me. It's possible Jimenez is holding back b/c its just spring training (that might actually be a smart thing to do, preserving arm strength), but I'm more concerned about Pomeranz/Jimenez now than I thought I would be when this trade was first made.
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Re: 2012 Spring Training Comments and Conversation

Postby Rocky55 » Wed Mar 28, 2012 2:32 pm

Heck, with Ubaldo having a pretty crappy year last year, if I was in the FO & he looked to be rebounding, I'd see if he'd like to sign an extension. I see the Fausto comparisons but that doesn't mean Ubaldo will never get straightened out. If we could extend cheaply it might be a smart move.
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Re: 2012 Spring Training Comments and Conversation

Postby GeronimoSon » Wed Mar 28, 2012 4:54 pm

regarding..today's spring training game with the Cubs...

Manny appears to be using Jason Kipnis as the lead off hitter.. more and more.. could be a trend.. could be a stop gap until Michael Brantley, the third or fourth best lead off hitter is back in the lineup: Donald, Kipnis & Choo and perhaps Droobs ahead of Michael Brantley in the lead off spot:

Regular Lineup:
Shin-soo Choo LH RF
Jason Kipnis LH 2B
Asdrubal Cabrera S SS
Carlos Santana S C
Travis Hafner LH DH
Shelly Duncan RH LF
Casey Kotchman LH 1B
Jack Hannahan LH 3B
Michael Brantley LH CF

Five Lefties in a row doesn't look too promising if a pitching change is made. but with a bench that has four right handers Canzler/Cunningham, Donald, Marson and Jose Lopez.. Manny will be able to make a move to get a RH batter into the game..
Last edited by GeronimoSon on Thu Mar 29, 2012 4:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: 2012 Spring Training Comments and Conversation

Postby Prosecutor » Thu Mar 29, 2012 8:45 am

GeronimoSon wrote:regarding..today's spring training game with the Cubs...

Manny appears to be using Jason Kipnis as the lead off hitter.. more and more.. could be a trend.. could be a stop gap until Michael Brantley, the third or fourth best lead off hitter is back in the lineup: Donald, Kipnis & Choo and perhaps Droobs ahead of Michael Brantley in the lead off spot:

Regular Lineup:
Shin-soo Choo LH RF
Jason Kipnis LH 2B
Asdrubal Cabrera S SS
Travis Hafner LH DH
Carlos Santana S C
Shelly Duncan RH LF
Casey Kotchman LH 1B
Jack Hannahan LH 3B
Michael Brantley LH CF

Five Lefties in a row doesn't look too promising if a pitching change is made. but with a bench that has four right handers Canzler/Cunningham, Donald, Marson and Jose Lopez.. Manny will be able to make a move to get a RH batter into the game..


I like moving Choo to leadoff as it maximizes his plate appearances over the course of the season. Basically everybody in the lineup will get more PA's and Brantley will get fewer.

Why is Pronk 4th and Santana 5th instead of vice versa?
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Re: 2012 Spring Training Comments and Conversation

Postby daingean » Thu Mar 29, 2012 11:20 am

Jairo Ascencio (relief pitcher) acquired from Braves. Cash transaction.

http://www.cleveland.com/tribe/index.ssf/2012/03/cleveland_indians_trade_for_at.html

Edit: Missed all of 2010 because of Visa issues after using a false name (Luis Valdez)....didn't pitch much at the ML level (made debut last April)...
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Re: 2012 Spring Training Comments and Conversation

Postby Hermie13 » Thu Mar 29, 2012 12:20 pm

I don't agree with it but barring injuries I'm guessing the lineup is gonna look more like this:

1. Brantley - CF
2. Cabrera - SS
3. Choo - RF
4. Santana - C
5. Hafner - DH
6. Kotchman - 1B
7. Duncan - LF
8. Kipnis - 2B
9. Hannahan - 3B


6-8 could rotate a bit i think, but Acta has said Brantley is the leadoff guy if healthy.

Personally think it's ridiculous to put a guy like Kotchman who is a high OBP, non-run producer, who grounds into a ton of double plays in the 6 or 7 hole but that's where Acta has said he envisions him. Still say he should be hitting first or second, even 5th makes more sense...but o well I guess.
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Re: 2012 Spring Training Comments and Conversation

Postby Hermie13 » Thu Mar 29, 2012 12:47 pm

Rocky55 wrote:Heck, with Ubaldo having a pretty crappy year last year, if I was in the FO & he looked to be rebounding, I'd see if he'd like to sign an extension. I see the Fausto comparisons but that doesn't mean Ubaldo will never get straightened out. If we could extend cheaply it might be a smart move.


If the Indians were darn near certain that there were no Indians concerns at this time with Ubaldo I think this could be a decent idea, but even the optimistic has to be a bit worried with the drop in velocity over the last year. Tribe could be hurting if give too much to Ubaldo and he goes down.

Woudln't hate adding some money to his existing deal to get him locked in for 2014 (instead of a player option that he currently has). Wouldn't be a huge gamble with only an extra year.
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Re: 2012 Spring Training Comments and Conversation

Postby Hermie13 » Thu Mar 29, 2012 12:54 pm

Can't remember exactly who wrote it (think it was one of the Cleveland sports writers), but they made mention that Ubaldo threw a higher percentage of sinkers in both 2009 and early 2010 than he has the last year and a half. His groundball rate has gone down and his HR/FB rate really spiked last year....

Not sure the reason in the change or how great of a difference it actually was, but could be something interesting to watch from Ubaldo early in the year. His FIP/xFIP numbers weren't that bad....if he can keep the ball in the park and get his LOB% back up to where it was, he could at least get back to 2009 levels IMO. Personally would take that from our #2.
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Re: 2012 Spring Training Comments and Conversation

Postby GeronimoSon » Thu Mar 29, 2012 4:15 pm

Prosecutor wrote:
GeronimoSon wrote:regarding..today's spring training game with the Cubs...

Manny appears to be using Jason Kipnis as the lead off hitter.. more and more.. could be a trend.. could be a stop gap until Michael Brantley, the third or fourth best lead off hitter is back in the lineup: Donald, Kipnis & Choo and perhaps Droobs ahead of Michael Brantley in the lead off spot:

Regular Lineup:
Shin-soo Choo LH RF
Jason Kipnis LH 2B
Asdrubal Cabrera S SS
Travis Hafner LH DH
Carlos Santana S C
Shelly Duncan RH LF
Casey Kotchman LH 1B
Jack Hannahan LH 3B
Michael Brantley LH CF

Five Lefties in a row doesn't look too promising if a pitching change is made. but with a bench that has four right handers Canzler/Cunningham, Donald, Marson and Jose Lopez.. Manny will be able to make a move to get a RH batter into the game..


I like moving Choo to leadoff as it maximizes his plate appearances over the course of the season. Basically everybody in the lineup will get more PA's and Brantley will get fewer.

Why is Pronk 4th and Santana 5th instead of vice versa?


No particular reason.. in fact, the way you stated it probably makes more sense.. ty..
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Re: 2012 Spring Training Comments and Conversation

Postby GeronimoSon » Thu Mar 29, 2012 5:50 pm

It looks like David Huff suffered some kind of injury in today's Spring Training game.. the Game was delayed for a while to attend to him.. and he was removed from the game.. IDK what the circumstances are on the injury yet...
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Re: 2012 Spring Training Comments and Conversation

Postby Chiefroy » Thu Mar 29, 2012 6:05 pm

Hermie13 wrote:Personally think it's ridiculous to put a guy like Kotchman who is a high OBP, non-run producer, who grounds into a ton of double plays in the 6 or 7 hole but that's where Acta has said he envisions him. Still say he should be hitting first or second, even 5th makes more sense...but o well I guess.


There's not a lot of speed on this team, but what we do have should be grouped and maximized, not hindered by leading off with Kotchman. Brantley has a much better chance of going 1st to 3rd on a single, scoring from 1st on a double, scoring from second on a single, advancing on a passed ball or wild pitch, stealing a base, being the front-end of a double steal, breaking up double-plays, etc. Getting on base is only 1 step; scoring is the goal.

And if Kotchman "grounds into a ton a double plays", and is a "non-run producer", batting him 2nd ain't such a great idea either.
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Re: 2012 Spring Training Comments and Conversation

Postby daingean » Thu Mar 29, 2012 6:19 pm

Chiefroy wrote:
Hermie13 wrote:Personally think it's ridiculous to put a guy like Kotchman who is a high OBP, non-run producer, who grounds into a ton of double plays in the 6 or 7 hole but that's where Acta has said he envisions him. Still say he should be hitting first or second, even 5th makes more sense...but o well I guess.


There's not a lot of speed on this team, but what we do have should be grouped and maximized, not hindered by leading off with Kotchman. Brantley has a much better chance of going 1st to 3rd on a single, scoring from 1st on a double, scoring from second on a single, advancing on a passed ball or wild pitch, stealing a base, being the front-end of a double steal, breaking up double-plays, etc. Getting on base is only 1 step; scoring is the goal.

And if Kotchman "grounds into a ton a double plays", and is a "non-run producer", batting him 2nd ain't such a great idea either.


+1 Kotchman is neither a run scorer nor a run producer - his OBP is deceiving. You don't want a guy at the top of the order that is a poor base runner. Guys feed off of each other both positively and negatively. Not advocating Brantley at lead-off but I will say the team will score more runs with him at the top than Kotchman simply because I don't think Kotchman will score more than 60 runs hitting lead-off or #2.
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Re: 2012 Spring Training Comments and Conversation

Postby Hermie13 » Thu Mar 29, 2012 10:05 pm

Chiefroy wrote:
Hermie13 wrote:Personally think it's ridiculous to put a guy like Kotchman who is a high OBP, non-run producer, who grounds into a ton of double plays in the 6 or 7 hole but that's where Acta has said he envisions him. Still say he should be hitting first or second, even 5th makes more sense...but o well I guess.


There's not a lot of speed on this team, but what we do have should be grouped and maximized, not hindered by leading off with Kotchman. Brantley has a much better chance of going 1st to 3rd on a single, scoring from 1st on a double, scoring from second on a single, advancing on a passed ball or wild pitch, stealing a base, being the front-end of a double steal, breaking up double-plays, etc. Getting on base is only 1 step; scoring is the goal.

And if Kotchman "grounds into a ton a double plays", and is a "non-run producer", batting him 2nd ain't such a great idea either.


While Brantley would have a better chance of going from 1st to 3rd....Kotchman has a better chance of getting to 1st base. Leadoff spot is about one thing and one thing ONLY: OBP. Speed has nothing to do with the leadoff spot. It's nice, but it's not a need at all. In fact, steals are almost wasted in leadoff spot. Why risk being thrown out when your best hitters are coming up behind him?

Batting Kotchman in the 2-hole means more often than not he'll be up with no one on base, especially if Brantley is leading off. Plus, Kotchman makes for a great hit-n-run guy. Doesn't strike out much so can start Brantley even though he's a bad basestealer.
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Re: 2012 Spring Training Comments and Conversation

Postby Hermie13 » Thu Mar 29, 2012 10:20 pm

daingean wrote:+1 Kotchman is neither a run scorer nor a run producer - his OBP is deceiving. You don't want a guy at the top of the order that is a poor base runner. Guys feed off of each other both positively and negatively. Not advocating Brantley at lead-off but I will say the team will score more runs with him at the top than Kotchman simply because I don't think Kotchman will score more than 60 runs hitting lead-off or #2.


No, what you don't want are guys at the top of the lineup with poor OBP skills. I get most people on here are stuck in the old way of thinking about baseball and how to make a lineup card...but thru decades of research there are better ways. based off Kotchaman's OBP, wOBA, and SLG (or lack of) from last year, the best spot for him is actually leadoff. Tribe's lineup would score the most runs (in theory). Obviously if you think that Kotchman will fall flat this year or a guy like Brantley will finally get an OBP over .310 or so then guess you can argue for someone like him there. But using speed/base running as a means to decide who should hit leadoff? hmm, not sure about that one...

Can see why some still cling to the old way of thinking you need speed at the top of the lineup though. Acta obviously agrees with you too.
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Re: 2012 Spring Training Comments and Conversation

Postby Edible14 » Thu Mar 29, 2012 10:58 pm

Hermie13 wrote:While Brantley would have a better chance of going from 1st to 3rd....Kotchman has a better chance of getting to 1st base. Leadoff spot is about one thing and one thing ONLY: OBP. Speed has nothing to do with the leadoff spot. It's nice, but it's not a need at all. In fact, steals are almost wasted in leadoff spot. Why risk being thrown out when your best hitters are coming up behind him?

Batting Kotchman in the 2-hole means more often than not he'll be up with no one on base, especially if Brantley is leading off. Plus, Kotchman makes for a great hit-n-run guy. Doesn't strike out much so can start Brantley even though he's a bad basestealer.


I agree. See, I can see the basestealer argument for a guy like Kenny Lofton back in his day. But Brantley only had 13 steals last year on 18 attempts. That's not very good, and it suggests that he doesn't have that great of baserunning instincts. He might put that together at some point, just as he might increase his OBP above .318, but I think it's kind-of silly to automatically give him the leadoff spot. Kotchman wouldn't be an ideal option as leadoff hitter, but there really are few "ideal" leadoff hitters these days.

In the end, though, it doesn't matter a whole lot. Lineup variations don't make that much a difference, and are probably the most overanalyzed thing in baseball. By some sabermetric accounts, the worst lineup possible (which would include silly things like hitting Lou Marson cleanup and Carlos Santana 9th), would only cost 4 wins (or fewer) versus the "ideal" lineup. As long as your lineup isn't completely nonsensical, it's unlikely to make a huge difference.
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Re: 2012 Spring Training Comments and Conversation

Postby Hermie13 » Thu Mar 29, 2012 11:28 pm

Edible14 wrote:
Hermie13 wrote:While Brantley would have a better chance of going from 1st to 3rd....Kotchman has a better chance of getting to 1st base. Leadoff spot is about one thing and one thing ONLY: OBP. Speed has nothing to do with the leadoff spot. It's nice, but it's not a need at all. In fact, steals are almost wasted in leadoff spot. Why risk being thrown out when your best hitters are coming up behind him?

Batting Kotchman in the 2-hole means more often than not he'll be up with no one on base, especially if Brantley is leading off. Plus, Kotchman makes for a great hit-n-run guy. Doesn't strike out much so can start Brantley even though he's a bad basestealer.


I agree. See, I can see the basestealer argument for a guy like Kenny Lofton back in his day. But Brantley only had 13 steals last year on 18 attempts. That's not very good, and it suggests that he doesn't have that great of baserunning instincts. He might put that together at some point, just as he might increase his OBP above .318, but I think it's kind-of silly to automatically give him the leadoff spot. Kotchman wouldn't be an ideal option as leadoff hitter, but there really are few "ideal" leadoff hitters these days.

In the end, though, it doesn't matter a whole lot. Lineup variations don't make that much a difference, and are probably the most overanalyzed thing in baseball. By some sabermetric accounts, the worst lineup possible (which would include silly things like hitting Lou Marson cleanup and Carlos Santana 9th), would only cost 4 wins (or fewer) versus the "ideal" lineup. As long as your lineup isn't completely nonsensical, it's unlikely to make a huge difference.


Agree with the part that it may not make a huge difference. Optimizing a lineup vs just throwing a fast guy at the top really only will be a difference of a few runs and from what I've seen may be as little as 1 win difference....but we saw last year with a few clubs what 1 win can mean...
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Re: 2012 Spring Training Comments and Conversation

Postby ClevelandBlues » Fri Mar 30, 2012 12:49 am

Choo has a career .384 obp and has been successful in 75% of his steal attempts. He seems like he would be the ideal candidate to bat leadoff. I can understand wanting his bat in the middle of the lineup, but with the emergence of Santana and Kipnis he might provide more value from the leadoff spot.
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Re: 2012 Spring Training Comments and Conversation

Postby daingean » Fri Mar 30, 2012 7:57 am

Hermie13 wrote:
No, what you don't want are guys at the top of the lineup with poor OBP skills. I get most people on here are stuck in the old way of thinking about baseball and how to make a lineup card...but thru decades of research there are better ways. based off Kotchaman's OBP, wOBA, and SLG (or lack of) from last year, the best spot for him is actually leadoff. Tribe's lineup would score the most runs (in theory). Obviously if you think that Kotchman will fall flat this year or a guy like Brantley will finally get an OBP over .310 or so then guess you can argue for someone like him there. But using speed/base running as a means to decide who should hit leadoff? hmm, not sure about that one...

Can see why some still cling to the old way of thinking you need speed at the top of the lineup though. Acta obviously agrees with you too.


I think you are focusing too much on the micro with Kotchman and his on-base percentage and not looking at the macro (fact is he does not score runs). I think you are assuming that just getting on-base will lead to more runs scored but that is not always the case as some guys just don't have the instincts to score (as based on his 8 years of stats). Not being able to score from 1st on a double or 2nd on a single will affect runs scored. Don't take my argument for a basis of Brantley at lead-off but more as a comparison as to the difference in these 2 guys... Brantley scored 63 runs (40.1% of the time he got on base) while Kotchman scored 44 runs (20.6%). So Brantley scored more runs (almost 50% more) while getting on base less times. Why because speed (ability to take the extra base when it's there) and because he provided guys behind him a chance to see more fastballs which Kotchman doesn't. Kotchman doesn't score runs because #1 he's a poor base runner (not just speed but poor instincts on the base paths) and because he doesn't affect the pitcher like even an average major league base runner does so pitchers don't change the way they attack hitters when they are on base.
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Re: 2012 Spring Training Comments and Conversation

Postby Prosecutor » Fri Mar 30, 2012 9:29 am

Brantley hit leadoff last year so he had the Tribe's best run producers coming up when he got on base. Kotchman had the most at-bats in the 7th position, followed closely by 5th and 6th, so he had the bottom of Tampa's lineup coming up when he got on base. That should be factored in to the run scoring percentage.

That being said, Kotchman's career OBP is .336, so if Brantley stays healthy he should match or exceed that.
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