Maybe next year

July 29, 2012

As I write this the Indians are six games out of 1st place, and could fall further behind if the White Sox defeat the Rangers on Sunday night. Six games in late July is certainly not an insurmountable deficit, but given the recent moves of the White Sox (Youkilis, Myers, Liriano) and Tigers (Sanchez, Infante), it’s hard to envision the Tribe closing the gap.

As currently constructed, the Indians simply aren’t contenders and this weekend series against the Twins demonstrated that fact in a painful fashion.

This team was supposed to be built on pitching, but after surrendering 28 runs to the lowly Twins, it’s clear this staff isn’t ready to compete. Josh Tomlin, Justin Masterson and Ubaldo Jimenez combined to allow 23 of the 28 runs.

While I’m throwing in the towel on the 2012 Indians, I want to make one thing clear: I’m not bitter about the front office’s inaction. Many fans have expressed frustration with the lack of moves, but I actually applaud the front office for not buying into the false hope the Tigers provided us in the 1st half. If the Tigers had played to their full ability the Indians would be 10-15 games out of first place right now.

There’s a lot to like about this team moving forward, and I believe holding on to the trading chips and the money for the 2012 offseason is the right move. If the front office plays their cards right, there’s no reason this team can fill some holes and make a serious run in 2013.

A few other notes on Sunday’s loss to the Twins…

  • The Twins 28 runs were their most in a three-game sweep of the Tribe since August, 1977. Al Fitzmorris, Wayne Garland and Dennis Eckersley were the starting pitchers victimized by the Twins offense.
  • Jimenez has been with the Tribe for a year now, and posted a 5.08 ERA in 32 starts. Among pitchers with at least 30 starts since last August 1, only Ricky Nolasco and Derek Lowe have a worse ERA. If Jimenez’s first season with the Tribe had occurred in a single calendar year, his 5.08 ERA would be the 9th worst in franchise history by a pitcher with at least 30 starts.



  • David says:

    not so sure this team isn’t fatally flawed for any thoughts of competing in 2013. Starting pitching was not injured but mediocre throughout (McAllister being a hoped for bright spot). Relief pitching is a strength.

    Offensively, too many positions are not at a competitive level. RF, 3B, DH, and 1B are not close to competing for championships. You can get away with one of even two weak spots, but 4 is too much.

    Same old story in terms of this team being passive at buying talent. Willingham would have been a god send, but too short sighted. A patchwork of Damon, Duncan, and Kotchman belies a team without either the resources or willingness to go fo it. I had no problem with the Ubaldo trade because they went for it. As long as team is unwilling to invest (and while we’re still paying for poor drafting and minor league development), this team is not that close to competing.

  • Jerry says:

    Agree with all comments…..Tribe had been VERY lucky to hang in there for this long (weak division and run differtional of -60 or so)

  • David says:

    I think they should continue to stand pat this season, unless they get an offer for Choo that is borderline insane, like two major league ready pieces and a “can’t-miss” prospect.

    The lineup has great potential with Kipnis, Cabrera, Santana, Brantley and (for another season) Choo, along with the return of Chisenhall.

    Conceding this year also means there is no reason not to bring up Fedroff and Goedert, just to get a better sense of what contribution they might make in 2013. While the team was supposedly “in the hunt” for a playoff spot, I can see why it made some sense to stick with more proven talent.

    I’m less sure about what do with the rotation, outside of McAllister.

  • David says:

    I agree that the lineup has great potential. It is great to see Santana coming around. The problem is as currently constructed you have black holes in left field (sorry powza) and first base for sure. I assume Hafner isn’t coming back, so there is a question mark there at the DH spot. Everyone wants Chisenhall to succeed, but he is a question mark as well. All of those holes make this team at best 3rd in their division.

    And that doesn’t even address the starting pitching connundrum–which has been perhaps the biggest disappointment.

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