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Entries in Cleveland Indians (16)

Monday
Mar182013

David Wright plans on playing opening day plus more

"David Wright is refusing to make a public decree about Opening Day, but his words to his manager yesterday upon returning to the Mets revealed the third baseman’s mindset.

“He reassured me he’ll be ready,” Terry Collins said after the Mets’ 2-1 exhibition loss to the Braves at Tradition Field. “I’m not doubting him, but we certainly have to have a contingency plan in case he’s not. But he said, ‘I’ll be out there.’ ”

Wright was still sore after receiving a cortisone shot in his left rib cage area two days earlier, and physical activity remains off limits. It likely won’t be until the middle of this week that Wright will receive an idea of what activities he can resume after team doctors diagnosed him with a “moderate” intercostal strain on Friday."

Source: NYPost.com

Dice-K, Matt Capps wont make Indians opening day roster

"Not long after five players were sent back to the minor-league camp this morning, manager Terry Francona and General Manager Chris Antonetti had more player personnel news.

Catchers Brian Jeroloman and Omir Santos, infielder Luis Hernandez, outfielder Matt Carson, plus reliever Matt Capps and starter Daisuke Matsuzaka were informed they would not make the team out of spring training but were being kept in major-league camp.

""We talked to all those guys and told them that as of now they will not be breaking camp with us and going to Cleveland, but that they're staying in our camp,'' Francona said. ""We didn't want raise unrealistic expectations, and we thought it was respectful to tell them.''

Source: Ohio.com

Teixeira's injury more serious

"The injury that will keep New York Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira out of the lineup until May at the earliest is not a wrist strain, as originally reported, but a partially torn tendon sheath that could potentially require season-ending surgery.

As of now, the Yankees are still expecting Teixeira to heal without needing an operation and to rejoin the club after about 8-10 weeks of healing time. 

But Teixeira, who arrived at spring camp Sunday morning with his right wrist in a cast-like splint and will rehab there for the rest of the spring, raised the possibility that his absence could be longer than that."

Source: ESPN.com

Farrell still searching for DH

"David Ortiz did not take batting practice on Monday, at one point a hope for the Red Sox designated hitter who's battling right heel inflammation.

"I haven't been able to play and do what I'm supposed to do. It's not fun," Ortiz told reporters in Fort Myers. "Just trying to deal with it. The setback is what pretty much frustrates me the most, because you think you're doing the right thing to get better. It's like walking backwards. That's the part of this game I don't like. We're approaching it different and hopefully we get to the point we don't have to worry about it anymore."

Source: MLB.com

Kershaw has smooth but painful outing

"To Dodgers Manager Don Mattingly,Clayton Kershaw looks ready for his opening-day assignment — that is, unless his leg swells up overnight.

Kershaw was struck on his left Achilles tendon by a batted ball during what were otherwise six near-perfect innings Saturday against the Texas RangersDavid Murphy's fourth-inning line drive accounted for one of only two hits Kershaw gave up.

"It might be a little sore tomorrow," Kershaw said. "I'll ice it tonight. It should be fine."

Kershaw didn't give up any runs or walks in the Dodgers' 4-0 defeat, lowering his spring earned-run average to 3.79. His pitch count was set at 90, but he completed his six allotted innings in only 70. He finished his workday with some extra throws off the bullpen mound."

Source: LAtimes.com

Yu Darvish scratched from start

"Right-hander Yu Darvish will not start on Monday night as scheduled for the Texas Rangers because of neck stiffness.

Darvish strained a neck muscle during workouts on Sunday. In a statement issued by the club, Darvish said the strain was “very minor,” and he would have started if this were a regular-season game. With nearly two weeks remaining before the start of the regular season, the club and Darvish decided to take the conservative route.

“This is precautionary on my part,” Darvish said.

Manager Ron Washington said the club is not concerned about the injury. Darvish, who joined the club for pre-game work, probably will have a bullpen throwing session before his next start."

Source: Dallasnews.com

As Stephen Drew recovers, Red Sox need to pick starter

"The Red Sox didn’t think anything was wrong when Stephen Drew was hit in the head by a pitch from Minnesota’s Caleb Thielbar March 7.

The ball seemed to glance off his helmet and Drew went to first base without any delay. He later scored and stayed in the game for another two innings.

“That? It was nothing,” Drew said that day as he left the park."

Source: Boston.com

Sandoval doesn't think elbow injury is serious

"Pablo Sandoval moments ago said of his elbow injury, “I don’t think it’s something serious.”  It was serious enough for hi, m to be scratched from today’s lineup, and he said he’s sore when throwing and batting left-handed.

He said he’ll have tests tomorrow and wouldn’t give a possible timetable for his return. He felt something in the elbow, he said, when making a throw to second base on Saturday."

Source: SFgate.com

Chris Carpenter still unlikely to pitch again

"It took his wife and young son to convince Chris Carpenter to do what his Cardinals teammates could not.

On his way back from a family vacation in Puerto Rico, Carpenter stopped by this afternoon for the game and he plans to spend the rest of the week in the Jupiter area and around the Cardinals' spring training facility. He was resistant to visit — this is first spring without a training to attend since he was 18 — and text messages and invitations from teammates and coaches wouldn't lure him into town.

But his wife suggested the stop on the way home."

Source: Stltoday.com

Headley out a month with fractured thumb

"Padres third baseman Chase Headley, coming off one of the best seasons in franchise history, will miss the first month of the season after fracturing the tip of his left thumb on Sunday.

Headley, who won National League Silver Slugger and Gold Glove Awards in 2012, sustained what the Padres' medical staff initially termed a jammed thumb trying to break up a double play Sunday against the Angels in Tempe.

After an X-ray on Sunday, Headley visited a hand specialist in San Diego on Monday.

"You hate to see it happen," Padres manager Bud Black said. "It's unfortunate for Chase and the Padres."

The Padres open the regular season on April 1 against the Mets at Citi Field."

Source: MLB.com

Wednesday
Jan022013

Swisher Has Multiple Personalities at the Plate

In Nick Swisher, the Cleveland Indians signed one of the game's better blends of patience and power. The former Ohio State Buckeye, signed to a four-year, $56 million deal in December, ranks in the top ten among outfielders in on-base percentage (.366) and places in the top twenty in slugging (.478) and OPS+ (125) since the beginning of the 2010 season. The switch-hitting Swisher is a threat from both sides of the plate, posting a near-identical OPS from the left side (.830) and the right (.834), but his approach couldn't be more different. Swish is a pure slugger as a lefty, swinging freely and posting lofty power and punchout totals. He's a doubles hitters as a righty, but his more patient and contact-oriented style  makes him an on-base machine.

Here's a look at Swisher's swing rate by pitch location from both sides of the plate over the past three seasons. He's much more aggressive as a lefty batter, taking a cut at about 69% of pitches thrown over the plate (57% as a righty) and chasing about a quarter of pitches thrown outside of the strike zone (16% as a righty). Swinging more frequently from the left side, Swisher has drawn a walk in 10.5% of his plate appearances. As a righty, he has walked 15.4% of the time.

        Swisher as a LHB, 2010-12                  Swisher as a RHB, 2010-12

 

 

Swisher's lefty swing puts more pitches in the cheap seats (more on that in a moment), but it also leads to more whiffs. He has a 26% miss rate as a lefty hitter, compared to 15% as a righty. Not surprisingly, Swisher's K rate is far higher as a lefty (24.7%) than as a righty (14.9%).

         Swisher as a LHB, 2010-12                  Swisher as a RHB, 2010-12

    

 

When Swisher does make contact, though, it's louder from the left side. He slugged .495 as a lefty from 2010-12, going deep about 18% of the time that he hit a fly ball. Swisher slugged .443 and had a home run per fly ball rate of under 9% as a righty. 

          Swisher as LHB, 2010-12                       Swisher as RHB, 2010-12

 

Swisher has been more valuable as a righty hitter overall, with his huge on-base advantage from that side (.411 OBP as a righty, .343 as a lefty) outweighing his slugging feats as a lefty. While Progressive Field doesn't boost home run totals near as much as Yankee Stadium, Swisher's multiple personalities at the dish appear well-suited for his new home. According to StatCorner, Progressive Field increases home runs for left-handed hitters by 21% and decreases them by 26% for right-handed hitters. Swisher can let er' rip as a lefty, taking aim at the nine-foot tall fences in center and right field, and draw bushels of walks as a righty, knowing that the 19-foot "Little Green Monster" in left field puts a serious crimp on power numbers.

Wednesday
Dec122012

Cincy Bets on Choo's Bat

Despite posting the second-highest win total in the majors in 2012, the Cincinnati Reds got precious little out of their leadoff spot. Cincy's sorry collection of table-setters -- mostly Zack Cozart, Brandon Phillips and Drew Stubbs -- ranked dead last with an abysmal .254 on-base percentage. It wasn't close, either: the Dodgers and Mariners tied for second-worst at .281. Given the out parade atop an otherwise dangerous lineup, the Reds' top priority this offseason was finding a leadoff hitter with on-base skills.

GM Walt Jocketty got the offensive threat he so coveted in yesterday's three-team, nine-player deal involving the Reds, Indians and Diamondbacks, acquiring Shin-Soo Choo from Cleveland while surrendering Stubbs and shortstop prospect Didi Gregorius. Whether the 30-year-old Choo, who has all of 83 career innings played in center field and below-average defensive metrics in right field, can cut it in the middle pasture is an open question. But here's what's not up for debate: Choo has one of the best plate approaches in the game.

Check out the lefty hitter's swing rate by pitch location last season, compared to the MLB average:

Choo

MLB average

Choo took a cut at 65.2% of pitches thrown in the strike zone in 2012, topping the overall 64.6% average for MLB hitters. In addition to swinging at plenty of hittable pitches, Choo passed on junk pitches tossed outside of the zone. With a 21% chase rate, he ranked just outside the bottom ten among all MLB hitters:

Lowest chase rate among MLB hitters, 2012

BatterChase Pct.
Josh Willingham 18.4%
Rickie Weeks 18.4%
Alberto Callaspo 18.7%
Kevin Youkilis 19.2%
Edwin Encarnacion 19.9%
Carlos Santana 20.0%
Dan Uggla 20.1%
Michael Brantley 20.2%
A. J. Ellis 20.3%
Joe Mauer 20.6%
Denard Span 20.8%
Shin-Soo Choo 21.0%
Jamey Carroll 21.6%
Ben Zobrist 21.8%
Adam Dunn 21.8%
MLB Avg. 28.3%

 

Choo might have to fake it in center field, but he brings doubles power and a career .383 OBP to the top of the Reds' lineup. Somewhere, Joey Votto and Jay Bruce are smiling.