Terrifyingly Troubling Tribe: I’m About To “Pull A Drennan”

2 06 2010

I think I’m close.

You know the mental state you have to be in to break down like Bruce Drennan did?

Jason Donald beating out an infield single to break up a no-hit bid in the top of the 9th inning.

I’m close.

I just sat at the bar and watched the Indians come oh so close to being no hit, nay pitched perfectly against. Armando Galarraga almost found himself in the company of Ubaldo Jimenez, Dallas Braden, and Roy Halladay – all whom have thrown no hitters this season (Braden and Halladay’s were perfect games).

If it weren’t for Jason Donald’s infield single(!) in the top of the 9th, the Tribe would have been on the opening segment of Sports Center. And when I say infield single what I mean is botched call by the umpire. Read the rest of this entry »


Manny Acta: Baseball Mastermind?

2 06 2010

I’ve already made it clear in “Acta’n a Fool” that I’m a HUGE Manny Acta fan. His masterful coaching against the Yankees on May 31st is a perfect example of the kind of astonishing strategy that Tribe fans should expect from him and that he made a name for himself by in Washington.

"ARod, your stats look like they could use a pick-me-up. May I be of some service?"

In fact, the coaching he did is valuable testament to the kind of impact managing has on a baseball game and is why the position is so damn important.

In the 7th inning, down only 1 run to the New York Yankees, Acta made the astute choice to just end the game. Read the rest of this entry »

A Closer Look: Justin Masterson

21 05 2010

Time for another breakdown, the most enjoyable yet (which also means the longest). If you are looking for a quick read, put this on hold. But, when you are craving some baseball later today, load this guy up, sit down, concentrate, and enjoy yourself while you follow me through a jungle of ambiguity to a clearer view of Justin Masterson’s 2010 campaign.

Justin, how does your "xFIP" stack up?

This article begins with my boy Dave, the Super 7 Foundation’s 2010 ‘Best Young Chef’ award winner and fellow Lebrontourage columnist, asking me about Tribe starter Justin Masterson: “break him down Z. He K’s dudes but lets up too many hits. And, it’s like he doesn’t trust the fielders.” What’s Masterson’s deal, head case? Get ready for the most complicated statistics (mathematically and theoretically) we’ve used yet (I’ll ease them in) and let’s take a closer look.

Dave’s first observation is that Masterson “K’s dudes.” Indeed he does. At 9.63 K/9 he has the 9th highest rate of strike-outs for any starter in the bigs (min. 40 IP). Masterson is striking out over a batter an inning, which means strike-outs account for 1/3rd of the outs he gets. Thank God, because he isn’t getting many other guy’s out.

When guys aren’t striking out, most are getting on base. Masterson is allowing an average of 11.25 hits per 9 innings pitched (H/9). Which, confirms Dave’s 2nd observation- “dude let’s up too many hits.” Typically, you want your pitchers closer to 8 and hopefully more like 7 H/9. Read the rest of this entry »

A Closer Look: Austin Kearns

20 05 2010

One of the few points of optimism for the Cleveland Indians this year has been the play of Austin Kearns. Signed to a minor league contract, Kearns is making Shapiro look like a professional for the low risk/high reward signing. But, are we seeing Austin Kearns; or, is this just a flash in the pan? Let’s take a closer look.

If you combine Kearns’s 2003 and 2004 platoon abbreviated seasons as a young player in the bigs, his numbers from 2003-2007 give us four 450+ AB seasons of remarkably good data to compare his 2010 season to.

03-04: 146 GP, 24 HR, .247 AVG, .50 BB/K, 102 wRC+, .298 BABIP

05: 112 GP, 18 HR, .240 AVG, .45 BB/K, 107 wRC+, .281 BABIP

06: 150 GP, 24 HR, .264 AVG, .56 BB/K, 118 wRC+. .308 BABIP

07: 161 GP, 16 HR, .266 AVG, .67 BB/K, 107 wRC+, .299 BABIP

Making his average year something like: Read the rest of this entry »

Acta’n a Fool: What is the real plan?

19 05 2010

One of the reasons you will currently find happy, drunk Browns fans abound in an otherwise depressed city is that with the addition of Mike Holmgren, the Browns franchise has embraced a ‘larger picture.’ There’s a plan. No longer will fans have to deal with the topsy turvey and erratic decisions of the yearly carousel of all powerful coaches. No more Butch Davis, no no, Romeo, no no, Mangenious, wait no no, [insert hyped new candidate here]. Stability and vision.

Tribe fans are thinking: “Man, must be nice…”

They might look alike, but Russell from "Up" could still out-manage Manny Acta

Seriously, even in the years of disorder, the year’s with no plan, at least the Browns had some logical coach candidates.

Cooper and Butch were the Urban Meyers, the Steve Spurriers of the late 90s. College coaches just don’t always translate, but it’s worth a shot. Romeo was Savage’s guy and Romeo had pedigree- a Bellichek product; and on the defensive side of the ball no less! Mangenious, same idea: Bellichek tree, rising coach candidate, even some good work with the Jets. Worth a shot. Read the rest of this entry »

Sunday Night Speculation: A waiver consideration at every position

17 05 2010

(Note: Every Sunday, Dave will provide his fantasy baseball musings in “Sunday Night Speculation.” And yes, I’m aware that we just posted its inaugural article on Monday. So you can call it “Monday Musings” today if you would prefer.)

So many different emotions are expressed toward your fantasy teams on Mondays. If you are like me you usually have distain toward most players on your squad. This guy didn’t show up and that guy blew it- the accusations fly left and right. I won’t get into the depth at which I analyze all the available players early early every Monday morning but lets put it like this, fellas, if this were Fantasy Island I would be Ricardo Montalban.

1B – Aubrey Huff – SF –  4 HR/18 RBI/ .279 BA

First base has been a very deep position this year so chances are your team doesn’t need one but if you do Huff can prove to be solid enough to hold his own. Along with the numbers above he has 20 runs and has a low strikeout total- 18 (if your league plays with K’s). Only owned in 16% of Yahoo! leagues.

2B -Adam Kennedy – Wash. –  2 HR/12 RBI/ .245 BA

The numbers above may not impress but Kennedy gets my vote for pick up of the week. Not only is he eligible at 2B but at 1B and 3B as well. He is in the midst of a 9 game hit streak and, like times in ’09, you should get on board with Kennedy ASAP because this streak could end just as soon as it began. Only owned in 9% of Yahoo! leagues.

3B – David Freese – STL –  3 HR/ 22 RBI/ .306 BA

People continue to sleep on Freese’s production but unless you have a top 10 third baseman, there is no reason why you shouldn’t consider him.  He is going to continue to see RBI chances while batting behind Holliday and Pujols so unless you are desperate for home runs, Freese should be your guy. Owned in 47% of Yahoo! Leagues. Read the rest of this entry »

Tribenomics: Carlos Santana

17 05 2010

In a previous blog post, I identified, “where is Carlos Santana,” as one of the biggest question on any Tribe fans mind. Well fans, he’s coming.

Wait... This is the wrong Carlos Santana. Nvm.

No, I’m not an insider and have no tips from Shapiro or Carlos himself about an impending call-up, but I don’t need to be. This isn’t a baseball question, instead, like most things in life, it’s an economics question.

Let me explain.

Carlos is MASHING in Columbus. Through 35 games, he stat line is a mouth watering:

.317 AVG, 6 HR, 29 RBI, 3 SB, 23 Ks to 23 BBs, .438 OBP, .542 SLG

There is no reason to think this is just a hot start; last year at Akron, Santana put up an All-Star line:

.290 AVG, 23 HR, 97 RBI, 2 SB, 83 Ks to 90 BBs, .413 OBP, .530 SLG

So what’s holding Santana back? At 24, he isn’t too young. Is it the competition? Read the rest of this entry »