Projections and Paces – Indians

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The article below is meant to provide a quick look at how my
preseason projections match up with the paces of select major league
hitters.

Victor Martinez
2008: .278/.337/.365, 2 HR, 30 R, 35 RBI, 0 SB in 266 AB
Proj..: .296/.368/.459, 19 HR, 71 R, 92 RBI, 0 SB in 538 AB
Pace: .345/.424/.550, 26 HR, 112 R, 119 RBI, 0 SB in 615 AB

Martinez is on pace for new career highs in every category except
steals. He actually did have one stolen base in his rookie season in
2003. He hasn’t even attempted one since 2005.

Mark DeRosa
2008: .285/.376/.481, 21 HR, 103 R, 87 RBI, 6 SB in 505 AB
Proj..: .271/.350/.411, 15 HR, 85 R, 71 RBI, 7 SB in 557 AB
Pace: .280/.348/.479, 31 HR, 110 R, 114 RBI, 0 SB in 612 AB

DeRosa has raised his average from .236 in April to .291 in May to
.323 so far this month. His trade value is increasing as well.

Shin-Soo Choo
2008: .309/.397/.549, 14 HR, 68 R, 66 RBI, 4 SB in 317 AB
Proj..: .287/.367/.459, 15 HR, 84 R, 83 RBI, 11 SB in 516 AB
Pace: .297/.409/.464, 21 HR, 100 R, 98 RBI, 26 SB in 569 AB

Stolen from the Mariners for Ben Broussard two years ago, Choo has
turned into one of Cleveland’s building blocks. He is currently
sporting a .293/.388/.484 line in 748 major league at-bats, and he’s a
perfect 11-for-11 in his steal attempts this season.

Jhonny Peralta
2008: .276/.331/.473, 23 HR, 104 R, 89 RBI, 3 SB in 605 AB
Proj..: .273/.343/.449, 21 HR, 89 R, 88 RBI, 2 SB in 583 AB
Pace: .252/.331/.338, 5 HR, 45 R, 62 RBI, 0 SB in 529 AB

It looked like Peralta came out of his early-season funk when he hit
.316 in May, but his average is down again recently and he still hasn’t
found his power stroke. The Indians seem pretty frustrated, but it’s
not like they can give up on him. A return to form remains likely.

Ben Francisco
2008: .266/.332/.438, 15 HR, 65 R, 54 RBI, 4 SB in 447 AB
Proj..: .271/.333/.432, 12 HR, 60 R, 63 RBI, 13 SB in 431 AB
Pace: .233/.297/.372, 12 HR, 67 R, 55 RBI, 24 SB in 512 AB

Francisco, on the other hand, needs to be turned into a fourth
outfielder. It could well happen if Grady Sizemore returns. Also, the
Indians will want to give Matt LaPorta and Trevor Crowe real
opportunities after the break.

Asdrubal Cabrera
2008: .259/.346/.366, 6 HR, 48 R, 47 RBI, 4 SB in 352 AB
Proj..: .281/.352/.409, 10 HR, 77 R, 68 RBI, 9 SB in 531 AB
Pace: .316/.374/.427, 5 HR, 91 R, 64 RBI, 17 SB in 491 AB

Cabrera does fan quite a bit, so he wasn’t likely to keep up the
.316 average. Still, the Indians miss his offense and his defense even
more.

The Braves cave, a little anyway, on their outside food policy

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On Friday the Atlanta Braves announced a new policy for outside food, prohibiting ticket holders from bringing in their own. This was a reversal of their old policy — and the policies of the majority of teams around the league — which allowe fans to bring in soft-sided coolers with their own food and beverages, at least as long as the beverages were sealed.

The Braves claimed that the policy change was “a result of tighter security being put into place this season throughout the league,” but this was clearly untrue as no other teams are cracking down on outside food like this. If there are new security procedures, everyone else is able to accommodate them without an opportunistic crackdown on fans bringing in PB&J for their toddlers. It seemed more likely that this was a simple cash grab.

Today the Braves have reversed the policy somewhat:

While they’re looking for kudos here, this is likewise an admission that the “security” stuff was bull because, last I checked, security procedures aren’t subject to popular referendum and aren’t changed when people complain. What really happened here, it seems, is the Braves, for the first time in living memory, were called out by the public for their greed and realized that even they have some responsibility to not be jackasses about this sort of thing.

Still, a gallon bag policy is not the same as it was before. You could bring coolers into Turner Field and still can bring them into most parks around the league. But I guess this is better than nothing.

Donald Trump may throw out the first pitch at the Nationals opener

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It’s just gossip now, but Politico is hearing that Donald Trump is in talks to throw out the first pitch at Nationals Park on Opening Day. The Nats are not commenting. Neither are the Palm Beach Cardinals of the Florida State League, who no doubt feel slighted given that the president effectively is a local.

With the caveat that, on Opening Day, tickets are likely to be more expensive and thus you’re likely to have a lot more rich people and friends-of-the-owners in attendance, thereby ensuring a more conservative crowd, I’m struggling to imagine a situation in which Trump strolls on to a baseball field in a large American city and isn’t booed like crazy. He’s polling as low as 36% in some places. He’s not exactly Mr. Popular.

Oh well. I look forward to him three-bouncing one to Matt Wieters and then grabbing his phone and tweeting about how it was the best, most tremendous first pitch in baseball history. Or blaming Hillary Clinton for it in the event he admits that it was a bad pitch.