So we have now had our second round of September callups. Not included in these callups are either Tim Fedroff or Jared Goedert.
Now I am not saying that these guys are the be-all, end-all and that they are top prospects. They are not. Goedert hasn't shown offensively or defensively he is a ML starter. Fedroff has shown just enough for people to know he is a solid 4th outfielder in the majors, when he is given that chance.
But both guys deserve a chance based on their performance this year and in past years.
Add to this that Juan Diaz did not get recalled, either. He had played well after his demotion from the majors, including playing well at AAA after his promotion there. We had already used up his option for this year and he was on the 40 and would be in the mix to play next year. But he didn't get called up, either. The Indians, instead, chose to look further at Brent Lillibridge who is a AAAA stiff if one ever existed.
Instead, we get this:
Vinnie Rottino - a 32-year old guy who has failed with each of his 5 different ML trials and owns a career .178 ML average. He plays the same positions as Goedert. Bringing him up is a slap in the face to every Indians' minor leaguer who has toiled for years to get at least a shot at the majors. Rottino has had 5 and he has failed each one. This is nearly as much of a slap at all the Indians' major leaguers as the promotion of the undeserving Nuiman Romero was a few years ago.
David Huff - Hey, I love Huff and wish they would have given him a shot instead of getting Derek Lowe this off-season. But it didn't happen. However, Huff performed like horse crap most of the season. Yeah, he would have a good game but then he would follow with a clunker. Four of his last 9 starts were good, 5 sucked. So went his season. Hey, his home ERA in Columbus was much better than his road ERA if you can believe that. To me, these results represent a guy not taking AAA seriously enough. Realize this was his 5th different year in AAA. He also had close to 50 big league starts. Hey, if he doesn't have it any more his performance would have been more evenly mediocre.
Russ Canzler - I have no problem with Canzler getting a callup. My problem is with him getting a callup and Fedroff and Goedert not getting called up. Canzler was dumped by his organization for a couple of bucks because they were going to DFA him. His performance this year was mediocre playing in Columbus if you consider his AAA experience, performance there last year and the fact that he hit .232 away from Columbus this year.
Thomas Neal - Again, no problem taking a look at this guy. Like Canzler, Neal will be a minor league free agent this winter if we don't roster him. Thus taking a look at him makes sense, but NOT at the expense of the more deserving Fedroff, who performed better at AA and AAA this year than Neal performed at AA.
Frank Hermann - I am OK with this one. You can't really complain about one of our guys getting another shot in September, especially when it is probably his last shot here if he messes it up. Relievers can get a lot of September trials.
Scott Maine - See Hermann. Maine has had some success and seeing him now as a reliever, especially without Rafael Perez being available, makes a lot of sense. Still think he is a AAAA guy but the situation is right and he is not blocking anyone so what the heck. In September I am OK with this.
Cord Phelps - Of all the callups this is the only one that makes sense. His numbers, as a second baseman, were as good as Canzler's, all things considered. Plus he has experience at other positions, SS and LF. I mean, when we are giving ABs to Brent Lillibridge, Phelps, as a 25 year old switch hitter, should be getting those ABs.
So, the Indians have once again messed up something really simple. We may still get 1-2 Akron guys called up after the playoffs (Chun Chen, for example) and we may yet see Lonnie Chisenhall and Rafael Perez yet this year.
But not calling up Fedroff and Goedert in light of having Neal and Rottino (and even Canzler) and promotion of Huff after his terrible year, all adds to the reputation of this organization of not giving their own guys a chance and giving unfair chances to AAAA castoffs from other organizations and its failed own prospects.
As I said before, that methodoly has stunk and HURT this organization in many ways. Why does the ownership of this team allow this to keep happening. At least, it gives the organization a black eye with its own prospects, at worst it makes us look like a laughing stock that good players don't want to play for.
September is supposed to be a fun month for a losing team when you get a chance to look at your own prospects and you feel good for those guys who have, after years of trying, finally gotten to the bigs. Except in Cleveland, where I only feel embarassment for this organization and feel bad for prospects dissed this year and in the past.