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“Of course, the very real possibility that Buck may crash-and-burn as an everyday player exists, but it’s a near-certainty that fostering a platoon with Kearns and Buck will surely end poorly, with the Indians’ manager essentially coming out and saying as much – that both players have struggled because of sporadic playing time. So let’s solve it by giving them sporadic playing time?
However this “platoon” idea plays out (and it won’t be good if they actually do employ it…trust me), the manner in which the Indians approach the loss of Choo in the coming weeks and months is going to be more than a little telling in terms of how they perceive this created opportunity in the AL Central race. Certainly they can rely on these internal options (and again, if we’re going that route, I’d like to see Buck playing everyday to see if he can get into a rhythm) for a time, but the sense of urgency surrounding the loss of Choo and attempting to replace his production (albeit diminished) is going to be the canary in the coal mine when looking at what moves the Indians are/aren’t going to make to augment this team going forward.” [Cousineau/The DiaTribe]
“It’s folly to forget the Cavs’ good fortune of acquiring the #1 pick in the draft. The Cavs took on an extra $12 million in salary commitments to acquire a likely late lottery pick in a weak draft. Obviously this pick became #1 and has allowed the Cavs to begin laying a great groundwork for the future. Kyrie Irving is an excellent young point guard. The low end of his potential is considered as an above average NBA starter and the high end is as an All-Star. He’s everything a point guard should be; an efficient scorer, good shooter, quality distributor, hard worker, and intense defender. At 19; he is mature and confident, and appears to have a great NBA career ahead of him. On Thursday, the Cavs re-building process took a big step forward in acquiring Kyrie Irving.” [Hetrick/Cavs the Blog]
“Look, I have no doubt that there are certain mechanical issues at play here that can potentially provide more separation between Carmona’s fastball and changeup and, therefore, lead to more success against all hitters, regardless of whether anybody is on base. But the company line (one articulated well in Jordan Bastian’s latest Inbox) that Carmona is not the mental mess he was two years ago looks, to me, to be wishful thinking.
Fact is, this guy has demonstrated countless times since his 2006 debut that he is a meltdown waiting to happen when things go wrong on the mound. The supreme focus he showed amidst the swarm of midges (or the “midgets,” if you’re the Akron Beacon Journal… but that’s another story for another time) in Game 2 of the 2007 ALDS and at various points last year, looks more and more like the exception rather than the rule.” [Castroturf]
Catching up with Hillis- “For the folks who think that Hillis wore down toward the end of last season, guess again. He was playing with cracked ribs for the final three games that made every breath, every move excruciating. “I broke them at the very beginning of the Cincinnati game [Dec. 19] and then aggravated them in the Baltimore game the next week,” he said. “They were really bad in the last game against Pittsburgh, too [six carries, 13 yards]. It was tough to cope with, but I did it because I wanted what’s best for the team and I wanted to play for the guys. I wanted them to know how much the team meant to me, and I wanted to do them that favor.”
That’s one of the reasons Hillis is excited to have second-year running back Montario Hardesty recovered from a torn anterior cruciate ligament. Head coach Pat Shurmur said recently that Hardesty, who was pegged as the No. 1 tailback heading into last season, should be full-go by training camp.” [Mary Kay Cabot/Cleveland.com]
And for no reason at all, Browns DB Mike Adams as Barney.