July 28, 2014

While We’re Waiting… Cord Phelps’ time, Loving some Kyrie and the Tribe’s window to win

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.

Five prospects with the most to prove this year- “Unfortunately for Phelps and Tribe fans, his brief, 35 game major league stint was a disaster. Phelps had terrible offensive stats (.155/.241/.254 slash line, .494 OPS (39 OPS+), .231 wOBA (39 wRC+), -0.9 fWAR in 80 PA) and struggled defensively (five errors in only 75 chances). Phelps ended up back in AAA while Kipnis solidified his hold on the second base job later in the season.

While Phelps won’t be able to prove himself at the major league level this year, he will need to impress as the everyday second baseman in Columbus in order to rebuild his stock. If he keeps producing at a high level in AAA, he’ll get another shot in the majors. With the lack of middle-infield talent the Indians have in the higher levels of the minors, one injury will give Phelps his chance to prove himself again. He’ll need to work hard this year to be prepared for that moment, whenever it comes.” [Paiscik/Indians Prospect Insider]

More praise for Kyrie- “What makes the beginning of this Kyrie era so exciting, at least to me, is the fact that this kid knows he’s loved, and wants to deliver on that investment. Plainly, he wants the ball. Always. As a fan, this can sometimes be worrisome. I mean, we had the best player on the planet, and I never felt 100% comfortable with Lebron controlling the rock and the game on the line. But with Kyrie, it feels different. I get the feeling he cares a little more, and that he has the confidence and the where with all to make this work.

Early in the season, with the Cavs facing the very good Indiana Pacers, Kyrie drove to the rim as time expired to win it for the Cavs. It didn’t go in, and the Cavs went on to lose. But, with that loss came a shining positive – our guy lived for the big moment. Fast forward a month and a half, and we’ve seen Kyrie make that game winning drive to the hoop, and in even more spectacular fashion than we could’ve initially imagined. Yes, I know, it’s early – his career is young – but I refuse to believe that all of his late-game heroics and last second winning isn’t meaningful. It just doesn’t seem possible that, after this many games played, we’re witnessing an anomaly.” [Factor/Cavs the Blog]

“For all of Tressel’s triumphs, his largest failure – outside of his aversion to acquiesce with petty yet devastating compliance issues – was keeping the company of his cronies. Bollman did everything but steal from Ohio State, commanding the team’s biggest liability throughout the decade without the risk of termination. He had no pressure to perform, and that entitlement was passed down to the sprinkling of linemen he brought in. There is a reason the Buckeyes had so many three and four-year starters during his tenure: Necessity. Lack of competition and depth have a negative impact on options.

Contrast Tressel’s cronyism with Meyer’s edict to his coaches that they would have no value to Ohio State unless they could recruit and you have a terrifying new reality for the Big Ten that is much bigger than Dodson ever will be: The Buckeyes were a colossal pain in the ass over the past decade, at partial strength. That was good enough to win the conference, which is no longer the trophy for Meyer’s Buckeyes.” [Ramzy/Eleven Warriors]

But those bats aren’t that good against LHP- “What I didn’t delve into was what the Indians’ lineup might look like against left-handed pitching. The way I see it, Cleveland could go with 5L/4R, 4L/4R or even 3L/6R depending on manager Manny Acta’s mood.

Santana and shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera will hit right-handed against lefties, so there are two. Right-handed-hitting Lou Marson would start behind the plate on days Santana is at first base, so there’s another.

Then, Acta could spell an outfielder (Brantley or Sizemore) with a righty like Shelley Duncan, Aaron Cunningham, Russ Canzler or even Jason Donald, depending on who makes the team off the bench. Acta could also spell Hafner similarly at DH, or give a day off here and there to Kipnis at second base, or Chisenhall/Jack Hannahan at third base). [Bastian/MLB.com]

Finally, a nice graphic on the Indians’ window to win. [Beyond the Box Score]

Double bonus non-sports related link: Chris Jones of Esquire on the Zanesville animal escape. Warning- this is long, and detailed and VERY well written.

  • Mark Skog

    I’ve been hearing a lot of internet buzz about the Esquire animal piece. No time to read it right now but glad to see you liked it too.

  • REEPJP

    Not sure where the appropriate place to put this is, but WFNYTickets seems to be acting up for me….anyone else have this problem?

  • http://www.waitingfornextyear.com/ WFNYRick

    Thanks Joe, it is a TIQ IQ issue, and they are working on it.

  • Jacob

    That Esquire piece was incredible. A ridiculously long read, but well worth it. I’m not animal activist, in fact I am a big deer hunter. That said, it really is sad what happened on that night. I don’t blame the law enforcement, they did what they had to do.

  • http://www.waitingfornextyear.com/ WFNYRick

    The sheer volume is what amazes me. And I can’t imagine being one of those officers. Think of all the times they must look into the woods now and see eyes peering at them that aren’t really there?

  • Mark Skog

    Ok, now I read it. It was really good. I’m with you, Rick. What a tough job those officers had to do that night. I’m glad they helped dispell the myth of “some good old boys whopping it up, shooting everything in sight” that night (not that i ever believed it). I just can’t imagine it.

    Jacob – I guess you could call me an animal lover and I never blamed the law officers for one instance. The sheriff had a tough call to make but it was the only call he could make. Those guys were pretty damn brave wandering into that scene.

  • Jacob

    Clearly, the only blame here lies with the owner of the animals and possibly with the legislation that allowed him to own all of those animals. The idea of having to be in that area and not sure where all the animals were is incredibly scary. It really is a miracle that nobody was killed or seriously injured. 

  • http://www.waitingfornextyear.com/ WFNYRick

    Also, not knowing exactly how many animals they were dealing with. Unbelievable.

  • Harv 21

    “I never felt 100% comfortable with Lebron controlling the rock and the game on the line”

    Wow, really? Never read that stuff around here before the very end of the Boston series. All of a sudden people are claiming that LeBron wasn’t clutch at the end of games over 7 years. Sure, no one liked the pound-pound-pound jack/drive, but to say he wasn’t a closer is bitter revisionism. Yes, he deserves close scrutiny now for not handling pressure in recent high-stakes playoff games, but here he had the epic Detroit performance, the Washington series, and the guy won plenty of regular season games in the 4th quarter when he just dominated and awed everyone. C’mon.