August 26, 2014

Clippers Bats Whip Bulls 8-3 to Take a 2-0 Series Lead

IL Playoffs Round 1 – Game 2
Clippers 8, Bulls 3 (box)
COL leads series 2-0

Unlike Game 1, this time out both offenses established themselves early. By the end of the first inning, a combination of five runs–two more than had scored in the entire game–were in and on the scoreboard. But, it was the Clippers’ bats who would carry the day. Columbus starter–and former Durham Bull–Mitch Talbot got the chance to beat his former team, and was good enough after the first inning to give him team time to stretch their legs. And stretch they did.

Chad Huffman again led the offensive assault, with three hits in five trips, including a double and his second home run in as many games of the series. Huffman drove in two and also scored twice as well as the Clippers rocked former Tribe draft pick Chris Archer to the tune of five runs in 5.2 innings. Tim Fedroff, Travis Buck, Beau Mills, Juan Diaz, and Argenis Reyes all had two hits each as well, as the Clippers plated eight runs on 14 hits. They were especially potent with two outs, scoring all of their runs with two outs. [Read more...]

Indians At the Break: The Starting Rotation

The Indians head into the All-Star break a surprising 47-42 and a half game out of first place in the AL Central. Many experts think they have done it with smoke and mirrors. I believe they have gotten this far thanks to Actaball- a combination of great pitching, solid defense, and timely hitting. Regardless of how they have gotten to this point, during the break from the action, WFNY will take a look at the four cogs of this roster, how they evolved during the first half, and where they look to be going forward through the rest of the season. On Monday we assessed the outfield and DH positions. Yesterday it was the infield and catching positions Today in the third of our four part series, we will move to the starting rotation. [Read more...]

While We’re Waiting…Colt McCoy’s Future, Tribe Rotation Questions and Deadline Deals

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

How long is Colt McCoy’s leash in 2011? “But there is something else that will be hanging over the heads of the Browns in 2011 and that’s the 2012 NFL Draft, specifically the #1 overall pick. At this point, it’s a foregone conclusion that Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck, about as “can’t miss” a prospect as you will ever see, will be chosen first. If the Browns spiral down into oblivion, there will be an opportunity to draft Luck.

Does that mean the Browns give up on Colt McCoy after only one season? And what do you do if he plays relatively well and the opportunity to draft Luck is still there? The Browns are going to have to determine this season if McCoy is a quarterback that can lead them to a Super Bowl – it’s a decision that will affect the franchise for years to come.” [Steve DiMatteo/Dawg Pound Daily]

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Talbot Rocked by Toronto

It’s rare these days for the Indians to put 7 runs up on the board and get 15 hits in one game.  They accomplished this last night but unfortunately Mitch Talbot was on the mound.   He gave up 8 earned runs in just 5 and a third innings pitched last night.  He continues to put the Indians in a hole early in games – last night giving up 3 in the 2nd inning.  Mitch is not long for this rotation and last night may have been the final straw – he’s 1-6 with a 7.63 ERA in 9 starts since the end of May.

With the mix of starters on the DL and a couple guys in Columbus holding their own, the Indians will have a couple rotation questions coming out of the All Star Break.  After the game, Manny Acta sounded like a guy who had lost his confidence in and patience with Talbot, stating, 

“He’s scuffling, so we’re going to have to look into that.  We’re not going to overreact, but we’ve got to look into things. It’s been 31/2 months of baseball. We have to do what’s best for our team and look at all our options.”

Mitch can’t like the sound of that.

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Indians 5 Diamondbacks 4: Chiz, OC, Save The Day

I know many of you couldn’t stay awake for this 9:40 PM start time in Arizona. You should have.

Monday night was the long awaited debut of the Indians top hitting prospect, Lonnie Chisenhall. With the offense in a deeper funk than George Clinton and Parliament, GM Chris Antonetti fired his biggest bullet. Manager Manny Acta wasted no time, starting Chisenhall at third base and hitting him seventh. “Here’s here to play,” Acta said.

The last Tribe phenom to come up and wear #27 was Jaret Wright in a year the Indians were fighting for a pennant. Could Chisenhall have that same kind of instant impact?

In his debut, all Chiz did was go 2-4 with a huge sixth inning RBI single in the 5-4 win. “I felt like an all-around baseball player tonight,” said Chisenhall. “I got a couple of hits, drove in a run and made a couple of plays at third base.” [Read more...]

Talbot bounces back, silences Jays with help from his defense

In the first inning, Mitch Talbot could have headed down that dangerous path once again. You know, the one he went all the way down last outing against the Red Sox in his last outing?  With two runners on and one out, though, Talbot coaxed a double play ball from the bat of Juan Rivera to end the inning. From that moment on, Mitch Talbot was in control, although he didn’t do it alone. The Tribe’s winning formula, two-out hits and stellar infield defense, returned and aided Mitch and the Tribe in their 6-3 victory.

I was already readying the hook, looking to Zach McAllister for help in Columbus after Mitch’s Boston batting practice session. But, Talbot looked nearly as impressive on this night as he did earlier this season in his eight inning gem against the Angels. He had control of all four pitches, and stayed away from the big inning with the help of his infield. Talbot lasted 6 2/3 innings, letting up a lone run in the seventh that Joe Smith allowed to score. Talbot walked three, struck out three, and allowed just six hits. His most impressive feat may have been fanning Jose Bautista in the fifth on a devastating changeup. Retiring Jose Bautista, let alone striking him out, is quite an impressive accomplishment these days.

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Is the Indians’ Rotation Really This Good? Well, Yeah…Sorta.

So most of this you’ll already know, but I’m going to talk a bit today about the start that Indians’ rotation has gotten off to.  Not to completely ruin the surprise, but they’ve been pretty good.

The obvious questions, then, should be twofold: (1) how have they been so good and (2) is it the sort of thing that we can expect to continue?

First, let’s tackle the “how” part.  The Indians have made 33 starts so far this year, and have pitched exactly 208 innings.  That averages out to almost exactly 6 1/3 innings per start. 

Is that good?  I don’t know.  Let’s check: [Read more...]

Cleveland Indians Google Player Popularity Rankings – 4-25-2011

Back in March I decided to analyze the popularity of Cleveland Indians players on the roster based on Google results. That was March 10th and the landscape has changed significantly since the season started and the Indians started pretty hot. There are some outliers like Jayson Nix (who won’t make the next list as he is no longer on the team) who were artificially inflated because of a transaction. Nix was traded for cash to the Blue Jays which led to a lot of hits in Google.  Also, keep in mind in total the list had a 57% increase in hits from then to now.  This is representative of the effect of just being in season officially.  Still, the rankings are interesting.

And… we have a new number one.  Grady Sizemore led the list to start the year, and despite coming back from injury and playing well, he was still overtaken.  Check the list after the jump. [Read more...]

Cleveland’s Rotation: Deep Enough to Dream

I really don’t have anything against ESPN writer Keith Law. His article the other day really bothered me though. Particularly his comments about the Tribe’s young pitching staff.

Where I doubt Cleveland most is on the run-prevention side of the ledger. The two fluky starts by Mitch Talbot weren’t signs of things to come anyway, and now his injury exposes Cleveland’s lack of pitching depth in the upper levels. Josh Tomlin’s 2.75 ERA and three wins mask fringy stuff, including a below-average fastball and no real out pitch to miss bats; he’s likely to be homer-prone in addition to just generally hit-prone. Carlos Carrasco at least has two above-average pitches in his fastball and changeup, but he has never really had an average breaking ball and his command remains a stubborn problem. Even erstwhile ace Justin Masterson has weaknesses, including a career-long platoon split borne of his low arm slot, and while I expect him to dominate right-handed hitters I doubt he’ll sustain his current .103/.212/.103 line against them.

Grrrr. First, these are young pitching prospects we are talking about. Guys that will continue to develop. Nobody, no matter how long they have been around baseball, can say with any great certainty who will and who will not end up with a successful career in the Major Leagues. There are the occasional guys that seem to be can’t miss. (Even though some of them do miss.) But as for the rest, staying away from major injury and learning the art of pitching on the fly seem to be the major differences between perpetual prospects and legit MLB starters. [Read more...]

What’s Behind the Rotation’s Improvement?

Make no mistake: the start of the Indians’ season has been fun. For those keeping track at home, they’re off to the second best start in franchise history, due to a strong offensive showing, improved defense and strong starting pitching.

And while I think plenty of people expected the Indians to have a reasonably strong offense this season, just a few weeks ago most people were fairly skeptical of the rotation, and for good reason.  Our “ace” hadn’t had a truly effective season in four years.  Our #2 starter was only 23 years old and had already developed quite a proclivity for allowing home runs.  Many argued that our #3 pitcher should be in the bullpen.  The rest were labeled as cast-offs or back-end fodder, just filling spots until the draft picks arrive. [Read more...]

What’s Going on with Mitch Talbot’s Elbow?

If you’re one of those people who believes that a team should communicate injury information clearly and quickly, I would wager you’re not a big fan of the Indians’ PR department.  It seems to be the rule rather than the exception that there will be obfuscation, delay and some good old fashioned hemming and hawing before you ever actually figure out what’s going on with a player’s injury situation.

We saw it with Hafner’s “tired” shoulder.  We saw it in the weeks leading up to Jake Westbrook’s Tommy John surgery. And we saw it again last week with Mitch Talbot.

The Indians originally told the press that Talbot was being skipped in the rotation because Fausto prefers to pitch on four days rest rather than five.  When asked if Talbot was injured, they said no, and that they wanted to keep it that way. [Read more...]

Keeping the “S” in Scrappy: Mitch Talbot’s Upside

Mitch Talbot was born in October of 1983; he won’t turn 28 until after this season is over.  I suppose it might be safe to say that he doesn’t remember Ronald Reagan or Rubik’s cubes or mix tapes or the USSR.

Interestingly, his October birthday also makes him the oldest pitcher in our rotation, and worthy of some attention due to the pipeline we’ve tried to fill with pitching prospects over the last several years.  After all, the hope is that someone like Drew Pomeranz or Alex White or Corey Kluber or Nick Hagadone might soon make Talbot expendable.  I find myself waiting for the day that we cut him loose for one of our high-upside hopefuls.

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Indians 4 Angels 0: “The Fury” Pitches Tribe To Eighth Straight

Who else is having fun? There’s plenty of room on the bandwagon Cleveland, so hop on board. Who needs sleep? Not me, I’d rather stay up watching West Coast Tribe action. I mean, what is not to lose about your Wahoo Warriors right now?

They are getting A-Plus pitching from both the rotation and the bullpen. They are playing stellar defense behind said pitching, and they continue to come up with timely hits. All of this has added up to an improbable eight-game winning streak. And as last night’s starter, Mitch Talbot said “It’s awesome, the thing is, I think we’re capable of keeping it going.”

That is just what they did last night in Anaheim.

Talbot, the much maligned fifth starter, came out looking to continue the rotations run of hot pitching. Nobody could have seen it coming, but “The Itch” was nowhere to be found. “The Fury” came out to play instead. Knowing that the three back-end bullpen horses – Rafael Perez, Tony Sipp, and Chris Perez – were all needing a night off, Talbot went to work. For the first time this year, a Tribe starter pitched into the ninth. Shockingly enough, it was “The Fury.” [Read more...]

Anyone Else Concerned About “The Fury?”

Heading into Spring Training, it was pretty much a lock that the Indians top four starters would be Fausto Carmona, Justin Masterson, Carlos Carrasco, and Mitch Talbot. Anything short of a complete collapse by Carrasco or Talbot would keep them locked in.

Or so we think.

Carrasco is a legitimate prospect with the kind of arm the Indians are looking for. He impressed over the last month of the season when he was with the parent club and is looking to build on that during his first full season in the majors. I for am excited to see that development. Most people gloss over the fact that Carrasco was a one time can’t miss prospect in the Phillies organization. [Read more...]

Acta on Carrasco: “He has the stuff to be one of the best guys in the AL.”

The first week of pitchers and catchers always has everyone thinking positive. They say “hope springs eternal” and “everyone is 0-0.” The managers, GM’s, and players all wax poetic about how great they feel and how much they are looking forward to getting back into the swing of things. On top of that, you get your over the top positive reinforcements on the athletes.

All the guys “look like they are primed for a big year” or a “big bounce back year,” which ever applies. Its a great time of year to be a baseball player.

Which brings us to Tribe manager Manny Acta.

In talking to the media yesterday about his much maligned pitching staff, he seemed to key on how much better he thinks the rotation will be, despite coming in with no new additions to it. We all know the fifth spot is up for grabs amongst a group of holdovers including Josh Tomlin, Jeanmar Gomez, and the great David Huff. [Read more...]

Tribe Season Recap: The Starting Rotation

In our next installment of the series, we will examine the Indians starting rotation. This was hands-down the team’s biggest question mark coming into the 2010 season. By the end, more question marks arose, while some other names emerged from nowhere to make themselves factors. So what do the Indians have today? Lets take a look.

The Opening Day Starting Five:

Jake Westbrook (21 starts as an Indian, 6-7/4.22 ERA/1.38 WHIP)

Fausto Carmona (33 starts, 13-14/3.77 ERA/1.31 WHIP)

Justin Masterson (29 starts, 6-13/4.70 ERA/1.50 WHIP/140 K’s in 180 IP)

David Huff (15 starts, 2-11/6.21 ERA/1.69 WHIP)

Mitch Talbot (28 starts, 10-13/4.41 ERA/1.49 WHIP) [Read more...]

Tribe Sweeps Double Dip To Close Out Home Season

What a nice way to close out your final homestand. The Indians headed into Wednesday night’s doubleheader on a four game winning streak. The weather broke on what turned into a beautiful night, and our beloved Wahoos played about as well as they have all season, taking both legs of the double dip and sweeping the Detroit Tigers in the process.

With yours truly and my three-year old son in attendance for the first game (pounding popcorn and pizza like it was going out of style – my son, not me!), Mitch Talbot suddenly found himself for seemingly the first time in months. The man who went from “The Fury” to “The Itch” after the All-Star break, went seven scoreless innings leading the way for the Tribe’s 4-0 victory. [Read more...]

On Inning Limits, the Indians Rotation & Injury Concerns

After much gnashing of teeth and about 20,000 wasted words from me, this weekend the Indians decided to relegate Justin Masterson to the bullpen for the remainder of the 2010 campaign.  According to the team, the decision was based not on any belief that Masterson slots better out of the bullpen in the future, but entirely on innings limits that the Indians believed they should put on pitchers who are ramping up workloads.

Indeed, according to Manny Acta, Masterson will enter Spring Training as a rotation option unless the team signs “five Bob Fellers” this offseason.  So this move was clearly intended to limit Masterson’s innings and allow his arm to rest after pitching more innings than ever before in his young career. [Read more...]

White Sox 10 Indians 6: A Comeback All For Naught

Talk about a tale of two games down at the corner of Carnegie and Ontario. If you were actually watching the big Indians/White Sox tilt last night, you may have turned it off mid-way through the second inning. If you turned it back on around 10:15 EST, you would have been shocked to see the score.

Lets start at the beginning. Mitch Talbot got the start for the Indians and was looking to recapture his pre-All Star break form. Over his last nine starts, we should have changed his nickname from “The Fury” to “Mitch the Itch.” After striking out Juan Pierre to open the game, Talbot turned into Hector Ambriz. [Read more...]

While We’re Waiting… Buckeyes, James Davis, Sheldon Brown and Drew Sutton

While We’re Waiting is WFNY’s way of saying “Hey, we’re not really awake and ready for the day yet, but here are some quality Cleveland sports links anyway.” Enjoyed an article or post recently? Send it over via our staff e-mail: tips@waitingfornextyear.com.

Quick thoughts on yesterday’s coaches poll release: “The Ohio State University is ranked No. 2 in this years pre-season poll. The Big Ten has 4 teams in the top 14 with Iowa and Wisconsin and Penn State helping to gain our conference some needed respect. If you add in Nebraska that is 5 teams in the top 14 in the nation. That is UBER impressive in my mind and telling of the kind of teams we have here in the midwest.” [Sylvester-Yon Rambo/Men of the Scarlet and Gray]

Discussing the balance of the Ohio State offense and how things might be different in 2010: “Jim Tressel’s offensive philosophy has been, for nearly a decade as the coach of Ohio State, about balance. This has been the official story on the dude and the media’s go to description when talking about us offensively. It is both the truth and a lie.” [Johnny/Eleven Warriors]
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