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Ranking the 2013 Cleveland Indians' roster at the All-Star break

Kipnis, Masterson lead Cleveland to a 50-win first half

Ranking the 2013 Cleveland Indians' roster at the All-Star break
Jason Kipnis (Photo: Yahoo!)
July 14, 2013
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With Tony out of town, I am filling in the Tribe Happenings spot with my Ranking the Roster piece. I previously ranked the roster before the season and at the 40-game mark, so click on those links if you want to check them out.

Since this is a long piece -- Cleveland already used 40 different players in 2013! -- let us dive right in to the 50-win Cleveland Indians.

#40 Brett Myers, RHP (Previous Ranks: 18, 29)

2013 Stats: 4 G (3 GS), 0-3 W-L, 5.06 SO/9, 2.11 BB/9, 8.02 ERA, 8.69 FIP, 4.90 xFIP, -0.6 fWAR, -0.6 rWAR in 21.1 IP

Combining Myers' horrid start to the season, his continuing problems in his rehab, and the fact that he will be in the bullpen when (if?) he makes it back to the major leagues, it is abundantly clear that this free agent signing simply did not work out. General manager Chris Antonetti still had a great offseason, but even the best GMs do not hit 1.000.

#39 Cord Phelps, INF (Previous Ranks: UR, 32)

2013 Stats: 4 G, 0 HR, 0 R, 0 RBI, 0 SB, .000/.000/.000 line, .000 wOBA (-100 wRC+), -0.4 fWAR, -0.3 rWAR in 9 PA

I refuse to give up on Phelps and his potential, but it is hard to figure out why the switch-hitter cannot translate his minor league success into anything at the major league level.

#38 Scott Barnes, LHP (Previous Ranks: UR, 31)

2013 Stats: 6 G, 0-1 W-L, 1 SV, 10.38 SO/9, 3.12 BB/9, 7.27 ERA, 6.99 FIP, 3.96 xFIP, -0.2 fWAR, -0.1 rWAR in 8.2 IP

Barnes simply has not been able to get anything going in 2013, be it in Cleveland or Columbus. With the way the big league club desperately needs left-handed relief help, it seems like Barnes really missed an opportunity to solidify himself in the major leagues.

#37 David Huff, LHP (Previous Ranks: UR, 30)

2013 Stats: 3 G, 0-0 W-L, 15.00 SO/9, 3.00 BB/9, 15.00 ERA, 0.74 FIP, 0.74 xFIP, 0.1 fWAR, -0.2 rWAR in 3.0 IP

 I have been begging for years to see Huff in the bullpen and the team finally acquiesced. Granted, the results were not great and Huff was quickly let go, but at least they took one last-ditch look.

#36 Omir Santos, C (Previous Ranks: UR, 34)

2013 Stats: 1 G, 0 HR, 0 R, 0 RBI, 0 SB, .000/.000/.000 line, .000 wOBA (-100 wRC+), 0.0 fWAR, 0.0 rWAR in 1 PA

Santos continues to bide his time in Columbus in case of another rash of catcher injuries in the upper levels.

#35 Preston Guilmet, RHP (Previous Ranks: UR, UR)

2013 Stats: 1 G, 0-0 W-L, 13.50 S0/9, 0.00 BB/9, 0.00 ERA, 0.07 FIP, 0.07 xFIP, 0.1 fWAR, 0.1 rWAR in 0.2 IP

He may have one of the briefest major league debuts and stays with the big league club, but Guilmet still looked pretty good. The right-hander always just goes out there and gets batters out and I assume we will see him back in Cleveland again this season.

#34 John McDonald, INF (Previous Ranks: UR, UR)

2013 Stats: 8 G, 0 HR, 2 R, 0 RBI, 0 SB, .000/.125/.000 line, .086 wOBA (-56 wRC+), -0.2 fWAR, -0.1 rWAR in 8 PA

McDonald filled in during a crucial time for Cleveland -- as Asdrubal Cabrera's stint on the disabled list left the team without a real backup infielder. After Cabrera's return, Antonetti found McDonald another major league job with the Phillies.

#33 Lou Marson, C (Previous Ranks: 20, 28)

2013 Stats: 3 G, 0 HR, 0 R, 0 RBI, 0 SB, .000/.400/.000 line, .275 wOBA (74 wRC+), 0.0 fWAR, 0.0 rWAR in 5 PA

With the development of Yan Gomes at the major league level and a setback in Marson's shoulder rehab, the writing is on the wall for Marson's future in the organization.

#32 Ezequiel Carrera, OF (Previous Ranks: UR, 33)

2013 Stats: 2 G, 0 HR, 1 R, 1 RBI, 0 SB, .500/.500/.500 line, .442 wOBA (187 wRC+), 0.0 fWAR, 0.1 rWAR in 5 PA

Like Santos, Carrera continues to bide his time in Columbus. Unlike Santos, Carrera is no longer on the 40-man roster and is not viewed as a real option by the organization.

#31 Joe Martinez, RHP (Previous Ranks: UR, UR)

2013 Stats: 2 G, 1-0 W-L, 5.40 SO/9, 0.00 BB/9, 1.80 ERA, 1.87 FIP, 3.85 xFIP, 0.1 fWAR, 0.1 rWAR in 5.0 IP

Martinez was not having a good season in Columbus, yet when the 30-year-old was called upon to supply some long-relief help, the right-hander answered the bell. With the abundance of relief options in the minor leagues, Cleveland will eventually find the right mix of relievers to fill the bullpen.

#30 Carlos Carrasco, RHP (Previous Ranks: UR, 35)

2013 Stats: 6 GS, 0-4 W-L, 4.71 K/9, 4.08 BB/9, 9.10 ERA, 5.30 FIP, 4.91 xFIP, -0.1 fWAR, -1.1 rWAR in 28.2 IP

Between earning himself another headhunting suspension early in the season and ineffective pitching of late, Carrasco just is not someone who can help the big league club during a playoff race. Considering that Carrasco is not as young as you would think (he is 26 years old) and is still far from being established in the majors, I am not sure how much more we should count on Carrasco going forward.

#29 Trevor Bauer, RHP (Previous Ranks: UR, 25)

2013 Stats: 4 GS, 1-2 W-L, 5.82 SO/9, 8.47 BB/9, 5.29 ERA, 7.07 FIP, 6.69 xFIP, -0.3 fWAR, -0.1 rWAR in 17.0 IP

Considering that Bauer is still just 22 years old, his difficulties in establishing himself as a major league pitcher are understandable. Most, if not all 22-year-olds have "makeup issues," so I am not going to make much of Bauer's quirks and issues. Still, this season has been a major disappointment for Bauer and the right-hander needs to turn things around in the second half.

#28 Matt Langwell, RHP (Previous Ranks: UR, UR)

2013 Stats: 5 G, 1-0 W-L, 10.13 SO/9, 3.38 BB/9, 5.06 ERA, 4.38 FIP, 3.27 xFIP, 0.0 fWAR, 0.0 rWAR in 5.1 IP

The one thing Langwell has done consistently throughout his career is get batters out. That did not change at the major league level (outside of one bad game), though we need to see more of Langwell to see just how effective he will long-term.

#27 Danny Salazar, RHP (Previous Ranks: UR, UR)

2013 Stats: 1 GS, 1-0 W-L, 10.50 SO/9, 1.50 BB/9, 1.50 ERA, 1.24 FIP, 1.94 xFIP, 0.3 fWAR, 0.2 rWAR in 6.0 IP

It may have only been one start, but wow did Salazar make an impression. IBI's #5 prospect before the season flashed his plus fastball and plus changeup en route to a dominant major league debut and made his case to be in the big league rotation long-term. He is back down in Triple-A for now, but as of right now, I would have to say that Salazar has jumped Carrasco and Bauer in the starting rotation pecking order.

#26 Rich Hill, LHP (Previous Ranks: 25, 23)

2013 Stats: 37 G, 0-1 W-L, 11.42 SO/9, 5.54 BB/9, 6.23 ERA, 3.98 FIP, 4.10 xFIP, 0.0 fWAR, -0.8 rWAR in 26.0 IP

If any of Cleveland's other left-handed options did well in 2013, I think they would have taken Hill's bullpen job from him. Hill has a high strikeout rate, but with a problematically high walk rate and slightly worse stats against left-handed batters than right-handed (4.42 FIP, 3.86 xFIP against lefties, 3.48 FIP, 4.38 xFIP against righties), I wonder how much longer Hill has in the bullpen. There just is not much that Hill is adding to the major league team right now.

#25 Vinnie Pestano, RHP (Previous Ranks: 7, 18)

2013 Stats: 31 G, 1-2 W-L, 6 SV, 9.20 SO/9, 4.75 BB/9, 4.45 ERA, 5.27 FIP, 4.50 xFIP, -0.5 fWAR, -0.2 rWAR in 30.1 IP

After the last two years, who would have thought that Cleveland's Chris Perez-Vinnie Pestano back-end duo would fall apart like this. While Pestano's diminished velocity is likely part of the problem, the increase in walks is also coming back to bite the right-hander. Obviously all of this could change in the second half, but for now, Pestano needs to pitch better going forward.

#24 Nick Hagadone, LHP (Previous Ranks: 19, 24)

2013 Stats: 28 G, 0-1 W-L, 8.17 SO/9, 5.68 BB/9, 5.33 ERA, 4.69 FIP, 4.66 xFIP, -0.1 fWAR, -0.3 rWAR in 25.1 IP

Hagadone still has the big strikeout stuff that makes him special, though the left-hander still does not quite know where the ball is going when he lets it go. A 5.68 BB/9 is just not acceptable in the majors and is a big part of why he is bouncing between Cleveland and Columbus. The other part is that Hagadone still has a minor league option, though if the left-hander was pitching up to the level he is capable of, he would be in Cleveland full-time.

#23 Chris Perez, RHP (Previous Ranks: 9, 14)

2013 Stats: 26 G, 2-1 W-L, 12 SV, 8.42 SO/9, 4.56 BB/9, 3.16 ERA, 4.97 FIP, 4.37 xFIP, -0.3 fWAR, 0.3 fWAR in 25.2 IP

It may not seem normal to have the team's closer ranked this low, but based on how Perez has pitched this year, this is where he belongs. Despite a strong strikeout rate, Perez's high number of walks is quite problematic. Now, dealing with relievers is dealing with constant small sample sizes, so we could easily see Perez turn it around in the second half. Still, with the way 2013 has gone so far, Perez has some work to do.

#22 Jason Giambi, DH (Previous Ranks: 26, 26)

2013 Stats: 41 G, 6 HR, 16 R, 23 RBI, 0 SB, .200/.309/.409 line, .316 wOBA (102 wRC+), -0.1 fWAR, -0.1 rWAR in 136 PA

We all know that Giambi brings a veteran presence to the locker room and is an asset to have as a 25th man/bench coach. His actual on the field stats are not all that good -- and those elite runners in scoring position numbers are not sustainable -- but there are worse players on major league rosters. As long as he is playing a few times a week, having Giambi is an alright thing.

#21 Mark Reynolds, DH/1B/3B (Previous Ranks: 12, 5)

2013 Stats: 89 G, 15 HR, 38 R, 47 RBI, 3 SB, .218/.307/.386 line, .306 wOBA (94 wRC+), -0.3 fWAR, -0.7 rWAR in 352 PA

It is shocking how quickly 2013 turned into a pumpkin for Reynolds. Between Reynolds playing way too much third base (and by that, I mean any) and the notorious free-swinger's strikeout rate going back up to his career norm (32.1 K%), both versions of WAR place Reynolds below replacement level. The mere fact that Reynolds' ISO (.169) and slugging percentage (.386) are career lows are signs of how bad things have gotten halfway through the season.

#20 Bryan Shaw, RHP (Previous Ranks: 23, 21)

2013 Stats: 38 G, 0-2 W-L, 7.97 SO/9, 3.98 BB/9, 4.43 ERA, 3.73 FIP, 4.33 xFIP, 0.2 fWAR, -0.1 rWAR in 40.2 IP

Shaw's first season in Cleveland is going pretty well, though there are still things he can improve upon. Having a SO:BB below two is not optimal and his overall stats are pretty ordinary. While there is still time for Shaw to improve and get better, the right-hander does have some room to grow.

#19 Matt Albers, RHP (Previous Ranks: 22, 27)

2013 Stats:30 G, 2-1 W-L, 6.15 SO/9, 4.81 BB/9, 3.21 ERA, 4.16 FIP, 4.10 xFIP, -0.1 fWAR, 0.3 rWAR in 33.2 IP

Early in the season it looked like Albers may be on his way out, yet the 30-year-old veteran found a way to turn things around. His ERA is not supported by his peripherals, but maybe Albers will find a way to keep limiting the opposition from scoring. A pitcher's ERA does not always end up matching his peripherals and it is possible Albers will continue to help the bullpen in 2013.

#18 Scott Kazmir, LHP (Previous Ranks: 21, 16)

2013 Stats:16 GS, 5-4 W-L, 8.37 SO/9, 3.14 BB/9, 4.60 ERA, 4.43 FIP, 3.90 xFIP, 0.5 fWAR, 0.3 rWAR in 86.0 IP

Who knows if Kazmir will keep his comeback season going, but now that we are halfway through the season, it does not seem too extreme to call Kazmir a legitimate major league starting pitcher. One can easily question his ability to keep this success going, especially since he has not pitched this many innings in a long time, but for now Cleveland has someone they can hand the ball to every fifth day.

#17 Ubaldo Jimenez, RHP (Previous Ranks: 16, 15)

2013 Stats: 18 GS, 7-4 W-L, 8.75 SO/9, 4.85 BB/9, 4.37 ERA, 4.56 FIP, 4.23 xFIP, 0.5 fWAR 0.6 rWAR in 94.2 IP

The strikeouts look very good, but the wildness that is inherent in Jimenez remains. Those walks are a big part of why Jimenez's ERA, FIP, and xFIP are all solidly above four and the right-hander is not the top-of-the-rotation starter Cleveland thought they were acquiring back in July 2011. That trade is in the past, however, and this new innings-eating mid-rotation starter is an asset to the team. He may not be an ace, but Jimenez is helping to stabilize the rotation and keep Cleveland in contention.

#16 Joe Smith, RHP (Previous Ranks: 11, 12)

2013 Stats: 40 G, 4-0 W-L, 1 SV, 7.71 SO/9, 3.60 BB/9, 2.83 ERA, 4.21 FIP, 3.93 xFIP, 0.0 fWAR, 0.7 rWAR in 35.0 IP

The difference in Smith's fWAR and rWAR comes down to who you credit for run suppression. With a 4.21 FIP, fWAR sees Smith's production as pretty replaceable. With a 2.83 ERA, rWAR sees Smith as an above-average pitcher at preventing runs. The answer is almost always somewhere in the middle, meaning that when you look at all the stats available, Smith (as always) is a useful pitcher to have at your disposal.

#15 Lonnie Chisenhall, 3B (Previous Ranks: 15, 22)

2013 Stats: 47 G, 6 HR, 14 R, 25 RBI, 1 SB, .247/.290/.422 line, .310 wOBA (98 wRC+), 0.5 fWAR, 1.0 rWAR in 176 PA

Before being sent down, Chisenhall owned a well-below-average 66 wRC+, meaning that Chisenhall was hitting like Zack Cozart and Mike Moustakas. Since being called back up, the third baseman owns a 128 wRC+, roughly the equivalent of Justin Upton. While dividing Chisenhall's 46 games into even smaller sample sizes is dangerous, at the very least, it looks like Chisenhall can add something to the team. He is not Miguel Cabrera, but Chisenhall can help the rest of the way.

#14 Mike Aviles, INF (Previous Ranks: 10, 10)

2013 Stats: 71 G, 5 HR, 37 R, 26 RBI, 7 SB, .258/.294/.376 line, .292 wOBA (84 wRC+), 0.5 fWAR, 0.8 rWAR in 233 PA

The thing about Aviles is that his raw line and on-base percentage are not all that pretty, though when it comes at shortstop, it actually is not all that bad. Shortstops this year own a .252/.302/.397 line, and while Aviles is currently a little below that, the utility man is suffering from a little bad BABIP (.270 in 2013, .299 for his career). Aviles would not be an elite shortstop if he were to play every day, but I do think he could be league-average.

#13 Cody Allen, RHP (Previous Ranks: 13, 13)

2013 Stats: 40 G, 4-1 W-L, 2 SV, 11.80 SO/9, 2.95 BB/9, 2.27 ERA, 3.14 FIP, 2.96 xFIP, 0.5 fWAR, 0.7 rWAR in 39.2 IP

Allen is a prime example of the bullpen depth Cleveland accumulated in its minor league system. The right-hander is the best of this year's Bullpen Mafia (a name that has lost its luster) and should take over the reins of the bullpen before too much longer. Relievers are fickle, but if you are going to build an ideal one, Allen is a good template.

#12 Zach McAllister, RHP (Previous Ranks: 14, 8)

2013 Stats: 11 GS, 4-5 W-L, 6.17 SO/9, 3.02 BB/9, 3.43 ERA, 4.23 FIP, 4.67 xFIP, 0.6 fWAR, 0.7 rWAR in 65.2 IP

McAllister's peripherals have dipped a little bit in 2013, though some of that could have to do with his finger injury. Before the injury, McAllister looked to be developing into a mid-rotation starter, maybe more. Now we need to see if the right-hander can rebound from his injury and come back at the level he was at earlier in the season. I know the team says the injury is not the same as Adam Miller's, yet after that experience, I think we all need to see McAllister pitch and pitch well again before we exhale.

#11 Drew Stubbs, OF (Previous Ranks: 17, 19)

2013 Stats: 89 G, 7 HR, 36 R, 35 RBI, 10 SB, .243/.293/.387 line, .298 wOBA (89 wRC+), 1.1 fWAR, 0.9 rWAR in 309 PA

Stubbs continues to do three things well: play outstanding defense, run the bases very well, and irritate fans en masse. Those offensive numbers certainly are not pretty, but only judging the outfielder on those easier to compute hitting numbers hides Stubbs' true value. When Stubbs is on base he can make things happen and when he is in the field, he is extremely good. It may not be a sexy combination, but when you put it all together, Stubbs is actually a pretty average big leaguer. That counts for something.

#10 Yan Gomes, C (Previous Ranks: UR, 20)

2013 Stats: 39 G, 6 HR, 20 R, 20 RBI, 2 R, .262/.293/.477 line, .327 wOBA (109 wRC+), 1.2 fWAR, 1.2 rWAR in 140 PA

With Gomes, everything comes down to how real the power is. Gomes can get away with a .293 on-base percentage if he keeps his .215 ISO going. The catcher had a .197 ISO in the minors, hinting that he may be able to keep a semblance of this production, but Gomes will need to continue to prove himself at the major league level since he is only 82 games into his career.

#9 Asdrubal Cabrera, SS (Previous Ranks: 4, 7)

2013 Stats: 70 G, 7 HR, 40 R, 32 RBI, 5 SB, .248/.311/.414 line, .316 wOBA (102 wRC+), 0.7 fWAR, 0.9 rWAR in 295 PA

In one of the least surprising developments of the July trading season, Cabrera is once again in the center of trade rumors. The current word on the street is that the Cardinals and Yankees are looking to acquire Cabrera, though I just do not see that happening right now. A team does not trade Cabrera if it is looking to win now and that is what this team seems to be doing. While the return on Cabrera may sound nice, you have to ask if it is worth declaring this team out of the playoff race, because that is functionally what you are deciding by trading Cabrera.

#8 Ryan Raburn, INF/OF (Previous Ranks: 24, 11)

2013 Stats: 55 G, 10 HR, 25 R, 28 RBI, 0 SB, .267/.368/.540 line, .391 wOBA (152 wRC+), 1.8 fWAR, 1.4 rWAR in 174 PA

As of right now Raburn is playing well above his career marks, yet this may be something Raburn can keep up for stretches. Back in 2009, Raburn posted a .291/.359/.533 line and .241 ISO in 291 plate appearances, a similar pace to this season. Overall, I expect Raburn's second half to be a drop-off, but that is only because of how good the utility man's first half went. Raburn should remain a useful option off the bench for the rest of the year.

#7 Corey Kluber, RHP (Previous Ranks: UR, 17)

2013 Stats: 17 G (15 GS), 7-5 W-L, 8.91 SO/9, 2.08 BB/9, 3.88 ERA, 3.41 FIP, 3.02 xFIP, 1.6 fWAR, 1.0 rWAR in 95.0 IP

Baseball can be a funny game. Coming into 2013, Kluber looked like a fringe major leaguer and a #8 or #9 starter. But Kluber's stuff took a step forward and he simply got better at pitching. Sometimes players make adjustments -- they are human after all -- that make any numbers or projections moot. Kluber is a new pitcher now and, assuming he continues with this newly-found dominance, has the chance to pitch near the top of the Cleveland rotation for a long while.

#6 Michael Bourn, OF (Previous Ranks: 2, 6)

2013 Stats: 67 G, 2 HR, 38 R, 19 RBI, 13 SB, .287/.329/.364 line, .307 wOBA (96 wRC+), 1.8 fWAR, 1.4 rWAR in 293 PA

Bourn missed some time earlier in the season with a hand/finger injury but the center fielder is back to doing what he always does: great defense, great baserunning, and decent offense. Personally, I love having Bourn right now and, even if the end of the contract could get nasty, he will be a big part of what getting this team to the playoffs if they get there.

#5 Nick Swisher, 1B/OF (Previous Ranks: 5, 3)

2013 Stats: 78 G, 9 HR, 42 R, 31 RBI, 0 SB, .246/.357/.405 line, .337 wOBA (116 wRC+), 1.5 fWAR, 2.3 rWAR in 336 PA

Swisher fought through a shoulder injury in 2013, which may have something to do with his dip in production (Swisher's wRC+ over the last five years: 125, 135, 124, 128, 117). That still leaves Swisher as a contributor on offense, though if the drop-off continues, he could be in trouble. It would be great to see Swisher get healthy (something that may not happen until the offseason) since that could bring his batting back up to his normal levels.

#4 Michael Brantley, OF (Previous Ranks: 6, 9)

2013 Stats: 90 G, 7 HR, 45 R, 47 RBI, 10 SB, .280/.335/.390 line, .318 wOBA (103 wRC+), 1.7 fWAR, 2.3 rWAR in 364 PA

While I love Brantley's swing and him as a baseball player, I refuse to use the phrase "professional hitter" because it has become so overused and cliché. So let's all stop using that and find other ways to describe Dr. Smooth, like mentioning his low strikeout rate (11.1 K%) and how he combines strong defense and baserunning with good hitting. That combination is basically a better version of Stubbs right now, giving Cleveland a great trio of outfielders.

#3 Carlos Santana, C (Previous Ranks: 1, 2)

2013 Stats: 87 G, 11 HR, 41 R, 42 RBI, 1 SB, .268/.375/.457 line, .361 wOBA (132 wRC+), 1.5 fWAR, 2.1 rWAR in 357 PA

Santana's bat is honestly one of the best on the team and he is someone I love having in this lineup. The issue comes down to his defense. Both Fangraphs and Baseball-Reference peg Santana's defense as costing him and the team around a whole win -- an extremely costly number. Now, catching defense is still very difficult to measure, but this kind of agreement is not good. Santana falls from a potential star with the bat at catcher to more run of the mill at first base or designated hitter, so hopefully he can improve his defense behind the plate.

#2 Justin Masterson, RHP (Previous Ranks: 8, 1)

2013 Stats: 20 GS, 10-7 W-L, 9.11 SO/9, 3.59 BB/9, 3.72 ERA, 3.42 FIP, 3.43 xFIP, 2.5 fWAR, 2.1 rWAR in 135.1 IP

Like Kluber, the development of Masterson's slider has taken him to the next level as a pitcher. Interestingly, Masterson's low arm slot is still leaving him with an extreme platoon split (vs. right-handed hitters: 33.8 K%, 6.8 BB%, 2.08 FIP, 2.40 xFIP; vs. left-handed hitters: 18.9 K%, 11.3 BB%, 4.33 FIP, 4.12 xFIP). None of those stats diminish what Masterson has accomplished in 2013, however; he is an All-Star and one of the best pitchers in the American League.

#1 Jason Kipnis, 2B (Previous Ranks: 3, 4)

2013 Stats: 83 G, 13 HR, 52 R, 55 RBI, 21 SB, .297/.378/.508 line, .380 wOBA (146 wRC+), 3.5 fWAR, 4.1 rWAR in 369 PA

As if anyone else could take the top of these rankings. Just take a look at those stats again and let them sink in. With Kipnis being on pace for a seven-win season -- which is what Miguel Cabrera posted last year -- the second baseman is clearly one of the best in all of baseball. I always thought that Kipnis' upside was that of a solidly above-average second baseman, which is not a bad destiny at all. Yet, despite being high on Kipnis every step of the way, even I was low on him. His sheer talent and work ethic simply makes Kipnis the best player on a contending team.

If you want to follow Jim on Twitter, he’s @JimPiascik. If you want to e-mail him, you can do so at If you want to read his Master's thesis on college athletes and Twitter, you can do so here.

User Comments

July 15, 2013 - 10:51 AM EDT
as i look at the tribe on the all star break a few things pessimists may say is they are ready for the collapse however i think it is better to look at production in the first half bourn ---bout what is expected; cabby------offensively performing below his standards----------kip------if he was basketball player he would be called a gym rat, his performance maybe close to what we can expect swich----performing below his norm; brantley doing exactly what we expect of him; carlos slightly below expectations batting avg wise; reynolds---very streaky prolly what is expected; chiz--------i still think will be a stud. a david wright type 3b; stubbs performing bout normal expectations. What this indicates is this team may add a half a run a game once all the pieces start to perform up to expectation other than bourn, kipnis, brantley, stubbs and bench have done as well as can be expected. so this is not an aberation the tribe just might be for real callapses of the past were due to below avg talent playing below expectations this is above avg talent really not excelling and the track record says they will be more productive between now and october!
Jim Piascik
July 14, 2013 - 10:52 PM EDT
Ha! That's true. I meant it more as Ubaldo is giving the team decent starts and a serviceable pitcher for the rotation, but he doesn't typically go deep into game. I guess he's an innings eater on a diet.
July 14, 2013 - 9:25 PM EDT
Ubaldo an innings eater?? We're lucky if he gives us 5 a game!
July 14, 2013 - 6:30 PM EDT
When the Indians drafted Kipnis, he was projected as a 4th outfielder. When he was moved to second base, I thought it was Trevor Crowe all over again. He has proven me wrong a long time ago.
MT88 in WI
July 14, 2013 - 5:52 PM EDT
With the lack of contribution this year, Marson is a little high on the list.
July 14, 2013 - 4:12 PM EDT
Outstanding piece Jim. Love it!

As a point of clarification, I mentioned on the radio yesterday that the Indians should take a look into the availability of Michael Young.....not Delmon Young.
July 14, 2013 - 3:55 PM EDT
Larry, there's a reason the Royals are 15th in MLB in batting average and 23rd in runs, and the Indians are 13th in batting average and 5th in runs. Santana's clearly the better offensive performer, just as Brantley's clearly got him beat on defense
Jim Piascik
July 14, 2013 - 3:40 PM EDT
Of course a hit is better than a walk -- on a hit more good things can happen, like a baserunner taking the extra base and such. But a walk is better than an out, and even the best hitters are typically making outs 65% of the time. I'd rather have hitters that get on base, thus putting more runners on base for the guys coming up behind him.
July 14, 2013 - 2:01 PM EDT
On base percentage is good, but which player has scored more runs and driven in more runs. With runners in scoring position a walk is not as good as a hit
July 14, 2013 - 1:15 PM EDT
It's simple larry. Carlos Santana is on basae 4% more often than Brantley. (.375 vs .335). Santana also hits for more power.
July 14, 2013 - 1:03 PM EDT
Nice to see Lindor moved up to Akron.
July 14, 2013 - 12:52 PM EDT
Nick Swisher ranked ahead of Michael Bourn?
Are you giving him a high ranking because he looks good on the commercials?
Lets get serious!
Do you think he is worth the money the tribe is paying him?
If Gomes got more playing time I wouldn't rank Swisher ahead of Gomes.
Swisher should have never been batting clean up. Franconas in love with him too much also.
July 14, 2013 - 12:16 PM EDT
Or, how could anyone have Brantley and his .725 OPS anywhere near Santana and his .832 OPS? I would trust the WAR in this case that the two have been about the same. Could make a case for either.

I would have mixed feelings on trading Asdrubal. Depends on what they get, I suppose. While the lineup's definitely better with Cabrera than Aviles, those two essentially have been equally valuable this year. Cabrera though usually has one monster half per year, in which case this year it should come in the second half. They might be able to get Asdrubal's 1st-half production from Lindor though right now. So it depends on what they could upgrade, and also on which Asdrubal shows up in the second half. I would be all for trading him this off-season and going with Lindor to start 2014
July 14, 2013 - 12:01 PM EDT
How in the world could anyone have Santana and his .268 average and 42 RBI ranked ahead of Michael Brantley?
July 14, 2013 - 10:52 AM EDT
Great job. Loved reading this article. Keep up the good work.
July 14, 2013 - 10:40 AM EDT
Myers is way too high. I know only 40 guys have played, but we can safely put John Adams the drum guy, Slider, and Sugardale Dollar Dogs ahead of him.

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