Dear Mr. Santana,
If you read that headline, please know it was a joke for shock value. That’s what I do here in the Hot Take Corner, you see. It’s my chance to use the most outlandish headline possible to get those clicks and feed my family. I didn’t mean it, I love you, please come back.
As for the rest of you, welcome back to another week of responding to your hot takes. I’m gonna be honest, though, you were all pretty mild this week. Maybe you’re all too excited about baseball to dig deep into your soul and bring out the worst of yourself. We need a good April loss or two to really get rolling.
I did manage to ratio myself on Twitter while rounding these up, though, so that’s fun.
Take straight from the surface of the sun:— Phil Kehres ⬆️⬅️⬇️➡️ (@wayfindingPK) March 22, 2018
Having squandered every opportunity to improve over the offseason, the 2018 Tribe stumbles early and can't recover.
They lose the ALC crown to MIN, and are beaten handily out of both WC spots by BOS and LAA.
This seems like a good place to start, as most hot takes this week are some variation on “the Cleveland Indians didn’t enough, they suck now.” Phil’s here gets very specific by rewarding the AL Central to the Minnesota Twins and putting the Indians behind the Boston Red Sox and Los Angeles in the Wild Card.
Back to the take itself... well, yeah. I could see that happening. Not likely, but likely enough to be a hot take and not an impossible take. Teams stumble all the time, and it’s hard to argue that the Indians improved in the offseason. Unless, of course, you really believe in Mr. Yonder Alonso.
Yonder will be better than Carlos Santana this year— Dan Swan (@dswanisking) March 22, 2018
Well of course Yonder will be better for the Indians, Carlos Santana isn’t on the team anymore.
pause for laughter
Anyway. I’m on record as being a believer in the new look Yonder Alonso, despite the second-half collapse last year. I think the Indians are, too. They may miss Santana’s defense at first, but I feel like there’s at least a minute chance that Alonso could have a better offensive season. Perhaps Santana will get homesick and it will affect his play. You’re always welcome back, Slamtana, just make the call.
For what it’s worth, ZiPS projects a pretty close race between the two. It has Santana pegged for a 125 wRC+ and Alonso for a 120 wRC+.
A rack of baby back ribs will accumulate more WAR for the Indians this season than Roberto Perez.— Matt Schlichting (@MattSchlichting) March 22, 2018
I’LL HAVE YOU KNOW that Roberto Perez can still manage a positive WAR while batting at Michael Martinez-esque levels. His defense and framing are just that good.
One day, when Roberto is standing in front of his finely crafted Hall of Fame bust, awkward chinstrap flowing in the wind, he’ll pull out a piece of paper with this tweet on it and eat it on stage as a show of dominance. Then he’ll look dead straight into the camera and lick his fingers clean and mouth one word: “Schlicting”. No one will know that means, but I will. I will know, Roberto. Me and you against the world, ‘Berto.
this team is so downright disgustingly bad that even peak marty cordova cant save them.— YonderLongGonesoSZN (@nick2nz) March 22, 2018
Is this a joke about burning hot takes?
Danny Salazar will never be a reliable starter again— Phil Kehres ⬆️⬅️⬇️➡️ (@wayfindingPK) March 22, 2018
I don’t think this is that hot at all with the reliable qualifier in there. He’s never been a reliable starter for more than a few months. Now, if we’re talking that he’ll be a starter again period we’re reaching hot hot take status. And it might not even be scorching. Salazar pitched a career-low 103 innings, but he was arguably at his peak, striking out over 12 batters per nine innings. I don’t think he can do that over a full season.
The CLEFO has been hyping Mejia for two years to maximize his trade value. He amounts to a middling catcher in 5 years and the CLEFO laughs and laughs and laughs while they shine their WS rings.— Alison V. (@alisonmarie658) March 22, 2018
Oh, this one’s interesting. If the Jonathan Lucroy trade went through (hey, remember when Lucroy didn’t want to come here because he thought being shifted to first base would hurt his value?), then it might have been selling high on a Francisco Mejia they don’t really believe in. But at this point, I feel like his peak trade value has passed. The faults in his game as a catcher are apparent (or, at the very least, the Indians are making it seem like has faults), and I don’t believe for a second that trying to find a place to put him other than catcher is helping his value. I also desperately hope his hitting talent is for real and the Indians will be laughing Lucroy instead of whoever they trade Mejia to.
neither Roberto or Gomes will be on the playoff roster— Wegert Sports (@wegertsports) March 22, 2018
It’s the Eric Haase and Francisco Mejia show, bay-bey.
Mickey Callaway ends up being Indians biggest offseason loss— Kyle Gisser (@kgisser) March 22, 2018
If the Indians rotation is anything but stellar, this is all we’re going to hear about all season long. If Corey Kluber doesn’t win another Cy Young? Shoulda kept Mickey. If the starting rotation doesn’t strikeout double-digit batters per nine innings? Shoulda kept Mickey. If Andrew Miller shatters his tibia in a tragic horseback riding accident? Mickey woulda tamed the horse and rode it to the World Series.
Kipnis’ foul ball was a home run and we all know it— Joe Frasco (@Joe_Frasco) March 22, 2018
There’s at least one alternate dimension where this is true and I want Elon Musk to take me there.
Jason Kipnis will not be an Indian after the deadline.— Mitchel Inkrott (@Mitchel_Inkrott) March 22, 2018
This would assume a couple things: Yandy Diaz or Giovanny Urshela are fantastic third basemen and they allow Jose Ramirez to shift to second. Or, the reason Jason Kipnis gets traded is to get a better third baseman. My own hot take for the day is that there is no way Kipnis is a consistent outfielder on the Indians. I have no issue with him staying as the second basemen, but I feel like the outfield experiment is dead.
Brantley won't hit another homer all year :(— Marty O'Malley (@marty_malley) March 22, 2018
Give the dude at least one, come on.
This one wasn’t technically submitted to the Hot Take Corner, but Billy Two Bagger over here brought it to my attention and I cannot let it go unnoticed.
I get it, we all love Tyler Naquin. He did the home run and the horn thing, that was fun. But have you seen my boy Bradley Zimmer’s legs? Have you seen him be one of the fastest players in all of baseball? Have you seen him manage to not strike out once in a while? Neither have shown much to be a lock for a full-time centerfielder, but in a competition between them, every cent I have is on Zimmer.
Eric Wedge was an elite manager— Grant Pidwinski (@gpidpharm) March 22, 2018
Justin Masterson was never an ace— Taylor Rhoades (@TaylorRhoades1) March 22, 2018
I swear I have some massive Mandela Effect shit going on with Justin Masterson. At first thought, he always felt like he was a great pitcher, but even a cursory glance at his stats shows he was pretty average outside of 2011. He’ll always be an ace in my heart, though.
Fun fact: Did you know Masterson was still in baseball as recently as last year? He pitched 26 games for the Los Angeles Dodgers’ Triple-A affiliate. Also, he’s only 33.
Dollar dogs are trash— Andy VanSickle (@sickle135) March 22, 2018
I mean, yeah, but I have a major soft spot for garbage-y, mysteriously wet hot dogs wrapped in tinfoil and sold for next to nothing at baseball games. The cheaper and grosser they come, the better they are to slam one after another covered in ketchup and onions.