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Foulke to sign today?

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Foulke to sign today?

Unread postby consigliere » Fri Dec 22, 2006 8:51 am

Caveat: this is the same write, I believe, who said Gagne would sign "today" a few weeks ago....and he didn't sign until 5-6 days later:

http://www.boston.com/sports/baseball/r ... n_earlier/

Keith Foulke, closer on the 2004 World Series champions, is expected to sign with a team today, but it won't be the Red Sox. The free agent could be close to striking a deal with Cleveland.
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Unread postby pup » Fri Dec 22, 2006 11:13 am

:puker: :pukel: :puker: :pukel: :puker: :pukel: :pale:
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Unread postby consigliere » Fri Dec 22, 2006 11:24 am

Foulke doesn't excite me much, but at this point would be a good addition to the bullpen to offer yet another option in the closer's role and more proven players at the backend. The question, or course, will be if he is healthy....although, I recall he pitched well when returning to the Red Sox the 2nd half of last season.
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Unread postby consigliere » Fri Dec 22, 2006 11:30 am

More...

http://www.boston.com/sports/baseball/r ... ld_de.html

Former Sox closer Keith Foulke has a few offers to mull over and could make a decision on where he'll be playing next season as soon as Friday, according to his agent, Dan Horwits.

Horwits said Foulke has moved off his desire to pitch close to his Arizona home. He said four teams have made offers. One is thought to be the Cleveland Indians, who have pursued Foulke the longest.

Horwits said there is a situation or two where Foulke could be the closer. The Indians might fit. Horwits said Foulke would likely want a one-year deal with an option.
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Unread postby pup » Fri Dec 22, 2006 11:53 am

What's wrong, we can't find Doug Jones' phone number?

The more options you give Wedge, the more chances he has to screw up.
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Unread postby Guest » Fri Dec 22, 2006 12:10 pm

I like the move
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Unread postby consigliere » Fri Dec 22, 2006 5:26 pm

Starting to look very close to being a done deal....although, nothing in this town is a done deal until the ink dries on the contract.

http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/story/6299316

Free-agent right-hander Keith Foulke is leaning toward signing with Cleveland, though a deal likely will not be completed until after Christmas, FOXSports.com has learned.

Foulke, 34, received multi-year offers, according to a source, but he is expected to sign a one-year contract with the Indians, possibly with a player or mutual option.

His agent, Dan Horwits, has informed other interested clubs that Foulke is close to a deal, and that they should pursue other options.


Per WTAM, they are talking, and no signing is imminent. Said if anything goes down it would probably be next week on Tues or Wed.
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Unread postby consigliere » Thu Dec 28, 2006 11:21 am

Here is an update...sort of. Also, a mention of the Indians interest in Aubrey Huff.

http://www.stltoday.com/stltoday/sports ... enDocument

The last best lefthanded bat on the market, Aubrey Huff, has eased off his asking price and drawn attention from Texas and Cleveland, but seems a better fit for two other suitors, lefty-craving Pittsburgh and Baltimore. ... The closer who ended the 2004 World Series, Keith Foulke, hasn't been the same since — but is reportedly close to signing a deal to join the drastically refurbished Cleveland bullpen. ...…
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Unread postby jjgmyers » Thu Dec 28, 2006 1:51 pm

Please ...please do not sign Huff. He might be the most inconsistent player in the game. the guy goes into stretches (I'm talking a month or more) where he can't hit his way out of a wet paper bag. He stinks
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Unread postby swerb » Thu Dec 28, 2006 2:04 pm

Even though hes burned me a couple times in fantasy baseball, I've always liked Huff. When hot, he shows really great power potential, and he still has very good upside IMO.
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Unread postby consigliere » Thu Dec 28, 2006 2:16 pm

My question, is why they would be interested in Huff? Unless they are trading Blake, I see no reason for Huff.
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Unread postby pup » Thu Dec 28, 2006 6:42 pm

Cleveland Indians, first team to ever start an entire left handed hitting lineup and an enitre left handed starting rotation.
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Unread postby ACrank » Thu Dec 28, 2006 9:19 pm

Ignoring another one of Pup's ever insiteful comments.....

there is only one way that signing Huff makes sense - thats only if the following were to happen:

Against righty pitching:

C: Martinez
1b: Huff

Against lefty pitching:

C: Shoppach
1b: Martinez

other than that there is no reason to sign Huff - because Blake does what Huff does, does it better, and cheaper....

but if Huff is signed then Garko is done in Cleveland - at least as a first baseman
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Unread postby pup » Thu Dec 28, 2006 9:26 pm

Hey crank, relax a little bit. I think you might take me a bit too serious.

If you have paid any attention to anything I have said, you would know I am all for this team adding as much offense as possible, since I don't think it will be as good as it was last year. Huff makes sense, given he can play first instead of .240 hitting Blake, plus has played enough 3rd base to be some real protection for Marte.

Why haven't you chimed in with your damnation of the entire sport based on the Zito signing?
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Unread postby ACrank » Fri Dec 29, 2006 10:19 am

Damnation of the entire sport? No - thats a bit too harsh.

I knew Zito was going to go for big bucks - just not quite that big.
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Unread postby pup » Thu Jan 04, 2007 11:55 am

This is from John Heyman's article on the 12 best off seasons in MLB this year. 11 wins!



2. Indians. Their early-winter acquisition of Josh Barfield was one of the best moves anyone made. While the market was stocked with serviceable second basemen, Barfield was not only the best of the bunch, but the only one with only a year's service time and thus, no leverage. While that's nice, the real reason Cleveland will be better is that no one underachieved quite like them last year, when its young players quietly revolted against task-master manager Eric Wedge. While Wedge is back, they can't repeat that underperformance.
Improvement: 11 wins.
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Unread postby consigliere » Thu Jan 04, 2007 12:10 pm

This Foulke signing has me excited. By himself, I wouldn't be....but I think collectively, with Borowski, Hernandez, and Fultz, Shapiro did a heck of a jbo upgrading the bullpen through FA this offseason.

Best part, is these guys are all on 1 year deals. Which means two things: any underperformance, and the Indians can dump them without much thought......and these guys all will be pitching for their next contract, especially Foulke.

The Foulke/Borowski battle at closer this Spring should be great to follow. And, yes, both will battle for the spot. Both have practically identical contracts for 2007. Foulke has more history in the role, so I'd tab him the favorite now.....but, I like the Borowski/Foulke tandem in the 8th/9th inning no matter how it works out.
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Unread postby Dozen » Thu Jan 04, 2007 12:20 pm

They suck! They give 1 yr deals to rehab projects to get back on their feet. And fill out the rest of the roster will middle aged journeyman. We deserve a better product. If this team has another slow start, I look for Buck to take over by the all-star break.
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Unread postby swerb » Thu Jan 04, 2007 1:34 pm

Front page column on the Foulke signing just posted ...
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Unread postby consigliere » Thu Jan 04, 2007 2:18 pm

I rather like the short-term deals for bullpen pitchers. And, on top of that, what better options were there in FA this year for the bullpen. Arguably only Speier, but going 4 years is a risk. For at least 2007, I believe whoever sets up (Borowski/Foulke) will be just as effective as Speier. The question, is who sets up in 2008 and beyond.....hopefully one of the young guns like Cabrera develops this year.
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Unread postby Dozen » Thu Jan 04, 2007 2:36 pm

If the tribe signs Moulder, what would the rotation look like? Is Sowers still gonna be a starter?
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Unread postby consigliere » Thu Jan 04, 2007 2:46 pm

If the Indians sign Mulder, the rotation will not change, and I don't think it means a trade of a starter looms. Maybe in June/July, but not now.

Mulder won't be ready until June-ish, so until then you go with CC, Jake, Cliff, Paul and Jeremy. Then, when Mulder is healthy you reassess the situation. Who knows, he may fill a need for a starter since one of our starters is injurred. Or, if everyone is healthy, Mulder or someone else becomes attractive in a trade at the July deadline. I think around that time you may see a trade of a starter, but not now. Mulder would provide much needed starting depth. And, they could use that starting depth in July to acquire an exposed need.
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Unread postby pup » Thu Jan 04, 2007 2:47 pm

He would not be ready to July, so we would go with CC, Jake, Lee, Byrd, Sowers, then dump one of them if/when Mulder was ready. They would probably look to trade Jake around the deadline for a right handed power bat or a reliever once Foulkskiendez goes down.
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Unread postby Dozen » Thu Jan 04, 2007 2:57 pm

Its hard for me to get pumped about this team. Assuming they dont have a terrible start (which is typical for wedgie) They basicly have to catch lighting in a bottle. I just dont see this team winning 80 games this year. :-( :sad: :(
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Unread postby consigliere » Thu Jan 04, 2007 3:21 pm

That's the beauty of fandom. Some see things differently than others. Who knows what happens....but if the Indians get expected performance (career averages) from the players on their roster, they'll win 90+ games. Injuries are always a factor, but hard to predict. If healthy, the Indians are one of the top 5 teams in BASEBALL.
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Unread postby Dozen » Thu Jan 04, 2007 3:27 pm

Even with 2 journeyman in lf/rf, a prospect at 3b and who knows what Peralta will do? I hope you are right, it's not like I dont want them to win 90 games, I just cant see it happening even if they remain healthy.
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Unread postby consigliere » Thu Jan 04, 2007 3:32 pm

Top 2-3 rotation in the AL, top 5-10 in baseball. Top 5 offense in baseball. If the improved bullpen on paper translates to the field, then yes, this team wins 90-100 games. You put the 2005 bullpen on the 2006 Indians team, and we would have won 95 games. This team is as talented as anyone else in baseball in the starting lineup and rotation.
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Unread postby Dozen » Thu Jan 04, 2007 3:36 pm

What about their defense? Bottom 5 in baseball. Thats something being greatly overlooked this offseason IMO.
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Unread postby consigliere » Thu Jan 04, 2007 3:45 pm

Defense should be league average at least. Marte is a significant upgrade over Boone at 3B defensively, as is Barfield over Belliard (Belliard was one of the worst defensive 2B in 2006, while Barfield was one of the better ones).

SS is still a question mark....but if Peralta splits the difference between 2005 and 2006 defensively, it will be a nice improvement.

But, yes, defense was a big reason for this team's problems in 2006. The bullpen and manager the other two big reasons. The defense and bullpen have been improved.....although the manager is still here. Unless a rash of injuries occurs, if this team fails in 2007 it is squarely on Wedge. No excuses.
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Unread postby Dozen » Thu Jan 04, 2007 3:51 pm

Do you think the hiring of Buck indicates anything? And is Blake/Micheals gonna be our rf/lf? If so, they are in trouble. I like Marte alot and Peralta as well. Hopefully it was the so-called sophmore jinx. Say what you want about Belliard, but he got a ring. And as I once told you along time ago, you cant always replace players with stats. I think Belliard was a great clubhouse guy and you obviously could win a series with him. :mrgreen:
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Unread postby swerb » Thu Jan 04, 2007 3:52 pm

I like what the Indians have done this off-season. Shapiro did about as well as he could have possibly expected, and signing Mulder would make this an incredible off-season.

Defense at SS and C still worries me. But not half as much as Wedge.

All in all, this should really be a 90 win team. Problem is, that hasn't even been close to good enough in this division the last two years.
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Unread postby Dozen » Thu Jan 04, 2007 3:56 pm

The thing that bothered me last year was when Martinez couldnt throw out my grandma. Wedgie made no adjustments with the pitchers. CC cant hold anyone on to save his life. These are little things that are overlooked. Consistantly letting runners get into scoring position and horrible defense = disaster. Lets hope this isnt the case in '07 :-) :smile: :)
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Unread postby consigliere » Thu Jan 04, 2007 4:16 pm

I agree the concerns with holding and throwing out are real, and probably still there. Keep in mind, however, these issues were only magnified when the losses piled up because of poor defense and relief pitching. The issues with throwing out runners and holding runners was almost as much a problem in 2005, yet we won 93 games.

This rotation is as good as the 2005 rotation, and arguably better. The offense is better than the 2005 offense. The manager remains the same. Again, if the defense gets back to league average levels like they were in 2005, we'll be okay. Also, the defense is grossly over-stated.....in 2006 the team fielding% was .981 which ranked 24th in baseball, and in 2005 they had a .983% good for 17th in baseball. I think we have done enough to be at least to 2005 levels defensively.

The key is the bullpen. It is where we saw the most volatility in performance last year. The offense and starting pitching has performed consistently to top 2-3 in the AL the last 3 years.....the defense dropped some last year, but the bullpen is what dropped the most.
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Unread postby pup » Thu Jan 04, 2007 4:27 pm

The offense is better than the 2005 offense


Really?

This rotation is as good as the 2005 rotation, and arguably better


Lee has regressed thus far.
CC is CC
Jake was great in '05
Byrd is not Millwood
Sowers will be up and down, replacing Elarton who was great the 2nd half of '05.

The manager remains the same


:cry :cry:

but the bullpen is what dropped the most.


And we fixed it with a couple has beens and never weres.
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Unread postby consigliere » Thu Jan 04, 2007 4:48 pm

Pup, come on, how is the 2005 offense better than the 2007 offense? First off, in 2005: 790 runs, .271 avg, .787 OPS. In 2006: 870 runs, ,280 avg, .806 OPS. We didn't lose anyone on offense....how is this offense NOT better than the 2005 offense?

Plus, Sizemore was a rookie then, and Hafner just busting out. Both are much better now. Also, Martinez should continue his consistent production. The Killer Bs were a part of that lineup in 2005, remember? Broussard, Boone and Blake were awful that year.

As for the rotation, CC is clearly a different pitcher in 2007 than he was in 2005. He is a bonafide ace, something he was not in 2005. Last year, CC put up a 3.22 ERA after he put up a 4.03 in 2005. Westbrook was 15-15 with a 4.49 ERA in 2005, and was 15-10 with a 4.17 ERA in 2006. Yes, Lee regressed some record-wise from 2005-2006.....and we don't have a Millwood.....but Sowers is much better than Elarton. Anyway, the top 5 starters collective ERA from 2005 virtually is identical to the collective ERA of the top 5 starters from 2006.

Now, maybe the rotation is not better than 2005's rotation....but I believe it is on par, but more importantly much deeper where if we sign Mulder or Armas we will have 2-3 options to turn to if someone goes down with injury.
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Unread postby Dozen » Thu Jan 04, 2007 5:01 pm

Losing Coco hurt. It disrupted the whole front end of our lineup. Im not saying it wasnt a good trade for Marte, just dont underestimate the difference of him not being there.
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Unread postby pup » Thu Jan 04, 2007 5:07 pm

We didn't lose anyone on offense.


Except Brousard/Perez for 3-4 months who were pretty freakin good while here. Then Garko went ape shit during his time.
There production needs to me made up for by Choo/Delucci.

Will Barfield be better than Belliard? You can say yes, but we don't really have any idea how he adjusts to a much better league.

Grady was the same player in 06 as he was in 05, but with a little more power. I don't really see much of an increase going into 07.

Same with Hafner.

So best case has our 2 best players being equal, our 2 worst players being equal and hoping everyone in the middle is better.
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Unread postby consigliere » Thu Jan 04, 2007 5:36 pm

The offense was better in 2006 than in 2005 even without Coco.

Yes, the 1B platoon was clearly the one position the Indians got a career year out of. Everywhere else though, the lineup got expected performance or worse. So, even if you drop the 1B tandem of Garko/Broussard/Perez, you still have an offense which is as good or better than the 2005 version. We scored almost a 100 more runs last year and hit almost 10 points higher and an OPS almost 30 points higher.

As for Barfield, at worst he will be Belliard. Which isn't hard to duplicate. If Belliard was so valuable, he wouldn't still be looking for a job. Barfield is a huge upgrade at 2B, and even if the offense kicks back some, the additions of Barfield and Delucci to face RHed pitching will be enough to offset some drop in production from other places.....even if Peralta doesn't bounce back.

This offense, without a doubt, is better than the 2005 version. The rotation? You may have me there.....although I still say it is on par with the 2005 version.

The bullpen is the key difference, and as I have stated 1000 times will be the true determinant (outside of injuries) how we fare in 2007.
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Unread postby pup » Thu Jan 04, 2007 6:00 pm

The offense was better in 2006 than in 2005 even without Coco


I don't remember mentioning Coco (I was 100% behind that trade).

As for Barfield, at worst he will be Belliard


Not on offense. He could very easily be worse than Belliard was last year. If Barfield hits .280 with 15 homers, I think we should be very happy. I think .260 with 8 is a little more realistic of an expectation. Defensively, yes he should be better than Ronnie was, but what happens if he struggles at the plate and it carries over to the glove?

If Belliard was so valuable, he wouldn't still be looking for a job


Please. 2nd base is a dime a dozen position. Mark Loretta had to sign on as a reserve with Houston to get a job and I would hardly call him useless.

Delucci to face RHed pitching will be enough to offset some drop in production from other places


Our three best hitters are LH. I think we need a more reliable right handed to throw in the mix.
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Unread postby consigliere » Thu Jan 04, 2007 6:11 pm

We've ranked in the top 5 offensively the last three years without a reliable RHed bat.

Also, if Barfield were a FA, he'd be getting a 5-7 year $8-10M a year deal per. Easily.

Barfield is a very good player....and a move to the AL and to Cleveland for that matter suits his offensive style perfectly.

Again, offensively, this team is better than the 2005 version. Not only are they more proven and experienced than they were that year, but players like Sizemore and Barfield are on the cursp of stardom. Sizemore is already there, but he is projected to enter Edmonds production territory in the not too distant future as he matures more.

I'd LOVE a power RH bat to mix in there, but even without it, I can't think of any offense I would want more than this one except maybe 2-3 others.
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Unread postby pup » Thu Jan 04, 2007 8:14 pm

We've ranked in the top 5 offensively the last three years without a reliable RHed bat.


And won what exactly?

Also, if Barfield were a FA, he'd be getting a 5-7 year $8-10M a year deal per. Easily


From who? Sure as hell wouldn't be the Indians :lol:
Average salary for a starting 2B is the lowest of any position player in baseball and that contract would put him right up at the top of the list, which I find hard to believe. Craig Biggio makes 4 mil, Brian Roberts makes 3 mil. i could only find Jeff Kent making that kind of money at 2nd base in the whole league.

Barfield is a very good player....and a move to the AL and to Cleveland for that matter suits his offensive style perfectly.


Ask Jhonny Peralta about year 2 in the bigs. Ask any of the other NL guys that have switched leagues in the last couple of years about the difference in the leagues. It will be an adjustment for him, without a doubt, the only question is how long does it take to make that adjustment.
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Unread postby Dozen » Thu Jan 04, 2007 11:08 pm

I have to agree with Pup on this. I appreciate Consig's loyalty and optimism, but I fail to see it translating into reality. Again, I hope I am wrong.
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Unread postby consigliere » Fri Jan 05, 2007 12:33 pm

Pup wrote:
And won what exactly?


Is that a deflection? :mrgreen:

Is this offense not better than the 2005? I don't care what we won or did not win, that is a separate argument. The 2007 offense is better. Period.

From who? Sure as hell wouldn't be the Indians :lol:
Average salary for a starting 2B is the lowest of any position player in baseball and that contract would put him right up at the top of the list, which I find hard to believe. Craig Biggio makes 4 mil, Brian Roberts makes 3 mil. i could only find Jeff Kent making that kind of money at 2nd base in the whole league.


If a young 2B like Barfield was on the open market, he'd be getting $7-8M per. The reason why someone like Brian Roberts and other young 2B don't make more is they are constrained and kept on the cheap because of service time. Until they reach 6 years of service time and hit free agency, they'll usually always get paid well under market value in arbitration.

You put Brian Roberts on the open market, and he gets 3-4 years at least with $7-9M per.

Ask Jhonny Peralta about year 2 in the bigs.


I can play that game too. Ask Grady Sizemore about year two in the bigs. Ask Travis Hafner. Ask Cliff Lee. Etc. Some guys have good rookie campaigns and struggle the 2nd season and after (like Joe Charboneau) for various reasons. Some have good rookie campaigns and then take off. Some have good rookie campaigns and hit some speed bumps along the road but still play well. Who knows what will happen with Peralta, but his history as an offensive player does indicate he should be a good pro for many years with the bat. Same with Barfield. He has the genes, the head on straight, and the talent. He is one of the most highly coveted young middle infielders in baseball.

Ask any of the other NL guys that have switched leagues in the last couple of years about the difference in the leagues. It will be an adjustment for him, without a doubt, the only question is how long does it take to make that adjustment.


The adjustment is not as much going from the NL to the AL. For hitters, the biggest adjustment is going from the AL to the NL, and for pitchers going from the NL to the AL. There will be some adjustments, yes, but he should do just fine. Repeating his numbers from last year should the worst he does. At some point, once he settles in, he is going to be a Robinson Cano clone but better.
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Unread postby pup » Fri Jan 05, 2007 1:43 pm

Is that a deflection


:oops:

Is this offense not better than the 2005? I don't care what we won or did not win, that is a separate argument. The 2007 offense is better. Period.


The problem is you are saying it is without a doubt better. I think it will be good and yes probably better than in 05. :eek: :o :-o
There is at least an equal chance that it could be equal to 05, which still is not bad, but it wasn't good enough then and might not be good enough now. If the offense is a little better, the starting pitching is equal and the bullpen is what? Equal? Better? Worse? How does that equate to us being a better overall team than in 05, which was not good enough, and now the division is even stronger?



If a young 2B like Barfield was on the open market, he'd be getting $7-8M per


You can't say that because it doesn't happen, for the reasons you named. There has only been one $10 million contract given to that position in baseball history and you think a 2nd year guy would command it.

Who knows what will happen with Peralta, but his history as an offensive player does indicate he should be a good pro for many years


I can live with that. If he has an 05 season, the lineup is better. If he has an 06 season, we need a right handed bat.

He is one of the most highly coveted young middle infielders in baseball.


I know. I still can't count on him to post .280 with 15 homers though.

For hitters, the biggest adjustment is going from the AL to the NL, and for pitchers going from the NL to the AL


What? You do not believe that do you? Look at the pitchers in both leagues and tell me it is not harder to post equal numbers in the AL than the NL. That might have been true 5 years ago, but ALL of the talent is in the AL. Just the guys he will face in the Central are better than almost any staff in the NL. The NL has Chris Carpentar and mud.

At some point, once he settles in, he is going to be a Robinson Cano clone but better.


That is some pretty high praise. I hope so.
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Unread postby consigliere » Fri Jan 05, 2007 2:26 pm

The pitching is typically a lot better in the NL, and the parks are a lot bigger. So, yes, it is a lot easier moving from the NL to the AL where the parks are bandboxes and teams typically have questionable pitching staffs.

Unless Barfield is hurt, I see him having a good year. He'll at least match what Belliard has averaged offensively the last three years in avg (.279), HRs (14), RBIs (71), and OPS (.758). The RBIs may be the toughest thing to reproduce, but that is moreso because I have no clue where he'll be hitting. If he hits 2nd or 7th, he'll attain it, but probably not if he hits 8th/9th.
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Unread postby pup » Fri Jan 05, 2007 3:33 pm

If you think the overall pitching is better in the NL than the AL, then we do not need to discuss this any further. The NL has about 6 good pitchers and a whole bunch of shit.
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Unread postby swerb » Fri Jan 05, 2007 4:40 pm

The pitching in the AL is FAR superior right now.

That hasn't always been the case, the NL used to dominate. But things have swung. It's not even close right now.
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Unread postby consigliere » Sat Jan 06, 2007 9:37 am

Ok, I'll give you that the pitching is better in the AL. That in mind, the AL is still littered with hitter's parks and loaded lineups. Barfield will benefit from being in a better lineup......I mean, who did San Diego have in their lineup? No Hafner, Sizemore, or VMart there. Also, hitting 8th in front of the pitcher, he was pitched around a lot and people were careful with him.

Again, at worst, I see Barfield replicating his numbers from last year....which I would still be fine with.
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Unread postby pup » Sat Jan 06, 2007 10:52 am

Also, hitting 8th in front of the pitcher


Yes that equals being pitched around. So when he did get to hit away, it was probably a 2 out and nobody on situation, which makes it "easier" to hit as well. Now, in the AL, and hitting 9th he will always be pitched tough because when he gets on the lineup rolls over to Grady.

Again, at worst, I see Barfield replicating his numbers from last year....which I would still be fine with.


You would be fine with, but that is not matching the production we got out of the position in 2006, so it is a regression in the lineup.

CF =>
LF =
RF <
1B <
2B <
SS >
3B =
C =
DH =>

It looks to me like we are going to be on par at 3 positions, par with a chance at a slight increas at 2 positions, Peralta to bounce back and regressing at 3 positions. Am I worried that we will suddenly be 10th in offense? No. Do I see the possibility we fall back into maybe 6th or 7th, possibly.

So we are now counting on an old, oft-injured, oft-ineffective group of bullpen arms to make up 25 games in the standings.
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Unread postby consigliere » Sat Jan 06, 2007 11:15 am

Pup wrote:Yes that equals being pitched around. So when he did get to hit away, it was probably a 2 out and nobody on situation, which makes it "easier" to hit as well. Now, in the AL, and hitting 9th he will always be pitched tough because when he gets on the lineup rolls over to Grady.


Actually, Barfield hit .264 with a .694 OPS with no one on base last year, and hit .306 with an .815 OPS with runners on. :-) :smile: :)

And, hitting in front of Grady would give him MORE pitches to hit. It would be like the old days with Vizquel, where he saw a lot of good pitches and fastballs because teams did not want to walk him in front of Baerga/Belle/Justice/Thome/Ramirez/Alomar/Williams or whoever was hitting 3rd/4th.

You would be fine with, but that is not matching the production we got out of the position in 2006, so it is a regression in the lineup.

CF =>
LF =
RF <
1B <
2B <
SS >
3B =
C =
DH =>

It looks to me like we are going to be on par at 3 positions, par with a chance at a slight increas at 2 positions, Peralta to bounce back and regressing at 3 positions. Am I worried that we will suddenly be 10th in offense? No. Do I see the possibility we fall back into maybe 6th or 7th, possibly.


LF is not equal. Dellucci/Michaels platoon is greater than just Michaels. Also, RF should be about equal since a Choo/Blake platoon should be equal or better than just Blake.

The only position where we are no on par or or could see improvement at is 1B.....and that is mostly because of how insane the Garko/Perez/Broussard platoon there was last year.

So we are now counting on an old, oft-injured, oft-ineffective group of bullpen arms to make up 25 games in the standings.


Who is old? Only Hernandez is old buy bullpen measures. Who is oft-injurred? Only Foulke was injurred recently. Who is oft-ineffective? All of the main relievers in the current bullpen of Borowski, Foulke, Hernandez, Fultz, and Betancourt have been consistently effective the past few years. One exception being Foulke, who as you mentioned has been injurred the past two years.

The thing that cracks me up, is people look at the Indians current bullpen and act like what we have is entirely different from what other teams have or are doing. Look at the Yankees, Cardinals and Red Sox bullpens. Lots of "old", "oft-injurred" and "oft-ineffective" guys there too. It is the nature of the beast with bullpens.

Anyway, given that the offense and starting pitching were collectively on par last year with the 2005 versions.....and the defense only a few ticks below 2005 performance......the big reason we lost 15 games in the win column from 2005 to 2006 was the bullpen. So, just as many games can be made up with an effective bullpen this year. The three constants from 2005 to 2006 are the manager, offense and starting pitching.....the only thing that changed was the bullpen (and the defense a little). It is not hard to see where we can expect drastic improvement if the bullpen can get back to at least league average or above average.

Whether or not that happens, who knows. I like the possibilities of it though. I think Shapiro has set this bullpen up as good as he can right now.....but the key will be to act quickly when someone shows he is struggling or doesn't have it and not try and hold out on the guy like they did with some of the guys last year.
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