As the Cleveland Indians’ season continues to fall into oblivion, one of the mantras GM Chris Antonetti chants consistently is the players currently on the roster have to do better.
That’s easier said than done.
However, who is Antonetti talking about? How many players on the current roster are underachieving?
Certainly, the starting pitchers have not done as well as the organization thought going into the season. Justin Masterson, in particular, looked like a guy who turned the corner in 2011, and has been terribly inconsistent this season.
Ubaldo Jimenez? He’s been up and down since coming over from Colorado last July. Has he under performed? If you compare him to his excellent 2010 season, yes.
But if the front office expected great things based on what we did last year, then they are crazy.
Josh Tomlin had a solid year in ’11, but he’s a control guy with marginal stuff, and struggled in the second half of last season. It can’t be a total surprise that he hasn’t been good this year.
On the offensive side, no one can complain about the job being done by SS Asdrubal Cabrera, 2B Jason Kipnis (although he’s slumped lately), CF Michael Brantley (a breakout player this year), and RF Shin-Soo Choo.
You can’t expect more out of those four players.
Carlos Santana has been a disappointment after last season. His minor league numbers show he’s too good of a hitter to be consistently around .240. He does walk a ton, and lately has started to be productive.
Even in a disappointing season, he still ranks third on the team in RBIs, behind Kipnis and Brantley.
So, what players are failing?
Travis Hafner is having a disappointing season, particularly with his batting average, but the truth is, he hasn’t been really productive since 2007. Why would the front office expect more?
Casey Kotchman is a journeyman 1B, who had a good season in ’11 with Tampa, hitting .306. However, he has a lifetime .263 batting average. It doesn’t take a great deal of vision to see he probably wasn’t going to hit that well this season.
What are the front office’s expectations for Kotchman? It seems they may be looking for too much.
Jack Hannahan? He’s a journeyman as well. He’s 32 years old and has had over 400 at bats in a season just once. Why? Because he’s not a good hitter.
Was the front office fooled into thinking he woke up one morning and became Mike Schmidt?
The management completely ignored the LF issue, unless you consider signing the oft-injured Grady Sizemore as a remedy. Most people, including the fans and media, thought that was a bad idea.
So, again we ask, who exactly has underachieved?
It appears it is the front office because they deluded themselves into thinking that players who haven’t been productive for several years, or who have no real track record for hitting were going to start hammering the baseball.
That’s foolish, and it’s one more reason changes need to be made on the corner of Carnegie and Ontario.
There aren’t many players on the Cleveland Indians who aren’t doing what was expected. The disappointment comes from a management team who was expecting the impossible from certain players, who weren’t capable of performing.
Perhaps Antonetti is deflecting attention from the inactivity that has plagued this organization over the past 12 months.
The only people who need to perform better are in offices at Progressive Field. For the most part, the players are doing exactly what should be expected.