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Fixing the Lineup...

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Fixing the Lineup...

Postby Bearcatbob » Sun May 13, 2012 8:10 am

....will IMO require a trade of left handed value for right handed value. The only candidate I see that is viable in this equation is Choo. It would seem to me that a west coast team with a large Korean population would find him a very valuable commodity. Similarly, New York may also have a large Korean population. Something has to be done to rebalance the lineup. Heck - even when you look at the minors you see lefty hitters. With maybe 15% or less of the population being left handed - how did we ever get into this mess?
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Re: Fixing the Lineup...

Postby ironmike » Sun May 13, 2012 9:04 am

Bearcat Bob, agree, trade a left hand value for a right hand value and add to the pile with prospects. Choo has regressed, nothing special about him, very inconsistent.

To compete with Texas and the other big boy teams, the Indians need an igniter at the top of the line up and a 4-5 tool RH hitting outfielder added to the line up to really be taken serious. Their offense as it stands today is below contending standards, which equates to no playoffs and a sub 500 season.

Have confidence Antonetti will be making moves to rectify soon. We won't be able to get both players, but one would be a good start. Bringing Lopez back was a good move, but he needs regular AB's to contribute and by no means is he the caliber of an All-Star, but he can hit.

Michael Brantley, who I was a big fan of, is not aggressive enough, doesn't run and take the game to the other team. Very disappointing. He should be drag bunting once a game, be stealing bases, creating havoc by getting on base so the hitters behind him get more fastballs to hit. It isn't any revelation of what the Indians lack, just go back to the Indians playoff runs, look at the players, the formula is simple. When Shapiro / Wedge / Dolan took over they were to arrogant to follow the winning formula left to them. We the fans, the Indians most valuable asset suffer.

With out a doubt we need a Kenny Lofton type and Belle / Ramirez or a Robbie Alomar type for this team. Add McCutcheon and Swisher types to this 2012 team and it would be genuine. Right now it is a incomplete product. Fix the offense and watch how the pitching staff gets dramatically better. 12-14 game winners, become 16-18 game winners. We saw that with the likes of Nagy and Burba.

We were the worst franchise in baseball in the late 80's and good baseball people turned it around. It all starts at the top.

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Re: Fixing the Lineup...

Postby Bearcatbob » Sun May 13, 2012 1:40 pm

While we area talking about fixing the lineup - how long do we keep Damon in the lead off spot? He needed to spend time in Columbus - plain and simple.
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Re: Fixing the Lineup...

Postby Bearcatbob » Sun May 13, 2012 8:10 pm

If a trip to Minnesota does revive this team look for more changes. IMO - the JD experiment may be ending soon. Any bets on who takes Wheeler's place on the roster?
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Re: Fixing the Lineup...

Postby timdav » Sun May 13, 2012 10:28 pm

What do they need? More than just one more great piece, unfortunately. I'd love to be wrong.
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Re: Fixing the Lineup...

Postby daingean » Mon May 14, 2012 7:49 am

ironmike wrote:
We were the worst franchise in baseball in the late 80's and good baseball people turned it around. It all starts at the top.



The foundation of the '90's team was set by trading an impact bat (Joe Carter) for 2 key pieces, great drafts (Belle, Thome, Ramirez, Nagy...) and a Rule V guy that was traded for Lofton (Eddie Taubensee) most of which happened prior to John Hart taking over as GM. In recent years the drafting has been better but the trade-able pieces in the minors (Pom and White) were sent for an underachieving piece and the other 2 big trades (Sabathia and Lee) haven't brought in the haul that the Carter & Taubensee trades have. I'd like specific trades that could bring in a "Swisher and McCutcheon" types because we just don't have the ammo right now (Lindor and Howard right now cannot be traded by MLB Rule). Nobody is disputing that we really could use guys like those but nobody has presented a way to get them which does not gut the team to the point that we become the Seattle Mariners (with King Felix, Ichiro and nobody else).
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Re: Fixing the Lineup...

Postby TonyIBI » Tue May 15, 2012 1:48 am

Bobcat, I agree completely. Trading Choo is a talking point I have noted for discussing more thoroughly in an upcoming Sunday notebook. I think it is important to balance this lineup a little more, and Choo may be the only "expendable" asset so long as we get a ML RHed hitting outfielder in return that can play. We'd obviously have to add more to a deal than just Choo, but I think there is potential there. Plus, I think it is just best to cut their losses with him and not have to deal with the contract negotiation BS which is going to become more front and center in the next 12 months. On top of that Choo is not a very smart ballplayer....need more baseball intelligence on this team.
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Re: Fixing the Lineup...

Postby GeronimoSon » Tue May 15, 2012 11:05 am

"Fixing the lineup..." is one of those ubiquitous kind of titles that can mean just about anything to anyone else.. The heavy left handedness of the Indians outfield has been hashed and rehashed, ad nauseum, since the completion of the 2011 season. The issue that remains isn't that a better balance is needed (to quote Frank Jackson, Mayor of Cleveland: "..we know what the problem is. We've known it for years.. We know what the solutions are. We've known those for years, when describing the Cleveland School System funding problems..).. What isn't being said.. inferred, implied, or identified in any meaningful way, is who on what team makes the solution a reality.. In short, the Rusty Mike argument about getting an impact RH bat from some team sometime soon doesn't do anything but repeat the same mantra for the umpteenth time...

In this posting, the trade commodity is Shin-soo Choo and his left handed bat, strong throwing arm, some recent injury history and a team controlled contract for the remainder of this season and next..

The acquisition target is a current ML OF'er that hits from the right side. In a more perfect world, Shin-soo Choo would be desired by a west coast team where a larger percentage of the population is of Korean descent.. Nice enough supposition, but not necessary.. For the sake of argument, let's go with this approach.. The criteria for a trading partner will be AL & NL West teams that have a current ML OF'er, preferably a RF'er, with a relatively short contract that hits RH'd & are looking to balance their 'handedness' with the acquisition of a LH'ed OF'er.

So how do the following names and situations sound:

Chris Young, Az D-Bax: two years (7.5 MM 2012, 8.5 MM 2013, plus an 11 MM club option for 2014). Is currently on the DL with a shoulder contusion. The D-Bax are off to a pretty poor start based on their results from 2011. The Dbax have already brought AJ Pollock up to fill in during Chris Young's DL stint. He was really the only OF prospect the DBax had in their minor league system that was ML ready. A straight Young for Choo trade seems reasonable from both teams perspectives. If the "choo isn't worth young" opinion is proferred, then it wouldn't be out of the question to see the Indians add a more ML ready piece like David Huff, Ezequiel Carrera, or Frank Herrmann, but only if the DBax also add a piece such as Tyler Skaggs or Ryan Wheeler.

Melky Cabrera: While it would be an over pay in a one to one trade, the "Melk-man" seems to have figured it out. He may be not be available as the SF Giants are right in the thick of the NL West as we approach the first quarter pole. Solid OF'er with above average arm. The Giants would have a struggle giving up their best hitter at this point..

Carlos Quentin/Reymond Fuentes: The second name is added as CQ is currently on the DL as he recovers from knee surgery. He's in the last year of his contract, as well. He'd be the proverbial "rent-a-player". Not exactly worth Shin-soo Choo, but not chopped liver, either.. Adding in Reymond Fuentes may sweeten the deal if CQ can prove he's healthy enough to play every day. At least, that would be how Chris Antonetti would most likely play it..

Torii Hunter/Randal Grichuk: Somehow, some way the Indians need to figure out how to stop Torii Hunter from killing us. He hits SOOO well in Progressive Field, it would make sense to get him, if for no other reason than the Indians wouldn't have to face him as an opponent. Torii is in the last year of his contract. Like the CQ/Fuentes suggestion above, Grichuk is a kid that could be something special in the coming year(s)...

So, there are four names.. thoughts?
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Re: Fixing the Lineup...

Postby Hermie13 » Tue May 15, 2012 12:19 pm

TonyIPI wrote:Bobcat, I agree completely. Trading Choo is a talking point I have noted for discussing more thoroughly in an upcoming Sunday notebook. I think it is important to balance this lineup a little more, and Choo may be the only "expendable" asset so long as we get a ML RHed hitting outfielder in return that can play. We'd obviously have to add more to a deal than just Choo, but I think there is potential there. Plus, I think it is just best to cut their losses with him and not have to deal with the contract negotiation BS which is going to become more front and center in the next 12 months. On top of that Choo is not a very smart ballplayer....need more baseball intelligence on this team.


I still think a guy like Brantley could be had by other clubs. Has hit well of late but zero walks in the month of May and still looks shaky in CF. Would need something solid as he's under control a lot longer than Choo though. While Choo may not be "intelligent" he's one of our best baserunners, a guy like Brantley...not so much.

Obviously big issue with both is would have to get someone in the deal to replace them as no one really can play CF other than Brantley (until Grady is back) and no one can play RF (Cunningham is not a starter nor is Duncan) other than Choo.
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Re: Fixing the Lineup...

Postby Hermie13 » Tue May 15, 2012 12:28 pm

GeronimoSon wrote:Chris Young,

Melky Cabrera:

Carlos Quentin

Torii Hunter

So, there are four names.. thoughts?


Only one that I think is really all that likely would be Quentin. Hunter and his no-trade clause, just don't see him accepting a deal here. Sounds like the Giants want to keep Cabrera, though maybe for Choo they'd part, but personally would rather keep Choo. Chris Young would be pretty amazing....but with the D-backs looking to win, don't see that as a option (would love it though). Don't think they'd move him for Choo as they are paying Kubel and Upton in CF (while possible) just doesn't sound likely. Now...maybe a guy like Brantley would work as he can play CF (though a bit like Parra) and since he's got more controllability they 'may' listen (though again doubtful at this juncture).

I'd throw Jason Bay out there as well as far as RH OFers. Hurt and still struggling, but the Tribe liked him a ton when he was in Pittsburgh. Clearly not the same guy, but if the Mets ate a ton of salary and took virtuatlly nothing back, maybe he's an option. Change of scenery from NY could help, though bat speed is a concern.

If you expand the list to include 1B's I'd add a guy like Kevin Youkilis. He's hurt, aging, and pricey....but he could be falling out of favor in Boston with Middlebrooks raking. Youk really shouldn't be playing 3B anymore either and move back to 1B to help with the injuries. Not the ideal guy based off how he's hit of late and the injuries....but he's a guy that will take a walk and typically puts up high OBPs (something the Tribe LOVES)...


We may have seen a trade target go deep on us last night too. Ryan Doumit is only on a 1 year deal and if the Twins are in the cellar like they are come July, could be a guy they move. With the new CBA I believe they'd have to offer him around $12M in arby if they want a draft pick for him, so no way they do that. Can catch, play some 1B and the OF. Would be a nice bench bat/spot starter and a guy many wanted the Tribe to look at this winter.
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Re: Fixing the Lineup...

Postby Bearcatbob » Tue May 15, 2012 5:18 pm

Well gentlemen, putting Choo in the lead off spot seems to have fixed a lot - at least against Minnesota. IMO it will not be long before the Johnny Damon departure watch starts. If he signed a contract that forced him to Cleveland by May 1 IMO he screwed himself. He sure looks like he could have used a couple of weeks in Columbus.

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Re: Fixing the Lineup...

Postby indians1 » Tue May 15, 2012 9:49 pm

we don't need to trade lindor or howard in august. We should not trade our elite prospects( who knows if they are elite) but they are the only assets we have (pathetic).

We should learn from the ubaldo trade, that you don't trade your top 2 prospects unless you know you are getting an elite player. There were plenty of questions in what we were getting with ubaldo. There were questions about his control and his mindset. Those have been proven to be accurate concerns.

Unless you have a guy in a hunter pence category, you don't make the deal. or you offer what you think is right and don't overpay like you did for ubaldo.

I just question if we have the right guys running this organization. In 12 years of shapiro running the FO and now antonetti, we really have only one position player that has come up from our drafts that is making any impact and that is early (kipnis). Our pitching prospects (white and pomeranz) have potential to be good for the rockies but we don't know yet.

For all the players that we paid overslot for in the draft, the indians-- while they deserve credit for being aggressive also deserve blame for being wrong on those selections. trey haley, tj house, tim fedroff, bryce stowell, alex lavisky, lavon washington, tony wolters, and there are more.

They signed victor and drafted CC in 96. That is about it in terms of their player development. You give them credit on trades for bringing in sizemore, cabrera, choo, hafner,. but that came at a cost of losing games and trading for them when you were out of contention.

I just think after 12 years, you have to wonder if we have the right guys running the ship . Has brad grant's drafts really been that much better? Alex white could be another jeremy sowers except with more power. pomeranz and kipnis in 4 drafts is not good enough.
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Re: Fixing the Lineup...

Postby GeronimoSon » Wed May 16, 2012 7:37 am

...we don't need to trade lindor or howard in august. We should not trade our elite prospects( who knows if they are elite) but they are the only assets we have (pathetic)..... after 12 years, you have to wonder if we have the right guys running the ship . Has brad grant's drafts really been that much better? Alex white could be another jeremy sowers except with more power. pomeranz and kipnis in 4 drafts is not good enough.


-Let's go on the premise that the WRONG GUYS are running the ship..

-Let's go on the premise that BRAD GRANT is unable to see that Tulowitski/Pujols/Kemp are ML players..

-Let's go on the premise that the players signed for mucho dollars were all underpaid and will be indemnified with additional funds from Mr Dolan's personal checking account..

So, exactly how is the line up fixed now that these insights have been offered to this forum?..

OOOPS.. it isn't.. it's whining..
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Re: Fixing the Lineup...

Postby daingean » Wed May 16, 2012 7:59 am

indians1 wrote:
I just think after 12 years, you have to wonder if we have the right guys running the ship . Has brad grant's drafts really been that much better? Alex white could be another jeremy sowers except with more power. pomeranz and kipnis in 4 drafts is not good enough.


Certainly the early parts of that period when Mirabeli was running the drafts were questionable. When guys like Sowers, Huff, and Mills were drafted with the top pick got groans on draft day add injuries to Aubrey, Whitney and Miller and certainly we are left to criticize. Grants drafts of guys like Chiz, Lindor, Pom and White have been much better. I think all of those guys have much higher ceilings than Huff and Sowers.

As for this thread, I do think this team needs a RH (at either 1B or OF) that is a threat. Breaks up the string of lefties in our line-up which makes opposing managers have to make moves. I am just at a loss for who we can trade to get a quality guy. The best scenario may be to see what comes available at the trade deadline.
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Re: Fixing the Lineup...

Postby Pork Chop Pough » Wed May 16, 2012 8:44 am

indians1 wrote:We should learn from the ubaldo trade, that you don't trade your top 2 prospects unless you know you are getting an elite player ... Our pitching prospects (white and pomeranz) have potential to be good for the rockies but we don't know yet ... Alex white could be another jeremy sowers except with more power. pomeranz and kipnis in 4 drafts is not good enough.

Aside from Alex White not being one of their top 2 prospects (consensus had him clearly behind Pomeranz, Kipnis and Chisenhall), your logic can't be proven wrong... if White has a good career, the front office screwed up by trading him. If he has a bad career, they screwed up by drafting him. Brilliant!
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Re: Fixing the Lineup...

Postby Hermie13 » Wed May 16, 2012 12:25 pm

daingean wrote:Certainly the early parts of that period when Mirabeli was running the drafts were questionable. When guys like Sowers, Huff, and Mills were drafted with the top pick got groans on draft day add injuries to Aubrey, Whitney and Miller and certainly we are left to criticize. Grants drafts of guys like Chiz, Lindor, Pom and White have been much better. I think all of those guys have much higher ceilings than Huff and Sowers.

As for this thread, I do think this team needs a RH (at either 1B or OF) that is a threat. Breaks up the string of lefties in our line-up which makes opposing managers have to make moves. I am just at a loss for who we can trade to get a quality guy. The best scenario may be to see what comes available at the trade deadline.


I've never been a big fan of Mirabelli...but in fairness to him, the draft was a bit different back when the Indians took Sowers. I may be wrong, but I don't believe you got a comp pick if you failed to sign a 1st round pick back then. According to many reports the Indians were very interested in both Jered Weaver and Stephen Drew in that draft but were extremely worried that they couldn't sign either player. Tribe went with Sowers who they still had to give one of the largest bonuses in team history too. Tribe did spend on a Boras guy in Guthrie a couple years earlier but Weaver's demands were even higher pre-draft. I really wonder how Mirabelli would have drafted had money not played a big role. Not a Dolan basher at all, but do think the draft was one area he should have let the guys in charge spend more freely on.


As far as the bat...yeah it's going to be interesting what's available at the deadline. One thing to remember is that with the new Wild Card even fewer teams may be selling. Could be hard to swing a big deal and may see only something similar to Fukudome of a year ago.
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Re: Fixing the Lineup...

Postby GeronimoSon » Wed May 16, 2012 12:48 pm

...I may be wrong, but I don't believe you got a comp pick if you failed to sign a 1st round pick back then...


Yes.. you're wrong here.. the Orioles received a compensation pick for not signing first round draft pick Wade Townsend from the 2004 draft. They picked Garret Olson with the compensation pick..

As far as the Indians spending on the draft..they've been pretty liberal for the most part. They just haven't hit the "mother lode" on some of the selections.. The example Jeremy Sowers in 2004 and adding Trevor Crowe in 2005 are pretty good examples of drafting what was the appraised to be the best at the time:

-2004 Jeremy Sowers, # 6 overall: The Indians paid a huge price tag for this soft tossing lefty.. In that same draft, after the Sowers selection, the names Jared Weaver Phil Hughes, & Billy Butler stand out as possibly 'better selections' in the first round.

-2005 Trevor Crowe, # 14 overall: only Jacoby Ellsbury Clay Buchholz, and Matt Garza may be considered "misses" by Mirabelli and Co.

In short.. not many teams were able to get anyone that might be considered "elite level talent" in the first round of the Rule IV draft during those years.. A silk purse out of a sows ear cannot be made...
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Re: Fixing the Lineup...

Postby daingean » Wed May 16, 2012 1:05 pm

Hermie13 wrote: I really wonder how Mirabelli would have drafted had money not played a big role. Not a Dolan basher at all, but do think the draft was one area he should have let the guys in charge spend more freely on.


I personally don't think it was $$$ as much as drafting safely. Guys like Gutherie, Crowe, Sowers, Huff, Aubrey and Mills were all college guys considered close to the majors on draft day. Each also had pretty much hit their ceiling (meaning close to it). I think Mirabelli was more afraid to go the tools route because of the $$$ issue but not necessarily drafting signability. The HS guys drafted (mostly with compensation picks): Whitney, Horne (didn't sign), Martin and Miller all fit into the tools category but unfortunately injuries hurt those guys' careers (most really freak injuries). With Mirabeli (IMHO) it was philosophy. Now Mirabelli is good with scouting the foreign markets because he does recognize tools.
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Re: Fixing the Lineup...

Postby Hermie13 » Wed May 16, 2012 7:09 pm

GeronimoSon wrote:
...I may be wrong, but I don't believe you got a comp pick if you failed to sign a 1st round pick back then...


Yes.. you're wrong here.. the Orioles received a compensation pick for not signing first round draft pick Wade Townsend from the 2004 draft. They picked Garret Olson with the compensation pick..


I was more referring to the compensation they have now of getting the same pick plus one the next year. Definitely didn't make that clear though and you are right, the Orioles did get compensation for failing to sign Townsend who they drafted at 8 (did forget about that rule/compensation). However, they only got the 48th pick in the 2005 draft as compensation...

Believe the rule of the plus one didn't come into play til 2008 or 2009 (though not sure on the exact year).
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Re: Fixing the Lineup...

Postby indians1 » Wed May 16, 2012 9:56 pm

i don't think you can fix this lineup. We are stuck unless we can do what detroit did last year with fistler and get a guy that nobody expects to do well.

My point is that we don't have assets to trade. Small market teams have to be better than the other teams in the league that can go out and spend lots of money on FA/take on salary. If you draft well, you have assets that you can trade and still have depth in your system to have major contributors (like atlanta).

my point about brad grant was that drafts are supposed to where you get your core of talent from. Fixing the lineup through trades is going to be very tough I'll pass on tory hunter or some washed up vet that we have to overpay for.

that being said, i think moving choo to leadoff was a move that may end up working out well. if he can get on base alot, then his lack of power is somewhat offset.

I think the only way the indians can make a dent with the lineup is if grady sizemore can come back and have a good year. That is asking alot but we don't have any players that other teams want. dillon howard hasn't even pitched yet and lindor is doing well. Lindor is the only guy with any value but he isn't going to net us a high impact guy. so keep him.

If grady comes back and hits for power and can hit at least .260, then we have something.
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Re: Fixing the Lineup...

Postby dazindiansfanuk » Wed May 16, 2012 10:49 pm

This comment isn't lineup based, but as the thread keeps bringing up the draft I thought I'd mention it here.

Tonight the Rays started a pitcher they had drafted for the 203rd straight game - that's amazing!
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Re: Fixing the Lineup...

Postby Hermie13 » Thu May 17, 2012 12:09 pm

daingean wrote:
Hermie13 wrote: I really wonder how Mirabelli would have drafted had money not played a big role. Not a Dolan basher at all, but do think the draft was one area he should have let the guys in charge spend more freely on.


I personally don't think it was $$$ as much as drafting safely. Guys like Gutherie, Crowe, Sowers, Huff, Aubrey and Mills were all college guys considered close to the majors on draft day. Each also had pretty much hit their ceiling (meaning close to it). I think Mirabelli was more afraid to go the tools route because of the $$$ issue but not necessarily drafting signability. The HS guys drafted (mostly with compensation picks): Whitney, Horne (didn't sign), Martin and Miller all fit into the tools category but unfortunately injuries hurt those guys' careers (most really freak injuries). With Mirabeli (IMHO) it was philosophy. Now Mirabelli is good with scouting the foreign markets because he does recognize tools.


Agree with what you are saying, but Weaver and Drew were both college players considered very ML ready (especially Weaver). It was money that scared the Tribe off there. Agree in other cases the Tribe was probably afraid of going the toolsy route (2001 draft likely scared them a lot there).
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Re: Fixing the Lineup...

Postby TonyIBI » Fri May 18, 2012 1:05 am

dazindiansfanuk wrote:This comment isn't lineup based, but as the thread keeps bringing up the draft I thought I'd mention it here.

Tonight the Rays started a pitcher they had drafted for the 203rd straight game - that's amazing!


That is incredible. Mostly because of how high level pitching prospects usually don't make it and injuries crop up along the way. The Rays have drafted well, but they have also been VERY fortunate with avoiding injuries to their pitching prospects.
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Re: Fixing the Lineup...

Postby ironmike » Fri May 18, 2012 7:17 am

I'd rather be fortunate than a poor evaluator. All those soft tossing lefties were huge mistakes.
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Re: Fixing the Lineup...

Postby Prosecutor » Fri May 18, 2012 8:34 am

Getting back to fixing the lineup, there is no problem whatsoever with the lineup against right-handed pitchers. I believe the Indians are 18-7 or 18-8 when a right-handed pitcher starts for the opponent. Against lefties they're 4-8 or thereabouts.

Manny has been having Marson catch and Santana play first against lefties, and putting Duncan or Cunningham in left in place of Damon. I would continue doing that and possibly have Lopez DH in place of Hafner, with Pronk pinch hitting when they go to a right-handed reliever.

Manny has already done some nice things to fix the lineup. Moving Brantley down in the order was a great move. Last year Brantley hit .234 with nobody on base and .327 with runners on. Having him hit behind Hafner and Santana, who get on base a lot, makes sense. Just because Brantley plays center field, has some speed, and bats left-handed doesn't mean he's a leadoff hitter. This year his OBP when hitting leadoff is an abysmal .297. Since being moved to the 5-7 spots he's hitting .316 with 8 RBI's in 57 at-bats. Manny was quoted as saying that Brantley has the ability to stay calm and focus with men on base, and the numbers support that.

With Brantley being moved down where he can be more productive, Damon was given the leadoff job and unfortunately is either not ready or just doesn't have the bat speed to hit major league pitching anymore. So now Choo is hitting leadoff because his OBP is .371 and he runs well. He's not a classic leadoff hitter but we don't have one of those onhand, so Choo is the best option. In a small sample size of 19 at-bats he's hitting .368 with an OBP of .429. So far, so good.

However, Choo is hitting .095 against left-handed pitching this year, so once we start seeing some lefty starters I expect his numbers as a leadoff hitter to decline. That being said, Choo has hit lefties in the past so hopefully he'll come around. In 2009 and 2010 he hit .274 and .265 agaisnt lefties, so if he can get back to those numbers we'll be OK.

I can't see trading Choo unless we get an everyday right fielder in return. And who would trade for Choo except a team needing a right fielder? The more logical trade would be Hannahan and a relief pitcher for an everyday right-handed hitting left fielder with a better bat and more defense than Duncan. Hanny would be replaced by Chiz or Lopez, or a Chiz/Lopez platoon. Hannahan is a Gold Glove caliber defender who is hitting close to .300, hits well with runners on, and is very affordable. He's our best trade chip.
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Re: Fixing the Lineup...

Postby GeronimoSon » Fri May 18, 2012 8:58 am

...with fistler and get a guy that nobody expects to do well....
We got that guy and, to the chagrin (not the river) of Braves fans, has 2/3rds of his salary being paid by his former club.. Derek Lowe is having his best season since his days with the Dodgers. BTW, Lowe's time in Boston, while it included a miraculous finish to the 2004 season, weren't all that good...
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Re: Fixing the Lineup...

Postby GeronimoSon » Fri May 18, 2012 9:06 am

...The Rays have drafted well, but they have also been VERY fortunate with avoiding injuries to their pitching prospects....


it's been speculated that the Rays approach to keeping their pitchers healthy is not just good fortune. The Texas Rangers also seem to be in that same situation as far as keeping their pitchers healthy.. While it's speculation, there is no doubt that these two teams are doing "something" to keep the lat strains, shoulder fatigue, biceps tendinitis, etc.. from becoming anything significant for their pitchers future.. What that is?. IDK.. but if you could bottle it, you could sell it for whatever price you wanted...
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Re: Fixing the Lineup...

Postby GeronimoSon » Fri May 18, 2012 9:20 am

Wild hair idea..

While it's been stated by Chris Antonetti that the Indians have no interest, wouldn't it be worth at least a phone call to Billy Beane to inquire about the availability of Manny?. While it seems like a longshot, at best, Manny can't be any worse in the OF than Johnny Damon. It's a given that Manny will always be able to hit.. So, what is it that the A's need to 'improve' their chances in the AL West (besides a miracle)? Hitting.. the A's pitch pretty well in just about every category, but are last or near last in the AL in just about every meaningful offensive statistic, save for stolen bases.. Wouldn't the "break out" season that a guy like, Jared Goedert who can play 3B, OF and 1B interest the A's?.. maybe a little bit?..

".. Hello, Billy?.."
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Re: Fixing the Lineup...

Postby Prosecutor » Fri May 18, 2012 10:28 am

Here's an interview with Acta and the Tribe's assistant GM about their philosophy is setting up the batting order. Very germane to this topic.

http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.ph ... s-offense/
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Re: Fixing the Lineup...

Postby Hermie13 » Fri May 18, 2012 12:23 pm

GeronimoSon wrote:Wild hair idea..

While it's been stated by Chris Antonetti that the Indians have no interest, wouldn't it be worth at least a phone call to Billy Beane to inquire about the availability of Manny?. While it seems like a longshot, at best, Manny can't be any worse in the OF than Johnny Damon. It's a given that Manny will always be able to hit.. So, what is it that the A's need to 'improve' their chances in the AL West (besides a miracle)? Hitting.. the A's pitch pretty well in just about every category, but are last or near last in the AL in just about every meaningful offensive statistic, save for stolen bases.. Wouldn't the "break out" season that a guy like, Jared Goedert who can play 3B, OF and 1B interest the A's?.. maybe a little bit?..

".. Hello, Billy?.."


Probably true, though after a full spring training of watching both the Rays last year decided that they were better off with Damon as their LFer and Ramirez as their DH (til Ramirez got suspended/retired).

Oakland is currently in 2nd in the West and only 1 game out of the wild card. Maybe at the deadline they move Ramirez but they need help offensively as you said and Ramirez gives them the better bat over AA Goedert (really like him, but don't think any teams view him as real help at the moment).
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Re: Fixing the Lineup...

Postby Hermie13 » Fri May 18, 2012 12:26 pm

Prosecutor wrote:Here's an interview with Acta and the Tribe's assistant GM about their philosophy is setting up the batting order. Very germane to this topic.

http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/index.ph ... s-offense/


Good read and really like and agree with most of what Acta says. Not 100% in agreement on the 3-spot. I get the arguement about wanting your best hitter hitting in the 1st inning (instead of batting him 4th and risk him not coming up til the 2nd)...but the 3-hole hitter will bat with 2 outs and no one on more than any spot in the lineup, so sort of wasting your best hitter in a sense there. Do like how the lineup is contructed mostly right now though. Think your best hitter should bat leadoff or 4th though, but Choo, Kip and Cabrera seems to be working so don't mess with it at the moment.
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Re: Fixing the Lineup...

Postby Hermie13 » Fri May 18, 2012 12:45 pm

One name the Tribe could consider though I'm sure most don't want to hear is Mark Reynolds.

Obviously he K's way too much, but does have power, hits right-handed, career OPS against lefties is nearly .900 and can play some 1B (very poorly though). Defense at 3B is terrible, but could play their as well. And most importantly, he seems very much available. Hell, the O's just went out and even got Tejeda on a minor league deal.

I know Reynolds is currently hurt and wasn't hitting for the power he has, he did hit 2 just before going on the DL (was hitting over .300 in May too) and isn't K's anymore than normal, actually walking a bit more. I really wonder if the Indians offered say Hermann if they O's wouldn't jump on it and even pick up most (if not all) of Reynolds 2012 salary to just be rid of him. Guy did post a 3 oWAR last year. Has value in that bat, especially if you can get away with DHing him some (Hafner shouldn't play everyday, especially against lefties) and avoiding 3B with him (no need for him to play their in Cleveland).

Probably would be better off just giving LaPorta one more shot...but at least Reynolds is a guy that is gettable.
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Re: Fixing the Lineup...

Postby Prosecutor » Fri May 18, 2012 1:37 pm

Reynolds is averaging 38 HRs a year over the last three years. He's 28 years old and the O's appear to be contenders this year. Why would they trade him for a minor league pitcher who's not even a prospect and probably couldn't even make their team?
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Re: Fixing the Lineup...

Postby Prosecutor » Fri May 18, 2012 1:55 pm

GeronimoSon wrote:So how do the following names and situations sound:

Chris Young, Az D-Bax: two years (7.5 MM 2012, 8.5 MM 2013, plus an 11 MM club option for 2014). Is currently on the DL with a shoulder contusion. The D-Bax are off to a pretty poor start based on their results from 2011. The Dbax have already brought AJ Pollock up to fill in during Chris Young's DL stint. He was really the only OF prospect the DBax had in their minor league system that was ML ready. A straight Young for Choo trade seems reasonable from both teams perspectives. If the "choo isn't worth young" opinion is proferred, then it wouldn't be out of the question to see the Indians add a more ML ready piece like David Huff, Ezequiel Carrera, or Frank Herrmann, but only if the DBax also add a piece such as Tyler Skaggs or Ryan Wheeler.

Young is a center fielder, age 28, career .242/.765 hitter, will steal about 25 bases per year, has 47 HR's the last two seasons. Yeah, he would fit in Cleveland, giving us a right-handed hitting outfielder with some pop and speed and also allowing Brantley to play left field. Do the D-Backs need a right fielder or a left-handed bat, and how good is this guy Pollock?

I can't see any way they would be interested in Huff, Zeke, or Herrmann. None of these guys are major league caliber players. We might have to throw in a high upside guy who's lower in the system.


Melky Cabrera: While it would be an over pay in a one to one trade, the "Melk-man" seems to have figured it out. He may be not be available as the SF Giants are right in the thick of the NL West as we approach the first quarter pole. Solid OF'er with above average arm. The Giants would have a struggle giving up their best hitter at this point..

Cabrera leads the Giants in BA, hits, OBP, and RBI. No way they trade him.

Carlos Quentin/Reymond Fuentes: The second name is added as CQ is currently on the DL as he recovers from knee surgery. He's in the last year of his contract, as well. He'd be the proverbial "rent-a-player". Not exactly worth Shin-soo Choo, but not chopped liver, either.. Adding in Reymond Fuentes may sweeten the deal if CQ can prove he's healthy enough to play every day. At least, that would be how Chris Antonetti would most likely play it..

Quentin played only 118 games last year and that was the second most of his career. He's hurt an awful lot and this year is not exception. No way the Indians trade Choo for an injured player, especially one who has a lengthy injury history.

Torii Hunter/Randal Grichuk: Somehow, some way the Indians need to figure out how to stop Torii Hunter from killing us. He hits SOOO well in Progressive Field, it would make sense to get him, if for no other reason than the Indians wouldn't have to face him as an opponent. Torii is in the last year of his contract. Like the CQ/Fuentes suggestion above, Grichuk is a kid that could be something special in the coming year(s)...

I don't see the Indians trading Choo for prospects. Their window is now. But Hunter hit .262 last year with 23 HRs and 82 RBI's. At age 36 he can still play, and he's a right fielder. He could definitely help the team, but he's in the last year of his contract while Choo is seven years younger and under club control for another two years. I'll pass.

So, there are four names.. thoughts?
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Re: Fixing the Lineup...

Postby ironmike » Fri May 18, 2012 5:25 pm

Hermie, great suggestion, just what the Indians needs, Mark Reynolds a player who strikes out 200 times a year, after Manny Acta initiated an Action Plan to walk more and K less.

Go to the doctor have your head examined, take two weeks to rest and then find another hobby which is more comparable to your intellect level.

Mark Reynolds ... wow!
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Re: Fixing the Lineup...

Postby Hermie13 » Fri May 18, 2012 5:25 pm

Prosecutor wrote:Reynolds is averaging 38 HRs a year over the last three years. He's 28 years old and the O's appear to be contenders this year. Why would they trade him for a minor league pitcher who's not even a prospect and probably couldn't even make their team?


According to multiple reports the O's would love nothing more than to deal Reynolds. Maybe those reports are inaccurate but don't shoot the messenger. MLBTR had a bit about scouts saying the O's would "do anything" to trade him...

The Orioles also went out and signed Tejeda (some thought to replace Reynolds) even before Reynolds injured himself and went on the DL...
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Re: Fixing the Lineup...

Postby Prosecutor » Fri May 18, 2012 11:16 pm

Are the O's so eager to trade him?
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Re: Fixing the Lineup...

Postby Hermie13 » Fri Jun 01, 2012 12:58 pm

According to CBSsports, the Red Sox are telling teams that they intend to trade Youkilis.

Very small sample, but in his 9 games back since coming back from injury he's hitting .313 with a .371 OBP, .903 OPS and 2 HRs.

Definitely fills a need for the Tribe as a RH bat in the middle of the lineup. Upgrade at 1B (and DH if Hafner is still out). Going to be interesting to see what he costs though....not sure he really has much more value than what Berkman had when dealt to the Yanks, and if that's true, the Tribe could be in the mix.
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Re: Fixing the Lineup...

Postby GhostofTedCox » Fri Jun 01, 2012 2:51 pm

Hermie13 wrote:According to CBSsports, the Red Sox are telling teams that they intend to trade Youkilis.

Very small sample, but in his 9 games back since coming back from injury he's hitting .313 with a .371 OBP, .903 OPS and 2 HRs.

Definitely fills a need for the Tribe as a RH bat in the middle of the lineup. Upgrade at 1B (and DH if Hafner is still out). Going to be interesting to see what he costs though....not sure he really has much more value than what Berkman had when dealt to the Yanks, and if that's true, the Tribe could be in the mix.


I think Youkilis (and Lee's) value will be determined by how much of the contract their teams have to eat. The more money eaten, the higher the prospect.

But with Hafner out, and perhaps his Indians career now over, I don't understand the delay in calling up LaPorta. What's the worst that could happen?
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Re: Fixing the Lineup...

Postby Prosecutor » Fri Jun 01, 2012 5:12 pm

But with Hafner out, and perhaps his Indians career now over, I don't understand the delay in calling up LaPorta. What's the worst that could happen?


With Hafner out it looks like they're going to use Chiz and Lopez at DH and 3rd base.

If they bring up LaPorta it would have nothing to do with Hafner. It would be to replace Damon/Duncan in left.

My guess is Damon has six more games (Minny and Detroit series) to do something with the bat. If he's still hitting nothing but pop-ups, shallow fly balls, and weak groundouts after these next six games, I thinking they'll cut him loose and give LaPorta a shot.
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Re: Fixing the Lineup...

Postby Hermie13 » Fri Jun 01, 2012 7:24 pm

GhostofTedCox wrote:
Hermie13 wrote:According to CBSsports, the Red Sox are telling teams that they intend to trade Youkilis.

Very small sample, but in his 9 games back since coming back from injury he's hitting .313 with a .371 OBP, .903 OPS and 2 HRs.

Definitely fills a need for the Tribe as a RH bat in the middle of the lineup. Upgrade at 1B (and DH if Hafner is still out). Going to be interesting to see what he costs though....not sure he really has much more value than what Berkman had when dealt to the Yanks, and if that's true, the Tribe could be in the mix.


I think Youkilis (and Lee's) value will be determined by how much of the contract their teams have to eat. The more money eaten, the higher the prospect.

But with Hafner out, and perhaps his Indians career now over, I don't understand the delay in calling up LaPorta. What's the worst that could happen?


You could be right, though when Berkman was dealt the Astros picked up over 50% of what remained on his deal and still only got a utility infielder in Paredes (Phelps?) and reliever with a live arm in Melancon (ranked 15th in the Yanks system at one point). Berkman was a year older than Youk though but like Youk was starting to have trouble staying healthy leading up to the trade and was having an off year when dealt.

Several teams are rumored to be interested in Youk though (including the Dodgers), so could be tough getting him for sure.

Not sure on Hafner's Indians career possibly being over. Seems like he'll be back in July barring something major. LaPorta really struggled in the month of May. Kind of agree with Prosecutor here in letting Lopez and Chiz both play. You have to play Chiz everyday or nearly everyday IMO and Lopez has been one of our better hitters. Let them both play and let Damon try to get things going in LF for now.
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Re: Fixing the Lineup...

Postby Prosecutor » Sat Jun 02, 2012 7:54 am

Damon's first game was May 1. As of May 10 he was hitting .171. At the end of May he was still hitting .171. IOW, he has not shown any improvement. It's not like he started off 0-for-20 but hit .250 after that. Also, they sat him down against Verlander and Bruce Chen, so it's not even like he's been playing against lefties or the best right-handers.

I don't think sticking with Damon is going to get us anywhere, although he did get two hits yesterday.
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Re: Fixing the Lineup...

Postby ironmike » Sun Jun 03, 2012 6:15 pm

A prerequisite for a ML hitter should be the ability to take a pitch in the middle of the plate and on the outer half of the plate and DRIVE the ball to the middle of the diamond or to RCF (or LCF Kotchman) with authority.

Right now we have at LEAST five hitters on our roster who can't do that they include;

DUNCAN
LAPORTA
CUNNINGHAM
MARSON
KOTCHMAN

Duncan, he just plain horrible. Tries to pull every pitch.

LaPorta saw him in two AB's today to see that he hasn't improved. Grounded out to SS on a pitch off the plate, threw his bat in the stands on a K on a pitch on the outer half. Gives half effort, laughing leading off 1B BS's with Morneau when his team is losing.

Cunningham what the hell our so called scouts saw in this guy is beyond me. He's flat out boring.

Marson, he's only in the ML's for his defense, part of a disaster trade with the Phillies.

Kotchman chops at the ball and hits many pitches off his front foot. Right now he's the Kotchman who hit .217 with Seattle in 2010.

EVEN with no injuries this team will struggle offensively, no base stealing threats, pretty good at taking walks, overall we lack power. Our line up balance LH and RH is horrible.

How bad is this team offensively?

It takes me back to the days of Ty Cline, Don Dillard, Mike de la Hoz, Gene Green, Willie Tasby and Jerry Kindall.

They stunk too.
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Re: Fixing the Lineup...

Postby Bearcatbob » Mon Jun 04, 2012 7:13 am

We have 3 black holes in the offensive roster - Damon, Cunningham and Kotchman. Duncan is close. Compared to these four - simply an historic LaPorta will be an improvement - and I bet he gets nothing but crap.

Perhaps moving Hanahan to 1b would help and get Chiz in the order.

The only tradeable commodity I see of value is McAllister - who is our depth.

It looks to me like getting Grady and Hafner back is plan A, B and C.

What looked so good 10 days ago has sure changed for the far far far worse.

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Re: Fixing the Lineup...

Postby Prosecutor » Mon Jun 04, 2012 8:32 am

Right now we have at LEAST five hitters on our roster who can't do that they include;

DUNCAN
LAPORTA
CUNNINGHAM
MARSON
KOTCHMAN


LaPorta just got here yesterday. Cunningham is not the problem - he only has 42 at-bats. Marson only has 43 at-bats and he's hitting .375 over the last six games. Besides, he hits to right field almost every time up so he doesn't belong in the "can't go to the opposite field" group.

I agree with you on Duncan - he's hitting .213 in 108 at-bats. That's not cutting it. Kotchman hit .276/.719 in May, which is OK for a guy who's playing great defense at 1st base. If you think Kotchman is a dead pull hitter you haven't been watching him hit.

Duncan is the only guy out of that group that's a problem. The others either haven't played much or have started to hit better lately. What needs to happen on offense is they need to get Santana and Hafner back, and they need to trade for a left fielder who can hit at a ML average level for the position. Once that happens, Cunningham, Duncan and LaPorta will not be getting any at-bats. Marson will play only occasionally starting this week. When Hannahan comes off the DL he can take over for Kotchman if he isn't hitting.

The real problem is the pitching, the starting pitching in particular. The Tribe ranks 12th of 14 in ERA and leads the league in walks. You can't contend for the playoffs when you're 12th in ERA unless you're 1st in runs scored. The Indians are 8th in scoring, slightly below average. Right now they need the starters to step up. Nobody except Lowe has pitched well lately and that has to change before it's too late.
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Re: Fixing the Lineup...

Postby ironmike » Mon Jun 04, 2012 9:46 am

What I can tell you watching LaPorta's approach at the plate yesterday is he hasn't improved one bit. The hitting coach at Columbus hasn't done his job or LaPorta is stubborn.

Marson CAN'T drive the ball to the RCF gap, (please re-read my post), ditto Kotchman CAN'T drive the ball to the LCF gap, LaPorta CAN'T drive the ball to the RCF gap, ditto the others. Duncan is horrible, no other way to describe him. None of them stay on the baseball, they all turn their right hand over.

Agree on the pitching, they've been bad.

Duncan is far from the only guy that is the problem with this lack of offense.
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Re: Fixing the Lineup...

Postby ironmike » Tue Jun 05, 2012 7:46 am

As predicted here in a post a few month back the Indians next big acquistion would be a CF, repeating the what they did when they acquired Milton Bradley and then Grady Sizemore. Let's hope Naquin is more than Trevor Crowe, but with the present condition of the Indians organization, don't see things really improving until a new owner takes over. Their track record drafting over the past dozen years has been less than average.

And, when we do get a new owner ... a new broom always sweeps clean.
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Re: Fixing the Lineup...

Postby Hermie13 » Tue Jun 05, 2012 12:22 pm

ironmike wrote:As predicted here in a post a few month back the Indians next big acquistion would be a CF, repeating the what they did when they acquired Milton Bradley and then Grady Sizemore. Let's hope Naquin is more than Trevor Crowe, but with the present condition of the Indians organization, don't see things really improving until a new owner takes over. Their track record drafting over the past dozen years has been less than average.

And, when we do get a new owner ... a new broom always sweeps clean.


Last 20 years you mean...


ha, so wait, the tribe's next "big acquisition" that you predicted for CF was Naquin?!? Yikes...
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Re: Fixing the Lineup...

Postby ironmike » Tue Jun 05, 2012 12:33 pm

Yeah, Hermie they are projecting him to play CF.
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Re: Fixing the Lineup...

Postby ironmike » Wed Jun 06, 2012 7:19 am

Lou Marson actually drove a ball to RCF for a three base hit, that is a good sign. Charlie Manuel always felt he had the ability to hit 20 home runs per year. Marson says it is hard to know the strike zone with only 15 AB's per month. Keep driving the ball to RCF and Manny will play him more.

For those of you who did not watch Mark Trumbo hit 2 home runs last night, one to RCF and one to dead CF watch the video and then watch Duncan try to hit.
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