He doesn't have Salvatore Leone-like mob connections that David Dellucci has, but one has to think Casey Blake is doing something to keep himself on the Cleveland Indians' roster.
I find it hard to believe that he has totally won over both Mark Shapiro and Eric Wedge as a major league ball player. Well, scratch that, I'm pretty sure he's won Eric Wedge over.
That's not to say Casey Blake isn't a major league player, but is he really a guy you want to be starting past this year? A team probably wouldn't count on him and he should be hitting at the bottom of an order.
However, Eric Wedge seems to fawn over Blake for his intangibles and the "way he plays the game." Trust me, Casey Blake plays it better than anyone, but there is a point in time you have to move on.
Did you ever get that eerie feeling about something? The one that tells you what you are thinking is probably going to come true.
That's sort of the feeling I have when it comes to Blake's future with the Indians. Not only will he not be traded come the trading deadline on July 31st, but he'll be re-signed in the offseason.
There are plenty of the Anti-Casey Blake people out there; I'm far from one of them, but I'm a guy who believes it's time to move on.
I was even in the crowd of re-signing him with the intentions to use him as a utility player, but it has become quite clear that Eric Wedge has no interest in doing that as long as he is on the roster.
Will Blake land you a prime prospect? Absolutely not, but he probably is worth something; however, the biggest gain isn't the prospect you are getting in return for Blake, it's the experience you are opening up for others by making it impossible for Wedge to fill his name out in the line-up card every night.
You can't say enough for the job Casey has done since becoming a member of the Cleveland organization. He's moved his position several times to accommodate other players.
He had no issue moving to right field when the team signed Aaron Boone, then moving back to third base when Andy Marte went down with an injury last year.
He hasn't been the flashiest defensive player, but he gets the job done and gives it 100 percent on every play. Blake is no stranger to making a spectacular play once and awhile.
The biggest reason people like to harp on Blake for is his lack of average with runners in scoring position. He never was a big guy for knocking in a lot of runs, but Blake isn't a stranger to having some clutch hits. He won two games in a single home-stand for the Tribe last year down the stretch.
He also doesn't give away his at-bats. He battles hard in the count and he rarely goes up to the plate to make a quick out.
All of this is what makes Casey Blake great.
But, Blake is 34 and will be a free agent in the offseason. The Indians need more production from the third base position and Blake is not the answer for that, even if it is just for one year.
It isn’t out of the question that Blake would consider re-signing here if he gets traded. Blake is a great guy who loves the Indians. I’m sure he would understand the need to trade him, but also the need to have him back come next year.
Once again though, that wouldn’t be my ideal move, but Shapiro has to at least be thinking that.
So, why that uneasy feeling about Casey Blake still being on this roster come the first day of August?
I'm not to sure, but I'm hoping this is one case where my gut feeling is dead wrong.
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