April 16, 2014

While We’re Waiting… Sullinger Trains, Tribe a Bargain and Examining the Roster

While We’re Waiting serves as the early morning gathering of WFNY-esque information for your viewing pleasure. Have something you think we should see? Send it to our tips email at tips@waitingfornextyear.com

Look out Big Ten, Jared Sullinger is leaner, meaner and ready to lead the Buckeyes- “Sullinger shot 54 percent from the floor last year, but most of those came in the paint. He has both touch and a little range, but last year he didn’t need to shoot much as the Buckeyes had Jon Diebler shooting from deep and David Lighty doing a little of everything from the wing. With those two and center Dallas Lauderdale gone, he might need to score more. And he’ll certainly be asked to lead.

Sullinger’s desire to be a hands-on leader for the Buckeyes’ talented freshman class is the main reason he chose to skip the chance to play for Team USA at the Under-19 world championships this summer. He said the new arrivals “get it early” and that he and fellow returnees Aaron Craft and William Buford are driven by that Kentucky loss.” [Jackson/FSO]

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Your Cleveland Indians. More bang for the buck than 27 other MLB teams- “Just behind the Rays on the bang for the buck chart: the Arizona Diamondbacks, who are rising in the standings on the backs of younger talent like pitcher Ian Kennedy and catcher Miguel Montero, among others, the Cleveland Indians, challenging in the AL Central thanks to contributions from low-priced pieces like shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera and pitcher Justin Masterson, and the Pittsburgh Pirates, whose general manager, Neal Huntington, has pulled off some shrewd trades for cheap pitchers Kevin Correia and Jeff Karstens.” [Forbes]

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The Tribe has gotten great starting pitching, with a couple exceptions- “So, here’s a guy at the bottom of the list for ERA, WHIP, and FIP with bottom-of-the-barrel peripherals who gives up a lot of home runs and, not to forget this, a lot of hard hit line drives. You can pull the cord on the small sample size siren if you’d like but the only AL starting pitcher that comes in BELOW Talbot in FIP and WHIP is the now-in-AAA Kyle Drabek, meaning that Talbot is perhaps the worst starter in the AL currently in a rotation by a couple of varied statistics.

In the interest of full disclosure, Carmona is below Talbot in both ERA and HR/9 and maybe Talbot’s been unlucky (his BABIP is the highest among AL starters at .353), but there’s a certain time when Talbot’s spot in the rotation becomes untenable because his underwhelming numbers go further back than simply Opening Day of 2011.” [Cousineau/The DiaTribe]

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“The reason is simple: Even if the Indians were willing to mortgage some chunk of their future in order to augment the ’11 club (unquestionably, the biggest need is another bat in the outfield, with Shin-Soo Choo out until September), it’s a seller’s market and a slow-developing one, at that. At this juncture, it’s hard to imagine the Indians being willing to give up anything of substance to land the likes of Melky Cabrera or Ryan Ludwick or Jeff Francouer. “We’re open in any way we can to improve the team, whatever that might be,” Antonetti said. “Especially with Choo suffering the injury that he suffered, we’ll probably focus most of our efforts on improving our offense and getting a little more consistency there.”

Had the market more to offer (and again, it’s still too early to get a firm read on it, simply because, as of today, 17 of MLB’s 30 teams are within five games of a division lead), the Indians would have something of a dilemma on their hands. They’d have to calculate how the risks associated with moving a Jason Kipnis, Jason Donald or Nick Hagadone stack up against the potential upside of adding an impact bat for the here and now. But beyond Carlos Beltran, whose contract is simply out of range for an Indians team always on a budget, none of the names bandied about at this still-early juncture of the in-season trade season strike me as the answer.” [Castroturf]

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Apparently a Yankee fan did not appreciate Texiera being hit the other night. Sent the Indians’ pitchers a nasty letter. Fuel for a Tribe win last night? [Joe Smith twitter]

(AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

  • boomhauertjs

    Glad to hear Sullinger is working hard since the Cavs will need a power forward who can actually put the ball in the basket.

  • http://www.60bpm.com/ Robbie

    Hate to say it, but I think the Indians have to stick to their plan. I don’t think they’re simply a single piece away from being a serious contender, and by that I mean contending in the playoffs with the opposing team having a chance to set-up their rotation. Don’t trade away a prospect for a mediocre rental at this point. Gain the experience this season and have faith that this is the beginning of a run and not a fluke.

  • dwhit110

    Speaking of bang for your buck, I’m going to a Tribe game Sunday (I’m transplanted in Cinci so I only get to see a couple each year. Ick.) and I tried out the TiqIQ tool that WFNY pimps through their WFNY Tickets experience.

    Not sure if it’s like this all of the time, but I was able to get 4 lower reserves in RF for less than half face value. So far I’m really, really pleased with the experience.

  • http://www.waitingfornextyear.com Scott

    Thanks for the testimony dwhit – we’ve consistently been able to beat ANY local shop or national online shop in terms of CLE tickets. I know that several people used WFNY Tickets multiple times for Cavaliers tickets and sat anywhere from the lower bowl to Loudville all for a fraction of face value.

  • Ben

    The only quality LF is Ryan Braun. He is not going anywhere. Stay the course…none of the other names are worth giving up anyone. Looking forward to tonight…I enjoy the auditions and hope one of these kids can replace Talbot soon.

  • jimkanicki

    i would really like to see them replace the league’s worst starter with one of the IL’s best starters (mccallister/gomez).

    @tjzuppe had a list of possible OF filler. i am not thrilled with ludwick. but Jeff Francoeur would be lovely. his batting isn’t mind-blowing but it’s respectable. BUT.. where he fits perfectly for the tribe is in his plus fielding and arm. if i can get him for … valbuena? … i do it. we can win this division without mortgaging the future.

  • http://www.waitingfornextyear.com Scott

    McAllister is starting tonight, hopefully he translates well.

    Also, interesting that a lot of people were pounding the table for Drabek during the Cliff Lee deal. Instead, the Indians “settled” for Carrasco.

  • mgbode

    @Scott – good point. also, the Happ vs. Knapp debate is still TBD from that move.

    (I have seen 3 Happ starts for Houston this year and he does not look good, but he is still young and definitely has the ‘stuff’)

  • theherd10

    @2 – Right on. The Indians retooled and retooled and retooled again to begin a sustained run – and now we trade potential long-term pieces for a short-term puzzle piece? Not into it. Stay the (long-term) course.

  • http://serandez.blogspot.com Ezzie

    By next year, the Indians’ long-term lineup could easily be:

    C Santana
    1B LaPorta
    2B Kipnis
    SS A.Cabrera
    3B Chisenhall
    RF Choo (?) /Phelps
    CF Brantley
    LF Sizemore (?)/Phelps
    DH Hafner (?)

    Util Valbuena, Donald, Carrera, Duncan (?), Buck (?)

    SP1-3 Masterson, Tomlin, Carrasco
    SP4-5 White/Pomeranz/McAlister/Hagadone/Gomez/Carmona (?)

    RP C.Perez, R.Perez, Pestano, Sipp, Chen Lee, Smith, Judy

    I’m sure I’m leaving people out, but pitching-wise it looks like they have enough talent to have a really solid staff, while hitting-wise it’s a little more questionable.

  • Steve

    I don’t see how Valbuena gets you Francoeur. I believe this is Valbuena’s last option year, and there’s a chance that the Royals keep Francoeur at a bargain next year. It cost McAllister to get Kearns for a couple months. It’s going to take a legit prospect to get Francoeur.

  • bobby

    But lets get real here, Mcalister was not a top prospect in the Yankees organization, and was not in the top 20 for the indians coming into the year (back in Feb- from what Ive seen at least). Thats the glorious thing about prospects, sometimes you give one up that does nothing (us getting Jason Michaels?) and other times they turn into Brandon Phillips.

  • Julie

    This weekend the Tribe has a deal this weekend where you can sit in lower box seats, normally around 45 bucks, for $13. I was shocked by this so of course I am going Saturday!

  • Julie

    Sorry for the “this weekend” repetition!

  • Godlenflash7903

    Please, No Jeff Francoeur!!! I don’t care what we would have to give up. The Indians would be paying high for a terribly mediocre player. Don’t let one half season overshadow what has been a barely replacement level career.

    Ludwick is a better option. His numbers are low and that has a lot to do with playing home games at Petco. I certainly don’t think he would be at his all-star level year, but his track of consistency over his career is much better and at a higher level.

    I’m really not sure what that means in terms of what the Indians would have to give up. We have a really deep system for deals like this too, we can afford to move prospects because we have players to fill thier place in the pipline.

  • Steve

    But McAllister was the #4 Yankee prospect the previous year (according to BP). His low ranking this year was more of a result of just how deep the Indians are in prospects. And even if you weren’t sold on him being that highly ranked, a 22 year old who just hit AAA and is not on the 40 man roster is a lot more valuable than a 25 year old who won’t have any options next year.