Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Is It March 2007 Yet?

With 2006 in the can, let’s take a look at what this team is going to look like for 2007, without taking into consideration any off-season moves. I’m coming up with this under the belief that Belliard, Boone, Broussard, Wickman, and Mota are gone.

Here is YOUR 2007 Tribe:
Victor Martinez
Kelly Shoppach
Ryan Garko
Joe Inglett
Jhonny Peralta
Andy Marte
Ramon Vazquez
Grady Sizemore
Franklin Gutierrez
Casey Blake
Jason Michaels
Ben Francisco
Travis Hafner

C.C. Sabathia
Paul Byrd
Cliff Lee
Jake Westbrook
Jeremy Sowers

Fausto Carmona
Edward Mujica
Rafael Perez
Rafael Betancourt
Fernando Cabrera
Jason Davis/Tom Mastny/Brian Sikorski
Andrew Brown/Tony Sipp

Where are the gaping holes? OF (or more specifically a corner outfielder that allows Michaels to become the 4th OF and Blake to a super-utility role), 2B (a huge need, and not just because it also allows Inglett to become the utility IF instead of Vazquez), and veteran relievers, preferably ones not named Graves, Karsay, or Sauerbeck.

With that roster, the lineup and backup roles would break down like this:
2007 Lineup

4th OF – Michaels
Utility – Vazquez
5th OF – Francisco

Again, the holes are obvious at the top of the lineup and in the inexperience of these players. Acquiring a 2B who can hit at the top of the lineup takes Inglett out of the lineup (and Vazquez off the team) and moves Gutierrez down to the 9 spot.

Getting a corner outfielder that can protect Hafner (and not GIDP at an alarming rate) wouldn’t hurt. Make him RH, while I’m making up a wish list.

More than most, I’m comfortable with giving a long look to Gutierrez, Shoppach, and Marte in this lineup. Of course, it would help if we could see these players NOW rather than seeing a lineup full of Hollandsworths, Boones, Broussards, and VAZQUEZ night after night.

Of course, these needs can change pretty significantly if the Tribe makes moves in the next two weeks involving Westbrook, Lee, Byrd, or makes a deal for a young outfielder or middle infielder.

Regardless of what happens over the next two weeks, trade-wise, can we at least see an end to this dreadful lineup that’s being trotted out every night?

Although it allows me to sleep more while the Indians are on the West Coast (does anyone else see the lineups and just lose interest?), it’s time for the Front Office and Wedge to use some honesty with the Cleveland fans.

How can they say that Andy Marte’s not ready, or not a legitimate upgrade over Aaron Boone?

How can they continue to play Todd Hollandsworth over Gutierrez?

The fans deserve better than to be steamrolled on this one, because the product that’s on the field tells a much more complete story than any comment coming out of Jacobs Field.

Up next, we’ll (finally) take a look at the 2007 FA class with an eye towards a 2B, corner outfielder, and veteran bullpen arms. Any other glaring needs I’m missing?


t-bone said...

i can probably go through the archives and document that i'm sounding like a broken record, but i'm still amazed that some readers... and authors of this blog, go to bed rather than try to fight off slumber on west coast games. yes, we're down 5-1 now... but it's baseball, and you're an american.

also, it could be that since i have fairly little responsibility, i can make up for the sleep i dont get during the week on saturdays and sundays.

Paul Cousineau said...

It could be that I can't handle going to bed thoroughly disappointed, knowing that I'll have to be up again in 5 hours or so.

It takes me about an hour to decompress and compose my thoughts after an Indians loss, so when the games end around 1AM-2AM just count me out until about 11AM at work.

Rockdawg said...

These are the reasons that I haven't seen the end of a MNF game in years.