Sunday, June 26, 2011

Random thoughts 6/26

Well, it's another  Sunday.  Let's see what we have:

  • NOTE: Just got done watching the Indians play.  They are probably not as dead as they are acting right now but, MAN, are they acting like they have no idea what they are doing.  Saw Saturday's game and Sunday's game and all I can say is:
    • Anyone who said Shelly Duncan is not a AAAA player really doesn't know much about baseball.  Trade the bum now (change of opinion since Friday, but I have actually seen him play.
    • Grady Sizemore is really not doing well.  Bobby Valentine was carving him up.  Can't hit an inside fastball, can't hit the ball away.  Sizemore looks totally clueless.  He and Choo are costing themselves a lot of money next year.
    • Carlos Santana is just plain stinking it up.  He has totally lost it as a hitter.  Maybe that is one of the reasons that Nunnally got fired.
    • Manny Acta should been able to find a way to steal one of these games and he didn't.  Good managers find a way.
    • Trade Joe Smith now.  The guy is worthless to a rebuilding team, just like I said he was when we traded for the righty specialist.  Trade Orlando Cabrera, too, but I have said that in the past.  
    • The way the announcers were talking, no way Carmona is worth anything right now.  They wer picking his delivery apart and, from Tim Belcher's lack of success with Carmona, he could be the next one fired.  Even though Carmona had good numbers tonight it was against the worst hitting team in baseball.  A better team would have hammered him.  If we can find someone to take him off our hands and get a good return, he should be gone now. 

  • Terry Pluto says to stop using retreads. Great, where was he when the Indians were signing guys like this over the past 3-4 years?  I love Pluto as a writer but he is supportive of the FO when they do something stupid and then tends to criticize them when those moves are exposed as bad down the road.

  • Look at Aaron Laffey's stats with Seattle and look at Chad Durbin's stats here.  Despite some FO supportive forumites trying to spin obscure statistics to make Durbin look better than Laffey, Laffey is having a great year and Durbin is sucking wind just like was predicted here.  And to think we got rid of Laffey to make room on the 40-man for Durin.  Pathetic move at the time and more pathetic now.  BTW, the 'player' we got for Laffey, Matt Lawson, recently retired.  Classic!!!!!!!!!!!

  • The Indians released Jensen Lewis.  Can't say I am surprised as, in my opinion, he was done in his own mind with this organization.  I think Mr. Lewis needs to do a little soul-searching and I think he will.  He has the stuff to pitch in the big leagues and a history of some success but I also think that he felt a sense of entitlement that his performance didn't support.  He went to Columbus and stunk it up due, in my opinion, to him feeling he belonged in the majors.  Now he gets his chance to prove that Cleveland was wrong but the only way to do that is for him to get his head out of his rear end.  Jensen Lewis stands about an 80% chance of making the Indians look stupid for releasing him but, let's face it.  Whatever positive performance he has elsewhere will be due to him playing in another organization.  When you are as down on the Indians decision makers as I think Lewis is, no way can you fault the Indians for this one, even if Lewis becomes an all-star.  The Indians did their due diligence on this one and it was time to cut ties with Jensen Lewis.

  • It appears the Indians signed their 3rd and 4th round picks to slightly below slot bonuses.  Duh!  When you overdraft guys like Sisco (1-2 round overdraft) and Lowery (2-3 round overdraft), getting them to sign for slot or a little below is mandatory.  Does mesh with my opinion that the Indians were looking for ways to save money after their first two picks and drafted mostly low cost guys after that.  Not the way a franchise like the Indians should operate.  

  • Looking at the Indians' stats Michael Brantley is performing at about the highest level I could expect.  Note that his walk rate is not that great, especially for a leadoff man and he is not stealing bases but he has shown a little power.  While I think this is an aberration it is in there somewhere.  Now he just needs to act more like a leadoff man and become more than a mediocre defender (the rag arm will not go away, but then Grady Sizemore has a rag arm, too).    Still, watching him play, makes me think that he is most likely the best player by far we got in the CC Sabathia trade and that's not a good thing.

  • The Indians are promoting minor league guys at their usual pace.  I have changed my mind on this and think that it is a good thing.  The Alex White fiasco shows me that promoting guys too soon can result in injury.  We all want to open the Christmas presents early but this is not the time.  Still, if a guy is performing well after the first half of the season he should be promoted.

  • Let's look back on the Indians' deadline deals last year, rating them in order of how good they were based on what we gave up:

1. Austin Kearns for Zach McAllister - This was a great deal but don't kid yourselves, folks.  This was really Kerry Wood and Austin Kearns for McAllister.  The issue was that there was no PTBNL in the Wood deal so the only way to make this happen was to make McAllister the PTBNL where one was the Kearns deal.

2. Branyan for Carrera and Juan Diaz - Haven't seen Diaz play in person but his stats, for a SS, are eye-popping, at least in terms of power.    He reminds me of, on the downside, Alvaro Espinosa.  What is his upside?  I don't know, but I can only dream and those dreams keep getting bigger the higher his BA and the better his OBP.  Carrera is what he is but it ain't bad as he has good leadoff skills and a strong arm and strong defense in the middle of the OF.

3. Peralta for Soto - I think we sold low here but, for the FO, I think this was addition by subtraction.  Jhonny being Jhonny did not play as well as Manny being Manny simply because Peralta could not live up to his early career success.  Still, a ML SS who can hit like Peralta and keep his head above water with the glove is worth substantially more than a guy not even a "B" prospect.  Not that Soto doesn't have potential but face it, folks, he is a "C" prospect. 

4. Westbrook for Kluber - This deal stunk at the time as Kluber wasn't nearly as good as his stats looked.  Remember, too, that we had to throw in money so this wasn't even good as a salary dump, something, BTW, that small market teams can't afford to do.  This deal will go down as one of the Indians' worst deadline deals as they got nothing back for a solid #3 starter in the big leagues.  Nothing. 

So, in summary, we got maybe a backup outfielder and couple of "C" prospects and a clunker in Kluber for a number of serviceable MLers.  If you are very FO supportive you could argue that these guys weren't worth very much.  However, if you are the GM of a small market team you have to do better than this, especially since trading two Cy Young pitchers brought you very little back and is really damaging this franchise and will for years to come.

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