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Why Not Johnny Damon at 1B/Casey Kotchman Signed

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Re: Why Not Johnny Damon at 1B/Casey Kotchman Signed

Unread postby GodHatesClevelandSport » Mon Feb 06, 2012 12:16 am

motherscratcher wrote:
GodHatesClevelandSport wrote:RBIs are not meaningless. They are overrated. It's very hard to drive in 100 runs if guys aren't on base for you. At the same time it's hard to drive in 100 runs if you aren't hitting for power. While I won't base everything on RBIs, there is something to a lousy hitter with 200 fewer PAs driving in more runs than a better hitter in a better offense.

The Browns' code word is playmakers. The Indians' is run-producers. Signing Kotchman is like when the Browns brought in Chansi Stuckey. Stuckey led the Browns WRs in receptions, but wasn't really any better than Massaquoi.


Ok, RBIs aren't meaningless in the sense that no stat is entirely meaningless. There is information to be gleaned from any stat.

How about we just call it the most meaningless stat that is a stat. Because it is.


I vote for saves as most meaningless stat.
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Re: Why Not Johnny Damon at 1B/Casey Kotchman Signed

Unread postby motherscratcher » Mon Feb 06, 2012 12:33 am

GodHatesClevelandSport wrote:
motherscratcher wrote:
GodHatesClevelandSport wrote:RBIs are not meaningless. They are overrated. It's very hard to drive in 100 runs if guys aren't on base for you. At the same time it's hard to drive in 100 runs if you aren't hitting for power. While I won't base everything on RBIs, there is something to a lousy hitter with 200 fewer PAs driving in more runs than a better hitter in a better offense.

The Browns' code word is playmakers. The Indians' is run-producers. Signing Kotchman is like when the Browns brought in Chansi Stuckey. Stuckey led the Browns WRs in receptions, but wasn't really any better than Massaquoi.


Ok, RBIs aren't meaningless in the sense that no stat is entirely meaningless. There is information to be gleaned from any stat.

How about we just call it the most meaningless stat that is a stat. Because it is.


I vote for saves as most meaningless stat.


Actually, you might have me there.
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Re: Why Not Johnny Damon at 1B/Casey Kotchman Signed

Unread postby gotribe31 » Mon Feb 06, 2012 8:28 am

motherscratcher wrote:
GodHatesClevelandSport wrote:
motherscratcher wrote:
GodHatesClevelandSport wrote:RBIs are not meaningless. They are overrated. It's very hard to drive in 100 runs if guys aren't on base for you. At the same time it's hard to drive in 100 runs if you aren't hitting for power. While I won't base everything on RBIs, there is something to a lousy hitter with 200 fewer PAs driving in more runs than a better hitter in a better offense.

The Browns' code word is playmakers. The Indians' is run-producers. Signing Kotchman is like when the Browns brought in Chansi Stuckey. Stuckey led the Browns WRs in receptions, but wasn't really any better than Massaquoi.


Ok, RBIs aren't meaningless in the sense that no stat is entirely meaningless. There is information to be gleaned from any stat.

How about we just call it the most meaningless stat that is a stat. Because it is.


I vote for saves as most meaningless stat.


Actually, you might have me there.


Nope, RBI are worse.
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Re: Why Not Johnny Damon at 1B/Casey Kotchman Signed

Unread postby redneckofsc » Mon Feb 06, 2012 8:59 am

gotribe31 wrote:
motherscratcher wrote:
GodHatesClevelandSport wrote:
motherscratcher wrote:
GodHatesClevelandSport wrote:RBIs are not meaningless. They are overrated. It's very hard to drive in 100 runs if guys aren't on base for you. At the same time it's hard to drive in 100 runs if you aren't hitting for power. While I won't base everything on RBIs, there is something to a lousy hitter with 200 fewer PAs driving in more runs than a better hitter in a better offense.

The Browns' code word is playmakers. The Indians' is run-producers. Signing Kotchman is like when the Browns brought in Chansi Stuckey. Stuckey led the Browns WRs in receptions, but wasn't really any better than Massaquoi.


Ok, RBIs aren't meaningless in the sense that no stat is entirely meaningless. There is information to be gleaned from any stat.

How about we just call it the most meaningless stat that is a stat. Because it is.


I vote for saves as most meaningless stat.


Actually, you might have me there.


Nope, RBI are worse.


You both are wrong. Wins are the most meaningless stat. All that matters is that you play the game the right way.
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Re: Why Not Johnny Damon at 1B/Casey Kotchman Signed

Unread postby Jumbo » Mon Feb 06, 2012 9:59 am

+1 to Peek for his column on LaPorta/Kotchman.

I was amused, however, that he made a minor stat error that ends up overrating Laporta:

. That’s right, he has 1,000 plate appearances in the big leagues and his splits are .238/.304/.397. That equates to an OPS of .701 and OPS+ of 93 (with 100 being average production for his position).


It's actually worse than that. The 100 OPS+ is average production for the league. Because first basemen are (generally) the best hitters on the field, their average production is even better. Across MLB, first basemen had an OPS+ of 121. (NL first basemen were slightly better (125 vs. 116), led by Fielder, Votto, and Pujols. With two of those three moving to the AL, that balance might switch.

That "performance," combined with his poor defense, is why fangraphs rated him as a negative value player last year, just like he was negative value in 2010 (and barely positive in 2009).

Also, on Kotchman's defense. I have not watched Kotchman closely enough to appreciate his defense at first base, but the numbers suggest that he's consistently been average or better. But here's an interesting piece of trivia: according to BB-Ref, Kotchman has 6,076 fielding chances in his career. He has made a total of 11 errors. That's solid.

(FWIW Dept.: LaPorta has made 12 in 1,815 chances; Prince Fielder 68 in 8,371).
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Re: Why Not Johnny Damon at 1B/Casey Kotchman Signed

Unread postby peeker643 » Mon Feb 06, 2012 10:03 am

Jumbo wrote:+1 to Peek for his column on LaPorta/Kotchman.

I was amused, however, that he made a minor stat error that ends up overrating Laporta:

. That’s right, he has 1,000 plate appearances in the big leagues and his splits are .238/.304/.397. That equates to an OPS of .701 and OPS+ of 93 (with 100 being average production for his position).


It's actually worse than that. The 100 OPS+ is average production for the league. Because first basemen are (generally) the best hitters on the field, their average production is even better. Across MLB, first basemen had an OPS+ of 121. (NL first basemen were slightly better (125 vs. 116), led by Fielder, Votto, and Pujols. With two of those three moving to the AL, that balance might switch.

That "performance," combined with his poor defense, is why fangraphs rated him as a negative value player last year, just like he was negative value in 2010 (and barely positive in 2009).

Also, on Kotchman's defense. I have not watched Kotchman closely enough to appreciate his defense at first base, but the numbers suggest that he's consistently been average or better. But here's an interesting piece of trivia: according to BB-Ref, Kotchman has 6,076 fielding chances in his career. He has made a total of 11 errors. That's solid.

(FWIW Dept.: LaPorta has made 12 in 1,815 chances; Prince Fielder 68 in 8,371).


Thanks Jumbo. I'll make that correction in the piece.
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Re: Why Not Johnny Damon at 1B/Casey Kotchman Signed

Unread postby motherscratcher » Mon Feb 06, 2012 2:19 pm

gotribe31 wrote:
motherscratcher wrote:
GodHatesClevelandSport wrote:
motherscratcher wrote:
GodHatesClevelandSport wrote:RBIs are not meaningless. They are overrated. It's very hard to drive in 100 runs if guys aren't on base for you. At the same time it's hard to drive in 100 runs if you aren't hitting for power. While I won't base everything on RBIs, there is something to a lousy hitter with 200 fewer PAs driving in more runs than a better hitter in a better offense.

The Browns' code word is playmakers. The Indians' is run-producers. Signing Kotchman is like when the Browns brought in Chansi Stuckey. Stuckey led the Browns WRs in receptions, but wasn't really any better than Massaquoi.


Ok, RBIs aren't meaningless in the sense that no stat is entirely meaningless. There is information to be gleaned from any stat.

How about we just call it the most meaningless stat that is a stat. Because it is.


I vote for saves as most meaningless stat.


Actually, you might have me there.


Nope, RBI are worse.


I was trying to be magnanimous.
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Re: Why Not Johnny Damon at 1B/Casey Kotchman Signed

Unread postby GodHatesClevelandSport » Mon Feb 06, 2012 2:38 pm

Peeker, did you put anywhere in that column that LaPorta had more RBI and HRs than Kotchman in 200 fewer PAs? :hide:
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Re: Why Not Johnny Damon at 1B/Casey Kotchman Signed

Unread postby peeker643 » Mon Feb 06, 2012 2:59 pm

GodHatesClevelandSport wrote:Peeker, did you put anywhere in that column that LaPorta had more RBI and HRs than Kotchman in 200 fewer PAs? :hide:



Killing me...

I had three people tell me they were concerned about Kotchman's power numbers this weekend.

I'm just not.

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Re: Why Not Johnny Damon at 1B/Casey Kotchman Signed

Unread postby redneckofsc » Mon Feb 06, 2012 3:11 pm

Stats are meaningless. Brandon Phillips had a better spring than Ramon Vazquez, yet Ramorez Vazquez was the better player.
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Re: Why Not Johnny Damon at 1B/Casey Kotchman Signed

Unread postby gotribe31 » Mon Feb 06, 2012 3:13 pm

motherscratcher wrote:
gotribe31 wrote:
motherscratcher wrote:
GodHatesClevelandSport wrote:
motherscratcher wrote:
GodHatesClevelandSport wrote:RBIs are not meaningless. They are overrated. It's very hard to drive in 100 runs if guys aren't on base for you. At the same time it's hard to drive in 100 runs if you aren't hitting for power. While I won't base everything on RBIs, there is something to a lousy hitter with 200 fewer PAs driving in more runs than a better hitter in a better offense.

The Browns' code word is playmakers. The Indians' is run-producers. Signing Kotchman is like when the Browns brought in Chansi Stuckey. Stuckey led the Browns WRs in receptions, but wasn't really any better than Massaquoi.


Ok, RBIs aren't meaningless in the sense that no stat is entirely meaningless. There is information to be gleaned from any stat.

How about we just call it the most meaningless stat that is a stat. Because it is.


I vote for saves as most meaningless stat.


Actually, you might have me there.


Nope, RBI are worse.


I was trying to be magnanimous.


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Re: Why Not Johnny Damon at 1B/Casey Kotchman Signed

Unread postby skatingtripods » Mon Feb 06, 2012 3:27 pm

GodHatesClevelandSport wrote:Peeker, did you put anywhere in that column that LaPorta had more RBI and HRs than Kotchman in 200 fewer PAs? :hide:


Why are you so enamored with this?

Kotchman is the better all around player today, tomorrow, and last July.

Just because a guy's name is penciled next to 1B on the lineup card doesn't mean he has to go out and hit 25 HR and drive in 100.

Kotchman makes the team better than LaPorta does. It's that simple. Whether he's doing it in the field, having an OBP that's 80 points higher, or just the fact that we don't have to watch LaPorta and his pathetic pitch recognition for another year. Kotchman makes this team better.
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Re: Why Not Johnny Damon at 1B/Casey Kotchman Signed

Unread postby pup » Mon Feb 06, 2012 3:40 pm

skatingtripods wrote:
GodHatesClevelandSport wrote:Peeker, did you put anywhere in that column that LaPorta had more RBI and HRs than Kotchman in 200 fewer PAs? :hide:


Why are you so enamored with this?

Kotchman is the better all around player today, tomorrow, and last July.

Just because a guy's name is penciled next to 1B on the lineup card doesn't mean he has to go out and hit 25 HR and drive in 100.

Kotchman makes the team better than LaPorta does. It's that simple. Whether he's doing it in the field, having an OBP that's 80 points higher, or just the fact that we don't have to watch LaPorta and his pathetic pitch recognition for another year. Kotchman makes this team better.


But he doesn't make them good. Which should be the point.

And why is someone who gets on base but has no ability to create anything once he is there mean more than a guy who drives in runs?

This is not an argument for LaPorta. It is an argument against Kotchman.

When defensive skills at first base is your contribution, you really are not contributing. As bad as LaPorta was, how many games does his glove actually cost them? It is first freaking base (no offense meant to any slick fielding 1B out there).
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Re: Why Not Johnny Damon at 1B/Casey Kotchman Signed

Unread postby peeker643 » Mon Feb 06, 2012 3:59 pm

pup wrote:
skatingtripods wrote:
GodHatesClevelandSport wrote:Peeker, did you put anywhere in that column that LaPorta had more RBI and HRs than Kotchman in 200 fewer PAs? :hide:


Why are you so enamored with this?

Kotchman is the better all around player today, tomorrow, and last July.

Just because a guy's name is penciled next to 1B on the lineup card doesn't mean he has to go out and hit 25 HR and drive in 100.

Kotchman makes the team better than LaPorta does. It's that simple. Whether he's doing it in the field, having an OBP that's 80 points higher, or just the fact that we don't have to watch LaPorta and his pathetic pitch recognition for another year. Kotchman makes this team better.


But he doesn't make them good. Which should be the point.

And why is someone who gets on base but has no ability to create anything once he is there mean more than a guy who drives in runs?

This is not an argument for LaPorta. It is an argument against Kotchman.

When defensive skills at first base is your contribution, you really are not contributing. As bad as LaPorta was, how many games does his glove actually cost them? It is first freaking base (no offense meant to any slick fielding 1B out there).


He makes them better than LaPorta does which was my point in the article. Even if you remove the glove from the equation he's as good a better a hitter. Maybe not in terms of HRs, etc (although he's not that far off IMO) but overall. And if he comes at all close to what he did last year he's exponentially better than what LaPorta has shown to be capable of giving.
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Re: Why Not Johnny Damon at 1B/Casey Kotchman Signed

Unread postby peeker643 » Mon Feb 06, 2012 4:01 pm

skatingtripods wrote:
GodHatesClevelandSport wrote:Peeker, did you put anywhere in that column that LaPorta had more RBI and HRs than Kotchman in 200 fewer PAs? :hide:


Why are you so enamored with this?

Kotchman is the better all around player today, tomorrow, and last July.

Just because a guy's name is penciled next to 1B on the lineup card doesn't mean he has to go out and hit 25 HR and drive in 100.

Kotchman makes the team better than LaPorta does. It's that simple. Whether he's doing it in the field, having an OBP that's 80 points higher, or just the fact that we don't have to watch LaPorta and his pathetic pitch recognition for another year. Kotchman makes this team better.


He was busting balls because of the 'Wrap'. Although he may be enamored with it too ;-) ;) :wink:
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Re: Why Not Johnny Damon at 1B/Casey Kotchman Signed

Unread postby skatingtripods » Mon Feb 06, 2012 4:14 pm

pup wrote:But he doesn't make them good. Which should be the point.


LaPorta doesn't make them good either, so what's your argument? Sorry we didn't throw 214M at Prince Fielder or 252M at Albert Pujols. Maybe next time.

Who was a better 1B option than Kotchman that we could actually afford?

And why is someone who gets on base but has no ability to create anything once he is there mean more than a guy who drives in runs?


Doesn't everyone try to say OBP is the most valuable hitting stat nowadays?

Kotchman also walked in 20 of his plate appearances with RISP. Hard to drive in a run when you're willing to walk. LaPorta walked 4 times with RISP. Is putting the ball in play to drive in a run worth more than walking and setting up a bigger inning? Obviously, stat guys will say yes. Personally, I'd rather get the sure RBI, so there's merit to arguing LaPorta > Kotchman in that sense.

LaPorta hit .284 with RISP, nearly 40 points higher than his season BA. Kotchman hit 57 points lower than his .307 season BA with RISP. Could just be a fluke one way or the other.

When defensive skills at first base is your contribution, you really are not contributing.


That's a pretty ignorant point of view. I don't have to tell you about the makeup of our pitching staff and how we're going to have to win games.

As bad as LaPorta was, how many games does his glove actually cost them? It is first freaking base (no offense meant to any slick fielding 1B out there).


How many times did LaPorta not turn a DP, but was not charged an error because there was a fielder's choice and double plays can't be assumed? How many times was a throwing error charged to someone else when any decent first baseman with good footwork makes the play?

Perhaps more importantly, we don't have to really trot Santana out there very much. He was worse than LaPorta.

I don't know how many games both LaPorta and Santana cost them. But I know he didn't help win them any. Kotchman can do that. Extra outs are big. LaPorta and Santana gave up their fair share of them.

I'm not totally sure how they calculate all of the fielding metrics for stats, but I know how to read them. Kotchman's a monumental upgrade at 1B.


I get it. Everyone hates the guy because he plays 1B. If he played 3B and played this kind of defense, no one would say a word. But, it's because he's a light-hitting 1B with little power, despite being a tremendous fielder and a good eye at the plate.

That eye procedure he had prior to last season and the dramatic transformation make his past stats exactly that - a thing of the past.

You'd rather have .245/13/60 and 12-15 errors instead of .285/10/50 and 2-4 errors? Not me.
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Re: Why Not Johnny Damon at 1B/Casey Kotchman Signed

Unread postby skatingtripods » Mon Feb 06, 2012 4:15 pm

peeker643 wrote:He was busting balls because of the 'Wrap'. Although he may be enamored with it too ;-) ;) :wink:


I know that, but I've seen him post it a few times on this forum. I could be wrong in how he means it. I don't know. If I am, I apologize to him.
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Re: Why Not Johnny Damon at 1B/Casey Kotchman Signed

Unread postby GodHatesClevelandSport » Mon Feb 06, 2012 5:03 pm

Peeker got it. And Pup, too.

I am not advocating that LaPorta should be standing beside first base come opening day. Just cautioning against expecting Kotchman to really help improve the team all that much. I doubt many here have that belief, but I'm sure there are plenty of Tribe fans who do believe it.

I think Kotchman gives the Tribe brass what they want, a defensive stud to go with their ground-ball philosophy. He does not give the Tribe what they need, which is a run producer.

That said, he makes the Indians better. Just not by much.

It will be interesting to see if the Indians slap-hitting, vaccuum-scopping infield performs better than the Tigers softball slugger infield.
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Re: Why Not Johnny Damon at 1B/Casey Kotchman Signed

Unread postby skatingtripods » Mon Feb 06, 2012 6:02 pm

GodHatesClevelandSport wrote:Peeker got it. And Pup, too.

I am not advocating that LaPorta should be standing beside first base come opening day. Just cautioning against expecting Kotchman to really help improve the team all that much. I doubt many here have that belief, but I'm sure there are plenty of Tribe fans who do believe it.


My bad.

I just don't necessarily agree with the premise that a 1B has to be a big run producer. I agree that a run producer is still a need. But, the way that this roster is constructed, Kotchman's a major upgrade to LaPorta.

Was going to do some research and maybe throw a front page article up on how many teams have made the playoffs without a 15 HR guy as the regular at 1B. I'm sure it's a low number and I'm sure it's a concern that the Indians have.

That said, not many teams are getting 25 bombs from their catcher. I think we'll have enough power that it won't really affect us too badly.

I'll sacrifice LaPorta's uppercut for Kotchman's level swing.
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Re: Why Not Johnny Damon at 1B/Casey Kotchman Signed

Unread postby pup » Tue Feb 07, 2012 9:55 am

Giving Carlos Pena more money would have been better. Not trading CC Sabathia for a stiff would have been better. Anything would be better than LaPorta. Almost anything would be better than The Sunshine Band.

The point in having a catcher hit 25 HR is you have a plus at that position. Well, a plus power at catcher and a minus power at first base means you are right back at square 1. This concept of getting power from "non-power" positions allowing you to have non-power players at "power" positions is assanine (IMO). Every advantage you gain, you lose. So you end up being equal.

I don't care how many ground ball pitchers you run out there. The defense at first base might save you an out a week. If you are fortunate, that out someone else costs you gets worked around and is not that big of a deal. If you are not fortunate, of course it could lead to a huge inning and cost the team a game. I am more from the line of thinking it is the pitcher's job to work around the mistake.

And you should know by now, I would never say OBP is the most important offensive stat. The point of the game is not to get on base. It is to score runs. Some might say a guy that goes 0-0 and walks 4 times but never gets past second base had a better game than the guy that went 1-5 with a solo bomb. But I sure as hell won't. In fact, I am and have always been of the opinion that stat is the worst thing to happen to the game of baseball in a very long time.

So you are telling me LaPorta gets better in pressure situations and KC shrinks? Also, I am not looking for a guy to be willing to walk with the chance to drive in a run. A quality hitter needs to recognize a pitch he can handle and get the run home. Without knowing every situation he was in, I would venture a guess he put his team into less enviable hitting situations by taking a majority of those 20 walks than had he been willing to to swing the bat and drive in a run.

And no, I would not want someone with Kotchman's batting line at 3rd base either. In this day and age, catcher is about the only spot on the field that I would take an offensive liability...as long as he is a stud while wearing the gear.

If Kotchman plays 140 games at 1B and drives in 40 runs, this offense is going to blow.
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Re: Why Not Johnny Damon at 1B/Casey Kotchman Signed

Unread postby Jumbo » Tue Feb 07, 2012 10:57 am

pup wrote:Giving Carlos Pena more money would have been better. Not trading CC Sabathia for a stiff would have been better. Anything would be better than LaPorta. Almost anything would be better than The Sunshine Band.


Tried the first option. It didn't work. Option two is water under the bridge. The only real options the Indians had were (1) spending $200+M on Fielder or Pujols; (2) trading from bullpen depth to help out their offense; (3) signing someone who has never played first base and is in his upper 30s; (4) Lee and (5) Kotchman. Other than signing Fielder or Pujols, which obviously wasn't going to happen, signing Kotchman was probably the best option...unless you wanted to risk the bullpen. The Indians obviously didn't want to do that.

Lee probably would have been better, but he also might simply not want to play in Cleveland. Or maybe he wants a ton of cash, we don't know.

The point in having a catcher hit 25 HR is you have a plus at that position. Well, a plus power at catcher and a minus power at first base means you are right back at square 1. This concept of getting power from "non-power" positions allowing you to have non-power players at "power" positions is assanine (IMO). Every advantage you gain, you lose. So you end up being equal.


It's a fair argument, but you have to add pieces to the team you already have. A 25+ HR catcher would be like having a 40+ HR first baseman. But it's not like moving Santana to first base would magically increase his power output. You have to be happy with having plus power for a catcher, and improve the team where the holes are. The hole was at first base.

And you should know by now, I would never say OBP is the most important offensive stat. The point of the game is not to get on base. It is to score runs. Some might say a guy that goes 0-0 and walks 4 times but never gets past second base had a better game than the guy that went 1-5 with a solo bomb.


Scoring runs is obviously the most important end-result, but OBP gets you a long way there. Kind of like how getting first downs in football lets you extend the possession. Teams that get a lot of first downs tend to score a lot of points.

BTW, both the 0-0 with 4 walks and 1-5 with a home run both did something good in the game. If the 4 walk guy isn't advancing past second, you'd probably want to complain about whoever is hitting behind him. The 4 walk guy did his job. Yes, in certain circumstances, you might prefer a sac fly, or a grounder to second to advance the runner, or whatever. But just in a vacuum, 4 walks is a good thing.

If Kotchman plays 140 games at 1B and drives in 40 runs, this offense is going to blow.


Well, that's what he did last year, and the Rays scored roughly as many runs as the Indians. I think if they can get a poor man's John Olerud out of him, they'll be happy.
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Re: Why Not Johnny Damon at 1B/Casey Kotchman Signed

Unread postby redneckofsc » Tue Feb 07, 2012 12:11 pm

So now that LaPorta is likely a bust, we got a 4th OF, a utility infielder, a backup catcher, and Carlos Carrasco for two Cy Young pitchers. Shapiro basically traded to Cy Youngs for our bench.
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Re: Why Not Johnny Damon at 1B/Casey Kotchman Signed

Unread postby Adverb Harry » Tue Feb 07, 2012 12:21 pm

redneckofsc wrote:So now that LaPorta is likely a bust, we got a 4th OF, a utility infielder, a backup catcher, and Carlos Carrasco for two Cy Young pitchers. Shapiro basically traded to Cy Youngs for our bench.


Don't forget Jason Knaap!

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Re: Why Not Johnny Damon at 1B/Casey Kotchman Signed

Unread postby motherscratcher » Tue Feb 07, 2012 1:22 pm

pup wrote:And you should know by now, I would never say OBP is the most important offensive stat. The point of the game is not to get on base. It is to score runs. Some might say a guy that goes 0-0 and walks 4 times but never gets past second base had a better game than the guy that went 1-5 with a solo bomb. But I sure as hell won't. In fact, I am and have always been of the opinion that stat is the worst thing to happen to the game of baseball in a very long time.

So you are telling me LaPorta gets better in pressure situations and KC shrinks? Also, I am not looking for a guy to be willing to walk with the chance to drive in a run. A quality hitter needs to recognize a pitch he can handle and get the run home. Without knowing every situation he was in, I would venture a guess he put his team into less enviable hitting situations by taking a majority of those 20 walks than had he been willing to to swing the bat and drive in a run.



I have thoughts on this, but Im busy at work so I'm having trouble organizing them into anything cohesive. This post is just to remind me later about it so there's less chance of me saying "aw fuck it" and dropping it.
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Re: Why Not Johnny Damon at 1B/Casey Kotchman Signed

Unread postby peeker643 » Tue Feb 07, 2012 1:36 pm

motherscratcher wrote:
pup wrote:And you should know by now, I would never say OBP is the most important offensive stat. The point of the game is not to get on base. It is to score runs. Some might say a guy that goes 0-0 and walks 4 times but never gets past second base had a better game than the guy that went 1-5 with a solo bomb. But I sure as hell won't. In fact, I am and have always been of the opinion that stat is the worst thing to happen to the game of baseball in a very long time.

So you are telling me LaPorta gets better in pressure situations and KC shrinks? Also, I am not looking for a guy to be willing to walk with the chance to drive in a run. A quality hitter needs to recognize a pitch he can handle and get the run home. Without knowing every situation he was in, I would venture a guess he put his team into less enviable hitting situations by taking a majority of those 20 walks than had he been willing to to swing the bat and drive in a run.



I have thoughts on this, but Im busy at work so I'm having trouble organizing them into anything cohesive. This post is just to remind me later about it so there's less chance of me saying "aw fuck it" and dropping it.


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Re: Why Not Johnny Damon at 1B/Casey Kotchman Signed

Unread postby pup » Tue Feb 07, 2012 2:33 pm

motherscratcher wrote:
pup wrote:And you should know by now, I would never say OBP is the most important offensive stat. The point of the game is not to get on base. It is to score runs. Some might say a guy that goes 0-0 and walks 4 times but never gets past second base had a better game than the guy that went 1-5 with a solo bomb. But I sure as hell won't. In fact, I am and have always been of the opinion that stat is the worst thing to happen to the game of baseball in a very long time.

So you are telling me LaPorta gets better in pressure situations and KC shrinks? Also, I am not looking for a guy to be willing to walk with the chance to drive in a run. A quality hitter needs to recognize a pitch he can handle and get the run home. Without knowing every situation he was in, I would venture a guess he put his team into less enviable hitting situations by taking a majority of those 20 walks than had he been willing to to swing the bat and drive in a run.



I have thoughts on this, but Im busy at work so I'm having trouble organizing them into anything cohesive. This post is just to remind me later about it so there's less chance of me saying "aw fuck it" and dropping it.



I cannot wait.
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Re: Why Not Johnny Damon at 1B/Casey Kotchman Signed

Unread postby motherscratcher » Tue Feb 07, 2012 2:57 pm

pup wrote:
motherscratcher wrote:
pup wrote:And you should know by now, I would never say OBP is the most important offensive stat. The point of the game is not to get on base. It is to score runs. Some might say a guy that goes 0-0 and walks 4 times but never gets past second base had a better game than the guy that went 1-5 with a solo bomb. But I sure as hell won't. In fact, I am and have always been of the opinion that stat is the worst thing to happen to the game of baseball in a very long time.

So you are telling me LaPorta gets better in pressure situations and KC shrinks? Also, I am not looking for a guy to be willing to walk with the chance to drive in a run. A quality hitter needs to recognize a pitch he can handle and get the run home. Without knowing every situation he was in, I would venture a guess he put his team into less enviable hitting situations by taking a majority of those 20 walks than had he been willing to to swing the bat and drive in a run.



I have thoughts on this, but Im busy at work so I'm having trouble organizing them into anything cohesive. This post is just to remind me later about it so there's less chance of me saying "aw fuck it" and dropping it.



I cannot wait.


I know, right? It's exciting.

I put a post it on my phone to remind me of the one in my pocket.

I told siri to remind me later and she told me to fuck off. That's a bad sign I think.
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Re: Why Not Johnny Damon at 1B/Casey Kotchman Signed

Unread postby pod2dawg » Tue Feb 07, 2012 3:29 pm

Kotchman does make us better.
But it is all relative, I love his "D", but ....here's how he stacks up against the others in the Central

Billy Butler .297/.360/.458 /.817 w .993 fldg%
Prince .282/.390/.540/.929 .992
konerko .282/.358/.500/.858 .995
morneau .281/.353/.499/.851 .996

kotchman .268/.336/.398/.733 .998
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Re: Why Not Johnny Damon at 1B/Casey Kotchman Signed

Unread postby skatingtripods » Tue Feb 07, 2012 3:38 pm

pup wrote:Giving Carlos Pena more money would have been better. Not trading CC Sabathia for a stiff would have been better. Anything would be better than LaPorta. Almost anything would be better than The Sunshine Band.


Yes, they would have been better options. But, we made a good offer to Pena and he took the tax-free money in a place he was comfortable.

The CC trade blew, yes. We all know that.

But, it doesn't matter anymore. We're in this position in the present. Failed ventures of the past are irrelevant at this stage. No reason to focus on them.

The point in having a catcher hit 25 HR is you have a plus at that position. Well, a plus power at catcher and a minus power at first base means you are right back at square 1. This concept of getting power from "non-power" positions allowing you to have non-power players at "power" positions is assanine (IMO). Every advantage you gain, you lose. So you end up being equal.


Not going to disagree with this point. But, it's what we have to evaluate to fit Kotchman into the fold. Have plus power at catcher. Could have plus power at SS if Cabrera's able to follow up last season's 25 with 20 this season. Kipnis has 15-20 HR power at 2B. No idea what we'll get out of Sizemore, but it could be a power boost. He still had the power stroke last year. Just had nothing else.

The defense at first base might save you an out a week.


Bullshit. No way to really quantify this, but I'm not buying your argument at all. This is an agree-to-disagree point because I don't think we'll find a stat or other evidence to support either side.

If you are fortunate, that out someone else costs you gets worked around and is not that big of a deal. If you are not fortunate, of course it could lead to a huge inning and cost the team a game. I am more from the line of thinking it is the pitcher's job to work around the mistake.


It is, but anything that makes a pitcher's job easier is a bonus.

And you should know by now, I would never say OBP is the most important offensive stat. The point of the game is not to get on base. It is to score runs. Some might say a guy that goes 0-0 and walks 4 times but never gets past second base had a better game than the guy that went 1-5 with a solo bomb. But I sure as hell won't. In fact, I am and have always been of the opinion that stat is the worst thing to happen to the game of baseball in a very long time.


I don't like OBP either. I prefer batting average. But, the game isn't viewed that way anymore. It's never going to go back to the way that you want it too. Too many people value "not making outs" over "getting hits and driving in runs". I'm not saying you're wrong. I'm just saying that it's not going to be that way and either you accept that or you just turn the other way.

So you are telling me LaPorta gets better in pressure situations and KC shrinks? Also, I am not looking for a guy to be willing to walk with the chance to drive in a run. A quality hitter needs to recognize a pitch he can handle and get the run home. Without knowing every situation he was in, I would venture a guess he put his team into less enviable hitting situations by taking a majority of those 20 walks than had he been willing to to swing the bat and drive in a run.


No, I'm telling you that last season may have been an outlier for LaPorta, for Kotchman, or for both. LaPorta's career BA with RISP is .252. (.233 in '10, .222 in '09). Why would there be any evidence to support that LaPorta can consistently hit .280 with RISP? At least Kotchman has a high batting average season to his name. Also, he is a career .280 hitter with RISP (189/676).

I'm all about driving in the run with RISP rather than walking. I don't disagree with you. I'd rather rely on one guy to get the job done rather than two.

Plenty of other situations in play with Kotchman walking. Was he pitched around? Who was hitting after him? Guy's not going to swing 3-0 or probably even 2-0 in that situation. Not with the kind of player he is. Assuming 1B was open more often than not, can't fault a guy for being selective.

And no, I would not want someone with Kotchman's batting line at 3rd base either. In this day and age, catcher is about the only spot on the field that I would take an offensive liability...as long as he is a stud while wearing the gear.

If Kotchman plays 140 games at 1B and drives in 40 runs, this offense is going to blow.


Depends which Kotchman shows up. This is still the same guy who drove in 68 in 2007 and 74 in 2008. If we got .285/10/65 and Gold Glove caliber defense, I still fail to see how anyone could make any kind of case for LaPorta.


I just think the difference in my argument and yours, and we agree somewhat frequently, is that I'm looking at the game from the perspective that it's widely viewed with. You're looking at it from your own. Not saying one is wrong or right, just saying that I'm validating it the same way the Indians are validating it while you're shooting it down because your ideology differs from what the consensus is nowadays.

Again, like I said above, I want the guy who drives in runs and I like to look at BA as a good indicator of a hitter, which it seems like you do as well. It's just not that way anymore. I accept that. Not sure if you do.
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Re: Why Not Johnny Damon at 1B/Casey Kotchman Signed

Unread postby swerb » Tue Feb 07, 2012 8:45 pm

Don't forget about Shelley Duncan. Anyone got a link to the thread where Pros projects his stats out over 162 games to be better than Jose Bautistas?
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Re: Why Not Johnny Damon at 1B/Casey Kotchman Signed

Unread postby GodHatesClevelandSport » Tue Feb 07, 2012 9:40 pm

pup wrote:Some might say a guy that goes 0-0 and walks 4 times but never gets past second base had a better game than the guy that went 1-5 with a solo bomb. But I sure as hell won't.


I, too, was all for the signing of Russell Branyan.

No, seriously. If we knew he were healthy, I think he would have been just as good as anyone else the Indians could put at 1B, especially at the price.
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Re: Why Not Johnny Damon at 1B/Casey Kotchman Signed

Unread postby pup » Tue Feb 07, 2012 10:24 pm

motherscratcher wrote:
pup wrote:And you should know by now, I would never say OBP is the most important offensive stat. The point of the game is not to get on base. It is to score runs. Some might say a guy that goes 0-0 and walks 4 times but never gets past second base had a better game than the guy that went 1-5 with a solo bomb. But I sure as hell won't. In fact, I am and have always been of the opinion that stat is the worst thing to happen to the game of baseball in a very long time.

So you are telling me LaPorta gets better in pressure situations and KC shrinks? Also, I am not looking for a guy to be willing to walk with the chance to drive in a run. A quality hitter needs to recognize a pitch he can handle and get the run home. Without knowing every situation he was in, I would venture a guess he put his team into less enviable hitting situations by taking a majority of those 20 walks than had he been willing to to swing the bat and drive in a run.



I have thoughts on this, but Im busy at work so I'm having trouble organizing them into anything cohesive. This post is just to remind me later about it so there's less chance of me saying "aw fuck it" and dropping it.



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Re: Why Not Johnny Damon at 1B/Casey Kotchman Signed

Unread postby motherscratcher » Tue Feb 07, 2012 10:53 pm

pup wrote:And you should know by now, I would never say OBP is the most important offensive stat. The point of the game is not to get on base. It is to score runs. Some might say a guy that goes 0-0 and walks 4 times but never gets past second base had a better game than the guy that went 1-5 with a solo bomb. But I sure as hell won't. In fact, I am and have always been of the opinion that stat is the worst thing to happen to the game of baseball in a very long time.

So you are telling me LaPorta gets better in pressure situations and KC shrinks? Also, I am not looking for a guy to be willing to walk with the chance to drive in a run. A quality hitter needs to recognize a pitch he can handle and get the run home. Without knowing every situation he was in, I would venture a guess he put his team into less enviable hitting situations by taking a majority of those 20 walks than had he been willing to to swing the bat and drive in a run.


OK smartass. Jeez, can't even have time to play with my kid after work.

This is a really compelling argument that doesn't really mean anything. You think a guy who went 1-5 with a solo shot had a better game than a guy who walked 4 times but didn't make it past second. OK. I'll agree that the guy with the HR had a great game. Any time a guy hits a home run had a great game. If a guy could do that every game he'd hit, like...a lot of home runs.

But the BB guy had a great game also. I don't see how that could possibly be in question. You really have no use for a guy who gets on base 4 times a game and doesn't make an out? Really? That's ridiculous. It's also ridiculous grading a player's game based on what his teammates do. You nicely qualified your example by saying that he doesn't make it beyond second base. OK, what if he makes it to 3rd base all 4 times but doesn't score. Did he have a better game now? What if he scored all 4 times? He still played the same game, got on base, and didn't make any outs. There is so much value in not making outs.

You say the point of the game is not to get on base but to score runs. Well, yeah. And if has been shown pretty conclusively that the way to score the most runs is to get on base and not make outs. I understand that you like Home runs. Who the fuck doesn't? I'm not advocating for less home runs. But it's not the only valuable contribution a player can make. I understand you want to score runs, but it's almost like you're saying that these players would be smashing home runs in all of these plate appearances that they are foolishly taking walks instead.

And I'm going to need you to better explain how a batter somehow puts his team in a less enviable position by not making an out, getting on base, and extending an inning.

*This wasn't supposed to be some world view altering epic post. I was just busy at work and started writing a response to your post and kept getting interrupted. Instead of deleting the whole thing I just typed the quick "I'll get back to you on this" post so I wouldn't forget. It's hard to convey tone and intent in the ether.
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Re: Why Not Johnny Damon at 1B/Casey Kotchman Signed

Unread postby pup » Wed Feb 08, 2012 9:20 am

motherscratcher wrote:
pup wrote:And you should know by now, I would never say OBP is the most important offensive stat. The point of the game is not to get on base. It is to score runs. Some might say a guy that goes 0-0 and walks 4 times but never gets past second base had a better game than the guy that went 1-5 with a solo bomb. But I sure as hell won't. In fact, I am and have always been of the opinion that stat is the worst thing to happen to the game of baseball in a very long time.

So you are telling me LaPorta gets better in pressure situations and KC shrinks? Also, I am not looking for a guy to be willing to walk with the chance to drive in a run. A quality hitter needs to recognize a pitch he can handle and get the run home. Without knowing every situation he was in, I would venture a guess he put his team into less enviable hitting situations by taking a majority of those 20 walks than had he been willing to to swing the bat and drive in a run.


OK smartass. Jeez, can't even have time to play with my kid after work.

This is a really compelling argument that doesn't really mean anything. You think a guy who went 1-5 with a solo shot had a better game than a guy who walked 4 times but didn't make it past second. OK. I'll agree that the guy with the HR had a great game. Any time a guy hits a home run had a great game. If a guy could do that every game he'd hit, like...a lot of home runs.

But the BB guy had a great game also. I don't see how that could possibly be in question. You really have no use for a guy who gets on base 4 times a game and doesn't make an out? Really? That's ridiculous. It's also ridiculous grading a player's game based on what his teammates do. You nicely qualified your example by saying that he doesn't make it beyond second base. OK, what if he makes it to 3rd base all 4 times but doesn't score. Did he have a better game now? What if he scored all 4 times? He still played the same game, got on base, and didn't make any outs. There is so much value in not making outs.

You say the point of the game is not to get on base but to score runs. Well, yeah. And if has been shown pretty conclusively that the way to score the most runs is to get on base and not make outs. I understand that you like Home runs. Who the fuck doesn't? I'm not advocating for less home runs. But it's not the only valuable contribution a player can make. I understand you want to score runs, but it's almost like you're saying that these players would be smashing home runs in all of these plate appearances that they are foolishly taking walks instead.

And I'm going to need you to better explain how a batter somehow puts his team in a less enviable position by not making an out, getting on base, and extending an inning.

*This wasn't supposed to be some world view altering epic post. I was just busy at work and started writing a response to your post and kept getting interrupted. Instead of deleting the whole thing I just typed the quick "I'll get back to you on this" post so I wouldn't forget. It's hard to convey tone and intent in the ether.


First, of all people to take offense to my responses about you posting it later, I would have put you near the bottom of the list. So sorry, if my couple of posts caused you to miss out on playing with your kids. Especially since the Judge Smails post came at 9:30 after my kids had already gone to bed.

Overall, no a guy that gets on base 4 times did not have a bad game. But walking is the, and allow me to speak in a very broad form on this, is the "worst way" to get on base. There is no opportunity for you to do anything but go to first base. And if you are not able to take advantage of being there by being a threat on the bases, then in fact you need your teammates to do something real good for that walk to matter. So sure, getting on base is great as an individual. And of course it is better to walk than make an out. Unless that out is productive.

Which leads to my next point. How does walking put your team at a disadvantage? Guy on 3rd, one out. Infield plays back, conceding a run. You take borderline pitches so you can walk. Well, now the next guy is no longer able to hit a groundball (should that be the result) of his AB. He needs to get a ball deep enough to the outfield or get a hit to score that run. Now the same groundball you could have hit to drive in a run is an inning ending double play.

motherscratcher wrote:Any time a guy hits a home run had a great game. If a guy could do that every game he'd hit, like...a lot of home runs.


And anytime a guy walks 4 times in a game, he'd walk, ...like a lot of walks.

Another large portion of my issue with walking: I believe there is a large portion of guys like Casey Kotchman in this league right now. Guys that are actually going to their AB looking to draw walks. And it takes any aggressiveness they should have as a hitter away. Sure, Casey Kotchman walked...good AB, right? Unless he took a couple of fastballs he could have driven in a gap somewhere on his way to that walk. If you walk as part of a good AB...that is great. And is something I would never begrudge. Stepping to the plate with a plan to walk? Little League.
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Re: Why Not Johnny Damon at 1B/Casey Kotchman Signed

Unread postby WiscTribeFan » Wed Feb 08, 2012 10:19 am

Stepping to the plate with a plan to walk? Little League.


I don't think I've ever seen someone dislike walks this much. The difference here is that major league pitchers a bit better at getting balls into the zone, get paid to get guys out. If a pitcher isn't going to throw you a strike, why on earth would you expand your strike zone to accommodate him? Chances are he's trying to get you to chase a bad ball looking for the K with a guy on third. He's still getting paid to get you out, preferably without the run scoring.

I also don't think guys go the plate looking to walk. They're looking for a particular pitch to hit in a particular location. If the pitcher isn't going to throw them a strike, I'm not exactly sure what a hitter is supposed to do other than walk. Expanding the strike zone to swing at a ball with the hopes of making a productive out doesn't make much sense to me either, mainly because you are hitting the pitcher's pitch. We've got enough guys on this team who can't stop swinging at pitches out of the strike zone, I'm not sure I'd want someone with great plate discipline to start swinging at pitches that are clearly off the plate. The fact that he hit .280 means that he was hitting balls in the strike zone fairly well.

Your man on third situation has way too many variables to condense it down to CK taking a walk instead of driving in a run. If the game is close or late, chances are the defense isn't playing back. If they are, they are either winning or losing by a fair margin, which means that run on third may not be as important. What if he takes a walk and the guy behind him hits a two run double or three run homer? Has CK done his job then? There's a lot of ways that scenario can go, including the guy hitting into a double play.

A batter not expanding his strike-zone and swinging at bad balls isn't a bad thing, and is something that way too many Indians need to learn. I'd rather have a guy like that than a guy who looks to expand the strike zone just to put the ball in play and ends up whiffing instead. A walk beats a K.
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Re: Why Not Johnny Damon at 1B/Casey Kotchman Signed

Unread postby motherscratcher » Wed Feb 08, 2012 11:38 am

pup wrote:First, of all people to take offense to my responses about you posting it later, I would have put you near the bottom of the list. So sorry, if my couple of posts caused you to miss out on playing with your kids. Especially since the Judge Smails post came at 9:30 after my kids had already gone to bed.


Dammit, that wasn't me taking offense. That was me busting balls. Did you really think I was offended by that (completely fantastic btw) Judge Smails picture? Fuckin' internets.

Kudos, btw, on having reasonable children. Mine's a complete narcissist.

pup wrote:Overall, no a guy that gets on base 4 times did not have a bad game. But walking is the, and allow me to speak in a very broad form on this, is the "worst way" to get on base. There is no opportunity for you to do anything but go to first base. And if you are not able to take advantage of being there by being a threat on the bases, then in fact you need your teammates to do something real good for that walk to matter. So sure, getting on base is great as an individual. And of course it is better to walk than make an out. Unless that out is productive.


I agree that walking is the worst way to get on base. I'd rather have a hit of any kind. But hits of any kind are way more rare than outs of any kind. So I'm not going to complain about an outcome where the better gets on base and didn't make an out, no matter how he got there.

And your opinion that getting on base is pointless unless you are a threat to do something doesn't make a lot of sense to me. Are you saying that unless you are a base stealer it isn't valuable to have you on base? Because this is getting precariously close to Dusty Baker's "clogging the basepaths" ridiculousness from a few years back.


pup wrote:Which leads to my next point. How does walking put your team at a disadvantage? Guy on 3rd, one out. Infield plays back, conceding a run. You take borderline pitches so you can walk. Well, now the next guy is no longer able to hit a groundball (should that be the result) of his AB. He needs to get a ball deep enough to the outfield or get a hit to score that run. Now the same groundball you could have hit to drive in a run is an inning ending double play.


I understand where you are coming from here. And it's always nice to get a run in. But there are so many things that can happen when a ball is put in play. The batter could line out to third and get the runner doubled off. The batter could ground out to the pitcher. The batter could have a shallow pop up. etc. Or you're right, he could hit it to second base and get the run in, or he could hit the ball deep enough to get the run in. Those would be productive outs.

And walking does set up a double play. And anyone whose watched the Indians lately knows what comes next. But on a real MLB team a walk also sets up the next guy for a 3 run HR. He also still has a chance for a sacrifice. It also opens up the hole between 1st and 2nd.

There are so many factors. In your situation, if your team is down by a run and it is the 8th inning, yeah, I'd love to get that tying run home and I'm more than willing to sacrifice one of my 27 outs to do so. But what if you are down by 5 runs in the 8th? Is it better for the batter to hit a weak ground ball to the right, make an out and get the run home? Or is it better to get on base, save the out, and prolong the inning?

Either way, again, there are good and bad outcomes. Maybe in some situation, making an out and getting the run home is a better outcome than a walk, but a walk is hell and gone from a bad outcome. I will never complain about a batter taking a walk.

pup wrote:
motherscratcher wrote:Any time a guy hits a home run had a great game. If a guy could do that every game he'd hit, like...a lot of home runs.


And anytime a guy walks 4 times in a game, he'd walk, ...like a lot of walks.

Another large portion of my issue with walking: I believe there is a large portion of guys like Casey Kotchman in this league right now. Guys that are actually going to their AB looking to draw walks. And it takes any aggressiveness they should have as a hitter away. Sure, Casey Kotchman walked...good AB, right? Unless he took a couple of fastballs he could have driven in a gap somewhere on his way to that walk. If you walk as part of a good AB...that is great. And is something I would never begrudge. Stepping to the plate with a plan to walk? Little League.


Well, yeah, that's my point. That is a whole heaping shitload of walks. 648 to be exact. If a guy ever went a season and got on base 648 times without making an out he should be a unanimous MVP. That would be absolutely incredible and invaluable. Maybe you'd rather have the guy that hit 162 solo HRs, and made 648 outs. There is an argument to be made for that as well and it'd be impressive as hell. But in all honesty I'd probably take the first guy. The point being that there is an argument either way, they are both epically historic seasons, and it would be silly to complain about either one.

I'll take guys who step to the plate thinking about taking a walk any day of the week.
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Re: Why Not Johnny Damon at 1B/Casey Kotchman Signed

Unread postby gotribe31 » Wed Feb 08, 2012 11:42 am

The object of a batter should be to not make outs. If his not making outs gets him past 1st base, even better. If his not making outs drives in runs, better still. Walking is good. Singles are good. Home runs are gooder. Outs are bad. This is why OPS is considered a good way to measure a hitters worth, because it combines his ability to not make outs with his ability to advance himself past first base. RBI are not a good way to measure a hitters worth, because they rely primarily on a hitters teammates.

Having a good approach is more important than having a lot of walks. Having a lot of walks is a byproduct of having a good approach. Short of watching every pitch a hitter faces during a given season, one can logically infer that, as a general rule, guys who walk a lot have a better approach than guys who strike out a lot.

I honestly can't understand how anyone would argue any of those points. Casey Kotchman doesn't even walk all that much (career high of 53), so I really don't understand why this argument is going on in this thread. Bottom line, if a hitter goes to the plate and doesn't make an out, he did a good thing. Did he do the best possible thing? Not necessarily. But it doesn't take away from the undeniable FACT that not making outs is good.
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Re: Why Not Johnny Damon at 1B/Casey Kotchman Signed

Unread postby GodHatesClevelandSport » Wed Feb 08, 2012 12:34 pm

Last year's leaders in walks:

1. Bautista (TOR) 132
2. Votto (CIN) 110
3. Cabrera (DET) 108
4. Fielder (MIL) 107
5. Pena (CHC) 101
6. Santana (CLE) 97
7. Swisher (NYY) 95
8. Berkman (STL) 92
9. Kinsler (TEX) 89
McCutchen (PIT) 89

In 2010:

1. Fielder (MIL) 114
2. Barton (OAK) 110
3. Pujols (STL) 103
4. Bautista (TOR) 100
5. Gonzalez (SDP) 93
Teixeira (NYY) 93
7. Zobrist (TBR) 92
8. Votto (CIN) 91
Heyward (ATL) 91
10. Cabrera (DET) 89

Basically, the best hitters are the ones taking the most walks. If you aren't a good hitter, you see strikes, not balls, because pitchers aren't afraid of you hitting their pitches.

Kotchman walked 48 times last year. That was tied with eight other players for 89th in MLB. Of people who qualified for the batting title, he tied for 77th with four other players. There were 42 players who took fewer walks, and 14 of those were fewer than 40 walks. 105th place (Jhonny Peralta and Danny Valencia) took 40 walks. So Kotchman is really not taking all that many walks. He increased his OBP last year with a fluky 12 HBP. He hadn't been hit by more than nine pitches any year of his career, and the previous three seasons he had been hit by 16 pitches.

He sure hits a damn huge amount of singles, though. 117 singles last season out of 153 hits. 60 singles the year before (out of 90 hits). 73 singles out of 103 the year before. So 250 of his last 346 hits have been singles. I do not know how this rate compares with others, but Kotchman gets on base because when he hits lots and lots of singles, not when he takes lots and lots of walks. In fact, more than 10% of his career walks have been intentional walks.

To put in in perspective -- Kotchman has walked in 8.3% of his career plate appearances. His 8.5% of last season put him right in the middle of the pack for MLB. Matt LaPorta has walked in 8.0% of his. But Kotchman has hit singles in 16.6% of his career PAs while LaPorta has singled in 13.1% of his.

The Indians are buying Kotchman for his hitting, not his walking.
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Re: Why Not Johnny Damon at 1B/Casey Kotchman Signed

Unread postby motherscratcher » Wed Feb 08, 2012 2:13 pm

If I could organize a thought and make a coherent argument, my post would have very closely resembled Al's post.

As it were, I will instead buy him a beer at my first opportunity and thank him for making the point I was going for.
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Re: Why Not Johnny Damon at 1B/Casey Kotchman Signed

Unread postby pup » Wed Feb 08, 2012 2:26 pm

We should just start teaching all of our hitters how to fungo balls foul until they get 4 balls and walk.

It comes down to philosophy of your approach in my opinion. As a pitcher, I would way prefer to face someone up there that is obviously up there working a count and accepting of a walk. It opens up a ton of possibilities for getting ahead of them and then abusing them. And unless you are one of the studs of the game, once you fall behind you are nearly guaranteed of making an out once you are buried in the count.

If I know a hitter is going to be aggressive, I need to be careful and hit a tighter spot in pitch 1 of an AB. I need to work up and down and in and out every time I face that guy. If someone is going to work a count, I have the option to get ahead with a get me over whatever I want. You can get ahead with any of your pitches to keep mixing things up, but you usually end up ahead in the count.

Teach good strike zone management with an aggressive approach. Which is the way the best hitters do it. Ending up with walks is a result of their approach. Not their approach.
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Re: Why Not Johnny Damon at 1B/Casey Kotchman Signed

Unread postby motherscratcher » Wed Feb 08, 2012 2:38 pm

pup wrote:We should just start teaching all of our hitters how to fungo balls foul until they get 4 balls and walk.


Exactly. Or a hit. Walk or a hit. Both are good. Good idea.


The whole happy family wrote:
pup wrote:Teach good strike zone management with an aggressive approach. Which is the way the best hitters do it. Ending up with walks is a result of their approach. Not their approach.


Gotribe wrote:Having a good approach is more important than having a lot of walks. Having a lot of walks is a byproduct of having a good approach.


motherscratcher wrote:Jibberish and gobbledygook loosely approximating Al's point.



I'm glad to see we are finally all on the same page.
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Re: Why Not Johnny Damon at 1B/Casey Kotchman Signed

Unread postby gotribe31 » Wed Feb 08, 2012 4:06 pm

motherscratcher wrote:If I could organize a thought and make a coherent argument, my post would have very closely resembled Al's post.

As it were, I will instead buy him a beer at my first opportunity and thank him for making the point I was going for.
:thumb up:


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Re: Why Not Johnny Damon at 1B/Casey Kotchman Signed

Unread postby pup » Wed Feb 08, 2012 4:42 pm

gotribe31 wrote:
motherscratcher wrote:If I could organize a thought and make a coherent argument, my post would have very closely resembled Al's post.

As it were, I will instead buy him a beer at my first opportunity and thank him for making the point I was going for.
:thumb up:


Someday, I'm going to cash in on all these beers that you and FUDU have promised :cheers:


http://www.theclevelandfan.com/boards/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=21452
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Re: Why Not Johnny Damon at 1B/Casey Kotchman Signed

Unread postby pod2dawg » Wed Feb 08, 2012 7:49 pm

Ummm...digging the "walk talk", but perhaps the main underlying point might be you would want your first baseman to be more of a power hitter...and not have a "lead-off" man's approach; hence, the case against the "D" argument also as all the first baseman in the Central are seperated by only a few % in fielding.
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Re: Why Not Johnny Damon at 1B/Casey Kotchman Signed

Unread postby leadpipe » Wed Feb 08, 2012 8:22 pm

Problem with Kotchman is that he's gonna be across the diamond from a guy who won't produce, as well as one of the corner outfield slots. If you've got too many Casey Kotchmanns at positions where someone is supposed to H-I-T, well, you've got a bit of a problem.

And yes, he's an upgrade over LaPorta, but I'm not sure what that gets you.

And yes, he's what they could afford, and I'm not sure what that gets you either.

In regard to winning games, as a rule, having your first baseman drive in around 60 runs is historically a bad recipe. And I understand RBI are now a fake stat and all, let's just say your first baseman needs to be someone the opponent is going to at least pay attention to.

At the end of the day, Casey Kotchman is a reserve/PH on good team, LaPorta isn't even with the club on a good team. Not necessarily the old, who ya wanna bang, Rosie or Roseanne argument, but not really all that far away.
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Re: Why Not Johnny Damon at 1B/Casey Kotchman Signed

Unread postby peeker643 » Wed Feb 08, 2012 11:08 pm

leadpipe wrote:Problem with Kotchman is that he's gonna be across the diamond from a guy who won't produce...


They can't really be about Hannahan starting at 3b. If Chisenhall isn't penciled in for 550 ABs I'm gonna be bent.

And look, I know Chisenhall is a kid and may end up Andy Marte II and you may better served with an old Pitch-Back playing 3B, but they need to give that kid 140 starts and pray he produces. Because they can't win as many games as last year with Hannahan getting the bulk of starts at 3b.
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Re: Why Not Johnny Damon at 1B/Casey Kotchman Signed

Unread postby skatingtripods » Thu Feb 09, 2012 12:12 am

peeker643 wrote:They can't really be about Hannahan starting at 3b. If Chisenhall isn't penciled in for 550 ABs I'm gonna be bent.

And look, I know Chisenhall is a kid and may end up Andy Marte II and you may better served with an old Pitch-Back playing 3B, but they need to give that kid 140 starts and pray he produces. Because they can't win as many games as last year with Hannahan getting the bulk of starts at 3b.


I like the approach they're taking with Chisenhall. Got his feet wet last year and this year he's gotta win the job. If, and this is a big if, he hits like shit in the spring, he should go down.

What would you rather have? Hannahan's .250 with Gold Glove defense or Chisenhall's .260 with a frying pan and a little more pop?

Chisenhall will dictate when he plays. Not the Indians. Maybe Hannahan if he starts the year like a burning bag of shit on a doorstep. But, overall, it's up to Lonnie. He clearly has plenty to work on and he got buried with it at times at the ML level last year.

I see both sides here. I just felt the need to stick up for Hannahan because I have to be consistent. Stuck up for him before and should do the same.
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Re: Why Not Johnny Damon at 1B/Casey Kotchman Signed

Unread postby leadpipe » Thu Feb 09, 2012 1:07 am

skatingtripods wrote:
peeker643 wrote:They can't really be about Hannahan starting at 3b. If Chisenhall isn't penciled in for 550 ABs I'm gonna be bent.

And look, I know Chisenhall is a kid and may end up Andy Marte II and you may better served with an old Pitch-Back playing 3B, but they need to give that kid 140 starts and pray he produces. Because they can't win as many games as last year with Hannahan getting the bulk of starts at 3b.


I like the approach they're taking with Chisenhall. Got his feet wet last year and this year he's gotta win the job. If, and this is a big if, he hits like shit in the spring, he should go down.

What would you rather have? Hannahan's .250 with Gold Glove defense or Chisenhall's .260 with a frying pan and a little more pop?

Chisenhall will dictate when he plays. Not the Indians. Maybe Hannahan if he starts the year like a burning bag of shit on a doorstep. But, overall, it's up to Lonnie. He clearly has plenty to work on and he got buried with it at times at the ML level last year.

I see both sides here. I just felt the need to stick up for Hannahan because I have to be consistent. Stuck up for him before and should do the same.


It's the exact same problem at third as first.

Yea, I'd rather have Hanahan's .250 (If he can hit it, which is questionable) and GG caliber D over Chisenthall, if Chisenhall blows. Just like I'd prefer Kotchmann over LaPorta.

But if your team has Casey Kotchmann and Jach Hanahan getting 1200 PA at the corners, for the same team, well, that offense is either A. In deep shit or B. Gonna have to have extraordinary performances other places on the diamond. And with the Indians having a corner outfield slot and a DH slot, which are extreme offensive positions, being manned by guys who are not very good offensive players.....there better be some MASSIVE offensive years by some guys should this be the case.

And this is in an offense that looks like it will have Hafner and Sizemore penciled in as starters - which means there's gonna be about a seasons worth of at bats going to someone who isn't a starting player, cause these guys are gonna miss games. (Personally, I think it's a mistake to go into a season with two guys like this, but whatever)

Again, not here to argue what is. LaPorta blows, and Lonnie hasn't proven anything yet, bu to look at opening day having Kotchman and Jacko in the line-up and saying everything will be o.k.....I'm pretty sure it's not.
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Re: Why Not Johnny Damon at 1B/Casey Kotchman Signed

Unread postby peeker643 » Thu Feb 09, 2012 10:45 am

I'll be sick to my stomach if Hannahan gets more PAs than Chisenhall for whatever reason.

It's not even something I considered because if it happens this team likely isn't winning as many games as last season. To go from 80 to 86 or 88 wins they need Chisenhall and Kipnis play run producing parts. Bottom line. A lot to expect? Maybe. But it is what it is. Hannahan can play late inning defense if he makes the club.

God, if you were gonna consider Hannahan as a starter you shoulda just put him at 1B and let Chisenhall play 3b.
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Re: Why Not Johnny Damon at 1B/Casey Kotchman Signed

Unread postby motherscratcher » Thu Feb 09, 2012 11:28 am

peeker643 wrote:I'll be sick to my stomach if Hannahan gets more PAs than Chisenhall for whatever reason.

It's not even something I considered because if it happens this team likely isn't winning as many games as last season. To go from 80 to 86 or 88 wins they need Chisenhall and Kipnis play run producing parts. Bottom line. A lot to expect? Maybe. But it is what it is. Hannahan can play late inning defense if he makes the club.

God, if you were gonna consider Hannahan as a starter you shoulda just put him at 1B and let Chisenhall play 3b.


I agree with this. I pretty much had chiz penciled in as the starter and he would have to tank horribly to lose the job. I realize that might not be what the Indians FO and Acta are thinking.

When I read LP's first post where he mentioned having Crotchman across the diamond from someone who won't produce I thought "Gee, I wonder why LP is so down on Chisenhall?" It never occurred to me that he would be talking about Hannahan.

I thought it was Lonnie's job to lose and he was going to have to work hard to lose it.
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