Hey readers, it’s time for another edition of the Weekly Wroundtable. Joining us this week were representatives from “Did the Tribe Win Last Night?” and “It’s Pronounced ‘Lajaway’”.
Here’s this week’s topic…
ALL THE ROOKIES
After a professional-but-likely-terse discussion with ownership, where I voice my vehement protests to its descision, I would likely avoid calling up two real prospects in the organzation’s long-term plans, opting instead to call up onetime top prospect Adam Miller, and give a chance to a player who isn’t really a prospect at all (though he certainly once was), as a slight reward for his hard work and in the hopes you might get a useful bullpen arm in the process. I’m admittedly sentimental about Miller, who is nowhere near the pitcher he was before the injuries. He rejoined the Indians organzation after a season away, but if it doesn’t work out, you gave the guy his big-league shot and no worse for the wear. The other guy is a prospect, but Tyler Naquin could potentially fill an immediate void on the Indians roster. The bat isn’t quite there yet, and he’s more valuable if he’s in centerfield as opposed to a corner spot, but given the recent rash of bangs and bruses in the Indians outfield (and with small-sample wonder Nyjer Morgan on the DL), Naquin could take over LF and let Brantley take a few days at DH, and slide over to CF when Bourn needs a day off. It’s certainly possible big-league pitching overwhelms Naquin at this point, but if ownership really wants to see a glimpse of the future, they should probably be aware it’s often painful to rush something when it isn’t ready.
This is easy. UNLEASH THE KRAKEN!!! Err… the Lindor. Unleash the Lindor. If I had to do it, why not call up the most exciting prospect in the organization? At the very least it would draw interest and make people want to come to the ballpark. Actually, if we’re going that route then why not call up Clint Frazier while we’re at it? Sure, he’s nowhere near ready, but honestly, no one else really is either. At least by calling up Lindor and Frazier we could have some fun with these moves.
Adam Hintz (It’s Pronounced ‘Lajaway’)
For the past year, I’ve heard people clamoring for the Indians to promote Francisco Lindor to the major leagues. Some of them may have even been calling for it before his promotion to Double-A Akron, because it’s always a good idea to send a 19-year-old kid from A-ball straight to the majors. I started to realize why people were so fixated on a Lindor call-up – because people were so dissatisfied with Asdrubal Cabrera, they were willing to either expedite his departure, or fantasize about a time when he’s no longer there.
So I don’t think it’s a coincidence that when the Indians are playing poorly, people start to focus on prospects. During some seasons, you tend to do it because you can sense the fire sale looming around the corner, and you’re thinking about the people that will take the place of the departed players. Other times, you think about prospects because you’re tired of watching the product on the field, and would give anything to see something different. Something that makes you think that the future is brighter than what you’re seeing now.
While the season is not yet lost, I’m not sure I’d want to bother starting the service clock on players when the Indians are still trying to pull themselves out of the basement. So I’d probably go with a couple of fringe prospects, more than likely a couple of pitchers. I don’t think one or two minor league prospects will save (or even necessarily help) this offense, so they might as well see what they have in terms of pitching. They could cycle out a couple of the fringe bullpen arms (although they just did this with CC Lee) and replace them.
Katrina Putnam (Wahoo’s on First):
I would pressure the owners to stop pressuring me to make such a poor decision. Panic in Cleveland is no reason to cause chaos in the minor leagues and hurt the development of your best prospects. No one — and I mean absolutely no one, Lindor fans — is ready to make a permanent leap to the majors. Yes, there are players who are hot right now, but it’s a lot more difficult to keep them hot when they’re facing much harder competition.
That said, based on the current major league roster, I would probably call up a catcher and an outfielder. Tyler Naquin is hitting .289/.351/.747 in Akron, and while those numbers aren’t blowing anyone away, he can also run. He’s 9-for-11 in stolen bases this season, and could at least provide some value both defensively and on the basepaths. Although he’s a bit of a dark horse, I’d also select Tony Wolters. He hasn’t been a catcher for long, but Roberto Perez is on the DL, and Wolters has done a nice job with his transition from second base. He’s thrown out 42 percent of base-stealers this year, and is hitting .298/.350/.359 for Akron. He could relieve Santana of backup catcher duties, and even fill in at second base when needed. Of course, both of these moves would be absurd for player development reasons, so maybe I’d just hand in my resignation letter and hope the Diamondbacks job opens up soon instead…