In his latest piece for Fangraphs, Tony Blengino breaks down the Indians’ pitching staff and why the team’s ERA has yet to live up to its peripheral stats. Blengino points out the lack of quality infield defenders as well as some difficulties in limiting contact that make it unlikely for Corey Kluber and Zach McAllister to live up to their own peripherals. Blengino concludes that while the staff is better than its 3.97 ERA, it’s not as good as its 3.40 FIP would indicate, and it isn’t good enough to save Cleveland from a mediocre defense and middling offense that ranks 12th in the AL in runs, 12th in OBP and last in slugging percentage.
More out of the AL Central…
- Scott Carroll, who is on the mound for the White Sox against the Cubs tonight, may not have been in the Majors were it not for a stroke of good luck, writes Dan Hayes of CSN Chicago. Carroll was home rehabbing from Tommy John surgery when he saw an “HBO Real Sports” special in which Steve Delabar explained how a weighted ball program saved his career following an injury. Carroll decided to try the program, and eight months removed from surgery, he had his fastball up to 94 mph.
- While many Tigers fans are calling for Corey Knebel to replace Phil Coke in the team’s bullpen, Chris Iott of MLive.com looks at why that’s unlikely at this time. While the club will likely have to switch to six right-handers eventually, it’s more likely that that scenario will happen when Joel Hanrahan is ready to join the team. Iott spoke with GM Dave Dombrowski, who said: “It is good for [Knebel} to continue his development. At this point, we have not discussed moving him, but that does not mean it cannot happen if we decide this is the best thing for him.”
- Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press writes that the Twins never officially asked Matt Guerrier to move back his opt-out clause before selecting his contract today. Guerrier says that he’s very happy to be back with the Twins, with whom he spent the first six years of his career. “This is where I wanted to be,” said Guerrier.