The A's may keep maneuvering, but the Tribe is just resting up and biding their time. Just over one more month till pitchers and catchers report. Let's see what's going on around MLB in the meantime:
Indians news & notes
IBI 2015 previews: Michael Brantley | Indians Baseball Insiders - Michael Brantley was not only the Tribe MVP, but also came in third in the actual AL MVP voting. There's not much more we can say about his 2014 season. But will Dr. Smooth live up to his elevated status in 2015? IBI advises us to not get our hopes up for a repeat performance, but that doesn't mean Brantley won't have a great season. Also! While you're over at IBI, do check out the rest of their 2015 preview capsules. They're doing one for every player on the 40-man roster and they're definitely worth a quick glimpse.
Season previews: Yan Gomes | Wahoo's On First - Speaking of the best Tribe players of 2015, Yan Gomes wasn't far behind. WOF has three bold predictions for the Tribe backstop's 2015 season, all of which would make him pretty much the best catcher in baseball.
Hey Hoynsie! Did the HoF forget Mel Harder?- Hoynsie addresses a fan who asks why the HoF would elect John Smoltz but neglect Tribe legend, Mel Harder, who had similar stats. Hoynsie give a surprisingly competent and informative answer. Hoynsie also answers his ten millionth question about the Progressive Field renovations, just for kicks.
New and improved Carrasco key in 2015 rotation | Did The Tribe Win Last Night? - While the offseason spotlight has been on Corey Kluber and his Cy Young-winning season, Carlos Carrasco's breakout 2014 hasn't been forgotten. Bob Toth discusses the importance of Carrasco maintaining his new form in 2015, while also annoyingly rehashing the debate about the return on the Cliff Lee trade. Old habits die hard for Carrasco and Tribe scribes, apparently.
Why we go to WAR: evaluating defense | Burning River Baseball - BRB continues its WAR series, this time looking at perhaps the most contriversial aspect of mdern statistical analysis in baseball: defensive metrics. More specifically, Joseph Coblitz focuses of the use of UZR versus the traditional measure of fielding percentage.
Was Zobrist a fit for the Indians? | Wahoo's On First - Fresh off the A's/Rays blockbuster trade, WOF takes a look at whether or not Ben Zobrist would have been a good fit on the Tribe, arguing that the Indians and 27 other teams missed out on an opportunity to upgrade.
Tidbits from around MLB
- Sports On Earth examines how James Shields will hold up over the course of his career, using famously durable pitchers from MLB past
- Fangraphs talks to LFGT Chris Archer about his thoughts on new school versus old school stats and the meaning of wins
- CBS Sports looks at managers who are on track to make the HoF, including our own Terry Francona
- CBS has another great tidbit about ice baseball - why are we not organizing and televising this during the MLB offseason?
- Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal says time is running out for the Phillies to trade Ryan Howard