Among baseball fans with a bent toward statistics, sometimes dubbed “sabermatricians,” a pet tool in evaluating a player’s relative worth to a particular team is “Is Joey Bats good enough and young enough to be a contributing member of the next great Smallville Homers great team?” If the answer is yes, then he’s probably a keeper. If the answer is no, then it’s probably time to sell high, if you can.
With spring training just around the corner now that the Super Bowl is dundy, I started thinking about how this concept might apply to the current Indianapolis Colts. I want to dull it down a bit, though, and consider the next Colts playoff team, not the next Colts great team, because I suspect it may be a long while before we see one of those again.
So, who on the current roster will be part of the next Colts playoff team? Peyton Manning? Old, injured, and likely headed out of town, it doesn’t seem likely. Reggie Wayne? He’s aging and probably can’t hang around long enough for Andrew Luck to come up to speed. Jeff Saturday? Gary Brackett? Dwight Freeney? No. No. Probably not.
Is there anyone, then? Well, maybe Pat Angerer can help build that next team. Ditto for Anthony Castonzo, though he’s unproven. Drake Nevis? The injury bug doesn’t help. Donald Brown? Delone Carter?
Sad as it may be to say, the best chance of any known name to be part of the Colts’ next winning season may belong to Mr. Andrew Luck.