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“Want to hear a depressing stat? Two of the top four walk rates among Major League starters, entering Tuesday night, belong to the Indians’ top two starters — Justin Masterson (12.7 percent) and Ubaldo Jimenez (13.3). Personally, I’m inclined to give Masterson the benefit of the doubt. He was dominant on Opening Day against the Blue Jays, and 35 percent of the earned runs against him came in a single inning in Seattle.
Ubaldo? Well, I’m not as confident, simply because his complicated delivery has proven so difficult to repeat over the years. He has a 4.50 ERA with 5.3 walks per nine innings. If we were to somehow remove his magical first half of 2010 from the equation (a 2.20 ERA in 18 starts), he has a 4.02 ERA and 4.05 walks per nine in his career (135 starts). So I would expect some improvement from Jimenez over the long haul of the season, but I wouldn’t hold out hope for a major surge into elite status, based on the bulk of his career.” [Catrovince/MLB.com]
One of the few voices not calling for the disposal of Colt– “The Browns had no running game last year – something they addressed by trading up to select RB Trent Richardson with third overall pick – and McCoy had no shot with that offense. As a result, the former Texas QB’s promise remains higher than his trade value. He will be just three years removed from a decorated college career in which he was one of the best QBs in Texas history. He was prolific and productive, leading the Longhorns to an undefeated regular season and a trip to the national championship game as a senior, and has garnered a reputation as a team-first leader both in college and the NFL. Everyone knows McCoy’s past – even if a reminder is necessary – but they should be able to glimpse into his future before Cleveland puts him on the trading block. A staggered McCoy limping through a 4-12 season in 2011 is not a fair indication of his ability, nor will it land Cleveland much in return.” [Olivieri/Lost Lettermen]
“First, there’s the lottery (May 21), where the Cavs can draft no worse than the sixth pick. They also own the No. 24 selection (via the Lakers). Then comes potential trades and free-agent signings. Again, they’ll have plenty of competition in these areas. In order to make a trade, you need a dance partner. Often, the team you’re talking to backs out. Other times, they don’t offer you anything but a bad contract in return. Usually, discussions result in nothing beyond a “don’t call us, we’ll call you.”
This isn’t meant to downplay the Cavs’ options to reshape the roster, because they do indeed have plenty. But they need help. Both from the teams that want to beat them and free agents who will be courted by nearly every other franchise.” [Amico/FSO]
“True, it sounds silly to put a lot of stock into division standings with over 80% of the regular season schedule to play; but with all the typical, gloomy skepticism (that comes with a championship-starved fan base) emanating from Tribe fans, it only seems proper to point out positive points worth extracting from a winning month.” [McGavin/Indians Prospect Insider]
Finally, how about Kyrie Irving’s top ten plays? [Youtube]