Thursday, August 11, 2011

A prime example

Just checking the ML stats and noticed that former Indians' minor leaguer Jose Constanza is solidfying his role in the majors with Atlanta. 

Has he changed from when he was with the Indians?  Absolutely not.  He is hitting the same way he did in the Indians' farm system.

The difference? He is just getting a chance.

And that's the point, really.  He's getting a chance.

While I like Ezequiel Carrera, I think Constanza is as good or better of a prospect.  He is performing well in a pennant race, hitting .413 with likely more HRs (one) than Carrera will ever hit in the majors.   So if you want to assume they are similar players, that's a reasonable assumption.  The problem is that the Indians never gave Constanza a chance to prove himself in losing seasons where the cost, if he failed, was low in terms of team success. Atlanta is giving him that chance,  in a pressure situation in a pennant race, and he is repsonding.

Fast forward to 2011.  We have pathetic AAAA guys like Kearns, Hannahan, Duncan, Durbin, etc. still on our roster.  We have Joe Smith who is a trade candidate.   We have roster spots available.

And, in AAA, we have right-handed hitting outfielders and infielders who have some potential (Hearns and Goedert, although Goedert is more about streakiness) and we have MANY relief pitchers who are ready. 

But we don't give them a chance.  We have repeatedly over the years dissed our minor leaguers for AAAA guys and washed up veterans.  Some of those guys (OCab and Kearns, 2010 model) have netted us decent returns in deadline deals but the others have just sucked resources from the Indians and blocked minor leaguers getting their Constanza-like chances. 

So, let's let the Jose Constanzas of the world be contributors to other teams' pennant races and let's keep bringing in AAAA guys to staff our bench.  Yeah, that makes sense and it has worked soooooo well in the recent past.

There is certainly no future in AAAA guys while Constanza has some upside.  And now we are determining what I have known for a long time, that, many times, the present for a poorly scouted rookie is also better than the present for a washed up AAAA guy. 

Future maybe better, present better.  Check.

We should have brought up Head, Goedert, Judy and Putnam (or Chen) when I suggested.  We should have traded Joe Smith. 

When will we stop making these kinds of mistakes and have the guts (albeit potentially ill-placed guts, time will tell) that Antonetti had in obtaining Jimenez?

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