Tag Archives: Drew Pomeranz

Indians Might be Winners in Two Deals That Weren't Made

by Ryan Isley

As the Major League Baseball trade deadline passed last week, the only thing that fans of the Cleveland Indians wanted to talk about were the trades that the Indians didn’t make and who they should have been able to get. They talked about wanting to replace President Mark Shapiro and General Manager Chris Antonetti because they felt that the team’s front office just wasn’t doing their job to make the Indians a contender. What they didn’t mention is that there were deals that weren’t made that just may end up being positive for the Indians.

As I wrote last week, I was fine with the Indians not making a huge deal at the deadline. While there were trades to be made leading up to the deadline, it was two deals that the Indians didn’t make that should be feathers in the cap of Shapiro and Antonetti.

The first deal was actually in June, when the Indians didn’t acquire Kevin Youkilis from the Boston Red Sox. When it was announced that the Chicago White Sox – the Indians’ rival in the division – had reached a deal with the Red Sox to send Youkilis to the Windy City, Indians fans were beside themselves and angry with the Indians front office for allowing Youkilis to land within the division.

Continue reading Indians Might be Winners in Two Deals That Weren't Made

Tribe, give me a reason to watch.

As a lifelong fan of a mid-market MLB team, I feel like the expectations I enter the season with are valid.  I’m not expecting to win 105+ games or lead the league in any particular category.  I like to see a young team that gels well together and does not rely on superstars to get the job done.  What superstars my team does have, I hope to get the best out of their current contract because I know it will be very hard to keep them after that.

I have two goals every April that I, as a fan give to my beloved Indians.  Show progression from the previous season and give me a reason to watch in September.  As a kid growing up in Central Ohio in the 90’s, I became very spoiled watching the Tribe.  Playoffs and dominating seasons were a yearly occurrence.  Stars wanted to come to be a part of it and players nearing the end of their careers chasing a title, jumped on the Cleveland bandwagon.  Baseball has changed a lot since then.  Money drives the sport now more than it ever did.  Mid-market teams have to get creative in spending to build a winner.  It’s not an easy thing to find the perfect mix of affordable talent that gels perfectly into a contender.

Too often lately, as August starts to wind down, the Indians are out of contention.  Major League Baseball was my first love as a child and I enjoy nothing more than watching the season end and the playoffs begin.  Not having the Tribe be a part of the post-season theatrics is a grueling thing.  I don’t need them to wrap things up early, but I want them to be a part of the race.  I want every game to mean something.  As an out-of-town fan living in Baltimore, this is my third staright year subscribing to the “MLB Extra Innings” pay-per-view, allowing me to watch every Indians game from the comfort of my own home.  Unfortunately, the last couple years, this service has gone virtually unused during the late part of the baseball season.

I don’t want that to happen this year.  I’m not sure what needs to be done, I don’t feel like our hitting or pitching is strong enough to do a thing in the post-season were we to make it.  But I don’t care, I just want to get there.

I hate when teams in Cleveland’s situation trade away promising young talent for a presumed “star” in order to compete.  Because there is such a large risk factor involved to receive a decent return investment.  I was very vocally against the Ubaldo trade last year and still am.  Although Pomeranz and White haven’t really done a whole lot to help my argument, I felt like the deal was done to appease the fan base more than improve the team.  I also felt that the Tribe had a solid 1-2 punch in the making in those two guys and hated moving them.

Like I said before, I’m not sure what needs to be done.  I believe that this team can compete for a wild card with the current pieces in place.  I don’t see them going much farther than that though.  But to be honest to just be a part of the playoff race would be a huge step in the right direction.

That’s all I am asking for…give me a reason to watch in September.  The rest will take care of itself.

What are you looking to get out of this Tribe season, let me know on Twitter @kylecedwards713

No Winner in the Ubaldo Jimenez Trade – Yet

by Ryan Isley

Just last week on More Than A Fan, Hayden Grove wrote a piece on Ubaldo Jimenez and how he doesn’t think the trade was a disaster quite yet for the Cleveland Indians – going far enough to even say that Jimenez has been brilliant at times.

In that same piece, he took a shot at me because he knows how I have felt about this trade from day one.

As a refresher, the Indians sent pitchers Alex White and Joe Gardner along with outfielder/first baseman Matt McBride and a player to be named later (pitcher Drew Pomeranz) to the Colorado Rockies for Jimenez on July 30, 2011.

In making this deal, the Indians sent their top two minor league pitchers (White and Pomeranz) to Colorado, meaning they were expecting Jimenez to come in and be the ace of the staff immediately. Otherwise, they would not have been willing to include both White and Pomeranz, which was the part of the deal I never understood. Sending one of them to Colorado would have been fine, but to send them both seemed to be a steep price to pay – and it meant that Jimenez HAD to dominate right away.

The issue with trading for Jimenez was that there were warning signs that he was in a decline.

Continue reading No Winner in the Ubaldo Jimenez Trade – Yet

Ubaldo's First Start Invokes Memories of Trades Past

By Ryan Isley

Newly-acquired Ubaldo Jimenez makes his first start for the Indians tonight after being sent to Cleveland last weekend for Alex White, Matt McBride, Joe Gardner and Drew Pomeranz (PTBNL).

Some (myself included) thought the Indians gave up too much for Jimenez. Sure, he is a proven commodity (somewhat) and the players the Indians gave up were just prospects. The thing that was hard to swallow was that the Indians were giving up their two best pitching prospects in the organization in White and Pomeranz.

Then as people (and by people, I mean me) were shouting that the Indians overpaid and would rue the day that they gave up White and Pomeranz, Jeff Passan of Yahoo! sports wrote this piece on the number of pitching prospects that actually pan out.

That got me thinking. So with Jimenez making his first start as a member of the Indians rotation, I thought it would be a good time to take a look back at the last two trades the Indians made when it came to a top of the line starting pitcher to see what the pitching prospects involved in those two deals are up to these days. Of course in those two cases, the Indians were the ones getting the prospects.

You all know the two trades – C.C. Sabathia to the Milwaukee Brewers and Cliff Lee to the Philadelphia Phillies.

While we all know that the Indians received Matt LaPorta and Michael Brantley from Milwaukee in the Sabathia deal, the two forgotten pieces in the trade are the pitching prospects. Along with LaPorta and Brantley, the Indians acquired Zach Jackson and Rob Bryson.

Jackson was with the Indians organization for two seasons, compiling a 9-12 record with a 5.79 ERA in his time between Triple-A stops in Buffalo and Columbus and his time in the Majors with Cleveland. Jackson was granted free agency following the 2009 season and signed with the Toronto Blue Jays. He was 2-3 with a 5.64 ERA for Triple-A Las Vegas last season and is now 9-4 with a 5.86 ERA for Triple-A Round Rock this season, the Triple-A affiliate of the Texas Rangers.

Rob Bryson is in his fourth season in the Indians organization, where he has pitched no higher than Double-A Akron. The reliever has a 7-4 record and an ERA of 3.28 in 62 combined minor league appearances. Shortly after the trade, Bryson underwent surgery for a tear in his labrum and rotator cuff that forced him to miss the remainder of 2008 and almost the entire 2009 season. Since returning, he has a record of 8-3 with a 2.26 ERA between Single-A affiliates Lake County and Kinston and Double-A Akron.

At the trading deadline of 2009, the Indians sent Lee (who by the way was once a prospect himself when dealt from Montreal to Cleveland in the Bartolo Colon deal) and Ben Francisco to Philadelphia for catcher Lou Marson, infielder Jason Donald and pitchers Carlos Carrasco and Jason Knapp.

Knapp has made 13 starts in his two seasons in the Indians organization since being acquired, not having pitched above Class-A. He is 1-2 with a 3.60 ERA, striking out 59 and walking 20. Knapp was on the disabled list with shoulder tendinitis when the trade was made and then made just four appearances after he came back before having season-ending shoulder surgery. Knapp was once again shut down this June with shoulder surgery after not having pitched this season.

Carrasco has probably had the most success (at least the most exposure) for the Indians of any of the four pitchers in the two deals, making 33 starts in the Major Leagues (including Wednesday night at Boston) with a 10-15 record and a 4.88 ERA.

Carrasco earned his time in the Majors by compiling a 15-7 record and 3.67 ERA in his 25 games in the minor leagues. Carrasco, still just 24 years old, has shown flashes of being a good pitcher at times and may still turn out to be a successful starter.

Meanwhile, Sabathia went 11-2 with a 1.65 ERA for Milwaukee down the stretch in the 2008 regular season, even pitching on three days’ rest at times. He helped the Brewers to the playoffs where he was beaten in his only start. Sabathia turned that run into a huge contract from the New York Yankees (7 years/$161 million), where he has gone 56-20 with a 3.07 ERA in his three regular seasons, including a 16-5 record and 2.55 ERA so far this season.

Sabathia has fared better in the postseason for the Yankees than he ever did for the Indians or Brewers, as he is 5-1 with a 3.12 ERA in his eight starts. Sabathia also has a World Series ring that he earned as part of the Yankees championship team in 2009.

Lee has a regular season record of 30-20 with a 3.14 ERA and a postseason record of 7-2 with a 2.13 ERA since the trade. Lee was also traded from Philadelphia to Seattle in a three-team deal that netted the Phillies Roy Halladay and then was traded to the Rangers last season at the trade deadline. Lee signed back in Philadelphia as a free agent this past offseason.

After looking at those two deals and seeing how the prospects that the Indians received are faring, it makes it easier to see why the front office would be willing to part with two prospects if they thought they were getting a true ace in return.

That being said, I still do not have to agree with it or like it.

I just hope Jimenez proves the Indians right and proves me wrong.

Follow Ryan on Twitter at @isley23 and like More Than A Fan on facebook.

Alex White Confirmed The Trade In The Parking Lot

By Ryan Isley

Saturday night started as any other normal night at the ballpark. I had decided to go to Canal Park in Akron and buy a ticket to check out the Akron Aeros because Drew Pomeranz was supposed to start the game and with him on a pitch count, Alex White would be called on to relieve him. White was in Akron on a rehab assignment, trying to come back from a finger injury.

Four hours after I entered the gates, my brain was still spinning, my cell phone was dying and my Twitter account was blowing up.

Continue reading Alex White Confirmed The Trade In The Parking Lot

Down on the Farm: Drew Pomeranz Mowing Down the Carolina League

The Cleveland Indians 2010 first round pick made his second start for the High-A Kinston Indians Wednesday and is making the most out of his minor league experience.  Pomeranz pitched 5 2/3 innings against the Wilmington Blue Rocks (Kansas City Royals) giving up 1 hit, 1 unearned run and striking out 8 batters. 

Back to the Farm

Since March 11th the Indians major league spring training roster has been cut down from 62 players down to 47, with another cut yet to come. 

Going to AAA Columbus Clippers are RHP Corey Kluber, RHP Hector Rondon, RHP Zack McAllister, INF Jared Goedert, and OF Nick Weglarz.  Going to AA Akron are LHP Kevin de la Cruz and LHP Nick Hagadone.  Finally, the players that are re-assigned to minor league camp, to be placed later are LHP Drew Pomeranz, RHP Zack Putnam, RHP Bryce Stowell, RHP Alex White, CA Jaun Apodaca, CA Chun-Hsiu Chen, 2B Jason Kipnis and 3B Lonnie Chisenhall.

Continue reading Back to the Farm

Down On The Farm: Meet Alex White

Baseball America’s Top 100 Prospects list is out and the Cleveland Indians are one of ten organizations in baseball to have four players on the list.  Lonnie Chisenhall, Jason Kipnis and Drew Pomeranz are three prospects that have already graced the 90 Feet And Running headline list.  The fourth player from the Indians that is on the list is right handed starter Alex White.

Continue reading Down On The Farm: Meet Alex White

#6: Building Through The 2010 Draft

Continuing the series: “The Top 10 Things Tribe Fans Should Watch in 2011″

Given the obvious fact that the 2011 Cleveland Indians are still in the infamous “rebuilding mode”, and have been for at least my last three weight loss programs, the 2010 draft carried significant pressure with it for the organization to make the right decisions.  The issue with the MLB draft is that making the right decision is a lot harder than it looks.  The Indians picked 50 players in 2010.  Of the 50 players picked, only 24 players have signed with the club to play professionally in 2011.  That’s less than half of the draft haul, spread out among all the organization’s levels.  And it’s not even the top 24, it’s just 24 of the 50.  Yikes.

Continue reading #6: Building Through The 2010 Draft

Chisenhall, Kipnis and Pomeranz May Be Welcome Party Crashers

Now that baseball is starting to once again make its yearly reappearance in the forefront of our fandom, it’s time to dust off our Tribe gear and get ready for another fun season.  Sure, we may not be constructed like a World Series contender (or even a .500 team, depending on who you ask), but we start this season just like we start every other. With potential. We can argue all day about whether or not an outfield starrring Shin-Soo Choo, Grady Sizemore and Michael Brantley could anchor a good team, or whether Carlos Santana is going to be the monster it looked like he was developing into before the knee injury. The one thing that’s for sure is that we have a couple bona fide players on this team, and they all have one thing in common: before they were stars, they had potential.

Sure, everybody had potential at some point.  I played catcher as a youngin’ for a little league team that went undefeated and won our little championship.  I was an efficient contact hitter and could send a rope to second base from my knees.  I had potential. I also had knees that were five years away from sounding like a bag of microwave popcorn when kneeling and a keen interest in bad influences. I like to think that the only difference between my potential and theirs is a little bit of luck, but let’s not kid ourselves, these guys were different.

That’s why we’re here. We go to games, we read articles, we get caught up in the drama of sports because there is an elite group of people, whatever their sport, that had massive amounts of potential and found a way to use every last drop of it.  The Indians have some pretty special players filling up the minor league ranks, and even out of those, three players stand out among the top prospects in all of baseball.  Lonnie Chisenhall, Jason Kipnis and Drew Pomeranz.

Lonnie Chisenhall is at the head of the Indians class after hitting .278 with 17 HRs and 84 RBI in 117 games that he split between A Kinston and AA Akron. He’s got a swing as smooth as an Al Green song and makes consistent, powerful contact from the left side of the plate. With an average glove at third base, and no big time player at the big league level keeping out, there’s pretty good possibility that Lonnie Chisenhall could be making a big league impact in 2011. He’s never really faced major league velocity on consistent basis, and could stand to do some more studying on left handed pitchers, but every now and then a gorgeous swing can turn a kid into a star. I think this one is a star.

My favorite part about Lonnie Chisenhall being a top prospect at third, is that we have another potential all star prospect at second, Jason Kipnis.

Kipnis is a converted outfielder who didn’t do anything last year except surprise the organization with his range at second base and hit .307 with 16 HRs and 74 RBI in 133 games, topping out in AA Akron in 2010. Between his big league eye, above average defensive ability and consistent, efficient plate appearances, look for Jason Kipnis to spend some time in the bigs this year. I’m excited about this kid, and so is ESPN’s Keith Law, who said in his Top 100 Prospects Column of Kipnis, “At worst he’s just an everyday guy at second, but there’s All-Star potential here as well.”

Now that we’ve covered a solid foundation for the Indians infield of the future, let’s take a peak at our top pitching prospect, Drew Pomeranz. I’m not going to lie, I’m a little less excited about the prospects of our pitching staff, but even going back to the 90s Tribe heydays, questionable pitching is nothing new.

Pomeranz, at 6 foot 5 and 230 pounds, is about as intimidating as it gets when he steps up to the rubber, but control issues prevent him from capitalizing on his stature like Randy Johnson did. The consensus opinion on Pomeranz is that velocity topping out in the mid 90s and mechanics as complicated as the plot of Inception will not only keep him out of the big leagues until 2012, but also probably keep him out of the top spot in the rotation.

I’m not saying that I don’t like Drew Pomeranz, because I think he could be a solid addition to the middle of the rotation by the end of 2011 or beginning of 2012, but I’m seriously excited about Chisenhall and Kipni  And, really, you should be, too.

After all, that’s what February is for a baseball fan, being excited about potential.