Sunday, December 31, 2006

Lazy NYE Sunday

With another Sunday disappointment from the Browns and the groundbreaking decision that I refuse to subject my son to being a Browns fan (I made the concession to the Packers to the DiaBride in order to get a full commitment to the Tribe), let’s move on to happier thoughts of the Boys of Summer with the final Lazy Sunday of 2006:

First, a very Jason Davis-centric mailbag from Paul Hoynes, which focuses on where The Taxidermist (still one of my favorite pictures) fits into the Indians’ plans for 2007 and beyond.

Terry Pluto also addresses Jason Davis, among others, as he analyzes the bullpen for 2007. Pluto states that the Indians think that Jason Dangerously is poised for a breakout, which few Indians fans are banking on. If it happens, it will be gravy on top of the meat of the off-season additions.
Davis had much better results starting an inning (.688 OPS against in 2006) vs. coming in with runners with scoring position (1.034 OPS against in 2006) last year, so expect Davis to be used as the long man or start some 6th innings (perhaps after Cliff Lee’s patented “five-and-flies”) until he can get some footing in the bullpen.

Davis will be an interesting player to watch in the next few months as he could certainly be part of a package in (what some feel) a big trade that Shapiro is working on to add a RF or a 1B.

The hype that Pluto is attributing to the Indians’ Front Office could be an attempt to build up the value of Davis, whose stuff has never been in question. His temperament and the role that suits his talent best…those are what have always been the questions.

Or, the idea that Davis has FINALLY “got it” and understands how to harness a high-90 MPH fastball could be an honest line of thinking from the Front Office and Davis could fulfill those expectations to emerge as the power arm out of the bullpen that everyone’s been waiting for since early in 2005.
Frankly, I’ll believe in a consistently effective Jason Dangerously at the Major League level only when I see him with my own eyes.

Pluto also states that the Indians have told him that Garko-my-God-did-you-see-how-far-he-hit-that? will start the 2007 season on the bench, getting the first shot if Choo or Marte struggle (as Blake would fill in full-time at RF or 3B).

The reasoning that Garko will not be handed the 1B job is his defense and, as long as the combination of Blake, Marte, and Choo system produces runs, he would stay there. Keeping Garko on the bench limits the bench’s versatility as he really only plays 1B (apparently still poorly) or DH, but Blake’s ability to play all 4 corner spots (RF, LF, 1B, 3B) allows the Indians to do so.

Garko rightfully earned quite a few fans with his productivity last year, thanks to his approach at the plate; but if the Indians are truly committed to improving their infield defense (which was always mentioned, with the bullpen, as a big concern) – Garko’s glove at 1B (if the scouting reports that his defense is well below average are true) every day is too much of a liability.

As a fan of Garko (small sample size be damned) and his plate approach and discipline, but a believer in Shapiro’s evaluation of putting the best team on the field daily, I’ll have to put faith in the Indians that the Indians are better served keeping Blake and Choo in the lineup as opposed to Garko. Garko is obviously best served to DH in the Majors, but that position has been filled in Cleveland.

Finally, an excellent resource has been added to the sidebar with Swerbs’ Tribe Payroll Data, a link that offers a quick reference guide to answer payroll and arbitration questions.

Have fun tonight wherever you ring in 2007 and “See You Next Year”!
I hate when people say that.


Baltimoran said...

i was not happy to hear that garko most likely won't start, but pluto made some good points...between marte, shoo, and blake someone will suck or get hurt and it will be nice to have garko move in (hopefully its not blake who gets hurt so he can step in at 3rd or Rt). meanwhile bud shaw made absolutely no sense in discussing TO and Saddam.

A packers fan ehhh, I can respect that and it doesn't hurt that they play in the NFC as i've learned that fans from the same conference are easy targets when their teams suck. if i don't see something in the next few years, i may have to concede to my wife and raise my soon to be born a Bill's fan.

have a good night all

Cy Slapnicka said...

something to think about with garko....what if he's being groomed to replace hafner? think about it, CC, Jake, and hafner all are approaching free agency. all three are obviously going to command big money.

nobody ever thought thome would leave b/c he was such a good guy and would give us a discount. we often think the same of hafner. but in reality, he can command $15m + in the open market after 2008.

Paul Cousineau said...

I had the same discussion with my brother about Hafner & Thome the other day.

We NEVER thought Thome would leave and seem to think the same "good guy discount" with Pronk; but he is so vastly underpaid, it would almost be foolish to look for something close to market value.

If Hafner (or any of those guys) hits the open market - all it takes is one team to pony up the cash.

Give me a break on the Packers thing. Minus that 1985-1989 stretch, being a Browns fan brings nothing but heartache.

I suppose I could time the Packers Fan thing a little better as I doubt that the DiaBride will be wearing a "St. Aaron" (Rodgers)shirt to replace her "St. Brett" shirt in a few years.

Paul Cousineau said...

Should have read "foolish NOT to look for something close to market value".

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