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Are they for real?

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Are they for real?

Unread postby Prosecutor » Mon May 13, 2013 9:48 am

This season up to this point can be divided into three phases of nearly equal lengths.

The first 10 games the Indians were a mediocre team, going 5-5.

The next 11 games they were very bad, going 3-8.

The last 14 games they've been world beaters, going 12-2 and outscoring their opponents 91-45.

Which are the real Indians?

It's safe to say they're not going to win 12 of 14 the rest of the year. But I don't see them as a 3-8 team, either. I'm thinking they'll settle in somewhere between 5-5 and 12-2, probably a little over .500. They're in a tough division with three of the other four teams over .500. They haven't played many games against the better teams in the East and West - Baltimore, New York, Boston, and Texas. If I had to bet I'd put the over/under at 85 wins.

One key to the turnaround has been Asdrubal Cabrera. He bottomed out at .162 on April 27, the day before they started their win streak. Since then he's hitting .352. Considering he hits 3rd in the order, that's a big deal.

Jason Kipnis is also turning it around, just not to the extent Cabrera has. But one reason the Indians got off to an 8-13 start was because they were getting no production whatsoever from their 2 and 3 hitters, and that situation has been resolved, for now anyway.

Cabrera will cool off and the Indians won't continue to average 6.5 runs per game like they have over the last 14 games. But the pitching has been solid as Kazmir and Ubaldo have emerged as effective starters, which has been another key to the resurgence. Kazmir was injured and Ubaldo ineffective during the 8-13 start.

Bourn is back and Pestano should be back today, which makes the team even better on paper than the team that went 12-2 over the last couple of weeks. It will be interesting to see what happens next.

This is a big doubleheader today against the Yankees who have won five straight. At least the Indians won't be facing their top starters. David Phelps has a 5.02 ERA his year, mostly in relief. However, he did strike out 9 batters in 4 innings against Toronto a couple of weeks ago, so he can be tough. Vidal Nuno has only pitched three innings in his major league career, but he has a 1.54 ERA in AAA this year.

A sweep today would be huge, but Masterson has been inconsistent lately and Bauer is liable to walk or hit ten guys in five innings. If the Tribe wins two, however, look out.
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Re: Are they for real?

Unread postby dazindiansfanuk » Mon May 13, 2013 9:53 am

I think they're "real-ish".

I'm confident the bullpen (if healthy) will be good and so will the offense..... I'm still not sold on the starters yet.

Results and trends to this point have been encouraging to say the least, but I'm going to need to see consistency for at least another month before I'm getting even close to convinced.

Oh, and Pestano isn't eligable to come off the DL until May 16th and Vidal Nuno is a one-time Indians farmhand who was a team mate of Jason Kipnis in Mahoning Valley in 2009!!
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Re: Are they for real?

Unread postby skatingtripods » Mon May 13, 2013 9:57 am

"Cabrera will cool off."

He's batting .262/.340/.548/.888 in May. .238/.304/.429/.733 for the season. Not sure what "cool off" means. He was in a 6-for-29 stretch before Saturday's 3-hit game.
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Re: Are they for real?

Unread postby Kingpin74 » Mon May 13, 2013 10:37 am

I'm getting way ahead of myself here, but does anyone have guesses as to which starting pitchers could be on the trade market in July? We probably don't have the ammo in the minor leagues to get a star (nor should we be making that kind of move) but a solid #3-#4 starter could be huge for us. Maybe someone with a bad contract where it wouldn't take a lot to get him and his current team can pay part of the tab.
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Re: Are they for real?

Unread postby dazindiansfanuk » Mon May 13, 2013 10:49 am

Here's the list of SP who are Free Agents after this year - so, if not on a contender, should be available.

Starting pitchers

Bronson Arroyo (37)
Scott Baker (32)
Erik Bedard (35)
Nick Blackburn (32) - $8MM club option
A.J. Burnett (37)
Chris Capuano (35) - $8MM mutual option with a $1MM buyout
Chris Carpenter (39)
Bruce Chen (37)
Bartolo Colon (41)
Aaron Cook (35)
Jorge De La Rosa (33)
Scott Feldman (30)
Gavin Floyd (31)
Jeff Francis (33)
Armando Galarraga (32)
Freddy Garcia (37)
Jon Garland (34)
Matt Garza (30)
Roy Halladay (37) - $20MM vesting option
Jason Hammel (31)
Aaron Harang (36) - $7MM+ mutual option with a $2MM buyout
Rich Harden (32)
Dan Haren (33)
Roberto Hernandez (33)
Tim Hudson (38)
Phil Hughes (28)
Ubaldo Jimenez (30) - may void $8MM option for 2014
Josh Johnson (30)
Jeff Karstens (31)
Hiroki Kuroda (39)
Jon Lester (30) - $13MM club option with a $250K buyout
Colby Lewis (34)
Ted Lilly (38)
Tim Lincecum (30)
Derek Lowe (41)
Paul Maholm (32)
Shaun Marcum (32)
Jason Marquis (35)
Daisuke Matsuzaka (33)
Brett Myers (33) - club option
Ricky Nolasco (31)
Roy Oswalt (35)
Mike Pelfrey (30)
Andy Pettitte (42)
Wandy Rodriguez (35) - $13MM club option with a $2.5MM buyout
Jonathan Sanchez (31)
Ervin Santana (31)
Johan Santana (34) - $25MM club option with a $5.5MM buyout
Joe Saunders (33) - mutual option
James Shields (32) - $12MM club option with a $1MM buyout
Tim Stauffer (32)
Jason Vargas (31)
Ryan Vogelsong (36) - $6.5MM club option with a $300K buyout
Edinson Volquez (30)
Tsuyoshi Wada (33) - $5MM club option
Jake Westbrook (36) -- $9.5MM mutual option with a $1MM buyout.
Chien-Ming Wang (34)
Suk-min Yoon (27)
Chris Young (35)
Barry Zito (36) - $18MM vesting option with a $7MM buyout

http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2012/02/2 ... gents.html

Not a lot to shout about there.
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Re: Are they for real?

Unread postby swerb » Mon May 13, 2013 10:50 am

The offense is for real. Speed, power, OBP, position flexibility, solid veteran depth, good makeup guys. Great balance from Bourn on down. Very tough to pitch through multiple times. To me this is legitimately one of the best offenses in baseball.

The bullpen has been good.

If the starting pitching can just be average, we'll be in this thing all year.
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Re: Are they for real?

Unread postby Kingpin74 » Mon May 13, 2013 11:03 am

dazindiansfanuk wrote:Here's the list of SP who are Free Agents after this year - so, if not on a contender, should be available.

Starting pitchers

Bronson Arroyo (37)
Scott Baker (32)
Erik Bedard (35)
Nick Blackburn (32) - $8MM club option
A.J. Burnett (37)
Chris Capuano (35) - $8MM mutual option with a $1MM buyout
Chris Carpenter (39)
Bruce Chen (37)
Bartolo Colon (41)
Aaron Cook (35)
Jorge De La Rosa (33)
Scott Feldman (30)
Gavin Floyd (31)
Jeff Francis (33)
Armando Galarraga (32)
Freddy Garcia (37)
Jon Garland (34)
Matt Garza (30)
Roy Halladay (37) - $20MM vesting option
Jason Hammel (31)
Aaron Harang (36) - $7MM+ mutual option with a $2MM buyout
Rich Harden (32)
Dan Haren (33)
Roberto Hernandez (33)
Tim Hudson (38)
Phil Hughes (28)
Ubaldo Jimenez (30) - may void $8MM option for 2014
Josh Johnson (30)
Jeff Karstens (31)
Hiroki Kuroda (39)
Jon Lester (30) - $13MM club option with a $250K buyout
Colby Lewis (34)
Ted Lilly (38)
Tim Lincecum (30)
Derek Lowe (41)
Paul Maholm (32)
Shaun Marcum (32)
Jason Marquis (35)
Daisuke Matsuzaka (33)
Brett Myers (33) - club option
Ricky Nolasco (31)
Roy Oswalt (35)
Mike Pelfrey (30)
Andy Pettitte (42)
Wandy Rodriguez (35) - $13MM club option with a $2.5MM buyout
Jonathan Sanchez (31)
Ervin Santana (31)
Johan Santana (34) - $25MM club option with a $5.5MM buyout
Joe Saunders (33) - mutual option
James Shields (32) - $12MM club option with a $1MM buyout
Tim Stauffer (32)
Jason Vargas (31)
Ryan Vogelsong (36) - $6.5MM club option with a $300K buyout
Edinson Volquez (30)
Tsuyoshi Wada (33) - $5MM club option
Jake Westbrook (36) -- $9.5MM mutual option with a $1MM buyout.
Chien-Ming Wang (34)
Suk-min Yoon (27)
Chris Young (35)
Barry Zito (36) - $18MM vesting option with a $7MM buyout

http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2012/02/2 ... gents.html

Not a lot to shout about there.


Interesting, thanks. Out of all those names though, there should be someone that could help for a reasonable price. We also can go after someone whose contract expires next year and his team wants to unload salary. I have to think the way we've spent money so far after the TV deal, there's a little more tucked away.
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Re: Are they for real?

Unread postby googleeph2 » Mon May 13, 2013 11:06 am

swerb wrote: If the starting pitching can just be average


... and can have a lead or keep it close for just 5 or 6 innings.

My usual preseason optimism has not gone away. Sure, any team could tank.
As Swerb has noted, Detroit's pen is not good.
I don't see how it can be fixed.

Who scares you in our division?

It's been stated elsewhere, but-
The differences between this yr and last couple are significant.
Francona vs. Acta
Reynolds and Stubbs vs. Damon and Duncan
Middle relief seems strong although they almost choked it away Sat.
Kazmir and McAllister vs. Lowe and Jeanmar Gomez (as Nino's article pointed out).
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Re: Are they for real?

Unread postby e0y2e3 » Mon May 13, 2013 11:10 am

Christ, Bronson Arroyo is 37? Really?
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Re: Are they for real?

Unread postby 1Perry » Mon May 13, 2013 11:29 am

I have more faith that this years team won't fall apart like they did the last couple years.
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Re: Are they for real?

Unread postby skatingtripods » Mon May 13, 2013 11:51 am

If we're talking SP, might as well look at the year-and-a-half rental guys. Could be a spot where they look to redeem themselves from the Ubaldo fiasco.

Starting pitchers

Brett Anderson (27) - $12MM club option with a $1.5MM buyout
Homer Bailey (29)
Josh Beckett (35)
Chad Billingsley (30) - $14MM club option with a $3MM buyout
Nick Blackburn (33)
Joe Blanton (34) - $8MM club option with a $1MM buyout
Wei-Yin Chen (29) - $4.75MM club option with a $372K buyout
Kevin Correia (34)
Johnny Cueto (29) - $10MM club option with an $800K buyout
Ryan Dempster (38)
Yovani Gallardo (29) - $13MM club option with a $600K buyout
Edgar Gonzalez (32)
J.A. Happ (32) - $6.7MM club option
Luke Hochevar (31)
Hisashi Iwakuma (34) - $7MM club option with a $1MM buyout
Jair Jurrjens (29)
Kyle Kendrick (30)
Clayton Kershaw (27)
Aaron Laffey (30)
John Lannan (30)
Justin Masterson (30)
Brandon McCarthy (31)
Dustin McGowan (32) - $4MM club option with a $500K buyout
Brandon Morrow (30) - $10MM club option with a $1MM buyout
Charlie Morton (31)
Jeff Niemann (32)
Ross Ohlendorf (32)
Felipe Paulino (31)
Jake Peavy (34)
Clayton Richard (31)
Max Scherzer (30)
Chris Volstad (28)
Carlos Villanueva (31)

Doesn't seem to be a whole lot there either. At least not on bad teams. Gallardo would have intrigued me, but he's following the Ubaldo Jimenez path of losing velocity and command. The Brewers are concerned. Brandon Morrow could be fun, but he's not moving.
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Re: Are they for real?

Unread postby Dnthateonthepronk » Mon May 13, 2013 12:00 pm

I think if you mean for real, they will remain competitive then yeah they are for real. They have a very solid to pretty good all around team. There is much more potential on this team than in years past.
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Re: Are they for real?

Unread postby motherscratcher » Mon May 13, 2013 12:44 pm

Image
They're real, and they're spectacular.
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Re: Are they for real?

Unread postby WiscTribeFan » Mon May 13, 2013 12:52 pm

The Cubs have a couple of starters that might be interesting in Travis Wood, Scott Feldman or even Carlos Villanueva.
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Re: Are they for real?

Unread postby rebelwithoutaclue » Mon May 13, 2013 1:07 pm

Hisashi Iwakuma (34) - $7MM club option with a $1MM buyout



This dude is for real. If they can snag him at below market value because no one's ever heard of them, it'd be a big get.
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Re: Are they for real?

Unread postby skatingtripods » Mon May 13, 2013 1:30 pm

WiscTribeFan wrote:The Cubs have a couple of starters that might be interesting in Travis Wood, Scott Feldman or even Carlos Villanueva.


All major regression candidates. All outpitching their advanced metrics. Once it actually warms up in Chicago, those guys will get rocked. Should lower their value. I don't know how they'd do here.
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Re: Are they for real?

Unread postby peeker643 » Mon May 13, 2013 1:35 pm

Awful early to wonder about the deadline type guys, but a guy to keep an eye on is De La Rosa in COL too.

Full year back from Tommy John and starting to put things back together. Might be another under-the-radar kind of guy who's available depending on where Rockies sit at deadline.
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Re: Are they for real?

Unread postby skatingtripods » Mon May 13, 2013 1:56 pm

Jake Westbrook could be an option. Cardinals have starting pitching out the ass, but could really use a bullpen arm. Already have converted minor league starters Trevor Rosenthal and Carlos Martinez to the pen. Michael Wacha and John Gast ready to step in for Westbrook. Westbrook doesn't make the playoff rotation anyway with Wainwright, Lynn, Miller, and Garcia.

He's on the DL with elbow inflammation, but it's not expected to be serious. They've said it's not related to the Tommy John.

At least we'd know what we're getting. He's not a stud, but he's reliable and steady. 8.75M this year, 9.75M mutual option next year. 1M buyout. Believe he has a no-trade clause though. Hard to see him leave a cushy situation in STL, but who knows.

Just another name in the potential mix.
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Re: Are they for real?

Unread postby Dnthateonthepronk » Mon May 13, 2013 2:03 pm

we could trade Kluber for him ;-) ;) :wink:
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Re: Are they for real?

Unread postby bookelly » Mon May 13, 2013 8:43 pm

It really depends on how Myers does 'cause the rest of the guys are getting locked in. Kazmir looked awesome in his last start. So did Justin today and Ubaldo and Zack this weekend. Bauer is ready...almost. And the loose cannon Car Car is right there too.

We've got 6 guys that can get it done quite well, and one (Kluber) that is hit/miss. Unless we're bringing in a real stud (and I like the Iwakamura kid) I say pass. And remember, it's likely gonna cost us Lindor to get an arm in here...and that would be a mistake.
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Re: Are they for real?

Unread postby Prosecutor » Mon May 13, 2013 10:23 pm

Yeah, I don't understand why everyone wants us to trade for a mediocre starter. I'm fine with Masterson, Ubaldo, Kazmir, McAllister, and whoever emerges between Kluber, Myers, Bauer, and Carrasco.

Bauer went six innings against the watered-down Yankees today giving up one run before running out of gas in the 7th. I'd rather go with him as the 5th starter than giving up assets to bring in a Jake Westbrook or someone like him.
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