AL Central Links: Castellanos, Royals, Sabathia

Here's a round-up of news from the AL Central…

  • With Miguel Cabrera taking over at the hot corner for the Tigers, John Lowe of the Detroit Free Press looks at how the switch affects the progress of third baseman Nick Castellanos, one of the team's top prospects.  I can't see this being a major long-term issue — Castellanos is just 19 and I can't see Cabrera staying on third for very long, given his defensive limitations.  If anything, Victor Martinez could be the odd man out, with Prince Fielder locked in at first and Cabrera probably requiring a move to DH sooner rather than later. 
  • Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star covered a number of Royals topics as part of a live chat with fans earlier today.
  • The players the Indians acquired for C.C. Sabathia in 2008 have produced -0.6 WAR in the three-plus seasons since the trade, writes Fangraphs' J.P. Breen.  "The Indians still have nine years of control between [Matt] LaPorta and [Michael] Brantley, but neither appear destined for full-time roles at the big league level," Breen writes.
  • Twins starter Francisco Liriano has worked on his mechanics and better locating his fastball this winter in preparation for what could be a make-or-break season for the southpaw, reports Phil Mackey of 1500 ESPN Twin Cities Radio.
  • Dick Allen's arrival in 1972 didn't just make the White Sox better on the field, but his presence might have also helped keep the team in Chicago, writes MLB.com's Scott Merkin.


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64 Comments on "AL Central Links: Castellanos, Royals, Sabathia"


rainyperez
3 years 6 months ago

Three seasons ago I joked about the Giants signing Prince Fielder on a podcast and was proclaiming the Giants would have the heaviest infield in the MLB. Welp the Tigers beat the Giants to it. 

Rabbitov
3 years 6 months ago

I made fun of someone earlier this offseason who suggested signing Fielder and moving Cabrera to third.  

Should I be sorry for being wrong or should they be sorry for being right?

JacobyWanKenobi
3 years 6 months ago

I have a feeling their lack of range in the infield will create a lot of pesky hits.

bigpat
3 years 6 months ago

 Not really going out on a limb here, but I’d venture to guess Cabrera plays around 25 games at third. I could see them scrapping the idea since they don’t really have an everyday DH and just let Fielder and Cabrera alternate there as long as their bats stay strong.

The only thing to worry about is Cabrera’s career numbers as a DH aren’t very good if I recall correctly.

JacksTigers
3 years 6 months ago

If it doesn’t work at third, which I think it will workout as he’s lost a bunch of weight, they will move him to left. He’s a better option than Delmon Young on defense. I don’t see any way that they make him a full time DH. They need him to play a position for the next several years from 2013 on so that Victor Martinez can DH. What we really need is to move Peralta to second and trade for Brendan Ryan. He might not be able to hit, but he has the best range in baseball and probably wouldn’t cost that much. Besides trading for HanRam, which won’t happen, Ryan is the next best fit.

tiger313
3 years 6 months ago

in two years we let vmart walk. Dont get me wrong I love him, but we need that spot so cabby can move to DH, destroy it there, and have a 21 year old third base stud come up. I do think that Cabby wont be as bad at third base as everyone is predicting. You can still be plenty functional at 255. If anyone has ever seen him in person he is not at all fat, he is just a big guy. 

3 years 6 months ago

I think he will do ok at 3rd but also think he could be an option for left field next year. The year after that he becomes our full-time dh as V-Mart will leave in free agency.

JacksTigers
3 years 6 months ago

We replaced a .190 batting average and average defense with 35-40 homeruns, a .280-.300 average, and bad defense. I think that you should be sorry for being wrong.

Houston_Astros
3 years 6 months ago

You’re out of your mind. Moving Cabrera to third makes no sense. If they wanted a third baseman, they should have signed one rather than another First basman.

This move does not affect Castellanos. Cabrera should be in another position by the end of spring training. The Tigers might catch on by the all-star break.

JacksTigers
3 years 6 months ago

You obviously don’t know why they signed Fielder.

Houston_Astros
3 years 6 months ago

No, I get it. They like his bat, and ignore the fact that his obesity will shorten his career. They also apparently think Cabrera can play third.

JacksTigers
3 years 6 months ago

That’s not why. Not even close. It’s because we lost a huge bat in Victor Martinez. It’s because they know that he can play third. Is it always going to be pretty? No. But just like Leyland said, nobody thought that he could play Bobby Bonilla at third in 1997, what happened? They won the WS.

JacksTigers
3 years 6 months ago

Miguel Cabrera is 250 at 6’4″ and Pablo Sandavol is 262 at 5’11”. I don’t think you have any room to talk, what so ever.

Houston_Astros
3 years 6 months ago

What is Sandoval being paid this season? How long is he under team control?

/conversation.

alphabet_soup5
3 years 6 months ago

Is Sandoval worthy of being mentioned in the same sentence as Cabrera? 

/conversation. 

Houston_Astros
3 years 6 months ago

Offensively, no.  If Cabrera plays third base, absolutely.
 
Cabrera is a bad fielder at first.  Why would any rational person put him at third?
 
If he were going to stay at first or DH, there would be no question.  As things stand, he is probably in the ballpark of a -51.8 UZR.

JacksTigers
3 years 6 months ago

What are you basing that off of? Opinion? What a terrible argument.

Houston_Astros
3 years 6 months ago

I can’t present you with facts about the future.  That is not possible.  I can make inferences from the past about fat baseball players, but I’m not going to walk you through the entire logical sequence. 

JacksTigers
3 years 6 months ago

No, you’re basing all of this on opinion. You have no facts besides that there have been fat players. By the way, Cabrera isn’t as fat as you think, especially after losing 25 pounds.

JacksTigers
3 years 6 months ago

What does that have to do with Cabrera? He came up in ’09 so he’s got until after 2014.

Houston_Astros
3 years 6 months ago

Sandoval won’t necessarily be with the Giants when his fatness catches up to him. Cabrera and Fielder will be on the Tigers. The fatness is worse when you expect one of them to play a demanding defensive position.

JacksTigers
3 years 6 months ago

Cabrera is 5 inches taller and 12 pounds lighter. Your entire argument is based on opinion. Come back with some facts.

Houston_Astros
3 years 6 months ago

See Mo Vaughn, Cecil Fielder and every other obese player in baseball.  Name some obese position players that have had long careers in the past twenty years.

JacksTigers
3 years 6 months ago

Bobby Bonilla played third in 1997 and the Marlins won the WS. Then, there’s Pablo Sandavol who’s shorter and fatter.

Houston_Astros
3 years 6 months ago

1.   Prince Fielder is fat.
2.  Fat players don’t age well.
3. Prince Fielder was signed to a long term contract.
4.  Prince Fielder will not be productive at the end of his contract.

The issue is made more ridiculous when the Tigers think that Cabrera is a third basemen. 

It becomes hilarious when the idea of adjusting things for Castellanos is even addressed. 
 
Pablo Sandoval has nothing to do with this.
Bobby Bonilla has nothing to do with this.

JacksTigers
3 years 6 months ago

What?? You have done nothing but name players who are fat. Wow. You are such a troll.

JacksTigers
3 years 6 months ago

See Mo Vaughn, Cecil Fielder and every other obese player in baseball. Name some obese position players that have had long careers in the past twenty years.

What do these players have to do with anything. You want to bring people into it when it helps you, but disregard anything that hurts you. Your entire argument is a joke.

Houston_Astros
3 years 6 months ago

You aren’t even following the main point here. Prince Fielder will not have a long peak. It’s a bad signing. Cabrera playing third is a joke.

Being fat is only relevant in that fat players historically have short peaks and rapid declines. That isn’t relevant for Sandoval, since he doesnt have a huge contract, and isn’t signed long-term.

I dont know what you want me to do.

Bobby Bonilla doesn’t mean much. Any team that makes it to the playoffs has a decent shot to win…. even with an atrocity at an important defensive position. Long-term, pretending that one of your two obese players is not a DH will only make things worse.

JacksTigers
3 years 6 months ago

I’m done. It’s very evident that you disregard any facts that you don’t like.

Houston_Astros
3 years 6 months ago

You’re done because you don’t have a point.

Ryan Mooney
3 years 6 months ago

The indians players will get better as tome foes on

Ryan Mooney
3 years 6 months ago

The indians players will get better as time goes on

3 years 6 months ago

You should have left it as “tome” Get it? It sounds like Jim Thome, the  former Indian, and time. Lame joke, but still. 

Ryan Mooney
3 years 6 months ago

Goes

inleylandwetrust
3 years 6 months ago

Yeah the Castellanos thing is such a non-issue. Miggy obviously is not the long term 3rd baseman, and if Castellanos is ready when Vmart is still around he can play a corner outfield spot.

GOTIGERS24
3 years 6 months ago

Or move him over to shortstop which is where he played in highschool or convert him into a 2nd baseman

FunkyTime
3 years 6 months ago

No … scouts have been questioning Castellanos’ long term ability to play 3rd for years, so middle infield is completely out of the question.  He’ll either end up at 3rd or in a corner outfield spot.  Cabrera could end up at 3rd, in a corner outfield spot, at DH, or at 1st with Fielder DHing.

But there’s just no reason to worry about this at all yet.  There’s way too many question marks to try and predict what the 2014 defense will look like.

inleylandwetrust
3 years 6 months ago

He won’t be a 2B or SS. He’l be 3B/LF/RF

JacksTigers
3 years 6 months ago

Sean Casey played SS in high school. There’s a difference between playing SS in HS and playing SS in MLB.

FunkyTime
3 years 6 months ago

Hell, even Cabrera played SS in the minor leagues.

chrisn313
3 years 6 months ago

Pujols too

FunkyTime
3 years 6 months ago

Yup.  Some people have said that Cabrera’s move to third made Castellanos expendable.  Absolutely ridiculous.

Even if Cabrera does prove himself capable of playing third for a few years — and that’s a very big if — this situation will resolve itself in time.

inleylandwetrust
3 years 6 months ago

“Yup.  Some people have said that Cabrera’s move to third made Castellanos expendable.  Absolutely ridiculous”

Yeah that has been the most annoying part to me about the Prince signing is people wanting to now trade Turner and Castellanos to go all in for this season alone. The way you combat a big contract like Prince’s is by having cheap production by young players from the farm.

JacksTigers
3 years 6 months ago

I wouldn’t mind trading JT for an all-star middle infielder (i.e Hanley Ramirez; Brandon Phillips) or an all-star starter (i.e Matt Garza.)

I don’t want to trade Castellanos though. DD will have to make a choice of any two of Smyly, Turner, and Porcello; then trade one of them. There’s not enough room for all three.

johnsilver
3 years 6 months ago

Dick Allen was considered a pariah among owners and yes.. he was an early victim of the ‘culture” wars as he REALLY stood up for himself and others.. If you know what I mean and many “other” players did not take kindly to that.. he got pretty much ran out of Philly for that and other issues and think recall him saying that on an interview as well one time..

he was also one of my favorite ball players, because as the story said.. That guy could CRUSH the ball.. Him, Hondo Howard, Stargell and Kong Kingman probably had the most raw power of anyone have seen since my time watching the game.. They all could just totally unload on a ball at any time and hit one 450+.. Just capable of jaw droppers..

3 years 6 months ago

Yeah, Jim Bouton liked him too. I just don’t see how he kept the White Sox in Chicago. To be honest, I thought it was Disco Sux or Nickel Beer night that did the trick! =P

johnsilver
3 years 6 months ago

Veeck had the burn disco records in CF at Old Comisky.. That was a riot! between games of a double header and the Chisox had to forfeit the 2nd game it got so out of hand..

BTW lefty.. You ever read “veeck as in Wreck? it’s a good read if never have.. did decades ago and still have the book.. the man was amazing and a good story.

MetsMagic
3 years 6 months ago

I still say Dick Allen being out of the Hall of Fame is one of the game’s largest injustices. I’ve never seen an athlete who was so frequently baited and reviled, despite being one of the best hitters in the history of the game.  His 156 career OPS+ is 19th in baseball history including the pre-modern era, and puts him comfortably in company with Hank Aaron, Willie Mays, and Joe Dimaggio.  Unlike Kong who was one of my favorite players as a kid, the memories of him being an all-time slugger are completely justified. 

3 years 6 months ago

However Liriano does this season, he still won’t re-sign with the Twins next year. We have Liam Hendriks and (eventually) Kyle Gibson and Alex Wimmers to fill the rotation. No reason to (possibly) spend big on a guy who is inconsistent and injury-prone.

$1519287
3 years 6 months ago

How many years can be make or break years for Liriano? I feel like I hear that every season. 

– ECB

bigpat
3 years 6 months ago

 Yeah, I thought last year he broke.

FunkyTime
3 years 6 months ago

The year before he made, so it evened out.

MNTwins12
3 years 6 months ago

Did Liriano work on locating every other type of pitch as well, and not just his fastball? I really hope so.

bobbybaseball
3 years 6 months ago

Cabrera can’t play third base and that will be painfully obvious soon. By the time Castellanos is ready I’m sure Cabrera won’t be playing there.

tiger313
3 years 6 months ago

if pablo can play 3b in the NL, Cabby will be able too.

owlssc
3 years 6 months ago

 Agreed, but Pablo will probably be a much better defender.

JacksTigers
3 years 6 months ago

And this is based on…..?

Houston_Astros
3 years 6 months ago

The fact that he can barely play first base!  Honestly, man.

JacksTigers
3 years 6 months ago

He played first base very well. I’m not sure if your serious or just trolling.

Paul Shailor
3 years 6 months ago

I love all the people writing Cabrera off. He wants to play third and has a great arm and quick hands. Watch some videos of him. Also look at some pics of him he has slimmed down. Cabrera is a great baseball player and will do what he can do help this team win. I think he could be average defensively and with that offensive power coming from the corner the tigers will be amazing.

Cabrera has always wanted to play third and was a bit disappointed when they moved him to first.

3 years 6 months ago

That CC trade is such a disappointment.

3 years 6 months ago

LaPorta was really supposed to be a developed power hitter by now at 26 years old and now he’ll be starting the year in AAA. Saying Brantley isnt destined for a full time role is a bit foolish though. He made major improvements last year and could potentially be their leadoff man.

sportsnut969
3 years 6 months ago

Brantley hit around 200 from the end of May – August last season after starting out nicely in April.

If you e-mail any so called baseball expert out there like Gammons / Law / Olney / John Hart they will respond with the following report they will tell you that his major league upside is a 4th Outfielder no more.

He has a weaker arm than Sizemore if anyone could believe than the difference between these 2 in arm strength is Sizemore runs great routes in the outfield and reads the ball off the bat very well which are both thing that Brantley is very poor at way below major league average in these areas.

Players last season took advantage of these issue problems in the field with Brantley all season Rick Manning was totally speechless several times Quote ” Brantley is not a major league center fielder in my eyes ” Manning made this statement several times during the season. These are also issues you cannot teach you either have these tools or you do not.

IMHO from what I have heard about LaPorta over the off season is Hitting Coach Bruce Fields did work with LaPorta at Goodyear and at the Prog this off season at one of the Mall Stops Manny Acta said that Bruce Fields was very encouraged by the progress LaPorta has made this off seasson with his hitting approach.

I for one hopes this is true

IMO the best player in the CC trade may end up being Rob Bryson he could crack the majors at some point after the All-Star Break.

verlander
3 years 6 months ago

VMart’s contract will probably be up by the time Castellanos is ready, anyway.