Originally written June 01, 2013 on Waiting For Next Year:
“While We’re Waiting” serves as the early morning gathering of WFNY-esque information for your viewing pleasure. Have something you think we should see? Send it to our tips email at tips@waitingfornextyear.com. Anytime FanGraphs writes about positive things in the Tribe organization, I’m thrilled. With this, I’m bouncing-off-the-walls ecstatic: “In 2013, the 27-year-old Santana might be becoming the superstar that some envisioned when he was a prospect. Despite having a poor May at the plate, his overall season line still stands at .294/.396/.503 (147 wRC+, second-best among qualified catchers, just behind Joe Mauer‘s 148). While it is still early, after 202 plate appearances, Santana’s better performance seems to be based primarily on two things: the return of his pre-2012 power, and a significantly higher BABIP. One or both may be an early-season blip, but there are at least some signs that Santana has made some important and perhaps long-term improvements.” [Matt Klaasen/FanGraphs] – This was a neat stat about Jason Kipnis’ short HR in Boston last week and more than you’d ever want to know about 2013 homers in general. [Jayson Stark/ESPN.com] – From earlier in the week, but still a fun and detailed read into the underrated value of Mark Reynolds: “You’ve probably heard of Mark Reynolds – he’s the 29-year old third baseman for the Cleveland Indians. He came up with the Diamondbacks, and then spent the last two seasons with the Orioles before coming to the Tribe on a 1-year, $6 million dollar contract. Yet, he’s vastly underrated because he strikes out a lot – which is nearly meaningless, considering what he does well.” [Matt Feinstein/Bloomberg Stats Insights] – More awesome stats about the Indians’ incredible success with two outs: “The category I’d like to draw your attention to is tOPS+, which compares a player’s production in this particular split to their own overall production. Asdrubal Cabrera has done very, very poorly with two outs, but all ten of the other players on the list have better numbers with two outs, even though overall production around MLB with two outs dips by 5% (to a tOPS+ of 95).” [Jason Lukehart/Let's Go Tribe] – Meanwhile, the big baseball news of the day on Friday was that no agreement had been reached on an MLB international draft: “Major League Baseball will not implement an international draft for 2014 and may not revisit the subject for another three years, temporarily allaying fears of those worried one would destroy the vibrant baseball culture in Latin American countries, sources told Yahoo! Sports on Friday. The league and the MLB Players Association are expected to announce Friday they did not reach an agreement and plan to table the idea of an international draft for the rest of the current collective-bargaining agreement, which ends following the 2016 season.” [Jeff Passan/Yahoo! Sports] – Making the case for the oft-regarded closer of the future in Cleveland: “So, we know that Perez will not be back closing until he’s healthy and if a case can be made that Pestano should not be closing, then who should be? That answer is an easy one — Cody Allen. Very few players have had a quicker rise through the system than Allen. Drafted by the Indians in the 23rd round of the 2011 draft, Allen wasted no time in making his presence felt. He joined the Mahoning Valley Scrappers shortly after he was drafted and progressed all the way to Double-A Akron by the end of the season.” [Steve Orbanek/Indians Baseball Insider] – Assigning grades to everyone on the Indians roster — in a slideshow, of course: “The saying for the month of March goes “in like a lion and out like a lamb.” This, of course, is referring to the weather pattern that is often seen during that part of the year. For the Cleveland Indians, however, it wasn’t March that came in like a lion and out like a lamb, it was May. The Indians came into May with their foot on the gas, winning 11 of their first 15 contests, including a four-game sweep of the Oakland Athletics. The second half of the month saw the Indians slowing down a bit—save for the four-game sweep of the Seattle Mariners—taking only seven of the last 14.” [Dan Diloreto/Bleacher Report] – Per MLBTradeRumors, the Phillies released former Tribe reliever Chad Durbin yesterday. Hoorah? – Previewing the potential Indians targets in next week’s MLB draft, beginning with the likely favorite at No. 5: “Colin Moran, 3B, UNC – Why you draft him: He is the best pure hitter in the draft. Most people think he is a future .300 hitter and that his hit tool could be near a 70. He has an excellent eye and approach at the plate taking walks and rarely striking out. He was undrafted out of high school and worked his way to the player he is, and you don’t have to worry about his work ethic at all. He should be quick to the majors as well. He could be another Joe Mauer bat-wise.” [Jeff Ellis/Indians Baseball Insider] – Finally, our friends from TiqIQ shared some more about the falling interleague attendance numbers: “Major League Baseball interleague play turns 17 this year, and like any 17-year-old, things are getting awkward. What was once a sure draw at the box office is now anything but, and prices for rivalry week, which began Monday, are at a four-year low, as measured by listing data tracked across the secondary market. Beyond just the usual bumps of adolescence, though, there are a few external factors affecting the weak box office for this year’s interleague week.” [Jesse Lawrence/Grantland]
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