Terry Francona Talks Michael Jordan, Baseball and Cleveland Indians:
Cleveland Indians Manager – Terry Francona spoke at Tozzi’s on 12th Street Restaurant this past week – Home of the Professional Football Hall of Fame Luncheon Club in Canton, Ohio. Francona’s accolades are noted in the history books, but it was personality that entertained several hundreds in attendance at the luncheon club.
Terry Francona on Coaching – Michael Jordan:
It’s evident that through his tenure in Boston and his re-emergence in Cleveland that Francona is one of the best Managers in professional baseball. Francona connects with his players like every manager should and it is evident year-after-year in the win/loss column. The Indians Manager discussed the move from a big-market team to a smaller market team in Cleveland and stressed on the importance of not missing on draft picks. His opinion was that the current Cleveland roster in strong in starting pitching and they are excited to see how the young arms will develop. Francona viewed the current market as overvalued in relation to the price tag attached to certain names.
Watch out for this Cleveland team as they add Gomes behind the dish and sliding former-catcher Carlos Santana over to third base. Francona expressed that being able to plug these two consistently into the lineup does wonders to their lineup … and he’s right on. Personally, we think that Santana will kick it around at 3B and will ultimately see him consistently at 1B. It’s doubtful that Cleveland clenches the division from Detroit, but a wild-card birth is without question expected from a team that wasn’t picked to win anything last season.
Cleveland’s combination of youth and experience throughout the roster shape a prominent Francona team. Their potential pitching rotation/bullpen should be:
1 – Justin Masterson
2 – Corey Kluber
3 – Danny Salazar
4 – Zach McCallister
5 – Carlos Carrasco
Alt – Trevor Bauer
LegionReport.com loves loves loves Corey Kluber and Danny Salazar this season. We also view John Axford as a Sleeper. You saw in his St. Louis stint they told him he was tipping his pitches, they fixed him and in his last run of 14 appearances – he had a sub two era and his strikeout rate went up. In the brief period with STL, Axford had the best K/BB Ratio of his career – we view him as a potential Top 15 Closer being drafted far lower than that.
The Cleveland Coach said that like last year in Scott Kazmir, they are always trying to grab the “Project Guys” or players that may have flown under the radar ala Shaun Marcum. Francona expressed that he is currently recovering from injury and that he should be ready for April/May. He also went onto say in his own way, much of Spring Training isn’t figuring out the top, it’s learning depth in the six, seven and eight starters that you will no doubt have to use throughout the season.
Terry Francona is an American League Manager through and through. He doesn’t believe in bunting. When asked why he didn’t bunt more at the luncheon club, Francona took it a few levels up expressing his feelings … resulting in a crowd of laughter. His thoughts are that we are moving toward more and more runs scored each season. Last season, on average teams scored approximately 702 runs. In his mind, there is a time and place to bunt, but Francona feels that giving yourself a chance to put up a “crooked number” in an inning greatly improves your chances at winning the game. He’s a players coach and he trusts his guys.
If you’ve read this deep into the article, congratulations because we have a little nugget for you. When discussing youth and prospects, Francona sternly said that Francisco Lindor is a phenomenal prospect, but has no chance in making the team out of camp this season. He feels that he is far too young and has much developing to do, putting him nearly a year and a half away from the bigs. What that means to you, if you’re in a fantasy baseball league – don’t waste a pick on Lindor this season, because he isn’t coming up in 2014. We heard it directly from the source. If you’re just a fan of the game or the Indians, enjoy tracking Lindor’s progress in the Minors, but don’t hit the Google Search too much with “When will Lindor be brought up” because you’re going to be wasting your time.
Cleveland is primed for success for many years to come and if you’re an Indians fan, feel good about things – because you have the best guy in the business managing your squad!