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Tag Archives: Justin Masterson
MICHAEL BRANTLEY – He is your team MVP. With all due respect to Corey Kluber who we’ll talk about shortly, Brantley is an everyday player and he was the team’s most productive and consistent player from day one until the end of the season. He is the Indians MVP and he should get a lot of votes in the A.L. MVP race as well. I think Mike Trout will win the American League MVP over Victor Martinez, but hopefully Brantley will get the respect he deserves by being on most, if not all the ballots. Here are his numbers:
.327 average – 200hits – 45doubles – 20home runs – 97rbi’s – 23stolen bases – 94runs
As good as those numbers are, it was Brantley’s approach and his ability to handle the pressure of carrying this team offensively to keep them in the A.L. Wild Card race that was most impressive and can’t be over looked.
COREY KLUBER – One of the most dominate pitchers in Major League Baseball this season. Either he or Felix Hernandez will win the A.L. Cy Young award and the case you can make for Kluber is a strong one.
18 wins – Tied for 1st in the American League
2.44 era – That was 2nd best in the A.L. behind “King Felix”
269 strikeouts – That also was 2nd best in the A.L., two behind David Price
235.2 innings pitched – That was 3rd best in the A.L.
Kluber has established himself as the “Ace” of this Indians staff and that’s a good thing moving forward for manager Terry Franco and Mickey Callaway.
YAN GOMES – From not being on the roster at the beginning of last year, to the Indians every day catcher and one of its most productive offensive players this year! Nobody on this Tribe roster has made a greater transformation into an every day contributor more than “Yanimal”, and at a very important position. He ended up 2nd on the team in home runs (21), 3rd on the team in rbi’s (74) and was 3rd on the team amongst everyday players in batting average at (.278). Add in his ability to call games and his above average defensive and strong arm behind the plate, and the Indians are set for a number of years behind the dish with the 27 year old Gomes.
LONNIE CHISENHALL – The former first round pick back in 2008 finally lived up to some of that potential with his best year in the “Bigs”. Playing in 142 games, meaning Terry Francona let him face lefties this year, “Lonnie Baseball” put up very respectable numbers, hitting (.280) which was good for 2nd on the team. He also went deep 13 times and drove in 59 runs. It’s a start in the right direction. He needs to improve on those offensive numbers next year, and get much better with the glove at 3rd base, as he led the team in errors with 18, but all-in-all, a positive year for Chisenhall.
CODY ALLEN – Despite blowing some saves, and yes they were key saves down the stretch, for the most part Allen proved he has the stuff to be a closer in the big leagues. He was 24-28 in save opportunities taking over for John Axford during the season. He also posted a minuscule 2.07 earned run average in 69.2 innings of work. I love the fact that he’s a strike out pitcher at the back end too, racking up 91 K’s this season. The experience he got this year, including the blown saves in pressure situations is only going to help him become a better closer next year.
CARLOS CARRASCO – From starter, to long man, and then back to starter again, Carrasco’s performance down the stretch when given the ball every fifth day helped keep the Indians in the Wild Card race. This is what the Tribe’s front office was expecting from him when they acquired him back in the Cliff Lee trade with the Phillies in 2009. He finished the year (8-7, 2.55era) but in the last two months of the season Carrasco was outstanding posting a (5-3) record with a minute 1.70 era. Now if he can pick up next year where he finished this year, then he and Kluber will give the Indians starting staff a nice 1-2 punch in 2015.
HONORABLE MENTION: Brian Shaw, T.J House, Marc Rzepczynski, Carlos Santana, Scott Atchison, David Murphy
TEAM DEFENSE – The Indians were the worst fielding team in all of baseball, committing 116 errors. When you don’t have a juggernaut offense and have trouble scoring runs you can’t give away extra outs like the Indians did consistently in 2014. That has to get better somehow for the team to be a serious playoff contender next year.
NICK SWISHER – Overpaid, underperforming, injured and he’ll be 34 in November. Not a good recipe for success. A guy making over $14 million dollars a year has to play in more than 97 games, hit better than (.208) and strike out less than the 111 times he did this year in just 360 at bats. His leadership and enthusiastic attitude are great in the clubhouse, but what he’s doing on the field is killing this team. I’m not expecting him to hit (.300), but he needs to provide some power and run production in the middle of the order. Here’s the problem though, I don’t know if he’s capable of doing that. He’s on the back nine of his career. The Indians front office may have to accept him for who he is and let him play out his contract, or maybe they can deal him if someone is willing to take chance on him.
JASON KIPNIS – After having an all-star season in 2013 and signing a 6-year/$52.5 million dollar contract in the off season, Kipnis came out and had an extremely disappointing 2014 season. He hit just (.240 – 6hr – 41rbi’s). As one of the cornerstone members of this team for the distant future, Kipnis needs to reevaluate himself and come back next year and be a productive top of the order player for the Indians to be in the playoff hunt.
MICHAEL BOURN – Like the Indians other big money free agent signing last year, Nick Swisher, Bourn has been a disappointment so far. You expect your leadoff hitter to get on base and cause havoc. That’s hard to do when your on base percentage is only (.314). Bourn was supposed to set the table for this offense, steal bases (only 10 this year) and score runs (only 57 this year), he’s done none of that. Looking like another waste of money so far and not getting any younger (he’ll be 32 in December), the Indians front office may have to think about Bourn the same way they will be thinking about Swisher this off season, can they trade him?
RYAN RABURN – Like Kipnis, here’s a guy who got a contract extension in the offseason and then totally tanked during the season. The Indians needed his rat handed bat this year and he failed to deliver, hitting just (.200) with 4 home runs and 22 runs batted in. And let’s not forget his adventures in the outfield catching and throwing the baseball. They didn’t pay him a ton of money like Kipnis, Bourn or Swisher, but he was expected to do much more and failed miserably.
ASDRUBAL CABRERA and JUSTIN MASTERSON – Both players were expected to be major contributors in their walk years and ended up choking when the contract pressure was on and thus the Indians made the right move in dealing both of them before the trade deadline. While Kluber stepped up and became the ace of this staff that Masterson couldn’t be, the shortstop position is still a big question mark. Fansisco Lindor is the heir apparent there, but will he be ready in 2015?
FRONT OFFICE – Mark Shapiro and Chris Antonetti failed in their assessment of their own talent, thinking that the players on the current roster would improve enough to where they didn’t need to make any major offseason moves after qualifying for the playoffs a year ago. That ended up costing the Indians a playoff spot, as they missed getting into the post-season by just 3 games. A big right handed bat and more is needed on offense as they head into the 2015 season. They can’t afford to sit idly by and expect that everything will improve from within again.
Thank God or maybe Bud Selig for baseball’s second wild card. It has kept the Indians relevant for the second straight year. With 51 games to play the Tribe is just three games out for the second A.L. wild card spot. If not for that extra chance to make the playoffs Terry Francona’s team would be on the outside looking in from a far, trailing the Tigers by 6.5 games in the A.L. Central and 10.5 games behind the wild card leading Angels.
The Indians won’t miss Justin Masterson or Asdrubal Cabrera the rest of this season. Both of those players were being counted on this year to put up big numbers to help the Indians compete for a division title and both failed miserably. You can look at it as addition by subtraction and the Tribe’s front office picked up a couple of prospects for two players they weren’t going to sign in free agency at the end of the year anyways.
Speaking of disappointments, Nick Swisher is the Mayor of “Disappointmentville”. Making $14 million dollars a season and expected to be a big middle of the order bat, Swisher has failed miserably this year. He’s hitting just .212 with 8 homers and 42 runs batted in. He left yesterday’s game with right wrist soreness after going 0-3 with 3 strike outs. I never wish for a player to get hurt, but this injury will force manager Terry Francona, who has been loyal to a fault this season with Swisher, not to play him and just like with Masterson and Cabrera, it’s addition by subtraction with the way Swisher has under performed this season.
Jason Kipnis also resides these days in “Disappointmentville”. An All-Star last season for the Tribe, Kipnis is struggling mightily at the plate with a paltry .239 average and only 6 home runs and 36 rbi’s. He is another reason why the Indians are looking up at the Tigers and the wild card contenders.
With so many key players failing to meet their expected standards for this season, it’s amazing that the Indians still have a chance at making the post-season for the second consecutive year. Two of the big reasons they’re still in the race are Michael Brantley and Corey Kluber. Brantley’s All-Star first half has carried over into the second half as he continues to lead the team in hitting at .322 and rbi’s with 69, while ranking second in home runs with 20. His clutch hitting and consistent play is a big reason the Tribe is only three games out for the second wild card spot. Masterson was expected to be the team’s ace this year, but Kluber has taken over that role posting a n 11-6 record with a 2.61 era.
Other players that have helped keep the Indians in the playoff hunt are closer Cody Allen who has racked up 14 saves, 9 holds and an impressive 1.89 era. Lonnie Chisenhall has stepped his game up this year as he continues to hit for average at .306 while providing some power with 10 homers and 43 rbi’s. David Murphy has also been a pleasant surprise. The free agent outfielder has come up with some clutch hits for the team this year and with Swisher potentially out for a little while, maybe he’ll get a chance to add to his .261 average and his 7 home run and 53 rbi total.
With 51 games to go the Indians are (56-55) and in third place in the Central Division. Is Detroit’s 6.5 game lead insurmountable? No, but the Indians are going to have to go on a hot streak like they did last year to catch the Tigers and with this roster I just don’t see that happening. So if you’re a Tribe fan, realistically you should probably focus on the second wild card spot if you want to see the Indians in the post-season again this year. And while that’s not a whole bunch to grab a hold of, it’s still something, whereas in years past this Indians season would be over already. Thanks Bud for that second wild card spot!
Not only has Dwyane Wade’s on-court game diminished, so has his endorsement game. When the only commercial we see you in now is for the “Endura Cool Towel” which you can buy at Lowes, you know your superstar status is in question. Think about that LeBron!
The longer this free agency period goes in the NBA without a legit free agent willing to take less money to play in Miami, the Cavs chances, as well as all the other teams in on the LeBron James sweepstakes increase daily. I had the Cavs chances at 30 percent yesterday. I’ll improve that to 35 percent today.
So yes, Cleveland has a decent shot at getting LeBron James back if he doesn’t retrun to the Heat. If that happens thank yous need to be sent to the Spurs, Endura Cool Towels, Kyle Lowery and others.
The Indians off season moves, or lack thereof, are hurting their chances to win the Central Division, as they trail first place Detroit by seven games and second place Kansas city by three games. Here are the moves that hurt the most.
They elected not to resign starting pitcher Scott Kazmir who is now (10-3, 2.53era) with the first place Oakland A’s.
Aaron Harang was a spring training invite for the Indians, but was told he didn’t make the Indians opening day roster, so he used a clause in his contract to opt out and become a free agent. Soon after, he was picked up by the Atlanta Braves where he has posted an 8-6 record so far with a 3.67era.
They passed on adding a power bat, which they so desperately needed like Nelson Cruz in free agency and all he’s done so far for the Baltimore Orioles is hit 27 home runs, while driving in 70 with a .286 batting average. How good would he look in the middle of the Tribe’s order?
I will give the Indians credit for not re-upping Ubaldo Jimenez (3-8, 4.52), saying so long to Chris Perez and not caving in to Justin Masterson’s ridiculous demands for a huge contract, but the earlier mentioned moves that they didn’t make have really hurt.
There’s still time to do something before the trading deadline of July 31st, but they better act quickly if they not only want to still challenge for the division title, but also the two A.L. Wild Card spots. With 76 games to go the Indians are 5½ games out of the second Wild Card spot.
On a positive note, let me be the first to say congratulations to Michael Brantley for representing the Indians at this year’s MLB All Star Game. It hasn’t been officially announced yet, but this is a no-brainer. If he doesn’t make it, an investigation should be done by the FBI and the CIA with Major Legaue Baseball. Brantley is the Tribe’s best all-around player and he has the numbers to back that up (.319-13HR-56RBI) through 86 games.
I can remember saying it on the radio, TV and on KennyRoda.com over the last two years. I never worried about wide receiver Josh Gordon during the season, but when he’s away from the Browns in the off season is when you should be very worried about him, and how accurate have those statements been? Wow, you talk about throwing away a chance at stardom, that’s exactly what Gordon is doing. He’s soaking wet with talent, but prefers partying and allegedly breaking the law over a successful career in the NFL. He needs some serious help to get his life together as former teammate D’Qwell Jackson pointed out on Twitter yesterday.
If Gordon is suspended for a full season, and reports suggest that we should find that out here in the next week or so, the Browns will have 14 other wide receivers on the roster that combined for one touchdown catch last season. Yes that’s right, one TD grab! Nate Burleson caught one in Detroit in the 9 games he played for the Lions.
I said it then and I’ll say it again; not drafting a wide receiver somewhere in the draft was a big mistake by Ray Farmer and the Browns. I wanted Sammy Watkins in the first round, but I can understand the trade down to select Justin Gilbert and get Buffalo’s number one pick next year. But to ignore the WR position the rest of the draft was a bad decision by Farmer.
Thank you Jurgen Klinsmann, Clint Dempsey, Tim Howard and the rest of the U.S. soccer team for an exciting run in the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
I thought I’d never say this, but I’ve become a full-fledged soccer fan! Yeah that’s right, the guy who used to rip the sport on the radio many years ago, now has fallen in love with the sport! I think I’ve missed two World Cup games. I watched every minute of every game played by the United States and was thoroughly depressed when the U.S. Men’s National Team was knocked out in the round of 16 by Belgium.
I’m hopeful that other new U.S. fans like me will stay with the sport and help it grow in notoriety over the next four years leading up to the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
The Indians have hit the halfway point of the 2014 season. At the 81 game mark they are (39-42). Last year at this time they were (43-38). So that’s a four game differential on the negative side from a year ago when they finished (92-70) and in second place in the A.L. Central, but claimed the A.L.’s top Wild Card spot.
I’ve claimed all along that I didn’t think they’d be as good as they were last year mainly because of the starting pitching, or lack thereof. But also there is still no legitimate clean-up hitter with power, poor defense, they’re going to wear out their bullpen and two of their biggest bats Nick Swisher and Carlos Santana are hitting (.193) and (.207) respectively.
Having said all that, thanks to the two Wild Card spots in the A.L. and a Tigers team that is still the favorite in the division, but also not as good as they were last year, the Indians are far from out of it in the American League playoff picture. The Wahoo Warriors trail first place Detroit by 6 ½ games as of today, and are just 4 ½ games out in the Wild Card race with a lot of baseball yet to play.
A big power bat and a legit number #2 or #3 starter would go a long way of bettering their chances of getting to the post-season for the second straight year and they have until July 31st to make a trade, however don’t hold your breath on those. But as I’ve learned over the years in sports, never say never. Let’s hope that Chris Antonetti and Mark Shapiro address at least one of those two big needs.
MVP – Michael Brantley – This one was easy. Dr. Smooth is on pace to hit .318 with 25 homeruns and drive in 108 runs. He is the most complete and consistent player on the team and it’s not even close.
MDP (Most Disappointing Players) – Nick Swisher and Carlos Santana – This one was easy too. Your two so-called power bats are not only struggling average wise at the plate, they aren’t hitting for power either. Yes Santana is tied for the team lead in HR’s with 12, but that’s not saying much and Mr. Brohio has only hit 5 balls to “Souvenir City”.
MSP (Most Surprising Player) – Lonnie Chisenhall – Another easy choice. Where would the Indians be without the offense that “Lonnie Baseball” has provided? He’s hitting .350 with 8 homers and 36 RBI’s. Cody Allen is the runner-up here with 7 saves and a 2.67era as your closer.
Player Least Likely To Be Here After The Trading Deadline – Asdrubal Cabrera. He’s only hitting .248 with 8 homers and 36 runs batted in. Plus he leads the team with 14 errors and he’s a free agent at the end of the year. Trade him and get something in return for him because you sure as hell aren’t going to pay him what he’ll be asking once he hits the market. You have Mike Aviles to play short on an everyday basis for the rest of this year and until Francisco Lindor is ready for the big leagues.
Pitching Rotation – My rotation for the 2nd half of the season would be – Corey Kluber, Justin Masterson, Josh Tomlin, Trevor Bauer and whoever gets hot, but leave Carlos Carrasco in the bullpen. He has found a home for now and if it ain’t broke don’t fix it.