Friday, February 17, 2006

Tribe concerns

Joel brings up a valid point in response to the post below.
Just how exactly did the Indians get better this off-season? And while the White Sox, Yankees, Red Sox and Blue Jays (and possibly the Twins) made improvements, just where does that place the Indians in the shuffle?
The Indians could be a 90-win team this year. They could also be a 70-win team.
To me, the X-factor is what the minor leagues produce during the season.
If the Tribe is forced to rely on Casey Blake, Aaron Boone, Ben Broussard, Jason Johnson and Danny Graves all season because the farm system can't offer any support, this could be a long year.
If some combination of Andy Marte, Ryan Garko, Andrew Brown, Fausto Carmona and Jeremy Sowers ride in like Grady Sizemore did last year, this could be a very dangerous team.
That's how the Indians are designed to operate. They live and die with their farm system. They gamble with prospects the same way richer teams gamble with their checkbooks.


Zach said...

The bottom line is the Indians did not improve at all over the offseason. At best, they stood their ground. There is not one position on the diamond that looks better. I rag on Blake all the time, but that's not the point.
Look at the starting nine, the starting staff and the bullpen. None of those spots have been improved. Instead, the Indians appear to be banking on being just as healthy as last season, and that could be a deal with the devil.

Erik said...

That's why I say the minors are going to be so important. I'm not ready to write this team off simply because they made no impact free agent signings save for Paul Byrd.

You are right. Staying as healthy as last year and notching a bullpen ERA of 2.80 almost certainly won't happen. But the point is that there are other options besides Blake, Boone, Broussard, et al.

The Indians were picked as a last-place team by some in 2004. They won 80 games. They were largely considered mediocre heading into 2005 and won 93. All I'm saying is give them a chance. Sexy off-seasons don't always yield winners, just like lackluster offseasons don't always yield losers.