Through the trading deadline and the day after it I said we should dump Chad Durbin, Austin Kearns and Jack Hannahan. I said we should trade Joe Smith and send down Frank Herrmann. I said we should bring up Jared Goedert, who I felt was ready to go on a hot streak, Jerad Head, Josh Judy and Zach Putnam or Chen Lee. I said that in this way we could still compete as young guys can have a lot of success in their first few weeks before the league figures them out. Let’s look at what has happened since the beginning of August, starting with the AAA stats of the guys I wanted brought up:
Goedert .447/.711/1.244, going on a hot streak as I predicted he would.
Head: .326/.739/1.080 with 4 2B and 5 HR in 46 AB, hitting .326.
Judy: 2-0, 8.53 ERA, two blown saves and four saves in 7 appearances, 4 of 6 runs (6.1 IP) in one game
Lee: 6.1 IP, 9 K, 2 R (on a 2 run HR) in 3 games
Putnam: 8 IP, 5 H, 2 R (on a 2 run HR), 11 Ks in 4 games
In the meantime the Indians have gone 7-5 with 4 of those losses by one run and the guys I wanted to get rid of have gone, in the major leagues:
Kearns: 0-10, 5 K (and Duncan, for Kearns 4-18, 1 HR). Remember, Kearns is making $1.3 million, the cost of three rookies!
Hannahan: 1-5, 3 K
Durbin: 3 G, 4.2 IP, 0 R.
Herrmann: 3 G 4 IP, 0 R
Joe Smith: 7 G, 6.1 IP, 7 H 4 R, 1 BB, 6 K, 3 inherited runners scored
Note that both all 3 pitchers pitched effectively in the 14 inning win against Detroit that started that series AND that Joe Smith has pretty much trashed the bloated value he had at the deadline.
Would bringing up those 5 guys have made any difference? We will never know. You can guess that it might have hurt us in the 14 inning game but how many of those 1-run losses would have turned around with a little hitting and you can even postulate that the 14 inning game doesn’t even make it to extra innings if we could have managed even a little hitting in innings 3-9.
We do know this: as far as the hitters, it wouldn’t have hurt and my guess is that the relievers would have done just as well as what the above major leaguers did, with the possible exception of the aforementioned 14 game game that might not have been 14 innings..
We also know that we have probably trashed all of Joe Smith’s trade value which, at the end of July, was probably pretty substantial.
Also, in bringing up the rookies we would have been going in the right direction as far as player development, showcasing “B” prospects for future trades and salary goes. Plus, we would most likely have gotten something good back for Smith.
This is what small market teams should do: give their young guys a chance and don’t count on AAAA guys. Yeah, all that stuff about veteran leadership is important, to be sure, but NOT when you have guys putting in outstanding performances banging on the door. Hey, we might be in first place right now instead of 2 games back had we done that.