Talbot was the Perfect Choice for Cleveland


AWinner@Flickr.com

Every once in a while a trade is consummated that  instantly makes you see that it might be the best thing to happen to that minor leaguer. You do not want to see him leave your system, but you know that he might be legitimately stalled within your farm system by a logjam within your system. And it is a shame to see a player stand still instead of moving forward in their  maturation process to becoming a Major Leaguer.
 

So when the Tampa Bay Rays announced that they had made a trade with the Cleveland Indians for catcher Kelly Shoppach in early December, you had the immediate feeling that the “Player To Be Named Later” would be plucked from the Rays 25-man roster, or be a top prospect from a Rays farm squad. So it was no real shock to me that the Rays took their time finalizing and whittling down the choices with the Indians and finally deciding “officially” late Monday night to send pitcher Mitch Talbot to the Indians.

And the final decision on Talbot was a very intelligent and completely necessary move for the Rays. But it was also a great pitching pick-up for the rebuilding Indians who  will be using young pitching talent in 2010 to build a strong foundation for the Indians future. And this decision actually saved the Rays from having to make a difficult decision this Spring for the second season in a row.
 

Talbot, who was out of minor league options, might not have even been considered for a 25-man roster spot for the Rays and in all likelihood would of had to change the mindset of the Rays Coaching staff  to make the team reconsider a spot for fellow pitchers like Andy Sonnanstine or Wade Davis in 2010.  And it is not unheard of in recent Rays Spring Training history for a pitcher to  come into Spring Training Camp in mid-February and sweat and battle his way the entire Spring, and the team ends up not having him on their final 25-man roster.


CBC-Raleigh.com

But with Talbot going down in 2009 with injuries while with Triple-A Durham Bulls, he ended up throwing only 54.1 innings, which could of had the Rays losing a bit of confidence in one of their top pitcher prospects. How soon it slipped the minds of the Rays to forget that in 2008 Talbot posted his second consecutive 13-9 record for the Bulls. 

Talbot even had to endure a brief 24-hour call-up with the Rays on July 2,2008.  All this from a guy that Baseball America  selected in 2008 as having the best change-up in the International League. How soon  a player could fall from grace with an organization, and they forget you were their selection as Triple-A Pitcher of the Year in 2008, and had the best change-up in the Rays system for the fourth year in a row. Throw on top of that being a member of the Bull 2009 Triple-A Championship team, and you get a pitching prospect who’s future should be bright in the eyes of his organization, and not  shaded by clouds of doubt.


Rob Carr / AP

But with the Indians selecting Talbot as the final piece in this deal, it actually opens up a different career path to the Majors for Talbot. He will report  with the other Indians pitchers’ to Arizona this Spring, and could be firmly in the mix to secure a spot in their 2010 rotation. This should give Talbot a early dose of confidence that he can get his name muttered by the Cleveland Coaching staff this Spring. And because the Rays included his name for consideration in this trade,Talbot will be given a fair chance to make his first Opening Day roster in the Major Leagues.

They say that sometimes things happen for reason. Well, this trade actually might be just the extra push forward Talbot needs to secure a spot on a Major League bench. He is a hard worker and deserves this chance, and hopefully we will see his name listed on the roster on 2010’s Opening Day. And  with the added experience of serving in the Rays Bullpen in the past, Talbot could also bring a nice secondary piece of the puzzle for the Indians. Talbot  in his personal life enjoys flying during his off times from baseball. Hopefully his  renewed chance in Cleveland will finally give him a chance to fly high and secure a spot in the Major Leagues. And I am think he is the right guy to have at the controls.

14 Comments

I think that Talbot deserves that chance as well. He has always been a great prospect but we never really had any plans for him with Price, Niemann, and Davis in the way. Stop by when you get the chance.
The Manoman
http://manoman.mlblogs.com

Manoman,
Talbot was considered the second prospect in the trade for Aubrey Huff from the Astors back in 2006.
But I have always liked the way he pitched, and considered him, like Davis just on the cusp foir the last two seasons.
This will give him a legitimate chance to shine from day 1 in Arizona for the Indians.

Rays Renegade

http://raysrenegade.mlblogs.com

Good for Talbot that he’s getting a real shot at the majors now. It must be tough for the prospects to sit around waiting for their turn. But when the phone rings? It must be the thrill of a lifetime.

http://janeheller.mlblogs.com

Jane,
He really deserves it.
You bust your butt in the minors for a few years and hear signs that things will happen, then an injury zaps the life out of the hopes and dreams for a season.
Because of that, guys sprinted past him and he was still in limbo-land.
This will be a blessing in disguise for him.

Rays Renegade

http://raysrenegade.mlblogs.com

I can’t see this guy’s name and not think about the hours of agony spent in the classic women’s clothing retalier with my mother when I was younger.
–Jeff
http://redstatebluestate.mlblogs.com/

Jeff,
I guess I got lucky by having a sister and missed out on that block of bad karma.
But, all is well in the world since he was born in Utah, I can devise he is not a owner/proproetor of the woman apparrel chain.
Did you have to hold her purse?

Rays Renegade

http://raysrenegade.mlblogs.com

The Indians pen surely struggled last year, maybe he really can add a new spark to the lineup and blossom into a decent pitcher

http://pittpeas.mlblogs.com

Matt,
Talbot got the great break by getting selected in this trade. He would of had to be either released or added to the Rays 25-man roster this Spring.
This will be the start of a great MLB career finally that he is with a team that will need strong arms and solid contributors in 2010.

Rays Renegade

http://raysrenegade.mlblogs.com

I just hope his shot at the majors isn’t disheartening for him by being at a club, in a town that doesn’t seem to support the team as much as it should….it’ll definitely be a good test for him…
Merry Christmas to you and your family, hope you have fun and enjoy…:-)
~peter
Outside the Phillies Looking In
http://devilabrit.mlblogs.com

It’s really too bad things didn’t work out for him with the Rays, but Talbot’s future does look bright with Cleveland. I’ll be keeping my eye on this guy, he accomplished a great deal at the minor league lever and he seems ready to make the big move up. It’s always nice to see things like this happen for a hard-working young guy.

Happy Holidays,
-AL
http://fryingpan.mlblogs.com/

Al,
A fantastic and hopefully white Christmas to you.
Talbot even did a short stint in the Arizona Fall League to show the team that he was healthy.
Guess it was actually an audition tape for Cleveland.
I have a weird feeling he will be great in Cleveland, but hopefully not from May 17-18th or July 23-25th (When the Rays play the Indians in 2010).

Rays Renegade

http://raysrenegade.mlblogs.com

Peter,
I remember during the Tampa Bay Lightning’s Stanley Cup season the Rays attendance went up and down in close correlation to playoff games.
Cleveland is a great sports town, and even if the Cav’s do great, the arena is right next door to Progressive Field, so they might get some nice overflow after games……..or people will remember they play baseball downtown again.
I truly think Talbot will be great for them in 2010.
He has been bobbling on the surface for two seasons, and actually made it to the majors before Wade Davis.

Rays Renegade

http://raysrenegade.mlblogs.com

The funny thing is a read this post on FOX SPORTS and I said the same thing. Really, Ken has no idea what he is talking about the Rays are going to be in the hunt and Baltimore is making some moves. The AL East always come down to the last week a lot like my Tigers AL Centeral.
BK-

BK,
That is why Rosenthal makes a huge salary and people like you and me write for the thrill and knowing we are expressing our love of the game.
I lost a huge amount of respect for the guy that day.

Rays Renegade

http://raysrenegade.mlblogs.com

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