Originally posted on Waiting For Next Year  |  Last updated 9/18/13
While We’re Waiting is a space on the WaitingForNextYear website where we share links to Clevelandish sports stuff, or at least things I think are interesting. Links are the currency of bloggers. We give out five or so everyday. Sometime it would be cool if the sites we linked to reciprocated. You know the drill: Email us with suggestions at tips@waitingfornextyear.com. Look who is on top of ESPN’s most important AL players down the stretch. “Back on Aug. 19, I looked at how the Indians’ rotation was doing well, and that has continued. But it hasn’t come together exactly as planned. Corey Kluber remained out for another two weeks and has been able to go only five innings in his two outings since returning. And when Justin Masterson went down Sept. 2, there was a lot of consternation because he had been the team’s ace. But Jimenez has stepped into the void. On Aug. 19, he had still yet to match his preseason forecast. In his five starts since, he has been lights out. He has gone at least six innings every time out, and has compiled a 1.57 ERA. Jimenez’s strikeouts have been up in general this season, so his 42 K’s in these past 34 1/3 innings isn’t exactly shocking, but his lack of walks is. Control has always been Jimenez’s bugaboo, so the fact that he has walked just six batters in these past five starts is mind-blowing. Combine that with better performances in the weeks preceding that, and Jimenez has been one of the 10 most valuable pitchers in baseball in the second half. He is tied for the most valuable in September but will need to keep it up. [Swydan/ESPN] —- Two games in. We’re seeing mock drafts already. Ugh. “Brett Hundley, QB, UCLA: Under new ownership, the Browns front office and coaching staff was completely rebuilt this past offseason, and the new regime believes in the process and has a long-term plan in place. And part of that plan is finding an impact signal caller that will help turn the franchise from perennial loser to consistent winner. Brandon Weeden will get his chance in 2013, but if the Browns have this high of a pick, look for a young gun, like Hundley, to be targeted by Cleveland.” [Brugler/CBS Sports] —- “After reviewing the film for the game a second time, I actually came away from this game very happy with the performance of QB Brandon Weeden. The throws he made in the second half to WR Greg Little were absolute money and were down the field, and he dropped every one of them. The receivers didn’t get much separation for Weeden, and he played a smart game by not turning the football over. On top of that, this was another disastrous game for both OG Oniel Cousins and RT Mitchell Schwartz. Both guys were consistently beaten by their man, or flat-out bull-rushed right back into the lap of Weeden.” [Pokorny/Dawgs by Nature] —- “Whether Weeden is out one week, four weeks or eight, it’s pretty clear the Browns quarterback of the future is not currently in the building. It’s also pretty clear that the team’s top decision makers thought that before this season and went ahead with this crew anyway, so in that regard having to go with Campbell or Hoyer the rest of the way isn’t a total deviation from the long-term plan. However, if those decision makers were going to be satisfied with saying they used 2013 to build and develop a stout defensive front seven and simply to evaluate everywhere else, they might want to be really careful with leaving that group on the field way too long over the next 14 games.” [Jackson/FSO] —- “Third downs need to improve on both sides of the football. While the Browns defense has played very well, it is still allowing its opponents to convert 50 percent of their third down attempts. On the other hand, the Browns are only converting 17 percent of their attempts. Whether it has been the offensive line allowing sacks, the wide receivers dropping passes or Weeden missing his target—the Browns just can’t seem to move the sticks.” [Burge/Bleacher Report]
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