July 26, 2014

While We’re Waiting… Making believers

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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“Well, last year Cleveland’s hot start was done with smoke and mirrors; they were outscored on the season, even when the Tribe was standing in first. That ain’t the case this year, as Cleveland is above average in run scoring and run prevention. The Indians’ offense has been a real juggernaut so far. They are first in the AL in slugging percentage, second in homers, third in on-base percentage, fourth in doubles, triples, and batting average—yeah, they are hitting pretty darn well. In fact, their team OPS+ is a comically high 121.

Strangely, Cleveland ranks just sixth in runs scored, though. It isn’t as bad as it sounds, as there is a tight pack at the top. If you shift to runs per game, the Indians are tied for third in the AL. Still, to date their bats have been at their worst when it matters most, with lousy numbers when batting in close-and-late situations, as well as when the bases are loaded. Odds are that should improve as the year goes on. Then again, they won’t keep a 121 OPS+ all season long.” [Jaffe/Hardball Times]

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Jason Kipnis interviewed on MLB’s The Rundown. [MLB.com]

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“I believe bench coach Sandy Alomar Jr. when he says this team has that “’95 style. You just come to the ballpark expecting to win and never say die.” I also believe Alomar when he compares this club to ones of recent past and says, “We have more depth. When you give guys a rest, you’re not losing anything. That’s the big difference between the past and now. You’ve got guys with track records — like Nick Swisher and Michael Bourn and Jason Giambi — who have been in winning situations before and can help the young guys stay on the path and keep from collapsing.”

I believe that feeling rubs off on guys like Ryan Raburn and Yan Gomes and helps them make the most of their limited playing time. I believe the Indians are not one injury away from a complete collapse at any given moment, as they were in ’11 and ’12.” [Castrovince/MLB]

“Otto Porter – Tall small forwards rate as the NBA’s most-productive two-way players. Who stood tallest of the 2013 small forward class? Of course, Otto Porter, also the draft’s most productive 19-year old. I see a strong NBA career, despite middling athleticism tests…which aren’t consistently reflective of NBA success or failure for a small forward, anyways (actually, most of those correlations were negative).” [Hetrick/Cavs the Blog]

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“When asked to assess the 2013 NBA Draft, one general manager said he liked it just fine. He just wouldn’t want to possess the first or second pick. That particular GM doesn’t need to worry. His team made the playoffs and has no chance of winning Tuesday night’s draft lottery. Everyone else … well, they too may be praying to end the evening with the rally cry of, “We’re No. 3!”

Not that finishing first is a nightmare. You can always trade the pick. Or you can keep it and draft a guy who hasn’t played since February and isn’t expected to take the court again until around Christmas.” [Amico/FSO]