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Where have all the good nicknames gone?

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Where have all the good nicknames gone?

Posted on 17 August 2012 by Chris Caylor

In my college days, going through my early 30s, a friend and I would make an annual drive to Colorado Springs to watch the Sky Sox play. Granted, we lived in the Denver metro area, so it wasn’t that long of a drive, but whatever. It was one of my favorite days each year. On the way, we would quiz each other on all sorts of baseball trivia: franchise relocations, past World Series winners, MVP/Cy Young winners, etc. My favorite topic was player nicknames. The Wizard. The Babe. Charlie Hustle. Spaceman. Oil Can. Crime Dog. The list could on for days.

Recently, I ran across an article on Athlon Sports that purported to list the 50 best baseball nicknames ever. It is a woefully inadequate list, if you ask me, but generally, those lists are always debatable because they are just a writer’s opinion. It did get me to thinking, though: where are the good nicknames today? Sure, there are a few popular ones: Kung Fu Panda (Pablo Sandoval), the Flyin’ Hawaiian (Shane Victorino), Pronk (Travis Hafner), Spider-Man (Torii Hunter), or “Coco” Crisp.

But too often, current nicknames are just plain lazy. Tulo? Longo? Sorry, shortening a name doesn’t count as creative. Neither do the abbreviations (A-Rod, Han-Ram, CarGo, J-Roll) or nicknames starting with “Big” (Unit, Papi, Hurt, Mac). Political correctness has ruined any good personal appearance nicknames. I don’t mean lame or unoriginal names like Ugly or Fatty; I mean creative ones like Three Finger, Schnozz or Piano Legs. Animal nicknames can be tiresome as well – Bull, Moose, Skeeter. Yawn. Now, nicknames like Penguin, Stork or Horse Belly, those have some flair.

Also, excessively long nicknames or forced nicknames don’t work – really, which is more memorable: The Babe or The Colossus of Clout? Exactly. Or, if I said “The Denora Greyhound,” would you know who it is? More likely, you would recognize “Stan the Man.” Players cannot nickname themselves either, so that rules out Dustin Pedroia’s Laser Show and Nyjer Morgan (Tony Plush).

So where does that leave us? What do we have left?

There are a few other good nicknames out there.

One of my favorite nicknames was Harry “Suitcase” Simpson. Although he was traded multiple times in his career (and thusly packing his suitcase constantly), his nickname was initiated when a Cleveland sportswriter described Simpson’s size 13 feet as being as large as suitcases. I don’t know about shoe sizes, but the multiple teams part would suit (see what I did there?) several contemporary players. Jamie Moyer, Octavio Dotel, Jerry Hairston, Matt Stairs. For alliteration’s sake, Reggie “Suitcase” Sanders would have been perfect.

Adam Wainwright is commonly referred to by teammates and St. Louis media as Waino, a perfect example of a lazy nickname. Conversely, Cardinals blogger and Viva El Birdos founder Larry Borowsky referred to him as Wagonmaker, which is what Wainwright translates to in Olde English. That’s more like it.

Adam Dunn is the Big Donkey, he doesn’t really belong on this list. I only mention him because he needs to be on the same team as Pedroia so we could have the Big Donkey and the Little Jackass. White Sox GM Kenny Williams needs to make this happen.

Billy Butler’s nickname is Country Breakfast. Definitely one of the better ones, and quite fitting. Butler is not a small man.

Once Jose Bautista blossomed into one of baseball’s best sluggers with the Toronto Blue Jays, he became Joey Bats. Again, one of the better current nicknames.

Jeff Samardzija’s nickname is Shark. Not great, but it’s a hell of a lot easier to spell.

Felix Hernandez is King Felix, an appropriate nickname for one of the best pitchers in the game, particularly in light of his brilliant perfect game Wednesday. But not terribly original.

John Axford, aka The Ax Man, is an exception to the lazy nickname criteria I listed above. While it is an example of a shortened name, it is original enough, especially for a closer.

Cardinal fans coined Scrabble as a nickname for Marc Rzepczynski within days of his arrival at the trade deadline last year. It reminds me of Doug Gwodsz, a 1970s pitcher known as Eye-chart.

I find Ryan Braun’s nickname, the Hebrew Hammer, to be boring. On the other hand, Mike Epstein’s old nickname is fantastic. He played for five teams between 1966-74 and was known as SuperJew. How fantastic is that? It would be instantly become the best nickname in baseball today. Failing that, non-Brewer fans might find Bug Eyes a suitable nickname as well.

There was a player named Jack Daniels, who played for the Boston Braves in 1952. His nickname was Sour Mash Jack. Are you thinking what I’m thinking? Right – John Lackey.

Remember the annual trips to Colorado Springs to see the Sky Sox? One year, they were playing the Memphis Redbirds (Triple-A team for the Cardinals), who had an infielder named Stubby Clapp. He was fortunate enough to inherit the nickname from his father and grandfather. Anyway, my friend and I started chanting “Clapp on, Clapp off, Clapp on/Clapp off, the Clapper.” Soon most of the crowd was chanting with us. He finally looked back with a grin and tipped his cap to the crowd. One of my all-time favorites.

Finally, this player played in the 30s and 40s and proclaimed himself “the ugliest player in baseball.” No, I’m not referring to Willie McGee. His name was Johnny Dickshot. He needs no nickname.

Think about past teams, like the Athletics, Reds and Yankees of the 70s, the Cardinals and Mets of the 80s, or the Indians of 90s. Those teams all had players with cool nicknames up and down the lineup and on the pitching staff. Teams in 2012 might have a handful of such players, but nothing like the Big Red Machine or the 1977-78 Yankees.

However, today’s players have something that other players did not: Twitter.

MLB.com reports that nearly 300 players have Twitter accounts and list over 125 verified accounts that players have agreed to make public. Some of them take time to really interact with followers. For instance:

Logan Morrison (@LoMoMarlins) has an often hilarious feed and asks trivia questions of his followers with autographed merchandise for prizes.
Carlos Beltran (@carlosbeltran15) solicited his followers for input on what uniform number he should wear with the Cardinals this season.
Derek Holland (Dutch_Oven45) of the Rangers frequently tweets and re-tweets Chuck Norris jokes, among others.
Jeremy Guthrie (@jguthrie46) made several fans in Colorado when he asked via Twitter if someone wanted to play catch with him. Guthrie randomly selected a fan who replied and made many fans in the process.
C.J. Nitkowski (@cjnitkowski) was worth following when he was retired, but now that he is attempting a comeback, he is a must-follow. He wouldn’t be a rookie like Jim Morris, but the story is every bit as compelling.
Dirk Hayhurst (@thegarfoose) started tweeting when he was an active player (and author) with the Padres and Blue Jays and has continued on since retiring and becoming a radio host and Blue Jays analyst. He is thoughtful, funny and responsive.
C.J. Wilson (@str8edgeracer), Brandon Phillips (@DatDudeBP), Jason Motte (@jmotte30), and Adam Jones (@simplyAJ10) are other players who are active Tweeters worth following.

If you look at those Twitter handles, some of them are really clever, especially those of Morrison, Holland, Hayhurst and Wilson. Could you consider those nicknames? Interesting question. If the point is to have a unique moniker to identify a player, then a distinctive Twitter handle certainly qualifies. But imagine, just for the sake of argument, that Wilson makes the Hall of Fame – is he going to have “@str8edgeracer” on his plaque, similar to Stan “The Man” Musial? The image greatly amuses me. Incidentally, I wonder if Chris Johnson has changed his Twitter handle (@CJAstros23) since being traded to the Diamondbacks.

In any case, this is one of the best things about baseball. From statistics to history to players and their nicknames, baseball just lends itself to lists and debates better than any other sport. I’m sure I missed some current nicknames. Hit me up in the comments with other good ones.

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The Roster Report – March 3, 2012

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The Roster Report – March 3, 2012

Posted on 03 March 2012 by Bryan Grosnick

Hey there, hardball fans. Welcome to the first Roster Report of March. Spring Training has sprung on us, and players are showing up and getting ready for the 2012 season. With the beginning of Spring Training comes the inevitable swath of injuries throughout the league, and this column focuses on some of the most important injuries that have cropped up over the last few days. Two Central Division squads will be missing big-name (and big-money) players for the start of the season – one due to a freak injury, the other due to an injury that was anything but unexpected.

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Cleveland Indians CF Grady Sizemore will miss 8-12 weeks due to back surgery.

It was almost a given that Grady Sizemore would miss time in 2012, but even the Indians probably didn’t expect it to happen so soon. The superstar outfielder had a micro discectomy, and this back surgery will cause him to miss most of Spring Training, as well as the start to the season. With an extensive rehab process needed before Grady can get back on the field, and his existing history of injury, I’d say mid-May is the earliest we’d see Sizemore take the field for Cleveland. This is not the way the Indians wanted to spend the $5MM contract they signed Sizemore to before the season started.

With Grady missing from center field, it is safe to assume that Michael Brantley will take over in the middle of the outfield. Brantley posted respectable, if not stupendous, numbers in 2011. He amassed nearly 500 plate appearances, hit .266/.318/.384, and stole 13 bases. There’s still potential for his power, speed, and OBP numbers to improve a bit, and Brantley’s defense in center is solid enough to play everyday there. Brantley probably would have been the everyday left-fielder with Sizemore healthy, but now he’s more likely to hit near the top of the order, depending on the choices the Indians make with the newly-open left field position.

There’s no absolute clear left fielder in Cleveland with Brantley moving to center. The Indians have a host of guys in camp looking for a spot, including Russ Canzler, Matt LaPorta, Shelley Duncan, Aaron Cunningham, Ezequiel Carrera, Ryan Spilborghs, and Trevor Crowe. Spilborghs looks to have very, very little left in the tank after a terrible 2011, and Thomas Neal was very unimpressive in 2011 as well, except he was bad in Triple-A. Carrera makes a fine pinch-runner, but doesn’t project to have the bat to play every day. And Matt LaPorta may just be out of luck and time to prove himself as something greater than a Triple-A hitter. In fact, Canzler, LaPorta, and Cunningham all have a similar knock. All three have played well in the minors, but haven’t seen their production translate at the ML level yet. All three are also right-handed, which makes them pretty interchangeable as an option in left. I’d actually expect that Cunningham’s versatility will keep him in the mix in Cleveland, but as a fourth-outfielder capable of spelling Brantley, Choo, or whomever gets the LF job. Canzler is able to back up all four corner spots, but LaPorta has more upside if his bat ever starts working in the bigs, but both could wind up in Columbus to begin the year.

That leaves two options for the LF job: Shelley Duncan and Trevor Crowe. Duncan, like the three candidates I just covered, bats right-handed. But unlike those three, Duncan actually put up pretty decent numbers in limited action last season. Duncan hit 11 HR in 247 plate appearances last year, and was good for a 118 wRC+. That will play, especially given how badly he treated right-handed pitchers, torching them for a .390 wOBA. If he could keep up that level of hitting against same-handed pitchers, that would make for a worthwhile everyday left fielder. But that performance was outside of his usual abilities, he typically hits lefties better than righties. If Duncan needed a platoon partner, the Indians might want to leverage one of the only backup outfielders on the roster who can hit left-handed in Trevor Crowe. Crowe’s a switch-hitting outfielder with some speed, and he has a tendency to perform better when hitting left-handed in the majors. If Crowe can put up league-average numbers against opposite-handed pitchers, he might be as good a caddy as anyone if the Indians want to get the platoon advantage.

Ultimately, I see this as Shelley Duncan’s position to lose, unless LaPorta, Canzler, or one of the other candidates has a ridiculous Spring Training. Duncan has enough power to be a worthwhile (if very, very late round) fantasy pickup, as his power is legit. In a full season, he’s the type of player who could put up 20+ HR. But we’ll certainly have to see how Spring Training plays out before we know anything definite. And even once Sizemore comes back from this particular injury, don’t expect the position shuffle to end. Given injury histories for fellow Indians Shin-Soo Choo and Travis Hafner, there could be a lot of moving a shaking before the season is over in Cleveland.

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Pittsburgh Pirates SP A.J. Burnett will miss 8-12 weeks due to facial surgery.

Freak injuries like the one to A.J. Burnett’s face during bunting practice are never a good thing. And as someone projected to be the Opening Day starter for an improving Pittsburgh team, this one has to particularly sting. Now that A.J. will be having surgery on his face due to a fractured orbital bone around his eye, the Pirates are back to where they were a month ago: a rotation filled with young guys who don’t have a whole lot to offer. While Burnett isn’t an elite starter, he would have provided heft to a rotation full of end-of-the-bench starters.

With A.J. out, both Jeff Karstens and Charlie Morton should be guaranteed their spots in the rotation to start. Neither player is particularly noteworthy, but hey, it’s a slow week so we’ll break them down anyways! Charlie Morton got a little bit of press by admitting he tried to copy Roy Halladay‘s delivery and style note-for-note before the 2011 season, and then started off having quite a bit of success with the copycat style. Pretty soon, though, things came back to normal. By the end of the season, the Pirates might have been better served by running the other baseball-playing Charlie Morton out there every fifth day. You know, the one who’s been dead for nearly a century. The current Morton is great at not giving up home runs (0.31 HR/9 in 2011), but his Roy Halladay impersonation doesn’t include the requisite strikeouts to make him a top-level starter. He’s a replacement-level guy, or maybe a little better if he can continue to keep the ball in the yard at such a low rate.

Jeff Karstens, like Burnett, is another former Yankee who’s been exiled to Pittsburgh. Karstens had a good season if you use ERA as measure (3.38 ERA in 2011), but the advanced metrics tell a different story. His FIP was a full run higher at 4.29, which isn’t awful, but belied a very low BABIP of .275. Karsten relies on his command, reducing walks, and getting guys out on balls in play, so luck plays a big part in his success. The Pirates won’t get killed running him out there every fifth day, but chances are that they’ll wish they had Burnett back sooner rather than later.

Before the injury, A.J. Burnett was a pretty solid fantasy option in the later rounds of a draft or in deep leagues. Now, he’s more of a wait-and-see guy. The only reason this injury should affect his game is the missed Spring Training time to get ready; remember that this isn’t an arm injury that could mess with his velocity or control. Hopefully, Burnett will have a speedy recovery and be back soon, but until he does, you might be better off drafting someone else and waiting for A.J. on the waiver wire.

Quick Hits

  • The Cleveland Indians already have another injury issue worth watching. Closer Chris Perez is dealing with an oblique strain and will probably miss the first few weeks of the season. Yeah, Perez is the closer, but he was pretty bad in 2011. A live arm in previous seasons, Perez saw his strikeout rate (2010: 8.71 K/9, 2011: 5.88 K/9) crater all of a sudden, with no change to his walk rate (3.92 BB/9) at all. He managed a 3.32 ERA and 36 saves, but that masked a SIERA of 4.65 and xFIP of 5.01. That’s hardly closer quality. Picking up the slack in the meantime will be Vinnie Pestano, who emerged in his rookie season as the best reliever in the Cleveland ‘pen. Pestano struck out a mountain of guys (84, to be exact) and could well be more effective in a ninth-inning role than Perez ever was. Since we don’t know if Pestano will snatch the job away on a permanent basis, don’t go crazy drafting Pestano in fantasy yet. But I trust that Manny Acta and punk-rock pitching coach Scott Radinsky will eventually turn the ninth over to Pestano. And don’t be too surprised in Tony Sipp sees a few holds chances with Pestano closing.

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DOs And DONTs: Cleveland Indians

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DOs And DONTs: Cleveland Indians

Posted on 24 February 2012 by Jeff Coleman

Greetings, baseball and fantasy fans! In this edition of DO’s And DON’Ts, we will cast a spotlight on the AL Central’s Cleveland Indians. Breaking camp on the 20th, the Tribe is looking for a good run; hopefully a more sustained effort of the 30-15 start of the 2011 campaign. A lot of known names have been invited to get a chance with the Indians (and even some new names for known faces, but more on that later), and there are some intriguing notables to look out for.

Travis Hafner helping Taylor Teagarden do a barrel roll

So let us delve into the 40-man and NRIs for this year’s “Cleveland Indians: Spring Training” edition, and give you some insight on who to look to for help on your own fantasy team… And who to avoid like a fastball to the head (or a freight-training Travis Hafner, shown above):

  • DON’T expect anything out of Roberto Hernandez Heredia this season (but DO expect him back on the roster by the ASB).

If the name does not seem familiar, it’s not. But the number on the back of the jersey is. Heredia, also known as the pitcher currently wearing number 55 and formerly known as Fausto Carmona, is currently on the Indians’ restricted list: meaning he doesn’t count against the team’s payroll, or their 25- and 40-man rosters. He will be there until he returns to the States after going through the due legal process in his native Dominican Republic. Indians GM Chris Antonetti has stated he would like #55 back.  Agent Jorge Brito says #55 has been throwing and keeping in-shape. So while you should expect him back, he would NOT be a good investment. Last year was his worst season in six for several major pitching categories: H (205), ER (110), HR (22), and Hit By Pitch (14). His GO/AO has dropped precipitously from 2008 to 2009, and is at its lowest point (1.78) in his career. To me, this only more damningly points to his pitches being much less in his control, much higher in the zone, thus more hittable. Given that he will not break camp on time, probably won’t be in Spring Training at all, and will be dealing with the backlash from this entire off-season ruckus, it is easy to say that Faustberto’s return to baseball will not be very productive.

  • DO count on Asdrubal Cabrera to bring the same talent and fire to the team this year as he did last year.

While I would not expect the same power numbers from ACab as last year (25 HR from a player that, to that point, had only 18 in his career), his aggregate numbers suggest that his performance was not a fluke. His OPS (.792) was the second highest in his career and his average OPS in five seasons sits at .756, a very respectable number. His BA (.273) was also well in-line with his career average (.281). The “shocking” number from his stats last year, 119 Ks, isn’t so shocking. His K/AB ratio from last year (19.7%) is not that increased from his previous 4 seasons combined (18.0%). The decreased GO/AO ratio of 1.13 shows that either ACab is finding a power stroke that has been missing in his career, or he was trying to make up for the lack of power on the Tribe roster… And did well with it. I would expect ACab to be good for about 15-20 HRs this year, and an overall solid campaign. Of course, this could all be just because of the one-year deal he managed to sign with the Indians; a try-out and break-out two years before a stint at free agency. More on this as the season progresses, of course.

  • DO anticipate Casey Kotchman to break camp (and hit the Opening Day roster) as the Indians’ starting first baseman.

The signing of Casey Kotchman was one of those unexpected surprises that you wind up finding out about through the Twitter grapevine. Considering the nearly-unanimous fan traffic about the play of Matt LaPorta, any move was surely a good move to shore up that disaster. Russ Canzler was the first move to get LaPorta some help / some competition / the Hell out the door, but Canzler has had exactly three ABs in the Majors. Kotchman has several (eight) years in the Majors, and will only turn 29 on the 22nd; he is starting to hit the peak part of his career. Last year’s numbers were relatively impressive, and would (do?) have any Indians fans falling over themselves: A .306 BA, an OPS of .800 on the dot, and the ability to find holes in a defense and place the ball in play. Those are key ingredients to a player that will give you solid contact and produce runs aplenty. Kotchman himself attributes a procedure to fix up his eyesight as a huge factor in getting his hitting back where he wants it. The bigger key with Kotchman is his defense. While this will not factor into most standard fantasy leagues, it’s important to note a solid defense is crucial to a pitching staff that pitches to contact, like the Indians do. With several sinker-style arms in the rotation, their defense will get them out of jams early and often. A glove like Kotchman’s over at first only brings hurlers joy, and will affect anyone drafting any pitchers out of the Tribe’s staff. Kotchman is the man to beat at first, and I do not see anyone truly coming out and taking it from him. All of that being said…

  • DON’T expect the Matt LaPorta ‘experiment’ to last much past June with Kotchman in the fold.

LaPorta was highly-touted coming over from the Milwaukee Brewers; the Indians shuffled him over to first from the outfield, and were counting on him being a powerhouse. But sadly, sometimes expectations do not quite pan out. While LaPorta’s numbers last season weren’t completely terrible, that is in comparison to the numbers he put up his prior two seasons. His looked-for power numbers have not come along at all (7, 12, 11 HR over his first three seasons), his strikeouts are high (37, 82, 87 Ks), and it seems like he has the distinct inability to drive in baserunners (21, 41, 53 RBIs). It’s statistically easy to see that he has an uppercuting swing: His GO/AO was 0.62 last year, and he carries a GO/AO of 0.80 overall, so one would think the power would be present. But the truth is this: The time for Matt LaPorta to show what he had was last season, when the first base job was his to lose. The Indians will say that they want to see what he does in Spring Training, but take it from me: The writing was on LaPorta’s locker when Canzler and Kotchman were signed. The future of the Tribe will not include LaPorta wearing #7.

  • DO look for some help in the outfield from the NRI list.

With the entire Indians starting outfield on the DL at some point or another last season, it’s easy to say that was the area needing the most work done. The Kosuke Fukudome trade was a needed late-season boost, but unfortunately that didn’t stick as Kos-Fu was let go of at season’s end. Once again, the Tribe and their fans stood staring at uncertain times of who would patrol the warning track. There are some folks I expect to get back on track: Shin-Soo Choo one year removed from his off-the-field shenanigans, Michael Brantley who showed some promise with full-time play, and the flashy and likable ex-rookie Ezequiel Carrera. There are some I’m not expecting much from; including a gent I’ll talk about in-depth in my next point. However, I believe someone on the non-roster invitee list, and quite possibly two someones, will break camp with a good chance to at least get some time from the bench. My money is on Trevor Crowe, a familiar name in Cleveland, to be back on the roster with the big club out of Spring Training. A fan favorite, Crowe has been with the Indians for three years now. The Tribe is pretty big on Crowe; he hasn’t had the numbers to back it up yet, but his last two seasons have been shortened by some pretty decent injuries. He does not have much pop in his bat, with only 3 career HR. He has shown some slap power and can find holes. He also has a dose of speed (20/27 SB in 2010) that could be useful for the small-ball-style hitting that this team might have to use to win games. The other “X-Factor”, in my opinion, is Fred Lewis. I managed to follow his exploits in San Francisco before I moved back east, and the Giants were pretty high on him. Another speedster (53/76 SB in six seasons), he finds his way on-base with nice regularity (.345 career OBP). He also displays some extra-base power as well (.406 SLG and 139 XBH career). The only problem with Lewis is that he is transitioning back from the NL to the AL; he did play with the Blue Jays in the ’10 season, but the rest of his career has been in the NL. That usually means an adjustment period to learn the pitchers in the new league, but coming into the fold before Spring Training might give him a chance to study tape and lessen that adjustment. My edge would go to Crowe, but don’t be surprised if Lewis’ name is right there as well.

As sad as it is to say, the time of Grady Sizemore as the poster-boy of the Tribe is at an end. I think this is in the minds of the Indians front office, even as they inked Sizemore for an incentive-laden, one-year, $5 million contract. What was once a very promising, very aggressive, and showy career seems to have taken a turn towards struggling to regain any part of what was to be. Ongoing knee injuries have robbed Sizemore of some of his major tools (B+ / A- speed and aggressive, flashy fielding), and I think have thrown his batting into a tizzy. He was on a tear first when he first came back in 2011, showing little ill-effect from microfracture surgery on his left knee; his stat line was 378/4/9 in April. The bad news was he could not sustain the effort; this can probably be blamed on a lack of full-blown conditioning. But all sorts of things seem to have changed with that injury; maybe the drive to push himself back to where he was, maybe mechanics. But Sizemore continued to be injured, and continued to not get back in season form. Maybe with a full Spring Training will we see an edging back to the norm for Grady. Considering the last couple of campaigns, however, it’s hard to see Sizemore making a full-blown comeback to the man of old. With any luck, the Indians will have a serviceable outfielder in Sizemore that might wind up trade bait come July. That would be the best outcome out of all of this, and that’s an Indians fan of many, many years saying that.

  • DO look to the Indians bullpen for some late-inning pitching help.

If there were two things that the Indians excelled at last season, it was comebacks and solid late-inning pitching. The mainstays of the “Bullpen Mafia” (Vinnie Pestano, Joe Smith, Tony Sipp, and the baller ‘brothers’ of Rafael Perez and Chris Perez) all had solid years last year. The worst ERA out of the bunch belonged to the “Pure Rage” closer at 3.32, but he ended up sporting a BAA of less than .220 at .215, and was successful on 36/40 SV, solidifying himself as one of the league’s better closers. Vinnie Pestano was a pure beast, sporting miniscule numbers in important categories: 2.32 ERA, .184 BAA, 1.05 WHIP. He did this while hitting big in the good categories with 84 Ks and 23 holds. Smith and Sipp were solid in their short-relief and set-up roles. Even Raffy Perez, arguably the ‘worst’ of the bunch, was more than serviceable: 3.00 ERA, 33 K, .253 BAA, 1.24 WHIP. Plus, his 2.11 GO/AO promises good things with a good defense behind him. The only catch to these gents is that the starting pitching of the Tribe was not nearly effective enough to keep the ‘pen out of being used in a lot of games; they averaged just under six innings a game with only TWO complete games as a starting staff! The result was the bullpen being worn down near season’s end, and being less-than-effective compared to their earlier work. If you do draft anyone out of the Tribe ‘pen, you would be well-served to keep an eye on the Tribe starters as well. If the starters start exiting early in games like they did last season, you may want to have late-season plans prepared.

This article is not the end-all to how to run your fantasy team, of course. Our other writers have been putting together fantastic DO’s And DON’Ts for the other MLB clubs. Like the other articles, however, this one is here to help, and here for comment and debate.

Are there Indians players that I missed that would have impacts on fantasy baseball teams, either for the good or bad? Anything about the players I mentioned I neglected, or just flat got wrong? Go ahead and hit the comments below, or find me on Twitter at @JCPronkFan48.

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