In case you missed it (and in this ridiculously slow time, sports-wise, this is news) Jeremy Guthrie has been claimed by the Baltimore Orioles, ending the former 1st round pick’s tenure with the Tribe. Before anybody says that this is an instance of the Indians giving up on a prospect (and invoking the name of the current 2B for the Reds), receiving nothing in return, consider this – Guthrie turns 28 in April and has compiled a 1.76 WHIP over 37 MLB innings since being drafted in 2002. Over the course of his career, he’s proven to be more of a AAAA pitcher than a legitimate prospect, regardless of the money he made or his draft position.
If there was any doubt that the Indians had soured on any chance of Guthrie succeeding in Cleveland, you only have to look at the pitchers that hit the Jake BEFORE him from Buffalo. You would have to think that with the turnstile that occupied the bullpen last year, if Guthrie had a good shot of making a worthwhile contribution at some point in the future, wouldn’t the organization have given him a crack over waiver wire claim Brian Sikorski or the 2nd round pick from the same year, Brian Slocum?
It’s true that Guthrie had a nice season at Buffalo last year, but that’s a nice year by a 27-year old who had already logged 47 starts in AAA from 2003 to 2005.
So, the luster had come off of his star long ago.
Maybe Leo Mazzone can pull a magic act and resurrect his career as he did so many pitchers in Atlanta, but the O’s won’t have the option of sending Guthrie to the minors if it Mazzone’s miracle cure doesn’t show immediate results to adjust to the level of competition, as Guthrie did in AAA over those 47 starts.
Seeing the likes of Gil Meche and Ted Lilly get rich this off-season, I thought that Guthrie could perhaps fetch the Indians something in return, but Guthrie is only a little over 2 years younger than Jason Stanford, who at least had a modicum of success in Cleveland in 2003 and 2004, and has better overall Minor League numbers than Guthrie.
If the Indians traded Stanford, would you expect anything more than a case of beer?
While it’s true that Stanford cleared waivers last year and Guthrie was claimed, their minor league numbers are similar enough to make the comparison. Really, if you take away that 1st round designation from Guthrie, this DFA and waiver claim is nothing more than a player looking for a change of scenery to kick-start a MLB career.
If Guthrie can pull a U-turn on his career path in Baltimore, more power to him.
But, in Cleveland, for Jeremy Guthrie, it was unlikely to ever turn around in the positive direction. Regardless of any future successes he may experiences – that needs to be remembered.
On another topic, after hearing a report that Hector Luna still needs to lose weight (ugh), is there any possibility that we can we send him (and his frying pan glove) back to San Luis…today?
With Eckstein and Kennedy set at SS and 2B at Busch, they could use Luna’s bat off the bench more than the Indians (who more obviously need a slick-fielding MI) could.
Actually, wouldn’t Luna fill the Cardinals’ criteria for a backup middle infielder while their current backup MI, Aaron Miles, would fit the Indians’?
Miles has the ability to play SS (39 games there in 2006), is a decent defender (higher range factor and zone rating than noted defensive specialist Orlando Hudson last year); and although he is an offensive liability as an everyday fixture in the lineup (.682 career OPS) he’s not too much different than Johnny Mac, who everyone decries as “what we really are looking for”, but is not available.
Speaking of all of these 2B in St. Louis and Cleveland, where is Ronnie Belliard going to play in 2007?
Finally, after watching “Teen Wolf” countless times on HBO in the last few weeks, I can only hope that the Atomic Wedgie relays Coach Bobby Finstock’s 3 Laws of Life when counseling the troubles of the young Indians.
Those obviously being:
1) Never get less than twelve hours sleep
2) Never play cards with a guy who has the same first name as a city
3) Never get involved with a woman with a tattoo of a dagger on her body
Of course, as Coach Finstock says, “Now you stick to that, and everything else is cream cheese.”
Wait for it…