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View Full Version : Article: The Turnaround in Cleveland



Seth Stohs
09-26-2013, 05:59 AM
You can view the page at http://twinsdaily.com/content.php?r=2367-The-Turnaround-in-Cleveland

old nurse
09-26-2013, 06:26 AM
Nice piece of work. Up all night? Usually you post around midnight

Chance
09-26-2013, 07:18 AM
It appears to me the biggest difference was new coaches..... Fire everyone! :) Just a joke, but I do believe that a new staff could make a huge impact. With that said, I don't believe that Ryan is the kind of GM that will hire a new coaching staff that doesn't believe in what he believes. Basically, what Ryan believes is what Gardy believes; so, I believe that Gardy will still be around, or his replace will be Gardy number 2. Therefore, no big cellar dweller to playoff contention for us, I'm afraid.

Good for Cleveland, though!

mike wants wins
09-26-2013, 08:30 AM
So basically, NOT built through the draft. A third of the roster is FAs.

They basically did not punt on the season, and tried to get better. They got lucky, and it worked. Sometimes all you have to do is try.

Oh, and get a new manager.

Blackjack
09-26-2013, 08:46 AM
Good article Seth!!! Gives Twins fans some hope!!! Also shows that sometimes you need some luck.

old nurse
09-26-2013, 09:03 AM
So basically, NOT built through the draft. A third of the roster is FAs.

They basically did not punt on the season, and tried to get better. They got lucky, and it worked. Sometimes all you have to do is try.

Oh, and get a new manager.

Half of the free agents were minor league or low risk contracts. Of the other half, Myers has not contributed much this year, Reynolds was released in August.

mike wants wins
09-26-2013, 09:13 AM
So? The point was, the team was NOT built through the draft. Like it or not, there is not ONE RIGHT WAY. That's the point. Pursue ALL avenues of acquiring talent.

nicksaviking
09-26-2013, 11:08 AM
I've said before that I didn't actually like the Swisher and Bourn signings as I thought the players were overrated but I liked that Cleveland's management made an effort. I think that effort has made a difference, it demonstrated to the fans, and more importantly the players, that they were making a commitment to turning things around. I think signing a big time manager showed the same commitment. I'm a science and stats guy but I totally think attitude and atmosphere help dictate results even if they cannot be measured.

Winston Smith
09-26-2013, 01:46 PM
"The Twins will come from different direction...." I believe this to be 100% true.

It was interesting that in the summary there is no mention of the manager and coaching changes. Seth is that becasue you don't think a manager and coaches have a big impact?

cmb0252
09-26-2013, 03:30 PM
Since 2006 (first year a current player on this team was acquired) the Indians have had 3 years of .500 or above baseball and 5 years under .500 with 3 90+ losses seasons. The 3 90+ lose seasons all happened in the past 4 years. While the front office did a great job this off season I don't think long term this franchise has been saved. They had a ton of lucky breaks on lottery tickets/players having career years.

As I say this, I wouldn't mind the Twins getting a new coach and adding a "big" FA or two, but I don't think it is fair to say our franchise is worse off than theirs. All teams go through down cycles. We have no bad contracts, an owner (at least publicity) saying he is willing to spend, the All-Star game, and one of the most exciting farm systems in baseball. Losing sucks but it makes it all that much better once we start winning again.

mike wants wins
09-26-2013, 04:13 PM
I'm not sure anyone said Cleveland was better long term.....I didn't. They are better this year because they got lucky and because they pursued all avenues of adding talent. The Twins could add the FA contracts Cleveland did, and still not hamper their long term budget. And be more likely to be good next year.

Jim H
09-26-2013, 07:33 PM
So basically, NOT built through the draft. A third of the roster is FAs.

They basically did not punt on the season, and tried to get better. They got lucky, and it worked. Sometimes all you have to do is try.

Oh, and get a new manager.

Mike,
You don't have to try to turn every thread into an anti-Ryan/anti-Gardy thread. Since that seems to be your plan, it would be better if you picked better examples than Cleveland. Since the early 2000's they have largely followed the Terry Ryan blueprint of doing things. Build through the draft, make shrewd trades, use every avenue except spend wildly on expensive free agents. The only problem is, they weren't nearly as good at it as Ryan was.

Now they have a good year, largely because every starting pitcher on their staff is a whole point lower on their ERA from last year. You try to turn it into anti Twins management rant. Let's just be happy for Cleveland's success this year. If it turns out to be a long term run, well maybe we can learn something from it.

clutterheart
09-26-2013, 08:12 PM
If you pitch well, you can be competitive.
Buxton, Sano, and the other hitting prospects will be fun to watch, but unless the pitching comes through, the teams won't be in the playoffs.

ashburyjohn
09-26-2013, 09:17 PM
You don't have to try to turn every thread into an anti-Ryan/anti-Gardy thread.

Moderator comment: It's preferable to not turn comments so directly personal. And in a thread that invites comparison of another team to the Twins, it's not surprising if someone brings their long-held views to the party. That said, the discussion here seems to be good and if we address the points in the article and avoid rehashing familiar material it will remain good.

Alex
09-26-2013, 11:20 PM
Mike,
You don't have to try to turn every thread into an anti-Ryan/anti-Gardy thread. Since that seems to be your plan, it would be better if you picked better examples than Cleveland. Since the early 2000's they have largely followed the Terry Ryan blueprint of doing things. Build through the draft, make shrewd trades, use every avenue except spend wildly on expensive free agents. The only problem is, they weren't nearly as good at it as Ryan was.

Now they have a good year, largely because every starting pitcher on their staff is a whole point lower on their ERA from last year. You try to turn it into anti Twins management rant. Let's just be happy for Cleveland's success this year. If it turns out to be a long term run, well maybe we can learn something from it.

I was really surprised that only two players on their roster were high picks from within the organization.

Badsmerf
09-27-2013, 07:16 AM
Cleveland is a great example of what an overhaul at the management level can do. I don't expect them to be as competitive next season as they have been in 2013, but they wont roll over either. They've done a great job turning their roster into a playoff caliber team. What they did is what many have been clamoring to see from the Twins in the offseason. Take some risk with moderate to high upside guys (as well as turn the coaching staff over).

Long term, I think Cleveland might be a team that is in the mix. When you make smart baseball decisions in the offseason and put together a roster that belongs in the MLB good things can happen. Banking on prospects developing is not smart. KC has been failing at that for 2 decades. Improvement at the MLB level takes more than just having some great prospects. I don't have faith that Terry Ryan can integrate the type of approach seen by Cleveland. It is too far out of his box.

LastOnePicked
09-27-2013, 09:11 AM
Let's just be happy for Cleveland's success this year. If it turns out to be a long term run, well maybe we can learn something from it.

I understand that those of us who want changes in the managerial and FO staff have been banging our drum pretty loudly lately, and I apologize if I've put people off with my comments. But I'd just respectfully ask why we can't learn from Cleveland's turnaround right now? Badsmerf's comments about KC's failures by trying to build primarily through prospects seem really important, and I don't think that the word that best describes what's happened in Cleveland this year is "lucky." If anything, Cleveland's had to contend with a stronger Tigers team and a fairly competitive Royals team.

ltwedt
09-27-2013, 12:55 PM
Any one in the Twins front office paying attention? No - I suspected not.

Jim H
09-27-2013, 06:14 PM
I want to apoligize to Mike. I don't want to be personal.

This turnaround was basically caused by what the Indians decided to do 5 years ago. They had a nice home grown core of players, Martinez, Sabathia, Lee, Sizemore and others, but they weren't winning. Instead of trying to keep the core and build around it, they traded most of them away for young prospects. So in a way they built through guys they had drafted. They also punted away 5 years and got back lesser talent than they had. It worked, this year anyway, because the starting pitching came together. They really don't have much of a core group of players. I think Masterson is a front end starter, maybe one or more their young guys will be. Some of their position players are nice, but I am not sure any are all that special.

Now, I am sure Francona and the new coaches deserve credit for this year, but really Masterson is just pitching back to what he has done before. So is Jiminez. The young guys are perhaps finally maturing to their talent. Maybe it happened because of Francona maybe it happens anyway.

I am also having a hard time seeing how this is all that different from what the Twins have done. The Twins turned Cuddyer and Kubel into extra draft picks trying to get more talent. They traded Span and Revere for potentially high end pitching. The Twins have acquired a lot of young talent, (thru the draft,trades and internationally) probably or at least potentially, better talent than Cleveland. The Twins are just not as far along the rebuild as Cleveland.


Now as I said in the earilier post, I am happy for Cleveland. I don't think they have a strong enough foundation for this rebound to be continue for a long period, but I could be wrong. I just don't think anything Cleveland has done to this point, is really anything that they the Twins should model themselves after.

jokin
09-27-2013, 07:32 PM
I want to apoligize to Mike. I don't want to be personal.

This turnaround was basically caused by what the Indians decided to do 5 years ago. They had a nice home grown core of players, Martinez, Sabathia, Lee, Sizemore and others, but they weren't winning. Instead of trying to keep the core and build around it, they traded most of them away for young prospects. So in a way they built through guys they had drafted. They also punted away 5 years and got back lesser talent than they had. It worked, this year anyway, because the starting pitching came together. They really don't have much of a core group of players. I think Masterson is a front end starter, maybe one or more their young guys will be. Some of their position players are nice, but I am not sure any are all that special.

Now, I am sure Francona and the new coaches deserve credit for this year, but really Masterson is just pitching back to what he has done before. So is Jiminez. The young guys are perhaps finally maturing to their talent. Maybe it happened because of Francona maybe it happens anyway.

I am also having a hard time seeing how this is all that different from what the Twins have done. The Twins turned Cuddyer and Kubel into extra draft picks trying to get more talent. They traded Span and Revere for potentially high end pitching. The Twins have acquired a lot of young talent, (thru the draft,trades and internationally) probably or at least potentially, better talent than Cleveland. The Twins are just not as far along the rebuild as Cleveland.


Now as I said in the earilier post, I am happy for Cleveland. I don't think they have a strong enough foundation for this rebound to be continue for a long period, but I could be wrong. I just don't think anything Cleveland has done to this point, is really anything that they the Twins should model themselves after.



I have a vastly different read on the situation in Cleveland than what you've come up with here.

Management at Cleveland has inextricably linked itself with Terry Francona. If he goes, they go, if they go, he goes. It's much akin to Hernando Cortez burning all of his ships en route to conquering the Aztec capital of Tenochtitlan. And the Dolans are like the Spanish King, not much to say in the matter except signing off on it, they made the conscious decision of being one step removed and isolated from the decision-making and empire-building. They're all....all in, dedicated to one grand purpose. Personally I like and appreciate the sentiment and commitment, and the players have bought in, big time, too.

TheLeviathan
09-27-2013, 10:43 PM
What the Indians did to get here was show aggressiveness in FA and in trades. That's not something we've seen from our club for basically two decades. What this shows, more than anything, is that aggressive attempts to improve your club can pay off positively and isn't so certain to fail as we, as a fanbase, are lead to believe.

Major Leauge Ready
09-28-2013, 12:47 AM
So? The point was, the team was NOT built through the draft. Like it or not, there is not ONE RIGHT WAY. That's the point. Pursue ALL avenues of acquiring talent.

Wow, really. The common complaint has been for "big name FAs" That is not at all what has lead to Cleveland's success. They got a bunch of very cheap FAs. It’s called dumpster diving when the twins sign anyone who is not a marquee name.

Kazmir … $1M
Rayburn … $1M
Hill …………. $1M
Giambi … $750K

Capps ……. Minor leauge / Not on the roster
Franciso …. ? Minor Leauge / Not on the roster
Hermida … Minor Leauge / Not on the roster
Santos …… Minor Leauge / Not on the roste

They did sign two relatively big names, three if you want to count Meters given they paid $7M/1YR for him. He has pitched 11 innings and is off the active roster. Bourn has stunk it up. The other (Swisher) is doing a pretty good job but he is played a modest part in the turnaround of this team. None of them got the 5+ year contracts required to get the players many feel are the only difference makers.

The pitcher in their starting rotation acquired via FA (Kazmir) got by MLB standards got the bare minimum for a FA SP. ($1M) Had the Twins acquired just Correia and Kazmir the complaining would have been as rampant as Pelfrey / Correia. Masterson was traded for back when he was establishing himself. He is pitching above his career levels. Of course, he is in his prime so this is what you hope for. Jiminez was a shrewed trade. He was acquired when he was really inconsistent. Of course, he has good stuff and has developed consistency. McAllister came up through their system. Nothing to do with FA. They set a plan in action when they were bad to rebuild over the course of a few years.

howieramone
09-28-2013, 01:48 AM
What the Indians did to get here was show aggressiveness in FA and in trades. That's not something we've seen from our club for basically two decades. What this shows, more than anything, is that aggressive attempts to improve your club can pay off positively and isn't so certain to fail as we, as a fanbase, are lead to believe.

I'm not going to repeat post #10, but I wouldn't want to wait that long. Congratulations to the Indians, but I like our future much better.

diehardtwinsfan
09-28-2013, 06:48 AM
I find a couple of things interesting.

1) Most of their FA signings are exactly the types of signings that Ryan would make. Low budget, FA scrap type guys. The big difference is that it clearly worked for them.
2) Their pitching staff made some massive strides forward. We should hire their pitching coach.
3) They made quite a few trades. More so than I thought.

TheLeviathan
09-28-2013, 06:55 AM
I'm not going to repeat post #10, but I wouldn't want to wait that long. Congratulations to the Indians, but I like our future much better.

I never suggested we shouldn't be hopeful for more about our future. But the narrative that aggression doesn't work as a method just isn't true. Some teams/GMs can, and do, pull it off.

mike wants wins
09-28-2013, 09:28 AM
Not sure why everyone is so upset with me pointing out that they are not built through the draft.......and that teams should pursue all avenues of getting better. No place did I say anything other than that in this thread. A team should try to get better every year.

Teflon
09-28-2013, 10:40 AM
http://hall-fame.com/callaway.jpg

You cannot discount the change in management and pitching coach for Cleveland's improvement since it's primarily the same starting staff as last year putting up significantly improved results. With over 6,000 batters faced in each of the two seasons by the Indians pitchers, the dramatic change in numbers transcend any effect of just luck.

Cleveland pitchers struck out 6.8 batters per 9 innings last year and 8.5 this year while hits per 9 have dropped from 9.4 to 8.5. Justin Masterson had a K/9 rate of 6.9 last year and 9.1 this year. Ubaldo Jimenez was at 7.3 last year and is at 9.3 this year. Corey Kluber improved from 7.7 to 8.3. Only Zach McAllister had a fall-off in K-rate (7.9 to 6.8) but his hits per 9 dropped as did his home run rate.

Mickey Callaway is obviously doing something impressive with this staff.

Jim H
09-29-2013, 08:07 PM
As a former history teacher, I rather appreciate the reference to Cortez and the Aztecs. I don't know that it fits the point being made that well, but I appreciate it. I understand the love being given Francona. He has done a good job so far in Cleveland. He also has some warts. Some of his Boston teams seemed to underperform their talent, and I really do believe he deserved some of the blame for allowing/not stopping/not being able to stop the unprofessional behavior going on in his clubhouse. He is certainly knows his baseball and his players like him, which probably isn't as important as some think but at least that usually means he won't be an excuse for the players not to perform well.

I guess I am not too fond of GM's who seem to make managerial changes every year or 2. I rather like continuity and expect there is more advantage to that then constant change. While it can be true that a change like Cleveland made can energize the franchise for awhile, that is usually a shortlived thing, unless there is a strong foundation there.

ThePuck
09-29-2013, 08:15 PM
As a former history teacher, I rather appreciate the reference to Cortez and the Aztecs. I don't know that it fits the point being made that well, but I appreciate it. I understand the love being given Francona. He has done a good job so far in Cleveland. He also has some warts. Some of his Boston teams seemed to underperform their talent, and I really do believe he deserved some of the blame for allowing/not stopping/not being able to stop the unprofessional behavior going on in his clubhouse. He is certainly knows his baseball and his players like him, which probably isn't as important as some think but at least that usually means he won't be an excuse for the players not to perform well.

I guess I am not too fond of GM's who seem to make managerial changes every year or 2. I rather like continuity and expect there is more advantage to that then constant change. While it can be true that a change like Cleveland made can energize the franchise for awhile, that is usually a shortlived thing, unless there is a strong foundation there.

Francona managed the Red Sox to two W Series championships and was fired/not renewed after his team ONLY won 90 games in the toughest division in baseball. In his eight seasons with them they won 90 or more games six times (again, in the toughest division in baseball). They won 95 or more games five times under him (once again,toughest division in baseball) Talk about a scapegoat.

notoriousgod71
09-29-2013, 08:18 PM
Mike,
You don't have to try to turn every thread into an anti-Ryan/anti-Gardy thread. Since that seems to be your plan, it would be better if you picked better examples than Cleveland. Since the early 2000's they have largely followed the Terry Ryan blueprint of doing things. Build through the draft, make shrewd trades, use every avenue except spend wildly on expensive free agents. The only problem is, they weren't nearly as good at it as Ryan was.

Now they have a good year, largely because every starting pitcher on their staff is a whole point lower on their ERA from last year. You try to turn it into anti Twins management rant. Let's just be happy for Cleveland's success this year. If it turns out to be a long term run, well maybe we can learn something from it.

If every pitcher in our rotation lowers their ERA by 1 run I bet we still finish under .500.