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B-List = Awesome

Unread postby Lebowski » Mon Apr 10, 2006 5:02 pm

Just wanted to point out how much I have enjoyed Steve's column. Loved the Vazquez bashing, especially this:

Seriously, Ramon Vazquez is completely worthless. Seven plate appearances. Five strikeouts. Zero hits, walks, HBP, errors by opponents, catcher's interferences, balks, repeals of Daylight Savings Time, Tony Danza script rejections ... nothing good has happened when Ramon Vazquez steps into a batter's box. I have to draw the only obvious conclusion: just as with a co-ed softball team which does not have its quota of female players, the Indians are being forced to take an "automatic out" and there is no actual Ramon Vazquez. Speak not of him to me. He is but a myth. The Joe Inglett Era cannot start too soon for me. I'd take the Stubby Clapp Era at this point. Maybe the Three Dead Lemmings And A Sharp Stick In The Eye Era. Anything.


Hilarious stuff.
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Re: B-List = Awesome

Unread postby Steve Buffum » Mon Apr 10, 2006 5:07 pm

Thanks.

On a more serious note, I'm wondering if what I wrote here might explain why Vazquez is on the roster:
Steve Buffum wrote:Which brings us to point three. Mark Shapiro IS smart. There are any number of things that support this, from the baseball decisions to the interviews to the educational background. The Marte deal is smart. The Michaels deal is smart. Signing Ron Belliard seems pretty smart in retrospect. Not every decision has been flawless, but the man knows smart.

Therefore, signing Aaron Boone was smart, right? Here's one of those classic cases: guy finds damaged goods, takes a low-risk flyer, lives through the rehab, reaps the benefits later. It worked for Bob Howry, right? Scott Sauerbeck is one of those, right? It's a chance to get an above-average player at below-average prices, a crucial component of the small market strategy, and Really Very Smart.

Unless it's not.

Was signing Ramon Vazquez Smart?

(Hint: no)
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Unread postby consigliere » Mon Apr 10, 2006 10:15 pm

Great stuff Buff, the best B-List to date. I think it goes without saying how much of a waste of sperm I think Vazquez is. And, how about things so far going the "Chicago Way" for the Indians? 2-0 in one run games, and the last two games they won in the Twins series and last game of the Chicago series were very "White Sox-like" from 2005.
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Unread postby Lebowski » Mon Apr 10, 2006 10:48 pm

Is there anyone in the system likely to be called up to replace him in the utility role? Or will Wedge keep a player with a limited skill set because of his perceived veteran presence?
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Unread postby consigliere » Mon Apr 10, 2006 10:55 pm

Merloni is in Buffalo, so he likely is the next option. After that, it would be the waiver wire. I doubt they'd give someone green like Inglett a shot now, maybe in Sept.
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Unread postby pup » Tue Apr 11, 2006 9:54 am

He is not going anywhere. They like him because whatever he does offensively is not considered. He is a very solid glove that can play all three infield positions, allowing them to not carry another extra guy. If you bring up Merloni, who gives Peralta a day off? A minor leaguer would probably only be looked at if someone was to get hurt for an extended period.
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Unread postby consigliere » Tue Apr 11, 2006 9:58 am

Pup wrote:He is not going anywhere. They like him because whatever he does offensively is not considered. He is a very solid glove that can play all three infield positions, allowing them to not carry another extra guy.


If this is the case, then why keep him over Phillips? Phillips hasthe better glove, and can play 2B, SS, and 3B.

If you bring up Merloni, who gives Peralta a day off? A minor leaguer would probably only be looked at if someone was to get hurt for an extended period.


Merloni plays SS. Since you'd likely only sit Peralta every once in awhile (every 10 days), Merloni is fine for two starts at SS every 3 weeks, if even that.
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Unread postby pup » Tue Apr 11, 2006 10:12 am

If this is the case, then why keep him over Phillips? Phillips hasthe better glove, and can play 2B, SS, and 3B


I have no idea. It had to be an attitude related decision. One I did not agree with, but Shapiro must not have had time to call me.

Merloni plays SS. Since you'd likely only sit Peralta every once in awhile (every 10 days), Merloni is fine for two starts at SS every 3 weeks, if even that.




I am thinking Merloni does not play short very well. Look, I think we can all agree that this Mark Shapiro/Eric Wedge combo is pretty on the ball. If Merloni was as good as Ramon with a glove and could hit better than him, don't you think he would be in Cleveland? Merloni even fits the profile of a Wedge bench guy to a tee, yet Vazquez is still here. It has to be for his glove and no other reason.
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Unread postby Birdman » Tue Apr 11, 2006 10:12 am

I have to agree that Vazquez is here to stay. They are paying him too much money to play AAA ball. That had to be one of the main reasons for keeping him over BP.

I also think that Phillips never got over being sent down after being given the 2B back in 03. Shapiro and Wedge don't like players with a bad attitude (Milton Bradley).
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Unread postby pup » Tue Apr 11, 2006 10:14 am

But by no means does any of this mean I am not 100% behind all the Ramon Vazquez. He is a stiff. No doubt. His right to be playing MLB for a living is likely tied to pictures he has of Dolan with his brother's wife. Maybe he is responsible for making sure Wedge does not grow the mustache back. Would he be worthy of a roster spot then?
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Why pick Vazquez over Phillips?

Unread postby ACrank » Tue Apr 11, 2006 10:56 am

1) Vazquez has hit major league pitching - granted in the distant past - but thats something Phillips cannot say at all....

2) Phillips would never develop into the future 2nd baseman with the limited number of ABs that he would have gotten as the UIF (the idea of an utility infielder having "potential" on a team competing for the playoffs is foolish)

3) Vazquez seems better adjusted to not playing on a regular basis than Phillips
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Re: Why pick Vazquez over Phillips?

Unread postby Steve Buffum » Tue Apr 11, 2006 11:14 am

ACrank wrote:1) Vazquez has hit major league pitching - granted in the distant past - but thats something Phillips cannot say at all....

Although this is technically true (.274/.344.362 in 2002), it is not particularly relevant to 2006. Vazquez will be 30, suggesting it is unlikely that he is improving; Phillips is young enough that improvement is at least in the vocabulary.
ACrank wrote:2) Phillips would never develop into the future 2nd baseman with the limited number of ABs that he would have gotten as the UIF (the idea of an utility infielder having "potential" on a team competing for the playoffs is foolish)

Good point. Yet by totally dumping him, our fallback position is a pumpkin, a turnip, or a man who does not exist.

I'm sorry, with all this "attitude" and "chemistry" and "yadda yadda," it all sounds like so much nose-cutting spite to me.

ACrank wrote:3) Vazquez seems better adjusted to not playing on a regular basis than Phillips

I am certainly better adjusted to seeing Vazquez not play on a regular basis. I would like to see Ramon Vazquez not play every single day.
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Its the utility infielder spot

Unread postby ACrank » Tue Apr 11, 2006 11:24 am

Phillips is young enough that improvement is at least in the vocabulary.


He is not going to get abs to improve. And even if he does, what would one year do that the previous how many years did not?

Yet by totally dumping him, our fallback position is a pumpkin, a turnip, or a man who does not exist.


Sorry, but after what happened last September, my feeling is with Phillips on the team the fallback position wouldn't be much better. This team needs a long term solution at second, they would if Phillips were here anyhow.

I'm sorry, with all this "attitude" and "chemistry" and "yadda yadda," it all sounds like so much nose-cutting spite to me.


I would like to think had Phillips shown the ability to adjust (can someone tell him he is NOT a power hitter - his pinch hit double for the Reds in his first AB will do him more harm than good) he would be on the team regardless of his attitude.
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Unread postby pup » Tue Apr 11, 2006 11:34 am

I would like to think had Phillips shown the ability to adjust (can someone tell him he is NOT a power hitter - his pinch hit double for the Reds in his first AB will do him more harm than good) he would be on the team regardless of his attitude


I have to disagree here. I think his attitude is 100% of the reson he is no longer here. If you were talking about a players ability, then there is not even a debate about who is here. BP is much better than Ramon Vazquez and Lou Merloni even if you were to take each of their best attributes and combine them into one superstiff. Bat attitudes and work ethic are just not going to fly around here.

It is not like they gave up on him because someone offered them a deal they couldn't pass up. We got either a long range prospect or cash. Wedge did not want him around the players.
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Not talking ability - talking production

Unread postby ACrank » Tue Apr 11, 2006 11:54 am

& also talking timing

if this were 2004 Phillips would be the ideal choice - if this were 2004 noithing would be set in stone and Phillips could graduate from utility infielder to fulltime starter with production

but its not

the Indians can't affoard to wait any longer on Phillips

yeah - it puts them in a spot in 07 where they either have to decide on Belliard (i can't understand why they don't sign him now) Boone (i dont like the idea of him being at second) or someone else (it was wishful thinking but i was pulling for Dustin Pedroia to be included in the Coco trade)

BP is much better than Ramon Vazquez and Lou Merloni


Vazquez and Merloni have produced, granted somewhat limitedly, against major league pitching - Phillips has not. Once again i think it comes down to two big things:

1) attitude - and not just the whiny hissy fit that he threw last fall, but the idea that he just doesn't seem coachable

2) production - say what you want, but for this team at this time i would rather see someone who has limited success against major league pitching but has had success, then someone who has had no success against major league pitching but might have success....

granted - i'd love to see someone else as the utilility infielder, but remember when they signed Alex Cora - he failed miserably

people defending Phillips are going to throw names like Bradley, Dreese, Rodriguez, and Gerut up as players that the Indians just didn't like.

and its true

Bradley went from the Indians to the Dodgers to the A's

Dreese went from the Indians to the Rangers to the Nats

Gerut basically seemed to play all over the NL Central, and now is in the Pirates AAA team claiming his knee is still bugging him

i lost track of Rodriguez, but i beleive he was released recently - not sure if it was from his second team after the Indians moved him (i belive to the Rangers)

are you sensing a pattern here? the Indians didn't like these players. And neither did the team the Indians moved them too...
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Re: Not talking ability - talking production

Unread postby Steve Buffum » Tue Apr 11, 2006 12:02 pm

ACrank wrote:Bradley went from the Indians to the Dodgers to the A's

Dreese went from the Indians to the Rangers to the Nats

Gerut basically seemed to play all over the NL Central, and now is in the Pirates AAA team claiming his knee is still bugging him

i lost track of Rodriguez, but i beleive he was released recently - not sure if it was from his second team after the Indians moved him (i belive to the Rangers)

are you sensing a pattern here? the Indians didn't like these players. And neither did the team the Indians moved them too...

I sense a pattern: besides Bradley (who, I agree, is simply unstable and needed to be removed from the roster), the other players have a lot in common:

They're bad.
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Unread postby Lebowski » Tue Apr 11, 2006 12:17 pm

Keeping Vazquez over Phillips was a mistake IMO. Unfortunately my opinion is not highly thought of amongst the Tribe brass.

Wedge, and to a lesser extent Shapiro, are conservative by nature. I agree with what Steve said about in reference to Boone, i.e.: they value known commodities. Vazquez is a known commodity. Its just that he isn't a very valuable commodity. Phillips was the unknown. He might reach his potential, or he might not.

The point is that the Tribe has huge expectations for 2006. There is pressure to make the playoffs...maybe even an expectation to do so. So Wedge decided that it was better to have a utility INF who is a veteran and a known commodity rather than a young kid with upside, but a history of attitude problems and trouble reaching his potential. If the same situation happened last year (Phillips out of options), BP would have made the team IMO because there were no real expectations on this team by Joe Fan.

IMO, that was their line of thinking. I'm not saying it was the correct line of thinking (actually I'm saying the opposite--what is the "value" of having the veteran/known player if the player sucks ass? Would Phillips have really caused trouble with the team?), I'm just saying it was a line of thinking.
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Unread postby mark » Tue Apr 11, 2006 12:19 pm

A couple of points:

1. Merloni can play SS. He's played 98 games there in his career...but none since 2003.

2. I would have liked to see them hang on to Phillips instead of Vazquez...but I think people are overreacting a bit to what may have been lost. No team has had a closer look at Phillips than the Indians. He is not the first prospect to go bust...and won't be the last. There has been a lot of debate and hand wringing over BP. While there is talent there, I think this is a case of a prospect getting over-hyped...a prospect with a bad attitude nonetheless. While I am certain he is a better player than Vazquez and Merloni, I don't think we lost anything that special either. It is unfortunate, but it happens (see Escobar, Alex).
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Unread postby Steve Buffum » Tue Apr 11, 2006 12:36 pm

mark wrote:There has been a lot of debate and hand wringing over BP.

This is true, and what you wrote makes sense.

However, I am wringing my hands over Vazquez instead. I may be in the minority. I think you have to have the best players possible on the field as often as possible to maximize your wins. Character is nice. Salary is an interesting factor. Being good reigns supreme.

I can make the argument that playing Aaron Boone at third base gives the Indians the best chance to win. I might be playing Devil's Advocate, but at least I can make the argument. I can make no such argument for Ramon Vazquez. First of all, there is no Ramon Vazquez. Second, the only way Vazquez becomes a valid, valuable player is if your middle infielders remain healthy and sound all season and his only use is as a late-inning defensive replacement. This is an awfully risky thing to bet on.

I am not necessarily advocating Phillips in this role. I am saying, loudly and emphatically, that Ramon Vazquez does not give us the best chance to win.

Now, if you ask me about Todd Hollandsworth ...
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Unread postby ACrank » Tue Apr 11, 2006 12:45 pm

Lebowski wrote:
Wedge, and to a lesser extent Shapiro, are conservative by nature. I agree with what Steve said about in reference to Boone, i.e.: they value known commodities. Vazquez is a known commodity. Its just that he isn't a very valuable commodity. Phillips was the unknown. He might reach his potential, or he might not.


Can someone tell me where the idea has come from that a playoff caliber team needs a player with potential for the utility infield spot? I can't see that.

The point is that the Tribe has huge expectations for 2006. There is pressure to make the playoffs...maybe even an expectation to do so. So Wedge decided that it was better to have a utility INF who is a veteran and a known commodity rather than a young kid with upside, but a history of attitude problems and trouble reaching his potential. If the same situation happened last year (Phillips out of options), BP would have made the team IMO because there were no real expectations on this team by Joe Fan.

IMO, that was their line of thinking.


It as their line of thinking, and if given time to research it you might find out its the patterm of thinking of most teams who at least think they are in playoff contention.

I'm not saying it was the correct line of thinking (actually I'm saying the opposite--what is the "value" of having the veteran/known player if the player sucks ass? Would Phillips have really caused trouble with the team?), I'm just saying it was a line of thinking.


Acutally i agree that Vazquez is not the type of player i want on this team long term. i guess my question is can you show me something concrete that says Phillips would be better?

I have no question Phillips has more upside than Vazquez. What i am saying is Phillips is the wrong player for that position on the Indians this year. And really the same thinking goes into Hollandsworth.
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Unread postby ACrank » Tue Apr 11, 2006 12:49 pm

mark wrote:A couple of points:

1. Merloni can play SS. He's played 98 games there in his career...but none since 2003.


i read somewhere the Indians don't necessarily like Merloni as a shortstop, but i understand he has been playing there more recently for the Bisons.

2. I would have liked to see them hang on to Phillips instead of Vazquez...but I think people are overreacting a bit to what may have been lost. No team has had a closer look at Phillips than the Indians. He is not the first prospect to go bust...and won't be the last. There has been a lot of debate and hand wringing over BP. While there is talent there, I think this is a case of a prospect getting over-hyped...a prospect with a bad attitude nonetheless. WhileI am certain he is a better player than Vazquez and Merloni, I don't thin k we lost anything that special either. It is unfortunate, but it happens (see Escobar, Alex).


Excellent point. Unfortunately MLB is littered with people who have all the talent in the world and just do not make it. I would like to know how you know this, though:


I am certain he is a better player than Vazquez and Merloni


If it were me i would have said: I am certain he could be a better player than Vazquez and Meloni. But right now Phillips' upside is Pokey Reese.
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Unread postby pup » Tue Apr 11, 2006 12:54 pm

Now, if you ask me about Todd Hollandsworth


So what do you think of Todd? :lol: :lol:

Merloni can play SS. He's played 98 games there in his career...but none since 2003.


Having played SS and being able to play shortsop are two diferent things. How did that team end up that played him there for 98 games? Probably not good.




Second, the only way Vazquez becomes a valid, valuable player is if your middle infielders remain healthy and sound all season and his only use is as a late-inning defensive replacement. This is an awfully risky thing to bet on.



While that is true, I don't see Phat Ronnie or Jhonny being replaced late in games for defense. So why even have him here? Why not add an extra outfielder and if shit hits the fan in a game and you are in a pinch, put Blake back at third for a few innings and play Boone in the middle. Maybe even find a second left hander to pitch out of the pen and give Wedge what he really wants...never having to make an in-game decision. Have your everyday lineup, plus Eduardo Perez and the rest of the team in the bullpen.
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Because this is just asking for trouble

Unread postby ACrank » Tue Apr 11, 2006 12:59 pm

Why not add an extra outfielder and if shit hits the fan in a game and you are in a pinch, put Blake back at third for a few innings and play Boone in the middle. Maybe even find a second left hander to pitch out of the pen and give Wedge what he really wants...never having to make an in-game decision. Have your everyday lineup, plus Eduardo Perez and the rest of the team in the bullpen.


If they had Jose Hernandez back this could possibly work, but with this set up you had better wrap Belliard and Peralta in bubble plastic when they aren't playing as if they get injured you could end up with Boone at short or second, and/or Blake (shudder) at second.
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Unread postby pup » Tue Apr 11, 2006 1:13 pm

If they had Jose Hernandez back this could possibly work, but with this set up you had better wrap Belliard and Peralta in bubble plastic when they aren't playing as if they get injured you could end up with Boone at short or second, and/or Blake (shudder) at second.


Yes for one night you would have a very ugly middle infielder, but someone could be here from Buffalo in plenty of time for the next game.
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Unread postby Lebowski » Tue Apr 11, 2006 2:58 pm

ACrank:
Can someone tell me where the idea has come from that a playoff caliber team needs a player with potential for the utility infield spot? I can't see that.


That's not the point.

Phillips either made the team as the utility man or he was out of the organization via trade because he was out of options. I thought his potential was a big enough factor for him to make the team as the utility INF, and thus, keep a spot in the organization, where we are thin at middle-infield.

That point is further bolstered by the fact that Vazquez isn't very good. I find it hard to believe that Phillips would do worse than Ramon as a utility man in 06.
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Unread postby mark » Tue Apr 11, 2006 3:57 pm

If it were me i would have said: I am certain he could be a better player than Vazquez and Meloni. But right now Phillips' upside is Pokey Reese.


Saying that Phillips is better than Merloni or Vazquez really isn't much of a compliment in my mind. I feel like I can say it with certainty...because I certainly know that Vazquez and Merloni stink. It would be difficult for Phillips to not be at least that good. However, I think there was more to it than just who was the best backup infielder.
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Unread postby consigliere » Tue Apr 11, 2006 9:49 pm

Pup wrote:If Merloni was as good as Ramon with a glove and could hit better than him, don't you think he would be in Cleveland? Merloni even fits the profile of a Wedge bench guy to a tee, yet Vazquez is still here. It has to be for his glove and no other reason.


Actually, the big reason is health. Merloni is still recovering from that ankle injury from last year. If he were 100% healthy, I have no doubts they'd have gone with Merloni over Vazquez.....in fact, if Vazquez continues to scuffle and Merloni gets better, Merloni will be here soon.

ACrank wrote:the Indians can't affoard to wait any longer on Phillips.


Why? What's the rush? He makes league minimum, is a former #1 rated prospect, and Phillips was under the Indians control for at least another 5 years. How could they NOT afford to wait on him some more? It's not like they have 2B/SS busting down the major league door in the minors....and it isn't like this kid is 27 or 28....he is still 24. An age most players finally reach the bigs.

Pup wrote:Having played SS and being able to play shortsop are two diferent things. How did that team end up that played him there for 98 games? Probably not good.


Just an FYI, but in Merloni's two starts for Buffalo he has played SS. The Indians are obviously getting him ready as a fallback option to replace Vazquez.
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The point

Unread postby BruceK » Tue Apr 11, 2006 11:02 pm

I think the point is that the Indians are 6-1 and we've just had an 800 post thread bitching about the utility infielder. It sure is nice to have such small things to worry about
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Re: The point

Unread postby gnati » Wed Apr 12, 2006 8:50 am

swerb...

why don't you cross reference the b-list in this forum as well.

Keep it posted on the front page, copy it into its own thread...it provides the best kindling for conversation you could hope to have.
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Re: The point

Unread postby swerb » Wed Apr 12, 2006 9:02 am

gnati wrote:swerb...

why don't you cross reference the b-list in this forum as well.

Keep it posted on the front page, copy it into its own thread...it provides the best kindling for conversation you could hope to have.

Great idea gnati.

And for reference sake, B-List will post between 1-2 PM EST each day.
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Unread postby ACrank » Wed Apr 12, 2006 10:26 am

Why? What's the rush? He makes league minimum, is a former #1 rated prospect, and Phillips was under the Indians control for at least another 5 years. How could they NOT afford to wait on him some more? It's not like they have 2B/SS busting down the major league door in the minors....and it isn't like this kid is 27 or 28....he is still 24. An age most players finally reach the bigs.


Try and answer the question that no one who thinks Phillips should have been kept over Vazquez can answer: What would keeping Phillips on the roster gain in his development that hasn't happened in the last how many years? Or more precisely - how much development would Phillips be able to get from the limited number of ABs an AL Utility Infielder figures to get?

Yep, if the Indians lose Peralta or Belliard to a long term injury, the team is in trouble. Its my contention they would be in trouble even if Phillips was on the team. The team definately needs a long term solution at second (am i the only Indian fan who doesn't think Joe Inglett is the answer to that question?) - and even though Peralta figures to be in Cleveland for a while i'd rather see a shortstop candidate in the system develop besides Ivan Ochoa (aka the living Omar bobblehead), and you can even partially blame Shapiro and Wedge for the failure of Phillips if you want and not get an argument from me.

I just can't buy the following argument points:

1) "potential" should be in consideration for the spot of utility infielder on a contending baseball team

2) Phillips is suddenly going to develop with the limited amount of PT he would get, when he has shown little signs of developing in the previous 4 years (including in a month in the bigs last season when all he basically did was have extended batting practice and pinch ran in a game or two)

Make no doubt - i am not a big Vazquez fan, and i expect he will be gone from the team in 07. But i would rather see him on the bench for this team, this year, than Phillips.
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Unread postby ACrank » Wed Apr 12, 2006 10:33 am

Lebowski:

Phillips either made the team as the utility man or he was out of the organization via trade because he was out of options. I thought his potential was a big enough factor for him to make the team as the utility INF, and thus, keep a spot in the organization, where we are thin at middle-infield.


Unless you are saying Phillips should have been moved in the offseason - especially since rumor has it they had two offers on the table for relievers (one was Wes Obermuller before the Braves traded him) then i agree.

But i read this paragraph and it seems like you are saying exactly what i am saying and you are disagreeing with: that Phillips should have made the team as utility infielder because of his potential.

To which i ask, again, when did it become important for an utility infielder on a contending team to have potential?
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Unread postby pup » Wed Apr 12, 2006 10:36 am

Try and answer the question that no one who thinks Phillips should have been kept over Vazquez can answer: What would keeping Phillips on the roster gain in his development that hasn't happened in the last how many years? Or more precisely - how much development would Phillips be able to get from the limited number of ABs an AL Utility Infielder figures to get?


The only answer I can give is this: The possibility of being around this group of players could be priceless. Seeing how hard Hafner, Martinez, Peralta, and Sizemore work could "enlighten" him. This are all guys he was rated ahead of and the #1 reason they have made it is working hard and having the right attitude. Maybe it does not work out, but there was still a better chance he can be a viable part of this team in the future than Ramon Vazquez.
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Unread postby Steve Buffum » Wed Apr 12, 2006 10:37 am

ACrank wrote:Try and answer the question that no one who thinks Phillips should have been kept over Vazquez can answer: What would keeping Phillips on the roster gain in his development that hasn't happened in the last how many years? Or more precisely - how much development would Phillips be able to get from the limited number of ABs an AL Utility Infielder figures to get?

It's a valid point. I have a few things that come to mind, though:

1) The team's hitting improved significantly after Eddie Murray was released and the new hitting coach took the reins. I don't know whether he'd have a positive effect on Phillips (who by many reports is not significantly influenced by coaching), but it wouldn't hurt to find out.

2) Phillips would be exposed to what is, by all accounts, a high-character positive and professional clubhouse. How much of Phillips' development needs is baseball, and how much is Life Skills? Is it conceivable that he could develop these better in Cleveland than Beefalo? (I don't know the answer)

3) He was cheaper than Vazquez. It's not a lot, but why flush any money down the tubes?

4) He can throw harder than Danny Graves.

I guess as much as anything, I'm frustrated that the FO made it sound like they'd get a good deal for Phillips, and to date, that appears to have been a poor assessment.
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Unread postby Jumbo » Wed Apr 12, 2006 10:47 am

ACrank wrote:Try and answer the question that no one who thinks Phillips should have been kept over Vazquez can answer: What would keeping Phillips on the roster gain in his development that hasn't happened in the last how many years? Or more precisely - how much development would Phillips be able to get from the limited number of ABs an AL Utility Infielder figures to get?


But, before even wondering if BP's development could potentially make him a better option than Vazquez, you have to be convinced that Ramon Vazquez 2006 > Brandon Phillips 2006. Talent/production-wise, I wasn't convinced of it then, and I'm less convinced of it now.

The only justifications I can see are: 1) Brandon's attitude wasn't suited to the bench and 2) Vazquez can play third, while BP can't. #1 is what it is, but as for #2: I find it hard to believe that a middle infielder couldn't aadjust to playing 3B occasionally, but even if it was a problem...would it be so horrible if, when you want to give Boone a night off, you let Blake play third and Hollandsworth play in right?
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Unread postby rigs » Wed Apr 12, 2006 11:06 am

Buff
I didnt read all responses, but I will say this.
Yes, Shapiro is smarter than all of us and is a deity.
However, I think he values Wedge's opinion too much on some roster moves. And I think Wedge doesn't like Phillips.
Wedge got his pitching coach fired on opening day for crying out loud!
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Unread postby ACrank » Wed Apr 12, 2006 11:17 am

Ramon Vazquez 2006 > Brandon Phillips 2006


Sorry, but thats not as hard to believe as you would think. When it comes to spots on this team this year, i would rather go with what i know over what i think. So Vazquez 06> Phillips 06.

Phillips ability to play third i would hope wasn't an issue - like you said Blake was there to play third, and for that matter i believe Perez has at least stood at the position during a major league game at onme time or another. I do think Phillips has played the position either in the low minors or in fall ball.

The team's hitting improved significantly after Eddie Murray was released and the new hitting coach took the reins. I don't know whether he'd have a positive effect on Phillips (who by many reports is not significantly influenced by coaching), but it wouldn't hurt to find out.


Wasn't Derek Shelton (Murray's replacement) the hitting coach when Phillips was on the team during the season for a month of batting practice?

Phillips would be exposed to what is, by all accounts, a high-character positive and professional clubhouse. How much of Phillips' development needs is baseball, and how much is Life Skills? Is it conceivable that he could develop these better in Cleveland than Beefalo? (I don't know the answer)


I've never lived in either city but have visited both - i can't see whether or not this was an issue, unless if you are one who believes that Phillips could have learned how to be a major leaguer by being with major leaguers. Then see the above answer, and factor in Buffalo having players like Ernie Young - a career minor leaguer who by all accounts is an outstanding individual and someone who was kept primiarly for the influence he had on the younger players.

He was cheaper than Vazquez. It's not a lot, but why flush any money down the tubes?


Other forums Dolan is Cheap repition notwithstanding, again i doubt that this was much of an issue. Or maybe the extra 500K is worth the peace of mind?

I guess as much as anything, I'm frustrated that the FO made it sound like they'd get a good deal for Phillips, and to date, that appears to have been a poor assessment.


This much i will agree with. The Indians should have moved Phillips when they had the opportunity - the two relievers mentioned (Obermuller when he was with the Braves and some lefty on the Brewers whose name i can never remember) didn't seem like much, but they are better than some A Level player they figure to get from the Reds.

Phillips' fate on this team was sealed after two events that happened last year:

1) the month of batting practce that seemed to go over like a lead balloon

2) the little discussion he and John Farrell had when it was learned that Phillips was not being called back to the team in September
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Unread postby ACrank » Wed Apr 12, 2006 11:20 am

RIGS wrote:Buff
I didnt read all responses, but I will say this.
Yes, Shapiro is smarter than all of us and is a deity.
However, I think he values Wedge's opinion too much on some roster moves. And I think Wedge doesn't like Phillips.
Wedge got his pitching coach fired on opening day for crying out loud!


Letsee:

1) Wedge wanted Sizemore on the team last year while Shapiro felt he coudl benefit from more time in Buffalo

2) the replacement pitching coach seems to be doing a good job with the pitchers

Taking those two things alone i can see where Shapiro might learn to trust Wedge's judgement just a bit
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Unread postby Lebowski » Wed Apr 12, 2006 11:21 am

Crank:
But i read this paragraph and it seems like you are saying exactly what i am saying and you are disagreeing with: that Phillips should have made the team as utility infielder because of his potential.


I'm not following you. Again, he either was the 06 utility man or gone from the Cleveland Indians. It ISN'T important to have a utility man with potential...the point is that had he made the team, he wouldn't have been the utility man for his whole career. Making the team would have meant that he was the 06 utility man and would compete for the starting 2B job if Belly wasn't re-signed. Again, we are weak at middle infield down on the farm. I thought his potential in the long run (ie:developing into a starting 2B) was worth giving him the job.

A point you haven't addressed is the fact that Vazquez stinks. You would have had a much better argument about keeping a valuable veteran utility man over Phillips, especially on a playoff caliber team. Of course, Ramon has no value so...

I could see letting a "potential" guy go for a quality stick/glove off the bench. But that isn't the case here...we let a "potential" guy go for Ramon Fucking Vazquez...and that's a mistake.
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Unread postby ACrank » Wed Apr 12, 2006 11:22 am

Pup wrote:
Try and answer the question that no one who thinks Phillips should have been kept over Vazquez can answer: What would keeping Phillips on the roster gain in his development that hasn't happened in the last how many years? Or more precisely - how much development would Phillips be able to get from the limited number of ABs an AL Utility Infielder figures to get?


The only answer I can give is this: The possibility of being around this group of players could be priceless. Seeing how hard Hafner, Martinez, Peralta, and Sizemore work could "enlighten" him. This are all guys he was rated ahead of and the #1 reason they have made it is working hard and having the right attitude. Maybe it does not work out, but there was still a better chance he can be a viable part of this team in the future than Ramon Vazquez.


I guess i am the only one who remembers Phillips being on the team last season for what amounted to a month of batting practice? Seeing as Phillips was not called back to the team in September, i can only assume (& yes i know what happens when you assume) that in this case Phillips didn't learn much from "being around this group of players". Thank god Garko and Gutierrez did when they were on the team in September.
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Unread postby ACrank » Wed Apr 12, 2006 11:28 am

Lebowski wrote:Crank:
But i read this paragraph and it seems like you are saying exactly what i am saying and you are disagreeing with: that Phillips should have made the team as utility infielder because of his potential.


I'm not following you. Again, he either was the 06 utility man or gone from the Cleveland Indians. It ISN'T important to have a utility man with potential...the point is that had he made the team, he wouldn't have been the utility man for his whole career. Making the team would have meant that he was the 06 utility man and would compete for the starting 2B job if Belly wasn't re-signed. Again, we are weak at middle infield down on the farm. I thought his potential in the long run (ie:developing into a starting 2B) was worth giving him the job.


Ok then - how realistic is it to expect Phillips to develop when he has had repeated exposures to major league life/coaching, etc and has not developed to date?

A point you haven't addressed is the fact that Vazquez stinks. You would have had a much better argument about keeping a valuable veteran utility man over Phillips, especially on a playoff caliber team. Of course, Ramon has no value so...


Vazquez is an utility infielder - all i care about is his glove. Does the spot of utility infielder need to be upgraded? Perhaps, but they tried that last year with Cora and Hernandez, and that went over really well.

& based on what the Indians are supposedly getting from the Reds for Phillips, i think a valid point could be made that Vazquez has a bit more value than Phillips....

I could see letting a "potential" guy go for a quality stick/glove off the bench. But that isn't the case here...we let a "potential" guy go for Ramon Fucking Vazquez...and that's a mistake.


Guess we just disagree. As bad as Vazquez might be, i will take what i know i can get from him (good defense) over the questionmarks abounding with Phillips: he doesn't hit major league pitching (at least Vazquez did) and he doesn't seem capable of making the routine fielding play.

I have said that i can understand the logic of keeping Phillips and sending Vazquez down since Vazquez apparently did have one more option - i just don't see what would have been gained from it that wasn't showing already.
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Unread postby Lebowski » Wed Apr 12, 2006 11:37 am

Crank:
Ok then - how realistic is it to expect Phillips to develop when he has had repeated exposures to major league life/coaching, etc and has not developed to date


I would say that it is more realistic for Phillips to develop than for Vazquez to hit .250 in 06 :)

The better question is: Who is more likely to help us beyond this season? We sure as shit know that Phillips would be hard pressed to any worse than RV in 06...and you have the upside of Phillips beyong the 2006 season.

CRank:
Vazquez is an utility infielder - all i care about is his glove. Does the spot of utility infielder need to be upgraded?


I dont understand why everything is on a one-year basis for you. The decision to keep Vazquez over Phillips affected much more than 2006.

Plus...if you are talking about only caring about a utility man's glove...isn't Phillips your guy? Dude has always had the leather...his problem has been has been at the dish.
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Unread postby ACrank » Wed Apr 12, 2006 11:46 am

Lebowski wrote:Crank:
Ok then - how realistic is it to expect Phillips to develop when he has had repeated exposures to major league life/coaching, etc and has not developed to date


I would say that it is more realistic for Phillips to develop than for Vazquez to hit .250 in 06 :)


Expecting any utility infielder to hit .250 is equivalent to expecting to hit the lottery. Its nice. It happens occasionally. But its not realistic.

The better question is: Who is more likely to help us beyond this season? We sure as shit know that Phillips would be hard pressed to any worse than RV in 06...and you have the upside of Phillips beyong the 2006 season.


So you did want Phillips to be on the team because of potential? Again i ask, just how much could you expect Phillips to develop when he has had plenty of opportunity previously and has not developed at all?

CRank:
Vazquez is an utility infielder - all i care about is his glove. Does the spot of utility infielder need to be upgraded?


I dont understand why everything is on a one-year basis for you. The decision to keep Vazquez over Phillips affected much more than 2006. [/quote]

At some point you have to stop thinking long term - the Indains are concerned about winning this year. they believe you can't win with Phillips as the utility infielder, and doubt that Phillips would have developed enough to be the long term solution at second. I think, based on what i have seen in the past, they are correct in both beliefs.

Plus...if you are talking about only caring about a utility man's glove...isn't Phillips your guy? Dude has always had the leather...his problem has been has been at the dish.


i didn't get to see as many exhibition games as i usually do, but it seems i read quite a few stories about Phillips having errors during ST on plays that should have been routine plays. If he can't make those plays, what good is he to this team?
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Unread postby Lebowski » Wed Apr 12, 2006 12:49 pm

the Indains are concerned about winning this year. they believe you can't win with Phillips as the utility infielder, and doubt that Phillips would have developed enough to be the long term solution at second. I think, based on what i have seen in the past, they are correct in both beliefs.

Okay...you want to only talk about 2006...I'll play along.

I'll even make it easy for you:

What will Ramon Vazquez add to this team, this year, that Brandon Phillips couldn't?
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Unread postby ACrank » Wed Apr 12, 2006 1:17 pm

What will Ramon Vazquez add to this team, this year, that Brandon Phillips couldn't?


1) Vazquez will adjust better to not playing on a regular basis.

2) Vazquez will make the routine plays.

3) Vazquez knows what it takes to be a major league utility infielder.
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Unread postby Steve Buffum » Wed Apr 12, 2006 1:23 pm

ACrank wrote:3) Vazquez knows what it takes to be a major league utility infielder.

Then he should exhibit these traits.

Or at least resurrect the Alvaro Espinoza Bubble Hat. Something, fer crine out loud.
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Unread postby ACrank » Wed Apr 12, 2006 1:50 pm

Vazquez won't hit like Espinosa. Very few utility infielders do. Vazquez is on the team for his glove, and thats it. Anything else is gravy.

Isn't it great that the only concerns on the team seem to be the #24 and #25 players on the roster (Vazquez and Hollandsworth)?
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Unread postby consigliere » Wed Apr 12, 2006 2:01 pm

ACrank wrote:What would keeping Phillips on the roster gain in his development that hasn't happened in the last how many years? Or more precisely - how much development would Phillips be able to get from the limited number of ABs an AL Utility Infielder figures to get?


Again, if you are keeping Vazquez on this roster, then why not just stick it out for 1/3 or 1/2 a season with Phillips instead to see what in fact does happen? We already know what Vazquez is.....while we *think* we know what Phillips is. Phillips may indeed turnout to be Pokey Reese at best, but he may also become a solid middle infielder. He still has potential to start at some point, so why not go with him to start the season....if he sucks, THEN trade his ass for the proverbial PTBNL and then purchase Merloni's contract. ANYTHING but Ramon Vazquez.

ACrank wrote:The team definately needs a long term solution at second (am i the only Indian fan who doesn't think Joe Inglett is the answer to that question?)


You are the only one. No way Inglett sniffs the starting 2B job.....although he definitely is in line to fill a utility role sometime this season or next season.

Jumbo wrote:The only justifications I can see are: 1) Brandon's attitude wasn't suited to the bench and 2) Vazquez can play third, while BP can't. #1 is what it is, but as for #2: I find it hard to believe that a middle infielder couldn't aadjust to playing 3B occasionally...


Right on Jumbo about the attitude thingy. This has to be the sole reason....although there were reports his attitude was better. Obviously, Shapiro and Wedge still had something against him, and there was no true competition this Spring for the utility spot. BP was at worst on par with Vazquez (I saw he was better)....yet, Vazquez made the team. Pretty much nails it for me it was an off the field issue (or the attitude thing) because no way you dump a once prized prospect for Ruben Amaro light.

BTW, BP has played some 3B in the minors.

ACrank wrote:Sorry, but thats not as hard to believe as you would think. When it comes to spots on this team this year, i would rather go with what i know over what i think. So Vazquez 06> Phillips 06.


Which is one of the biggest problems with this org. Of late, they tend to go with what they "know" than what they "think." The examples of late:

- Juan Gonzalez over Sizemore last Spring
- Vazquez over Phillips
- Hollandsworth over Gutierrez, Francisco, etc
- Graves over Andy Brown, Davis, etc

I mean, how great is it to "know" about Vazquez, Hollandsworth, and GRaves? I know they suck. That's all I need to know. But, I think some other options could be better. :D
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Unread postby ACrank » Wed Apr 12, 2006 2:12 pm

i wouldn't want Gutierrez as the #4 of no more than i would want Phillips as the utility infielder - this is a contending team after all...

Again, if you are keeping Vazquez on this roster, then why not just stick it out for 1/3 or 1/2 a season with Phillips instead to see what in fact does happen? We already know what Vazquez is.....while we *think* we know what Phillips is. Phillips may indeed turnout to be Pokey Reese at best, but he may also become a solid middle infielder. He still has potential to start at some point, so why not go with him to start the season....if he sucks, THEN trade his ass for the proverbial PTBNL and then purchase Merloni's contract. ANYTHING but Ramon Vazquez.


Can you tell me what Phillips would do that he hasn't done in the previous how many seasons? Including the month he spent on the 25 man roster last year in basically batting practice? He had his chance. He didn't show what they wanted to see? What makes you think he would do it now?

No way Inglett sniffs the starting 2B job.....although he definitely is in line to fill a utility role sometime this season or next season.


I don't even think he does that - a fan i know who has seen Inglett play a lot in Buffalo tells me his best defensive position is second, and that he is below average everywhere else. Thats not what i want in an utility infielder.


Juan Gonzalez over Sizemore last Spring


Wedge wanted Sizemore - apparently Wedge didn't want Phillips. Seeing as he has to manage 25 individuals and make them into one team, i think listening to him in this is not a bad idea.

Graves over Andy Brown, Davis, etc


See here i agree, sort of - i'd rather have seen Brown because of his fastball or Davis because of his ability to be a swing man. But i can live with Graves.
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Unread postby Lebowski » Wed Apr 12, 2006 3:12 pm

Crank:
1) Vazquez will adjust better to not playing on a regular basis.


Who cares how he adjusts? He's still Ramon Vazquez.

If you implying that Phillips would have caused problems in the clubhouse, well, I guess that is the great unknown. Dude had attitude problems in the past, but I wouldn't call him Milton Bradley. From his quotes after he was told he didnt make the team, he really seemed like he would have done anything to make the team.

2) Vazquez will make the routine plays.


Hmm...if I cede that RV will make the routine plays, will you cede that Phillips would have made the more difficult plays? Will you cede that Phillips has better range and is better at turning the DP?

Or do you think Vazquez is the better overall 2B? (I don't...but maybe this can partially explain why you support the move)

3) Vazquez knows what it takes to be a major league utility infielder.


Umm...so do I. I know what it takes as well...want me to suit up?

He's a stiff...why value the all important "knowledge of what it takes" over the somehow underrated "talent"?

Point is...even if we agree to disagree about some things...wouldn't we find a common ground in saying that Ramon Vasquez-utility INF in 06 vs. Brandon Phillips-utility INF in 06 is basically a wash? I think Phillips would have proven better for 06, you think Vasquez...but can we agree that neither would have been a marked improvement over the other?

And if we reach that common ground....how in the wild world of sports wouldn't BP's upside swing the vote in his favor for you? If RV in 06 = BP in 06...wouldn;t the next logical step be to look to see what each player offers beyond 2006?

And who offers more value to the Cleveland Indians beyond 06? (Hint: Not Ramon Vazquez)
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