Not The Best Move

As expected the Indians brought up Jeanmar Gomez for today’s start and dropped one of their 6 bench players. The interesting part is who they decided to drop (it was Shelley Duncan). Moves like this are what prompt me to say that the Indians do not have winning as their number one goal. Shelley Duncan is unquestionably better than Austin Kearns in every facet of the game. He is better defensively as both have no speed or range, but at least Duncan has a better arm. He’s also available at first base if absolutely necessary. Offensively, there is no comparison. Duncan his batting more than 20 points higher and is slugging 100 points more (Kearns .300, Duncan .400). In 6 less games and 20 less at bats he has 15 more RBI and 2 more home runs. He has also only struck out 28 times while Austin has struck out 40. There is no issue of roster versatility as Travis Buck is an almost identical player to Kearns (although slightly better, Buck has an OPS of .642 while Kearns is at .604). The only reason the Indians made this move is so they don’t have to pay Austin Kearns not to play, which they will have to do if they release him, while Shelley Duncan, Travis Buck and others still have minor league options left. You don’t win championships making moves to save money, you win championships making moves to win baseball games. The prolonged stay in AAA of Lonnie Chisenhall was also based on financial motives as the point was to keep him around for one more season before he is arbitration eligible. As soon as upper management and team ownership figures out that increased attendance follows closely with increased winning percentage, maybe they will stop making stupid baseball moves and start trying to win.

Joseph Coblitz

About Joseph Coblitz

Joseph is the primary writer and editor of BurningRiverBaseball.com and has been since it's inception in 2011. He is a graduate of the University of Akron and currently resides in Goodyear, Arizona the Spring Training home of the Cleveland Indians.

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