August 26, 2014

While We’re Waiting… Debunking Duncan, Double Standard and Downing Punts

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.

“Apparently, there is a line of thinking that what’s out there now is really no better than the Indians’ internal options and namely that Shelley Duncan could play the role of “RH bat”, bouncing around between 1B and LF and providing some insurance for if/when Sizemore and/or Hafner spend some time on the shelf. Maybe that’s true if you’re talking about Coco Crisp or Juan Pierre…but if the idea is that what WAS out there (namely Willingham and Cuddyer) weren’t that much of an upgrade over those internal options (namely Duncan) to justify the risk that would have been assumed by giving either of those players, 3-year deal, I would point out that Shelley Duncan just turned 32 and (if you’ll remember from that Pouliat piece) if solid MLB bats turn into borderline regulars around the age of 32 or 33, what do borderline regulars become?

Let’s not forget what Shelley Duncan’s career line was from the start of his career in 2007 through September 2, 2011: .234 BA / .308 OBP / .413 SLG / .721 OPS with 23 HR and 24 2B in 582 PA

Of course, we all know that Duncan went on a tear in those last 3 weeks of the season, posting a .981 OPS in his final 87 PA in 24 games, stroking 7 HR in those 24 games. But which player do you think is closer to the real Shelley Duncan…the one that posted a .721 OPS in 205 games to start his career or the one that posted a .981 OPS in his last 24 games of 2011?” [Cousineau/The DiaTribe]

“The double standard is obvious enough. And the reason is just as clear: The NCAA is significantly less concerned with actions that is with reactions. In USC’s case, the Trojans reacted by mounting a defense, arguing they had no reason to know about Bush’s largess, vigorously defending running backs coach Todd McNair and consistently claiming the athletic department had met its obligations under NCAA rules. When the sanctions came down, the university immediately launched an appeal.

Ohio State’s defense amounted to a much simpler equation: This is not really Ohio State’s problem. It’s Jim Tressel’s. In fact, Ohio State acted — or rather, reacted — like a model citizen in removing the bad apple, and the bad apple’s rogue quarterback. Ohio State didn’t sit idly by with full knowledge that it was fielding ineligible players. When Ohio State discovered the situation, it fully cooperated with the NCAA in acknowledging its mistakes and taking steps to rectify them, beginning with setting Tressel adrift on the nearest iceberg to emphasize the point: When he’s breaking the rules, suddenly the head coach of Ohio State does not represent Ohio State.” [Hinton/Dr. Saturday]

In praise of the punter- “Since taking over in Week 2, Brad Maynard has done an admirable job filling in for punter Reggie Hodges. Maynard’s strategy this season has been to consistently push the ball toward the sideline (side note: I know that Patrick Peterson had a big return to help give Arizona the win, but our coverage ran by him). I noticed an interesting fact last week though, and it continued after this past Sunday’s game: did you know that Maynard does not have a single touchback this season?

That’s right — not one of Maynard’s punts has gone into the end zone. Part of that surely has to do with the fact that he doesn’t have a lot of depth on his kicks, but he does have 27 punts inside the 20, which is good for 3rd best in the NFL. You would think that one of Maynard’s punts would take a bad bounce and scoot into the end zone, but so far, that hasn’t happened. Maynard is the only regular punter in the NFL this year without a touchback. To compare, Hodges had five touchbacks in 2010.” [Pokorny/Dawgs By Nature]

“Jordan Cameron is about Graham’s size at 6’5” and 245 lbs. He was taken 104th overall in the 2011 draft, just nine picks after Graham was selected. He may not be Graham’s special blend of speed and size (and Graham does have that one-of-a-kind look), but Cameron would still give the Browns a different dimension on offense if he turns himself into a good player. I know they think highly of him – it’s why they haven’t played him much until now. In the Browns’ haste to not be that good, their players are getting hurt out there. Our tiny heroes Colt McCoy and Owen Marecic are getting killed. You’re not going to develop a player you really care about by playing him on teams like this. But the void left in Ben Waton’s absence could change that. This could be Jordan Cameron’s opportunity to start giving Tom Heckert’s drafts some real juice moving forward.” [Weinland/Dawg Pound Daily]

Finally, could Mike Brown have learned a lesson from pandering to a superstar? “Brown, however, did critique Bryant’s defense. After Chauncey Billups hit a 3-pointer in the third quarter when Bryant was slow to close out, Brown immediately called timeout even though it was just 53 seconds after halftime. “Kobe is going to be fine offensively,” Brown said. “But defensively, Kobe was just as guilty as everybody else at not contesting shots and so he as well as the rest of the guys have to make sure that they focus in on that area of the floor.” [ESPN LA]

  • Mike

    I just don’t understand why we can’t play a young player in Duncan’s position. There isn’t a kid in our minor league system that can hit 225 like Duncan? I hardly doubt that. I have no problem being a team that needs to bring in low risk high reward guys, but let’s make sure they can build toward the future.

  • boomhauertjs

    I wonder if the Tribe has any interest in Cody Ross. He was productive for the Giants during their World Series run and I don’t think he’s that old (or expensive).

    Things are going to end badly in LA for Mike Brown…

  • mgbode

    @boom – things ended badly for Phil in LA. it’s if things are ever good in the first place, right? definitely not setting up well for him so far with the CP3 trade falling through, no Dwight on the horizon, and Odom gone (and Pau+Kobe pouting). If he gets them to play defense though, they will score and they will win games.

    he got Wally to play decent defense once (sure it was just one series against Boston – but he trailed Ray Allen better than I ever thought he was capable of doing). Anybody that can get Wally to play defense…

  • Matt S

    @Mike Nobody at 1B. The options there are Jared Goedert and Beau Mills. Goedert is considered a “mistake hitter”, and while he puts up good numbers at AAA he generally does so by crushing mistake pitches that MLB pitchers don’t make. There is a feeling that he just won’t hit MLB pitching, and that’s why they removed him from the 40 man roster. He’s also AWFUL on defense.

    Mills has been generally disappointing since being the 1st round pick in the 2006 draft. He had a slight resurgence last year at Akron, having easily his best season since 2008 in Kinston. But that’s only one year, and there’s still plenty of reason to doubt him. Unless he or Goedert wows in spring, I wouldn’t bet on them being in Cleveland.

    The next guy who’s any good at 1B is either Chun Chen (who is a catcher now, but can really hit and isn’t great on D), who played at Akron last year OR it’s Jesus Aguilar, who put up some monster numbers between Lake County and Kinston last year. He figures to be in Akron at some point this year, but he’ll likely start in Kinston since he’s only 21 and only played about a month there last season (though he did OPS 1.069 in the Arizona Fall League, which is mostly comprised of AA/AAA players).