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“Carlos Carrasco has seen enough of the locker issued to him inside the Indians’ player development complex in Arizona. He is ready for a new one. A stall in Progressive Field back in Cleveland would be a nice change of scenery. “For a whole year, I’ve been here in this locker room,” said Carrasco, who glanced at his old friend while motioning toward his nameplate. “This spot — right here — by myself.”
With Spring Training in full swing for Cleveland, Carrasco has plenty of company right now. It was the same a year ago, but the right-hander was rehabbing his surgically repaired right elbow at the time. When camp broke last season, Carrasco stayed behind, tasked with a daily routine of light throwing, icing, conditioning exercises and patience. Carrasco is hoping all the work and waiting has paid off.” [Bastian/MLB]
“Daisuke Matsuzaka is somewhat in the same boat as Capps, but the problem for Dice-K is that it’s been much longer since he put up his last (and, really, only) good season in the majors. When you look under the hood of that 2008 season, it’s astonishing that Matsuzaka was able to sustain 167 innings of sub-3 ERA ball while leading the league in walks. When you look at every season that comes after that, you see what happens when the luck runs out.
Still, the change of scenery and the less impressive overall offense of the AL Central should help somewhat, and the Indians are starved enough for pitching right now that unless they sign Kyle Lohse or inexplicably fast-track Trevor Bauer to the majors, someone’s going to have to be the fifth starter coming out of camp. It might as well be Dice-K. His biggest competition in camp is Carlos Carrasco, who threw 124 innings of 4.62 ERA ball for the Indians in 2011 before undergoing Tommy John surgery and missing the 2012 season entirely. He’s got more upside than Matsuzaka — but as soon as he rejoins the Indians, Carrasco has to serve a six-game suspension dating back to July 2011 for throwing at Billy Butler’s head.” [Bernhardt/Sports on Earth]
“Offensive coordinators typically want two types of running threats on a team – the consistent four-yard gainer and the change of pace home run threat. The rise of the spread-to-run offense is responsible for reintroducing the possibility that the quarterback – and not just two different running backs – could be one of those two threats. Urban has varied which role his quarterback fills based upon personnel: Tebow was the consistent four-yard rusher on Urban’s Florida teams, while his stable of Carlos Hyde, Rod Smith, and Bri’onte Dunn fills that role at Ohio State.
Based upon their 2013 recruiting efforts and 2014 offers, it is clear that Meyer and Herman want more backs capable of ripping off rushes of over 40 yards. On the one hand, Urban is recruiting hybrid players capable of switching between the backfield and slot receiver like Dontre Wilson, Jalin Marshall, and potentially James Clark.
However, what’s more interesting is that the Ohio State staff is beginning to hone in on smaller and quicker running backs as well, like senior Jordan Hall, freshman Ezekiel Elliott, and redshirt freshman Warren Ball. As opposed to the Tresselian big, feature-back archetype (Beanie, Clarett, Pittman) I expect the staff to use a larger stable of more specialized backs in the future.” [Peltier/Eleven Warriors]
Not our problem– “The trade left many baseball people puzzled not so much because they gave up two players under team control for years for a player represented by Scott Boras who is headed to free agency next winter, but rather because it raises a very practical question about the Reds’ defense. With Bruce in right field and Ryan Ludwick in left field, where would Choo play? Jocketty’s plan would be for Choo — who has a career .381 OBP — to hit leadoff and start in center field even though he has played only 10 games there in his eight-year career.
After watching Choo play right field the past two years, it didn’t make any sense. I thought I must be missing something so I called major league scouts who were assigned to evaluate him and the Indians’ major league club. Then I called people in the Indians’ organization — players, coaches, managers and front-office executives — to get their opinions.” [Bowden/ESPN]