Friday, September 14, 2012

Minor league baseball playoffs tough to gauge

Baseball minor leagues crowning their champions through a playoff format sounds like a good idea. But they might was well put the team names in a drum and hold a raffle.

For this year's postseason:

-- In the Double-A Eastern League, one of the Akron Aeros' starters has been the Indians' Carlos Carrasco. He's made two one-inning rehab appearances going into Friday.

-- When the Captains started the Midwest League playoffs, their roster included 2012 first-round draft pick Tyler Naquin, an outfielder, and infielder Joseph Wendle, neither of whom played for Lake County in the regular season.

-- Attendance for the Captains' three home playoff games was 892, 887 and 789. Even combined, that crowd wouldn't fill half of Classic Park.

-- In a best-of-three series, the team with the home-field advantage could lose Game 1 on the road and go back home facing elimination. Some advantage.

The major leagues don't use best-of-three series, and they have rules about who can be on the playoff roster. But the purpose of minor leagues is to develop talent, so getting experience for players, even if they have been in a different league all season, or getting work for big-leaguers on injury rehab assignments is more important.

Regardless of who's on the roster or how they got there, it's tough to get anyone to show up to watch. Minor-league playoffs start right after Labor Day. Going by the attendance figures, they should be over by then.

Either that, or move the playoffs to spring-training facilities and hold them in advance of the fall leagues.

- Howard Primer


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