Hindsight as the season slips away:
How does it look now keeping Shelly Duncan, Chad Durbin, Jack Hannahan and Joe Smith?
Had we traded them in July or August we might have had something in return plus we would have saved a few bucks that we could have applied to the Latin FA market or Peters/Tarpley or others. If any of these guys are on this team next year it is a mistake. Anything we could have gotten for the first 3 would have been a plus and the playing time created by their leaving would have given the younger guys who replaced them a leg up for next year. Yeah, like Jerad Head, they may have struggled at the beginning. However, like Chisenhall, those struggles may have been something that would have given them experience not to allow it to happen again next year.
Minor League Playoffs
Congratulations to Columbus and Kinston for making the playoffs. Their two rosters could not have been much different.
Columbus' roster is filled with prospects of some ilk. Only a handful of the guys on the current roster AAAA players (Carlin, Phillips, Buck, Johnson, Reyes, Copeland, Martinez and Huffman), a couple are major leaguers who are struggling (Talbot and LaPorta). The remaining 14 guys on the active roster are prospects of some ilk. That is amazing considering from the opening roster they have lost Kipnis, Donald, Phelps, Carrera, Head, Gomez, Huff and Judy and also lost Hagadone who just passed through, Barnes who is hurt and a few guys who were C prospects who were traded. Compare their roster to their first round opponent, Durham. Durham historically loads their AAA team with AAAA players and this year is no different. They have 19 of their 24 players who are 27 years of age or older and their roster has an average age of 27.3 years while Columbus, even with the late season influx of Copeland, Buck, Johnson, Crowe, LaPorta, Talbot and Reyes, average 26.4, almost a full year younger.
On Durham's roster they have megaprospects Matt Moore, Chris Archer and Tim Beckham, but few other real prospects. We have Chen Lee, Zach Putnam, Zach McAllister, Corey Kluber, Matt Langwell, Jared Goedert, Beau Mills, Luis Valbuena, Tim Fedroff, Thomas Neal and, on the DL, Scott Barnes. So Tampa is more likely to get better major leaguers out of their three guys, but we have a lot more pieces, some of whom may become more than they currently are and most of whom should have some form of big league career, even if it is just a cup of coffee.
Contrast that to the Kinston roster. Looking critically at that roster there is not one future major leaguer on it right now. Yeah, Tyler Holt, Roberto Perez, Jesus Aguilar, Giovanni Soto and some of the other guys have outside chances to maybe become bit players in the majors some day, this roster is loaded with organizational soldiers whom the manager, Aaron Holbert, has molded into a playoff team. This guy definitely deserves manager of the year for his job in putting together the second best record in the CL this year. The advantage is experience and I think Kinston has more experienced players than I can remember them having. Not AAAA guys but, rather, guys who are older players with much more experience in the game. Adam Abraham, Jeremie Tice, Bo Greenwell, Roberto Perez, Preston Guillmet, Kyle Landis, Toru Murata, etc. are not great prospects but they have lots of experience playing the game.
So, go Clippers and Indians. You give us something, prospect-wise, to root for between now and the AFL. That is, because we didn't trade our expendable veterans in July and August.
So, while Kinston may go further in the playoffs than Columbus, the Columbus roster has more prospects. As a matter of fact, looking at the Akron, Kinston and Lake County rosters right now, it is no wonder the Indians made the all-in gamble on Ulbaldo Jimenez. There is little or nothing below AAA that, as it stands now, will be of great help to the Indians in the next 3 years. Bit players, maybe, but even that is questionable, looking at the performances this year.