Cleveland Baseball Weekly: Playing the waiting game



Cleveland Indians’ Asdrubal Cabrera connects on an RBI single in the sixth inning in front of Kansas City Royals catcher Adam Moore to score Jason Kipnis during Sunday’s baseball game on September 23, 2012, at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri. (John Sleezer/Kansas City Star/MCT)

Jim Piascik

After months and months of no baseball, it is easy to overreact to the first few games of the season. One bad game can feel like the end of the world, making perspective important to maintain here in April.

Let’s take a look at a few notable players so far this season and what we should expect from them going forward.

Asdrubal Cabrera & Jason Kipnis

Cabrera and Kipnis are two of the biggest reasons why people should not overreact to anything that has happened so far in 2013. Unless something terrible happened to these two during the offseason, there is almost no way that Cleveland’s middle infield will continue to hit well-below .200 for the entire season.

Cabrera and Kipnis will turn things around before too long and thinking anything else is likely just making a big deal out of nothing.

Mark Reynolds

On the opposite end of the spectrum is Reynolds, who is making his one-year, $6 million contract look like a bargain. Reynolds is hitting for power, not striking out as much as he has in the past and generally looks like a piece to build around.

This kind of hot streak is not new for Reynolds; he typically has these stretches during every season. What will likely happen at some point in the next few months is that Reynolds will go through a stretch where he strikes out all the time and stops hitting home runs.

Justin Masterson

Like Reynolds, Masterson has shown exactly what he can do when everything is going right. Masterson currently owns a 1.85 ERA and looks like someone who can pitch at the top of the rotation.

Now, that all can be true, but expecting Masterson to keep up this pace is ridiculous. The closest pitcher to that number in 2012 was Clayton Kershaw of the Los Angeles Dodgers at 2.53. That mark is nearly a full run higher than Masterson’s right now, and Kershaw is one of the best pitchers in baseball.

There is nothing stopping Masterson from being one of the better pitchers in baseball this season, but expecting him to keep this up is wrong.

The Starting Rotation

Outside of Masterson and Zach McAllister, every night has been an adventure for Cleveland’s starting pitching. Terry Francona has used seven different starting pitchers so far in 2013 and has another one — Corey Kluber — lined up for the near future.

There is hope, however. For as bad as things have been recently, odds are that there will be some positive progression in the near future.

Maybe Brett Myers’ home run problems are tied to his elbow injury and some time on the disabled list will fix things.

Maybe Scott Kazmir’s rough first start was just some nerves since it was his first start in the majors since April 2011 after essentially being out of baseball until this spring.

Maybe Trevor Bauer will use his time in the minor leagues to sort out his fastball command issues.

Maybe Carlos Carrasco will use his time in the minor leagues to stop throwing at people’s heads.

Maybe some of those maybes will turn into solutions for Cleveland, not question marks. It could happen.

Contact Jim Piascik at [email protected].