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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 Jumbo » Thu Feb 09, 2012 12:22 pm

leadpipe wrote:At the end of the day, Casey Kotchman is a reserve/PH on good team


I admit this is being super-pedantic, but Kotchman was the starting first baseman for the Rays last year, and they won 91 games and went to the playoffs, i.e.,g a good team. Having Kotchman play 140+ games at first isn't guaranteeing a good season, but it's not some kind of harbinger of doom.

The obvious response ("But the Rays had Longoria mashing at third!") leads directly into the issue of Chisenhall vs. Hannahan. My guess is that they've already penciled Chiz in at third, but are going to say all the Right Things to motivate him in spring training: "Open competition," "nothing's been decided," and so on. Chisenhall showed similar power in the majors as he's had in the minors, he just needs to get a chance to play every day and get comfortable at this level.

FWIW Dept., Chisenhall by month:
July: .217/.299/.367
August: .241/.237/.362
Sept. & Oct.: .279/.295/.465 (with 4 of his 7 home runs)
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Re: Why Not Johnny Damon at 1B/Casey Kotchman Signed

Unread postby skatingtripods » Thu Feb 09, 2012 2:43 pm

leadpipe wrote: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.


Or your pitching has to be off the charts good. Like Jumbo's point about the Rays winning with Kotchman. Their starting rotation might be the best in baseball. Their lineup is nothing special.

I know you're down on Hafner, and there are plenty of reasons to be, but he has posted three straight 120+ OPS seasons. It's not the kind of production you want from a DH making 13M per, but the guy isn't totally useless. By no means is it ideal, along with your correct point about deficiencies at the IF corners and LF.

Hafner's productive when he plays. It's just the fact that he can't stay healthy. Still had an .886 OPS off RHP last year.

Not saying I want to enter the season relying on Hafner, which is your overall point, but he's still a contributor.

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)


Agree that the team seems to be expecting too much from both. If Jason Donald can play a reasonable LF, which I think he can, that's a huge lift. Can move Brantley to CF, Santana DH, Marson C, or whatever. Donald's a big piece this year. His health can allow them to do a lot of things.

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.


Won't dispute that. Definitely not an ideal situation. But, they're operating with what they can. I know we all want real, bona fide players at every position, but economics just won't allow it. I don't have to preach that to you, but you know it's a factor.

-------------------------

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.


If they're healthy, they've got options. I know you're big on Donald. I'm really coming around on him. If you keep guys fresh, you'll get better contributions. If Grady only plays four games a week instead of six or seven. If Hafner can rest twice a week with Santana or Duncan DHing.

I honestly considered the idea of Hannahan as the everyday 1B if they didn't get Kotchman. I don't envy Acta or the front office. What do you do? Play to your pitchers' collective strength and have the best fielding team or sacrifice defense for unproven hitting? Acta will have to be really creative this year with the lineups, getting guys enough rest and still putting a competent fielding team out there.

With a few of these guys, we're stranded in the desert with one bottle of water and trying to ration that as best as we can so we don't dehydrate to death.


All of this being said, I still don't think they're done upgrading the team. Could we see Vlad to platoon with Hafner? Longer the guy sits out there, the more likely he is to take a contract we can afford. I'm thinking 3-3.5M. Big drop from the 8M he got last year. But, teams aren't beating down his door or speed dialing his agent. I don't know how much is left in his tank, but he'd at least give us a decent RH pinch hitting option or a good bat against a LHP to give Hafner a rest.
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Re: Why Not Johnny Damon at 1B/Casey Kotchman Signed

Unread postby leadpipe » Thu Feb 09, 2012 6:59 pm

Jumbo wrote:
leadpipe wrote:At the end of the day, Casey Kotchman is a reserve/PH on good team


I admit this is being super-pedantic, but Kotchman was the starting first baseman for the Rays last year, and they won 91 games and went to the playoffs, i.e.,g a good team. Having Kotchman play 140+ games at first isn't guaranteeing a good season, but it's not some kind of harbinger of doom.

The obvious response ("But the Rays had Longoria mashing at third!") leads directly into the issue of Chisenhall vs. Hannahan. My guess is that they've already penciled Chiz in at third, but are going to say all the Right Things to motivate him in spring training: "Open competition," "nothing's been decided," and so on. Chisenhall showed similar power in the majors as he's had in the minors, he just needs to get a chance to play every day and get comfortable at this level.

FWIW Dept., Chisenhall by month:
July: .217/.299/.367
August: .241/.237/.362
Sept. & Oct.: .279/.295/.465 (with 4 of his 7 home runs)



The Rays didn't win 91 games cause of their offense.

The Tribe isn't gonna pitch like the 2011 Rays. Clearly.

To be more succinct I suppose, would be the statement: You ain't gonna find Casey Kotchmann starting at first for a good offensive team. Not impossible, but not very likely.

Ehh, whatever. It's what they could "afford," it's just that "better than LaPorta" really means zero in regard to winning games.
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Re: Why Not Johnny Damon at 1B/Casey Kotchman Signed

Unread postby andrew6586 » Thu Feb 09, 2012 11:13 pm

leadpipe wrote:
Jumbo wrote:
leadpipe wrote:At the end of the day, Casey Kotchman is a reserve/PH on good team


I admit this is being super-pedantic, but Kotchman was the starting first baseman for the Rays last year, and they won 91 games and went to the playoffs, i.e.,g a good team. Having Kotchman play 140+ games at first isn't guaranteeing a good season, but it's not some kind of harbinger of doom.

The obvious response ("But the Rays had Longoria mashing at third!") leads directly into the issue of Chisenhall vs. Hannahan. My guess is that they've already penciled Chiz in at third, but are going to say all the Right Things to motivate him in spring training: "Open competition," "nothing's been decided," and so on. Chisenhall showed similar power in the majors as he's had in the minors, he just needs to get a chance to play every day and get comfortable at this level.

FWIW Dept., Chisenhall by month:
July: .217/.299/.367
August: .241/.237/.362
Sept. & Oct.: .279/.295/.465 (with 4 of his 7 home runs)



The Rays didn't win 91 games cause of their offense.

The Tribe isn't gonna pitch like the 2011 Rays. Clearly.

To be more succinct I suppose, would be the statement: You ain't gonna find Casey Kotchmann starting at first for a good offensive team. Not impossible, but not very likely.

Ehh, whatever. It's what they could "afford," it's just that "better than LaPorta" really means zero in regard to winning games.

I disagree. How many times did we see LaPorta blow a chance to get a hit with RISP last season? How many times did a defensive blunder cost us runs? Kotchman is an upgrade on both sides of the ball. He may not be an all-star but he is solid.
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Re: Why Not Johnny Damon at 1B/Casey Kotchman Signed

Unread postby Jumbo » Fri Feb 10, 2012 9:57 am

leadpipe wrote:The Rays didn't win 91 games cause of their offense.

The Tribe isn't gonna pitch like the 2011 Rays. Clearly.

To be more succinct I suppose, would be the statement: You ain't gonna find Casey Kotchmann starting at first for a good offensive team. Not impossible, but not very likely.


Sure. To be straightforward: last year, the Indians scored 704 runs and allowed 760. The Rays scored 707 and allowed 614 (#1 in the AL). So the Indians pitching staff next year won't be as good as the Rays last year.

OTOH, just scanning last year's teams, the Rangers scored 855 runs with Mitch Moreland playing 99 games at first: 92 OPS+, 16 HR, 51 RBI over 134 games total at first, RF, and DH. They got enough offense from enough other places.

So, of course, it would be better if they had strong offense out of first (especially given what the rest of the AL is going to send out there this year), but it's not out of the realm of possibility that the Tribe gets plus offense at over half the positions (catcher, short, second, right, and center pending Grady's health). If they can just get some development, they can carry a decent BA/low power season from Kotchman and the uncertainty of what Brantley will give.
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Re: Why Not Johnny Damon at 1B/Casey Kotchman Signed

Unread postby pup » Fri Feb 10, 2012 10:04 am

Jumbo wrote:
leadpipe wrote:The Rays didn't win 91 games cause of their offense.

The Tribe isn't gonna pitch like the 2011 Rays. Clearly.

To be more succinct I suppose, would be the statement: You ain't gonna find Casey Kotchmann starting at first for a good offensive team. Not impossible, but not very likely.


Sure. To be straightforward: last year, the Indians scored 704 runs and allowed 760. The Rays scored 707 and allowed 614 (#1 in the AL). So the Indians pitching staff next year won't be as good as the Rays last year.

OTOH, just scanning last year's teams, the Rangers scored 855 runs with Mitch Moreland playing 99 games at first: 92 OPS+, 16 HR, 51 RBI over 134 games total at first, RF, and DH. They got enough offense from enough other places.

So, of course, it would be better if they had strong offense out of first (especially given what the rest of the AL is going to send out there this year), but it's not out of the realm of possibility that the Tribe gets plus offense at over half the positions (catcher, short, second, right, and center pending Grady's health). If they can just get some development, they can carry a decent BA/low power season from Kotchman and the uncertainty of what Brantley will give.


So all we need is Nelson Cruz, Michael Young, Josh Hamilton, Mike Napoli, Adrian Beltre, Ian Kinsler and Elvis Andrus.

Then we could survive with Casey Kotchman. As long as our pitching gives up 100 less runs like Texas did last year.
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Re: Why Not Johnny Damon at 1B/Casey Kotchman Signed

Unread postby peeker643 » Fri Feb 10, 2012 10:43 am

I'd take Mitch Moreland himself. Got to the bigs quickly and, while you can say he slipped a bit in '11, I think the kid is going to be a solid+ hitter in the major leagues for some time to come.
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Re: Why Not Johnny Damon at 1B/Casey Kotchman Signed

Unread postby Jumbo » Fri Feb 10, 2012 11:35 am

pup wrote:So all we need is Nelson Cruz, Michael Young, Josh Hamilton, Mike Napoli, Adrian Beltre, Ian Kinsler and Elvis Andrus.

Then we could survive with Casey Kotchman. As long as our pitching gives up 100 less runs like Texas did last year.


Exactly!

:thumb up:

That said, I think if I you took the best years of Choo, Sizemore, Hafner, Cabrera, Santana, Chisenhall, and Kipnis, those seven guys would be similar to the seven you listed above. The problem is that the first couple Indians all had their best years several years ago, and the rest will probably have their best years a few years from now.

All that said, if Kotchman hits over .300 in 2012 like he did in 2011, and the Indians offense still blows, I'd probably look somewhere else before blaming Kotchman's weak power. YMMV.
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Re: Why Not Johnny Damon at 1B/Casey Kotchman Signed

Unread postby leadpipe » Fri Feb 10, 2012 5:42 pm

Not into dealing with what might happen.

I'm into dealing with what will likely happen.

Already mentioned upthread that it's POSSIBLE to carry this type of guy at first, problem is it's only POSSIBLE they get decent production at third, it's only POSSIBLE that they get it from left field, and it's only POSSIBLE that the DH either stays relatively healthy or is productive.

They are likely to struggle offensively unless they get some suprises. And there's far more "not suprises" than the former.

Baseball is a funny sport in the spring. More than any other sport there is so much hope, that almost seems to be turned into some drgree of fact by the home teams fans. "If we get solid performances from this starter" If this young guy works out in the pen" If guy that has been injured 4 straight years can stay healthy...."

If every MLB teams "ifs" came thru, you's somehow have a remarkable 30 teams winning 95 games.

Offensively:

If = 3rd base
If = LF
If = Sizemore
If= Hafner
If = 2b

Lotta things need to happen.
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Re: Why Not Johnny Damon at 1B/Casey Kotchman Signed

Unread postby gameface » Sat Feb 11, 2012 1:10 pm

I know there's some really smart baseball ppl on this board, and I'm spitballing a take here, but I like the Kotchman signing if he can hit for average this year.

I do realize that the AL is all about power hitting, but there's something to be said for guys that can put the ball in play and keep rallies going.

How many games have the Indians lost in the last five (or more) seasons because they could not get a man home from third with less than two outs. How many rallies did LaPorta kill by striking out or hitting into a double play? And it's not just LaPorta. Sizemore, Kearns and a number of the kids simply couldn't execute situational hitting, or just manage a fly ball out when one was needed.

Certainly, Kotchman doesn't make the team into an instant powerhouse. But if the automatic outs in the line up are replaced by .275 and up hitters, it could translate into a few more wins. Way too many guys last year hitting .220 last year. Way too many windmills. Way too many solo home runs iirc.
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Re: Why Not Johnny Damon at 1B/Casey Kotchman Signed

Unread postby motherscratcher » Sat Feb 11, 2012 3:01 pm

gameface wrote:I know there's some really smart baseball ppl on this board....


I think you wandered into the wrong forum.
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Re: Why Not Johnny Damon at 1B/Casey Kotchman Signed

Unread postby Cerebral_DownTime » Sat Feb 11, 2012 4:48 pm

And that's why I said you couldn't buy the roller skates.
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Re: Why Not Johnny Damon at 1B/Casey Kotchman Signed

Unread postby gameface » Sat Feb 11, 2012 5:41 pm

Did I say smart? I meant smartass baseball people. My bad. ; )
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Re: Why Not Johnny Damon at 1B/Casey Kotchman Signed

Unread postby peeker643 » Thu Apr 12, 2012 9:18 am

Bump

I was fine with it then and I'm fine with it now.

As Lead mentioned elsewhere, he's a better hitter and player than 3 of the 4 OFs on this team currently.

Bitch about him or bitch about them?
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Re: Why Not Johnny Damon at 1B/Casey Kotchman Signed

Unread postby Cerebral_DownTime » Thu Apr 12, 2012 3:36 pm

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

Unread postby CAVSTRIBEBROWNSin07! » Thu Aug 09, 2012 1:07 pm

Why not? is the new What if?
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Re: Why Not Johnny Damon at 1B/Casey Kotchman Signed

Unread postby GodHatesClevelandSport » Sat Aug 11, 2012 12:21 am

Only Indians 1B since Jim Thome to hit 20+ homers in a season is Ryan Garko.
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Re: Why Not Johnny Damon at 1B/Casey Kotchman Signed

Unread postby GodHatesClevelandSport » Tue Aug 21, 2012 11:50 pm

Casey Kotchman to the moment: 396 PAs, 11 HR, 42 RBI
Matt LaPorta last year: 385 PAs, 11 HR, 42 RBI
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