37.4. Roster Crunch

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37.4. Roster Crunch

Post by agrudez » Wed Dec 05, 2018 4:17 pm

As the second half of spring training approaches, the Phantoms still have 35 bodies on the roster: 15 arms and 20 bats. In a twist - compared to most seasons - they are 35 bodies that the team is having trouble whittling down to 27. Let's take a look at the players on the bubble.

SP David Krappenshitz
SP Erhard Linder
SP Francois Mangin
SP Alejandro Soto
RP Fritz Brinson

In an ideal world, HSV likes to run an 11 man pitching staff. Sitting at 12 wouldn't be the end of the world - if the 12th pitcher was good - but it's a preference meant to concentrate relief innings into our better arms as opposed to spreading them thinner with lesser additions in the unit. That means we would *prefer* to drop 4 of these 5, but could live with 3.

The obvious first two cuts are Krappenshitz and Mangin - they're young, have options, and don't look ready yet (in Krappenshitz's case, maybe not ever). It gets harder after that, though. Both Soto and Linder are out of options and Brinson looks ratings ready to be a serious contributor this season. Between Soto and Linder, the latter would be much easier for us to lose, though he looks like he'd be a pretty obvious waiver claim and I'm not sure I'd want to lose him for free. For now, let's say we send Brinson back down for a bit more seasoning (and service time delay) and run with 12 pitchers (both Soto and Linder making the cut). In that scenario, we need to cut 5 bats - so let's go ahead and take a look at that.

CF Grisci
2B Guilamo
3B Ayala
3B Rivera
DH Cortez
DH Klein
SS Kouda

The obvious cuts here are Grisci and Guilamo. Grisci does hurt a bit since he'd be our best option for a backup CF (without him it becomes Manning whom is already slotted to be a corner platoon option), but with an option left at least we won't lose him. Guilamo, though, as a Rule 5 pickup will be lost. We had high hopes for him as a backup 2B (perhaps topical, with Guzman getting 2 injuries in the first ST sim), but that doesn't seem a luxury we can afford with Navarro and (potentially) Kouda taking roster spots as well. Needing to cut 3 more (assuming 12 pitchers), we will be forced to decide between Ayala and Rivera for my 3B RH platoon option - and let the loser go. If you had asked me last week, I was leaning Ayala. But Rivera just bumped a point of POW vs. LHP (you know, his potential role) and made it a MUCH harder decision. In fact, I think I might add a poll.

Regardless of that decision, we need 2 more cuts between the following 4 players.


So... what are their potential roles?

Linder would be our 13th man in the bullpen and 7th in line for a rotation spot behind Soto and our opening day 5. That's... not really a very useful spot. My hesitance, though, is how decimated by injury our rotation was last year - the entire reason we acquired Linder to begin with. We needed 8 rotation arms deep last year at some points - so maybe hanging on to 7 isn't such a bad idea?

Cortez would be a RH DH platoon option - a VERY important role when he was doing it for Klein last season, but maybe not so much for Rutledge this year. He didn't really impress in the role anyway (.728 OPS) last season, so it might even be better to just let Rutledge have a full AB workload. Cortez also has options - which is obviously a plus. I think he might be the first to go.

Klein would be a backup 1B/DH. That's... about as useless as you can get (barring injury). He also has options so we wouldn't lose him, but would he accept a demotion?

Kouda would be our backup MIF vs. RHP (and 3rd string vs. LHP behind Navarro). An important role, but not one that can't be replaced by someone else (Navarro). He has options, but probably wouldn't accept a demotion.

It's tough, but I think I'd have to go Cortez and Linder/Klein. Linder if Klein refuses a demotion and Klein if he accepts it (losing Linder due to being out of options). Of course (knock on wood) ST is only halfway done, so some roster spots might free up that way before it's all said and done.

It all might be moot, too, when bodies start to have to go to make room for the likes of Cochrane, Reyes, Imai, Brinson and Rodriguez.
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Re: 37.4. Roster Crunch

Post by ae37jr » Wed Dec 05, 2018 5:24 pm

As much as I shouldn't endorse Ayala(he'd come back to me if he doesn't make the team), He was always a solid producer in the minors and a player I felt was better then his ratings. Him and Alonso(who you also snatched up) were tough roster decisions that came down to depth at those positions over talent.
Alan Ehlers
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