Thursday, September 28, 2006

View(s) from the Mezzanine

After spending the last couple of games with some different folk, who all have different opinions on what the Indians should do during the off-season – I thought it would be interesting to see how some of these perspectives stack up against each other.

Opinion #1
The Indians need only to add a 2B/SS and fortify the bullpen.

This line of thought says that the Indians’ offense is strong enough as it is (mainly at 1B with Garko, 3B with Marte, and in the corners with Blake, Michaels, Gutierrez, and Michaels…maybe even Kouzmanoff) otherwise to compete in 2006. The rotation is set for next year and the bullpen needs to add 3 back-end arms to join Cabrera, Betancourt, Davis, and a pitcher already in the organization to be determined later.

This is the most optimistic view – one that believes that this team is very close to contention and only needs to make nominal moves to contend in 2007.

Option #2
Take Option #1 and add a run-producing corner OF.
Perpetuated by those tired of seeing “AAAA” player Casey Blake in the lineup everyday (their words, not mine) and nervous about a platoon of Choo and Michaels to fill another spot in the lineup, the answer would come in the form of a corner OF to slot behind Hafner in the lineup.

One problem with this option is that these players do not simply grow on trees and generally don’t play for the league minimum (Manny Ramirez ain’t donning the Chief next year). Either Garko-my-God-did-you-see-how-far-he-hit-that? and Marte (nice adjustments Andy!) could mature into that RH run producer, but putting that onus on a young player can wreak havoc on a lineup (Exhibit A: Jhonny Peralta in the 3 hole, circa 2006).

Option #3
Take Option #1 and trade Paul Byrd to fill other roster spots, move Carmona into the rotation.
With the knowledge that the FA class (particularly at 2B/SS) is very weak, the Indians may have to move a valuable chip (valuable being a relative term here) to get some value back. Some NL teams could be interested in Byrd, where he could find a little more success than he did this past year.

With the contract that Byrd’s working off of, he’s much more attractive than other FA’s out there – so this option may not be that far-fetched. That is, of course, considering that the Indians think that Carmona can move into the rotation next year. His last few starts have been encouraging, but 2 starts does not a season make. It’s possible that the Indians give Carmona first shot and keep guys like Guthrie, Slocum, and even Miller on speed-dial in case Fausto struggles out of the gate.

Option #4
Blow it up and start over because this team sucks.
Oh, wait…that was from the idiot who was sitting behind us last night, who must call WKNR in his spare time. He also doesn’t realize that C.C. has become a true ace, Hafner is among the top 3 hitters in baseball, and that Sizemore has 92 extra base hits (third in Tribe history, behind Joey’s 103 in 1995 and Hal Trosky’s 96 in 1936) and that he turned 24 on August 24th.

There’s merit to all of the first 3 options and I expect some combination of them to determine the roster for 2007. Option #1 is pretty much a given, but how and where Shapiro decides to spend the Dolans’ money and use the cards in his hand are going to make this the most interesting off-season in memory.

Those are just a few of the seemingly endless options going forward, so submit your own if you didn't spend the ChiSox series in the Mezzanine.

Lots of options this off-season for the Indians means lots of fun for the DiaTriber during the cold winter months on the North Coast.


Rockdawg said...

I mentioned it before and was criticized, but I will throw this out there again....can we please replace Jhonny with Sowers in "the core"?? Hitting .250 is acceptable for a shortstop who is an excellent fielder, like Omar (who actually hit for a much better average). Peralta's slightly above average glove this year, however, doesn't excuse the fact that he hasn't hit for (expletive) ALL YEAR.

If the Browns lose to the Butt Raiders tomorrow, they are officially the worst team in the NFL.

Rockdawg said...

Just browsing through some past posts and comments, as I have been absent from Diatribe life since football started....
First off, I am definitely in for a DiaTribe outing to the ballfield. I would love to give some road reports, unfortunately, the only team within range is the Charlotte Knights. They are a ChiSox farm team, and they have DOMINATING pitching, which just frustrates me when I go to those games. I could offer some thoughts on the Panthers-Browns game next week, but does anyone really care?? I, like Cy, agree that Fantasy Baseball is too hard to keep up with. Every year I draft a team, check it daily for a week, then check it a month later, only to realize that I am in last place because I didn't make daily adjustments, then I give up. (Hafner is still in my starting lineup this year).


t-bone said...

How about Indians fans being featured in one of the MLB postseason commercials...

Paul Cousineau said...

I like the idea of a DiaTribe outing. I see 3 weekends in June (DET, ATL, TB) and 2 in July (KC, MIN) that have 7:05 Saturday games.

Let's all keep this in mind when working up our 2007 calendars this Spring (I know nobody but the DiaBride actually does that).

I'm all in for a Fantasy League, too. I agree that it should be an AL-only affair and that it should be one of the leagues that you set your lineup for the week and let it ride.

Baltimoran said...

if its a once a week affair, i could probably do a fantasy baseball league, and i would do my best for a diatribe outing (I also have a baby baltimoran on the way). I wish the O's had more than 1 home series with the tribe and not just so i could see them. Last week about 4000 fans sat together and walked out of a game in protest of the O's leadership.

A few of my wonderful students now tell me their taking the browns to the superbowl at the end of the day...implying they have to take a crap when they get home...a little more original than the normal "browns suck"

Paul Cousineau said...


And the more I see of Carmona (in control, as you say) and of Byrd...I'm inclined to make Byrd available and give Fausto a shot.