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Cleveland Indians News and Notes: Carlos Santana's supposed selfishness, great clickbait headlines, and Jeff Samdardzija may be traded

Some major moves have happened, but the Indians have not been involved in those. So we will delve into things like Carlos Santana being "selfish" at the plate and the best Indians clickbait headlines.

Carlos Santana
Carlos Santana
Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Indians News

Is Cleveland Indians Carlos Santana selfish because he walks? Hey, Hoynsie | cleveland.com

Paul Hoynes takes more reader questions. He leads with a question that seems to be a common complaint about Carlos Santana: he walks too much. His answer is a good one, but I'd like to take a shot at this complaint myself.

The question:

Hey, Hoynsie: Why is everyone satisfied with the way Carlos Santana plays?  He is the most selfish player on the Indians. Give me 18 home runs, 110 RBI and 185 hits instead of 113 unproductive walks.

If he stopped trying to hit an eight-run homer every time he goes to the plate, only to have them turn into strikeouts or pop ups, then we might have a better-than-average player. He is not as good as everybody thinks. – Mark Lashley, Cambridge.

Let's address the first half of the question. Swinging at pitches outside the strike zone is generally not going to result in hits unless you have eye-hand coordination like Vladamir Guerrero in his prime. So in that sense Carlos Santana is making the right decision by not swinging at those pitches. But what I think the reader is referring to is that Santana takes too many pitches in total. Santana in 2014 saw 4.30 pitches per Plate Appearance, which tied for third (Adam Dunn) in the AL. 342 of his 660 Plate Appearances last year got to some variation of a two strike count (0-2, 1-2, 2-2, 3-2). In those two strike counts, Santana hit .138/.269/.262. That line is not out of the norm for a major-league hitter, though Santana got to that point more than most hitters.

But the reader is supposing that Santana is taking pitches because he wants to walk, which I don't think is happening. I would assume that Santana would love to get a hit every time he gets to the plate, as although walks are promoted by major-league coaching staffs, base hits of any variety is what wins games and therefore what gets rewarded come contract time. Complain about Carlos striking out if you will, but complaining about a good outcome at the plate seems to be an issue of aesthetics. The walk may be an ugly thing to some connoisseurs, but it is extending the inning, and perhaps leading to a score.

AL Central in Review in Clickbait Headlines | Banknotes Industries

(for those unfamiliar with the site, NotGraphs has moved to its own site)

I think we might have used a variation of the defense headline a couple times already, though why anyone would click on an article promising awful defense is beyond me.

Edit: one of the Kansas City headlines answers this concern:

  • The Royals’ Biggest Fan Comes from a Country You Aren’t Expecting, and His Story Will Restore Your Faith in Humanity, Which Is Convenient, Since You Just "Read" That Super Depressing Compilation of 22 Cleveland Indians Defense GIFs That All Just Say "This" Underneath Them as if That Counts as a Caption

MLB News

The best fits for baseball's top remaining free agents. | SportsonEarth.com : Paul Casella Article

Not surprisingly, the Indians are not mentioned, even with Chase Headley included among the free agents.

A's may have Shark bait dangling for possible trade | MLB.com

Jeff Samardzija may now be traded, and there are no shortage of clubs interested. Samardzija is one year from free agency, so he doesn't have the value that Josh Donaldson has, but at least for one season you'd be getting a really good pitcher.