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Category Archives: ZJ. November 2013

Breaking down the 2013 Akron pitchers with Edwin Rodriguez (11.25.13)

The Akron Aeros did not defend their Eastern League championship in 2013, ultimately finishing the season 68-73, but the Aeros served a greater purpose over the course of the season. The development and improvement of the next wave of Cleveland players took precedence in 2013 as fans who came out to see the Akron Aeros saw the names who will soon play at Progressive Field.

Despite the disappointment of a losing season, Aeros manager Edwin Rodriguez and his staff did a great job working with the young players that populated the Akron roster this year. Before the final home game of the season I spoke with him at length, breaking down positives and the negatives of the key members of the 2013 Aeros.

In part one we broke down the hitters. In part two today, we will take a look at the pitchers. Read More…

From Indians Baseball Insider, November 25, 2013

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Posted by on November 27, 2013 in ZJ. November 2013

 

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Cleveland Sports Weekly: Expensive free agents might not fit for Cleveland (11.20.13)

Marlon Byrd, a 36-year-old outfielder who was suspended from Major League Baseball in 2012 for performance-enhancing drug use, signed a two-year, $16 million contract with the Philadelphia Phillies.

Tim Hudson, a 38-year-old starting pitcher who suffered a particularly nasty broken ankle in July, signed a two-year, $23 million contract with the San Francisco Giants.

The prices of free agents this offseason are soaring, which could prevent big-name additions from coming to Cleveland this winter.

General Manager Chris Antonetti made headlines last offseason by signing Nick Swisher, Michael Bourn, Mark Reynolds and Brett Myers to a combined $117 million in guaranteed money. Those signings had their ups and downs — Reynolds and Myers were both cut midseason — but the newfound spending keyed a 24-win turnaround that propelled Cleveland into the playoffs.

Reynolds and Myers both signed one-year contracts, meaning they are not counting against the 2014 payroll. Swisher and Bourn, however, have salaries that rise for the upcoming season. Bourn’s contract is jumping from $7 million to $13.5 million this year, and Swisher’s is going from $11 million to $15 million. That $10.5 million difference, along with significant raises in arbitration for players like Justin Masterson, will take up most of Cleveland’s payroll. Read More…

From Daily Kent Stater, November 20, 2013

 
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Posted by on November 20, 2013 in ZJ. November 2013

 

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Cleveland Sports Update: waving goodbye to Ubaldo (11.13.13)

With the news that Ubaldo Jimenez declined the Cleveland Indians’ $14.1 million qualifying offer for the 2014 season, it appears that the right-hander will not be back with the team next season.

But hold on. This this might not be all that bad for Cleveland.

Jimenez’s season numbers — 3.30 earned run average and 9.56 strikeouts per nine innings — made him look like the pitcher Cleveland acquired back in 2011. But those numbers do not do justice to what Jimenez did in the second half of the season.

In the second half, Jimenez posted a 1.82 ERA with 10.71 strikeouts per nine innings in 84.0 innings as he led Cleveland down the stretch to a playoff berth. Working with pitching coach Mickey Callaway on speeding up his delivery and pitching more in the strike zone seemed to help Jimenez regain his past dominance, and Cleveland reaped the benefits in 2013.

Now, Jimenez is a free agent, one that would look great atop the Cleveland rotation with No. 1 starter Justin Masterson and rising ace Danny Salazar. The three of them would be one of the better trios in all of baseball, but Cleveland’s payroll constraints probably will not allow that to happen. Read More…

From Daily Kent Stater, November 13, 2013

 
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Posted by on November 20, 2013 in ZJ. November 2013

 

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Cleveland Sports Weekly: Are the Browns a playoff team? (11.6.13)

Are the Cleveland Browns a playoff team?

More than likely, they are not. Over halfway through the season, the Browns are below .500 with a 4-5 record and an offense that ranks 26th in the NFL with only 19.1 points a game.

But why be pessimistic? Right now, the Browns sit one game back of the New York Jets for the final playoff spot in the AFC. Becuase the Browns do not have their bye week until this Sunday, Cleveland is technically in 10th place in the AFC, but that is not the bigger point.

The Browns are only one game out of the playoffs with the season half over. Who saw that coming after how this season started?

Following an 0-2 start and the trade of running back Trent Richardson to the Indianapolis Colts, the Browns appeared ready to throw away the 2013 season in order to put themselves in the best position to draft a potential franchise quarterback.

Since then, the Browns have gone 4-3 to lift themselves back into the fringes of contention. This happened despite Brian Hoyer’s season-ending ACL tear and Brandon Weeden’s questionable play. Weeden is 0-4 under center this year, but current starting quarterback Jason Campbell has offered some hope for the rest of 2013. Read More…

From Daily Kent Stater, November 6, 2013

 
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Posted by on November 20, 2013 in ZJ. November 2013

 

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