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Cleveland Indians State Of The Union For 2017: The Tribe Better Not Trade Andrew Miller!

The Cleveland has ridden great drafting, trades and salaried contracts to put themselves into contention for the AL Pennant over the next couple of years. The last thing they need to do is try and deal the one Bullpen who helped pushed them over the top in the Junior Circuit in 2016. At worst start the season with Andrew Miller - and if things go horribly, you can always trade him midway through the year with other guys as well.

The Cleveland has ridden great drafting, trades and salaried contracts to put themselves into contention for the AL Pennant over the next couple of years. The last thing they need to do is try to deal the one Bullpen member who helped pushed them over the top in the Junior Circuit in 2016. At worst, start the season with Andrew Miller – and if things go horribly, you can always trade him midway through the year with ome other guys as well.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer/Part Owner) 

The 2016 season showed us just how valuable that a Relief Pitcher like Andrew Miller can be.  Loaded with an arsenal of great Bullpen guys, Terry Francona flipped the coaching book on its keester by bringing back the old way that Relievers used to be implemented late in the games.  I was a kid who would watch Goose Gossage mow down hitters as a hired gun late in contests.

We all saw it before our very own eyes.  Now comes the most ridiculous notion ever of considering trading him?  Really Cleveland??  You better not even fathom this until at least midway through the 2017 campaign.

I understand it is tough for a mid market club doling out $9M a year for a guy who might log 70 Innings – and not save the games he is in, but they just need to look at how good they fared in 2016.

The Tribe was without its best player all year in Michael Brantley, and also without Danny Salazar/Carlos Carrasco for the majority of the playoffs too.  There is no way this club should have gone this far, and pushed the Cubs to the brink of elimination in the Fall Classic, before the reigning champs came back to ruin the party in Cleveland.

If I were in Chris Antonetti’s shoes I don’t start any dialogue about 2017’s roster without Andrew Miller on the opening day squad.

$9 Million is not earth shattering cash when you consider Andrew Cashner - and his bloated ERA of 5.25 just backed up his dome into Texas and settled for a cool $10 MIL for the 2017 season. If Cleveland can't afford the guy they might as well pack up town in the middle of the night and head elsewhere (something that has happened in Cleveland before.)

$9 Million is not earth shattering cash when you consider Andrew Cashner – and his bloated ERA of 5.25 just backed up his dome into Texas and settled for a cool $10 MIL for the 2017 season. If Cleveland can’t afford the guy they might as well pack up town in the middle of the night and head elsewhere (something that has happened in Cleveland before.)  The 6 FT 7 – 31 Year old-fashioned a 10 – 1 record this year. with an incredible 123 Ks and just 9 BB in his 74.1 IP worth of work.  Miller then fanned 30 batters, walked just five, while sporting a 1.40 ERA in 20.1 IP in the postseason, winning the ALCS MVP honors and nearly helped lead his team to Cleveland’s first WS win since 1948.  If the goal is to win in the playoffs you can’t trade this guy right now.  He is money there, and you have a chance to go back to October baseball again in 2017.

This 2016 AL Pennant squad should be conceivably better with a healthy Michael Brantley coming back, equaled with more seasoning from Tyler Naquin, and topped off with the emergence of Francisco Lindor/Jason Kipnis as an awesome double play combination.

it may be hard to fill the 34 HRs and 101 RBI that Mike Napoli brought forth, but one could still find a few cheap replacements to pull in some nice numbers. They could employ another DH full time like Pedro Alvarez on the cheap, and work in some against LHP – by bringing back Rajai Davis who crushes southpaws.  Davis could act as a 4th OF in the midst of Naquin, Brantley and Lonnie Chisenhall.

The Indians still also have Brandou Guyer – who can handle a stick against LHP as well  – and act as a DH/OF.

Cleveland is currently slated to pay around $105 MIL to all of its current guys.  Maybe there is only a few million in the coffers to play in Free Agency this offseason, yet this teams strength is its Bullpen – so don’t trade from that position of strength.

Terry Francona should be given all ample bodies to begin the campaign.  If it all goes awry during the season you can always trade some players midway through the year if it looks like it will not be their year.

Furthermore, I would ride the beginning of the year just like they ended the playoffs.  I would not change anything at all out of the gate.  I would start the year off by playing with a huge sense of urgency.

The way the rest of the AL  Central is looking, with the Tigers and white Sox talking a bot cutting payroll and maybe going for a rebuild, combined with KC potentially selling on their pending Free Agents in the next couple of years like Eric Hosmer, Mike Moustakas, Lorenzo Cain and Wade Davis, then you could see how a quick Cleveland start could discourage the rest of the pack.

The Dodgers just set a record for innings logged into the playoffs and it served them well.  The good news is the Indians can rely on their starters to provide some much needed rest for their late inning arms, by logging some of their own innings.

Go into frontrunner mode and let Francona figure out a way to get the likes of Miller, Allen and Shaw enough rest – so they can patchwork it through the end of the season.

Winning a bunch of games early, added with an awesome 2016 season – should see the Indians organization see a rise in attendance through the wickets to start the year.  An early lead would only help the situation out.  Cleveland should go all out to win in 2017.  Go the way of the 2014 Royals turning a World Series loss into a repeat trip the next year.

Cleveland will need Miller’s skill set when it comes time for the playoffs too.  This guy just seems to get better the more work he gets.  Keep riding the horse.

The franchise is so lucky that they have Lindor in Pre-Arbitration status – and that despite missing almost all of the 2016 season – that Michael Brantley is criminally underpaid for his services on the board. 

Kipnis, Kluber and Carrasco were also extended contracts at the exact perfect time. Having all these guys not cost a boatload is the reason you could have afforded Miller in the 1st place

Bryan Shaw and Carlos Santana are the only guys that are free after the 2017 year anyways.  Those guys while vital to the team this year, can be replaced – whereas a guy like Miller is a game changer in his role.  If they really need to keep the finances in line, they would be better served to dangle these players as trade bait first.

Terry Francona has won 2 Manager of the Year Awards in his 4 seasons in Cleveland. He is also underrated in his Bullpen management. The organization should let him have all of the weapons in the Relief Core. I think he should also run with the style he used in the playoffs to start the year. Worry about resting the guys later in the year if they come flying out of the gates early. This way of thinking could have us return to what Relievers used to be implored for in game use.

Terry Francona has won 2 Manager of the Year Awards in his 4 seasons in Cleveland. He is also underrated in his Bullpen management. The organization should let him have all of the weapons in the Relief Core. I think he should also run with the style he used in the playoffs to start the year. Worry about resting the guys later in the year if they come flying out of the gates early. This way of thinking could have us return to what Relievers used to be implored for in game use.

*** The views and opinions expressed in this report are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of mlbreports.com and their partners***

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A big thanks goes out to our ‘Chief Writer/Part Owner’ Hunter Stokes for preparing today’s featured post.

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Sully Baseball Daily Podcast – October 25, 2016

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Jamie Squire – Getty

Taking a very late night drive, I stay awake by talking about the World Series and the Hall of Fame legacies of some of the players and specifically the managers.

It is stay awake while driving episode of The Sully Baseball Daily Podcast

For the up to date standings of Who Owns October, click MLB Reports.

What is “Who Owns October”? Click HERE for an explanation.

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2016 MLB Playoff and Yearly Award Predictions

With only about a month left in the season, it’s time to take a look at playoff and yearly award predictions. These are obviously subject to change, but below are my predictions. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to reach out to me on Twitter @dynasty_digest.

Playoff Prediction

AL East: Boston Red Sox

AL Central: Cleveland Indians

AL West: Texas Rangers

Wild Card: Toronto Blue Jays and Detroit Tigers

 

 

SEE THE REST OF THE ARTICLE

Sully Baseball Daily Podcast – April 24, 2016

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USA Today Sports

It is Sunday and time for The Sunday Request

 

Man. Tough crowd. Just a few starts in and Corey Kluber is called a fluke? Yes, I think Cleveland has the pitching to turn the season around.

They are a Cleveland team! What could possible go wrong?

It is a river on fire episode of The Sully Baseball Daily Podcast

Tanner Roark, Odubel Herrera, Troy Tulowitzki, Phil Hughes, Ryan Braun, Ian Desmond and YES, Corey Kluber all added to their totals for Who Owns Baseball yesterday.

See the updated listing of WOB on MLB Reports

Catch the Sully Baseball Line of the Day by clicking HERE

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Odds To Be The 1st MLB Manager Fired In 2016: Who Is On The Hotseat?

a hot seat

Hunter Stokes (MLB Reports Part Owner – Chief Writer) 

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Every year there are certain managers that have a ton of pressure to win.  This is always a tough process to think of who will be nixed first.

On one hand, many clubs that should be in contention for the playoffs will see an axe come to their tenure, however sometimes clubs are so bad record wise (even though they were projected to be) that the franchise will just slay the field general in the name of mercy.

As far as under the gun goes. guys like Brad Ausmus, John Farrell and John Gibbons.  are tops on the list. 

Ausmus doesn’t have a track record of any postseason series wins like the latter two here, so he is going to be the #1 favorite out of this group of skippers that could go fast with playoff aspirations if their team struggles out of the starting block.

Gibbons did a great job with Toronto in 2015, but a slow start would really put his name on the block. Say if they are 6 or 7 games behind the playoff bar near Memorial Day.

Farrell has put up back to back 5th place finishes in the AL East after winning the World Series Title in his 1st year of being the skipper in 2013.

Then there is a perennial bad losing club that have long tenured coaches like Walt Weiss and Robin Ventura. I am not sure they should not have been shown the door following last years campaigns. 

Weiss has losing years for every year under his belt, and Ventura rode out 2013 with his late season collapse, but his club has underachieved in every other year.

Still the two most managers on the hot seat are Fredi Gonzalez of the Braves on top of the favorite list at +331, followed by Bryan Price at +441. But I hate putting money on either of these gentlemen with their clubs both being on track to challenge for the worst record in the Majors this year.

Heck, Gonzalez’s predecessor Bobby Cox was the well into his 3rd decade with the “Tomahawk” Choppers when he finally stepped down to a front office job. Gonzalez at least had the Braves in the playoffs in 2012. 

Price can’t really be expected to do anything with this anemic Pitching Staff, and all veterans except for Votto may be available for trade at any point.

Read the rest of this entry

Sully Baseball Daily Podcast Archives Nov 1, 2013 – Nov 30, 2013 (Episodes 374 – 403)

sunkenDFiamond

Paul Francis Sullivan (please call him Sully) does a podcast 365 days a year – unless it is a leap year – then he will do another 1. He has done a show everyday since Oct.24/2012. This to date represents a streak of 1232 days consecutively!

Past the CLICK TO READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY are episodes 374 – 403 of the Sully Baseball Daily Podcast.

We will also archive all of his podcasts to date (in coming weeks) so they are easily accessible for all his fans. Check out all his Archived info here.

Our website followers have grown larger each year for his podcast.

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To subscribe on iTunes, click HERE.

To subscribe on SoundCloud, click HERE. Read the rest of this entry

Sully Baseball Daily Podcast Archives Jan.1, 2013 – Jan.31, 2013 (Lost Eps 70 – 100)

sunkenDFiamond

Paul Francis Sullivan (please call him Sully) does a podcast 365 days a year – unless it is a leap year – then he will do another 1. He has done a show everyday since Oct.24/2012. This to date represents a streak of 1216 days consecutively!

Past the CLICK TO READ THE REST OF THIS ENTRY are episodes 70 – 100 of the Sully Baseball Daily Podcast.

Sully starting posting his daily podcasts at the mlbreports.com on Feb.6, 2013. So we will add the dates between Oct.24, 2012 and Feb.6, 2013 in case you missed any of his awesome 1st 105 episodes.

But we will also archive all of his podcasts to date (in coming weeks) so they are easily accessible for all his fans.

Our website followers have grown larger each year for his podcast.

Follow Sully Baseball On Twitter

To subscribe on iTunes, click HERE.

To subscribe on SoundCloud, click HERE. Read the rest of this entry

Cleveland Indians State Of The Union For 2016

The Indians had a disappointing 2015 with an 81 - 80 record, however some trades midway through the year have cleared the deck to acquire some upgrades at the OF and 1B positions. They should take advantage of this, and a lot of depth at the Starting Pitching to address their needs. If they play their cards right, they could some top players near the Trade Deadline next year and contend for a playoff spot in the American League.

The Indians had a disappointing 2015 with an 81 – 80 record, however some trades midway through the year have cleared the deck to acquire some upgrades at the OF and 1B positions. They should take advantage of this, and a lot of depth at the Starting Pitching to address their needs. If they play their cards right, they could some top players near the Trade Deadline next year and contend for a playoff spot in the American League.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer) 

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The Indians have had three straight losing seasons.  The problem is that they have gone from 92, to 85 to 81 wins over the last 3 years.  That is not the kind of trajectory you want to be on.

With the strong onus on the clubs drafting and decent trades over the last few years, it has been the Free Agency signings they haven’t fared so well on.

Nick Swisher and Michael Bourn killed their budget over the last few years, but at least they got from under those two players by dealing them both with some cash to Atlanta for 3B Chris Johnson.  The result is some better flexibility with cash going forward.

It is funny though, as they could use a CF and a 1B/DH type as their top two needs on the acquisitions market this winter.  They could use a guy with some pop from the right side as a Center Fielder.  The Tribe should definitely target Austin Jackson as a priority. Read the rest of this entry

Sully Baseball Daily Podcast – August 30, 2015

It is time for the SUNDAY REQUEST

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A thought provoking request, if for no other reason than it took me forever to figure out how to even make this evaluation!

It is a “Who is to blame here?” episode of The Sully Baseball Daily Podcast.

Edwin Encarnacion, Luis Severino, Joey Votto, Lance Lynn, Brian Dozier, Garrett Richards, Jacob deGrom and Scooter Gennett all added to their totals for Who Owns Baseball
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2015 Regular Season Win Over/Unders In The MLB + Best Bets

What are your best Over/Under Bets for the upcoming 2015 MLB Season?  We have selected our top 10.

What are your best Over/Under Bets for the upcoming 2015 MLB Season? We have selected our top 10.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer) 

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Over/Unders for the year, based on odds given by http://www.bovada.com sports book

Arizona – 71.5 (over is -115) (under is -115)

I gotta go with the under.  San Diego, LA and SF are all much better, and even Colorado is tough on the road. Like them at just around 70 wins.  Is a rebuilding year, and they might fetch a heavy ransom if Mark Trumbo can have a bounce back 1st half.  2016 maybe the year the can contend again.

Atlanta – 73.5 (over is -115) (under is -115)

I like the over on this one big time.  This club lost a ton of offense, yet I like their run prevention more than ever.  Shelby Miller was a great acquisition, and they still have a nasty Bullpen.  I am not as bullish on the rest of the NL East as a lot of clubs are too.  Wouldn’t call this a best bet, however, like them to win 75 – 77 games. Read the rest of this entry

Total AL Plus/Minus Of BB/SO On Offense + Pitching

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By Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner):

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Baseball is a game full of stats and numbers.  Sabermetrics aside, one thing that I fully believe takes to win baseball games is superior pitching, and still having some plate discipline.

Of course it you can compensate for a lack of patience at the plate, with some big Home Runs, than you still may make out just fine.

While doing some research on the Oakland A’s, I looked at AL offensive and defensive Walk to Strikeout totals on both sides of the field.

I believe this is a relevant look at how good a team is faring.

Right away, the Rays and Orioles stick out in this blog, because the Rays were number 1 for this category, and the O’s are 14th, yet have the 3rd best record in the AL, and lead the AL East by 5 games currently.

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How All Of The Indians Hitters Were Acquired: 2014 Roster Tree Shows A Good Job Done By The Organization

Francona took over a team that ended up 68-94 after being competitive for the first couple of months of the 2012 season.  The team also added some key FA talent., but Francona  cultivated the attitude of this young team all the way to a playoff birth and a AL Manager Of The Year Award.  His offense was a big reason why the team was able to do this, and are competitive again in 2014 with virtually the same roster.

Terry Francona took over a team that ended up 68-94 after being competitive for the first couple of months of the 2012 season. The team aadded some key offensive FA talent in 2013., but Francona also cultivated the attitude of this young team all the way to a playoff berth and an AL Manager Of The Year Award. His club’s offense was a big reason why the team was able to do this, and the team is competitive again in 2014 with virtually the same roster – and nice power threats.

How All Of The Indians Hitters Were Acquired:

By Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner):

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When we look at how this offense was put together, we saw a lot of decent draft picks, a few nice trades sprinkled in, and a few Free Agents signed along the way.

With Francisco Lindor coming along the way, this is probably the swan song for SS Asdrubal Cabrera, however one can’t forget this franchise fleeced the Mariners for the asset that was Eduardo Perez. to obtain his services.

Cabrera has had a nice stay in Cleveland, with 2 ALL – Star Selections, one Silver Slugger – and has provided nice defense for the last 8 years.

It wasn’t the 1st time Cleveland won out in a trade with Seattle.  Does Anybody remember Shin-Soo Choo for Ben Broussard?

As you will see in a future Pitchers Roster Tree for the “Tribe”, Cleveland has Josh Outman, Trevor Bauer and Bryan Shaw for the original Perez deal now. Read the rest of this entry

Sully Baseball Daily Podcast – July 11, 2014

USA Today Sports

USA Today Sports

LeBron is coming back to Cleveland. SOMEONE is going to eventually win a title there.

I for one hope it is the Indians who win first.

It is a Cleveland centric episode of The Sully Baseball Daily Podcast.

Clayton Kershaw, Scott Kazmir, Mike Trout, Matt Garza, Ryan Ludwick, Jose Quintana, Adrian Beltre and the immortal Arismendy Alcantara   all added to their totals for Who Owns Baseball?

This my plea to Cleveland fans from 2011.

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Cleveland Indians State Of The Union For 2014

The Indians hosted the Wild Card Play in Game for the right to play Boston in the ALDS, but were ultimately ousted by the Tampa Bay Rays.  Now minus several pieces from last years team, they turn to their franchise depth in hopes of another playoff berth in 2014.  The club ended the year on a 10 game winning streak and extended it by 1 in the Season Opener at Oakland.  The Indians are pretty much hanging with 'status quo' among their franchise this winter.  They have also lost Scott Kazmir, and potentially Ubaldo Jimenez to Free Agency as well,  Of course Joe Smith signed with the Angels and they released Chris Perez, so other than Terry Francona winning the Manager of The Year in the AL, it hasn't been a banner offseason in Cleveland thus far.

The Indians hosted the Wild Card Play in Game for the right to play Boston in the ALDS in 2013, but were ultimately ousted by the Tampa Bay Rays. Now minus several pieces from last years team, they turn to their franchise depth in hopes of another playoff berth in 2014. The club ended the year on a 10 game winning streak – and extended it by 1 in the Season Opener at Oakland. The Indians are pretty much going with ‘status quo’ into this year. They lost key Starters Scott Kazmir and Ubaldo Jimenez to Free Agency.  Of course they saw Joe Smith sign with the Angels and they released Chris Perez, so other than Terry Francona winning the Manager of The Year in the AL, it wasn’t a banner offseason.

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

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The Indians had one hell of a rollercoaster ride in the 2013 year.  It ended with the club making their 1st playoff game since the 2007 ALCS.

To make it to the #1 Wild Card Slot, Cleveland reeled of 10 straight victories, and hosted the one game battle against the Rays.

Albeit the team could not beat the Rays, and were left to settle with one home date in the postseason.

With 92 Wins, with no lineup player having an exceptional year except for maybe Jason Kipnis, there was no doubt Terry Francona peeled off one of the great managerial jobs ever.

Almost instantly after the year, the club lost Ubaldo Jimenez, Scott Kazmir, Chris Perez, Joe Smith and Drew Stubbs (trade). Read the rest of this entry

Sully Baseball Daily Podcast – February 21, 2014

Jason Miller/Getty Images North America

Jason Miller/Getty Images North America

What current managers belong in the Hall of Fame?

Which current managers are a World Series title away from Cooperstown?

And why doesn’t Ron Roenicke get any respect? Read the rest of this entry

AL Central Hot Stove Round Up – Updated For The Joe Nathan Signing With The Tigers

Doug Fister was just traded away last night for Steve Lombardozzi, Ian Krol and a Minor League Pitcher.  I definitely am seeing the vibe that this franchise is about to make another huge move towards a player in Free Agency.

Doug Fister was just traded away last night for Steve Lombardozzi, Ian Krol and a Minor League Pitcher. I definitely am seeing the vibe that this franchise is about to make another huge move towards a player in Free Agency.  If this wasn’t the case, then what the hell are the Tigers doing trading away a pitcher like this?

Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer): 

Follow The MLB Reports On Twiter

The Detroit Tigers threw down the first gauntlet in transactions of the Division.  But have they made their team any stronger?  As of right now they are still weaker to start the 2014 year than they ended the 2013 campaign.

Things have been quiet out of Motown on offensive players, however they have been circling the world of Brian Wilson for the Relief core, before they finally lost interest.

Joe Nathan was signed to a 2 Year Deal today by the Tigers.  It was a swift move to sign the guy, although financial terms have not been entirely disclosed yet.

By singing Joe Nathan to amp up the status of the Bullpen, the teams looks decisively better already.   

They should not stop there for relievers. 

I would still try to bring in a Grant Balfour or Jesse Crain as late inning assassins – before having any of the old crew of Joaquin Benoit or Jose Veras be the guys to depend on.  Do not resign them Dombrowski!

Look for an upcoming article I am writing about the Detroit Tigers, that will ask the question, who would you rather have long – term, Miguel Cabrera or Max Scherzer?

Of course a lot of this is dependent on how much Mike Ilitch wants to spend on his club.

Brian Wilson 2013 Highlights – Mature Lyrics So Parental Guidance Is Advised

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Sully Baseball Daily Podcast – November 13, 2013

Photo: Joshua Gunter - Cleveland Plain Dealer

Photo: Joshua Gunter – Cleveland Plain Dealer

The Manager of the Year Award went to Terry Francona and NOT John Farrell.

I did not agree with the results but as a Red Sox fan, I’m not going to get worked up about it. Francona winning was similar to Morgan Freeman winning the Oscar for Million Dollar Baby and NOT The Shawshank Redemption. The analogy makes sense. Trust me.

That and also Ervin Santana’s contract demands on today’s episode of The Sully Baseball Daily Podcast.

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Sully Baseball Daily Podcast – November 13, 2013

Photo: Matt Slocum - AP

Photo: Matt Slocum – AP

The Indians 1st Year Under Francona Should End Up A Success – Even If It Doesn’t Mean Playoffs

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Thursday August 15, 2013 

The Cleveland Indians are having a decent second half, but will it be enough to make the playoffs? It shouldn't really matter to Indians fans because they have a great future ahead of them. They have a great manager in Terry Francona and great young players in Jason Kipnis, Michael Bourn, Asdrubal Cabrera and many more.

The Cleveland Indians are having a decent second half, but will it be enough to make the playoffs? It shouldn’t really matter to Indians fans because they have a great future ahead of them. They have a great manager in Terry Francona and great young players in Jason Kipnis, Michael Bourn, Asdrubal Cabrera and many more.  The truth is that they just are not in the same competitive stratosphere as the Detroit Tigers at the present time.  They have a better chance to reel in a Wild Card Position.  As of today, they are 3.5 Games Behind Wild Card Leader #1 holder (Tampa Bay) – and are 3 Games Behind the Oakland Athletics for the 2nd spot.

Ryan Ritchey (Baseball Writer):

The Cleveland Indians have had a tremendous season under first year manager Terry Francona. It isn’t very often for a team like Cleveland to get a manager of his caliber.

Francona broke the curse in Boston, can he break the streak of Championshipless in Cleveland – since the days of Bob Feller via 1948?

I wrote an article right before the All-Star Break stating that the Indians would make a run in the second half and make the playoffs.

Well the best player on the planet Miguel Cabrera has spoiled that idea with all the Home Runs he has been hitting here lately. The Indians can’t make up any ground on the Tigers and they are running out of time.

It might not be this season but give Francona some time, he will make Cleveland a contender in no time. 

Kipnis – Inside The Park HR:

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MLB 30 Team Power Rankings: Week 19

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Sunday Aug.04/2013

The Braves have charged out of the ALL - Star Break at a pace like they did to start the year. an 11.5 Games Lead, most of their offense is starting to click have helped the team hold down the fort now that the pitching has had vast injuries

The Braves have charged out of the ALL – Star Break at a pace like they did to start the year. They have an 11.5 Games Lead in the NL East over Washington, and most of their offense is starting to click –  which have helped contributed to the team hold down the fort now that the pitching has had vast injuries.

By Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner):

It is time for the MLB Power Rankings.  These are based on my thoughts on whether who has the best chance to win the World Series.

A lot of these positions are based on who has the toughest Strength of Schedule left, who their competition is for the Division, and possibly even the League they are in.

How unfortunate it is for the Indians and the Royals to have the Tigers winning 9 of their last ten – to fend off their those absurdly hot AL Central counterparts?

The good news for the KC and CLE teams is that the AL East are beating up on each other in the last month, while Texas will see a Nelson Cruz suspension dampen their odds of making the Post Season.

Check out the Show we did on AL and NL Rankings Here on the 2 And A Hook Podcast

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MLB 30 Team Power Rankings: Week 17

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Sunday July.21/2013

The Cardinals are the big benefactor of an early July swoon by the Pirates.  Will this team make some moves at the deadline - to aid the young Starting Rotation Innings?  Will Chris Carpenter be able to make an impact for the club at some point this campaign?  They sit perched back up upon the MLBR Power Rankings for now.

The Cardinals are the big benefactor of an early July swoon by the Pirates. Will this team make some moves at the deadline – to aid the young Starting Rotation Innings? Will Chris Carpenter be able to make an impact for the club at some point this campaign? They sit perched back up upon the MLBR Power Rankings for now.  The Cards have made 7 out of the last 12 NLCS showdowns – holding a 3 – 4 record in those years – and a 2 – 1 mark in the World Series.

By Chuck Booth (Lead Baseball Analyst/Website Owner):

The Tampa Bay Rays are making a huge statement.  Even as I write this post, they have a commanding 4 – 1 lead on the Toronto Blue Jays, which would make the 58 – 41, and no worse than 1.5 Games Behind the Boston Red Sox heading into play tomorrow.

The Rays will head to Fenway Park right after this for a four game series – before concluding a 10 game Road Swing at Yankee Stadium.  They could end up in 1st place in the AL East by next week.

With their pitching strength – and new underrated offense, would anyone pick against them for the rest of the season?  I have slotted them 7 positions higher than the previous week.

Chris Carpenter 5 months ago, He is now rehabbing in the Minor Leagues with a chance to come back in 2013 – Amazing!

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Can Cleveland Keep Pace in the Second Half?

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Sunday July 7th, 2013 

The Cleveland Indians are in second place in the American League Central 3.5 games back of the Detroit Tigers. Kipnis has come out of his shell and is leading the team in Hits, RBI, Average, and On Base Percentage. Kipnis will be an All-Star on July 16th at Citi Field. The pitching is below average ranked throughout the league but for them to keep pace with the Tigers in the second half they will have to pick it up and try to carry the team. Guys like Jimenez, Swisher, Bourn and Kazmir will have to have a great second half for the Indians to make the playoffs. As it sits right now the only way they will make the playoffs is by winning the American League Central and beating the Detroit Tigers.

The Cleveland Indians are in second place in the American League Central 3.5 games back of the Detroit Tigers. Jason Kipnis has come out of his shell and is leading the team in Hits, RBI, Average, and On Base Percentage. Kipnis will be an All-Star on July 16th at Citi Field. The pitching is below average ranked throughout the league but for them to keep pace with the Tigers in the second half they will have to pick it up and try to carry the team. Guys like Jimenez, Swisher, Bourn and Kazmir will have to have a great second half for the Indians to make the playoffs. As it sits right now the only way they will make the playoffs is by winning the American League Central and beating the Detroit Tigers.

By Ryan Ritchey (Baseball Writer): 

The Cleveland Indians are three games above .500 but are still 3.5 games behind the first place Detroit Tigers after losing the first two game of the series at home.

New manager Terry Francona has done a great job with this club but he still has a lot more to do in order for them to make the playoffs. 

Big names that have produced so far this season are Jason Kipnis and Justin Masterson.

Swisher came over to Cleveland this winter by signing a four-year $56 million contract. The contract includes a fifth year vesting option worth $14 million.

Swisher has given the team a huge boost with his personality but hasn’t produced as much as wanted on the field. Only having 30 RBI has really hurt this club as it has put a lot of pressure on other guys to perform. 

Cleveland Indians 2013 Preview- MLB Network: 

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Tito Back To Fenway: Red Sox Fans Embraced Him, The Team Lost The Opener – Then Streaked To The AL East Lead

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Sunday, June.02/2013

On top of leading the Red Sox to 2 World Series Titles, Tito also lead the club to a lot of other successful seasons. He got the team to at least 86 Wins in each of his 8 seasons in Boston and helped them win 90+ games in 6 of those years.

On top of leading the Red Sox to 2 World Series Titles, Tito also led the club to a lot of other successful seasons. He got the team to at least 86 Wins in each of his 8 seasons in Boston and helped them win 90+ games in 6 of those years.  The Red Sox also ended a curse for the World Series that lasted 86 years to finally end.  Now with Cleveland, he will help the franchise try to win a World Series for the 1st time since 1948.

By Ryan Dana (MLB Reports Writer and Red Sox Correspondent): 

First of all, sorry for the delay with this article. It’s been a little over a week since my last article, and already another series has passed since the end of the one I want to talk about. Nevertheless, Terry Francona aka Tito made his return to Fenway as an opposing manager for the Cleveland Indians.

I was actually lucky enough to be in attendance for his first game back on Thursday May 23, and the atmosphere was awesome as it usually is at Fenway. Terry Francona received a standing ovation, deservedly so, and his Indians beat down the Red Sox 12-3.

This series was more than just Francona’s return though. It was somewhat of a litmus test for the Red Sox.  The Indians have shown they are a formidable team this year sitting only a half game out of first place in the AL Central (29-24 Record) and having one of the most potent offenses in the game at the moment.

Heading into play Sunday, Cleveland’s vaunted offense still ranks  4th  for HRs (69), 4th in Runs Scored (271) and 5th in OPS (.769). The Red Sox however, showed they were the better team by winning 3 of 4 in the series. Boston’s offense reigned supreme against the Indians as do their season statistics. Boston surpassed Cleveland based on their final 3 games of their series last weekend.

Boston are in 1st place in the AL East with a record of 34- 23  and have a Run Differential of + 57, (49) better than the New York Yankees) after a 11 – 1 drubbing Saturday. The Red sox are also now 1st in the MLB in Runs Scored (286) and 2nd in OPS (.783). They also trail just Detroit for OBP in the MLB (.347 to .346).

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Interview With Cleveland Indians Prospect – Bryson Myles

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Saturday, April.13/2013

a miles bryson 2

By Brooke Robinson (MLB Reports Reporter):

Outside of the Cleveland Indians’ circles, the name Bryson Myles isn’t very well-known… yet. But to those in the organization and from his native Dallas/Fort Worth area, his name brings a ton of excitement.

Myles was a 6th Round Draft pick of the 2011 Amateur Draft by the Indians.  He was scouted from Stephen F. Austin University, where he led the nation in Stolen Bases in 2011 with 53.

He spent his first professional season with short season Mahoning Valley where he produced a .302/.394/.401 Batting Line.

In his first full season in 2012 with the Lake County Captains, the Outfielder had 20 Doubles to go with his 20 Stolen Bases for the season – and was ranked 15th prospect in the Indians Prospect Insider handbook.  

Bryson Miles 2012 Highlights:

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Cleveland Indians Payroll In 2013: And Contracts Going Forward

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Sunday Feb 24, 2013

The Cleveland Indians have been around since 1901. During the years the Indians have won 8,792 games & have lost 8,573 games. The Indians have won the World Series 2 times & have 31 players in the Hall Of Fame.

The Cleveland Indians have been around since 1901. During the years the Indians have won 8,792 games & have lost 8,573 games. The Indians have won the World Series 2 times & have 31 players in the Hall Of Fame.

By Larry Myers (Indians Correspondent):

The Indians finished the 2012 season as a huge disappointment. The Indians had a strong first half before falling apart in the second half. The Indians the 2013 season with many new faces after a busy winter.

 GM Chris Antonetti and President Mark Shapiro decided to make some major moves to improve the team for the 2013 season. The first move the Indians made was replacing Manny Acta with Terry Francona as manager. The Indians then traded Shin-Soo Choo & Tony Sipp in a 3 team trade to pick up Drew Stubbs, Matt Albers. Bryan Shaw & Trevor Bauer. The Indians signed a few Free Agents with the four biggest names being Nick Swisher, Mark Reynolds, Brett Myers, & Michael Bourn. The Indians showed that with the moves they made they are ready to contend now & in the future.

Cleveland Indians 2012 Season Highlights:

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Eight Things To Watch For At Red Sox Spring Training

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Friday, February.15, 2013

Lester had started his career 61-26 (.709) before he has pitched to a 24-22 record the last two seasons (.522). Lester still led the active pitchers in Winning Percentage before the 2012 year - but now has fallen to 7th with a Career Record of 85-48 (.639).  Can he prove himself as an ace without Josh Beckett

Lester had started his career 61-26 (.709) before he has pitched to a 24-22 record the last two seasons (.522). Lester still led the active pitchers in Winning Percentage before the 2012 year – but now has fallen to 7th with a Career Record of 85-48 (.639). Can he prove himself as an ace without Josh Beckett.

By Saul Wisnia,  Red Sox Correspondent (Read his blog ‘Fenway Reflections’ here):

Now that the obligatory Q&A sessions about what went wrong in 2012 and what everyone thinks about Terry Francona‘s book are (hopefully) over, it’s time for Red Sox players and fans to start focusing on the season ahead.

The full squad was due at Jet Blue Park at Fenway South yesterday, but many position players showed up in Fort Myers early — a good sign that the club is hungry to rise from its unfamiliar spot in the American League East basement. While the club’s won-loss mark in spring training games is not necessarily a barometer of what is to come, the stage for the season can be largely set during the next seven weeks. 

Past the Youtube clip or (Read Rest Of this Entry Click) are eight intriguing story lines to watch for leading up to Opening Day at Yankee Stadium on April 1:

Boston Red Sox Highlights In 2012 – including 100th Year Celebration at Fenway:

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Why Terry Francona As The Manager Of The Cleveland Indians Makes Sense

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Tuesday Feb.5, 2013

Terry Francona played for five different teams in his playing Career.  His best year was in 1984 - where he hit .346 during his 218 AB.   He played as a 1B/OF/PH.  His only Post Season action was with the 1981 Montreal Expos.  He hit .333 in the NLDS but went 0-2 in the NLCS versus the eventual World Series winning LA Dodgers

Terry Francona played for five different teams in his playing Career. His best year was in 1984 – where he hit .346 during his 218 AB. He played as a 1B/OF/PH. His only Post Season action was with the 1981 Montreal Expos. He hit .333 in the NLDS but went 0-2 in the NLCS versus the eventual World Series winning LA Dodgers.  He has had much better success as Manager.

By Larry Myers (Indians Correspondent):

Terry Francona was hired as manager of the Cleveland Indians on October 6, 2012 – and officially took over the team on October 8th. He will be  returning to the dugout after a one-year hiatus of managing in baseball and doing sports broadcasting duties. After Manny Acta was let go as manager of the Indians, only two candidates were interviewed. Francona was picked as manager over Sandy Alomar Jr, who has stayed on as Bench Coach under the veteran skipper.

Before we decide if Francona was the right choice as manager of the Indians, we have to look at who the man is. Francona was born April 22, 1959 in South Dakota to former MLB player Tito Francona, (who played from 1956 to 1970). Tito ‘Jr’ played in the Majors himself from 1981 to 1990, including one year with the Indians. During his ten years, Francona played in 708 Games – with a BA of .274, 16 Home Runs  and 143 RBI as a utility player . After Francona’s playing days were over, he went on to become a Minor League coach, before finally becoming manager of the Philadelphia Phillies in 1997.  During his four years in Philadelphia, his team never finished above fourth place, but Francona helped develop some young players into stars that have turned the Phillies franchise into the winning seasons in 11 out of the 12 years since his departure.

Terry Francona at TribeFest:

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Pedro Martinez Rejoins The Red Sox Organization: Meets Up With Francona At Boston Book Signing

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Sunday, January.27, 2013

Tito autographs a book for his former ace

Tito autographs a copy of  Red Sox Rule:  Terry Francona and Boston’s Rise to Dominance – for his former ace pitcher.

By Saul Wisnia,  Red Sox Correspondent (Read his blog ‘Fenway Reflections’ here):

What a roller-coaster week for Red Sox fans — enough to make you reach for the Rolaids. First came the early excerpts from former manager Terry Francona‘s book, revealing that during the 2010 offseason, Sox ownership took the advice of a media consultant to boost its sagging TV ratings by loading the team with “sexy” stars like Adrian Gonzalez and Carl Crawford. For those who looked forward to hearing Francona’s memories of the 2004 and 2007 World Series runs, this mudslinging was just another reminder of how dreadful life has been on Yawkey Way the last 15 months.

Then there were the reports that contract negotiations with free agent first baseman Mike Napoli had finally been settled — and that the early rumors of his injuries were even worse than expected. Napoli was found to have a more serious hip problem than originally thought, a development that whittled down Boston’s original three-year, $39 Million offer to one year at $5 Million – plus a ballbag full of incentives.

Terry Francona Interviews on Jan.22/2013:

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MLB Player Profile: Indians OF/1B/DH Nick Swisher

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Tuesday January 22nd, 2013

Nick Swisher has a Career 3 Slash Line of .256/.361/.828.  His numbers were better over the last 4 years with the Yankees .268/.367/.850.

Nick Swisher has a Career 3 Slash Line of .256/.361/.828 heading into 2013. His numbers are even  better over the last 4 years with the Yankees – .268/.367/.850.  If you are an Indians fan – you can probably bank on a decent Batting Average, a nice OBP and 25-30 HRs and 80-90 RBI per year from him.  He also can play 3 different positions for you at 1B/OF/DH.

By Larry Myers (Indians Correspondent)

Nick Swisher is the latest free agent player the Cleveland Indians have signed this off-season. Nick Swisher is the son of former MLB catcher Steve Swisher, who played for a few National League teams back in the 1970’s and 1980’s. Swisher was born in Columbus, Ohio, but grew up in West Virginia. Before his professional career, Swisher played college football for the Ohio State Buckeyes. Drafted by the Oakland Athletics in the 2002 MLB Draft, Swisher finally made his MLB debut with the Athletics in 2004.

During the 2004 season, Swisher played in only 20 games. In 2005, Swisher went on to hit 21 HRs and 74 RBI in 131 games. He finished 6th in the American League Rookie Of The Year Voting. During his 4 years in Oakland, Swisher hit 80 home runs and 255 RBI – while playing in 458 games. Not known as a player with a high average, he became a leader on a young Athletics teams. Swisher showed a great amount of durability during his time in Oakland compared to his teammates who spent a large portion of time on the Disabled List. Swisher made his Post Season debut in 2006. While sweeping the Twins, Swisher got 3 hits and an RBI in that series. Losing to the Tigers in the ALCS, Swisher hit .100 with only 1 hit.

One On One Interview with Nick Swisher Jan.03/2013 (Sports Time Ohio):

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Boston Red Sox Pitching Roster in 2013: State Of The Union Part 2

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Sunday, January.20, 2013

For the the Boston Red Sox State Of The Union Part 1:  The Hitters blog,  click here.

Clay and Jon Had Better Be On!

Lester had started his career 61-26 (.709) before he has pitched to a 24-22 record the last two seasons (.522). Lester still led the active pitchers in Winning Percentage before the 2012 year - but now has fallen to 7th with a Career Record of 85-48 (.639)

Lester had started his career 61-26 (.709) before he has pitched to a 24-22 record the last two seasons (.522). Lester still led the Active Pitchers in Winning Percentage before the 2012 year – but now has fallen to 7th with a Career Record of 85-48 (.639).

By Saul Wisnia,  Red Sox Correspondent (Read his blog ‘Fenway Reflections’ here):

The fate of the 2013 Red Sox may very well lay in two sets of statistics:

Pitcher/Wins-Losses/WHIP/ERA
Jon Lester: 33-15, 1.19, 3.17
Clay Buchholz: 23-10, 1.233, 2.70

Lester: 9-14, 1.383, 4.82
Buchholz: 11-8, 1.326, 4.56

The first numbers cover the period from April 2010 through August 2011, when Lester and Buchholz were two of the best starting pitchers in the American League. “WHIP” — walks plus hits per innings pitched — has become a popular measuring stick for effectiveness.

Jon Lester Highlights:

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Cleveland Indians 2013 Roster: State Of The Union

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Saturday December 29th, 2012

Cleveland_Indians

Jake Dal Porto (Baseball Writer)

The Cleveland Indians were nothing short of the laughing stock of the American League Central this past season. A hot started quickly turned into a hot mess, and their entire team went up into flames.

Now, with a new manager and a few hopeful offseason of moves, the Indians aren’t half-bad.

Let’s take a lot at a couple of the big questions in Cleveland:

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