Wednesday, September 30, 2009

News, Links and Observations

posted by Jon Williams
The Cleveland Indians have fired manager Eric Wedge and the entire coaching staff. Why they bothered to do this with less than a week remaining in the season will probably remain a mystery.

The Indians are in the early stages of what general manager Mark Shapiro referred to as a "reloading" period, and the reload will extend to the managerial position and the coaching staff.

A 1:30 p.m. ET press conference was scheduled Wednesday at Progressive Field to announce that Wedge and his coaches have all been relieved of their duties. Wedge and his staff will stay aboard for the season's final six games, including the four-game set in Boston this weekend.

According to a team source, Wedge has known his fate for several days, while the coaches -- including pitching coach Carl Willis, hitting coach Derek Shelton, bench coach Jeff Datz, first-base coach Luis Rivera, third-base coach Joel Skinner and bullpen coach Chuck Hernandez -- were informed of the moves following Tuesday's rainout against the White Sox.



Taking over for Peter Abraham, the number one Yankees blogger at The LoHud Yankees Blog, will be Chad Jennings of the Times-Tribune in Scranton and the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees Blog. I loved Peter's work and as a huge Yankees fan (I'll be sharing news on my own new Yankees Blog very soon). I follow a few blogs for each MLB team, and I'll certainly be adding his new Red Sox blog to my list. The Boston Globe sports section just became relevant again.

Here's a small sample:
Chad covered the Triple-A Yankees with distinction and his blog was a must-read for Yankee fans who wanted to be up to date on the organization’s prospects. Chad has a knack for blogging and is a fine writer and reporter.

As somebody who once covered the Double-A Yankees, I believe there is a lot of value in having a reporter who started in the minors and worked his way up. Chad is a young guy with a lot of ambition and knowledge of baseball and he’s the perfect choice to take over this blog.

Over at Athletics Nation they are discussing the 2010 roster and which players should be o n it. Every aspiring or returning fantasy league champ can use articles like this to get a little closer to the thinking of the front office and the most loyal fans.

Here's a small sample:
As much as I love Rajai Davis, never has the phrase "sell high" been more apropos. Unless we really believe he can hit .360 for half a season ever again in his career, it might be worth entertaining some offers. If not, we have a very fast leadoff or number two hitter for next season. The A's will also have to make a decision on Adam Kennedy (and third base), and it's possible they aren't fully committed to Jack Cust and/or Scott Hairston as full-time players next season. Have the A's found the shortstop answer in Cliff Pennington (and we're assuming that 30 year old Free Agent Bobby Crosby will finally leave Oakland) or are they still searching for something they haven't had since Miguel Tejada (coincidentally, who is a FA of his own this year)?
Lou Piniella described what he expects his 2010 pitching staff to look like and he gets very specific about it in this Chicago Tribune article. The article focuses on the Cubs apparently allowing Rich Harden to depart via free agency. I found the the quote about Jeff Samardzija to be pretty interesting...

Here's a small sample:
"You look at our starting pitching here for next year," Piniella said. "You've got (Carlos) Zambrano, you've got (Ryan) Dempster, you've got (Randy) Wells, you've got (Ted) Lilly, you've got (Tom) Gorzelanny, and you've got (Jeff) Samardzija, who is going to go to winter ball. And if this kid keeps improving, he'll be right in the mix. So we've got six nice arms."
Mike Pelfrey's season has mercifully come to an end and Matt Cerrone of MetsBlog, examines his season and what went wrong. I still think Pelfrey has some good years coming. I'm just not certain what I'd bet to have him on my teams...

Here's a small sample:
that said, he was pitching in front of a terrible, ever-changing, often-out-of-place defense… also, he seemed to get more ground balls than in previous seasons, and that is important for him to be effective… the problem was his walks, and putting himself in a position to fail, which is something no pitcher should do with that sort of defense behind him…
Tommy Rancel of D'Rays Bay is predicting that Matt Joyce will take over right field for the Rays in 2010. He also sees Gabe Gross as a potential non-tender. I actually thought the Rays were going to give Joyce that shot this season mostly based on Joyce's solid rookie season with the Detroit Tigers. Joyce was traded for Edwin Jackson, a move that at this point heavily favors the Tigers but that could be changing in 2010.

Sports: A Game of Inches has a nice piece on Jonny Gomes and his improvements this season. Those of you who have read my stuff for a while know I've been on that bandwagon. I called him potentially the next David Ortiz. This article breaks down his tools and skills very well and will give you a true sense of his value and upside.

Here's a small sample:
But let's not be too hard on Gomes here. A marginally better than league average walk rate is nothing to sneer at when paired with legitimate power (.230 career ISO) and defense skills that are only half as crappy as his predecessor. In fact, in less than half as many PA's as Adam Dunn this season, Jonny Gomes has been, when you combine and compare offensive and defensive production, exactly half as valuable as Adam Dunn this season. Extrapolated, that insinuates that two have the same production rate per game for their respective teams. Such is true for 2009, but is this a legitimate expectation for 2010 and going forward?
If you enjoy the MLB offseason as much as I do, you should like this piece by BUCCOfans.com. They examine the needs of the Pittsburgh Pirates and a few of their potential targets come the free-agency period. According to their calculations the Pirates have nearly $20 million to spend. I'm sure a good portion of that will go to raises and arbitration but they should be able to add a quality bat and do some bargain hunting for bullpen arms.

Here's a small sample:
The first thing anyone should say is "we've heard this before". Many will point to last year when Neal Huntington said "we're going after a right handed power bat, a starting pitcher, and a bullpen arm". He came away with Eric Hinske, Virgil Vasquez, and Chris Bootcheck, although it should be noted that Daniel Cabrera, Rocco Baldelli, and Derrick Turnbow all turned down more money to play elsewhere (although that's not really a bad thing for the Pirates).
The Red Sox desperately need to re-sign Jason Bay. Bay is their primary power source and a key element in the middle of their lineup. Unfortunately for Boston fans, the Red Sox underestimated what it would take to re-sign him and will now most likely have to compete with other teams for his services. The New York Yankees could be lurking, ready to steal another Red Sox target from under their noses. The Bottom Line (a quality Red Sox blog) examines this situation.

Here's a small sample:
My point is this... Teixeira got away and now he's a major part of why the Yankees are the World Series favorites. If they win it all this season, many will say that they "bought" another ring with the huge contracts they dished out this offseason, but the Red Sox can't afford to let another potential "anchor" sign with someone else.

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1 Comments:

Blogger Schruender said...

Great stuff Jon. Gotta wonder if Cleveland's mistake was Shapiro and not Wedge. I think he could have gotten much more for VMart from the Giants. Think about it - they traded for Garko. They also traded away Alderson for Freddy Sanchez. They need a first baseman and were willing to trade a pretty good prospect. I doubt Masterson or the other guy (name escapes me but he's had Tommy John) they got will amount to what Alderson will.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009 at 8:16:00 PM EDT  

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