Monday, April 1, 2013

Tribe 2013 Predictions/Thoughts/Analyzations

i was going to just add this in to my Brantley ST blog, but then, as i tend to do, i ended up writing a lot lol so i figured i'd give it its own blog. now without further ado, let's talk Tribe 2013.

my prediction for the Tribe's 2013 season, assuming everyone plays to the max of their abilities and we don't get hit with too many major injuries, is we go 78-84. a lot of people will predict more wins than that. i think considering where we've finished in 3 of the last 4 years, 78 wins would be a large improvement.

my PD boys, whom i respect a great deal, have made predictions that i will keep on record here. some i just don't agree with and also can't quite understand.

Hoynsie: 84-78, fourth in the central

Livy: 80-82, third

D-Man: 76-86, fourth

Terry: 82-80, second

Bud: 87-75, second

hey Hoynsie (haha), how are we going to have 84 wins and still finish fourth? is the division going to be a very close race this year? assuming we did win 84 games, i cannot believe that Chicago and KC are going to be that good that they will have 85 or more wins and finish ahead of us. who exactly did we beat to get these 84 wins? you might wanna rethink this...said with love lol

Livy, i am more likely to agree with your prediction, as it is closer to mine. i think we could move up to third in the division this year.

D-Man's prediction of 76 wins is also more like where i can see us finishing. if i had to choose between his or Hoynsie's fourth place prediction, i would expect 76 wins to be more fourth place-ish than 84 wins. this could be the best prediction out of the bunch.

Terry has us finishing just above .500, which would be a treat, but i don't think 82 wins is going to be a second place finishing team unless we have a great record against our division foes. (and normally we always struggle against Chicago, as well as sometimes against KC and Minny. how can we beat Detroit but not these teams? lol)

Bud, you have an optimism greater than most. i commend you, but think you're crazy lol

despite some nice offseason acquisitions, it's gonna be very hard to go from 68-94 back to .500 in just one season, even with Tito leading the pack. making the playoffs is not a concern of mine for 2013. this is not our one and only year with a window for contending; we've got time and i believe it will take time to get there. right now with so many questions, particularly surrounding our starting rotation, i don't see us being able to reclaim the Central Division, and i don't see us getting a wild card spot either. but again, i have the patience to not be upset if/when these things don't happen for us this year. doesn't change my passion for the team, obviously.

our lineup is going to have its good and BAD games. true, we have guys who can steal, and stretch a single into a double, and beat out a grounder to safely get on 1st base. we have more guys now who can knock balls outta the park, too. but we also have guys who will strikeout a lot. we will most likely finish with the most strikeouts in the AL this year, after finishing with the 3rd least last year. it will be frustrating at times, but it's something we're gonna have to live with. and remember, we will benefit having guys like Reynolds, Bourn, Swisher, and (hopefully) Stubbs in our lineup this year. more runs will be scored this season.

some things that might make a difference this year that we didn't have last year:

--a full season with Chisenhall in the lineup

--if Bourn, Swisher, Reynolds, and Stubbs get on base and hit home runs the way they are supposed to

--Santana batting lower in the order (hopefully taking some of the pressure off him)

--if Myers can make the transition to starter and be an innings eater for us

--if Kazmir can pitch at least a couple decent months for us

--a very speedy outfield that should be able to run down a lot of fly balls, limiting opposing runners from scoring

--an even stronger bullpen mafia

the biggest question mark for me, and probably a lot of other fans, is our starting rotation. if they underachieve, this year will be ugly. if they pitch decent, then we might be pleasantly surprised. it would be amazing if Masterson could rack up 15 wins this year, and if Ubaldo could win about a dozen. but let's face facts, that may not happen. we certainly do not have the most intimidating starting 5 in the league, not by a long shot.

Brett Myers could be really bad. and with Tito's attitude, they will probably give him a good 2 months as a starter before considering moving him to the bullpen. (and then i'm gonna question putting him in our pen and messing up the mafia...) Scott Kazmir could be the feelgood story of the year, or he could struggle and be inconsistent. then that would make it tougher to accept when any of the other 3 have a bad start. and you can't expect Masterson to win every time out, especially if we don't hit for him, which i hope won't be a problem this year. and even though Ubaldo had a nice spring, you never know what will happen with him when the regular season starts. can he stay confident all season and will that really help him throw more strikes and get more guys out? wanna put all your eggs in that basket? McAllister could also have his bad starts and sometimes be erratic.

if at some point we called up any of the Carrasco-Bauer-Kluber group, they all could be up and down with their performances as well. these pitchers all have potential and there's no denying they have good stuff, but none is an ace.

think the bullpen's not going to give up any runs this year? if these guys become overworked because our starters can't consistently go 5 or 6 innings, we're gonna be in trouble.

think Rage won't blow a couple saves? expect it, because it's gonna happen. no one's perfect and we have to be ready to accept that. but as long as it doesn't happen all the time, no one should really have much problem with it. i'd still rather have him closing over anyone else in our bullpen right now. that's not a knock on Vinnie, that's just my personal preference.

all these things could add one loss here, another loss there, and before you know it, we've got 80ish losses for the season. yes, we have more guys who can hit this year, but you can't expect us to score 6-7 runs every time one of our starters falters. that's not realistic and that's not fair.

there are just way more questions than answers at the moment. so you can see why i am not chomping at the bit right now to declare playoffs and 80 something wins for this team. and i know this probably sounds like i'm being super negative and have no confidence in this team, but really i'm just listing all the reasons i don't believe we are playoff bound this year.

all this certainly doesn't mean i'm not dying for baseball to get started again though. i've been going through withdrawal since that final out was called on October 3, 2012 =P i am not the casual fan, as most who know me can attest. i don't feel sorry for Tribe "fans" who have been waiting a whole 51 days for the season to start; i've been waiting for 181. i'm honestly no more excited about this season than i was last season. huh? well that simply means i'm just always excited about Tribe season, regardless of who we sign or don't sign during the offseason. i love baseball too much to be wrapped up in the front office dealings and ownership's money stinginess. without baseball, i am an incomplete person. even bad Tribe baseball is better than no Tribe baseball in my life. so if the team plays better this year, and if they could possibly get back to a shot at contention in the near future, that just makes it all the more enjoyable for me.

i have spent the last 2 seasons arranging my schedule to ensure that i didn't miss any Tribe games. this year, i vow to try my hardest to go for a 3rd straight year. i realize that's going to be tough, as things have changed and, as i like to say, "life is getting in the way" of my baseball habit lol after looking over the schedule, i would like to go to at least 10 games this year, but again, that just may not be possible. it's pretty strange to think i may have gone to more games last season than i will go to this season. alas, i am in this for all 162, win or lose, good and bad, hair pulling and object throwing, laughter and tears. that's what it means to be Ride or Die. Let's Go Tribe! =D

(and for the record, i'm picking Washington to go all the way this year. while most sportswriters see the Tigers returning to and winning the World Series in 2013, i am going with a matchup of the Nats and Angels. i believe the NL will beat the AL in the All Star Game yet again, so Washington will have home field advantage and win it in 6 games. yeah i might be sippin on the haterade, idc haha)

Brantley's 2013 Spring Training #s and My Expectations

baseball season is back! and so it's that time again. Tribe Time? well yes, but it is also Brantley blog time. i really did miss these lol

as you can see, i have decided to be way more detailed with my Brantley documentation this season. i have a lot of information colored coded in my Brantley 2013 statistics notebook. however, to try and keep these blogs as simplified as possible, i will not be typing all of that information here lol anyone reading these will thank me haha so let's get to it.

Brantley's 2013 Spring Training #s are as follows:

batting average: .354

OBP: .392

SLG: .521

OPS: .913

Michael played in 18 (of 36) games in spring training. he started and played left in 17 games, and he started and DH'd in 1 game. he missed 12 games after getting lacerated on his left forearm by Josh Donaldson while sliding into 3rd base in the 5th game of the spring. he also did not play in 6 games due to just not being in Tito's lineup.

Michael had a hit in 10 of the 18 games he played and reached base in 12 games.

Michael bat 5th in 10 games.

Michael bat 6th in 1 game.

Michael bat 3rd in 4 games.

Michael led off in 1 game.

Michael bat 2nd in 2 games.

Michael played left in 17 games.

Michael was the DH in 1 game.

in ST, Michael had a total of 51 plate appearances and 48 at bats. here is how he fared:

17 hits

11 singles

5 doubles

1 home run


6 runs scored

2 walks

1 hit by pitch

1 stolen base

3 strikeouts

8 first at bat hits

24 left on base

21 putouts

1 assist

80 innings in LF

ST batting average: .354 (17-48) (18 games)

now let's break down his numbers based on where he hit in the lineup.

when Michael bat 5th in ST, he had a total of 30 plate appearances and 29 at bats in 10 games. breaking down the numbers are as follows:

9 hits

5 singles

3 doubles

1 home run


4 runs scored

1 walk

1 stolen base

2 strikeouts

4 first at bat hits

19 left on base

16 putouts

1 assist

50 innings

ST batting average in the 5th spot: .310 (9-29) (10 games)
ST batting average in the 5th spot while playing left: .310 (9-29) (10 games)

when Michael bat 6th in ST, he had a total of 2 plate appearances and 2 at bats in 1 game. breaking down the numbers are as follows:

2 hits

1 single

1 double

1 run scored

1 first at bat hit

1 putout

3 innings

ST batting average in the 6th spot: 1.000 (2-2) (1 game)
ST batting average in the 6th spot while playing left: 1.000 (2-2) (1 game)

when Michael bat 3rd in ST, he had a total of 12 plate appearances and 10 at bats in 4 games. breaking down the numbers are as follows:

3 hits

2 singles

1 double


1 run scored

1 walk

1 hit by pitch

1 strikeout

1 first at bat hit

3 left on base

3 putouts

19 innings

ST batting average in the 3rd spot: .300 (3-10) (4 games)
ST batting average in the 3rd spot while playing left: .300 (3-10) (4 games)

when Michael led off, he was the DH in ST for 1 game. he had a total of 2 plate appearances and 2 at bats. breaking down the numbers are as follows:

0 hits

1 left on base

ST batting average in the leadoff spot: .000 (0-2) (1 game)
ST batting average in the leadoff spot as the DH: .000 (0-2) (1 game)

when Michael bat 2nd in ST, he had a total of 5 plate appearances and 5 at bats in 2 games. breaking down the numbers are as follows:

3 hits

3 singles

2 first at bat hits

1 left on base

1 putout

8 innings

ST batting average in the 2nd spot: .600 (3-5) (2 games)
ST batting average in the 2nd spot while playing left: .600 (3-5) (2 games)

ST batting average as the DH: .000 (0-2) (1 game)

ST batting average while playing left: .370 (17-46) (17 games)

other ST #s while playing left: 21 putouts, 1 assist, 0 errors, 1.000 fielding percentage (17 games)

here are my game-by-game notes and numbers for Brantley's Spring Training 2013.

Game 1, February 22: 2-2, RBI double (first at bat), run scored, double, run scored. AVG: 1.000
[5th/LF/3 innings]

Game 2, February 23: 2-2, double (first at bat), run scored, single. AVG: 1.000
[6th/LF/3 i]

Game 3/4, February 24: not in either lineup. (split squad)

Game 5, February 25: 1-2, RBI double. AVG: .833
[3rd/LF/2 i]
^^Michael left the game with a lacerated left forearm after going for 3rd base and Josh Donaldson spiked him. he went to the hospital, received 15 stitches, and is day-to-day.^^

Game 6, February 26: Tito announces Michael will be shut down for 3 days and he's expected to miss 10 days.

Game 7, February 27: shut down.

Game 8, February 28: shut down.

Game 9, March 1: Michael resumed lower body strength and conditioning.

Game 10, March 2: ^^

Game 11, March 3: ^^

Game 12, March 4: ^^

Game 13, March 5: Michael resumed all activity except on-field bp. he hit off the tee and did throwing. will have his stitches removed in a few days.

Game 14, March 6: expected to play Sunday.

Game 15, March 7: Michael had his stitches removed today. he returned to full-squad practice and will see game action by Sunday.

Game 16, March 8: Michael took BP today. will play Sunday.

Game 17, March 9: ^^

Game 18, March 10: 0-2. AVG: .625

Game 19, March 11: 1-3, single (first at bat). AVG: .545
[2nd/LF/5 i]

Game 20, March 13: 0-3. AVG: .429
[5th/LF/5 i]

Game 21, March 14: not in lineup.

Game 22, March 15: 1-2, single (first at bat), run scored, hit by pitch, walk. AVG: .438
[3rd/LF/7 i]

Game 23, March 16: not in lineup.

Game 24, March 17: 0-3. AVG: .368
[3rd/LF/4 i]

Game 25, March 18: 0-3. AVG: .318
[5th/LF/5 i]

Game 26, March 20: 3-3, 2-run double (first at bat), single, run scored, single. AVG: .400
[5th/LF/4 i]

Game 27, March 21: 2-3, 3-run home run (first at bat), run scored, single. AVG: .429
[5th/LF/4 i]

Game 28, March 22: 1-3, 2-run single. AVG: .419
[3rd/LF/6 i]

Game 29, March 23: not in lineup.

Game 30, March 24: 0-2, walk (first at bat), reached on forceout. AVG: .394
[5th/LF/7 i]

Game 31, March 25: 2-4, single (first at bat), stolen base, reached on forceout, single. AVG: .405
[5th/LF/7 i]

Game 32, March 26: not in lineup.

Game 33, March 27: 0-3. AVG: .375
[5th/LF/5 i]

Game 34, March 28: 0-4, reached (2nd base) on fielding error. AVG: .341
[5th/LF/7 i]

Game 35, March 29: 2-2, single (first at bat), single. AVG: .370
[2nd/LF/3 i]

Game 36, March 30: 0-2. AVG: .354
[5th/LF/3 i]

**this offseason, Michael was recovering from hernia surgery that he had on October 11, 2012. unlike the surgery he had in the previous offseason however, this one did not affect his offseason routine.**

despite missing a dozen games because of the forearm injury, Michael had a very solid spring with a very (as his nickname suggests) "smooth" swing. he started out smoking hot, lost his timing a little when he returned from the injury, then settled in once again. i think any player who's had ~50 at bats and finishes spring with a batting average over .300 performed well. i am pleased with Michael's spring.

Michael bat in 5 different spots in the order this spring, and he did great in just about every spot, with the exception of leadoff. now keep in mind, he only bat there in one game, with 2 plate appearances as a DH, right after he came back from his forearm laceration. he clearly still needed to get his timing back and so this does NOT mean he cannot leadoff. i need to point that out to people lol Michael looks to be one of our most consistent hitters yet again this season no matter where he is in the lineup...

it sounds like Michael will mostly be hitting 5th in the order this season. i like that he'll be batting behind Swisher, as opposed to Santana. but for the people who like to get on Michael for his stolen bases, or lack thereof, they better lay off a little because i don't know how many opportunities he will have to steal now batting in this spot. especially if Swisher is on base in front of him, a guy who isn't all that interested in stealing. Michael will have the green light to run, no doubt, but the question is how many times will he get on base with no one ahead of him?

i also want to throw in here that if Bourn doesn't turn out to be the amazing leadoff man that most people keep saying he is, after a month into the season, they better think about swapping him out, just as was done with my Michael after a month last season. #eyeroll #stillbitter #stupidManny lol

My predictions/hopes for Brantley's 2013 season:

first, i really hope this is the year that Michael plays a full season without injury. no more freak injuries in August or September that cause him to miss games or be shut down sooner than the year ends, please.

batting average wise, i would love to see him finish the year close to .300. i'd be very happy with a BA between .295-.300. yeah i'm probably aiming a little high but i have confidence that he can do it. he's been getting better and better every year, and i really think this could finally be attainable for him. with our new offseason additions, i don't know if he'll finish the year with the highest BA on the team again, but he should still be one of our top and most reliable hitters.

also because of our offseason acquisitions, Michael really doesn't need to worry much about home runs. however, i think he can still hit at least 8. and despite those who want him to hit for more power, i think this is fine. he'll make up for it by hitting plenty of doubles.

Michael should have another high RBI total batting in the middle of the order for the year. i'll predict/expect at least 75. then again, it depends on how well the guys in front of him hit, and if they consistently get themselves on base in order for Michael to bring them home.

other numbers i predict for Brantley in 2013:

stolen bases: 15

runs scored: 60

doubles: 50

walks: 50

fielding percentage: .998

good luck this season, Michael! make me proud =D