Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Goodbye, Joseph Diego

The trade of Jody for Jason Dubois is probably not the kind of splash that Shapiro was hoping to make in his pursuit of a RH upgrade. I doubt that the walk-up ticket lines tonight exploded to see Jason "Let's Hear it For" Dubois (a dime to TB) bat 8th and DH.
But could this move be the first of a few to get this team ready for the home stretch?

Dubois looks like a solid RH minor leaguer who hasn't had much of a chance in Wrigley, blocked in years past by Sosa and Alou, and by his own defensive shortcomings this year. Whether he is this year's Ryan Ludwick/Josh Phelps or can become another Tribe "find" (in the vein of Broussard, or dare I say, Hafner) remains to be seen. We'll have to see how the next few weeks play out before passing judgment on Dubois.

Jody wasn't fitting into the Indians future, with Grady and Coco entrenched in the outfield, and Wedge forcing Blake into the lineup. Add into the equation the strength of the Indians' farm system (offensively) is in the outfield and at 3B, and Jody becomes expendable (and probably marketable as a 4th outfielder). Better to get something for him now before his already long swing gets longer and he is further exposed as a career singles hitter who burst on the scene in 2003 after a new summer "training regimen".

The question now is whether Dubois will be banished to the bench (as Phelps was) in favor of Blake, Boone, and Broussard or if Wedge will give him some AB's. The guess here is that he gets some AB's quick, but at whose expense? The most likely candidates are Blake, Broussard, and Boone; as Dubois is a RF, 1B, and DH (with Pronk pretty entrenched at DH). Blake may be used as more of a 4th outfielder and reserve 3B/1B, with Hernandez becoming trade bait (along with Howry, Broussard, and Blake).

As I said earlier, I think that this is a first small step to re-creating this lineup to compete for the Wild Card. Shapiro sees what he has and realizes the strengths and the deficiencies.

The positions that have been lacking in production all season are 1B, 3B, C, RF, and to some degree LF. Dubois MIGHT be able to fill one of those holes. But with the asking price so high on the established hitters on the market, Dubois presents a nice alternative without disrupting the team too much.

Now, though, I have to convince the bride (whose 2 favorite players are Gerut and Blake) to embrace Dubois for putting on the Tribe uni. It did not go over well that he chose Jody's #9. It was likened to taking the clothes off of a corpse at a funeral.

New links on the right bar to check out at your leisure.

At 2-0 in the 6th, let's get some offense for Millwood tonight. He's earned it.

1 comment:

baltimoran said...

I've been out of town since last friday, so i've missed most of this debacle but i feel much better after reading comments from wedge and c.c. both implying that c.c. and the entire team are "trying to much"...makes me feel so much better...i would rather just blame PC