Sorry, you are just wrong. I've always heard strong up the middle stressed and Detroit is hands down better in centerfield and behind the plate. Shortstop is negligible (despite what you believe I challenge you to back that up with evidence). If Inge or Santiago is at 2nd they are hands down better than Kipnis. Please find one instance of a team winning anything meaningful trotting out guys with no real offensive impact from the 1st, 3rd, left AND right fielders. It just doesn't happen.
The Indians as you see them are exactly like the Mariners of 3-4 years ago. They had cliff lee and king Felix and were going to set the world on fire with a defense lead by Gutierrez, figgins and jack Wilson. All they really ended up doing was losing a lot of 3-2 games and losing the division to teams giving regular playing time to Mike Napoli. If Billy Beane doesn't see value in defense I really don't think Jack Hannahan and Casey Kotchman are going to spur a revolution.
Catcher- Indians>Tigers, offensively and defensively--A bigger gap on defense than on offense
Third- Indians>Tigers defensively, Tigers>Indians offensively--Huge gap both ways. Hannahan is an elite defender while Cabrera is god awful, while Hannahan is an average hitter and Cabrera is elite.
Short- Indians>Tigers offensively and defensively-- Probably not a huge gap on either, but Peralta is not a good fielder.
Second- Indians>Tigers, both--Kipnis has a ton of defensive upside, Inge has never even played 2nd in the majors, and Santiago is average at best.
First- Indians>Tigers defensively, Tigers>Indians offensively--Same as third base. Big difference on both sides.
Center- Indians>Tigers offensively, Tigers>Indians defensively--The Indians FO loves Brantley, I'm just not real high on his defense in center, great LF though.
Bullpen- Indians>Tigers--This is more about the depth than anything else. Rodney is marginally better than Perez, not by much, but from middle relief to set up, we're better. Also important to note that Acta is better at using the pen than Leyland, by a long shot.
How...on earth...do you feel that the Tigers are replacing Tomlin, our #4 starter, with Verlander, your #1 starter???
Wow, your view of how baseball actually works is just incredibly, incredibly skewed.
"Sorry, you are just wrong. I've always heard strong up the middle stressed and Detroit is hands down better in centerfield and behind the plate."
I'm assuming by this comment you are referring to defensively, or am I reading that wrong? Brantley is a better hitter than Jackson, and Satana/Marson is better than Avila without a doubt with the bat. Defensively, Jackson is better than Brantley, but Avila is a horrible catcher, worse than Santana. Backing up Santana is Lou Marson, one of the best defensive catchers in baseball, and he will play fairly often with Santana sliding over to first base when there's a lefty on the mound.
"Shortstop is negligible (despite what you believe I challenge you to back that up with evidence)."
Really??? Asdrubal has been touted for his defense at short ever since he was in single A, and while the numbers don't show that yet (he only has two healthy seasons as a short stop), he is still at least and average defender. When you're talking about defensive numbers like UZR, you need at least 3 seasons worth of data to have anything reliable. Asdrubal does not yet have enough data to consider his UZR sample really reliable, but Peralta does. He has close to 8,000 innings played at the major league level as a short stop, and has a career -18.2 UZR rating. That proof enough? How about his career -12 Defensive Runs Saved rating? Keep in mind, those numbers include 2011, a year that is most likely an outlier rather than a trend considering players typically don't magically gain range as they enter their 30's.
I'm talking about Vegas, the same numbers you brought up there genius. They had us as the 4th worst team IN ALL OF BASEBALL last year. That's right, those guys that you claim aren't homers and are totally unbiased- they picked us to be in the bottom 5 in all of baseball, and that was playing in what was considered a weak division.
"Looks like the indians trend isn't as rosy as you try to make it seem to everyone on this board."
Really? That's why we're projected to have a top 5 starting rotation in baseball? I guess I'm wrong!
"You've heard the term sports junkie? Why don't you also look in the mirror and take a good look at what you see.I'm breaking a habit but i've never gotten so bad that i had to sit and study a bunch of numbers.I hope you know that your a numerologist and i don't mean that in a nice way."
I don't have to sit and study numbers. I don't have to do anything. I read about statistical analysis and use actual facts in my posts here because I want to. You know, kind of like how you find anything that is remotely positive about the Indians and somehow turn it into a negative...you know, because you want to.
If somebody with no knowledge of this game or the Indians came on this board and only read what you post, they would be under the assumption that the Indians are destined to finish 0-162. We can't score, our pitching is horrible, our manager doesn't know anything. You're a joke man. I hope I never get to the point where I truly cannot enjoy the game for what it is- a game. There are SO many positive things about this club:
Kipnis in his first full yearChisenhall in his first full yearSantana poised for a breakout seasonChoo poised for a reboundMasterson poised to further establish himself as one of the best pitchers in baseballJiminez poised for a rebound
And all you can think of his how horrible the team is. I think you're right, you definitely need a vacation.
Joe, I can say the same thing that some of those losses the Indians had was pure dumb luck, or use the excuse that the Indians were undermanned in August and September when the Tigers put the division title out of reach. I know one thing is for sure, that loss to the Tigers on the final game of the weekend series in August that actually changed the season around was dumb luck too. Valverde was on his way to blow the save and the Indians had the chance to tie the game, but I think it was Laporta hit the ball right to Austin jackson and Austin gunned down our runner to lose the game.
The bullpen also was very sharp in the second half of 2010 after Manny officially gave the closer role to Chris perez. Everyone else has stepped up, and protected the lead, or kept the game close. I don't see any reason why they can't do it again. The one thing the Indians have alot of depth in is in the bullpen.
Again, no reason to think they can't contend this season. I know the hitters have to adjust, but one thing is for sure, Carlos Santana is a run producer. Jason Kipnis has an opportunity to become a perrenial hitter. Casey Kotchman will not have to hit .300, just play Gold Glove acliber defense, and hit between .260-.270, something our collective 1st basemen did not do. Shin-Soo Choo is a pure hitter too, and I guarantee he won't hit .259 again. Michael Brantley, when healthy showed he could be a productive hitter too, which coicidentally was in the months of April and May, when they were....wait for it....wait for it....30-15.
Hannahan hit .273 in April with 4 of his homeruns during that run but then hit in the .180's the next two months and .207 the month after that and I think he helped win a game or two with those homeruns but he is hitting .222 in spring training, thought the heavier bat was going to help. Santana sure looks like he is ready to play hitting .174 so far in the spring. Heck one of their best hitter in Arizona most likely won't even be on the team opening day, Canzler and their second best hitter this spring Lopez will be a bench player. I just don't see enough offense from this team to even be able to hang on to 2nd place. Left field will be a rotating door until Sizemore gets back and then it will be back to one once he goes back on the DL.....
They still had that great bullpen in August and September and couldn't keep up with Detroit last year and I just don't see it happening again that they are all as good as they were in 2011. To me this is a team who will be lucky to finish at .500 this year.
LOL the funny thing is I didn't even think twice about it. I'm going to use the excuse that they kind of...sort of...have a similar delivery when they pitch.
Ok, it was just a brain fart lol.
Adaree......you are giving defense the same weight as offense?
You honestly think that Hanahans defense at third will make up for the difference that Miguel will provide offensively? Cabrera makes $20MM a year, you think the GM is so out of it he's willing to pay that amount when, if defense is just as valuable, he might as well sign a journeyman like Hanahan?
Remember Adam Everett. The guy was the most birlliant defensive player of his era. Compare his paychecks to a guy like Cabrera.
Also, Cleveland is defensively better at catcher than Detroit? You mean Clevelands catchers combined are better than Avila/Laird? How many games will Santana catch this year?
There are so many other points I could bring up. But while defense is important, it doesn't come close to the same importance as impact hitting.
Again, defense is a poor clubs excuse for trying to win. It's what teams with cheap owners try to sell their fans. A journeyman like Hanahan is brought into town, and all the club wants to talk about is defense.
And...............despite your protestations to the contrary. The Tigers are actually BETTER in up-the-middle defense than the Indians. Avila/Laird are better than any Indian catcher, Peralta/Cabrera is a wash at SS, Santiago/Inge is better than Kipnis, and Austin Jackson is by far the best defender in the league. You've seen the numbers. he's save more runs and outs than anyone in the AL, and it ain't close. With a huge CF in COPA, that advantage is nice.
But even with that up-the-middle advantage on defense that the Tigers have over Cleveland, it won't come close to the advantage in run scoring and offense the Tigers possess. If every Tigers has their average year, even your pollyanna projections about what the Indians 'might' do won't compare.
You are dreaming of offense, the Tigers players have exhibited offense. And as recently as last year and the year before. One doesn't have to project and imagine the Tigers offense.
One last thing, when you compare players try and stay away from "Hanahan is better on defense, Cabrera is better on offense" type statements. People will stop taking you seriously. A statement like that appears as if you are trying to say those two players are on equal footing. Cabrera is on his way to a first ballot HOF career. Hanahan is on his way to another team 1 1/2 years from now, and outright release soon after.
One more thing Adaree.
If a team is going to try and win with a "run prevention" type team, it needs a couple fo things.
One, since they aren't built for offense from typically offensive positions(and as a congolerate, the Inidans might be the worst offensively at 1B-3B-RF-LF of all the teams that supposedly are trying to contend), then that tema will need to scratch out many of their runs. How do you scratch out runs? With team speed. And not just first-to-third speed(because there won't be anough back-to-back base hits for an offensively challenged team, and there won't be enough dounles either)........but stolen base speed.
A team trying to win with "defense first" will need lots of walk/steal second/goundball moves him to third/fly ball scores him type innings. That team needs more than a few guys wwho will steal 20 to 30 bases, and some who will steal 50-70 bases. We don't see that with the Indians.
Another thing a "defense first" team will need is an impact, power pitching staff. Now i know you(and Fangraphs)think the Indians have a nice staff. And they do. But it isn't the kind of historic staff a team would need trying to win with the offensive challenged players the Indians possess. You'd need Halladay/Lee/Hamels to go along with Masterson. And a closer like Mariano. I don't see that.
Too many hitters in the AL to try to win that many games 3-2. You just can't prevent enough runs with that pitching staff to offset lineups like the Tigers/Red Sox/Yankees/Rangers/Angels.....or for that matter even the Rays/Blue Jays have. Don't get me wrong, the Indians have a good staff. But it's a staff pitching in the AL, and it's going to need some runs. It will only be able to put up with a Hannahan hitting .200 for so long.