Cleat Geeks

Tribe Vibe

In with the Old, out with the New

EddieMurrayClevelandThe Cleveland Indians have done this before as long as I can remember. “We need some veterans to come help our ball club.” The Indians did that in the 90’s when they signed Eddie Murray to help that offense. It seemed to work out well being in the World Series in 1995 and 1997.

 

In the early 2000’s, the Indians signed power hitters Juan Gonzalez and Ellis Burks. Gonzalez was a power hitter from the Texas Rangers who could bring the Indians back into the Pennant race.  Ellis Burks was at the end of career, but could still hit for power. It worked to some degree, but the Indians only made it to the ALDS in 2001.  The Indians never made it back to the playoffs until 2007.

 

 

Juan Gonzo                              Ellis Burks

 

You look at the Cleveland Indians today, ok maybe the last 5 seasons, and has the “bring a quality veteran to our ball club” worked?  In 2013, the Indians sign two “quality” veterans in Michael Bourn and Nick Swisher, who have a chance to help this young ball club get back into the winning circle.  We all know that did not pan out the way the front office hoped to accomplish.  The Indians made it to the AL Wild Card in 2014, but lost to the Tampa Bay Rays.

Swisher        Michael Bourn

Why is it that some ball clubs like the Cleveland Indians think that bringing a veteran who is past their prime can help a team?  Yes, you can sign the player on a minor league contract.  Yes, you can sign them under $5 million for a year.  I get the money purposes to sign veterans, but how much can they do on the field?  Can they perform like they did with their previous team?  We all hope they can perform, but hope does not help.  Hope does not win games.  Hope does not bring teams to the playoffs.  Performing on the field to the best of your abilities is how you win games.  If that player cannot perform to the best of their abilities, why bother?  

The Indians this offseason have decided to continue the “sign a quality veteran” plan and add Mike Napoli (Age: 34) to their ballclub.  Along with Napoli, the Indians decided to sign more veteran ball players:

 

Rajai Davis (Age: 35)

Joba Chamberlain (Age: 30)

Joe Thatcher (Age 34)

Tom Gorzelanny (Age: 33)

 

Here are each player’s stats from 2015.mike-napoli

Mike Napoli:

Games:  35

BA:  .295

HR:  5rajai_davis

RBI:  10

Rajai Davis:

Games:  112

BA:  .258

HR:  8

RBI:  30
Joba Chamberlain

Joba Chamberlain:

Games:  36

Innings Pitched:  27.2

Record:  0-4

ERA:  4.88

SO: 23
Joe Thatcher

Joe Thatcher:

Games:  43

Innings Pitched:  22.2  

Record: 1-3

ERA:  3.18

SO:  26

Tom Gorzelanny:Tom Gorzelanny

Games:  48

Innings Pitched:  39.1    

Record:  2-2

ERA:  5.95

SO:  36

 

When I look at the Indian’s off-season and their signings, this does not show me that they want to compete in the Central Division with the Tigers and Royals. Do I think our pitching will improve this season from last season?  Yes, I do. Do I think our bullpen will improve this season from last season?  Maybe.  Do I think our offense will improve this season from last season?  That I am not sure.  I just think there are so many question marks about this team that nobody knows.  

Indians World SeriesI understand that having a veteran could mean veteran leadership inside the clubhouse, but that does not mean the team will win ballgames.  Just from looking at these “quality veteran” signings, I cannot see a team that will compete in the Division.

Why are the Indians “In with the New and Out with the Old?” It is time that we give our minor league prospects a chance to show what they got.  It is time that we go after a player who is still in their prime, even if the Indians have to spend a little more money.  It is time that we find a way to compete and bring a World Series title back to Cleveland.  It is time to be “In with the New, and Out with the Old.”

 

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