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Willie Hood
(@willhoo99)
Member Moderator
Joined: 8 months ago
Posts: 187
07/31/2020 2:04 pm  

I'm not too concerned with the velocity right now. It seems there are several arms with the Tribe alone that are experiencing a bit of a dip. More than likely, the lack of innings / limited work.

Clev

Civale

Plesac

Hill

Karimchak

Hand

All down in velocity from the last yr.


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DetDawg
(@detdawg)
Low-A dreamer
Joined: 6 months ago
Posts: 211
07/31/2020 6:37 pm  

The MLB seems to be close to a tipping point on whether or not the season continues or ends prematurely.


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Willie Hood
(@willhoo99)
Member Moderator
Joined: 8 months ago
Posts: 187
07/31/2020 6:43 pm  
Posted by: @detdawg

The MLB seems to be close to a tipping point on whether or not the season continues or ends prematurely.

It seems MLB and Rob Manfred are taking some heat bc of the recent positive cases. The sheer volume of Marlins is astonishing (21). 

Manfred's words are not just a threat to end the season it's an opportunity to strong arm the players with no income and less leverage at the next CBA. MLB can save face, do the "right thing" and close up shop. Sure it hurts owners pockets, but they save face and cash later. I'm sure it's all about player safety though, lol.


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DetDawg
(@detdawg)
Low-A dreamer
Joined: 6 months ago
Posts: 211
07/31/2020 6:50 pm  

This is rank speculation, but I'm wondering whether the strength of the union and the adversarial relationship between them and MLB precluded the 2 sides from arriving at behavior protocols that were sufficient to protect players and coaches from becoming infected during the season.


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The Prosecutor
(@pros)
Rookie League baller
Joined: 7 months ago
Posts: 47
08/01/2020 8:20 am  
Posted by: @detdawg

This from The Athletic's Keith Law - "Civale looks like he’s a fifth starter all the way, but if Plesac can maintain this kind of fastball command he’s got a good chance to be league-average or better."

https://theathletic.com/1963410/2020/07/31/law-scouting-prospects-and-young-players-in-the-early-going-second-edition/

I'll reserve my judgement on Civale until I see him one or two more times, but my initial reaction to Law's observation is that Civale's stuff, control/command, and pitchability make him more than a #5 SP.  In my previous comment about him, I noted that he pitched differently against the White Sox than I recall him pitching last year.  I want to see him over a stretch over a couple of more games to see how he's evolved from his rookie season.  I will note that his FB velo was about 1 tick below last year, when it was 0.1 mph below league average (92.7) for SPs.  I hope he can increase that a bit as he gets more innings under his belt.

Regarding Plesac, Law noted that Plesac's FB is average in velo and has little movement.  But that it plays up due to sequencing and good command of the pitch.  He also notes that his CB and SL are both swing-and-miss pitches notwithstanding low spin rates.  And by the way, as with Civale, Plesac's FB velo was down about 1 mph from last year, from 94.0 to about 93.

Yeah, considering Civale has held the opposition to two earned runs or less in 11 of his 12 major league starts, I'd say declaring that he'll never be more than a #5 starter is a bit premature. I was really surprised to see that statement. 

Also, Tito mentioned that the radar gun at the Prog is "a tick or two slow" so if we have five or six pitchers who have lost 1 mph since last year (based on one game at the Prog) - that may be the explanation. Let's see how hard they're throwing on the road. 


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DetDawg
(@detdawg)
Low-A dreamer
Joined: 6 months ago
Posts: 211
08/01/2020 9:21 am  
Posted by: @pros
Posted by: @detdawg

This from The Athletic's Keith Law - "Civale looks like he’s a fifth starter all the way, but if Plesac can maintain this kind of fastball command he’s got a good chance to be league-average or better."

https://theathletic.com/1963410/2020/07/31/law-scouting-prospects-and-young-players-in-the-early-going-second-edition/

I'll reserve my judgement on Civale until I see him one or two more times, but my initial reaction to Law's observation is that Civale's stuff, control/command, and pitchability make him more than a #5 SP.  In my previous comment about him, I noted that he pitched differently against the White Sox than I recall him pitching last year.  I want to see him over a stretch over a couple of more games to see how he's evolved from his rookie season.  I will note that his FB velo was about 1 tick below last year, when it was 0.1 mph below league average (92.7) for SPs.  I hope he can increase that a bit as he gets more innings under his belt.

Regarding Plesac, Law noted that Plesac's FB is average in velo and has little movement.  But that it plays up due to sequencing and good command of the pitch.  He also notes that his CB and SL are both swing-and-miss pitches notwithstanding low spin rates.  And by the way, as with Civale, Plesac's FB velo was down about 1 mph from last year, from 94.0 to about 93.

Yeah, considering Civale has held the opposition to two earned runs or less in 11 of his 12 major league starts, I'd say declaring that he'll never be more than a #5 starter is a bit premature. I was really surprised to see that statement. 

Also, Tito mentioned that the radar gun at the Prog is "a tick or two slow" so if we have five or six pitchers who have lost 1 mph since last year (based on one game at the Prog) - that may be the explanation. Let's see how hard they're throwing on the road. 

I try not to give too much weight to earned runs, focusing more on FIP.  But, even Civale's FIP, which was 3.40 last year and more than a run higher than his ERA, was more than a run less than the league-average FIP of 4.51.

As I noted in a prior post, so-called experts and forecast models have dinged Civale's results as overachieving because his K/9 rate was only 7.19 in '18.  And I agree with them that he won't be able to maintain a mid-3's FIP and 2+ ERA if he only strikes out 7 batters per 9 innings.  However, in both in spring training and his first game, he has been getting more swings-and-misses.  But, keep in mind that his first game was against KC, which doesn't have a very good lineup.  Let's see him over a couple of more games.  And I'd like to see him work more at the top of the zone as he did last year, when he commanded and tunneled his FB, cutter, and SL very well.  Hitters had troubled squaring up the pitches, and even making contact. 

All that said, Civale's FB has league-average velocity at best, so he needs to sequence, tunnel, and command his pitches well.  And his offspeed pitches are above average, which helps offset his average FB.  Also, his CB appears to be a swing-and-miss pitch.  But, as I said, I'd like to see him over a couple of more games.


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Edible14
(@edible14)
Short-A newcomer
Joined: 6 months ago
Posts: 69
08/02/2020 10:41 pm  

I wouldn't worry too much about Law's predictions here. He is notoriously low on a bunch of Indians pitchers. He never thought too highly of Bieber, and it's pretty clear the Indians have some sort of developmental advantage here. Civale was a 1.5 fWAR pitcher in 10 games last year and is *better* this year. He could end up being a 4-5 WAR per year player. 


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DetDawg
(@detdawg)
Low-A dreamer
Joined: 6 months ago
Posts: 211
08/03/2020 5:20 pm  
Posted by: @edible14

I wouldn't worry too much about Law's predictions here. He is notoriously low on a bunch of Indians pitchers. He never thought too highly of Bieber, and it's pretty clear the Indians have some sort of developmental advantage here. Civale was a 1.5 fWAR pitcher in 10 games last year and is *better* this year. He could end up being a 4-5 WAR per year player. 

I like Law. That doesn't mean he's infallible.  The fact that he under estimates an Indians' SP means that he's part of a rather large group of so-called experts.  These experts continue to low ball Bieber, generally placing him a level below the top ranked SPs in the game.  Regarding Plesac, I'm a bit surprised at how quickly Law was able to reach the view that he's a potentially MOR starter, or better, notwithstanding the fact that he's got an average FB and has so few games against major league hitters.

Back to Civale, I think he's probably a MOR SP.  He faced a good Twins team yesterday and performed better than his numbers.  I said that about his last outing as well.  Maybe the Twins' hitters are just good, but the Twins first 2 runs could have turned out differently with a little luck.  Civale seemed to be pitching more like last year's version than the guy that who pitched against the White Sox in the 3rd game of the season - a few more FBs, fewer CBs, and pitching higher in the zone.  It just shows that Civale has the repertoire to adjust to lineups having different strengths.

And back to Law, he surprisingly said that the Indians need to do a better job developing above-average pitching.  In the quote below, Law pegs both Civale and Plesac as #5 SPs.  I think most of us can agree that Law is off on his characterization of the Indians' inability to develop above-average pitching.

"The fact they had some good fifth-starter types in Plesac and Civale is good but they as a small market, low payroll team – this ownership just isn’t going to spend a lot of money on the roster – they need to be producing better guys then this on a regular basis. Now Bieber is a different category. Bieber came on looking like a fifth-starter when he was still in the system, as he got to the majors his velocity crept up to the point where he’s far-far better than that. He’s a well-above-average starter, and I think he’s going to stay that way for a pretty long time. They need to be generating somebody like that, a league-average starter or better every year or two to stay competitive over the long haul. They’re never going to pay to get these guys in free agency and I would expect that they probably won’t’ be able to retain all these guys."

https://923thefan.radio.com/articles/keith-law-skeptical-that-mlb-will-finish-the-season

In fact, the rest of baseball is likely jealous of the teams' achievements in this area.  This is reinforced by the comment of Fangraphs' Craig Edwards in this July 30th chat.

3:05

Guest: Clevelands rotation is insane right ?

 
3:05

Craig Edwards: I don’t know how they do it, but it is amazing that they keep producing. If only that worked for outfielders.

 Law apparently has made a quick turnaround in his evaluation of Plesac, elevating his status from a BOR SP to a MOR SP, assuming he can maintain the command he showed in his first start.  And I expect him to do the same with Civale in due course.

 


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DetDawg
(@detdawg)
Low-A dreamer
Joined: 6 months ago
Posts: 211
08/03/2020 5:22 pm  

Here's an excellent article on Bieber and his use of 2 CBs this season, both with dominating results.

https://blogs.fangraphs.com/shane-biebers-new-old-curve/


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Edible14
(@edible14)
Short-A newcomer
Joined: 6 months ago
Posts: 69
08/03/2020 11:29 pm  

Indians have just 4 above average hitters right now by wRC+. JRam, Hernandez, Zimmer and Domingo. Carlos and Frankie are close. The rest of the team is yuck city.

Johnson looks lost up there. Allen looks bad. We had Mike Freeman batting #5 multiple games. Reyes is cold. We honestly should be playing Zimmer everyday, if his health permits. 

 


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DetDawg
(@detdawg)
Low-A dreamer
Joined: 6 months ago
Posts: 211
08/04/2020 12:02 am  

Not having Perez and Naquin really hurts.


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DetDawg
(@detdawg)
Low-A dreamer
Joined: 6 months ago
Posts: 211
08/04/2020 5:25 pm  

Here's another Fangraphs' article about an Indians' pitcher - this time it's Plesac.

https://blogs.fangraphs.com/zach-plesac-is-the-next-success-story-in-cleveland/


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Edible14
(@edible14)
Short-A newcomer
Joined: 6 months ago
Posts: 69
08/04/2020 5:45 pm  

I know this is weirdly picky, but how has Christian Arroyo obtained only one AB so far? They've hit Mike Freeman fifth, they've even played a doubleheader. And yet they still won't give that guy a look. Seems like he would be the one cut when the roster shrinks to 28.


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rsamak
(@rsamak)
Draft Prospect
Joined: 7 months ago
Posts: 13
08/05/2020 1:35 pm  
Posted by: @edible14

I know this is weirdly picky, but how has Christian Arroyo obtained only one AB so far? They've hit Mike Freeman fifth, they've even played a doubleheader. And yet they still won't give that guy a look. Seems like he would be the one cut when the roster shrinks to 28.

Tough for Arroyo to get a chance when the team is hitting the heck out of the ball. The team is hitting something like a blisstering .180.


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Willie Hood
(@willhoo99)
Member Moderator
Joined: 8 months ago
Posts: 187
08/05/2020 9:22 pm  

@rsamak

As bad as they have been a lot of teams / players are struggling. I think we see a shift as batters get more comfortable. Every game counts more so than years that's the painful thing.


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