Our final most popular posts of the year countdown is the section we put the most work into, and the one I am consistently the most proud of: Analysis & Editorials. Whether it’s a deep-dive into what makes Andrew Miller tick, pondering the real best story of the World Series, or being thankful that the Indians didn’t trade for Aroldis Chapman, we like to talk a lot.
Here are our most popular of the year:
#1 - The Indians are still the better story in the World Series by Matt Lyons (October 23)
As part of our mega preview for the World Series, I wanted to point out that the Indians, not the Cubs, were the real Cinderella story of the Fall Classic. The Cubs were a super team, and will be for the next few years, while the Indians manged to make it that far with 2/5 of their pitching staff missing. The Cubs obviously deserved the win, but no way were they the better story of the series.
#2 - Are any Cleveland Indians prospects untouchable at the trade deadline? by Matt Lyons (July 21)
The conclusion here was basically that Bradley Zimmer and Clint Frazier were not both untouchable. If the Indians were going to make a splash at the deadline, one of them would be gone — but not both.
#3 - The Indians made a great decision last December, whether we knew it at the time or not by Matt Lyons (June 23)
A lot of people were upset when the Indians went “dumpster diving” for Rajai Davis and Mike Napoli last offseason, but they were core members of the team in 2016. I won’t be able to make a similar post next year — it’s hard to find anyone not thrilled with the Indians signing Edwin Encarnacion.
#4 - Outfield may no longer be the Cleveland Indians' top trade deadline priority by Matt Lyons (June 13)
I thought the Indians would go after a reliever, but nothing even close to Miller.
#5 - The Cleveland Indians have an opportunity to kill the closer role by Merritt Rohlfing (August 6)
An excellent article by Merritt that perfectly foreshadowed what the Indians did in the playoffs with their bullpen. The closer isn’t dead, but Terry Francona utilized his bullpen in a way that baseball hasn’t seen. If the closer does eventually die, we can probably point to last year’s playoffs as the beginning of the end.
As a side note, Andre Knott mentioned the article live during a game, though he conveniently forgot which blog he read it on.
#6 - It’s a good thing the Cleveland Indians didn’t trade for Aroldis Chapman by Jason Lukehart (July 26)
For many, many reasons.
#7 - Abandoning the idea of starting pitchers and using "openers" could help the Indians in the postseason by Matt Schlichting (September 19)
Similar to Merritt’s post above, but taken to the nth degree. Matt suggested the Indians forgo starters and closers altogether in order to keep opposing batters on their toes at all times. It’s a radical idea that I can’t see taking hold any time soon, but it’s such an interesting thing to think about.
#8 - Cleveland Indians 2017 payroll: How much will the arbitration-eligible players cost? by Jason Lukehart (October 10)
The Indians’ core is going to keep getting expensive in the coming years. 2017 isn’t bad, though, considering the quality of players they get to keep around for another year.
#9 - Jonathan Lucroy and saying no to Cleveland by Merritt Rohlfing (August 1)
But there’s always been a problem the Indians, in particular, seem to have -- they just can’t seem to get that final piece of the puzzle, whether through trade or free agency. For one reason or another, players find a way to not end up playing for the Indians. After a while, you start to wonder if there’s something wrong with the team that people on the outside just can’t seem to understand.
#10 - An early look at who the Cleveland Indians could call up in September by Matt Lyons (August 18)
September call-ups were a disappointment, because September call-ups are always a disappointment. The Indians called up Erik Gonzalez and a bunch of pitchers then called it a day. Yandy Diaz should make his debut sometime this season, hopefully before September.