Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Tribe Opening Day Roster: Miller Light

I like Mark Shapiro. I like Eric Wedge. I even tolerate the Dolans. As far as small market front offices go, the Cleveland Indians seem to have it figured out. However, I do see one major philosophical difference between the organization and the fanbase. The general perception from the fans is that the Indians management is too slow in utilizing its plethora of young talent. In this case, I think the fanbase is right.

Why in the name of Herbert Perry do we baby our prospects in favor of aging, rundown veterans? Talent can only be developed so much in AAA before it needs to be faced with higher competition, greater pressure, and larger mistakes. It's the only way a young ballplayer can learn the ropes of the major leagues. And the Indians have loads of talent in Buffalo just waiting for that opportunity. Yet, every year we seem to make a few pointless Trot Nixon/Jason Johnson/Todd Hollandworth(less) signings that prevent this young talent from contributing on the major league level. Let's not forget, this is the same front office in 2005 that thought an old, fragile Juan Gonzalez (who, by the way, could pull his hamstrings playing shuffelboard) was a better option than Grady Sizemore.

And the trend continues as Adam Miller was sent to minor league camp today. So far in spring training, he has thrown 14 scoreless innings. Eric Wedge commented on his performance, saying, "He's been as impressive as any player in camp. You can't ask for much more than he's done."

So what's his reward? A bus ticket to Buffalo. I guess there is no point in giving him a shot at the big league club when you have a dominant #5 starter like Paul Byrd. Jeez, what if Miller is the next Liriano or Verlander? I guess we won't know until someone gets hurt.

Click here for the exciting conclusion!


King Nick said...

When did the front office ever think Juan Gonzalez was a better option than Sizemore in 2005? Sizemore played 50 or so games in 2004, and was projected to be the stud he is now in 05, plus Gonzalez was certainly not being penciled in as a CF. He was brought in for his bat and going to play DH or 1B. Also, please stop comparing young kids who have never played in the major leagues to MLB superstars (i.e. Francisco Liriano, Thome). Liriano was also 1-2 with 6.00 ERA in 6 starts his first yr in the league. So lets rush Miller in to fill the 5 spot right? Please. Ben Francisco hit .275 with 15 HR and 55 RBI last yr so lets rush him in the lineup instead of a solid, proven outfielder who plays hard like Trot Nixon. Your boy Garko, hit .245 last yr in AAA so lets bring him up to. Hey I hear Mike Madsen has been pitching phenomenal in single A maybe we should give the youngster a shot. Indians management is one of the worst in the leagues but they got these ones right.

Dave said...

Juan Gone was never projected as a CF, but in 2005 before he was hurt late in Spring Training, Grady was sent down so he could be the LF, and Coco could play CF.

And there may have been some hyperbale in here, but that was for you to determine.

So you're saying last year the 4 million dollar Jason Johnson experiment was a good idea? Or would you rather have seen Carmona/Sowers from the start? I'll give Paul Byrd a month to prove he has something left. But if he's walking people and is going 4 innings every other start, then I say yes, let's "rush" Miller.

And Garko did hit .245 in AAA, but what did he do with the Tribe? He hit .292 (.359 OBP) with 7 HR's and 45 RBI's in 50 games. When a player is ready for the big leagues, it's tough to maintain a consistent focus and intensity in AAA. See Brandon Phillips.

And do you really consider keeping Francisco as a 5th OF as "rushing him into the lineup". No one said play him everyday. But if you have Garko at 1B, Blake in RF (no platoon), Grady in CF, Dellucci/Michaels platoon in LF, what would be the harm of having young, speedy, versatile player to come of the bench to pinch run, pinch hit, or play defense??? Whether its BF or Franklin G, it doesn't matter. You might as well get them some experience now. But like I said, when Nixon is hurt by May, I guess I'll get my wish. And if Trot returns to form and has a great season, not only will I be excited, I'll come back here and eat my crow. Lata dude.

King Nick said...

These guys aren't even dominant against Triple AAA players why bring them up and face big league pitchers? Garko may have had good numbers toward the tail the end of the year, but wait till they get some film on him and see where his cold zones are. It could get ugly. There's no reason to bring these guys up when they can't even excel in Buffalo.

Anonymous said...

Clever title

the truf said...

Bringing a young potential stud up to be a utility man is about the worst thing you can do, Dave. If anything, bring him up and play him every day. Otherwise, he would be much better served to stay in AAA where he can get consistent reps. It's one thing to bring a young guy up at the end of the year when the minor league season is over to play utility and get a feel for the big leagues, but you can't do that from day 1. They need to get as many swings versus live pitching as possible.

Shin Soo Choo said...

Holler at your boy. Nobody has even thrown my name out here.

Anonymous said...

shapiro keeps these kids out of the majors so he can keep them under contract for longer. We are going to need Adam Miller when both CC and Westbrook are gone in two years.

dave said...

I understand that having young guys play every five days doesn't normally make a lot of sense. But when they posses skills your big league club lacks, i.e. defesnse, speed, ect, and can help you win games now, they should be used. Studs might have been an overstatement for some of the prospects mentioned. I think the only potential OF stud is Trevor Crowe, but his time line was elongated with the whole 2B experiment. Guys like Choo, Franky, and Ben, who can fill needs now, should be used.

Good point about the contracts as well. We are about to lose some pitching, and need to maximize Miller's time. But that depends probably on who you ask. Shapiro with the 5 yr extension, or Wedge with the pressure to win NOW.

mr. kist said...

hey there guys long time no see (unfortunately). i am so impressed with your guys website i think it is so neat! king nick i was wondering if you would be interested in doing some work over at my house i would pay you generously and it would give us a chance to "catch up" hopefully you will give me a call because i have been thinking about you everyday for the last five and a half years and i miss u dearly.

love mr.kist

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