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Category Archives: ZI. October 2013

Cleveland Sports Weekly: Not many options for Browns at quarterback (10.23.13)

The Cleveland Browns are only 3-4, but with a 0-4 record under current quarterback Brandon Weeden, it is easy to see the season going downhill.

So far in five games (four starts), Weeden has 1154 passing yards, five touchdowns, six interceptions and a 52.8 completion percentage. ESPN’s Total QBR rankings currently put Weeden 34th among NFL quarterbacks, ahead of only Chad Henne, Josh Freeman, and Blaine Gabbert.

Plus, if you are not a fan of just statistics, Weeden threw one of the worst interceptions you will see during Cleveland’s loss to the Lions last week.

Considering Weeden turned 30 years old last week and has looked pretty bad in his first 20 games with a 5-14 record as a starter, it certainly looks as if the Browns need to move on at the quarterback position.

If Brian Hoyer had not torn his ACL, none of this would be an issue. Hoyer had effectively taken the job and had the Browns looking up. Now that he is out for the year and Weeden has not shown any signs of improvement, a new direction at the quarterback position will come at some point.

That will likely happen in the 2014 draft — whether it be Teddy Bridgewater, Johnny Manziel, or someone else — but the question is whether help can come sooner than next May. Read More…

From Daily Kent Stater, October 23, 2013

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Posted by on November 4, 2013 in ZI. October 2013

 

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The IBI Awards: Best New Addition (10.20.13)

The 2013 season proved quite successful for Cleveland as the team completed a 24-win turnaround and made the playoffs with a 92-70 record.

As a part of recapping the year that was, IBI is once again giving out some year-end awards. Unlike last year, we will be focusing only on Cleveland-centric awards. Today we unveil IBI’s Best New Addition:

Rank Name Points
1 Yan Gomes 39
2 Terry Francona 30
3 Nick Swisher 28
4 Scott Kazmir 23
5 Ryan Raburn 15
6 Danny Salazar 11
7 Mickey Callaway 9
T-8 Michael Bourn 7
T-8 Jason Giambi 7
10 Bryan Shaw 5
11 Mike Aviles 3
T-12 Drew Stubbs 1
T-12 Marc Rzepczynski 1
T-12 Trevor Bauer 1

When I sent the ballots out, I did not specify if coaches were eligible for this category (because I had not really thought about it). If I had specified, I think Francona would have ran away with this award.

As it is, even unclear rules could not keep him from making his presence felt. Much like how Francona made his presence felt throughout the 2013 season.

There is no way to measure everything a manager does for a team and quantify it. Most managers are competent in one way or another (typically they are either a good manager of players behind the scenes and bad at in-game decisions, or vice versa). The ones that are good both at the people skills and at making decisions on the field are rare and special. Despite some shortcomings in decision-making that we all second-guessed this year, I believe Francona is great at both.

Things changed when Francona signed on last offseason (and again when he hired Callaway as his pitching coach). For that reason, he got my top vote.

Gomes, Callaway, Swisher, and Raburn rounded out my ballot.

Here’s what the rest of IBI thinks: Read More…

From Indians Baseball Insider, October 20, 2013

 
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Posted by on November 4, 2013 in ZI. October 2013

 

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The IBI Awards: Most Surprising Player (10.19.13)

The 2013 season proved quite successful for Cleveland as the team completed a 24-win turnaround and made the playoffs with a 92-70 record.

As a part of recapping the year that was, IBI is once again giving out some year-end awards. Unlike last year, we will be focusing only on Cleveland-centric awards. Today we unveil IBI’s Most Surprising Player:

Rank Name Points
1 Yan Gomes 49.5
2 Corey Kluber 29.5
T-3 Scott Kazmir 28
T-3 Ubaldo Jimenez 28
5 Ryan Raburn 20
6 Danny Salazar 14
7 Jason Giambi 7
8 Jose Ramirez 5
T-9 Trevor Bauer 1
T-9 Vinnie Pestano 1
T-9 Justin Masterson 1

I doubt that many people looked at Cleveland’s roster before the season and thought “this is a 92-win team.” In order to reach that mark and make the playoffs it took multiple players exceeding expectations.

Personally, I voted for Gomes in the top spot. Gomes just edged Kazmir (who finished second for me) because we really had no idea that Gomes was going to be this good. The throw-in on the Esmil Rogers trade took over the catching job (possibly for good), finished second on the team in fWAR (3.7), and posted a .294/.345/.481 line.

I easily could have voted for Kazmir, Kluber, Jimenez, or Raburn (the rest of my top-five) as every one of them is a worthy selection. Really, there are no wrong choices.

Here’s what the rest of IBI thinks: Read More…

From Indians Baseball Insider, October 19, 2013

 
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Posted by on November 4, 2013 in ZI. October 2013

 

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(10.18.13) The IBI Awards: Most Valuable Reliever

The 2013 season proved quite successful for Cleveland as the team completed a 24-win turnaround and made the playoffs with a 92-70 record.

As a part of recapping the year that was, IBI is once again giving out some year-end awards. Unlike last year, we will be focusing only on Cleveland-centric awards. Today we unveil IBI’s Most Valuable Reliever:

Rank Name Points
1 Cody Allen 55.5
2 Joe Smith 47
3 Bryan Shaw 35.5
4 Marc Rzepczynski 20
5 Matt Albers 11
6 Carlos Carrasco 4
T-7 Chris Perez 3
T-7 Rich Hill 3
9 Justin Masterson 1

Like the majority, I went with Allen for my first-place vote. It was great seeing a pitcher like Allen race up through the minors and make an immediate impact in his rookie season. With a 11.26 SO/9, 3.33 BB/9, 2.43 ERA, and 2.99 FIP, Allen should figure into the 2014 bullpen in a prominent way — maybe even as the closer.

I also think that Smith impressed in 2013. The strikeout rate is pedestrian (7.71 SO/9), but that is not Smith’s appeal. The right-hander’s 2.29 ERA is not supported by his 3.60 FIP, but Smith has always shown an ability to exceed his peripherals (2.97 career ERA, 3.71 career FIP in 378.2 innings). That 2.29 ERA is probably a little fluky, but not by as much as it looks like on the surface, making Allen and Smith a close #1 and #2 for me.

Shaw, Albers, and Rzepczynski rounded out my ballot.

Here’s what the rest of IBI thinks: Read More…

From Indians Baseball Insider, October 18, 2013

 
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Posted by on November 4, 2013 in ZI. October 2013

 

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(10.17.13) The IBI Awards: Least Valuable Pitcher

The 2013 season proved quite successful for Cleveland as the team completed a 24-win turnaround and made the playoffs with a 92-70 record.

As a part of recapping the year that was, IBI is once again giving out some year-end awards. Unlike last year, we will be focusing only on Cleveland-centric awards. Today we unveil IBI’s Least Valuable Pitcher:

Rank

Name

Points

1

Brett Myers

41

2

Chris Perez

36

T-3

Vinnie Pestano

27

T-3

Rich Hill

27

5

Trevor Bauer

16

6

Nick Hagadone

14

7

Carlos Carrasco

8

T-8

Scott Barnes

4

T-8

Daisuke Matsuzaka

4

10

David Huff

3

For a while it looked like Perez was going to run away with this. As more votes rolled in, however, Myers ended up with the not-so-envious crown.

Myers was my pick as I ended up ranking him the least valuable player in my end of the season ranks. That is what a 8.02 ERA, 8.72 FIP, and 10 home runs in 21.1 innings will get you.

I also added Scott Barnes to my votes as his struggles with the big league club were part of the left-handed relief problems that plagued the team until Marc Rzepczynski was acquired. Bauer, Pestano, and Hagadone rounded out my votes, as all three were supposed to play significant roles this year but performed poorly in the majors and were demoted to Triple-A.

Here’s what the rest of IBI thinks: Read More…

From Indians Baseball Insider, October 17, 2013

 
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Posted by on November 4, 2013 in ZI. October 2013

 

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(10.16.13) Cleveland Sports Weekly: Depth could buoy Cavaliers in 2013-14

Despite lacking the kind of star power that typically characterizes good teams in the NBA, the Cleveland Cavaliers’ excellent depth should allow them to make some noise in the upcoming 2013-14 season.

Saying things have not been good for the Cavaliers since LeBron James left is an understatement. In the past three years, the Cavaliers went 64-166, and losing LeBron outlined how poor the team around him was as those left behind formed one of the worst teams in the league.

Things are different now, though. Looking back on the LeBron-era, teams shows how the Cavaliers never really had a great supporting cast around their star. What general manager Chris Grant has done for star point guard Kyrie Irving is the opposite.

Using ESPN’s rankings of the top-500 NBA players, it is clear the Cavaliers have built up some tremendous depth in the middle of their rotation. Read More…

From Daily Kent Stater, October 16, 2013

 
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Posted by on November 4, 2013 in ZI. October 2013

 

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(10.16.13) The IBI Awards: Least Valuable Hitter

The 2013 season proved quite successful for Cleveland as the team completed a 24-win turnaround and made the playoffs with a 92-70 record.

As a part of recapping the year that was, IBI is once again giving out some year-end awards. Unlike last year, we will be focusing only on Cleveland-centric awards. Today we unveil IBI’s Least Valuable Hitter:

Rank Name Points
1 Asdrubal Cabrera 48
2 Lonnie Chisenhall 31
3 Drew Stubbs 29
4 Mark Reynolds 25
5 Michael Bourn 18
6 Mike Aviles 15
7 Jason Giambi 7
8 Jason Kubel 4
9 Nick Swisher 3

Here is where he start to have some fun with the definition of “valuable.” I decided to take it in a straightforward way as in who were the five worst players who logged significant time for the team. To do that I used my end of the season rankings from earlier in the month.

Which is why I did not vote for Cabrera.

Now I was the only one, but I stand by my vote. I put Reynolds first as Cleveland actually cut him midseason. I also voted for Giambi (I know there we not high expectations for him, but he still posted a .183/.282/.371 line in 216 plate appearances), Aviles, Stubbs, and Chisenhall in that order. The rationale is in the piece, but in the end, Cabrera did well down the stretch (110 wRC+ in September and October) and ended the year with a surprisingly decent line (.242/.299/.402 line, 95 wRC+).

Here’s what the rest of IBI thinks: Read More…

From Indians Baseball Insider, October 16, 2013

 
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Posted by on November 4, 2013 in ZI. October 2013

 

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