Tuesday, March 27, 2007

What If

With the news that Matt Miller will start the season on the DL, it raised a question for me (and not just who will replace him, which I think will be Lara to give the pen 2 LHP). The question led me to ponder some rhetorical questions that face the Indians going into the season and into the first few months.

Let’s call it a game of “What If?”

What if Matt Miller is ready to return to the team and Juan Lara (or Tom Mastny) has outperformed a veteran (like Aaron Fultz) during his absence? Do the Indians hang onto the effective reliever or side with that “veteran experience” and let a vet like Fultz ride it out?

What if, when Cliff Lee is ready to come of off the DL, Fausto Carmona is outperforming Paul Byrd in the rotation? Would the Indians relegate Byrd to the bullpen, or even cut ties with him? Or would they have the gall to send a successful Carmona back to Buffalo because of the amount deposited in Byrd’s bank account every two weeks?

What if Trot Nixon’s back isn’t healthy and he spends most of the year injured or ineffective? Is Big League Choo ready to step in? Are the Indians, who obviously had enough concerns about Choo to sign Nixon, ready to give the BLC that shot?

What if Andy Marte can’t hit an outside pitch to save his life and every one of his at-bats looks like Pedro Cerrano waving at breaking pitches? Will Jobu come to help him? Will Blake be forced to play 3B full-time, throwing the Indians’ best-laid plans into a tailspin?

What if Jason Dangerously or the F-Cab struggle with their command and become a serious liability in the bullpen? Being out of options, how many times can the Indians send them on the DL, then a “rehab assignment” to work out their problems? Is there a point that the Indians, despite the fact that both have live arms, just can’t take any more and cut ties with either one of them?

What if SuperSizemore’s slump in Spring Training is an indication that he’s going to go through some “Junior Jitters” (think “Sophomore Slump”, carrying on the collegiate theme)? What if all of the hype he’s received went to his head and he coasted through the off-season and he’s unprepared to build on his phenomenal 2006? Are Spring Training stats really that meaningless?

What if Jason Michaels doesn’t bash LHP as part of the Dellichaels platoon (last year he only had a .799 OPS vs. LHP)? Would The Frisco Kid come up to take his place?

What if Ryan Garko (assuming he makes the team) looks like Quincy Morgan (or Dennis Northcutt or Antonio Bryant or Braylon Edwards…hell, pick a Browns WR) at 1B and cannot catch a thing? Should I send my dad to the Jake to tell him “if you can touch it, you can catch it”? Would the Indians move Garko’s bat to another AL team for him to DH?

What if the contract talks that Shapiro has hinted will go into the season if there’s good momentum refer to Jake and end in Westbrook signing an extension? Does that mean that C.C. is gone? Does that mean that people will stop saying that the Dolans are cheap?

What if Atom Miller completely dominates Buffalo, while the Indians bullpen fritters away lead after lead? Would the Indians put him into a Wainwrightesque/Papelbonesque role to save the season? How long would they wait to make that decision?

What if teams run wild on Victor Martinez from Day 1? Would the Indians move him to 1B full-time, where his offensive numbers are not nearly as impressive as they are from the C position? Would the ShopVac get the full-time gig?

These are the things that wake me from a peaceful slumber…well, these and a 4-month old in the next room.

Right now, there are no answers to these questions and only time will tell if any of these concerns are merited or if they’ll just drift away.

With 6 days left until Opening Day, we’re getting closer to finding out.


Cy Slapnicka said...

i don't particularly like your game (aside from carmona getting the byrdman's spot). think happy thoughts, think happy thoughts....

Paul Cousineau said...

Looks like we've been overtaken by the Tirbe Watch on SI.com.

Here's the link again (you have to allow pop-ups), so have at it boys:

Let's get this done.

t-bone said...

I did notice that Tribewatch (a site which was new to me) mentioned it in their blog as well. They must have a robot voting at this point, because it's almost a landslide at this point.

Paul Cousineau said...

What a hack.

That website is dreadful, with few updates and no insight.

I think I linked it for a while here, then took it off because it never had any activity on it.

According to his site, he won the vote last year. So, he must have cranked up that machine again.

Or, he sits in his parents' basement and just keeps voting.

For those of us with jobs and lives (term used loosely), have at it loser.

BTW - Mastny, Rouse, and Garko all made the team.

rodells said...

CC takes a line drive off hand/wrist. Came out of game immediately, taken for Xrays.

Hello Adam Miller (I HOPE, of course not if it means we're without CC for a long time).

He might never look back, ala Sizemore.

t-bone said...

Rizzo reports XRays negative.

Krems said...

Hey Tabler, I know Dads tend to forget their kids' age, but you're getting an early start on it. I'm sure you haven't slept much lately, but I could swear your kid was just born three months ago not four.

Paul Cousineau said...

My bad. It's just that the Boy Wonder is so big (no idea who the dad could be) that sometimes I get confused.

Gotta go, he just told me that he finished doing our taxes and I have to be in the car with him when he drives them to the Post Office (you know, under 16).