The OF Conundrum

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CDAV45

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With this being one of the main focuses of discussion going into the 21 season, I thought it deserved it's own thread.

Our options consist Rosario, Luplow, Mercado, Zimmer, Johnson, Naylor, Gamel, Hamilton, and eventually Jones. Did I miss anyone?
 

MadThinker88

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With this being one of the main focuses of discussion going into the 21 season, I thought it deserved it's own thread.

Our options consist Rosario, Luplow, Mercado, Zimmer, Johnson, Naylor, Gamel, Hamilton, and eventually Jones. Did I miss anyone?
Let's be clear, you were meaning Eddie Rosario in your post.

I would add the possibility of Franmil Reyes, Amed Rosario along with whatever utility infielder the team carries in addition to Jake Bauers (until he is sent away)..

Nolan Jones is unlikely to be in CLE before mid-June depending how things go (to control service time & Super 2).
Bimbo has a great handle/ insight into things so I would reference his posts on the Outfield topic..
 

CDAV45

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Yes of course I was referring to Eddie Rosario. Has Amed even played 1 inning of OF in professional ball? I'm not saying he can't or won't, but it will probably take some time to transition. It did for a very good defensive Mercado as an example.

You're right, Reyes should be included. Amed isn't a likely candidate at this time, but maybe later. Bauers is another possibility as well.

I appreciate Bimbo's post as much as anyone else and any insight he has concerning the OF is more than welcome here. I just thought that an OF specific thread might help keep things a bit more organized. If it dies on the vine I won't be upset in the slightest.
 

hockeyjohn

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Let's be clear, you were meaning Eddie Rosario in your post.

I would add the possibility of Franmil Reyes, Amed Rosario along with whatever utility infielder the team carries in addition to Jake Bauers (until he is sent away)..

Nolan Jones is unlikely to be in CLE before mid-June depending how things go (to control service time & Super 2).
Bimbo has a great handle/ insight into things so I would reference his posts on the Outfield topic..
Amed Rosario played one game for the Mets in LF during the 2020 season. The Mets were planning to look at Rosario in the outfield as an option if they kept both Gimenez and Rosario. It would not hurt to give him some work and innings in the outfield during spring training. It might be a way to get both Amed Rosario and Gimenez in the lineup which would make the Indians a better team in 2021 in my opinion.
 

MadThinker88

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Amed Rosario played one game for the Mets in LF during the 2020 season. The Mets were planning to look at Rosario in the outfield as an option if they kept both Gimenez and Rosario. It would not hurt to give him some work and innings in the outfield during spring training. It might be a way to get both Amed Rosario and Gimenez in the lineup which would make the Indians a better team in 2021 in my opinion.
Until it doesn't happen I fully expect Gimenez to open the year in the minors for a couple of weeks (service time control) so the Tribe can gain another year of service.

Once both Gimenez & A. Rosario are in the majors with CLE, I would expect Gimenez to be at SS regularly and Amed to be bouncing around the field to other positions (a la Tony Phillips years ago with Detroit) in order to provide other players with a day off. I would not be surprised if Amed served as a D replacement at various spots when he doesn't start during the 8th/ 9th innings of games...

EDIT: I realized I left an important point out of my post above.
I believe CLE will only look to gain another control year with Gimenez, not try to impact Super 2. That would result in Gimenez being in the minors until some point in late June.
 
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hockeyjohn

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Until it doesn't happen I fully expect Gimenez to open the year in the minors for service time control so the Tribe can gain another year of service.

Once both Gimenez & A. Rosario are in the majors with CLE, I would expect Gimenez to be at SS regularly and Amed to be bouncing around the field to other positions (a la Tony Phillips years ago with Detroit) in order to provide other players with a day off. I would not be surprised if Amed served as a D replacement at various spots when he doesn't start during the 8th/ 9th innings of games...
You are probably right knowing the Indians. I feel the Indians margin of error this season is smaller and I want the best players in the lineup and that is Gimenez at SS. I know that they won't do it, but with their depth in the farm system at SS, they shouldn't need to play the control game with him. I would still look at giving Rosario time during the spring in the outfield where we definitely need the help.
 
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CDAV45

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You are probably right knowing the Indians. I feel the Indians margin of error this season is smaller and I want the best players in the lineup and that is Gimenez at SS. I know that they won't do it, but with their depth in the farm system at SS, they shouldn't need to play the control game with him. I would still look at giving Rosario time during the spring in the outfield where we definitely need the help.
Part of me feels that quality defense at SS will supersede any control concerns for the exact reason you stated. It's not like we're talking about another Frankie Lindor here. Then again, another part of me thinks that they believe A. Rosario could quickly elevate his value if given another opportunity. If he fails to do so then you simply call up Gimenez. I have no expectations outside of those 2 scenarios.

To keep inline with the topic, I don't see A. Rosario as an option in the OF in the 1st half of the season, if at all.
 

MadThinker88

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.......

To keep inline with the topic, I don't see A. Rosario as an option in the OF in the 1st half of the season, if at all.
@CDAV45
A. Rosario IS an option in the OF during spring training and the work done there will dictate if he gets time in the OF once the team comes north (& Gimenez is on the roster).

During spring training Amed/ Gimenez/ Rocchio should get the vast majority of reps (I would guess @90%+) at SS. That said, Amed will still have have a chance/ opportunity to get reps in the OF. Amed can't get a rep at SS while Gimenez/ Rocchio is getting the rep.

So the time in the OF for Amed during spring training gives Tito & CLEFO Mgmt the chance to see if Amed could be a D replacement for a Josh Naylor/ Eddie Rosario late a the game in May/ June/ etc... This is not to suggest that Eddie Rosario/ Josh Naylor are poor or problematic in the OF, but let us not fool ourselves into thinking they are gold glove candidates either. It goes back to the CLE of run prevention. If CLE has a late lead and Tito could improve team D in the OF, he is going to make a switch and put in the Defensive "improvement". He has done it for years using players that frustrate all of us. I cannot see him making a philosophy change now when he has perhaps better players to use as the defensive improvement.
 

CDAV45

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@CDAV45
A. Rosario IS an option in the OF during spring training and the work done there will dictate if he gets time in the OF once the team comes north (& Gimenez is on the roster).

During spring training Amed/ Gimenez/ Rocchio should get the vast majority of reps (I would guess @90%+) at SS. That said, Amed will still have have a chance/ opportunity to get reps in the OF. Amed can't get a rep at SS while Gimenez/ Rocchio is getting the rep.

So the time in the OF for Amed during spring training gives Tito & CLEFO Mgmt the chance to see if Amed could be a D replacement for a Josh Naylor/ Eddie Rosario late a the game in May/ June/ etc... This is not to suggest that Eddie Rosario/ Josh Naylor are poor or problematic in the OF, but let us not fool ourselves into thinking they are gold glove candidates either. It goes back to the CLE of run prevention. If CLE has a late lead and Tito could improve team D in the OF, he is going to make a switch and put in the Defensive "improvement". He has done it for years using players that frustrate all of us. I cannot see him making a philosophy change now when he has perhaps better players to use as the defensive improvement.
What about Luplow? He's pretty solid defensively already.
 
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Amed Rosario is built more like an outfielder than a shortstop at 6'2", 189. In 616 AB's in 2019 he hit .287/.755 playing shortstop. He lacked power with only 15 HR's and a slugging percentage of .432, but the biggest issue was 31 walks in 650 plate appearances. The guy swings a lot and doesn't do much damage; 71% of his hits were singles.

I'm discounting last season because a lot of guys had horrible years. Lindor hit .258/.750, for example, Santana hit .199, Mercado .128.

With Rosario not being a very good defensive shortstop plus losing his job to Gimenez last year, who outperformed him after taking over the position, not to mention the Indians' ridiculous strength at the position in the minors, I think the best move is to simply make Rosario an outfielder immediately. He has the speed and I've seen guys like Lonnie Chisenhall take their offensive games to another level after moving to a position that is less demanding defensively where they can focus on hitting.

Tito said something about Rosario having the athleticism to be a utility infielder and play multiple infield positions, so that's another possibility. But if they decide to keep him long term I would move him to the outfield now. They should have moved Chisenhall a couple of years earlier.

Chisenhall is an interesting case study for my theory that infielders who are defensively challenged put a lot of pressure on themselves and a lot of effort into improving their defense and it negatively affects their hitting.

In 2014 Lonnie hit .255/.716 as a third baseman. Playing 1B, DH, and PH he was 34-for-84 (.405).

In 2015 he hit .209/.591 in 172 at-bats at third base. Then they moved him to right field and in 142 AB's he hit .303/.790. The effect was immediate.

In 2016 he hit .290/.784 as a right-fielder. He was now a full-time outfielder.

In 2017 he hit .310/.930 in 126 at-bats in right field. He also got 64 at-bats in CF where he hit .281/.880. They even gave him a few games in left field but that freaked him out and he was only 5-for-26.

In 2018 it all came together and he hit .325/.856 in 80 AB's in right field to start the season. Then came the series of calf injuries that ended his career. He never played again. For his career he hit .300 as a right-fielder and .252 playing all other positions, mostly third base. Chisenhall is only one example but I think it's very possible for players to improve their hitting when they are moved from a defensive position of high importance (like shortstop) to one of lower importance. Oscar Mercado will be the next case study.

Chisenhall was 26 when they finally gave up on making him into a decent defensive third baseman and put him in his best position. Rosario is 25. They should move him now. He is not our shortstop of the future. It would also give the Tribe a chance to see Yu Chang play shortstop every day for a few weeks until they get that extra year of control over Gimenez.
 
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It will be interesting to see if the Indians feel they owe one last look to Zimmer, Bauers, and Chang. They held onto Naquin for a long time before giving up. I think how much the organization invests in a player is a big factor. Naquin and Zimmer were first round picks and they traded for Bauers, Luplow and Mercado. It makes them look bad when players they traded for or took with high picks don't pan out.
 

MadThinker88

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What about Luplow? He's pretty solid defensively already.
And Luplow is very effective vs Left handed pitching. IF Luplow hadnt been used in the game yet & Tito feels he is better a D replacement than Amed R or another outfielder still available on the bench, I am confident Luplow would be inserted as improved D late in the game.

The underlying point is there is a place & role for Amed in the OF discussion..
 
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From Zack Meisel at The Athletic:

Giménez is the more gifted defender, and Rosario’s fielding metrics are rather unsightly. In about two-and-a-half full seasons at shortstop, Rosario has amassed minus-35 defensive runs saved.

“Both players have versatility to fill different infield spots and potentially even other spots on the diamond,” Chris Antonetti said earlier this month.

Perhaps Rosario will invest in an outfielder’s glove this spring, providing some competition for Oscar Mercado in center field.
 
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To follow up on my Chisenhall post, I took Lonnie's career numbers as a right-fielder and adjusted them to 600 at-bats representing a full season. It comes out to a .300 average, 16 HR's, and 95 RBI's. As an outfielder he hit much better than at third base.

That's no guarantee Amed Rosario would hit better as an outfielder but it's certainly worth a shot, especially since his "fielding metrics are rather unsightly" at shortstop, which is the most important defensive position after catcher. If he hit like Fernando Tatis Jr then we could live with some unsightly defense, but he doesn't and he won't.
 

Gson

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If Amed Rosario cannot play SS at the ML level.. and it appears that he doesn't.. then trade him to a place that needs at least a place holder for SS who will give the Indians an OF'er in return..

..like Cincinnati.. for Aquino and Siani..

Learning on the job in MLB works.. infrequently...
 

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