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Indians at the 40 game mark.

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Indians at the 40 game mark.

Postby ironmike » Sun May 20, 2012 7:58 am

Difficult to gage the Indians at the 40 game mark other than they can't score enough runs consistently and we haven't played Detroit yet. Last year we beat the Tigers early in the season then lost a ton of games to them the rest of the year.

Detroit is coming up on the schedule, it will be interesting and revealing how we stack up with them.

The challenges the Indians currently have with their offense can be fixed and expect GM Antonetti to start tinkering soon.

Grade B for the first quarter of the season, only a consistent offense has kept the Tribe from being 10 games over .500 which is significant.

Personally a minor move that could help the Tribe would be replacing Duncan with Matt LaPorta. It is not the answer but an upgrade.
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Re: Indians at the 40 game mark.

Postby GhostofTedCox » Sun May 20, 2012 8:44 am

Whenever you are in 1st place, my grade is an A.

What you can say is that, like last season (before the injuries), nobody is having a career year. They are doing just enough as a team.

The strength has been the pitching as expected. Both the SP and the pen. Manny has used the staff very well.

You also could be optimistic about the rest of the season. Masterson and Ubaldo should only improve. Sizemore could come back and contribute (but don't bet on it). Laporta could be called up and turn it around. CPerez could read "How to Win Friends and Influence People". Heck, even Roberto Hernandez could get square with the government.

Things could be worse.

BTW - Adam Lind just got placed on waivers by the Blue Jays. Nobody will pick him up because of his contract. Should we pursue him, or give 1B to Laporta?
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Re: Indians at the 40 game mark.

Postby ironmike » Sun May 20, 2012 9:50 am

TC, agree the only reason I held back is we didn't play the Tigers in the first 40 games.

What is the reason Lind has fallen so rapidly? He could be a candidate for the Tribe, not sure what issues are below the surface. Any one here on the board know about Lind's decline?
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Re: Indians at the 40 game mark.

Postby Pork Chop Pough » Sun May 20, 2012 11:52 am

ironmike wrote:What is the reason Lind has fallen so rapidly? He could be a candidate for the Tribe, not sure what issues are below the surface. Any one here on the board know about Lind's decline?


The Start of Adam Lind's Ending
There are things we can point to show why Lind hasn’t been as good since. His aggregate walk and strikeout rates since 2009 have gone backwards. He hit fewer line drives, and was never able to duplicate the success he had in 2009 against fastballs. Perhaps the biggest reason for these drops is because while in 2010 and 2011 he chased pitches outside of the zone much more frequently than league average, he still made contact on pitches outside of the zone at a league-average rate. Unless you’re Vladimir Guerrero, that type of approach is inevitably going to produce weaker contact, and Lind’s drop in slugging percentage — despite the 20-plus homers each season — bears that out.


I see no good reason to pursue Lind. He had one excellent fluke season three years ago, and has otherwise put up about 4 years worth of Matt LaPorta like production. In fact, LaPorta was arguably better last season and couldn't be any worse if he was getting MLB at-bats like Lind this year. Lind is also another lefty who's basically an automatic out vs. lefties.
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Re: Indians at the 40 game mark.

Postby ironmike » Sun May 20, 2012 7:35 pm

What is the Indians record when Lou Marson and Duncan are in the starting line up? Seems like every time Marson is in the line up we struggle to score runs. 8 runs in three games with the Marlins at home! Boring baseball at best.
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Re: Indians at the 40 game mark.

Postby ironmike » Sun May 20, 2012 7:40 pm

Indians and Phillies are scouting Kevin Youkilis. For the Tribe it is 8 years after Shapiro didn't want him because he walked like a duck.

•The Indians need a right-handed hitter and another starting pitcher, as they still don't know if they'll see Roberto Hernandez (formerly Fausto Carmona) this season. The problem for the Tribe is that they rank last in attendance in the majors and likely can't increase payroll significantly. They'll have to ask for cash in deals and that means giving up better prospects in return.

Pretty much what I posted a week ago, prospects will be leaving.
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Re: Indians at the 40 game mark.

Postby MadThinker88 » Sun May 20, 2012 7:49 pm

Word is the Tribe has an interest in picking up Kevin Youk.
Not sure what Boston would be looking for but if Dolan was willing to pick up the salary (I'm doubting that but one can hope), the Tribe might be able to get Kevin real cheap.
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Re: Indians at the 40 game mark.

Postby GeronimoSon » Sun May 20, 2012 9:39 pm

Good concise evaluation of the Indians at the first quarter pole.. Outright ownership or co-ownership of first place in the AL Central has reach day 26.. and counting. The NEXT big test is the Tigers coming to town for a mid-week three day set with only Tuesday's game having a chance of some rain...

Grading the Indians:

The Bullpen (B+): Coming out of the spring training (and before), it was agreed by so many that the Indians # 1 strength was going to be the the Bullpen.. The Back of the Pen has been rock solid and even scary good at times.. The long relief and the loss of Rafael Perez is really the only two areas of this part of the team that may be considered a question.

Starting Pitching: (B): Derek Lowe has been outstanding.. Kudos on his efforts and continued success. Justin Masterson has been spectacular at home, not so much on the road. Overall, he's kept the club in games for all but two starts (in Seattle and in Boston). Otherwise he'd be in the top 10 across the board for SPs. Ubaldo has begun to show he is a pitcher..not a thrower. It will be a day of THANKS when the idiot velocity discussion goes away... Even so, Ubaldo needs to string 8 of 10, good starts over the next ten games to cement him as a solid MOR/FOR SP for the Indians. Josh Tomlin is injured right now, however, in his six starts, he's become a bit more tentative with trusting his stuff.. That needs to change. JeanMar has been outstanding. Take away the one clunker he was sacrificed for versus the CWSox.. and he's got the numbers any cy young award candidate would be proud of.. and he keeps getting better.. nice to see... Z-Mac has filled in nicely for Tomlin during his DL stint. He'll get at least a couple more starts, but he has shown, he belongs in the ML's..

The Defense: (A): Solid to spectacular defense... improvements in controlling the running game and fabulous fielding percentage all make the Indians a tough team to play. This is a bit of a surprise... btw..

Offense: (C) The less than sexy better (top three) in getting walks, on base percentage marks the highlight of the Indians attack. The rest of the offense is mediocre/middle of the pack..to lower third in MLB from an offensive perspective. This is theee number one area the Indians need to improve on. The Bench currently ranks anywhere from abysmal to barely adequate. Chris Antonetti needs to FIX this.. NOW...

Overall.. the Indians, at the first quarter pole would rate a solid B.. The next forty games should be interesting..

Thoughts?..
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Re: Indians at the 40 game mark.

Postby Bearcatbob » Sun May 20, 2012 10:05 pm

Defense? Damon?
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Re: Indians at the 40 game mark.

Postby GeronimoSon » Mon May 21, 2012 8:24 am

Bearcatbob wrote:Defense? Damon?


Fortunately, the Indians haven't been burned too badly by Johnny Damon's less than stellar defense. In fact, I don't recall seeing him commit a single error in the two dozen or so chances he's had in the field. That said, he's not going to win a gold glove.. not in this life.. but, who would have wagered big dollars on having Jack Hannahan be the team leader in errors committed at the first quarter pole of the season?

Like so much in baseball.. it's all about the opportunity and what the players do when that opportunity presents itself..
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Re: Indians at the 40 game mark.

Postby Prosecutor » Mon May 21, 2012 8:29 am

Overall I'd give them a C+. Yes they're in first place and on pace for 90 wins, but the only reason they're in first is that no other team in their division is over .500.

Only 9 of the 41 games have been against teams with winning records. The Tribe has yet to play the two best teams in the East, Baltimore and Tampa Bay, and they haven't played the Yankees. So that 23-18 record, although good enough for first place in a very weak division, isn't as strong as it looks. A lot of those wins came against the weakest teams in the A.L.

The Indians are 8th out of 14 in runs and 9th in team ERA despite the easy schedule so far. The defense is above average in terms of errors, but overall I think this is an average team defensively. When Damon takes a bad route and lets a catchable ball drop like yesterday he doesn't get charged with an error. When Brantley drops a ball right in his glove it goes as a double because he was near the wall. When Asdrubal lets routine ground balls get through because he's ridiculously slow for a shortstop, those are base hits. You can't just look at fielding percentage.

We have great defense at first and third base, Droobs and Kipnis are reliable on the routine plays, and Santana has really improved his ability to stop the running game. Otherwise the defense is just OK. I must say they have done a nice job turning double plays, which is important for this staff.

Once we start seeing the Tigers, Rangers, O's, Rays, Blue Jays, Cardinals and Yankees on the schedule we'll find out just how good this team is. If Masterson and Ubaldo can make modest improvements and we get some help in the second half from Sizemore, Raffie Perez, and either LaPorta or a right-handed bat obtained in a trade, this could be an interesting season. Especially if the Tigers don't get their act together.
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