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Category Archives: N. January 2012

Five exciting prospects to watch in 2012 (1.24.12)

Editor’s Note: This is the first posting from Jim Piascik here at the IPI.  He will be writing about all things Cleveland this season with a special focus on Double-A Akron.

Despite the fact that the Cleveland Indians’ top 4 prospects are either no longer prospects (Jason Kipnis and Lonnie Chisenhall) or with the Colorado Rockies (Alex White and Drew Pomeranz), there are still plenty of prospects for Tribe fans to be excited about in 2012.

As Baseball America notes in their 2012 Indians prospect rankings, most of “the Indians’ best prospects are years away from contributing” at the big league level. That simply means that if you want to see thrilling players in the Tribe’s minor league system, you should head more toward Lake County than Columbus.
Here are five Indians’ minor leaguers that you should be excited to go see in 2012 and where they should be playing on Opening Day. Read More…
From Indians Prospect Insider, January 24, 2012
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Posted by on November 16, 2012 in N. January 2012

 

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Prince Fielder Signs with Tigers: What It Means for the Cleveland Indians (1.24.12)

Even though superstar Prince Fielder signed with the Detroit Tigers Tuesday, the Cleveland Indians can still win the AL Central.

I know that sounds ridiculous, but it’s true. In no way does Tuesday’s signing automatically guarantee the Tigers a spot in the postseason next year.

It certainly makes the road harder. Any leverage gained by Victor Martinez’s season-ending injury is gone. But the MLB season is a long, grinding one; seasons aren’t decided in April, let alone January.

The Indians obviously still need to figure out who is playing first base this year. They need to deal with the Fausto Carmona fallout. They are still relying on contributions from often injured players. But they certainly aren’t out of it yet.

So please don’t freak out on the Tribe just yet. Yes, the offseason has been disappointing. No, the Indians haven’t signed a big-name bat. But championships aren’t won by who signs the biggest name. They are won with the little moves. Read More…

From Bleacher Report, January 24, 2012

 
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Posted by on November 16, 2012 in N. January 2012

 

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MLB Free Agency 2012: Casey Kotchman Isn’t What the Cleveland Indians Need (1.23.12)

Even though the Cleveland Indians are still in need of a first baseman, Casey Kotchman is not the guy they need.

When Carlos Pena signed with the Tampa Bay Rays last Friday, it simultaneously took away the Tribe’s best free agent option off the board and put Kotchman in search of a new team. Wouldn’t it make some sort of karmic sense then for Kotchman’s next team to be the Cleveland Indians?

That wouldn’t be the best idea for the Tribe, though.

There is no denying that Kotchman finally had a breakout year last year. After being rated the 22nd, 13th, 15th and sixth best prospect in all of baseball by Baseball America from 2002 through 2005, Kotchman struggled for the majority of his big league career. That changed last year when he posted these stats:

.306/.378/.422 slash line, .800 OPS (128 OPS+), .351 wOBA (125 wRC+), 10 HR, 48 RBI, 11.7 K%, 8.5 BB%, 2.8 fWAR

You might be thinking that would look very good on the Indians in 2012, especially considering the level of bad production the Indians got out of the first base position at times last year. But there are numerous reasons to pass of Kotchman. Read More…

From Bleacher Report, January 23, 2012

 
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Posted by on November 16, 2012 in N. January 2012

 

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Kevin Slowey Traded to Cleveland Indians: Why It’s a Decent Deal for the Tribe (1.20.12)

In acquiring Kevin Slowey today from the Colorado Rockies, the Cleveland Indians invested in a decent buy-low, bounce-back candidate to replace Fausto Carmona in their rotation.

Slowey certainly did not impress anyone with his unsightly 6.67 ERA last year, but in actuality he did not pitch that poorly. Factoring in his 4.47 FIP, 4.36 xFIP and 4.30 SIERA, it looks as if he was a victim of some bad luck last year.

Taking into account his entire career, Slowey looks much better. Here are his stats averaged out to a 200-inning season:

15-11 W-L, 4.66 ERA (90 ERA+), 4.24 FIP, 4.19 xFIP, 4.09 SIERA, 6.67 SO/9, 1.42 BB/9, 4.70 SO:BB, 31.6 GB%, 2.7 fWAR

He’s certainly not on the same level as Justin Masterson or Ubaldo Jimenez, but Slowey looks pretty similar to another fly-ball starting pitcher: Josh Tomlin. Check out his career stats averaged out to a 200-inning season:

15-9 W-L, 4.34 ERA (91 ERA+), 4.37 FIP, 4.26 xFIP, 4.39 SIERA, 4.98 SO/9, 1.51 BB/9, 3.30 SO:BB, 35.3 GB%, 2.0 fWAR

Overall, the Tribe’s rotation doesn’t change that much going from Carmona (who owns a 2.3 average fWAR, for what it’s worth) to Slowey. Essentially, in some ways, they acquired another Tomlin. While I’m not huge on Tomlin (I think he’s a fourth starter at best), this rotation remains solid. Read More…

From Bleacher Report, January 20, 2012

 

 
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Posted by on November 16, 2012 in N. January 2012

 

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Cleveland Indians: Projecting the Opening Day Roster, January Edition (1.16.12)

With the beginning of Spring Training only 37 days away, it is becoming clearer and clearer who will be on the Cleveland Indians‘ Opening Day roster. I’ve predicted the roster in OctoberNovember and December and will be taking another crack here in January.

Since these predictions aren’t much different than in previous months, I’ll be predicting the roster on each slide then highlighting a player most likely to jump up and steal a spot. Just because a spot seems secured doesn’t mean that it’s guaranteed; you just never know in some cases.

So let’s take a look at what the Tribe’s Opening Day roster should look like and a few players trying to crash the party. Read More…

From Bleacher Report, January 16, 2012

 
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Posted by on November 16, 2012 in N. January 2012

 

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MLB Trade Rumors: Cleveland Indians Should Stay Away from Mark Trumbo (1.9.12)

Despite a glaring need for an upgrade at first base, if the Cleveland Indians know what’s good for them, they’ll stay away from the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim‘s Mark Trumbo.

On the surface, it would seem as if Trumbo would be a perfect answer for the Indians at first base. I mean, who wouldn’t want the AL Rookie of the Year runner-up who hit 29 home runs and drove in 87 runs? He even stole nine bases just for kicks. He would seem to be the sort of young talent a team like the Tribe would crave.

Jon Morosi of Fox Sports even has gone as far as to questioning why this deal hasn’t been completed already. With the Angels actively looking for bullpen help(something the Indians have plenty of) and Trumbo effectively blocked by Albert Pujols, it would seem this deal is a slam dunk to happen.

Yet this trade would ultimately hurt the Indians. Read More…

From Bleacher Report, January 9, 2012

 
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Posted by on November 16, 2012 in N. January 2012

 

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