July 26, 2014

While We’re Waiting… Comparing Kipnis, Play the kids, and fifth-starter battle

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, it’s not a unique opinion these days as Manny Acta told Pete Gammons this week that Kipnis was a “cross between Pedroia and Utley” and – while I attempt to compose myself and fight every urge that I have to order a Kipnis jersey online on the basis of that quote – the success that Kipnis enjoyed last year seems to portend that kind of impactful bat from the middle of the infield. Really, I think that gets to the crux of what Kipnis could do for the 2012 offense as guys like Kinsler, Utley, and Pedroia are the engines that make their offenses run. Sure, they’re surrounded by some talent, but just to use Utley (since Acta invoked his name) as an example, from 2005 to 2010, Utley had either the highest OPS+ on Philadelphia in (2007, 2008) or the 2nd highest OPS+ on the team (2005, 2006, 2009, 2010), so as much attention as has been paid to Ryan Howard and Jimmy Rollins, among others, Utley has been the straw that stirs the drink that is Philly’s offense for the better part of the 7 years that he’s been there.

Think about Kipnis in that vein and it’s impossible not to get excited and while it becomes difficult to temper expectations and enthusiasm after reading that Acta thinks that Kipnis is a “cross between Pedroia and Utley”, particularly if you remember the impact that he had on the team last year when he arrived.” [Cousineau/The DiaTribe]

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The obvious answer to this is that the Cavaliers, and specifically Byron Scott tries to win every game he coaches- “Hopefully the Cavs give Sloan some decent minutes over the rest of the season. If there has been an “opportunity lost” this season, it’s not trying out random young guys. Within the re-building process, there are (ideally) only a couple of seasons to let unproven players strut their stuff. Last year is not for duplication; but Eyenga, Gee, Harris, Samuels and Harangody all saw significant floor time, and Cleveland found a player in Gee. Why the Cavs didn’t draft someone at #32 and #54 and why Manny Harris has only played 19 minutes this season is lost on me; did we need to see if Irving, Gibson, AND Sessions could make it work on the court at the same time? Or did Luke Harangody need to play back-up small forward for two games? Finally, most perplexingly, why is Ryan Hollins still in the NBA? Between Harris, two second round draft picks and now Sloan, maybe another unexpected rotation player could have been unearthed. With Sloan and Manny, there’s still a chance.” [Hetrick/Cavs the Blog]

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Hmmm. Common theme today. “Personally, if I were Chris Grant, I’d be buying out Antawn Jamison and Anthony Parker. Neither really have a long-term future with the team and both are currently keeping some promising youngsters from getting court time (Tristan Thompson, Samardo Samuels and Manny Harris in particular). And at least in the case of Jamison, he’s also won the Cavaliers some games that have put them in the precarious position of potentially playing into the 8th seed and missing the lottery in a stacked draft, so losing him can have the ancillary benefit of improving our draft stock.

With these hypothetical moves, Tristan Thompson would be back at his native PF and could be backed up by Samardo Samuels. This alleviates the need for Luke Harangody so the Cavaliers could also buy him out and not bat an eye.” [Fear the Sword]

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From D-League to fantasy impact: [Alonzo] Gee quickly transitioned from a player with deep-league potential to a true difference maker once he took over at small forward for the Cavs, moving ahead of the ever-disappointing Omri Casspi. Numbers over his past six starts include 15.3 points on 48-percent shooting, 1.2 threes, 5.7 boards, 2.8 steals, and 0.5 blocks in 33 minutes, and it’s not a mistake that he’s the 29th-ranked player over the past 14 days. Gee could end up as the add for the stretch run, given those combined threes-steals-blocks and the Cavs’ league-best schedule (4-4-4-5). [Roto Arcade]

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Battle for the fifth starter spot- “The options for the final spot in the rotation are still right-handers Jeanmar Gomez and Kevin Slowey as well as left-hander David Huff. Right-hander Zach McAllister is still technically in the mix, but is not an option for the rotation out of spring training. Slowey still has an edge in the experience department and has $1.5 million reasons why he will win the spot, although he has not pitched well this spring as he has allowed 14 hits and five runs in 8.0 innings of work. He does have an option remaining so the door is still open for one of Gomez or Huff to take the spot.

Gomez has done his best to seize the opportunity as he is pitching the best out of the three. In three appearances this spring he has thrown 7.0 shutout innings and yielded just three hits and two walks while striking out four. His fastball command has been very good and his slider is showing improvement. Huff is definitely still in the mix, but in four outings has allowed seven earned runs and 14 hits in 11.0 innings, and has not separated himself enough from Slowey like Gomez has.” [Lastoria/Indians Prospect Insider]

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Finally, who is this Tribe blast from the past??? [WFNY Facebook]

  • 5KMD

    Let’s. Go. Bobcats.

  • mgbode

    The state of Ohio could have 3 Final-4 teams.  Yeah, not likely, but you’re saying there’s a chance!

  • 5KMD

    That broken hand to Kendall Marshall gives OU a legit shot. They have no experienced ballhandlers left. Zeller and Hensen will kill OU on the boards but I think Ouffut and company can handle Barnes.

    I do think there is a chance. And they are not losing anyone next year and just got a 6’8” transfer from Missou. Looking like a possible top 25 ranking to start the year.

    Unfortunately Groce’s days might be numbered as OU’s head coach. Unless he pulls a Mark Few from Gonzaga and wants to build a program. Time for the school to open up the checkbook.