1) Truck Day
Friday was Truck Day for the Indians, the team's equipment crew members in Cleveland pack two semi-truck's full of various odds and ends for transport to the team's spring training facilities in Goodyear, Arizona. Cleveland.com's Zack Meisel has a look at the process, which included loading Terry Francona's scooter and 12 cases of Bertman's Ballpark Mustard.
Pitchers and catchers report to Goodyear on February 11th... Just ten days from now!
2) A new "Mafia"
MLB.com's Jordan Bastian takes a look at the Tribe bullpen. He calls John Axford, Josh Outman, Cody Allen, Bryan Shaw, and Marc Rzepczynski "virtual locks" to make the bullpen. Bastian is probably is the most-active Indians beat writer out there, so it's worth putting stock in his sense of where players stand. The article also includes this comment from Terry Francona:
"Hopefully, we get the Vinnie back that you guys remember from a couple years ago. That would be awesome."
Yes, yes it would.
3) A passing grade, but not a good one
Sports Illustrated's Jay Jaffe is handing out winter report cards, with the Indians getting a C-. Among other things, Jaffe suggests the Indians re-sign Ubaldo Jimenez, given that his price seems to have dropped. "Antonetti has done a decent job with some low-cost moves, Cleveland likely needs to make at least one more substantial addition to have a shot at another playoff bid."
4) Better late than never
In December, Jack Seiner of MLB.com's MiLB blog took a look at Francisco Lindor and fellow Grade-A shortstop prospect Xander Bogaerts (Red Sox). Lindor projects to be a solid hitter and great defender, while Bogaerts is viewed as a star hitter with average defense. Seiner goes into various components of WAR and shows what kinds of totals each of the players would put up at various wRC+ (hitting) and DRS (fielding) levels. Two takeaways:
- Bogaerts would need to be ~20% better at the plate to make up the projected difference in defense (base running is ignored in the study).
- I recently said (in the comments somewhere) 6 WAR a season was a, entirely plausible projection for Lindor (eventually, not in 2014), given the scouting reports on his glove and bat is, would require a wRC+ of 112-115, according to Seiner's calculations.
5) Fifteen fantatsic bonus links
Voting is now open for the SABR Analytics Conference Research Awards. There are five nominees in each of three different categories, including work by Jonah Keri, Russell Carleton, Wendy Thurm, Dave Cameron, and Andrew Ball. I recall reading roughly half of the 15 nominated articles when they came out, and I'll be bookmarking the page so that I can look at the the ones I missed and revisit those I did see before.
Voting ends on February 17
6) Happy anniversary, off-topic topic!
It was one year ago this weekend that I wrote a Saturday news and notes post for the first time. My first list (two lists actually) featured my favorite Bill Murray movies, a choice promoted by it having been Groundhog Day. Last night my fiancee and I watched Groundhog Day, which she'd never seen before. She has good taste (clearly) and has seen a pretty good number of movies, so I was surprised she'd missed that one.
That got me thinking about movies I'm surprised that I've never seen before. They may be surprising because they were massive blockbusters, are viewed as classics, and/or are odd ones for a "film buff" my age to have missed.
Movies I'm most surprised to have never seen:
4. Requiem for a Dream
2. The Sound of Music
1. Gone With the Wind