(Photo courtesy cleveland.com)
I said it last year and I will say it again. Michael Brantley is going to be the leadoff hitter for this team. He has quick hands which he can use to turn on the ball or he can wait on the ball and hit it the other way. The thing I admire about Brantley’s play and that sticks out to me is his befuddling ability to work pitchers to the very best of his potential. For how young he is, he sure does make me want to see more of him.
I don’t think that the Indians should keep him down in the minors for long. If Laporta struggles, Brantley should be brought up immediately and placed in the one spot. This makes the whole idea of Grady hitting second which in my opinion is regrettable better. He can be moved maybe into the third or fourth spot and Asdrubal can be moved back into his spot in the second spot.
Brantley came into the majors last year and hit an astonishing .313 in 28 games. Yes he didn’t have all of the time in the world to show us what he has, but so what. The kid got into the majors but still showed what he could do. He kept the team alive and I think he was the real deal. He does need more time for grooming as the Indians and Manny Acta call it. Sometimes he gets himself out too easily and can be atrocious against lefties at times.
But Brantley has shown me something. He has shown me what I thought that was in him the whole time. He has a young Kenny Lofton brewing inside him. No I’m not saying he is going to be as good as Kenny ever was, but he has the potential to become a player like Kenny. He could possibly steal 40 bases, hit .310 while scoring 90 runs in a season. Now this could not happen this year, but I think if Brantley keeps on driving to work on his swing and mechanics, this isn’t out of the question…
(Image courtesy sportsgrumblings)
But my question is “Are the Indians belittling Brantley?” For heaven sakes, the guy almost hit for the cycle against the D-Backs. He only needed a homer to complete it. Do the Indians have full faith in Brantley like I do? I want an answer from Acta. He needs to make up his mind in whether Brantley is going to be the every day left fielder, or if he will be playing in the minors for three fourths of the year.
He can’t afford to spend his season in the minors this year as he did last. The problem is and I will say this loud and clear: There are no spots for him to fill. Matt Laporta is expected to hit 20 or more homers this year and is really depended on to pump out 70 RBI or more. The Indians are counting on him to produce. And then you know who we have in center. And right now, no one is going to beat him out. Then you got Choo in right who can’t be beaten.
(Image courtesy CNN)
There is just no where to go. Which is why this “tuning” might be taken place. It could be the Indians excuse of saying “Your not good enough and we don’t have a spot for you.” This I will agree is the main point and argument. Is Brantley good enough to play in front of Laporta? I think it will take a little bit of this year to figure out. And it will be interesting in what Acta decides.
Brantley is young as is Laporta. It’s hard to compare a power hitter and a speed guy. But in my utter opinion, I would have to say that I agree with the Indians that Laporta should be the number one while giving Brantley a “tune up.” But when this tune up is over, where shall he go? If there is no spot in the roster for him to go, then what is his purpose for the Indians?
It will all play out during the year. You will see moves being made with either Laporta and/or Brantley. It’s going to be a dogfight in my opinion for the role unless Laporta comes out and wow’s the majors in the first two or three months. But are the Indians belittling him? He is very talented but also very young. I think in fact that Indians are belittling him due to the fact that he is a young and inexperienced player.
(Image courtesy lebrownstown)
And I think he knows that the Indians think of him as that. Frown upon it or not, it’s a true fact and he needs to play more mature. He needs to lay off pitches that he doesn’t want and polish his game off. When he comes back to the majors after his tuning we could see a different Brantley, maybe one with a better game.
But this all depends on where a spot opens up. Possibly many players could change position at once just for Brantley to come into the opening. He will definetely be up during September call ups, you can count on that. But if he’s not up before that, than that will be a shame. The Indians will have belittled little Brantley to the expiration point..
(Image courtesy Waiting For Next Year)
Thanks to my good friend savagetruth who commented on last post, he had the idea that Andy Marte and Russell Branyan should platoon at first base. And he is absolutely correct about the 40 HR possiblity. That was a genious comment, and I would like to say thanks for the idea, and thanks for letting me post on it. It makes perfect sense.
Russell Branyan hit 31 homers last year while Andy Marte only had 6. But if you take the time when Marte was hot and the time when Branyan was hot you have two oiled machines. You put them together and then you have one super oiled machine. With all that oil you can produce a good 40 homers or so. Yes fans this is a wonderful idea don’t you agree?
I can’t believe I haven’t thought of this. This idea is so simple yet so hidden. With Marte’s struggle at times, Branyan could take the weight off of his shoulders. While during the time Branyan is getting pitched well, Marte can come in and take the chip off of his shoulder. I also think that Marte can come in against lefties. The other idea could be for Marte to only play when lefties are on the mound.
Marte is not a very good hitter against righties but against lefties he’s halfway decent. Since 2007, he’s increased in homers and he is looking better and better the more I see him. The reason that Marte hasn’t produced those HUGE numbers in just one year is because of the fact that he only plays about 50 games a year. If you take the 6 homers he hit in those 47 games he played in you can use that to calculate about eh 21 homers in a full season.
(Image courtesy AP)
So if you platoon Marte and Branyan your going to get some production out of it. I think it makes perfect sense, and as a Tribe follower for years this finally came to me and said “great idea”. I totally understand where savagetruth is coming from and I agree that platooning these two is the best thing to do. They are both “power hitters” and do rack of their fair share of strikeouts. But that’s not the point. Together as I have stated, they can produce about 40 home runs and 90 RBI’s.
As if the fact that you used one of them you might get 30 homers from Branyan with 70 RBI’s and 5 homers and 20 RBI’s with Marte. Going just with one can lead to slumps, and alot of bad games over all leading with no productiveness and maybe a bad year for either Marte or Branyan. But with the combo I can see new beginnings in Cleveland. Just like they platooned when they weren’t successful in the 60’s it panned out eventually.
This platooning could be infectious among the other players who knows? If Branyan starts going, it could be a domino effect. You never know. Maybe if Branyan gets into dancing lessons, than Marte will get into dancing lessons, and maybe Choo will get into dancing lessons. Who knows. I do think that Choo would be a pretty good dancer though… just a thought.
(Image courtesy Castroturf)
I do see strikeouts happening with these guys. But I do see home runs being hit night after night. I don’t even know what pandemoneum will be present when Marte and Branyan are hot. If the Indians (Manny Acta) goes through with this, and I hope he/they will… then I think that the Indians will have a VERY productive first base. It’s almost like your getting an All Star to play first base for them.
I do think that this will pan out perfect. Russell Branyan played in 116 games last year while Marte played in 47. Together that will be 163 (one more than games played). So if you give or take away another game or two in either one of them’s stats, then you have a perfect season. That is why this platooning will work for them. It has to be like this in order for run production to take place.
I do believe that this team can flourish from a good platooning. This could effect the team in multiple ways. The team can feed off of a good first base performance and follow up in a good way. For example maybe Russell Branyan and Marte go on a hot streak. The whole team could feed off of that and maybe go into a month hitting great as a team. This situation could effect everything for the Indians. This is why I really like this idea.
I do thank savagetruth for the idea of platooning as he is a very smart individual. I do highly believe that the Indians should platoon in order to get more productivity out of the first base position. Manny Acta needs to meet this head on and needs to platoon. He can’t see through this. Andy and Russell might make a happy couple… for the Cleveland Indians. Until next time….
(Image via Let’s Go Tribe)
The Indians just won their first Spring Training game of the season 9-2. Shocker, isn’t it? The Indians hit well thanks to their new hitting coach and Lou Marson had one heck of a game. Throw in a couple well alot of extra base hits and you have a huge win for the Indians. But it’s Spring Training.
When I think about the multitude of players contributing to the win yesterday, I become apolled. It’s amazing how many players had great games in their first game of the year. Yes I know it’s one game, but it was the first of a long season ahead. And many players out there had integrity and looked like they had a burning passion to play ball. But most of these guys were younger guys trying to make the team.
Manny Acta had a comment after the game saying “We swung the bat well, but that’s already there.” I don’t know where he’s coming from. Yes the Indians do have a great young lineup but I don’t remember anything from last year or the year before that where the Indians always “had the hitting there.” I do agree that they put on a circus show in their game yesterday, but I don’t think that they had the hitting there the whole season last year.
Yes there were bright spots in which I did say that “the Indians had the offense down pat” but those were at certain times. The offense wasn’t there as a whole last year as Acta is claiming to. But that’s his opinion, and for all I know he might be right. They hired a new hitting coach in the offseason, the hitting coach from Columbus who is said to be an outstanding coach. He is working with everyone on their swing.
For all you fans that said that Asdrubal should be the leadoff hitter, I am thinking maybe you are right. He hit a homer in his first at bat, and really works the pitchers well. I do agree with you on that perspective, but where my friends will Grady go? This is a laughing matter. There is no possible way he is going to maintain the two spot all year. He has to be moved to the three or four spot.
(Image via Let’s Go Tribe)
I thought that Grady did pretty well in his first game I have to admit. Rick Manning commented saying that “The team builds off of Grady”. Where have we heard that one before? I think I remember saying that about a few days back. Grady does give the team a discharge that they use to get on rallies. I do think that with a healthy Sizemore, a good team comes.
And no I’m not saying that we are going to win the Central, I’m just saying that we aren’t going to be a basement dweller if Grady has a good year. But the first step in making this year a good one, will be for Acta to take him out of the two spot. It is the best thing for the team right now and for the next step forward.
My personal thoughts on this situation are bring Brantley up in the opening day lineup. Put him first, Asdrubal second, and Grady can go in the third or fourth spot. But that’s just my opinion. It does make sense though on a degree. Brantley can hit all pitching and is just as effective as Asdrubal Cabrera is plus Brantley can steal 30 some bases in a season. The move for Asdrubal would make sense because numbers prove that he is a better hitter in the two spot.
(Image via Let’s Go Tribe)
But let’s lose the argument. It was a sunny, warm, humid day in Arizona. And when I got off of the bus from school, I ran home to turn on the game. It was a very exciting one if you were an Indians fan, not so much if you were a Reds fan. Back to the drawing board I guess. I saw fans that had no shirts on, sandles, and bathing suits. That’s the life eh?
Indians baseball is back for good. At least for the whole season. I craved it during the offseason and had to keep reminding myself that I didn’t need it. But it’s back, and this sudden urge of baseball makes me want to scream. It’s time for the sun to come back out, weather to reach the 70’s, and ESPN to air those Sunday night baseball games. And with Indians baseball comes more speculation and more questions which I love.
And what better than to start the season (well Spring Training that is) off with a win. Why don’t we just quit? Don’t worry fans I am just kidding. But if the Indians were to quit then well… They would set a record. A record that well, we would always hold and cherish. We would go undefeated in a season. Yes we would be accounted better than any of those 90’s teams that were amazing or any of the teams in the 50’s that were ridiculously talented.
Too bad we can’t just quit. But then baseball would be gone, and I would be bored once more. Good thing we’re not. I did hear a comment yesterday on the climate in Arizona, “It is harder to pitch in Arizona because of the humidity. The ball is slick and you can lose grip easily.” That can’t be too good for pitchers. But I guess Justin Masterson is slick proof. And guess what, Bob Feller was at one of the practices. Maybe Bob let Justin in on a few of his techniques? Possibly so.
(Image via Let’s Go Tribe)
But Justin pitched a heck of a game yesterday as he single handedly lead the Indians to a 9-2 win over the Reds. Justin went scoreless giving up one hit and gaining three strikeouts. He looked like his movement was back, and that he could put the ball wherever he wanted to. I can’t describe how he pitched in words you can understand. He came out and threw the ball like a man.
Well, Indians baseball is back on the globe and with Indians baseball means more of my thoughts and more of my anger towards the team that I love. It’s a shame that Walt Jocketty had to go on the air yesterday and embarrass himself. He didn’t seem like he was ready for his interview.. “I, I um think that the uh Reds had a um good offseason you know? Uh, we um, got Cabrera and he has showed us what he can, uh can do. So I …. *pause* I uh think we have a good um what’s that word again? Oh yeah… team.”
Oh you forgot about that? Okay Walt. At least Mark Shapiro can talk to the public. On a brighter note we won and the baseball season has begun for us. I hope that we can keep it up today. Here are the lineups via Castroturf:
INDIANS (1-0): CF Michael Brantley, 2B Mark Grudzielanek, DH Shin-Soo Choo, 3B Jhonny Peralta, LF Nick Weglarz, RF Austin Kearns, 1B Andy Marte, C Wyatt Toregas, SS Jason Donald. LHP David Huff.
REDS (0-1): CF Chris Dickerson, SS Orlando Cabrera, 1B Joey Votto, 2B Brandon Phillips, 3B Scott Rolen, RF Jay Bruce, LF Jonny Gomes, C Corky Miller, DH Devin Mesoraco. RHP Johnny Cueto.
Make sure you tune in for the game on STO or Fox Sports Ohio. It shall be another good one, and I will make sure to get a post on it. I am so proud of the Indians on their opening day in Spring Training. They are looking pretty good (*knock on wood*). Hopefully no hexes get us *knock on wood again*. Let’s just hope we can
keep this up. Until Next time…
All of our teams have players that can consistently hit well or players that don’t make a single error. But to face the facts, we all have liablities somewhere in our lineups. You can’t deny it either. Every single team has a liablity throughout them. It just so happens that the Indians have well… in lack of a better phrase A TON! Baseball is a game of liabilities and the team with the least throughout the season wins.
Grady Sizemore just came off an injury infested season. His shoulder bothered him throughout his swing, and all he could do is pull the ball. If Sizemore doesn’t get back to normal, the Indians will be getting a chunk bit out of them this season. Grady needs to be the best he can be as a leadoff hitter, but in Acta’s case the 2 hitter. (more on this later) If he can’t produce, than the Indians offense I predict will slump with him.
(Photo via cleveland.com)
It seems as though when Sizemore is going good that the Indians offense follows I guess its like monkey see, monkey do, but that’s just me. Grady is definetely a leader in the clubhouse and really helps out the young guys. He steps up when needed and when he is healthy can give pitchers fits. But the liability behind the whole “package deal” is the fact that he strikes out too much, and no one knows where to put him in the lineup. At times he can go with little striking out, but in some circumstances he can strike out far too much which doesn’t seem promising.
When you put Grady in the leadoff spot, he is comfortable there and it seems as though he is more of a hitter. He takes the first pitch of the game so that he can see what the pitcher has and can feel better standing in the box than he would in any other spot in the order. I don’t like the 2nd spot though. Yes Grady can put a bunt down when needed to move a runner, and can also get things started, but he can’t hit the ball the opposite way. The biggest factor in this whole baffling process is that Grady can’t hit for contact. So the 2 spot is not for him.
But oh Manny Acta would like to differ. He thinks that Grady is a shoe in for the two spot and that Asdrubal Cabrera should be the leadoff hitter. Which brings me to another liability,… coaching. I don’t see why Acta thinks that Grady is such a wonderful 2 hitter. He strikes out way to much and like I said can’t go the other way while Cabrera can hit all fields and strikes out a miniscule number of times. I don’t understand the thought process.
(Image via fangraphs.com)
It’s almost like he’s thinking backwards. Already on my bad side, which is not good counting that we’re not even through the first Spring Training game this year. If anything at all Grady should be at the 3 or 4 spot but 2? What the heck is this guy thinking? Maybe he’ll figure it out during the season when the Indians aren’t producing like he “figures” they will.
I think the biggest liability in Cleveland right now is there young arms. Yes, Jake Westbrook is feeling healthy. And yes I am excited. But it all comes down to the same questions, “Will he produce?” and “Will he play through the injury?”. I would have to say he will produce for the pitching staff, but he’s not going to turn them into a team that is the top pitching staff in the league. Of course, he could come into the season and just stink it up. We don’t know what he is and isn’t going to do yet.
I think that Westbrook has a good chance of being the two guy in the rotation. Maybe others disagree, but until Westbrook proves me wrong, I think he should be glued into that spot. Acta probably disagrees, and that’s why I hate em. As long as Westbrook fights for a good season and gives us 9 or 10 wins, I will be proud to bring him back. And no I won’t bash on him if he doesn’t do so well, the guy is injured give him a break.
(Image via bostonbaseballheadshow.com)
Fausto Carmona also makes me wonder… where did this guy go? Now two bad years after almost being the Cy Young award winner in 07. I just wanna know how a guy can go from so good to so bad. His control was amazing during 2007, and during the offseason he got into some bad habits. He walks too many people now, and his sinker is finding it’s way up in the zone. He’s a huge liability and could be the difference in finishing last in the Central or 2nd (I’m thinking it’s gonna be close).
Suppose David Huff continues to pitch well as he did last year, and our bullpen does not let us lose an extra ten games, then I think that we’ll be okay. But these things are all liabilities and they could go in either direction. As you can see the Indians have many liabilities, suprise suprise. Let’s just try and cut back on a few heading into 2011. I might have a better attitude. Just put on your headresses and paint your faces like chief wahoo cause the seasons a’comin. Good luck, and until next time…
We go into the season asking a ton of questions about the Indians. We want to know if we are going to see the same team we saw last year. I maybe can’t answer that spot, but I am dang sure that I can predict the little things like how many ejections the Indians will have, or how many dumb injuries they will have over the course of the season… I just hope no Joel Zumaya’s happen, dang you Guitar Hero.
Will the Indians be last in the Central?
Well, you are a young team, with young pitchers. You just came off of a year that had your offense stumbling, and you had some bright moments with the kids from the minors. I can’t ensure that we won’t be in last place, but with teams like the Royals and the White Sox, I don’t think the Indians have a better chance to be in last place than to not.
No they are not going to win the Central I know that, but they aren’t going to be like Ozzie Guillen’s team. And no Indians fans in case you were wondering, Manny Acta will not be having a twitter. Back to the topic, the Indians are a team full of young talent but they need time to develop. If we have any chance of being in the top 3 of the Central, we need to have an
amazing job throughout the pitching staff, and our offense must be clicking.
Could you see us getting to the playoffs in 3 years?
Of course. But first, we will need to hire a new coach. Yes Manny Acta is someone new, but than again he came from a losing team. We need a guy that knows how to win, someone that has won before and has a real reputation. In 3 years, who knows who will be on our team. You can’t really have a right or wrong answer with this one. If the pitching staff is good, than I think we possibly could.
An example would be in 2007 when the Indians almost went to the World Series. CC Sabathia (don’t get me started) and Fausto Carmona were carrying the team on their backs. The whole reason the Indians got to the playoffs in the first reason was that their offense could score 4 runs a game and their pitching staff could hold opposing teams to under 4 runs a game. It’s as simple as that, the team with more runs wins. If Cleveland wants to make the playoffs in 3 years, they will have to win more than they lose. (Sorry, that’s a loose prediction.)
Number of ejections
There will be 5 ejections this year by an Indians player. But when the Indians are playing the White Sox, I predict that Ozzie Guillen will be ejected twice throughout the season. So altogether during Indians games I think that their will be 7 ejections.
But who’s counting?….
How many dumb injuries will there be?
Let’s just say there will be more than we can count. The Indians need to be healthy, but with injuries, they just keep sitting in the bottom of the AL Central.
Yes we all know that the Phillies have trampeled the be-fuddling Dodgers in the NLCS, and we all know that the Angels and Yankees series has caused a bit of a
minor major heart
attack in the womb of the Yankee faithful.
But why now do we worry about that, when we have Indians news that has brewed up quite a storm over the young, talented Cuyohoga!! Manny Acta has just been announced as the Indians new head coach through 2013. Wonders… we got a guy who is used to losing. Just bring on the tradition buddy, we are used to it here in Cleveland.
Acta gets hurt in spring training writing the lineup card for an exhibition game. Don’t believe me, every other Indian has had some sort of surgery or some sort of doctors visit that has taken place this off season. Don’t all us fans hate it when our star players have to go under the knife in the off season?? I know I do.
The guy would definetely not make a strong showing here in Cleveland if he chose this route. The pungeant smell in Cleveland only seems to want to grow larger than it already is. With Acta in town – this injury in the off season might be the way to go.
The Cleveland Browns and the Cleveland Indians make an in – city trade. The Indians trade Jhonny Peralta to the Cubs for Jeff Samardzija (used to play football for Notre Dame) and the Indians then trade Samardzija to the Browns for $8 million in cash. Yeah, maybe its illegal but the nonsensical season the Browns are having – does Mangini really have to care “what legal and whats not?” I think not.
The Browns need all the help they can get, and if the Indians can get money out of a deal – go ahead and take it. We need money people! That’s all we want for Halloween, no candy – no Milky Ways… money. Don’t hate us cause we are snobs! Aren’t we all these days?
Mangini – 0 Acta – 1