Tuesday, December 28, 2010

What Does it Mean if a Minor League Team Makes the Playoffs?

Is that a good thing, or a bad thing for the organization? Does it mean the organization has depth? Does it mean other teams don’t?

I guess a lot of it would depend on what the major league team looks like, and what the needs are. The Red Sox just traded away Casey Kelly. That hurts their minor league system. But, does it hurt the organization? Not really. The Red Sox are pretty well stacked with starting pitching on the major league roster. They looked to be stacked for a while. A great pitching rotation in triple-A does nothing for them, other than offer more trade chips. So, if the Sox farm team miss the playoffs because of pitching staffs, probably not a big deal.

On the other hand, in the case of the 2010 Sox, there might be another reason for missing the playoffs. Maybe all the talented players are filling holes in the major league roster. If the major league club is on it’s fifth outfielder, it makes sense that triple-A is playing it’s ninth choice. That can’t be good.

What about the so-called four-A players? If the players star in the minors but can’t quite play in the majors, that’s not a good sign. Right? If the Pawtucket club makes the playoffs because they have a team full of future Boston stars, that’s one thing. But, if they make the playoffs because they have a bunch of players Boston can’t use, I see no benefit. Isn’t that sort of the Crash Davis plan? The only reason you have a minor league record is because everyone why is better than you is playing in the majors already?

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