Tag Archives: Eduardo Perez

Cleveland Indians Thanksgiving

 

First off, I want to wish all of you readers out there a Happy Thanksgiving!

For the first time in several years, Cleveland sports fans can actually be thankful for their teams. That got us thinking at MTAF: Cleveland — What would different members of the professional organizations be thankful for as they sat around the table sharing Thanksgiving dinner?

As a fan of the Cleveland Indians, I attempted to delve into the mindsets of several different members of the organization, trying to ascertain what they would be giving thanks for.

Chris Antonetti & Mark Shapiro

My first thought with regard to what Chris and Mark would be thankful for would be getting Terry Francona to come on board and coach the Tribe. But then I sat back and looked at the larger picture. If I was Chris or Mark, I would be thankful for how well the trades they’ve made over the past ten years have worked out. Just look at how a handful of the following trades worked out (in terms of production) for the Indians:

Year CLE Sends CLE Receives
2002 Ryan Drese & Einar Diaz Travis Hafner
2008 Casey Blake Carlos Santana
2009 Victor Martinez Justin Masterson & Nick Hagadone
2006 Ben Broussard Shin-Soo Choo
2006 Eduardo Perez Asdrubal Cabrera
2002 Bartolo Colon Grady Sizemore, Brandon Phillips & Cliff Lee

And those are just a few of the trades that have been made. Think about this: In a three team deal involving the Cardinals and the Padres, we gave up veteran pitcher Jake Westbrook and received 2014 AL Cy Young Winner Corey Kluber. Had Matt LaPorta worked out better, the Sabathia deal (which included 2014 MVP finalist and Silver Slugger award winner Michael Brantley) would have been seen as more genius than the Colon deal.

As Mark and Chris pass the gravy boat, they’re going to be giving thanks that so many of their trades worked out so well.

Terry Francona

As Terry Francona rides his scooter to the store to pick up cranberry sauce, I imagine he too will think about what he’s thankful for. I would venture a guess that he’s thankful for several things:

1. His health

2. Mickey Callaway

Tito has probably never worried about his health (see: Urban Meyer). I’m not old by any stretch (I’m 23). I’ve found out that older men are thankful for their health, regardless of how healthy they actually are. Next, Tito should be counting his lucky starts that he has Mickey Callaway sitting on his bench coaching up his pitchers. Think about 2013. Mickey Callaway turned around a struggling Ubaldo Jimenez into quite possibly the best pitcher of the second half in the American League. I feel that if Tito had started Ubaldo in the place of rookie Danny Salazar, the Indians may have gone on to be World Series champions. Then we look back at 2014 and (channeling my innermost LeBron here) not one, not two, but THREE examples of what Mickey Callaway can do. First, Corey Kluber. Mickey has said that he really didn’t have to do much with Klubes this past season. As much as I’d like to believe that, there’s a reason he’s the pitching coach. Mickey worked with Corey to develop his secondary pitches and propel him into the upper echelons of pitching talent in the MLB. Next, there is Trevor Bauer. Bauer’s problem in 2013 was consistency and immaturity. Unfortunately for Trevor, he is young and often impatient. He need time to develop under more mature, accomplished pitchers. He got that with Justin Masterson and Corey Kluber. This year, while he had his troubles, Bauer was much more consistent and flashed some of the greatness that made the front office go out and get him. Finally, we have Carlos Carrasco. Known affectionately as “Cookie” among die-hard Tribe fans, Cookie experienced many of the same issues that Bauer faced — inconsistency and maturity. Remember his ejection and subsequent suspension in 2011 against Kansas City? How about his ejection for plunking Kevin Youkilis in 2013? That wasn’t a wild arm. Tito and Mickey worked with Carrasco and put him in the bullpen in 2014 and boy, did he deliver. Carrasco was electric out of the pen and proved to be the long-reliever we needed, especially when one of our starters couldn’t make it out of the 4th or 5th inning. How many times can you remember Carrasco putting in three to four quality innings, saving our bullpen arms for the home stretch?

Finally, The Indians are thankful for YOU, the fans.

When you go to a game or buy a jersey, you help finance the continued journey toward that elusive World Series title. When you get on Twitter or Facebook and talk about the Indians, you help them make a branding impact on new fans or fans who just don’t know it yet. When you write odes to Tom Hamilton or romanticize what the Tribe means to you on a t-shirt, you help the Indians build an regional identity. In a city like Cleveland, our professional sports teams need their fans as much as we need our teams. In some ways, we define one another. The Indians wouldn’t have much meaning without us and we wouldn’t have much meaning without them. So when the front office, the coaching staff and the players sit around their respective tables to share food and make memories, they will probably reflect, even if it’s only for a moment, on what it means to put on the Tribe uniform day in and day out for the best fans in the major leagues.

As for me, I’m thankful for football, a lot of food and a day off to enjoy it all with my family and friends.

Happy Thanksgiving fans. Enjoy your turkey.

Report: Cleveland Indians Trade Asdrubal Cabrera

With only a short time left before the MLB trade deadline the Cleveland Indians made their second move in as many days, this time shipping off shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera to the Washington Nationals in return for shortstop prospect Zach Walters. This comes after yesterday’s trade of Justin Masterson to the St. Louis Cardinals for Minor League outfield prospect James Ramsey. It has been reported that Ramsey, formerly with AA Springfield in the Cardinals organization, has been called up to AAA Columbus with the Indians.

Back to the Cabrera trade.

AsdrubalCabrera was acquired by the Cleveland Indians in 2006 from the Seattle Mariners in exchange for Eduardo Perez. In Cleveland, Cabrera was a two time All-Star (2011, 2012) with a career batting average of .270. His best season with the Indians came in 2011 when he hit .273 with 25 home runs, 92 RBI, 87 runs scored and 17 stolen bases. More recently, Cabrera fell out of favor with Tribe fans due to his plummeting batting average a shaky defense. Between 2009-2012 Cabrera never hit below .270 while his power developed. Since the 2012 season Cabrera’s batting average has dropped considerably (.242 in 2013 and .246 in 2014). Defensively Cabrera struggled at short stop. Starting in 2010 Cabrera has committed 69 errors, including 19 in the 2012 season, at short. For the Indians this year Cabrera committed 14 errors, second most among American League shortstops.

Zach WaltersConsidering that the Indians have Jose Ramirez and (top prospect) Francisco Lindor in the minor leagues (both capable shortstops) the move for Walters, a shortstop, may seem puzzling. While Walters has started most of his Minor League career at short, he has started 68 games at third base and 38 games at second base. This year with AAA Syracuse Walters has made 27 starts at second base, 14 starts at short stop, 11 starts at third base and 7 starts in the outfield (all in LF). He has also DHed once. In those starts he has committed 10 errors, 4 each at second and short and 2 at third base. Now for the upside. In 60 games for AAA Syracuse this season Walters has hit 15 home runs and driven in 48 runs while hitting .300 with a .608 slugging percentage. Last season in 134 games with Syracuse he hit 29 home runs and 77 RBI while batting .253 with a .517 slugging percentage. Walters has also played 40 games (47 at bats) with the Washington Nationals, 8 in 2013 and 32 in 2014. While his career batting average as a pro is only .234 he does have a .489 slugging percentage. He has only made 5 starts in his big league career.

Walters was a 9th round pick in the 2010 amateur draft. The 24 year old was named a Mid-Season All-Star in 2011 and 2013 as well as a Post-Season All-Star in 2013. He also won the Minor League Joe Bauman Home Run Award in AAA. According to Baseball America, Walters was also rated the best infield arm in the Nationals farm system following the 2012 season.

Given the depth the Indians have in their farm system at shortstop and Walters’ ability to hit with power, I find it unlikely the Indians will look to start him at shortstop, at least long term. Ramirez has already made starts at short for the Indians this year and Lindor is the heir apparent to the position. Walters could end up being the Indians starting third baseman, or perhaps he will be used in the outfield (given his strong arm) or as a DH. Either way, the switch hitting prospect has the ability to provide some power to the Indians lineup.