Friday, March 25, 2011

25 and 40 man roster issues

3/27/11 - Some updates on minor leaguers who were released:

  • right-handed pitcher Omar Aguilar - Ahh, I remember when FO supporters were straining their rotator cuffs patting themselves on the back for the Indians "stealing Aguilar" for the rights to Chuck Lofgren 
  • right-handed pitcher Jeremy Johnson,
  • right-handed pitcher Dave Roberts - one of the worst picks EVERY for Mirabelli, this guy was a middle reliever in college.  Well, at least HE made some money out of this as he was a 4th round pick.
  •  right-handed pitcher Julio Ramirez,
  • catcher Juan Aponte, outfielder Kevin Rucker - a deep prospect out of Mirabelli's worst draft.  Didn't develop fast enough.
  • outfielder Joel Torres,
  • outfielder Trent Baker - his dad is a great guy and I wish both of them the best
  • left-handed pitcher Vidal Nuno - surprising, actually.  I thought he had some upside
  • right-handed pitcher Casey Gaynor, and
  • right-handed pitcher Taka Nakamura.
I am sure there are more cuts to come.  Note that none of these guys was expected to play higher than Kinston this year except for Aguilar.  Still, I wish all of them the best and that they find a place to keep playing.

3/26/11 - From today's papers:

''Shelley hasn't done anything not to make the club,'' Acta said. ''He continued to do what he did last year.''

Hey, Manny, you mean hit about .230 with a strikeout every 3 ABs with a mediocre walk rate and defense?  You mean that he is the prototypical AAAA player and you kept a 31-year old AAAA player on your roster instead of prospects or a younger AAAA player in Huffman who outplayed Duncan this spring?

Two comments on Manny's comment:

1. Can I get a copy of the pictures Duncan has on Shapiro? 
2. If only and I mean IF ONLY, the Indians would give the respect to prospects that they give to AAAA players like Duncan. 


UPDATE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Apparently Buck and Hanrahan made the team.  Duncan will stay on the team and Huffman is going to AAA.  If they 60 day DL Crowe then the 40-man roster will be full.  This is a bit odd to me as Huffman clearly outplayed Duncan in ST.  Both are AAAA players so what the hey!?!?!  While it doesn't affect the 40-man if I had to give the job to someone I would have given it to Huffman.  Duncan has failed in multiple ML opportunities.  I wonder what pictures he has of Shapiro/Antonetti/Acta to get another chance when he has failed every opportunity has has had and he is 6 years older than Huffman and both bat righthanded.  Another head-scratcher.

Still have the catcher and bullpen to go with the possibility of 2 more minor league free agents making the team (Phillips at catcher and Germano in the bullpen).

OK, we are approaching opening day and here is what it looks like:

Chad Huffman, Travis Buck and Jack Hanrahan have hit their way on to this team. 

Paul Phillips (backup catcher), Adam Everettt (utility infielder) and Justin Germano (middle relief) are non-roster players who are on the bubble.

I think Doug Mathis has walked himself off the ML roster with his performance this spring.

That means that 3-6 non-roster players will be added to the roster for opening day.  For a team destined for last place and with a deep farm system, that is an amazing number....and not amazing in a good way. 

As the Indians have routinely given jobs to AAAA and retread veterans who hit and pitched well in spring training and dissed rookies who do the same, we might be looking at 5 of those 6 being added to the roster.

There are two problems with that:

1. The obvious problem of giving ML ABs and innings to AAAA guys and veteran retreads instead of giving those reps to guys who have a chance to be with this team in two years,


2. Every minor league invitee who makes this team (except for one, as the 40-man roster stands at 39 right now) causes the Indians to remove a player from the 40 man roster.

The problem is that, looking at the 40-man roster, we don't have a lot of leeway on removing guys as so many of the guys on the 40 are real prospects, albeit not ready for the major leagues. 

Let's examine the 40-man and see where the chaf is.  The guys who look to be removable from the 40-man roster are:

Jayson Nix, Luis Valbuena, Shelley Duncan.  We don't have a single pitcher who we could remove and, as you can tell, precious few position players who we could DFA.

Here are the remaining guys on the 40-man not expected to make the ML roster on opening day:  Kelvin De La Cruz, Jeanmar Gomez, David Huff, Josh Judy, Corey Kluber, Zach McAllister, Hector rondon, Jess Todd, Lou Marson, Jared Goedert,, Ezequiel Carrera, Nick Weglarz.

Of that group, I wouldn't want to DFA ANYONE and take the chance of losing them just to have a AAAA guy on my ML roster.  Yeah, some of these prospects may be less valued than others and some have limted upside but, frankly, I don't think the AAAA guys have any value at all so a prospect still on the upswing, even if he is leveling off, is worth more than a down on the downslide.

What complicates that even more is that 4 players will be on the DL to open the season.  Of those four (Sizemore, Donald, Joe Smith and Crowe), only one (Crowe) could even conceivably be put on the 60-day DL, clearing a roster spot.  The rest would be on the 15-day DL meaning they take up 40-man roster spots AND when they come off the DL someone has to be optioned to the minors.  As the non-roster guys we have are, I think, all out of options, they would have to be DFA'd and could refuse their assignment to the minors and become free agents. 

So, you see how complicated it is.   The Indians have a problem here and how they handle it will tell a lot about how the organization will advance.  Kansas City is already kicking our butt, prospect-wise, the White Sox and Tigers can outspend us and Minnesota always finds a way to beat all of us.  While I don't think that most of our prospects are superstar caliber, it is time to give them a shot.

Marson should be the backup catcher.
Hanrahan ought to make this team out of need but only because adding him doesn't cause us to have to DFA anyone.
Buck or Huffman could make the team if we DFA Duncan.
Everett could make the team if we DFA Nix.

Germano, Buck or Huffman or both, Phillips, Everett and Jordan Brown should go to the minors and bide their time if we are not willing to DFA or trade the AAAA fluff on our roster.  Then they should be the first guys DFA'd when our DL guys come back, with the exception of Joe Smith who should be traded at the first opportunity (but who obviously can't be traded while on the DL).

This is the problem with loading your ST with veterans who don't have enough skills to play in the majors.    They look good in ST when going full tilt against guys just getting into shape.  The problem is they don't really look that good in a full season as our results with Nix and Duncan...and other AAAA guys who are no longer with the Indians, have shown us time and time again.

And we're not even mentioning Chad Durbin, who is a AAAA/veteran retread who was just given a spot on the roster in the face of huge reliever depth, including a non-roster guy in Germano.

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