July 29, 2014

Tribe 8 Royals 2: The Cavs/Tribe Mashup Version

Quick, name me the Cleveland sports franchise that has won two straight games most recently? I’ll give you a hint, their colors aren’t Wine and Gold. Say what you want about the Wahoo Warriors; they don’t have a ton of talent, they are young, their payroll seems to be 25% of what the Yankees and Red Sox are, but at least THEY DONT QUIT.

While we were all watching the Cavs completely disgusting and indefensible performance at The Q, the Indians were taking apart their brother in the AL Central basement, the Kansas City Royals 8-2. As Mike Brown was getting completely worked by noted X’s and O’s man Doc Rivers (ha ha), Manny Acta was managing circles around Royals skipper Trey Hillman, who by all accounts in KC is the MLB version of Brown – a dead man walking. [Read more...]

Angels 5 Indians 2: More of the Same

Welcome to your Tuesday morning 10 am Tribe recap, where we not only tell you what happened when you were asleep, but we give you so much more detail than one would ever need in discussion of your sub-.500, rebuilding baseball team.

In the opener of the final series of their nine-game road trip, the Tribe were tripped up by the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim 5-2 in a game where they surprisingly had plenty of chances to actually score runs. I know, they only scored twice, but that is actually an improvement, considering the two shutouts over the weekend in Oakland. [Read more...]

Twins 5 Indians 1: Cabrera’s Error The Game Changer

Stat of the night coming in: The Indians, a noted below-average defensive team over the past few years, had committed just four errors in their first 12 games. One of those errors, a Jhonny Peralta butchered two-out, bases loaded throw in Detroit, was the difference in a 5-2 loss 12 days ago. History would repeat itself last night at Minnesota’s Target Field. This time, the blunder came from an unlikely source.

Ask any talent evaluator who is the best Indians defensive player, and I’m guessing 95% of them will tell you Asdrubal Cabrera. The future gold glove shortstop plays the position with Omar Vizquel-like ease. Errors are going to happen, you just hope that the damage is minimized. [Read more...]

Breaking Tribe News: Brantley Sent Down, Branyan Expected to Be Activated

Tribe fans, it looks like its time to start the Russ Bus. Per the Tribe Insider Twitter which comes straight from the team, OF Michael Brantley has been optioned back to AAA Columbus and 1B/3B/OF Russell Branyan will be activated for tomorrow night’s series opener in Minnesota.

This comes as little surprise as Brantley has struggled at the plate thus far, hitting just .156 (5-32) with three RBI as the regular left fielder. Branyan has played in six games on a rehab stint – four in Columbus, two in Akron – and hit .273 (6-22) with one RBI. More importantly, he played back to back nine inning games in the field in Akron over the weekend and has been deemed ready.

The real interesting situation will be the at-bats and placement of Matt LaPorta. The Gator has been cold at the plate with just one RBI and a .216 batting average. He must supply the right-handed pop in a left-handed dominated lineup. [Read more...]

Return of CLIP SHOW! Keeping an Eye on the Tribe’s AAA Squad – 4/13/10

Clip Show aims to be your weekly update for all things Columbus Clippers. Check back each Tuesday afternoon for team records, roster updates, and performance updates on some of the brightest prospects in the Tribe system.

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It definitely feels like spring. The Clippers are back, I’ve been able to take in two games in beautiful Huntington Park, and I’ve enjoyed seeing Carlos Santana almost a little too much. But hey… I need to enjoy it while he’s still here. Let’s take a closer look at the Clippers’ week…

This Week: 3-2
Current Record: 3-2, t-1st place (of four) in ILW (International League West)

Columbus Clippers Celebrate Opening Day With Impressive Display of Offense

Opening Day, or really Opening Night, was one of those nights when being a pitcher probably isn’t very much fun. On a cold, cloudy, windy night in Columbus though, it wasn’t the weather that made life miserable for the Indianapolis Indians pitchers. Instead, it was the Columbus offense that punished the Pirates’ affiliates all night long on their way to a 17-4 Opening Night victory.

Carlos Carrasco got the opening day start for the Clippers, and had an overall uneven night. He came out on fire, though, placing his low to mid 90s fastball and showing good control with his offspeed stuff early. He gave up a double off the wall to the 2nd batter he faced, but other than that he struck out the side to open up the season. Nothing much changed for Carrasco in the 2nd inning as he got a quick popup to the shortstop, a ground out to the shortstop, and then another strike out to finish off the inning.   [Read more...]

Russell Branyan to Start Season on DL

What many saw coming weeks ago became official late yesterday as the Cleveland Indians announced that first baseman/designated hitter Russell Branyan will begin the 2010 season on the 15-day disabled list. 

“He’s made consistently positive progress,” general manager Mark Shapiro said of the recently acquired Branyan. “He has a good chance to get into a game this week  – we’re comfortable saying sometime in the first two weeks of the season he’s going to be ready to play, if there are no setbacks.”

Still recovering from a herniated disc in his back, Branyan’s absence will give way to 25-year old Matt LaPorta who will start the regular season at first base. 

[Read more...]

Tribe Talk: The Russ Bus and How it Affects Everything

With opening day just 12 days away, Tribe manager Manny Acta and the GM duo of Mark Shapiro and Chris Antonetti still have plenty of decisions to make in shaping the final 25 man roster. There have been several developments in the works and in reality, nobody really knows which way these things are going to go. Lets examine the most pressing issue.

Will the Indians ride The Russ Bus on opening day?

I have been on record many times stating how much I dislike the Russell Branyan signing. The 34-year old power-hitting, strike out machine with a balky back has done pretty much nothing other than stroll around the Goodyear complex since his signing close to a month ago. Yet, he is still the guy who the brass would like to be the opening day starter at first base. [Read more...]

Shappy’s Telling Quotes On the Brantley/LaPorta/Branyan Triangle

Scott put it in this morning’s WWW, but Indians.com’s Castroturf blog has some very telling information in it yesterday. Two things really jumped out at me. The strange case of Russell Branyan and the Michael Brantley dilemma.

Both stories are intertwined.

Michael Brantley is clearly the future in left field and as the leadoff man. Yet, despite a .313 September with the big club playing every day, the Indians seem content, no matter what happens, to send Brantley back to Columbus for more seasoning. Meanwhile, unless he isn’t ready due to his offseason hip and toe surgeries, Matt LaPorta is all but assured to be on the opening day roster as a starter.

Check out the quote from GM Mark Shapiro from yesterday: [Read more...]

While We’re Waiting… Branyan’s Back, Titus’ Celebration, and March Madness

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

“The most puzzling element of spring camp to this point has been the Russell Branyan saga. He strolls into the complex around the time his teammates are heading out to stretch, and he’s coy — if not completely evasive — with the media regarding the status of his recovery from lower back problems. Branyan has a herniated disc in his back, and it has prevented him from setting foot on the field with his teammates for something so simple as a morning batting practice session. He told reporters the other day that he had stopped taking groundballs and swings and was hoping to play catch on Sunday. Not the best timetable to be on with three weeks left in camp, obviously. But the company line is that as long as Branyan can play the final week of games, he can be adequately prepared for the season.” [CastroTurf]

[Read more...]

Break Up The Wahoos!

I know I know. Spring Training games mean NOTHING. But watching your Cleveland Indians start the spring with a 5-0-1 record has to at least give you a little cause for optimism, doesn’t it? Consider last year when the Tribe Spring Training record was 5-15 and the pitching staff took turns with the gas can and flame thrower. [Read more...]

While We’re Waiting… Lebron Suspended 50 Games For Steroids

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

lord Helmet Scared_med

Not the best news to wake up to… “Indians minor league catcher Steven Lebron was suspended for 50 games for testing positive for the steroid Boldenone metabolite.

Lebron, a member of the Indians Dominican Summer League team, was signed in January. His contract was voided at no cost to the Indians.” [Paul Hoynes/Plain Dealer]

And, now that we have your attention…

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Manny Acta Looking to Fill Out the Bench

Indians Spring BaseballWhile spring training is about getting players ready for the start of the season, it is also a time for the head coach to see what he has in a few question mark-type players.  Coupling that with the fact that the entire coaching staff is new to the Cleveland scene, and that evaluation exponentially increases.

As Jon laid out for us yesterday, the Indians are essentially set in terms of their batting order.  What is not set continues to be the offensive portion of the bench as well as the back end of the rotation. 

[Read more...]

SABR-Toothed Triber: Logic on Batting Orders, Sizemore, Branyan & Brantley

asdrubal Cabrera Grady Sizemore Russell BranyanOur last two posts focused on explaining some essential offensive and pitching statistics to help us evaluate the 2010 Indians.  Rather than introduce another stat this week, I thought we’d take a little break to discuss batting orders, their importance to a team’s ability to score runs, and how Manny Acta has begun to think about setting up a lineup for the 2010 season given the recent roster decisions.

There’s a lot of conventional wisdom about batting orders out there.  We’ve heard it all before.  Leadoff men should be speedsters.  Wait, no!  Leadoff men should get on base!  Batters in the #2 hole should be good at moving runners over, but shouldn’t worry too much about getting on base themselves.  Sluggers should always bat cleanup.  The best all-around offensive player on the team should bat the three spot.  Pitchers should bat last (in NL parks).  But why?  Can’t we explain any of these notions?  Are they correct, or just accepted because some guy who chews tocacco said so? [Read more...]

While We’re Waiting…Phil Jackson on Z, Antawn’s Integration into the Offense, Combine Fallacies, Branyan Deal

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.

Phil Jackson

Phil rips the NBA rules and the Z trade: “It’s something that’s going to have to be addressed in the next (collective bargaining agreement)…It’s a sham of sorts to make that kind of trade. You’re not really trading a player. You’re just trading a money situation. It’s a sham, and I think it’s a disrespect for the league and the players to be involved in this type of a thing…They got a real good player and [have] not lost a thing.” [Chris Tomasson/Fanhouse]

[Read more...]

Russell Branyan’s Addition Will Impact Younger Players

Russell Branyan MarinersWith Cliff Lee and Victor Martinez being traded away last season, the overriding thought was that the next year or two would be used to develop the current younger talent that comprises the current Cleveland Indians roster.  As of today, it appears that the developing will happen – just not where fans may have originally assumed.

Today, the Indians officially announced the signing of veteran slugger Russell Branyan.  The $2 million deal is for one year with a mutual player/club option for 2011.  In his second stint with the Indians, Branyan is considered to be “the guy that can make the most impact right now” by manager Manny Acta.

“He’s going to get the majority of the playing time,” said Acta.  “We didn’t sign him to be a back-up guy.  He’s going to play every day somewhere.”

[Read more...]

While We’re Waiting… Browns Transactions, Ferry’s Swagger, and Buckeyes in the Combine

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.

jamal-lewis-browns-campUnlike their baseball bretheren, the Browns are getting younger: “It came as no surprise that the Browns parted ways with Jamal Lewis and Donte Stallorth in recent weeks. What is a surprise is why it took them so long with Lewis. Of course, they didn’t let the ink dry on Stallworth’s re-instatement by the NFL beefore they let him go.

Both players have stories that tie in with the former Browns—the Ravens.

A year ago at this time, Eric Mangini and his staff decided to pay Lewis nearly $4 million in bonuses to keep him. Even though Mangini was just recently hired by the Browns, I questioned his judgment of assessing talent on the matter.” [Fred Greetham/The OBR]

[Read more...]

While We’re Waiting… Z’s Interview, Jamison’s Debut and Russell Branyan

While We’re Waiting serves as the early morning gathering of WFNY-esque information for your viewing pleasure. Have something else you think we should see? Send it to our fancy tips email at tips@waitingfornextyear.com.

Zydrunas IlgauskasWho doesn’t love old photos of Z rocking the beard? And by the way, he had his first interview following the trade yesterday with the Plain Dealer: “Zydrunas Ilgauskas was on his way to the airport this morning, heading for Washington, D.C., and his new team, the Wizards. The thought of putting on a new jersey makes him almost queasy.” [Mary Schmitt Boyer/Cleveland Plain Dealer]

The newly formed Pro Basketball Talk recaps a horrible beginning to the Antawn Jamison era in Cleveland: “Tonight will likely be the first and last time for the rest of his career that Antawn Jamison wishes he were still a Wizard. Jamison came off the bench for 18 minutes and shot 0-12 from the floor, scoring only two points and being blocked five times in the Cavs’ 110-93 loss to the Charlotte Bobcats Friday night.” [Matt Moore/Pro Basketball Talk]
[Read more...]

LaPorta’s Health and Bargain Basement Free Agents

LaPorta

There are a couple of intriguing names left still looking for a job that could help the Indians at first base. Career OF Jermaine Dye, ex-Indian Russell Branyan, and former Ranger Hank Blalock are among those without a team that would be considered solid additions to a club lacking veteran pop in their lineup.

But the question is, should the Indians bite?

Take the money issue off the table, since at this point, GM Mark Shapiro would either have to get creative or sign someone to an incentive laden deal to make it work. The remaining free agents not named Johnny Damon are probably not going to get much. Many aging veterans at this point are just hoping for a major league contract. [Read more...]