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MLB News: Indians hire Mike Sarbaugh as first base coach

Though the team is reportedly not ready to make a formal announcement regarding the coaching staff of newly hired manager Terry Francona, it appears that long-time Cleveland Indians farm system manager Mike Sarbaugh will be promoted to the big league staff.

Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports that Sarbaugh, spending the last five years in the Indians’ minor league system, will become the team’s first base and infield coach. The 45-year old ended this past season as bench coach to Sandy Alomar Jr., who was named interim manager following the firing of Manny Acta with six games remaining.

For the last three years Sarbaugh has managed the Tribe’s AAA team at Columbus, leading the Clippers to the International League championship and the Class AAA national championship in 2010 and 2011.

[Related: 15 Years Ago: The Team Of (Almost) Destiny]

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Good move Sarbaugh continues to climb the ranks.

  • thepaledragon

    Well deserved. He will be able to continue to develop all the young talent the Indians will have.

  • mgbode

    I guess it’s just the alpha-male in me, but I just don’t see how going from being the manager of a AAA team to being the 1B coach of a MLB team is a promotion. I’d want to be the guy in charge and in control.

    But, it’s probably the only way another MLB team takes a look at you for that manager slot. Sort of a shame how it’s run that way, but congrats to Sarbaugh.

  • Steve

    But it’s not like minor league managers get to dictate how their team operates. The MLB team decides what level and role the players get. The Indians want player X to get everyday reps at short, or to get some innings in the OF, or to skip player Y in the rotation so he can be called up in 2 days, then that’s what happens, regardless of what Sarbaugh thinks is best for his team.

    The AAA manager isn’t an alpha-male. He’s a guy who still is supposed to be honing the skills of the younger players under his roster. 1B coach is a step towards the alpha-male, where he still has to work with the younger guys, but also has to help manage a roster.

  • mgbode

    the drills are your own, the day-to-day is your own, honing those skills is through your eyes. i definitely get what you are saying though. you still don’t have that extra layer that you get at the MLB level. but, more than a 1B coach.
    i just wish the MLB model didn’t only look at those MLB coaches for manager positions. managing in the minors should be good on the resume for the lead spot on a team. in the end, i cannot change it, so it doesn’t matter.

  • Matt underwood

    Where is this young talent you speak of…?

  • mgbode

    As Francona said, it’s up the middle (and 3B).
    Santana
    Kipnis
    Asdrubal
    Brantley
    & Chisenhall
    all young, all talented. add in Choo (though likely to be traded at some point) and that is 6 of 8 position slots. The problem is that at this point, Choo is the only great hitter. We need at least 2 more to step up and hit in the 130OPS+ range or find such a hitter. Trading Choo puts even more pressure on these guys.
    as for pitching, the talent is in the bullpen until Masterson, Jiminez, Carrasco and others prove otherwise.

  • Matt underwood

    I’ll give you kipnis and Santana and hopefully chiz too, but Brantley is average and asdrocab should be dealt.
    Starting pitching is beyond horrible.
    You gotta blow this thing up. Now way can this team compete for anything mor than 3rd place. Not enough money or talent.
    Can’t wait to see which over the hill banjo hitters they plug into those holes

  • Steve

    I’m not sure that the drills are your own though. I’m sure you get input, but it’s all part of a bigger plan set up by the major league team.

    I do agree that some minor league coaches deserve better chances than they’re getting. Teams with younger talent (like us) need a guy who still knows how to develop talent and help players mature. I think that’s something Sarbaugh has done a great job at recently.

  • mgbode

    Brantley is 25. OPS+ 113 last year while playing good defense.
    Kipnis is 25 (month older than Brantley). OPS+ 103 while playing improved defense.

    I think that is lost on alot of fans because we have had Brantley on the MLB club longer. Brantley is one of those young, talented guys. He needs to improve, yes, but so do the other guys.

    Asdrubal is 26 w/ 2 more seasons of control (OPS+ 115). The ONLY reason he “should” be dealt is if someone is willing to pay a premium for him.

  • mgbode

    and yes, the starting pitching was terrible in 2012. however, it was above league average in 2011. if those guys can get back to that level, then we can be okay. not Verlander/Scherzer/Anibal potential scary combo, but still okay.

  • thepaledragon

    Well OK, more “Young” than “talented” but in Columbus Sarbaugh showed a knack for getting more production out of his players than you would expect.

  • This is the best personnel move this organization has made in the past 5 years.

    On one hand it’s exciting because Sarbaugh seems to actually know what he’s doing and likely will manage the big league club one day, on the other hand the fact that the hiring of a MLB assistant is cause for celebration shows the complete ineptitude of the Tribe front office at this point.

  • John

    It also doesn’t hurt that Sarbaugh earned Manager of the Year at every level he managed. He actually should have had the honor two years in a row when he won the back to back AAA National Championships. If my memory serves me, Sandberg got the honor after Sarbaugh’s Clippers team won their first championship. Best wishes Mike!!!!