They’re Shitty

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This Indians season has…not gone exactly to plan. Or at least if this was the plan then AnTitonettpiro are really bad at pranks.

And the worst thing about an under-achieving team (other than, you know, the losing) is that Twitter can’t seem to decide if this team sucks or not.

On one hand – they suck.

On the other hand – there’s a lot of weird numbers that seem to indicate there’s a chance Manny Acta is cackling in his basement lab as he pushes pins into his Chief Wahoo voodoo doll.

Focusing on the offensive side of things – the Tribe has been treating runners in scoring position more like runners in missionary position: they’re getting screwed. Jacob Rosen over at Waiting For Next Year did a great breakout of this earlier in the season, but I wanted to take another look as we head into the break.

Below is a chart showing the last six years overall hitting numbers vs their numbers with runners in scoring position.

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So the Indians’ OPS drops around 0.030 pts with runners in scoring position this year. That stinks. But maybe that’s a normal outlier?

Here’s a look at the overall MLB numbers over that same time frame. Notice that hitting normally improves with runners touching boobs or more. So not only are the Indians not hitting close to their normal averages, they should be hitting even BETTER than those averages.

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So is it bad luck?

Maybe. This is mostly the same roster as the previous season, so it seems odd that these numbers would almost completely flip year over year –

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Or is it lack of the clutch gene? If you ask the Indians for change for a dollar will they give you 3 quarters? Baseball people seem to think that clutch hitting is mostly random and not a real skill. But at the same time, the Indians’ hitting with RISPers has been declining for three years now.
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So what did we learn here?

There’s probably reason to believe the offense will improve. And with the Tribe’s pitching staff, that should be enough to win some games.

But there may also be some flaws in this lineup that need to be fixed. Some of those flaws rhyme with Bichael Mourn. Some are just that guys are slumping.

Today they sit 10 games back of the division and 4.5 of the second Wild Card spot. Hopefully by the end of September we’re having a different conversation.

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Cleveland Indians 2015 Predictions, Part 1

1Opening Day is just around the corner and the Everybody Hates Cleveland staff has reported to camp in the worst shape of our lives. Before we all get drunk on the sweet, sweet nectar of baseballahol, we here at EHC wanted to take a step back and look at what we can expect from the 2015 Cleveland Indians.

This will be a two-part series – the first exploring what to expect from the team as a whole in 2015 and the second focusing more on individual players. Continue reading

5 Breakout Candidates for the 2015 Tribe

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Jason Kipnis
2014: .240 / .310 / .330 / 6 HR
STEAMER: .253 / .328 / .382 / 13 HR
ZIPS: .256 / .330 / .388 / 13 HR

Kipnis entered the 2014 season as not only a major part of a promising young core, but also one of the most recognizable faces of the franchise. A breakout player in 2013, his 2014 campaign saw a massive decline in production on the field. Off-the-field, Kipnis was dealing not only with injuries, but also the departure of his best wingman in Vinnie Pestano and the pressure of Kevin Love’s arrival on the Cleveland Playboy Scene. Kipnis needs to regain his 2013 form if he hopes to continue his quest of trolling for phone numbers from drunken coeds on West 6th. He realizes “I had a really sweet 2013” won’t cut it with most ladies in Cleveland’s party scene and early returns of “I know Michael Brantley” haven’t resulted in the numbers he’d like.

Trevor Bauer
2014: 5-8 4.18 ERA 1.38 WHIP
STEAMER: 10-11 4.45 ERA 1.38 WHIP
ZIPS: 8-9 4.29 ERA 1.40 WHIP

Bauer, the 3rd overall pick in the 2011 draft by the Arizona Diamondbacks, has been an enigmatic character in his short time with the Indians. Sporting top-shelf stuff, his approach and ability to be coached have been questioned throughout his professional career. Off-the-field incidents include recording rap tracks and personally building a drone most recently seen flying over the Indians practice facility in Goodyear, ARI. Bauer’s somewhat peculiar personality has also been a controversial topic on Twitter; with many fans lashing out at him for both performance and attitude. Having proven himself as belonging in the big-leagues, Bauer will spend the 2015 season attempting to make the leap to top-of-the-rotation starter. Team officials are quietly expecting big things, as Bauer spent the offseason building not only his drone, but also a machine designed to collect fan hate and turn it into consumable energy. Bauer hopes this new Tweet-fueled rage-ahol will provide an extra 200-300% on his fastball. The true test will be pitching coach Mickey Calloway’s ability to harness to additional energy for good as opposed to evil. Expect Bauer to make headlines a few more times in Spring Training as he collects enough hatred to sustain through a long season.

Carlos Carrasco
2014: 8-7 2.55 ERA .985 WHIP
STEAMER: 11-9 3.53 ERA 1.20 WHIP
ZIPS: 6-6 3.71 ERA 1.24 WHIP

Carrasco’s season may be less a breakout for him as an individual as much as his impact on those around him. Coming to the Indians as part of the Cliff Lee trade, Carrasco showed his potential in 2011 with a 3.54 ERA over his first 15 starts. Elbow trouble derailed his season and eventually led to Tommy John surgery. Carrasco struggled to recover his prior success before moving to the bullpen in 2014 and posting a 2.30 ERA over 43 innings. He sustained that success in a move back to the rotation posting a 1.30 ERA over ten starts in the second half. Beyond his pitching prowess, Carrasco provides the “enforcer” the Indians have lacked since the right-handed scary monster Shelley Duncan left following the 2012 season. Carrasco’s 97 mile-per-hour fastball with head-seeking action provides plenty of intimidation as opposing teams will be forced to make tough decisions such as “Do I want to try to get a hit, or do I want to die tonight.” In a tough AL Central race, these are the types of advantages that can swing the entire division.

Lonnie Chisenhall
2014: .280 / .343 / .427 / 13 HR
STEAMER: .263 / .317 / .429 / 15 HR
ZIPS: .271 / .325 / .429 / 14 HR

Chisenhall had a monster first-half in 2014 before tailing off down the stretch. A top prospect throughout his time in the Indians’ minor league system, the team hopes 2015 is the year Chisenahll is able to make the leap to being a more consistent offense-focused 3B. Entering his age 26 season and having tasted success in the front-half of 2014, Chisenhall cites his biggest motivation for 2015 being “known for something other than the name Lonnie. It’s awful. My 7th grade girlfriend broke up with me over this name. Please call me Chiz or literally anything else instead.” Various members of the Indians’ front office have given Chisenhall 2015 goals of a .260 batting average, 15 homeruns, and “Lonnie” making the top 300 list of new baby names in Cleveland.

Nick Swisher
2014: .208 / .278 / .331 / 8 HR
STEAMER: .233 / .319 / .382 / 13 HR
ZIPS: .229 / .316 / .386 / 14 HR

With the recent news that Swisher isn’t deceased, expectations for his 2015 season have ticked up slightly. After signing a large contract with the Indians prior to the 2013 season, Swisher saw a decline in his overall numbers but still helped propel the Indians to the Wild Card play-in game by hitting seven homeruns in September and October. The following season, Swisher battled injuries and a prolonged slump before finally having season-ending surgery on both knees. Having been a model of consistency in his career – both in terms of health (145+ games played in 8 consecutive seasons prior to 2014) and performance (only two seasons below .800 OPS in prior eight seasons to 2014) – Swisher is a prime candidate for a bounce-back season. The Indians hope that a return to form will help fans shift their criticisms and heckling to members of other teams, instead of the hometown Indians. Mark Shapiro was quoted as saying, “Hopefully in 2015, Nick Swisher teaches Cleveland how to love again.”

Breaking Indians News from EHC

Exclusive breaking news – Everybody Hates Cleveland has learned that contrary to widespread belief among fans, Nick Swisher is in fact NOT dead.

Swisher was widely considered to be deceased after batting a paltry .208 and playing in only 97 games last year. When reached for comment, Swisher said the following:

“Dead? What the hell are you talking about? I’ve been around all offseason. You’ve seen me on Twitter and Instagram. I literally joined the broadcast team for the freaking World Series. Was no one paying any attention? Is this a joke or something?”

Swisher, who played in 145+ games in each of the past 8 seasons continued:

“I mean, I understand I had a bad year, but I’ve been in MLB for 11 years. Doesn’t that mean anything? Both of my knees were injured. It’s the first time I’ve ever had a major injury. This is insane.”

When it was pointed out most fans assumed Swisher had died of natural causes after reaching the ripe old age of 34, Swisher appeared insulted:

“I’m 34. That’s not even that old. It’s 2015, I’m not trying to go on the Oregon Trail or something, here. Is this a real interview?”

When asked if he would allow Paul Hoynes to pinch him to prove he wasn’t a ghost, Swisher erupted:

“That’s it. Enough. I’m not the first player to ever return from an injury to play again. It happens hundreds of times a year. Hell – Michael Bourn is right over there, ask him.”

Everybody Hates Cleveland was unable to confirm that Michael Bourn, who was also considered super dead, is in fact still living and planning to play baseball this year.

More as the story develops.