Thursday, September 27, 2012

Dugout Seeds: What Type Of Manager Will Sandy Alomar Be?

Today the Indians fired manager Manny Acta and put the interim tag on Sandy Alomar Jr. at the helm. The Indians will continue to interview others over the winter (Terry Francona, Dave Martinez, Sandy Alomar Jr.) etc.  I touched on why I'd support Alomar's hiring over at Wahoos On First:

Why Sandy Alomar Jr. Should Be The Indians Next Manager

What kind of manager will Alomar be? After interviewing with the Boston Red Sox last winter he met with the media to answer a few questions about his thoughts on managing. The video is iincluded below.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Dugout Seeds: Drew Pomeranz - The Rockies Project & Indians Draft Process

Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post scribed about the Rockies worst season ever in an article titled Colorado Rockies' worst season ever breeds 10 key questions in which he discusses former Indians pitcher Drew Pomeranz and asks:

Will Drew Pomeranz blossom? The young left-hander seems to have it all — size, a 94 mph fastball, a sharp curveball. But he's pitched terribly in the second half, and the Rockies can't seem to get their message through to him. Namely, throw strikes! He remains a huge project.

The Rockies obtained Pomeranz, Alex White, Joe Gardner, and Matt McBride from the Indians at the trade deadline in 2011 in exchange for Ubaldo Jimenez. Pomeranz has had a rough first full season with the Rockies posting a 1-9 record with a 5.30/4.78 ERA/FIP. His big problem has been the ability to get right handed hitters out (.892 OPS against) and his inability to command the strike zone issuing 4.26 walks per nine innings of work and has walked 10.4% of the batters he's faced.
Do the stuggles of both Drew Pomeranz and Alex White, both former first round draft picks by Indians, reflect poorly on the Indians philosophy for drafting or is it a reflection of the inability for the Rockies to develop pitchers (especially in Coors Field)? Did the Rockies error and rush Pomeranz to the majors? Or, are Drew Pomeranz and Alex White two more missed prospects drafted by the Tribe?

All tough questions.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Dugout Seeds: Indians Need To Deal Asdrubal Cabrera Not Focus On A Backup Shortstop

Paul Hoynes of the Plain Dealer writes that the Indians need to find a reliable backup for Asdrubal Cabrera as Brent Lillibridge and Jason Donald have been ineffective in the role.

He quotes Manny Acta as saying:

"We really need somebody, when we give Cabby a day off or he goes down, who can step in help us out. It's been an issue. . .It's been an issue."
The words from Manny Acta seem rather odd to me as he had ample opportunity to bring up Jason Donald to give Asdrubal Cabrera an occasional day off early in the year. There was the time that Jack Hannahan missed 12 games and was out for 13 days while Jason Donald sat in Columbus and Cabrera played everyday.

Point being: An organization on the verge of losing close to 100 games need not worry about the backup shortstop rather they should focus on collecting talent.

I'd recommend shopping Asdrubal Cabrera, who is signed for two more years, to the San  Francisco Giants, Atlanta Braves, Arizona Diamondbacks, or Seattle Mariners. An example of a trade that could help both teams is a with the Braves. The deal would be centered around pitching prospect Julio Tehran who struggled in 2012 and top prospect shortstop Julio Andrelton.

If the Indians want a backup shortstop for the 2013 season their will be plenty of opportunities with guys like Reid Brignac and Elliot Johnson of the Rays that could step in and fill that role.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Dugout Seeds: Jim Bowden List Indians As Possible Managerial Vacancy

Jim Bowden discusses the Astros early search to fill their managerial vacancy and discusses some other possible managerial openings.

He notes Bobby Valentine of the Red Sox, Ned Yost of the Royals, Ozzie Guillen of the Miami Marlins, Jim Tracy of the Colorado Rockies, and Manny Acta of the Cleveland Indians.

The rumor mill should pick up on who may be the next Indians manager and the list should include Terry Francona, Sandy Alomar Jr., and Dave Martinez.

Dave Martinez currently is a Rays bench coach and has worked directly with Joe Maddon since he was hired in October of 2007.

Terry Francona has the rings and the experience but he may not want to go through the rebuilding process. If Francona doesn't find his way into a major league dugout in 2013 he should, at the minimum, brought in to fill an advisory role similar to the role Davey Johnson had with the Nationals prior to taking over for Jim Riggleman.

In the end the Indians should turn the future over to Sandy Alomar Jr.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Dugout Seeds: Shapiro Tweets & Offseason Spending

Major League Trade Rumors featured a tweet from Mark Shapiro who is back on the Twittersphere after a two month hiatus due to what he called harrassment toward him and his family - his Tweet messages (strung together)

"Want to reconnect with all of you Tribe fans," Shapiro wrote on his account. "Sorry for my absence, been a rough time for all & I stepped back to focus on leading the [organization]. We're as disappointed in this season as you are and can't thank you enough for the dedication you show every day toward our team. "We are lucky to have fans with your passion and are working tirelessly to bring you that championship you deserve. The reason I joined Twitter though is to connect directly with you all, so I want to refocus my efforts with that goal in mind." -
 Another of his tweets indicated that the Indians will have money to spend in the offseason but is concerned with the depth of the free agent class:
MLB Trade Rumors suggests the Tribe may be interested in outfielders and believes this may be an area of strength in the free agent market this winter. Below is the list of available free agent outfielders provided by MLBTR.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Dugout Seeds: Good News For Indians On Carlos Santana

As reported on MLB Trade Rumors the 2012 Super-Two cutoff now projects at two years and 139 days of service time (CAA Sports Twitter Link).  Players who are classified as Super Two will be eligible for 4 years of arbitration as opposed to the 3 years afforded to other players.

A fourth year of arbitration can often lead to escalated salaries for players. Although these players remain under team control they can become too expensive to keep. Carlos Santana fits the mold of a player who through better performance over the next several seasons could reap a big arbitration payoff if classified as Super Two. Luckily, at the current projection of Super Two status Carlos Santana will finish the season with less than 2 years 139 days of service thus missing the cutoff for Super Two.

Finally, having Carlos Santana eligible for Super Two would have brought back all the pain of watching Mike Redmond toil behind the dish for the Tribe while Santana crushed the ball in AAA all in an attempt to avoid the Super Two label.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Dugout Seeds: Acta Resigned To Losing?

Over the weekend Fox Sports Ken Rosenthal stated that the Indians were leaning toward bringing Manny Acta back in 2013. Today he reports that (as highlighted on MLB Trade Rumors):

Scouts following the team in recent days, however, say that Acta is displaying poor body language, almost as if he is resigned to the team’s fate. Not a good sign.
Of course, it isn't a good sign when a teams manager is displaying poor body language - if that is noticeable to scouts who are around the game everyday - it is a sign that the writing is on the wall for the manager.

The problem with bringing Acta back would be the inability to overhaul the coaching staff (which is needed) and convincing any free agent to join a team with a lame duck manager. In his time in the Indians dugout Manny Acta has done nothing to establish himself as the type of manager that you an organization can lose with while allowing his brand of baseball to develop.

The logic here is clear - Manny Acta will be replaced at the end of the 2012 season. The short list of my candidates to replace Acta include Sandy Alomar Jr., Mike Maddux, Travis Fryman, and Terry Francona.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Dugout Seeds: Indians Leaning Toward Keeping Acta

From Ken Rosenthal (Fox Sports) Video Link and MLB Trade Rumors:

Indians officials are leaning towards retaining manager Manny Acta as they know that a new manager won't make all that much of a difference. They also don't have to worry about placating their fans as they already rank 28th in MLB in home attendance. Of course, a poor finish to the season could change their minds about Acta.
A new manager may not make all that much of a difference but a change in philosophy, roster management, and talent utilization is required in the Indians dugout. Placating fans should never be the cause of replacing a manager.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Dugout Seeds: Indians Might Fire Acta - In print..

Ken Rosenthal is one of the first to put the Indians Might Fire Manny Acta into an article about managerial openings next season:

The Cleveland Indians might fire Manny Acta; Francona was a special assistant with the Indians in 2001, and remains close with team president Mark Shapiro and GM Chris Antonetti. Better positions could open, too — Atlanta? Detroit? The Los Angeles Angels? — depending upon which teams’ seasons end in disappointment.
Interesting that Rosenthal brings up the name of Terry Francona.