Gavin Floyd Was Still A Risk Worth Taking

Originally Posted To WahoosOnFirst.com

Gavin Floyd is injured again. It’s shocking that a guy who’s undergone two major elbow surgeries and made just 14 starts over the past two years is injured during the first couple weeks of spring training, but it’s true.

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Danny Salazar Looks To Build Upon Strong Finish In 2015

Originally Posted To WahoosOnFirst.com

There are a lot of ways to look at Danny Salazar’s 2014 season. One can look and see a pitcher who was not used to pitching with full intensity in the early going and after some mechanical tweaks was back to his normal, flame throwing self. One could see a guy who was battling an arm injury early on and once he took some time off he was able to come back healthy and with his best velocity. One could see a guy who was simply unlucky to give up as many hits as he did (.343 BABIP in 2014, .298 in 2013) and got better results once his luck started to turn around.

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Terry Francona And The Pressure Of Expectations

Originally Posted To WahoosOnFirst.com

It’s interesting to gauge the national perception of a baseball team and compare it with the local perspective. While national baseball writers may not match the depth of knowledge of those covering the team locally, they may be able to offer a more neutral perspective free of the conscious and unconscious biases that come with following a team all the way through the minor minutia.

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Indians 2015 Previews: Jason Kipnis

Originally Posted To WahoosOnFirst.com

Several weeks ago I wrote about why Jason Kipnis will bounce back in 2015. I still stand by everything I wrote then; all the tools and abilities are there for Kipnis to bounce back to his 2013 numbers, or short of that even his 2012 numbers. But despite the positive outlook for Jason Kipnis there is still one possibility that needs to be addressed:

What if he doesn’t bounce back?

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Dayan Viciedo And Trusting The Indians’ Front Office

Originally Posted To WahoosOnFirst.com

The Cleveland Indians are rumored to be interested in former White Sox outfielder Dayan Viciedo. That’s the same Dayan Viciedo with the career .298 OBP and -7.9 UZR/150 in the outfield.

At this point the flaws in Viciedo’s game are well-known. He can’t hit righties (career .679 OPS), he swings at everything in sight (career 5.3% walk rate), he runs about as well as I do on the base paths, and he has about as much range as mailbox in the outfield. He hasn’t even hit lefties well over the past two seasons (.709 and .679 OPS’), which is supposed to be his meal ticket to a spot on a 25-man roster.

So of course there’s fear throughout the Indians blogosphere that the Indians might take a plunge on a player that seemingly offers no value. But let’s not lose sight of the fact that if all of us reading and writing about the team on the internet are aware of the flaws in Viciedo’s game, surely the Tribe’s front office is aware of them too. Yet, if the rumors are believed to be true, the team believes Viciedo might be able to help them.

It’s dangerous to simply appeal to authority when defending a team’s actions. Just because the people making the decisions have the status of working in the front office doesn’t make them infallible. But at some point it makes sense to believe that if the team does add Viciedo to the roster then they will put him into a position to succeed, and if discovery he is not able to help them they will cut bait as necessary.

Such is the luxury of rooting for a team with smart people running the show. Not only are they smart enough to know Viciedo’s limitations, they’re smart enough to look at him through the lens of what he is able to do to help a ball club. In 2012, Viciedo notched a 1.033 OPS against lefties. That may seem like ages ago, but that’s why Viciedo is being talked about as a possible addition two days before pitchers and catchers report to Goodyear, Arizona.

Dayan Viciedo will not likely be the difference between the Indians making a deep October run or making early offseason fishing plans. It’s not even all that likely they’ll sign him at this point. But if they do sign him it they’ll do so knowing exactly what his limitations are, and they’ll do so knowing exactly what he’ll be able to do to help them this season. They have earned the right to be trusted on that much.

Cleveland Indians Prospect Pedigree A Proven Success?

Originally Posted To WahoosOnFirst.com

I’m not a prospect buff. I have a pretty good working knowledge of the guys on various Top 100 Prospects lists, and I have a pretty good working knowledge of the important guys in the Indians’ system, but that’s about the extent of it. Basically prospect knowledge is a “make or buy” proposition for me. There are so many great sources for prospect information, be it here at Wahoos On First for the Indians or Baseball Prospectus, FanGraphs, and ESPN’s Keith Law for the overarching perspective. With so many smart people immersing themselves in the world of prospects, it makes sense for me in most cases to read their handiwork and opinions rather than hastily try to form my own.

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The Cleveland Indians And Right-Handed Power

Originally Posted To WahoosOnFirst.com

Right-handed power. Some teams have it. Some teams have it more than others. The San Diego Padres now have a lot of it. The Cleveland Indians? Not so much.

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