August 17, 2014

While We’re Waiting… Tales of spring, where everyone is in the best shape of their life

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.

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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]

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“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]

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“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]

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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]

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  • mgbode

    “he Indians are starved enough for pitching right now that unless they sign Kyle Lohse”

    two weeks ago that wouldn’t have even been posed in an article as a joke.

  • mgbode

    Little League practice opened last night here. Baseball really is the best sport to play/coach. It is so intricate and yet so simple. Love it.

  • SteamingPileOfCraphonsoThorpe

    So what the heck were the opinions that people from the “Indians’ organization — players, coaches, managers and front-office executives” shared with the writer about Choo in center?? Stupid ESPN Insider!

  • Vindictive_Pat

    “Indeed, most of the 15 evaluators said they didn’t think he could play center field, while others called it a “stretch.” It’s possible the Reds are making the right call and these 15 evaluators are wrong, but I doubt that many baseball people would miss on Choo’s defense. Even Choo himself said Monday he is still “uncomfortable” playing center field. Obviously, it’s never a good sign when a player doesn’t feel confident playing the position to which he’s assigned.”

  • Vindictive_Pat

    The article also says that the only option for the Reds would be to move Jay Bruce to center field and have Choo in right field. Bowden thinks that Bruce is an average center fielder, but a Gold Glove guy in right field, so it would be a waste to move him. I think Bruce becomes below-average in center field, personally. There are just so many guys playing center field who seem like better fielders to me, and I wonder how much ground Bruce can really cover with his bulk.

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    Put the Lohsen in the basket baby!

  • mgbode

    and we all know how Choo hits when he feels uncomfortable.

  • woofersus

    It puts the Lohsen on its team!

  • The_Matt_Of_Akron

    Most Reds fans I know think Choo is a one-year rental who’s keeping the seat warm while Billy Hamilton learns the switch from SS to CF.

  • SteamingPileOfCraphonsoThorpe

    Thanks for filling in the gaps.