Indians have 2nd-best catchers, FiveThirtyEight and Blake Bortles… While We’re Waiting

WFNY ad short

WFNYBanner www

FanGraphs: Indians have 2nd-best catchers, 17th-best first baseman. If you are into baseball stats, you should not only be perusing all of the tools on FanGraphs, but you also should keep an eye on their content. During the 2013 season, their writers had major crushes on both Corey Kluber and Danny Salazar. Now? It appears they’re pretty high on Yan Gomes.

Based on expected team WAR per position, Jeff Sullivan ranked catchers and Eno Sarris ranked first baseman yesterday. At catcher, Gomes’ defensive value obviously adds to the equation. If he can continue even just average offensive production, plus Carlos Santana’s occasional presence, the Indians are pretty loaded here. Nick Swisher isn’t bad, technically, first base is just a very power-heavy position.

Oh and speaking of Salazar, this tweet will help to get you pumped up.

NBA articles you should read. I try to read a lot. It’s how I try to improve my writing. It’s how I keep up to date on what’s happening in the world, especially in sports. Often times, unfortunately, I also can’t get to everything. So, without any further introductions, here are four links that you also should save for your read it later list. This is based only on feedback I’ve heard thus far and the great reputations of the people involved.

Q&A: Goran Dragic on Being Fearless, Playing His Game, and ‘Words With Friends’” — Grantland’s Zach Lowe
Boogie Week” — Hickory-High.com (yes, a full week of DeMarcus Cousins coverage)
Why Terrence Ross is One of My Favorite NBA Players” — The Diss’ Kevin Draper
Chasing Cinderella 2014: Manhattan College basketball” — SB Nation’s Dan Rubenstein

Nate Silver’s grand experiment. You’ve likely heard by now about Monday’s launch of FiveThirtyEight dot com. You probably have opinions about it too. Obviously, with Silver’s site being so overhyped for months and months, with no teaser content at all, expectations were too insanely high. But I think Awful Announcing’s Joe Lucia did a fair job in looking at what FiveThirtyEight is doing right and its contribution to journalism.

Quickly, there obviously were tons of articles about the articles on the “data-driven” site. Marginal Revolution’s Tyler Cowen got it all started with his economic perspective. The New York Times’ Paul Krugman wrote about it … twice. New York Magazine’s Ben Wallace-Wells also had a post.

It’s early. There’s no doubt about that. Any site, from WaitingForNextYear to Grantland, improves over time. FiveThirtyEight will find their rhythm and they will find ways to succeed within the ESPN’ profit-crazy umbrella. No, Nate Silver’s reinvention probably won’t change journalism single-handedly (it’s already changing anyway, y’all), but it should be fun and unique. Isn’t that just all what we want from our reading material?

The high-ceiling QB. By now, we know quite a bit about Teddy Bridgewater and Johnny Manziel. They are both practically household names. But Blake Bortles? Not so much. So let’s see what Sports Illustrated’s Greg Bedard has to say:

If you could take the best quarterback in the 2015 draft this May, knowing that you probably wouldn’t get much from him in ’14—and even then he’s still not a sure thing—where would you draft him?

Would you still take him first overall in this talent-laden draft? How about the middle of the first round? Or would you not consider him until the second round?

That, essentially, is the conundrum with Central Florida quarterback Blake Bortles.

Go read the whole post, obviously. I’ll share my preference: Just drafting a young quarterback to rally around. I don’t really care. I think it probably should be at No. 4 and one of the big three quarterbacks. I’m admittedly not that knowledgeable about their strengths and weaknesses. But as a casual fan, I’m insanely jealous of even the quarterback situation in an organization like Miami. They at least have a young guy to rally around and hope will improve.

The Browns currently only have Brian Hoyer. I love Hoyer. I really do. I wrote about him as my nomination for WFNY Sportsman of the Year. And sure, with 28-year-old Hoyer and 32-year-old Matt Schaub, you can get by in 2014, hope to improve to 7-9 maybe still, and perhaps set the stage for a quarterback drafted this year. Both those veterans might be as good as they’ll ever be again next season. Just saying it’s possible to get by that way.

  • jewpants47

    the skewed logic of the ‘franchise qb’ is that there is an assumption that there are at least 32 ‘franchise qbs out there, and every team should have one. but the reality is there are only 2-6 excellent qbs that you think of as ‘the guy’/’franchise qb’. think about any season. The Daltons, Bradfords, etc of the world are starting qbs and even if manzel/bortles/bridgewater are at the same level and can be acceptably decent qbs for 5 years, well that’s still better then the qb situation we’ve had since 99. and yes i know that it means they arent worth the #4 pick in that case.

  • https://twitter.com/jimkanicki jimkanicki

    Just because..

    Tony D’Annunzio: Another Rob Roy, Bishop?
    Bishop: You never ask a navy man if he’ll have another drink, because it’s nobody’s goddamned business how much he’s had already.
    Judge Smails: Wrong, you’re drinking too much your Excellency.
    Bishop: Excellency, fiddlesticks, my name’s Fred and I’m a man, same as you.
    Judge Smails: You’re not a man, you’re a bishop, for God’s sakes.
    Bishop: There is no God…

    http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-jjtJ1ke6X1A/UTaosUDATZI/AAAAAAAAZt4/VqaBpiIfC70/s1600/original+(6).jpg

  • mgbode

    I think you guys are vastly over-rating NFL defenses. When plays break down, guys like Russell Wilson have been finding wide-open WRs for big plays. Favre before him, Elway before him. Yeah, some INTs may come, but gotta keep the eyes downfield and you’ll get some good things to happen.

  • mgbode

    Franchise QB doesn’t mean elite QB to me. Elite is a sub-group. I agree on the elite guys, but think there are probably 10-15 franchise guys at any one time. I also think that number is trending up lately. We’ll see.

  • Garry_Owen

    But it’s also not just the INTs, but the sacks. Those Bearcats D-Lineman are not frightening any NFL O-lines.

  • mgbode

    *insert number of small school QBs in NFL and Louisville not exactly a small school*

    gotta judge on what the QB is doing. put a marker in for their competition, of course, but it’s not a reason to completely discredit either.

  • jewpants47

    fair enough. but ‘franchise qbs’ can leave fans grumbling and complaining: Romo, Eli, Cutler, Dalton, Shaub, Stafford, Ben, RGIII, Flacco, . . . . . and they are still head and shoulders above what we’ve had.

  • mgbode

    yes, agreed (though I would put Schaub more in the Sanchez/Dalton/Bradford grouping).

  • https://twitter.com/jimkanicki jimkanicki

    the teams that get lewan-evans-barr-donald-gilbert in the teens are on their way to winning the draft.

  • Garry_Owen

    “*insert number of small school QBs in NFL and Louisville not exactly a small school*”

    Yeah, but my comment was in reference to the specific activity noted in that clip (i.e., evading slow D-linemen and popping off an “insha’Allah” pass). I can’t name a single small school QB (or big school, for that matter) in the NFL that gets away with that trash. It’s fun to watch, but it ain’t the ’70s anymore (sorry, Fran).

  • C-Bus Kevin

    Grumbling?

    You just named 3 QBs that have won 5 Super Bowls. I would LOVE to grumble about that level of success.

  • RGB