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Bullpen rounding into form for the second half? “Now, it seems the pen is at least close to getting back to full strength and may not be something to worry about by July 31. That would be big for Cleveland to be able to focus on just the bat and/or starter in a trade.
It’s also big for Cleveland because the team is totally different with the bullpen going strong. The Tribe has the ability to pull out close games, late. If the middle reliever can keep a game close, the late-inning guys are a safe bet to do the same. Now, instead of seeing blowouts, you’ll have your Indians with a shot to win down the stretch of a lot of contests.
The bullpen is on the right track toward regaining its dominance of 2011. If it can get there, look out.” [Craig Gifford/DidTheTribeWinLastNight?]
Bowers catches up with former Cavalier Danny Green: “That confidence is the biggest thing that’s turned around everything for me since”, Green said. “I see a lot of these guys who weren’t playing well last year but are playing better this year, and that’s because of confidence. Back when I was cut by the Cavs, I didn’t know whether I was going to get back into the NBA or not. I thought maybe I was going to get stuck overseas, I didn’t know what was going to happen.” [Brendan Bowers/Stepien Rules]
Assessing the job done by GM Tom Heckert: “Two things that can be said for Heckert’s stewardship are that (1) There’s clearly a plan in place, and the front office is very methodical about bringing in the type of players they like, and, (2) There’s very little reaching for short-term fixes, which is the proper solution for a team so badly in need of a talent infusion as the Browns were in 2010. Since those two philosophies map to directions that make sense for the team, I’m happy with the GM’s approach. Whether we’re all truly happy will be determined by whether the players he’s selected will lead to greater success on the field. The early signs are encouraging.” [The Orange & Brown Report]
Looking back on the Trevor Crowe era: “Trevor Crowe was the 14th pick in the 2005 draft. You’re welcome to go look at the first round of that draft to try to generate a “Why didn’t we pick that guy?!” moment, but the best you’ll probably do is Matt Garza, 11 picks later, or Colby Rasmus, three picks after Garza. Baseball’s draft doesn’t lend itself well to either prognostication or hindsight-fueled regret; Crowe may feel like a disappointment to Indians’ fans but, relative to his draft position, his career to date has been standard.” [Let's Go Tribe]
Slimmed-down Samardo shows in Summer League: “There are a lot of players in Las Vegas this week that nearly nobody recognizes due to the hodgepodge that is NBA Summer League. There’s a power forward on the Cleveland Cavaliers that is unrecognizable for other reasons, however, as Samardo Samuels has undergone a complete body overhaul compared to how he looked at the end of last season.
It showed on Friday afternoon, too, as Samuels came off the bench to score nine points and grab 13 rebounds — six of which came on the offensive end — in an absolute beatdown of the New York Knicks. It could be argued that Tristan Thompson was more impressive before leaving the game in the middle of the third quarter, but Samuels’ transformation into an athletically-competent basketball player has been pretty impressive all week.” [Scott Schroeder/Pro Basketball Talk]