Nearly four years ago, I met Mickey Callaway for the first time. He had just completed his first season with the Indians as the pitching coach on manager Terry Francona’s big league staff in Cleveland after spending the previous three seasons as the team’s minor league pitching coordinator (2012) and as a pitching coach (2010 at Class-A Lake County and 2011 at High-A Kinston).
Speaking to him one-on-one for 15 minutes or so, I had a feeling that there was plenty more in store for the former pitcher who was only just beginning his second career in the pro game after spending five seasons in the Majors (with Tampa Bay, Anaheim, and Texas) and parts of 13 years in the minors, in independent ball, and overseas in Seoul within the Korean Baseball Organization.
After four seasons of guiding the Indians pitching staff and helping turn several players’ careers around, Callaway’s name came up as a candidate for several of the managerial openings in the Majors. Despite no professional experience as a manager, he will get his shot on an awfully big stage as he was selected by the New York Mets on Sunday to be the team’s 21st skipper in club history.
During Spring Training the DTTWLN staff will profile and examine the coaches and players that make up and are vying to be part of the 2013 Cleveland Indians—A Team With A New Direction. Today, we examine one of the players on the 40-man roster that is in need of a major bounce back season from 2012.
By Steve Eby
In baseball, trades often can’t be fairly evaluated until long after the fact. It’s not really fair to judge these things if you can’t see the forest for the trees. Sometimes trades end up being so one-sided that it is comical (i.e. Ed Taubensee for Kenny Lofton) and sometimes trades work out tremendously for both sides (i.e. Trevor Hoffman for Gary Sheffield).
And then sometimes there are trades that are terrible for both teams.
When the trading deadline was upon the Indians in 2011, they sent Joseph Gardner, Matt McBride and their top two pitching prospects Alex White and Drew Pomeranz to Colorado for former All-Star starter Ubaldo Jimenez. The trade has been a disaster for both franchises from the very start.
For the Rockies, Gardner has yet to make his MLB debut and was stuck at Double-A for the second straight season as he bounced back and forth from starting pitcher to the bullpen. McBride finally made it to the big leagues last season at the age of 27 and struggled through 78 at bats, by hitting only .205, while drawing only one walk with 17 strikeouts. Meanwhile, White and Pomeranz have struggled mightily as well.
The two prized youngster’s combined totals over the past year and a half with Colorado are an 8-23 record with a 5.70 ERA. It got so bad for White, that the Rockies traded him along with another minor leaguer to Houston this past December for relief pitcher Wilton Lopez. Neither young pitcher has lived up to their expectations and only so much that can be blamed on Coors Field’s thin air. But as far as failing to meet expectations goes, no player has fallen as flat on his face as Jimenez has.
During Spring Training the DTTWLN staff will profile and examine the coaches and players that make up and are vying to be part of the 2013 Cleveland Indians—A Team With A New Direction. Today, we examine one of the coaches selected to be a part of Manager Terry Francona’s staff.
By Mike Brandyberry
No one may have a tougher job on the Indians’ coaching staff in 2013 than new pitching coach Mickey Callaway.
Callaway, who was a dark horse to earn the job, will be entrusted to try and rebuild and retool a starting rotation that started the 2012 season as one of the Tribe’s strengths, but ended the year as the focal point of a disappointing second half.
Indians’ starting pitchers were only 48-76, with a 5.25 ERA in 2012. Worse yet, the starting rotation was only 15-42, with a 6.07 ERA in the second half of the season, including the disastrous August that became the worst month in franchise history when the Tribe was 5-24.
Callaway, 37, spent the 2012 season as the Tribe’s Minor League Pitching Coordinator in his third campaign in the Indians organization. He was previously the Pitching Coach at Class-A Lake County in 2010 and at Class-A Kinston in 2011 after hanging up his cleats after the 2009 season. Mickey pitched professionally from 1996-2009, appearing in 40 Major League games with Tampa Bay, Texas and Anaheim from 1999-2004 and made 6 starts for the 2002 World Champion Anaheim Angels.