Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Contractural Obligation and Chanelling the Stooges in the N.L. West

No fun to hang around
Feelin' that same old way
No fun to hang around
Freaked out for another day
-- J. Osterberg et al, "No Fun"

This seemed like such a reasonable thing.

In retrospect, I should have targeted say, five teams and looked at who was blocked.  Alex Rodriguez, Ryan Zimmerman, David Wright, Evan Longoria, maybe Kung Fu Panda.  But since I've given every other Division a comprehensive look, I guess it seems silly to stop one short.

In any event, there are teams in the N. L. West, one of which actually won the World Series.  I go to bed before N. L. West teams finish playing a lot of the time, and Cleveland's in the A. L., so my familiarity with these teams is ... dilettantish (meaning 1).


Four men are listed on the major-league depth chart.  Mark Reynolds holds the single-season record for striking out in a season.  He holds a narrow lead over second-place finisher ... Mark Reynolds.  Truthfully, Reynolds is a valuable player because he has patience and power (.320 OBP, .433 SLG desipte a sub-Mendoza AVG), but he really does strike out an awful lot (211 in 499 AB), and this is in the Lesser League.  (Yes, I know he faces Lincecum and Latos and Halladay and everyone, but he plays in a bandbox in the N. L.  He'd concern me.)  Rusty Ryal is a promising youngish player at 27, but is listed as a LF and posted an 8:67 BB:K ratio ... in 207 AB.  The difference between Ryal and Reynolds is essentially 30 homers (in Reynolds' favor).  Augie Ojeda is a schmoe.  Geoff Blum was once a schmoe and aspires to reach that level again.

In AAA, Yunesky Sanchez hit .284/.332/.411 ... in the PCL.  That represented a power spike for Mr. Sanchez.  He was 26 in May.  Ed Rogers hit .282/.345/.403 with 14 errors in 121 games.  He turned 32 in August.  In AA, you find less-promising players, like Sphagnum Moss and Banana Slug.


Once upon a time, Ian Stewart was going to be Sliced Bread.  He hit .256/.338/.443 last season, a ringer for his 2008, and hit .231 against lefties.  He's roughly an average third baseman and an atrocious second baseman, making him the mirror image of Jayson Nix in virtually every way.  Backup Chris Nelson is a shortstop who can't really hit well enough to be a middle infielder.

In AAA, Travis Metcalf put up a .296/.364.469 line, but made 14 errors in 120 games and turned 28 in August.  Astute readers might remember Metcalf playing a few games against the Tribe in a Rangers uniform.  They moved Mike Young to 3B because Travis Metcalf is bad at baseball.  (He was really, really bad in 2009, but to his credit rebounded this season.  Still, he has an overly-aggressive approach with holes in his swing.)  In AA, Daniel Mayora hit .286/.352/.440, but made 12 errors in 66 games and is listed as a middle infielder at Baseball Prospectus.  He has no power to speak of and turned 25 in July.

Los Angeles:

Adorable J. Carroll backs up Casey Blake.  While nostalgic, this is not valuable to the Indians.

In AAA, Russ Mitchell posted a .315/.363/.535 line with 23 homers and a respectable 38:78 BB:K ratio in 505 AB.  Well, the BB:K ratio and K:AB ratios are respectable.  The BB:AB ratio is pretty bad.  He made 11 errors in 125 games, might be more-suited to 1B, and turned 26 in June.  He got a cup of coffee in September, which scalded his uvula.  (He wasn't good.)

In AA, Corey Smiff hit .275/.343/.467.  Longtime Tribe fans may remember Smiff as The Next Big Thing of Very Long Ago, but Smiff is one of the few third baseman in any league who makes Wes Hodges appear to be a viable defensive alternative.  Is he still in prime form?  19 errors in 115 games later, we say, "Why, yes!  That is the Corey Smiff I remember!"

Ah, nostalgia.

San Diego:

Chase Headley is a good, cheap 3B who plays good defense.  San Diego's AAA affiliate, Portland, is no longer in Portland, and thus does not have their stats.  I have no idea what is in the pipe behind Headley ... and you're not getting Headley.  Stay classy, San Diego!

San Francisco:

With the re-signing of Aubrey Huff, Pablo Sandoval probably gets a couple more cracks at third base (instead of moving to first).  He is backed up by whichever of Mark DeRosa's limbs are attached at any given time.

In AAA, Jesus Guzman hit .321/.376/.510 with 18 homers, but 11 errors in 125 games and 38 BB in 445 AB.  He turned 26 in June.  Ryan Rohlinger hit .311/.392/.477 but turned 27 in October, played in the PCL, and is not considered an everyday player.  In AA, Conor Gillaspie continues to mock my ability to predict prospects as he hit .287/.335/.420, meaning he has neither adequate patience nor power, and made 17 errors in 132 games.
So without further (or, one might argue, any whatsoever) ado:

Teams I would not call at all: Arizona, Colorado, San Diego (*)
Guys with PCL power: Russ Mitchell, Jesus Guzman
Guys who are Corey Smiff: Corey Smiff

(*) Actually, I might call San Diego and ask them who the hell played in AAA for them last season.


  1. I would love to have Mark Reynolds play 3B for Cleveland, his obp is acceptable for 38+ home runs he hits. I think the only way he gets out is via strike out lol. And I'm not concerned. Really wish the tribe could sign him though. Adam Dunn, brought his K levels down later in his career and kept his Home Run levels at a typical Dunn rate. Maybe we can expect the same from the guy who took over for Dunn at King of the K. Hey steve Jim Thome played 3B when he came up, lol. In all seriousness in reguards to Thome, I read he would love to finish his career in Cleveland. Where would he fit in though? Such a classy guy, one of 2 guys im proud to say i was a fan of during the steroid era, that I am positive didn't cheat.(Jim Thome and Frank Thomas)

    Back to Reynolds, he could also be a DH at a later stage in his career, I am not sure of his defense, i havn't looked at his stats for 3B.

  2. I know I might get checked into an insane asylum for my next comment, but I am going to miss Andy Marte, and I wish things would have worked out. Part of me wants him to have a long succesful career, although I would be very disapointed for obvious reason if we parted ways with a future all star. That we invested so much time with. He might just need a change of scenery. (too bad its pittsburgh)

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  5. dont forget LaRoche, Upton, and Johnson all in the top 11 in strikeouts in the NL to go with Renyolds