In the 5/1/07 game thread there is a bit of a debate going on about when to push Jay Bruce up to AA. I'm not trying to recreate that debate here but rather to explore the basic subject of when to promote a guy to the next level. Aside from the late season call ups that create a reverse waterfall effect, when is the correct time to push a guy to the next level?
I'll start the discussion with the notion that it depends on a lot of things like room at the next level, needs at the next levels, the players performance at the current and past levels, statistical analysis of the players performance, personal behavior of the player, and so and so on. However, most importantly I would think is how that promotion is going to effect the particular player. Some people, (whether talking about baseball, accounting, or tidley winks) respond better to being "challenged" than do others. Push one guy and he'll somehow grab another gear. Do the same to yet another similarly talented player and the pressure may be to much too soon. Further, some guys will respond better when the promotion is intended as a reward for performance and hard work (you can do well but not perform at a maximum level or not work hard). The ability to make those calls seems so incredibly important and it seems the mistake is made over and over again. Its a call that I personally would find difficult to make.