Andy and Russell, a happy couple


(Image courtesy Waiting For Next Year)

Thanks to my good friend savagetruth who commented on last post, he had the idea that Andy Marte and Russell Branyan should platoon at first base. And he is absolutely correct about the 40 HR possiblity. That was a genious comment, and I would like to say thanks for the idea, and thanks for letting me post on it. It makes perfect sense.


Russell Branyan hit 31 homers last year while Andy Marte only had 6. But if you take the time when Marte was hot and the time when Branyan was hot you have two oiled machines. You put them together and then you have one super oiled machine. With all that oil you can produce a good 40 homers or so. Yes fans this is a wonderful idea don’t you agree?


I can’t believe I haven’t thought of this. This idea is so simple yet so hidden. With Marte’s struggle at times, Branyan could take the weight off of his shoulders. While during the time Branyan is getting pitched well, Marte can come in and take the chip off of his shoulder. I also think that Marte can come in against lefties. The other idea could be for Marte to only play when lefties are on the mound.


Marte is not a very good hitter against righties but against lefties he’s halfway decent. Since 2007, he’s increased in homers and he is looking better and better the more I see him. The reason that Marte hasn’t produced those HUGE numbers in just one year is because of the fact that he only plays about 50 games a year. If you take the 6 homers he hit in those 47 games he played in you can use that to calculate about eh 21 homers in a full season.



(Image courtesy AP)

So if you platoon Marte and Branyan your going to get some production out of it. I think it makes perfect sense, and as a Tribe follower for years this finally came to me and said “great idea”. I totally understand where savagetruth is coming from and I agree that platooning these two is the best thing to do. They are both “power hitters” and do rack of their fair share of strikeouts. But that’s not the point. Together as I have stated, they can produce about 40 home runs and 90 RBI’s.


As if the fact that you used one of them you might get 30 homers from Branyan with 70 RBI’s and 5 homers and 20 RBI’s with Marte. Going just with one can lead to slumps, and alot of bad games over all leading with no productiveness and maybe a bad year for either Marte or Branyan. But with the combo I can see new beginnings in Cleveland. Just like they platooned when they weren’t successful in the 60’s it panned out eventually.


This platooning could be infectious among the other players who knows? If Branyan starts going, it could be a domino effect. You never know. Maybe if Branyan gets into dancing lessons, than Marte will get into dancing lessons, and maybe Choo will get into dancing lessons. Who knows. I do think that Choo would be a pretty good dancer though… just a thought.



(Image courtesy Castroturf)

I do see strikeouts happening with these guys. But I do see home runs being hit night after night. I don’t even know what pandemoneum will be present when Marte and Branyan are hot. If the Indians (Manny Acta) goes through with this, and I hope he/they will… then I think that the Indians will have a VERY productive first base. It’s almost like your getting an All Star to play first base for them.


I do think that this will pan out perfect. Russell Branyan played in 116 games last year while Marte played in 47. Together that will be 163 (one more than games played). So if you give or take away another game or two in either one of them’s stats, then you have a perfect season. That is why this platooning will work for them. It has to be like this in order for run production to take place.


I do believe that this team can flourish from a good platooning. This could effect the team in multiple ways. The team can feed off of a good first base performance and follow up in a good way. For example maybe Russell Branyan and Marte go on a hot streak. The whole team could feed off of that and maybe go into a month hitting great as a team. This situation could effect everything for the Indians. This is why I really like this idea.


I do thank savagetruth for the idea of platooning as he is a very smart individual. I do highly believe that the Indians should platoon in order to get more productivity out of the first base position. Manny Acta needs to meet this head on and needs to platoon. He can’t see through this. Andy and Russell might make a happy couple… for the Cleveland Indians. Until next time….


Go Tribe!


  1. savagetruth

    I can’t really take credit for that idea Ted, I’m pretty sure they plan on platooning Branyan with someone. Branyan’s always been terrible at hitting left handed pitching, and with their lefty heavy lineup you pretty much have to take Branyan, Hafner or both out against left handed starters–they’re certainly not going to platoon Sizemore or Choo. It’s just a matter of who you’re subbing for Branyan–they could also have Laporta start at 1b against LHP, and Kearns or Crowe, whoever’s the 4th outfielder, take over in the OF (I don’t like that idea so much, since I wouldn’t want to see Laporta shuffled around, and because Kearns/Crowe don’t provide much offensive punch. Also possible they take Duncan over Marte, probably not much difference between Duncan’s and Marte’s potential in terms of offense) In his career, Branyan’s homered once every 14.7 ABs against RHP. Last year he was a little better than that, once every 13 ABs. So definitely he could/should hit around 30 if given 400-450 ABs. Marte (or Duncan) could add another 7 or so given another 150 ABs against primarily LHP … Regarding your comment about Sizemore losing SB opportunities batting 3rd, I think he could still do okay in that department. You probably don’t remember the Robbie Alomar days, but Alomar was their #3 hitter, after Lofton and Omar, and he was still stealing 30-40 bases a year.

  2. TribeTed

    savagetruth: Haha okay.

    I do think that this idea was still yours because I got it from you.

    I do think that Marte should be platooning with Branyan. And your absolutely right that Branyan should be hitting 30 or so again this year.

    Plus add in that Seattle is about 20 to 30 feet deeper than Cleveland and he had 21 doubles last year.

    Take that and say oh 8 doubles went the distance of Cleveland’s fences. Russell all of a sudden has 39 homers and is atop the best home run hitters in the american league.

    I do think that this could work out.

    and your absolutely right that the fourth outfielder should platoon with Branyan.

    Your right about Alomar but I think that Alomar was a better basestealer than Grady is. He was caught stealing 8 times out of 22 last year which isn’t acceptable.

    You make good points.


  3. devilabrit

    Platooning sounds good, and sometimes there is no alternative, but it has happened with the Phillies in the past, both for 3rd base and right field, although it served a purpose, it doesn’t replace a single player having a good year…

    Outside the Phillies looking In

  4. TribeTed

    Peter: Platooning is a great idea, and I think that the Indians need it.

    If the Indians want a good first base production method than platooning is their cure. I do think though that platooning could pose some problems.

    I don’t think it can really replace a certain player, maybe you misunderstood.

    I think that it can fill a positions shoes if players platoon well enough.

    I like your knowledge of the game.


  5. TribeTed

    Cat: Well I guess according to Castroturf, Choo loves to dance, 🙂

    Well.. maybe I stretched it… okay maybe I lied.

    But either way he would be funny to watch in tights haha. I could see him now.

    I think that the Indians have a good shot at being the number one dance team in the majors.

    Or if they aren’t they will be number two behind Ozzie Guillen.

    He’s a self proclaimed, goddess.


  6. TribeTed

    Jeff: Well there isn’t much to say.

    Shin Soo Choo is all about the ladies, persay then the guys.

    I do think though if you look hard enough you can see his baseball… *throat cleared* tap dancing shoes he’s wearing.

    I do think that if he uses these shoes, he will have a better season at the plate.

    But if he takes them off, well that’s a whole different story.

    Your telling me you like the picture right? 🙂


  7. TribeTed

    Indians: Yes I too am not NORMALLY for platooning.

    But this seems to go the other way. I am starting to think that his will play out in our favor.

    But you never know, and with the Indians you never get what you think is the obvious answer.

    I do like the idea that Marte can step in against lefties and bash them while Russell mashes on the righties. I do indeed remember both Dellucci and Michaels but than again, that tandem isn’t going to be as effective as the Martanyan (see I made a name) tandem.

    I do see where you are coming from.

    Platooning is hard to predict but I foresee a good future with this.


  8. TribeTed

    You never know. He did hit in a bigger park than in Cleveland. I know he definetly won’t get 80 RBI this year.

    He might and if he even has a good year he MIGHT get 75.

    It will be hard for him to hit more than 30 but I do think he will get to hit 30. I don’t see why he can’t. He produced a great year, and this year if platooned can still get as many games in.

    Marte will only be playing against lefties may I remind you.

    And the factor in Russell’s home run hitting is?

    I don’t really see one personally. He is facing all righties in which he can hit well.

    I think we’re on the right track.


  9. raysrenegade

    Oscar Gold is not around in Cleveland to bring Steve Austin, but I can see melding the best of both these guys to bring out a ballplayer that will not only hit with power, but give some stability to the position…Of course that part is played by Russell Branyan.
    But then you have the second part of the equation Andy Marte who came to Cleveland with high expectations and minor disagreements with stability.
    Combine both of them together and you get a guy who will suit up 162 games a year….Apart, maybe 100 games.
    I think they will make a great power couple….Russell has the bang, and Andy doesn’t pass the buck.

    Rays Renegade

  10. savagetruth

    indians, Branyan has 198 SOs in 447 ABs against LHP in his career. He literally almost strikes out 50% of the time against lefties. They are almost certainly going to platoon him, they’d have to be completely foolish not to. And why don’t you think he can hit 30 HRs if he’s not in the game against left handed starters? He hit 9 HRs in 78 ABs against RHP in 2008 (he was 0-14 against LH with 8 SOs). 10 in 144 in 2007 (3-19, 0 HRs against LH). His power has been consistent throughout his career, whether he’s been full time or part time. The question is whether he can manage a decent average, like .250, or if he’s hitting .190. He’s never really had a year where his HRs didn’t project to around 30 if given 400+ ABs.

  11. indians

    Savage, He hit 10 Homers against left handers in 2009. The Indians don’t mind the Strikeouts if he is driving in runs and hitting 25-30+ homers for them. The Indians, more than likely, will trade him at the dead line. Platooning him will cut down his playing time and his production. (HR, Runs, RBI ETC) Playing Marte sparingly is a waste at the Major League Level. He will be and has been over matched when he is at the Major League Level, and partly because he isn’t playing everyday. Young kids need everyday at bats, NOT platooning. I guess the M’s were foolish because I don’t remember them platooning Russell with anyone…?

  12. indians

    The only reason Marte will make the team is because he has NO options left. The Indians have already said that Russell is the regular first basemen. Acta has said that they didn’t sign Russell to be a backup. “He’ll going to get the majority of playing time at first base,” said Acta. “We didn’t sign him to be a backup guy.” I would assume that takes care of platooning?

  13. SLY

    Ted- You’re not going to like this ranking but…

    22. Mark Shapiro, Cleveland Indians

    Where Shapiro rates is irrelevant, as he’ll be promoted up out of the general manager’s position after this season, but he has to be the most overrated executive of the last few years. His Indians were widely praised as one of the best-run clubs in baseball for years, but despite immense reservoirs of talent they’ve had two winning seasons in his eight years at the helm, ultimately playing as less than the sum of their parts. No matter how admirable the team’s process and structure are, the results just haven’t been there.

    Good stuff. Keep it up.


    The Three Bs

  14. TribeTed

    Indians: I noticed you stated that Russell would cut down on his lack of playing time.

    You should have read the paragraph where I hit on that.

    He played like 116 games last year.

    Marte played 47.

    He’s not going to lose ANY playing time if you ask me.

    And if you ask me he will maybe even get more playing time than he did last year, so thirty homers is definetly going to be there.

    And add in what I have been saying with the fences and you have 35 or so homers.

    The Mariners didn’t have anyone to platoon him with.

    That was the problem and that’s why he struggled against left handers.

    Okay. If Russell isn’t the backup guy than he is the main guy as you stated. That means he will be playing more than Marte. If you put two and two together, you will know that he needs to be platooned. If not, his production could go down.


  15. TribeTed

    RaysRenegade: Thanks for the agreement.

    I do think that you provide the same points that I do. I think that both together they will be able to tie down the spot and provide a bang in the offense.

    Compared to just Branyan who will maybe play 120 and struggle against lefties.

    I like to see that Marte can come in against lefties in which he can pretty well.

    I do think this can work.

    Good luck to the Rays.


  16. TribeTed

    Emma: I think that we can get 40 homers from this.

    The factor that will provide this for us is that both of these players are playing in games that they will feel comfortable in.

    Russell is bad against lefties so he won’t be playing against them while Andy is horrible against righties. So he is playing against lefties.

    It all makes perfect sense.

    I think 40 homers can happen.


  17. TribeTed

    savagetruth: Your completely right. 30 homers is there.

    It has been almost every year when he has consistent amount of ab’s.

    And as you said the only real question will be his average and also (im adding one) the amount of RBI he will have. He is a little shaky in the RBI department.

    I do think that by platooning he will have more quality at bats and might increase his home run per at bat ratio by a little bit.

    He will constantly get to see the ball better and can focus on just hitting the righties.

    If Manny Acta doesn’t go through with this I will be highly dissapointed.


  18. TribeTed

    SLY: I agree with what you have stated.

    He has been very overrated and that’s the least I can say in words.

    I do think he should be pushed up to around eh 18 or so but that’s me.

    I like how he has direction. But sometimes, he changes direction and focuses on a different aspect. Sometimes he can focus on pitching one year and hitting the next.

    But as a GM with a team unless you have the big bucks u have to choose one or the other.

    so i don’t know.


  19. savagetruth

    indians, you forgot to mention that Seattle had the worst offense in the AL by far last year–they only scored 640 runs. So the Indians’ none-too-prolific offense outscored them by 133 runs. Branyan also frequently batted 2nd in their lineup–so no, I don’t want the Indians to emulate Seattle. They weren’t so much foolish as they had no other options. And Branyan was freakishly hot the first 2 months, he hit .333 in April and .317 in May, so he played his way into being an everyday guy for a time. But he still struck out 64 times in 158 at bats against lefties and hit .222. The Indians obviously have a lefty dominated lineup. Sizemore in particular has struggled badly against LHP, and Hafner struggled last year. Choo’s numbers take a considerable dip as well. Valbuena had problems in the minors. This means that Branyan and Hafner are sure to see days off against left handers. I’m not sure why you’d be against that.

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