Saturday, February 26, 2011

Curly, Mo and Larry

And Chad Durbin makes 3.

The Indians HAD the following options for their bullpen:

Closer: Chris Perez
Long man: Josh Tomlin, Aaron Laffey
Setup men: Tony Sipp, Rafael Perez, Jensen Lewis, Joe Smith, Frank Hermann, Jess Todd, Vinnie Pestano, Josh Judy, Zach Putnam and Justin Germano

Even with an 8 man bullpen, that's 13 guys for those 8 slots and 11 guys for the 6 setup slots.  And that's not even counting Joe Martinez who they will apparently develop as a starter.

Now, I will grant you that you, in hindsight, can make a case for Austin Kearns in that Trevor Crowe and Grady Sizemore are apparently not going to be ready for the start of the season due to surgery.

You can make a case for Orlando Cabrera is you agree that you don't want to risk everything on the chance that Luis Valbuena will hit .250 and play reasonable defense.

So I will grant the Indians a pass on these three moves.  Still, we probably lost Josh Rodriguez to bring Cabrera's stability to the infield.  That's too much.

But Durbin?  I don't think that his signing makes sense at all unless you question whether Chris Perez is healthy or can go through a whole season as closer now that the league has had a chance to think about him a little more.

When you look at the Indians projected 25-man roster, it will probably contain Jayson Nix, Shelly Duncan, Orlando Cabrera, Austin Kearns and Durbin.  That is 1/5 of the roster on AAAA guys or rent-a-veterans who have no future with this club and are just eating resources.  While each is very jettisonable on a moment's notice as we don't have a lot of financial resources tied up in the lot of them, 1/5 of a 90+ loss team's opening day roster being these types of players would insinuate that our farm system at the upper levels is weak at their positions.  That is absolutely just the opposite which is why this roster distribution makes no sense at all.  NONE.

If we are trying to compete I see it all the way.  But c'mon!  There is no way this team competes.  Without Sizemore it is essentially the same level of talent as last year and we know how that turned out, even with our play in meaningless games at the end of the season.

If you are renting these guys for a few months just to give guys in the minors or important major leaguers time to get polished or heal, respectively, fine.  It may also help to build these young guys into major leaguers by seeing how the game is played right.

Let's hope that's what it is.  If they are doing this in spite of real prospects being ready or if they block those prospects because of the presence of these guys, then the three of them clearly become the three stooges to Shapiro/Antonetti's rendition of Laurel and Hardy.

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