The first week sucked. Period. Gabe Kapler sucked. Also fact. But how much was ACTUALLY his fault? The bullpen? Yep. The ridiculous defensive alignments? Yep. The positional logjam? Not exactly. In fact, Klentak's inability… or refusal… to trade Cesar Hernandez created a conundrum of problems. It isn't a stretch to say that most fans expected him to be gone come Spring Training. It was pretty much a given, wasn’t it?
Cesar’s value will never be higher, Kingery had a monster season in Reading and Lehigh, they needed starting pitching. Easy peasy! Not so fast…. Since our buddy Cesar is such an analytical wet dream, they balked. He is a nice player. But analytics will tell you he's EXCEPTIONAL. He gets on base, hits for a nice average… he's basically a defensively flawed Placido Polanco… with zero baseball IQ. His “exceptional” OBP should take into consideration how many times he was picked off on the bases.
They over valued him and got nothing… thinking they were clever. The Mets were rumored to have interest in a Steven Matz for Cesar …straight up. They declined. How about Cesar to Anaheim for one year of Garret Richards? Apparently not. I find it hard to believe that they couldn't package Cesar, Randolph and Moniak to Tampa for Archer. A top 10 pick, a first overall and a proven Major Leaguer with 6 year of control??? He shouldn't be here, yet he's started every game at 2B.
A couple of other roster thoughts: I can ALMOST understand the Santana signing. With monster 1B Jhaylin Ortiz about 2 years away (approximately the length of Santana’s contract) moving the more athletic Hoskins to LF while he's still young kinda makes sense… I guess.
Also, I honestly thought the Odubel (another analytical darling with zero baseball IQ) contract was to make him more attractive in trade talks… not to actually have him play it out! Trading Franco is pointless because he has no value at the moment.
So here we are. 11 guys for 8 positions. This would be a pain in the ass for a even veteran manager. A competent front office can cover up some managerial screw ups (ie. Charlie). Let's face it… Charlie was an awful in game manager. But that team was constructed perfectly, almost fool proof (almost….ie.- the ‘09 WS). Apparently, ownership doesn't always learn from its mistakes. They should have traded Polanco to make playing time for a young Chase Utley earlier… traded a Jim Thome for a young Ryan Howard… and they're making the same mistake again. There will be injuries that might help sort this out. But hopefully this nonsense won't hurt them in the upcoming free agent market. Hopefully it works itself out, because this first week didn't help their cause. Kapler has sucked thus far… but this roster is setting up your first time manager for failure.