Every time I see Mitch Talbot pitch this year I have to remind myself this little fact:
The Indians traded Kelly Shoppach for Mitch Talbot. Straight up.
Shocking isn’t it? The Indians traded a backup catcher for a pitcher who could represent the Tribe in the All-Star game.
(Sidenote: before I wrote there was only one option for the Tribe’s All-Star. No more. Shin-Soo Choo has fallen off and Tabot, along with Fausto Carmona and Austin Kearns, have picked their games up. The Indians will still only get one all-star, but it’s a bit more up in the air as to who it will be.)
Now, if Joe Girardi does decide to select a pitcher from the Tribe, Talbot will have competition from Carmona, whose stats are nearly identical in ERA (Carmona has the edge), IP (Talbot) and WHIP (Talbot).I really don’t expect either to make it, but if you had to call any Indians pitchers deserving, Carmona and Talbot would be the two.
Anyways, back to acquiring Talbot for Shoppach, tt’s pretty amazing when you compare how bad the Shapiro regime has been in drafting (although admittedly it has not been all Shapiro’s fault, he has left much of the drafting up to John Mirabelli in his tenure) to how good the Shapiro regime has been in acquiring talent through trades. It’s really quite impressive, even if some of that talent has moved on to other teams. What Shapiro has shown with his tenure is that you can’t sustain a good team just through trades. You need the draft as well.
Which brings me again to tomorrow’s draft, when the Indians pick fifth, the highest they have picked since 1992 (2nd – Paul Shuey). The Indians need to hit a home run with this pick, as if they ever want to return to respectability they cannot continue to squander first round picks or use them on marginal big league players (Did you know Trevor Crowe was a first round pick? Ugh). Most of the mock drafts I’ve read have the Tribe taking either Ole Miss LHP Drew Pomeranz or Florida Gulf Coast LHP Chris Sale. I don’t know much about either (or college baseball in general, so don’t ask me), except they are both big, hard-throwing lefties. And I may be wrong about that.
Anyways, the Indians really need to find an impact player with this pick, or else the rebuilding effort will suffer yet another setback. While the loss of Sizemore for the season doesn’t really set the team back, as they were probably figuring on Sizemore leaving before the team was ready to contend, another blown first round pick would be devastating.
Of course, with the way this season is going, the Indians will be picking pretty high again.