The Indians offense so far this season has been a paragon of inconsistency, a mercurial mess which leaves us with shelves full of empty bottles of antacid and a broken remote or two. The instability of production that this offense has shown because of the lack of any real anchor’s in the middle of the order and the run scoring trends as a result are interesting, and the IBI's Michael Hattery explains them in his latest Trend Spotting piece.
Thursday night’s offensive performance was impressive especially following their disappointing efforts at home against Kansas City. It had been some time since the Indians had easily won a game in a laugher, so Thursday night's beat down of the White Sox was well welcomed. The IBI's Michael Hattery shares his second thoughts on the game as the Indians keep pace in a crazy wildcard race.
When an offense is struggling, the blame is spread quickly and with relative ease usually beginning with expected cornerstones and then the manager. This course inevitably leads to a discussion about lineup optimization and if the fan base is particularly blood thirsty, issues with the hitting coach. The IBI's Michael Hattery takes a deep look into the struggles of the lineup and offers up some changes which may help and also looks into the clutch factor that Michael Brantley possesses.
The offensive struggles and upside have been fairly well profiled. Beating a dead horse is one that we are attempting to avoid at least to the best of our ability, but perhaps the most pressing question is not whether the offense will bounce back - because it will - but rather can this rotation hold together for twenty-three more games. The IBI's Michael Hattery takes a look at that question in an off day edition of Second Thoughts...
The last month of baseball, especially while the Indians remain on the fringes, has a collection of interesting storylines or players who are worth monitoring. Compelling, because some players are auditioning or beginning their audition for their place on the 2014 Indians. The IBI's Michael Hattery looks at one of those players, the forgotten soldier Josh Tomlin, and how his appearances this month could set him up to have a more vital role in 2014.
The minor league season officially came to an end for four of the Indians affiliates on Monday as Triple-A Columbus, Double-A Akron, High-A Carolina and Low-A Lake County all wrapped up their season's with some big performances from their players. The IBI's Michael Hattery recaps the action in the final full edition of Around the Farm for the 2013 season...
The Indians' struggles offensively continued on Thursday night as they dropped another close one 3-1 to the Braves. Once again the Indians held the Braves to three runs or less, but once again they lose because of an offense that scored just three total runs the entire series. The IBI's Michael Hattery looks at the offensive struggles to see if a turnaround is coming and also has high praise for Ubaldo Jimenez's great night.
Lost amidst the substandard performance of Asdrubal Cabrera, the mercurial stay of Mark Reynolds, and the mildly subpar performances of Nick Swisher and Michael Bourn, the struggles that Lonnie Chisenhall has had in his second stint with the Indians this year have been passed by. The IBI's Michael Hattery looks at those struggles in his latest and even offers up a suggestion that it may be time to bring up Jose Ramirez.
As we kick off the final week of minor league action this season, the Indians had several standout performances on Monday night, most notably from Shawn Morimando, Dylan Baker and Jose Ramirez. The IBI's Michael Hattery talks about their nights and more as he takes us around the farm and recaps the action in the Indians system.
As of August 22nd the Indians sit two and a half games behind Oakland in the wild card race and five games behind Detroit in the American League Central. According to Baseball Prospectus the Indians playoff odds sit at 33.2%. While the Indians are still in the division race, the IBI's Michael Hattery compares the Indians to the team they are chasing for the second wildcard, the Oakland A's.
Even the most emotionally distant type of Indians fan felt as if Christmas came on December 23rd when Nick Swisher signed with the Tribe. Swisher brought a couple of things, most notably being leadership, an infectious smile and an impressive track record of production stability. Unfortunately for Swisher, the hype of his signing as well as irrational expectations has created derision and criticism of his performance that may not be entirely fair. The IBI's Michael Hattery breaks down Swisher's performance this season.
The Indians saw many fine performances on Monday Night, as several standout and potential standout prospects found their way into our nightly staple, Around the Farm. While most was positive, the biggest name on the list may be Vinnie Pestano, who once again struggled for Columbus. Join Michael Hattery, as he takes a look at Pestano's poor showing, as well as the rest of prospects of interest.
The Minnesota series and really the last week and a half have been troubling even if you are a glass half full guy. On one hand you can say the Indians have won three of their last four games to hang around in the wild card race, but on the other hand you can say they have only won three out of their last ten games and fell out of the divisional race. The IBI's Michael Hattery takes a quick look at the Indians playoff outlook this season and beyond...
The Indians starting rotation has been the driving force all season for the Indians and their struggles and successes has played a huge part in the streakiness of the team. In this week's Trend Spotting piece, which has moved to Thursday's, the IBI's Michael Hattery takes a look at Zach McAllister and Scott Kazmir and breaks down their performances and what may come in their future performances...
It was a quiet night on the farm as Columbus, Akron and Mahoning Valley were all off, but Carolina, Lake County and Arizona were all in action and there were some notable performances. The IBI's Michael Hattery chimes in and notes the big night from 17-year old catching prospect Francisco Mejia in Arizona as well as several others.
The Indians are a contender. Yes these last four days have been as long and torturous as a Jean Claude Van Damme movie, but they are behind the Indians. Yes the Tigers are clearly the class of the AL Central and this is true for a few different reasons: Miguel Cabrera (really just the middle of the order in general), the consistency of their rotation, and shockingly their bullpen. Join Michael Hattery as he gives his Second Thoughts on Thursday's sweep-finishing loss.
The 2013 Cleveland Indians Baseball Insider book featuring the Indians' Top 100 Prospects and more is now available. Also, previous editions from 2008-2012 are also available at a discounted rate. Just click on the book image for more information. Thanks again for all the support!