Saturday, May 7, 2011

The ranks get thinner

Along with Jordan Brown, the Indians gave away Jess Todd, who was claimed on waviers by the Yankees when he was DFA'd last week. 

The Indians have not given these guys a chance.  However, neither of them recently has proven the Indians wrong.

I think, though, it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.  They think a guy is worthless, they diss him at every opportunity and that guy, being down, doesn't accept the demotion well and doesn't perform well when demoted.  That latter part is on the player.  It IS part of makeup but you have to give a guy a chance, especially instead of piling unneeded AAAA guys in front of him.

That's what happened to both Todd and Brown and a slew of minor leaguers before them. 

The Indians need to change their philosophy, at least in my opinion.  The Indians had 8 guys who made their ML debuts last year.  There were 6 teams with more players making their ML debuts and 3 teams with the same number (8) making their ML debuts.  A number of those teams did this while competing last year and NONE of those teams had as deep a farm system as the Indians and NONE of those teams had as bad a record as the Indians.  While this is a small sample size we know there were guys (Josh Rodriguez, Jared Goedert, Jose Constanza, Ezeqiuel Carrera, Josh Judy, Zach Putnam) who could have gotten their first big league exposure. All of these guys were either added to the 40-man over the winter, should have been added or were, like Constanza, easily replaceable as shown by them becoming minor league FAs and being lost anyway.

This repeated dissing of your own prospects who have performed in favor of AAAA guys and minor leaguers who don't deserve to be called up based on performance (remember Nuiman Romero being called up in 2009 instead of Jordan Brown?) is just a real drain on the energy of your minor league organization.  In the business world this generally leads to a mass exodus of your up-and-coming employees.  Baseball's rules preclude that exodus so, like sometimes happen in business, people just make that exodus with their mind, mailing it in instead of working to get better.

That is the current situation with the Cleveland Indians.  I hope it changes some day soon.  However, I don't hold out much hope it will.  It's just a question of who the next Jordan Brown or Jess Todd is.  While Jordan Brown and Jess Todd are not great losses on paper, when you look at what we have in the majors and what we were projected to do this year, it is hard to believe that we lost those two guys without giving them a real shot.

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