Thursday, July 17, 2008

Indians' Midseason Report
More than halfway in, here are my thought snd grades for each player on the active roster as of July 18.

Rafael Betancourt (2-4, 6.00, 4)
- He gets an F.
- Maybe the biggest disappointment this season, which is saying a lot.
- Needs to get his confidence back and throw inside.

Paul Byrd (3-7, 5.47, 0)
- He gets a D
- Has not been the same since the HGH story broke last October.
- Probably done with the Indians, and maybe with baseball, after this season.
- The team would probably give him away at this point, and consider it a bargain.

Matt Ginter (1-0, 0.00, 0)
- Made one nice start.
- Too early to grade.

Masa Kobayashi (4-4, 3.05, 5)
- Gets a B.
- Probably the second-most consistent reliever the Indians have.
- Should get closing opportunities the rest of the way.

Aaron Laffey (5-5, 3.45, 0)
- Gets a B.
- Should have close to 10 wins.
- Didn't pitch as well right before the break.

Cliff Lee (12-2, 2.31,0)
- Gets an A.
- Best pitcher in the AL in the first half.
- Could give the Indians back-to-back Cy Young winners.

Jensen Lewis (0-3, 4.73, 0)
- Gets a C.
- Has had his moments, but mostly been disappointing.
- Should remain in the majors the rest of the way, no matter what.

Tom Mastny (1-2, 12.96, 0)
- Gets a C.
- ERA inflated because of the spot start in Texas.
- Never seems to be good enough to break through or bad enough to cut loose.

Edward Mujica (0-1, 4.86, 0)
- Gets a B-.
- Recent outings suggest he may finally have found it out of the pen.

Rafael Perez (1-1, 3.16, 0)
- Rates a B+
- Indians most consistent reliever.
- Too valuable in seventh and eighth to close.
- Needs support around him so he isn't over-used.

Juan Rincon (2-2, 6.98, 0)
- Most of his numbers came with Twins.
- Too early to grade.

Jeremy Sowers (0-5, 7.51, 0)
- Gets a D.
- Hasn't been the same since Indians shut him down in 2006.
- Is running out of time to fit into Indians' plans.

* Victor Martinez was hurt since opening day, and the numbers reflect that. He gets a pass on this.

Sal Fasano (.385, 0, 0)
- Gets a B.
- Fine fill-in backup catcher.

Kelly Shoppach (.248, 7, 20)
- Gets a B
- Done a decent job offensively with Martinez out.
- Been suprisingly mediocre defensively.
- Had more right to be an all-star than Jason Veritek.

Casey Blake (.282, 9, 52)
- Gets a B.
- Has had a supurb offensive season after poor start.
- Not the greatest defensively.
- Indians need to trade him; he's 35 and is attractive to contenders.

Jamey Carroll (.268, 0, 22)
- Gets a B
- Good for what he is.
- Has been OK filling in at second.

Ryan Garko (.241, 7, 45)
- Gets a D.
- Needed to step up when Martinez and Travis Hafner got hurt, and did not.
- One of the bigger busts this season.

Andy Marte (.177, 1, 2)
- Gets an F.
- Has had few opportunities, but has done little with the ones he has been given.
- Looking like one of Mark Shapiro's worst deals.

Jhonny Peralta (.261, 16, 48)
- Gets a C.
- Inconsistent offense, no range defensively, slow.
- Has decent power, but will never be consistent enough for the player the Indians need him to be.

* Travis Hafner has been on the DL, and Asdrubal Cabrera just came back after a lengthy stint in Buffalo. Rest assured, if judged on stats alone, they'd fail.

Shin-Soo Choo (.243, 3, 18)
- Gets a C.
- Looks to be little more than a platoon player, and the Indians already have truckloads of them.

David Dellucci (.230, 8, 30)
- Gets a D.
- How on earth is he hitting .230?
- Just useless to the team right now.

Ben Francisco (.294, 8, 35)
- Gets a B+
- It's amazing the Indians started him in AAA this season.
- Even more amazing he's batting third regularly now.
- Not a No. 3 hitter, but has held his own there.

Franklin Gutierrez (.216, 3, 18)
- Gets a D.
- Avoids failing because he's a good defender, but I'm probably being generous here.
- Has a hole in the hole in his swing.

Grady Sizemore (.273, 23, 54)
- Gets an A.
- Batting him leadoff just doesn't make any sense anymore.
- If he could up his batting average 10 points, would be one of the top players in the league.
- Enjoy him while you can, Cleveland fans.

Eric Wedge
- Gets a C.
- Can't blame him for the front office doing nothing in the offseason.
- Can't seem to work with players who don't share his attitudes.
- Too loyal to certain veterans.

Mark Shapiro
- Gets a D.
- Can blame injuries all he wants, but the real culprit of the Indians' shortcomings this season is Shapiro himself. He didn't seem to grasp that if the team wasn't getting better, it was getting worse.
- Needs to have a better offseason, or could be in trouble.

Man, this got depressing.



At 6:27 PM , Anonymous Erik said...

If I could sum up the prevailing characteristic of the Indians front office (including Wedge) it would be "stubborn." Not incompetent or oblivious. Stubborn.

I think you hit the nail on the head in your assessment of Wedge, Zach. If players don't fit his mold, they don't stick around. See Phillips, Brandon.


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