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“It’s not that Santana isn’t putting up elite offensive numbers for a catcher. He is. “If he were a position player,” Francona said, “he’d still be really good. But the fact that he’s a catcher makes him great.”
Very true. But the mental and physical grind of catching does take a toll and does distract from the adjustments in approach Santana could stand to make at the plate. Teams started to put the shift on Santana when he bats from the left-hand side because he struggles to drive the ball the other way, and he also tends to get a little mechanically hyper with his swing. And even if those issues have absolutely nothing to do with catching, Santana’s defensive role does lead Francona to believe his best bet is to bat him lower in the order.” [Castrovince/MLB.com]
How possible is Mingo’s statement about the Browns having the top defense in the league? “This is different than saying they will do it, of course. Predicting any team to be the best defense is a fool hardy venture, even those that rank near the top. You think it will be Seattle or San Francisco? Probably not. I could list 31 other teams it probably won’t be, due to injuries or key performers declining or unknowns not working out. It probably won’t be Cleveland, and it doesn’t take rocket science to say that.
What did those turnaround teams reveal, though, and what do the Browns have that might allow for it in a best case scenario? Those teams averaged 5.2 new starters (where we define starters as the starters for majority of games at each position in each season), so almost a 50% turnover in key personnel.” [Lisk/The Big Lead]
“Sam, you will have to tell me what you mean by a “complete player”. Offensively, complete is not a word I would use for Bullock. Is he a shooter? Yes. He rebounds well, too. Outside of that, though, I am not sure he brings much else to the table. His passing has improved each year, but as a college upperclassmen in his third year of Roy Williams’ offensive system, I would hope he’s pretty good by now. He can’t create for himself off the dribble, and I don’t think you can have him initiate offense either. As a fringe starter, 3 and D guy, I like Bullock. But he is getting old, and I see that as his upside.
Conversely, I think Karasev has a much better chance to be a “complete player”, as I see it. He plays with a high basketball IQ, and both his passing and handles are ahead of Bullock’s despite being two and a half years younger. He possesses just as good of a shooting stroke as Bullock’s, and it might actually be better. Karasev’s offensive potential is just on a different level than Bullock’s at this point. Defensively, everyone wants to make a huge deal of his defensive struggles, but it seems pretty silly to me. One, he has been playing against guys who are much older than him. He is just as tall, and in fact has a larger wingspan than Bullock. His Russian coach was quick to defend his player’s defense, saying he was better than people were giving him credit for.
Now, the Cavs may decide they have enough high upside guys they need to develop, and that immediate shooting off the bench from Bullock with passable defense is the priority right now. I would rather use the draft to go for talent, and perhaps use free agency and trades to find serviceable backups. What do you think? Am I giving Karasev too much credit?” [Vecenie/Fear the Sword]
“The pen already has 11 blown saves (6th-most in MLB) and has -0.3 fWAR right now, 4th-worst in MLB. What’s led to such poor results? The pen is striking out a lot of hitters, and its batting average against, BABIP, and LOB% are all right around league average. What’s done in the Indians’ bullpen are walks and home runs. Their BB/9 is 3.86, 4th-worst in baseball, and their HR/9 is 1.22, 2nd-worst.
Lefties have been particularly bad, especially over the last month, when 9 of 25 appearances by lefties (36%) have led to multiple runs charged to the lefty, to say nothing of the runners they’ve inherited who’ve been allowed to score. League average LOB% is ~72%, meaning that on average, 72% of the bas runners on base when a relief pitcher enters the game will be stranded. 60% is considered awful. The LOB% for Cleveland’s left-handed relief pitchers this year, along with their ERA+, to give you an added sense of how bad they’ve been (remember that 100 is league average and 80 is awful)” [Lukehart/Let’s Go Tribe]
“There’s more nonsense in there that you can read for yourself. Bottom line, La Canfora’s article reads like someone sitting down with an agenda and then twisting the facts to fit a preconceived notion. We’ve been over this before; we obviously don’t want Lombardi to fail. But his track record is not the greatest (if we are being charitable) and he simply doesn’t have enough good will built up in this town to give him the benefit of the doubt.
We also know the Browns were 5-11 for some very valid reasons last year, but a large part of that reason is now employed by the Philadelphia Eagles. This team should be better on offense this year simply because they will be running a real NFL offense.” [Red Right 88]