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Rotation Roulette: What's the best we can possibly hope for?

Posted: 2/14/2013 11:29 AM

Rotation Roulette: What's the best we can possibly hope for? 


I assume we want to win now.  So we have to go with the rotation that gives  us the best chance  of winning, right out of the gate, no matter  whose feelings we have to bruise.

 That means we can't put a guy out there if he's not going to give us the best shot to win -- no matter his contract status --- I'm thinking you Ubaldo.

Okay, so assume nothing is taken for granted -- absolutely nobody is guaranteed a spot, don't worry about options, contracts,  etc.   What's the best  possible rotation we could put out there this year?

In playing rotation roulette,  you are allowed to make any assumptions about bouncing back  from bad years (Masterson, Jimenez), whether health issues are behind them  (Dice-K,  Corasco, Kazmir),  whether transition back to starter will go well (Meyers), degree of mlb readiness (Bauer), etc that you care to make.  But make them explicit.  

Given whatever  assumptions you care to make about those  things,  what's the best possible rotation we could put out there?   

It will be another question --for management to answer -- whether we have the guts to put our best rotation out there.  (I mean if means just eating Jimenez's contract for  example, do they have the guts to do  that?)


Fire away.

Last edited 2/14/2013 11:35 AM by seriesbound

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Posted: 2/14/2013 2:27 PM

Re: Rotation Roulette: What's the best we can possibly hope 


Wow, that's tough.  I know you said to make assumptions, but there are a lot of assumptions to make....

I think Masterson is for sure #1.  He should bounce back and Francona should help that process.  I have the most faith in him out of anyone in the rotation.

You can't put young guys at #2 (too much pressure.)  I'd have to go to an established veteran, Myers would be my pick.

That leaves me with 
Dice-K
Kazmir
Carrasco
McAllister
Bauer
Jimenez
Kluber

Honestly, I think Carrasco is healthy enough and showed a lot of velocity. Kazmir and Dice-K are really questionable. McAllister is probably a safe bet for opening day, and is a decent guy. Jimenez I have almost no faith in.  Bauer should be good, too.  If winning is the #1 priority from day 1, I'd go with

Masterson
Myers
Carrasco
McAllister
Bauer

However, I know that Carrasco and Bauer will likely have an innings limit, so it may make sense to gradually move towards this rotation later in the season.  For longevity (thinking playoff run here) you stock Carrasco and Bauer at AAA.  Maybe start with

Masterson
Myers
Jimenez
McAllister
Kazmir/Dice-K

I feel as though only one of Kazmir/Dice-K will bounce back, if any.  But honestly right now its waaaaaay too early to answer this question so once I get to watch some spring training games I'll give another answer.
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Posted: 2/14/2013 3:01 PM

Re: Rotation Roulette: What's the best we can possibly hope 


Masterson, Jimenez and Meyers are in like it or not.

 

Masterson we hope for bounce back.  Jimenez banghead   Meyer we hope that he can hold up as the innings pile up.

We can speculate on Jiminez but no, they wouldn't "eat his salary" given the fact they picked up him option.  It would be mind blowing to pick up a guys option then cut him before you give him a shot to pitch.  That decision was already made in the fall.

McAllister was pretty good last year and has nothing to prove at AAA at all.  Unless he implodes I can't imagine he doesn't make the team.

To me, other than injury, trade, complete implosion or something crazy that leaves one spot.

Bauer I hope is there at some point but I would guess they'll start him in the minors.  Carrasco I would guess will start in the minors to show he's healthy.

Huff, ah no.
Kluber I dont' see either.

I think they want the last spot to go to Matsuzaka at this point and I will bet it does.  If not then Kazmir would have a shot.

To me baring injury there are four options (the first four guys are in all of them)

1) Matsuzaka 
2) Kazmir (would mean Matsuzaka stinks it up and Kazmir at least okay)
3) Both kick butt and somebody is hurt or McCallister struggles = both make it
4) Both stink and they cut them loose and go with somebody else - best bet Carrasco if he's healthy or Bauer if he is dominate.

I think Kazmir is really a long shot.  I know the reports were his velocity is up or whatever but dude has been bascially pitching in the California Penal league or whatever for the last three years...  it would be a real amazing comeback story.

SO I will def say:

Masterson
Jimenez
Meyer
McAlister
Matsuzaka

We'll see Bauer at some point and possibly Carrasco as the second guy up. 

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Posted: 2/14/2013 3:16 PM

Re: Rotation Roulette: What's the best we can possibly hope 


I see Kazmir now as a lefty reliever if he is going to have any role again in the majors and could certainly see him sticking in that role if 1) Cleveland wants 2 lefties in the pen; or 2) Hagadone has any lingering wrist issues in camp.

Interestingly, and something I have never seen before with the Indians, Cleveland does not play on the traditional opening day of Monday 4/1, then plays the next 14 days in a row without an off day.  So unlike many years when you can bury the 5th starter for the first month, that is not happening in Cleveland.
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Posted: 2/14/2013 3:22 PM

Re: Rotation Roulette: What's the best we can possibly hope 


The Indians get a scheduling break(they get screwed for desired draw dates).  They play a lot of games in the first two weeks of the season with teams that normally given them trouble.  By the middle of the third week they will be 50% done with Toronto, Boston, TB, and NY.  Some of these teams are notoriously slow starters.
CalBuckeyeRob wrote: I see Kazmir now as a lefty reliever if he is going to have any role again in the majors and could certainly see him sticking in that role if 1) Cleveland wants 2 lefties in the pen; or 2) Hagadone has any lingering wrist issues in camp.

Interestingly, and something I have never seen before with the Indians, Cleveland does not play on the traditional opening day of Monday 4/1, then plays the next 14 days in a row without an off day.  So unlike many years when you can bury the 5th starter for the first month, that is not happening in Cleveland.
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Posted: 2/14/2013 3:29 PM

Re: Rotation Roulette: What's the best we can possibly hope 


I concur with Buckeye Dan's asessment.  Also because of the unusual starting schedule, it is possible that we see a sixth starter within the first 2+1/2 weeks.  Then decide who has earned their spots and adjust.  We will know alot by Mother's Day, usually we are out of it by then.
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Posted: 2/14/2013 3:33 PM

Re: Rotation Roulette: What's the best we can possibly hope 



greggleeb wrote: The Indians get a scheduling break(they get screwed for desired draw dates).  They play a lot of games in the first two weeks of the season with teams that normally given them trouble.  By the middle of the third week they will be 50% done with Toronto, Boston, TB, and NY.  Some of these teams are notoriously slow starters.
CalBuckeyeRob wrote: I see Kazmir now as a lefty reliever if he is going to have any role again in the majors and could certainly see him sticking in that role if 1) Cleveland wants 2 lefties in the pen; or 2) Hagadone has any lingering wrist issues in camp.

Interestingly, and something I have never seen before with the Indians, Cleveland does not play on the traditional opening day of Monday 4/1, then plays the next 14 days in a row without an off day.  So unlike many years when you can bury the 5th starter for the first month, that is not happening in Cleveland.
In a world now dominated by computers that can do a billion calculations in seconds, I do not understand the baseball schedules that have you play the same team 6+ times over a 2 week span.
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Posted: 2/14/2013 3:43 PM

Re: Rotation Roulette: What's the best we can possibly hope 


Interesting topic.  For me, the easy assumption is that Masterson, Jimenez and Meyers are in the rotation.  I believe (assume) that Francona really likes Masterson and that he will not want to give up on Jimenez without giving himself a sufficient amount of time to turn the guy around.  They promised Meyers a spot in the rotation when they signed him, so that's happening.

Of the two other spots, I assume that Francona and Dice-K are BFF's (Dice-K is quoted in today's ABJ saying a big reason he's here is because of Francona).   Couple that with his pre-injury track record and I'd guess that if he pitches even reasonably well in spring training he'll get a spot at least to start the season. 

I assume they want Bauer to start off in AAA to keep his clock from running too soon.  What he does in ST is probably irrelevant.  I assume they like McAllister and also like Carrasco - but I'm not sure whether either or both still have options.  I'll give the 5th spot to McAllister because I'll assume they leave Carrasco in extended ST to keep his workload down.

I think the "best" rotation they could put out there would be: Masterson, Meyers, McAllister, Carrasco, Bauer.  But I don't think they will do that.
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Posted: 2/14/2013 4:03 PM

RE: Rotation Roulette: What's the best we can possibly hope for 


Kazmir is intriguing. I don't doubt that the velocity is back but question whether it is consistent. I'm not sure if spring training will provide enough time to answer that question. I figure he'll start his 'show us consistency' tour in Columbus. Also, I suspect "conventional wisdom" will ticket Carrasco and Bauer to Columbus and their bar for making the club has likely been set quite is high. I agree with Dan. Matasazuka, if healthy, likely has a leg-up on the others for the fifth spot.

Also, I wouldn't be surprised if Corey Kluber ends up competing for a spot in the bullpen.

Maybe Jon Niese?

:)
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  • CDAV45
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Posted: 2/14/2013 6:50 PM

Re: Rotation Roulette: What's the best we can possibly hope 


Masterson, Jimenez, McCallister, Meyers, Kluber.  Bauer, Kazmir, Carrasco, Barnes, and Dice-K will start the year in Columbus. 

1.  Masterson-Power workhorse.  If he throws strikes is a low #1 or high #2.  Good infield defense will help him win and pitch 200+ innings. 

2.  Jimenez-Sky is the limit, but he can be terrible also.  I think the calming presence of Francona will help him immensely as will the improved defense.

3.  McCallister-Most underrated guy on the staff.  Big, Powerful, and durable.  He seems effortless when on the bump.  His ground-ball tendencies will alow him to go deep into games.

4.  Meyers-Is what he is, durable and mediocre in my eyes.  He'll benefit tremendously from the awesome outfield of Brantley, Bourn, and Stubbs.  Will not be here past the all-star break if he pitches well.

5.  Kluber-My sleeper pick.  Will miss alot of bats, but needs to cut down on the walks.  If that happens he could be a solid #2.  He will also benefit from the much improved outfield defense.  My problem with Kluber is that he will probably throw alot of pitches per inning as most strikeout pitchers do.  Alot of 6 inning outings is what I expect from him if he's pitching well.

6.  Kazmir-If he pitches well is the 1st guy called up.  I'm unclear if they want to limit his innings also.  If so, he may start the year in the pen.  No reason to believe he can't be an effective starter again.  The question is how effective.

7.  Carrasco-If not for his innings limit, Meyers wouldn't have a job with the Indians.  I'm very excited to watch him continue to grow.  Potential to be a #1.

8.  Barnes-Very underrated in my opinion.  The knee injury really derailed him temporarily.  His delivery is unorthodox but he repeats it well, throws hard, has a filthy slider, and a good change-up that he'll throw in any count.  He overmatches AAA hitters when I've seen him pitch. Potential to be a good #3 and I hope they don't relegate him to the pen.

9. Dice-K-Don't really understand this signing, but it could be good if he restablishes some value.  There will probably be injuries and underperformances so I guess he could be good insurance.  Maybe good trade bait if he performes well.  I'm not expecting much.

10.  Bauer-Time is on his side.  No need to rush this kid, but how much does he have left to do in the minors?  I don't see him as an elite #1, but damn good.  Talent wise I think he falls behind Masterson, Carrasco, and even McCallister.

11.  Salazar-Seen little of the kid, but his performance speaks for itself.  Power stuff and a good showing last season.  Could shoot up the staff quickly.

12.  Huff-Don't ask me.  I really thought he would be a solid major league pitcher, even if unspectacular.  When you see someone like Meyers pitch well, it makes you scratch your head when someone like Huff struggles.  The development of a cutter and better control could catapult Huff's career. 

The talent is there to have a very good staff.  I think the Indians are guilty of being to passive with their good prospects, but I look for that to change with Francona's influence.
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Posted: 2/14/2013 6:57 PM

Re: Rotation Roulette: What's the best we can possibly hope 


i think they will go masterson, jimenez, myers, mcallister, kluber unless they are absolutely convinced carrasco is ready, in which case he's in and kluber is out.

dice-K is this year's version of the crappy, washed-up retread we always seem to put in the rotation and leave there well after it's become clear there's nothing left. i hope francona is smart enough to assess based on the here and now and not the there and then.
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Posted: 2/14/2013 7:32 PM

Re: Rotation Roulette: What's the best we can possibly hope 



CDAV45 wrote: Masterson, Jimenez, McCallister, Meyers, Kluber.  Bauer, Kazmir, Carrasco, Barnes, and Dice-K will start the year in Columbus. 

1.  Masterson-Power workhorse.  If he throws strikes is a low #1 or high #2.  Good infield defense will help him win and pitch 200+ innings. 

2.  Jimenez-Sky is the limit, but he can be terrible also.  I think the calming presence of Francona will help him immensely as will the improved defense.

3.  McCallister-Most underrated guy on the staff.  Big, Powerful, and durable.  He seems effortless when on the bump.  His ground-ball tendencies will alow him to go deep into games.

4.  Meyers-Is what he is, durable and mediocre in my eyes.  He'll benefit tremendously from the awesome outfield of Brantley, Bourn, and Stubbs.  Will not be here past the all-star break if he pitches well.

5.  Kluber-My sleeper pick.  Will miss alot of bats, but needs to cut down on the walks.  If that happens he could be a solid #2.  He will also benefit from the much improved outfield defense.  My problem with Kluber is that he will probably throw alot of pitches per inning as most strikeout pitchers do.  Alot of 6 inning outings is what I expect from him if he's pitching well.

6.  Kazmir-If he pitches well is the 1st guy called up.  I'm unclear if they want to limit his innings also.  If so, he may start the year in the pen.  No reason to believe he can't be an effective starter again.  The question is how effective.

7.  Carrasco-If not for his innings limit, Meyers wouldn't have a job with the Indians.  I'm very excited to watch him continue to grow.  Potential to be a #1.

8.  Barnes-Very underrated in my opinion.  The knee injury really derailed him temporarily.  His delivery is unorthodox but he repeats it well, throws hard, has a filthy slider, and a good change-up that he'll throw in any count.  He overmatches AAA hitters when I've seen him pitch. Potential to be a good #3 and I hope they don't relegate him to the pen.

9. Dice-K-Don't really understand this signing, but it could be good if he restablishes some value.  There will probably be injuries and underperformances so I guess he could be good insurance.  Maybe good trade bait if he performes well.  I'm not expecting much.

10.  Bauer-Time is on his side.  No need to rush this kid, but how much does he have left to do in the minors?  I don't see him as an elite #1, but damn good.  Talent wise I think he falls behind Masterson, Carrasco, and even McCallister.

11.  Salazar-Seen little of the kid, but his performance speaks for itself.  Power stuff and a good showing last season.  Could shoot up the staff quickly.

12.  Huff-Don't ask me.  I really thought he would be a solid major league pitcher, even if unspectacular.  When you see someone like Meyers pitch well, it makes you scratch your head when someone like Huff struggles.  The development of a cutter and better control could catapult Huff's career. 

The talent is there to have a very good staff.  I think the Indians are guilty of being to passive with their good prospects, but I look for that to change with Francona's influence.
You're not the only one.  I'd like to see him starting no matter where ends up.
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Posted: 2/14/2013 8:39 PM

Re: Rotation Roulette: What's the best we can possibly hope 



buddy34 wrote: i think they will go masterson, jimenez, myers, mcallister, kluber unless they are absolutely convinced carrasco is ready, in which case he's in and kluber is out.

dice-K is this year's version of the crappy, washed-up retread we always seem to put in the rotation and leave there well after it's become clear there's nothing left. i hope francona is smart enough to assess based on the here and now and not the there and then.
You don't think Bauer would be able to beat Kluber for #5?
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Posted: 2/14/2013 8:50 PM

Re: Rotation Roulette: What's the best we can possibly hope 


I think Ubaldo has a good year going into free agency. Not the dominant season he had a couple yrs ago but something along the lines of his 2008/2009 .

Masterson pitching like he did in 2011 is not unrealistic,,,

Myers if he gives us what he posted in 2011 would be what the doc ordered.

Between Bauer, Carrasco and Mccalister I think we will be pleasantly suprised.

I think we will win the division next year biggrin
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Posted: 2/14/2013 9:13 PM

Re: Rotation Roulette: What's the best we can possibly hope 



buckeyedanpt2 wrote:

Masterson, Jimenez and Meyers are in like it or not.

 

Masterson we hope for bounce back.  Jimenez banghead   Meyer we hope that he can hold up as the innings pile up.

We can speculate on Jiminez but no, they wouldn't "eat his salary" given the fact they picked up him option.  It would be mind blowing to pick up a guys option then cut him before you give him a shot to pitch.  That decision was already made in the fall.

McAllister was pretty good last year and has nothing to prove at AAA at all.  Unless he implodes I can't imagine he doesn't make the team.

To me, other than injury, trade, complete implosion or something crazy that leaves one spot.

Bauer I hope is there at some point but I would guess they'll start him in the minors.  Carrasco I would guess will start in the minors to show he's healthy.

Huff, ah no.
Kluber I dont' see either.

I think they want the last spot to go to Matsuzaka at this point and I will bet it does.  If not then Kazmir would have a shot.

To me baring injury there are four options (the first four guys are in all of them)

1) Matsuzaka 
2) Kazmir (would mean Matsuzaka stinks it up and Kazmir at least okay)
3) Both kick butt and somebody is hurt or McCallister struggles = both make it
4) Both stink and they cut them loose and go with somebody else - best bet Carrasco if he's healthy or Bauer if he is dominate.

I think Kazmir is really a long shot.  I know the reports were his velocity is up or whatever but dude has been bascially pitching in the California Penal league or whatever for the last three years...  it would be a real amazing comeback story.

SO I will def say:

Masterson
Jimenez
Meyer
McAlister
Matsuzaka

We'll see Bauer at some point and possibly Carrasco as the second guy up. 

Isn't there another "M" we can add to that rotation
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Posted: 2/14/2013 11:30 PM

RE: Rotation Roulette: What's the best we can possibly hope for 


You would have to package a guy like Brantley with 1 or 2 other pieces to get Neise he is young a lefty and signed long term I think reasonable options that could carry him through 2018.

I do not think Stubbs in any package gets you even close to a Neise type guy.

I do not believe Carrasco has any option left he would have to be DL'ed and left at extended spring training when the club breaks camp.

I believe unless traded at some point before opening day that David Huff will end up with one of those bullpen slots he also is out of options.

Also after all the money spent on players this off season if Bauer is better in Spring than any of the #4 - #5 type guys on this team I do not believe that this organization is going to worry too much about starting his clock early IMHO it is NOW about winning and putting Arses in the seats and fans will pay to see Crazy and lets face it Bauer is the Main Attraction.
PPark wrote: Kazmir is intriguing. I don't doubt that the velocity is back but question whether it is consistent. I'm not sure if spring training will provide enough time to answer that question. I figure he'll start his 'show us consistency' tour in Columbus. Also, I suspect "conventional wisdom" will ticket Carrasco and Bauer to Columbus and their bar for making the club has likely been set quite is high. I agree with Dan. Matasazuka, if healthy, likely has a leg-up on the others for the fifth spot.

Also, I wouldn't be surprised if Corey Kluber ends up competing for a spot in the bullpen.

Maybe Jon Niese?

:)

Last edited 2/14/2013 11:37 PM by kcatthebat

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Posted: 2/15/2013 1:28 AM

Re: Rotation Roulette: What's the best we can possibly hope 


computers are only as smart as the people programming them :-)

---------------------------------------------
--- CalBuckeyeRob wrote:


greggleeb wrote: The Indians get a scheduling break(they get screwed for desired draw dates).  They play a lot of games in the first two weeks of the season with teams that normally given them trouble.  By the middle of the third week they will be 50% done with Toronto, Boston, TB, and NY.  Some of these teams are notoriously slow starters.
CalBuckeyeRob wrote: I see Kazmir now as a lefty reliever if he is going to have any role again in the majors and could certainly see him sticking in that role if 1) Cleveland wants 2 lefties in the pen; or 2) Hagadone has any lingering wrist issues in camp.

Interestingly, and something I have never seen before with the Indians, Cleveland does not play on the traditional opening day of Monday 4/1, then plays the next 14 days in a row without an off day.  So unlike many years when you can bury the 5th starter for the first month, that is not happening in Cleveland.
In a world now dominated by computers that can do a billion calculations in seconds, I do not understand the baseball schedules that have you play the same team 6+ times over a 2 week span.

---------------------------------------------
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Posted: 2/15/2013 5:44 AM

Re: Rotation Roulette: What's the best we can possibly hope 


You don't think Bauer would be able to beat Kluber for #5?

-------------

i think the indians will be leaving bauer in AAA to start the season to extend their team control of him.
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Posted: 2/15/2013 9:03 AM

Re: Rotation Roulette: What's the best we can possibly hope 


Thanks very much for this post. I had been wondering what the rotation would look like. Here is what I got out of everyone's comments:

1. Masterson
2. Jiminez
3. Myers

4. Most likely McAlister

5. could be one of many but Carrasco and Bauer probably will start in the minors more due to their circumstances than talent.
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Posted: 2/15/2013 9:26 AM

RE: Rotation Roulette: What's the best we can possibly hope for 


My take is:
1. Masterson
2. Jiminez
3. Myers
4. McAlister
5. Dice-K
This is the line-up starting the year, then the others down in Columbus ready for the quick call-up. I just feel with what the Tribe paid for Dice-k he is in the rotation at the start of the year. If the Tribe is in playoff hunt come trade deadline then I think the FO with go for a trade on a starter to help with a playoff run.
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