Friday, July 1, 2016

This Week In The Show 7.1.16 #MLB #Indians

By Alex Hale, @ThatCLESportGuy

After a few weeks of almost nothing major to talk about regarding the Baseball season in the month of June, the last week of the month really has brought a lot of stories to light.  For the non diehard fans of the game, June is typically a month where there’s a lot of nothing to talk about.  It’s almost fitting that the MLB Draft is during that time period.  During this time, no team really sticks out from the rest of the pack, teams are still in the race, while some are on the verge of potentially already being eliminated.  This month normally is to set up the craziness of July with the trade deadline, and August with playoff teams separating himself.  With that said, we’re going to take what has happened over the past month into one big, “This Week In The Show”.

Mickey Moniak Outta Nowhere- The 2016 MLB Draft was highlighted with a couple of big time names, but no clear #1 pick.  The Philadelphia Phillies held the #1 pick and picked HS OF Mickey Moniak, which stunned myself.  According to a lot of analysts think that Moniak has the ability to be a 5 tool player that can make a big impact for the Phillies sometime down the road.  The draft’s theme continued to follow the trend of surprising picks highlighted by Florida SP AJ Puk falling to the Oakland A’s at #6 and Mercer OF Kyle Lewis falling to the Seattle Mariners at #11.  It was by far one of the more interesting drafts in recent memory.

My thoughts- To fans who don’t understand the MLB Draft, it’s far more complex than people think.  There are so many factors to take in as a GM that teams in the NBA and NFL never had to take into effect like sign-ability, signing bonus cap, and concern over whether players will attend school or play pro ball.  The MLB Draft is always something I love to watch because of its unpredictability.

A Crack in Shield’s armor- So… a month ago I was commenting on the Chicago White Sox trade for SP James Shields.  In his first 5 starts for the White Sox, Shields has a record of 1-2 and has an alarming 11.07 ERA…wait I’m reading that right, right?  11.07 ERA?  Yes that’s not a typo.  The White Sox really have struggled over the past month with their pitching, which was dominating the first few months, but now Mat Latos was released and picked up on a minor-league contract with Washington.  The White Sox have slipped back down to 3rd in the AL Central and the way it looks, the White Sox probably peaked too early and have come back down to earth.

My thoughts- First off, Chicago didn’t pay a huge price price to get Shields, plus they got San Diego to take on some of his contract.  Shields is an older veteran that honestly shouldn’t be relied on as a front of the rotation option.  While the Sox have Chris Sale and Jose Quintana ahead of him but if the Sox have any chance, they need Shields to bounce back, but honestly he’s on the rapid decline.

San Diego Fire Sale- After trading away James Shields last month, the Padres continued their fire sale by trading away closer Fernando Rodney to the Marlins.  On top of that, OF Matt Kemp has been shopped to teams, with the Padres offering to pay some of Kemp’s salary to move him.  While Kemp has some value it seems most teams are calling off 1B Wil Myers and SP Drew Pomeranz.  While the Padres have said they have no interest in trading either player, when it comes down to it at the deadline, they might move one or both.

My thoughts- As much as the Padres don’t want to trade Wil Myers or Drew Pomeranz, those two will bring back the most in terms of prospects to replenish their farm system in their rebuild.  Matt Kemp will probably be dealt too, but the Padres will have to pay a hefty sum of salary with him to make a team interested to bringing him into a playoff contender.  Bottom line, there’s smoke coming from San Diego and there’s a full blown fire sale going right now.

Cleveland Rocks- You cannot deny June has been a special month for Cleveland.  Not only did the Cavs bring home the NBA Championship, but the Indians ended the month of June on fire tying a Franchise record of 13 straight wins.  The pitching has been outstanding, the bullpen has done enough and the bats have finally come alive.  It’s making some fans actually debate if the Indians actually need to trade for a bat (what dimension am I living in?).  Lead by a rotation of Carlos Carrasco, Corey Kluber, Danny Salazar, and an emerging Trevor Bauer, the Indians rotation is a living nightmare for the American League.  Now that the bats have come alive, Cleveland needs to brace themselves for what Radio Broadcaster Tom Hamilton likes to call, “An October to remember”.

My thoughts- The Indians are for real, their pitching is outstanding, although they should target a closer in the trade market.  If they could add maybe another bat to solidify the lineup, when Brantley comes back from injury the Indians could really make some noise in a wide open American League.

With the All-Star game right around the corner, I’ll have up here my personal All-Star picks in the next week so stay tuned for that.  Other than that, we’re now heading into the best part of the Baseball season which are those, “dog days of summer”.  Over the next few weeks with a lot of teams needed to make moves, expect a flurry of movement with some blockbuster trades and trust me I’ll be right on top of that for you.  After a few months of some great feel-good stories, this is the part of season where the men will separate for the boys so strap in folks, this roller coaster is going full force right now as we go through this baseball season.  As I keep saying, enjoy it, before you know it the season will be over.  We’re heading into July now, so to especially Tribe fans, go out and support your teams!

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