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Category Archives: O. February 2012

Grady Sizemore Injured: Why the Cleveland Indians Need Shelley Duncan to Shine (2.25.12)

With Grady Sizemore likely to miss Opening Day with a back injury, the Cleveland Indians will likely need to have Shelley Duncan produce in his absence.

Even the most optimistic Sizemore supporters like me figured that he would manage to make it to Spring Training before getting hurt. Somehow, that’s not the case.

While I still have faith that Grady will have some value this year, we’ve already reached the point in the season where the Tribe will need to find someone to replace Sizemore in the lineup.

Considering how I think Michael Brantley should get a shot in center field and could have a breakout year, the Indians will probably need to find a replacement in left field for at least part of the season.

I’d like to see Shelley Duncan get the first shot at filling that role. Read More…

From Bleacher Report, February 25, 2012

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Posted by on November 16, 2012 in O. February 2012

 

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Cleveland Indians Preview 2012: Will This Be Michael Brantley’s Breakout Year? (2.23.12)

Despite being a relative disappointment to this point in his career, 2012 could very well see Michael Brantley come into his own as a major league outfielder.

For someone who looked like he was on the fast-track to becoming the next Kenny Lofton, Michael Brantley hasn’t had the best start to his career. After being one type of hitter in the minor leagues, Brantley has often times looked like a completely different batter at the major league level.

Check out his splits:

Minors, averaged to 155 G: .303/.388/.377 slash line, .765 OPS, .361 wOBA (119 wRC+), 4 HR, 61 RBI, 44 SB, 102 R, 11.8 BB%, 8.8 K%, 4.3 Simple WAR

Majors, averaged to 155 G: .265/.316/.359 slash line, .675 OPS (88 OPS+), .301 wOBA (85 wRC+), 7 HR, 57 RBI, 19 SB, 80 R, 6.8 BB%, 14.1 K%, 0.2 fWAR

The outlook doesn’t improve all that much according to Bill James’ 2012 season projections:

Bill James Projection, averaged to 155 G: .268/.332/.358 slash line, .690 OPS, 309 wOBA, 7 HR, 56 RBI, 27 SB, 91 R, 8.6 BB%, 12.1 K%, 2.2 Simple WAR

Obviously, no player maintains their exact minor league performance level when they move up to the majors, but in Brantley’s case, I feel like his stats all changed too much. He went from someone who walked more than he struck out to striking out over twice as much as he walked. He’s also seen his stolen base rate cut in half and his offensive production decline about 17 percent.

Even if Bill James projections come to pass and Brantley is an average player, I still think he’s capable of more. With a few adjustments, this may become his breakout year. Read More…

From Bleacher Report, February 23, 2012

 
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Posted by on November 16, 2012 in O. February 2012

 

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MLB Preview 2012: Giving Odds on Who Will Be Cleveland Indians’ Fifth Starter (2.20.12)

Because of the uncertainty surrounding Fausto Carmona/Roberto Hernandez, theCleveland Indians still have one starting rotation spot up for competition in Spring Training.

For most of the offseason, the Tribe’s rotation seemed very set with Ubaldo Jimenez, Justin Masterson, Josh Tomlin, Derek Lowe and Fausto Carmona. No one in that group was in any real danger of being bumped and any other starting pitchers were ticketed for AAA Columbus.

That obviously all changed when the Carmona/Hernandez story broke. The Indians have made some moves since then, but that final rotation spot is up for grabs as we head into Spring Training. So let’s take a look at each competitor’s odds for being the fifth starter on Opening Day for the Cleveland Indians. Read More…

From Bleacher Report, February 20, 2012

 
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Posted by on November 16, 2012 in O. February 2012

 

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Profiling the Columbus Clippers’ Major League ready rotation (2.16.12)

Due to the offseason acquisitions of Derek Lowe and Kevin Slowey, the Cleveland Indians figure to have an insane amount of major-league ready pitching filling the AAA Columbus Clippers’ rotation.

While the Tribe’s rotation is not getting much love nationally, I think that a staff consisting of Ubaldo Jimenez, Justin Masterson, Josh Tomlin, Lowe and Slowey should be average to above-average. Jimenez and Masterson are great top of the rotation guys and the other three starters, while not spectacular, are solid.

Unfortunately for Jeanmar Gomez, David Huff, Zach McAllister, Scott Barnes and Corey Kluber, having the big league rotation all but set will leave them all stuck starting the year in AAA Columbus. All five of these pitchers could conceivably be in a big league rotation right now, but in 2012 will be depth options for the Indians.

Considering the rate at which injuries affect pitchers, it is quite likely that the Indians will use all five of these pitchers in Cleveland through the course of the 2012 season. As such, let’s take some time to profile each pitcher’s strengths, weaknesses and general outlook for 2012. Read More…

From Indians Prospect Insider, February 16, 2012

 
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Posted by on November 16, 2012 in O. February 2012

 

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Cleveland Indians: Projecting the Opening Day Roster, February Edition (2.14.12)

With the Cleveland Indians‘ pitchers and catchers reporting to Goodyear, Arizona in less than a week, it’s once again time to take a look at what the Tribe’s Opening Day roster will look like. Those of you regularly following this series will know I’ve done this in OctoberNovemberDecember and January, but things have still changed in the last month.

The Indians now have a new first baseman, new pitchers being signed and other developments with the spring training competitions that are still changing how the roster will be constructed. So, one more time before the starting of spring training, let’s take a crack at what the Tribe’s Opening Day roster will look like. Read More…

From Bleacher Report, February 14, 2012

 
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Posted by on November 16, 2012 in O. February 2012

 

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Five Prospects with the Most to Prove in 2012 (2.7.12)

Being in the minor leagues is all about proving yourself, but for these five players, 2012 will be even more critical on their quest to proving that they belong in the Cleveland Indians’ long-term plans.

Two weeks ago, I listed the five most exciting prospects for 2012.Continuing on with this theme, now I’ll take a look at the five Tribe prospects with the most to prove in 2012. Whether they’re on here because of injuries, poor performance or failure to live up to expectations, all five of these players need a big 2012 season to reestablish themselves as marquee, top-shelf prospects. Read More…

From Indians Prospect Insider, February 7, 2012

 
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Posted by on November 16, 2012 in O. February 2012

 

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MLB Preview 2012: Comparing the Cleveland Indians to the New-Look Detroit Tigers (2.1.12)

While the Detroit Tigers‘ signing of Prince Fielder last week definitely struck a blow to the Cleveland Indians‘ chances of contending in 2012, all is not lost if you look at the tale of the tape.

Lost in all the Fielder-Detroit hype is how little of an effect one player has on a baseball team’s whole season. The best players are only worth around six or seven wins more than your average Joe Nobody doing time at Triple-A. Plus, considering that Fielder is replacing Victor Martinez in the Tigers lineup—a very good hitter in his own right—the return is even less.

The signing was definitely a short-sighted move that will help now and hurt later, but right now, who cares about 2018? The Indians made their own splash last year trading for Ubaldo Jimenez, effectively putting them in win-now mode, same as the Tigers. So, let’s look at how these two teams stack up going into 2012. Read More…

From Bleacher Report, February 1, 2012

 
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Posted by on November 16, 2012 in O. February 2012

 

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