Monday, November 5, 2007

It's A Long Way To The Top...

There is quite a bit on Cleveland Indians General Manager Mark Shapiro’s plate right now. He has three pitchers due to be signed; Paul Byrd, Joe Borowski, and Aaron Fultz.
Joe Borowski should be signed without hesitation. Yes, he gave us all cardiac arrest attaining 45 saves in 53 chances, but without those 45 saves, we would not have tied for the best record in all of baseball in 2007.
Aaron Fultz is a different story. This pitcher is highly rated with a career 4.26 ERA and a 25 and 15 won/loss record. Thinking back to the second half of the season, he was pretty much ineffective, getting into trouble often. Remember game 3 vs. the Yankees in the playoffs? He faced 3 batters and 2 scored. Supposedly he suffered an oblique muscle pull half way through the season. I don’t recall that but if he is OK, let’s trade him while he has value. So yes, let’s sign him with the intention of trading him. What is up with the oblique muscle pulls on this team? Fultz, Westbrook, and Lee this year and Sabathia last year…sounds like a conditioning issue!
What about Paul Byrd? Faced with a possible HGH suspension from the league, Byrd had a very good year. He was 15 – 8 with a 4.59 ERA. He will be 37 years old next month. The fact is, if we sign him and he receives the suspension, we do not have to pay him during that time off. Sign him, even if to trade him.
Soon the baseball winter meetings will take place. Shapiro will go to the meetings probably not looking to shop the free agency market again. According to Shapiro, he feels comfortable with the offense and defense of this team but is looking to improve the bullpen. I agree with improving the bullpen but not with standing pat on the offense. With Kenny Lofton destined to leave again, are we strong enough in the outfield with Sizemore, Gutierrez, and Michaels? With Nixon filing for free agency, we do not have a lefty pinch hitter. Is Ben Francisco ready to play everyday? What about Marte and Barfield? Lots of question marks remain, too many to overlook the one-time purchase of a free agent that secures the outfield question with a big stick as well.
What about replays? This is sure to be on the agenda for the winter meetings. Shapiro has been quoted as being in favor of replays in a limited capacity. Why not? We have the technology…use it! The game is delayed anyway while the umpires huddle on a fair/foul or in/out home runs!
Lots going on and the Indians will not get to the series unless they improve.
108 days until the start of spring training...tick, tick, tick...

No comments: