July 24, 2014

While We’re Waiting… Chris Perez, 2007 vs. 2013, and getting to know the Bengals

“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 attips@waitingfornextyear.com.

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Leading off, Anthony Castrovince tackles the Chris Perez and now open closer position issue, “Francona would be wise not to press his luck this time around. He knows the potential pitfalls of the “closer by committee” that erupted in Boston the year before he arrived there, and I’m sure that knowledge plays heavy in his mind right now. But it’s a different thing to open a season with a relief platoon than it is to – ahem – close one, because now Francona has a full season of data – involving both his own team and the Twins and whatever other opponents might await – at his disposal to make educated guesses. In Smith, Cody Allen, Bryan Shaw, Marc Rzepczynski and, yes, even Masterson or Danny Salazar or Carlos Carrasco, he has an array of arms with which he can play percentages or exploit weaknesses.” [CastroTurf]

Steve Orbanek at IBI takes a look at comparing the 2013 Indians to their 2007 counterparts. Comparisons are always tough, but this one does a pretty good job at lining up some real similarities between the two, “Of course, that 2007 team was also blessed with Victor Martinez, who hit .301/.374/.505 with 25 home runs and 114 RBI. The 2007 Indians were fortunate as it’s rare for a team to have a power-hitting catcher with that type of offensive production. The 2013 team has two. Individually, Carlos Santana and Yan Gomes may not possess the offensive prowess of Martinez. But together, the two make for a deathly combination. Gomes currently has a .295/.350/.491 line with 11 home runs and 36 RBI in 85 games. Santana has also been impressive and boasts a .267/.376/.446 line with 19 home runs and 70 RBI in 151 games. Gomes has also been incredible defensively as the right-handed hitting catcher has thrown out 42 percent of base stealers this season. In 2007, Martinez threw out 32 percent.” [Indians Baseball Insider]

Dawgs By Nature got together with Cincy Jungle to talk about the Bengals ahead of Sunday’s Battle of Ohio showdown in Cleveland, “Tyler Eifert has already had some big plays in this offense. Monday night against the Steelers, he had a huge gain down the middle of the field. Much of what he brings though is the threat of what is possible. Most teams have decent tight ends. The Bengals have two outstanding tight ends. One is a Pro-Bowler, and the other is a rookie who is already pushing the Pro-Bowler. Defenses need to be aware of Eifert on the field and can not assume he is in to block. The kid showcased his hands at Notre Dame and continues to produce in the NFL. Giovani Bernard has shown Bengals fans how special of a talent he can be. He scored twice in the Pittsburgh game and then again in the Green Bay game. His run against the Packers that ended with a twisting dive into the endzone was incredible. He is the home run type of running back who can create a huge play anytime he touches the ball. We are pumped to have a guy like him who compliments the hard-charging style of Green-Ellis.” [Dawgs By Nature]

Speaking of the Bengals, they have three defensive backs listed as doubtful for Sunday’s game, Coley Harvey informs us, “Coach Marvin Lewis didn’t close the door on either player Friday, but the probability of either playing appears slim. Both were listed, along with Kirkpatrick, as doubtful for the weekend. We’ll know their official status Sunday when the Bengals announce their inactives. ” [AFC North Blog]

Finally, today’s starter Scott Kazmir got trapped in an elevator on Thursday night, ““I heard a bang, and I was like, ‘Get me out of here,’” Kazmir said. “Then it banged again and it shook like it must have hit something. I guess it wrecked the hydraulics and knocked the door off the tracks.” He phoned the hotel and Indians traveling secretary Mike Seghi, but the hotel could not get the doors open. Kazmir wound up stuck for almost 90 minutes. Things got very nervous when the elevator company said it did not know how to open the doors. “When they keep telling you that they don’t know what’s going on and they can’t open it, it was freaking me out,” he said. “Every bit of news I was getting, the panic level was in waves.” All Kazmir could do was wait, and he said he wound up sitting in the corner of the elevator. “In the fetal position pretty much, probably,” he said.” [Fox Sports Ohio/McManamon]