Sunday, June 26, 2011

The Daily Take: Indians Struggling vs. West/Draft Review

The Indians are 2-6 in their last 8 games but its hard to find one source to put all the blame on.  Before, you could say the hitting is lousy and maybe you could try to say the pitching is lousy now, but neither would be correct.  Neither one has been great, but the problems are inconsistency.  Its been 5 games in a row that have been decided by 1 run.  If anything, maybe its just bad luck

The Indians' starters have pitched solid over the last week.  Outside of Fausto who cannot do anything right, the starters have been very good (a 2.33 ERA in the last 4 games).  The Indians have been hitting better, but it never seems to be enough.  Statistically many of the Indians hitters (Brantley, Hafner, Phelps, Choo, Santana) are hitting very well right now, but they aren't scoring runs.   The hitters just aren't taking advantage of the opportunities.  They have left 31 runners on base and have hit 7-34 with runners in scoring postition the last 4 games (an average of 8 runners LOB per game and an average of .206 with runners in scoring position).  They need to execute better because they are hitting and pitching well, but losing.

The NBA Draft happened and things did not go exactly as everyone though.  The Cavs took Irving which was the smart move but they did not take Jonas Valanciunas at #4 like many thought they would.  Instead, they went with Tristan Thompson.  This tells me a few things about the Cavs:
-First of all, JJ is not in their long term plans as a starter.  Thompson is likely going to play PF (even though his game is closer to a Center right now) and JJ is only a long term option at the 4.
-Second of all, they want to focus on Defense and Rebounding.  The Cavs were very bad in both areas and those are the strengths of Thompson.
-They were not sure what the situation with Jonas would be and felt like it was the smarter move to take someone with a little less risk.

A lot of people were immediately critical of the move, but I personally do not mind it.  Thompson has a lot of potential.  He is 6'9'' with a 7'2'' wingspan, has jumping ability like a guard, and good athleticism for his size.  He is a slender 225 pounds, but he has a nice frame that can add weight without losing a lot of athleticism.  At worst, he is Ben Wallace (or a poor man's Dennis Rodman).  His defense and rebounding are already there, but he needs work on his offensive game.  You can learn how to shoot and in reality, Jonas is about as far along offensively as Tristan (but is a much better free throw shooter).  Supposedly, Tristan has also been working on his shot a lot in the offseason.

They drafted Justin Harper at 32, but quickly shipped him off for two 2nd rounders from Orlando, reportedly to be in 2013 and 2014.  By that point, it is likely that Dwight Howard is gone, which means they could be a lottery team.  If thats the case, the picks will be in the late 30s and early 40s.  This move got criticized too by some, but anytime you can turn 1 pick into 2 its a success, especially since you can probably get a better player in the early 40s in another draft than at 32 in this draft.

It sounds like both sides are finally being mature and trying to hammer out a deal for the future of the NFL.  Hopefully, the lockout ends soon.  If not, we will see Camp Colt Part IV

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