Casey Redux?

March 29, 2012

You know you’re wondering. Only a week remains before Opening Day and the Indians still can’t find a good left fielder or a consistent right handed bat.

So when you learned yesterday the Colorado Rockies released Casey Blake you felt a slight pull. Injured lat or the creeping cringe of some alternate reality?

Casey Redux?

We all know and like Blake. Nice guy, decent player, versatility at 3B, 1B, LF or RF, occasional power. Older dude with a beard (at times), likes to hunt.

He spent parts of six years at 3B with the Indians and posted a respectable stat line (.266/116/417/108 OPS+).

The Tribe traded him to the Dodgers in July 2008 for Carlos Santana (thank you, Lord). A one sided, we have Russell Martin and we need a 3B right now move by the Dodgers and a sharp pounce by the Tribe. So if we get Blake back the trade is even better, right? Right?

Blake had four productive seasons in Los Angeles. However, he’s 38 years old and a pinched nerve robbed him of most of 2011 along with much of his power (63 g, .252/4/26/99 OPS+, 2 stints on the DL). The Dodgers replaced him with that perpetual I Always Have A Torrid 2 Week Stretch Each Season star, Juan Uribe.

Blake signed a $ 2 million, incentive laden free agent deal with Colorado in the offseason but never got out of the gate this Spring, hitting only .150 (3 for 20) with 1 home run. The Rockies have a hot prospect waiting, so why waste money or playing time on the old man?

 

Indians Decision

 

What does a Blake Redux offer the Indians? Nothing, if he is not healthy. Probably very little even if he is, other than some versatility as a reserve OF (and maybe a cool new What If? flashback commercial).

Right now it appears Jose Lopez makes the Indians as a bench player. He plays 3B, 2B and 1B but not the OF. He’s younger than Blake but also brings a lesser track record, a declining trend line and fewer warm fuzzies from past association. If he hits, his projected run production would probably be similar to Blake.

Blake would be a defensive upgrade over Donald and Duncan in the OF and can play RF for a time if Choo is needed in CF when Brantley inevitably gets hurt.

Given the Tribe’s penchant for known quantities and veteran players, a reunion with Blake can not be totally dismissed. Obviously the scouting material available to the team will determine if Blake is a potential asset or a redundancy and whether the pinched nerve lingers or he just got off to a slow start.

Does the fact the subject has not been publicly asked/answered mean anything or is it the dread silence of the grossly improbable? Antonetti was quick to squash the Vlad Guererro rumors.

Would you take Blake over Lopez?

Better yet, would you take Blake over Spilborghs/Cunningham/Pie/Canzler?

Or better third, punt and leave the Redux to Rabbit?

 

3 Comments

  • Steve says:

    I loved Casey and defended him when anyone would complain about him. I was mad they traded him (but wow, what a steal), but I think I’ll pass. I really wanna see what Canzler brings and if we are 15 games back in August I really want to see Canzler get a long look. For now I have to say I like Lopez and Donald. I think at this stage both have more to offer than Blake. When Brantley makes his annual dl pilgrimage I’d like to take a look at Canzler.

  • Will McIlroy says:

    I always liked Blake as well. A good, solid guy/player. I have a picture from 2007 of he, Byrd and Victor gathered joyfully behind the plate as a winning run scores. Blake has his beard, Victor his grin. If only . . .

    Doubt we’ll see him again.

    Thanks for the comment.

  • medfest says:

    His neck injury is still bothering him,doubtful he plays at all at age 38.