2022 Season Series #34 | Astros @ Guardians | August 4-7, 2022

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Wham with the Right Hand

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Yeah, we need the pitching factory to really take their stride next year, the placeholders aren't keeping it up. Reason for our treadmill of mediocrity. I'm not shaming the entire organization. I think we are allowed to vent on the amount of punted games in a 1-2 game division race.

Owen Miller at 1B or DH is a WTF anymore too
The reasons the Guardians are having to "punt" games is because 1) they had so many rainouts in the first half that they have no off days (they played four fewer games than the Twins by the break), and 2) Civale is out.

Neither of those are the organization's fault. They're doing the best they can.

The Pitching Factory is in the middle of a bubble between the Bieber/Plesac/Civale/McKenzie wave and (hopefully) the Espino/Williams/Morris/Bibee wave. It would be great if they produced one quality starter per year but sometimes you get waves and troughs and we are in a trough right now.

The guys who are available now (McCarty, Pilkington, Gaddis) are not of the same quality as we got a couple of years ago and we hopefully have coming in a year or two. So for now we just have to hope for fewer rainouts and no injuries to the rotation.

It looks like the Factory has done a good job with the bullpen, though, between Stephan, Karinchak, and Hentges. Clase was pretty much a finished product when we got him. Now they just have to finish off Sandlin and DLS.
 

petes999

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Hopefully, it gets better with Quant and McK. I know some were being sarcastic (not really Globetrotters vs Generals) and it is only 2 games in a long season. But, it does show somethings I hope we all can agree on

1) We are extremely lucky to be in the Central and thus in competition for the division playoff slot (and outside chance at last slot of a 3rd WC but more competition for that)

Yes, we are 2-1 vs TB and Balt but now 1-4 vs Hous and 1-5 vs NY and 2-5 vs Bos (haven't played Seattle).

2) We were not 1-2 players away from being a real contender -- as many have said, window is open around 2024 (after some current guys get some seasoning) and we get more and better pitching like Espino, Williams, Bibee, Allen, Burns vs Gaddis (who can be a really good 2 pitch reliever with better FB placement vs 5th starter for other teams - one game does not define him but his 2 quality pitches now does).

3) Thus going after someone this year would have just wasted assets at the cost of getting a Mancini when we really have a shot. Even though some don't like rankings (as they are purely subjective), but for sake of an argument, let's say a real good rental costs 2 guys around 8th-14th slot (where Johnson and McDermott slotted in for Mancini). If you try to win for an extended window 5+ years, you can be giving up on maybe 10 or many more top 15 type prospects (where do they all come from in the end when you really have a shot)? Thus, reason Cle is focusing on a 2024-2026 type window

4) When we are in the window, the NY, LA, Sea, Hous, and others have shown, it is no longer get a Jay Bruce type guy to put you over the top but you need to fill 2 or more positions (Miller, EE and LuCroy if that trade happened)-- thus, you need to have the ammo stored in your farm system as we don't have $$$ to buy FAs like they do either.

5) As others have pointed out, we wanted to trade a Tena or others for a good player this year because we have too many prospects. Not really, if we lose anyone now in Rule 5 this year it will be a reliever like Miko, Misiaszek, Santos (I had a Gaddis/Benson as last one off before their addition to 40 man). Do these players/relievers have as much value as a Jones, Tena, Burns or others that we need for trades when the window really opens? I don't think so (a 30th rank prospect is less than 1/2 value of guys we would have traded this year in Tena/Burns/ect).

Yes, the rich got richer at trade deadline and we would have gotten poorer in farm talent without much hope other than beating Minni to get a 3-game playoff series vs a Tor or Sea.
 

Wham with the Right Hand

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Cal Quantrill faces off against 25-year-old right-hander Luis Garcia tonight at 6 p.m. Garcia is 8-7, 3.81. Opposing batters are hitting .208 against him and .145 with RISP. Another quality young arm in the Astros rotation.

Garcia's ERA over his last five starts is 4.50, so he's been a little shaky lately. In late May he held the Guardians to 2 runs in 5 innings. May was by far his best month with a 2.33 ERA, so maybe he's not quite as sharp now.

Garcia has been inconsistent lately, giving up 4 and 5 runs to Oakland and KC in the last month while holding the Yankees and Red Sox to 2 and 3, respectively. Hope we get bad Garcia rather than good Garcia tonight.

Hosey went 2-for-3 against him in Houston with a 3-run jack.

Quantrill has not been good recently, allowing 9 runs in 11.1 innings in his last two starts. He faced Garcia in May and allowed just 2 runs in 6 innings in a 2-1 Astros win. Chas McCormick is 2-for-3 against him with a home run and 3 RBI's. Altuve is 3-for-8.

So neither of the starters have been all that impressive lately. Quantrilll has been much better at home with a 3.44 ERA against 4.96 on the road. Quantrill is 12-0 at Progressive Field, so hopefully that will continue tonight.
 

Wham with the Right Hand

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Hopefully, it gets better with Quant and McK. I know some were being sarcastic (not really Globetrotters vs Generals) and it is only 2 games in a long season. But, it does show somethings I hope we all can agree on

1) We are extremely lucky to be in the Central and thus in competition for the division playoff slot (and outside chance at last slot of a 3rd WC but more competition for that)

Yes, we are 2-1 vs TB and Balt but now 1-4 vs Hous and 1-5 vs NY and 2-5 vs Bos (haven't played Seattle).

2) We were not 1-2 players away from being a real contender -- as many have said, window is open around 2024 (after some current guys get some seasoning) and we get more and better pitching like Espino, Williams, Bibee, Allen, Burns vs Gaddis (who can be a really good 2 pitch reliever with better FB placement vs 5th starter for other teams - one game does not define him but his 2 quality pitches now does).

3) Thus going after someone this year would have just wasted assets at the cost of getting a Mancini when we really have a shot. Even though some don't like rankings (as they are purely subjective), but for sake of an argument, let's say a real good rental costs 2 guys around 8th-14th slot (where Johnson and McDermott slotted in for Mancini). If you try to win for an extended window 5+ years, you can be giving up on maybe 10 or many more top 15 type prospects (where do they all come from in the end when you really have a shot)? Thus, reason Cle is focusing on a 2024-2026 type window

4) When we are in the window, the NY, LA, Sea, Hous, and others have shown, it is no longer get a Jay Bruce type guy to put you over the top but you need to fill 2 or more positions (Miller, EE and LuCroy if that trade happened)-- thus, you need to have the ammo stored in your farm system as we don't have $$$ to buy FAs like they do either.

5) As others have pointed out, we wanted to trade a Tena or others for a good player this year because we have too many prospects. Not really, if we lose anyone now in Rule 5 this year it will be a reliever like Miko, Misiaszek, Santos (I had a Gaddis/Benson as last one off before their addition to 40 man). Do these players/relievers have as much value as a Jones, Tena, Burns or others that we need for trades when the window really opens? I don't think so (a 30th rank prospect is less than 1/2 value of guys we would have traded this year in Tena/Burns/ect).

Yes, the rich got richer at trade deadline and we would have gotten poorer in farm talent without much hope other than beating Minni to get a 3-game playoff series vs a Tor or Sea.
Hoynes had this in his column this morning:

[The Guardians] could have optioned Jones or Will Benson to the minors when Gonzalez was activated, but they optioned veteran DH Franmil Reyes instead. The message was clear. They’re going to evaluate their young players regardless of what impact it has on an AL Central race they clearly have a chance to win.

They need to find out a lot more about guys like Benson, Gonzalez, Palacios, and Jones since they have a crunch coming in the outfield. They already DFA'd Call, although I suppose he could be back if he clears waivers. They DFA'd Mercado and although he's back at Columbus I get the sense he is not in their plans. They are making decisions.

Moving Benson to first base would help, but that would push Naylor to DH and Franmil off the team. Are they ready to essentially swap Franmil for Benson?

I agree we won't be a contender until the next wave of starting pitchers arrives (and Bo Naylor and George Valera). I don't see this team being competitive with the Yankees and Astros with Civale, Plesac, and Quantrill in the rotation, unless Quantrill is the #5.
 

petes999

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The guys who are available now (McCarty, Pilkington, Gaddis) are not of the same quality as we got a couple of years ago and we hopefully have coming in a year or two. So for now we just have to hope for fewer rainouts and no injuries to the rotation.

It is interesting how this gap in pitching came about ...

1) 2015 - Aiken/McK/Hillman/Mathias we hit on McK but whiffed bad on Aiken (thought we got him too high but could see Cle FO trying to hit a home run)

2) 2016 - Benson/Jones/Ice/Civale/Bieber/Plesac -- we did get our 1 really good starter and even hit on Civale who was thought to be more of a reliever

3) 2017 - EE cost us a 1st rounder but Holmes/Freeman/J. Rodriquez/Clement/McCarty/Morgan/Kar --- not a bad draft but lack of 1st on pitching hurt (looks like Tor picked Pearson with our pick).

4) 2018- Naylor/Hankins/Torres/Sandlin - looks like a decent draft but inj is hurting Hankins/Torres being more ready to help out (w/ Aikens disappearance and no 2017 top pitcher, a quicker college arm would have looked better here now a few years latter).

And, the trade established pitching for next wave of pitching has been so/so
Bauer - Allen Sr/Moss
Cookie - Wolf (a ways away)
Kluber - Clase (big win given Kluber decline)
Clevinger - Quantrill (win) and Cantillo (can be good but inj are slowing him as well)
Miller/Allen - were suppose to give up Comp picks but did not due to overuse (?)

but again, we were focused on position players in a lot of these trades to make up for our lack of development. But, then smaller trades for Battenfield, Pilk and Myers have not panned out yet either for an established starter (more than Pilk as 6th man who they skipped over to take a look at Gaddis last night).
 

Gson

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Hoynes had this in his column this morning:

[The Guardians] could have optioned Jones or Will Benson to the minors when Gonzalez was activated, but they optioned veteran DH Franmil Reyes instead. The message was clear. They’re going to evaluate their young players regardless of what impact it has on an AL Central race they clearly have a chance to win.

They need to find out a lot more about guys like Benson, Gonzalez, Palacios, and Jones since they have a crunch coming in the outfield. They already DFA'd Call, although I suppose he could be back if he clears waivers. They DFA'd Mercado and although he's back at Columbus I get the sense he is not in their plans. They are making decisions.

Moving Benson to first base would help, but that would push Naylor to DH and Franmil off the team. Are they ready to essentially swap Franmil for Benson?

I agree we won't be a contender until the next wave of starting pitchers arrives (and Bo Naylor and George Valera). I don't see this team being competitive with the Yankees and Astros with Civale, Plesac, and Quantrill in the rotation, unless Quantrill is the #5.
Hoynes, like always is FULL OF SHIT..
 

KilgoreTrout

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Hoynes had this in his column this morning:

[The Guardians] could have optioned Jones or Will Benson to the minors when Gonzalez was activated, but they optioned veteran DH Franmil Reyes instead. The message was clear. They’re going to evaluate their young players regardless of what impact it has on an AL Central race they clearly have a chance to win.

They need to find out a lot more about guys like Benson, Gonzalez, Palacios, and Jones since they have a crunch coming in the outfield. They already DFA'd Call, although I suppose he could be back if he clears waivers. They DFA'd Mercado and although he's back at Columbus I get the sense he is not in their plans. They are making decisions.

Moving Benson to first base would help, but that would push Naylor to DH and Franmil off the team. Are they ready to essentially swap Franmil for Benson?

I agree we won't be a contender until the next wave of starting pitchers arrives (and Bo Naylor and George Valera). I don't see this team being competitive with the Yankees and Astros with Civale, Plesac, and Quantrill in the rotation, unless Quantrill is the #5.
I don’t know how one say can they weren’t going to win the division or go anywhere in the playoffs. The 1997 team won 86 games and came within a double-play of winning the World Championship.
 
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CATS44

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We continue to undervalue a division title. Once you get there, you have a shot of advancing.

Two players added would make a huge difference. Look at just the last five games, if we had Merrill Kelly and Christian Walker.

The FO punted on this season so that maybe we could be what fans consider
'real contenders' in 2024.

Now we are already conceding that we will lose some prospects, like Mikolajchak, with a shrug.

We expect the next wave of pitchers to be very good, while at the same time acknowledging the normal attrition rate that we have already suffered...Aiken, Hankins, Torres, Moss, Morris, Cantillo...all eliminated or detoured by injuries. But this next group will surely be different.

**********

Way too early to make a fair assessment on our recently added hitters.

I wrote on OGonz earlier, but he appears to not be the sharpest knife in the drawer.

No way to tell about Benson after a handful of at bats. Ditto on Freeman, but his swing has contact and control written all over it. Of course, as the utility man, he isnt gonna get consistent at bats behind Jose, Amed, and Andres...unless Tito is really going to purposely forfeit games.

Too early, too, to tell about Jones. But if he is gonna try to make his living by waiting for MLB pitchers to walk him, he will be eaten alive. He started off with a bang, but it didn't last long, and he has been protected against lefties. In some ways, a Naquin comparison is fair. Naquin came up hot, in part because Tito protected him from lefties.

He's 'only' striking out 30.6% of the time.

In the meantime, nearly everybody has penciled Valera into RF as early as next year...and lists him as untouchable.

We can't keep them all. But we can squeeze every last bit of trade value out of them before we make a decision, like we have so often before.
 

Out of the Rafters at the Q

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I find it odd that people blame the front office for not trading for players that weren't traded during the deadline, and insist that the price to acquire them would have been low.

Is it possible that, now hear me out, those teams didn't want to trade away those players? Or, maybe, that they entertained the phone call but the asking price was too high? It's crazy I know, but considering the leaks we have that the team was willing to move players for vets that would've helped this year, this idea that the front office was never willing to trade any prospects away seems foolish at best.
 

CDAV45

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I find it odd that people blame the front office for not trading for players that weren't traded during the deadline, and insist that the price to acquire them would have been low.

Is it possible that, now hear me out, those teams didn't want to trade away those players? Or, maybe, that they entertained the phone call but the asking price was too high? It's crazy I know, but considering the leaks we have that the team was willing to move players for vets that would've helped this year, this idea that the front office was never willing to trade any prospects away seems foolish at best.
Hard to know what you don't know......ya know.

This organization isn't one that's going to sign big FA. It's building a winner and it's doing it pretty much in the same light as it did before. I'd even go as far to say that they're doing it smarter than they did it before. There's one poster pushing all this R5 bullshit and he's been told by many, one being someone with inside knowledge that it's not that big of a deal. Yet every post he makes seemingly refers to losing valuable prospects come the R5 and bitching about how the FO isn't interested in winning now. Beyond that, as you suggested, he assumes there were deals out there where the "excess" prospects could be dealt for established, producing players. It's nonsensical to me.

He also seems to always reference the sure failure of most prospects, but ignores that our very best players were themselves prospects in this very system. In a sense he is right. Not all prospects are going to make it. Although, a very high percentage of highly rated prospects find varying forms of MLB success. Therein lies the difference between the current farm system and many others around the league or even our's historically. The future is clearly bright and to suggest this FO or us fans don't want to win is bogus. The FO and most of us don't want to sacrifice near future success for the slightest chance of success. If you can't find that to be rational then maybe you(not you in particular) need to reconsider your position.

While I certainly haven't written off the 23 season because I think there will be improvement and more promotions of uber talented prospects, I think 24 is certainly the year we become a true powerhouse. Considering that, I find it more productive and strategic to trade a couple of our established, productive ML players.
 

DCTribefan

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I find it odd that people blame the front office for not trading for players that weren't traded during the deadline, and insist that the price to acquire them would have been low.

Is it possible that, now hear me out, those teams didn't want to trade away those players? Or, maybe, that they entertained the phone call but the asking price was too high? It's crazy I know, but considering the leaks we have that the team was willing to move players for vets that would've helped this year, this idea that the front office was never willing to trade any prospects away seems foolish at best.
Trey Mancini would have been a nice pickup.
 

Wham with the Right Hand

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Too early, too, to tell about Jones. But if he is gonna try to make his living by waiting for MLB pitchers to walk him, he will be eaten alive. He started off with a bang, but it didn't last long, and he has been protected against lefties. In some ways, a Naquin comparison is fair. Naquin came up hot, in part because Tito protected him from lefties.
Fangraphs has him swinging at pitches in the strike zone just 56.4% of the time. He's taking a ton of strikes.

The good news is his outside-the-zone swing percentage is only 24.2%. He's one of the least aggressive young hitters I've seen. His swinging strike percentage is low (9.6%), but that may be because he's super selective in pitches he swings at.

In terms of pitch values he's hitting the cutter, slider, and curve better than the fastball, which is consistent with what I've been noticing. It concerns me to see him swinging-and-missing fastballs in the center of the zone. He may be hunting breaking balls that he can pull and elevate which makes him late on fastballs.

Something to keep an eye on.

By comparison, Oscar Gonzalez is the opposite of Jones. His swing percentage on strikes is 78.7%. His chase percentage is 45.1%. He swings at almost half the bad pitches he gets. Their results have been similar; a wRC+ of 116 for Gonzalez and 113 for Jones.

Jones has 1 hit in his last 15 at-bats.
 

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