Sunday, May 26, 2013

Speak Up, Brantley! My Thoughts On His BOP & Contract Talk

i didn't want to clog my upcoming Brantley blog with these thoughts so they're getting a separate blog =D

on the 21st day of May, 2013, Brantley had hit in every spot in the batting order this season. yes, he says he doesn't mind it and will do whatever is good for the team. yet he admitted last year after Manny was fired that he didn't like being thrown all over the lineup and wanted some kind of consistency. now, just because Tito Francona is manager, am i supposed to believe that he's all the sudden okay with this? i'm not buying it.

Tito has been changing the lineup quite a bit since the beginning of the year, and he always has a reason, but the reasons aren't adding up. first, he had Brantley batting 5th, which of course wasn't my favorite place for him, but i accepted that and it grew on me. but then he moved Santana up to the 5th spot because he was on a hot streak and batting in the high .300s, so Brantley was moved to the 6th spot for a few games. then when Bourn was out hurt, Brantley was awarded the luxury of leading off. by the time Bourn finally came back, Brantley was just kinda being plugged in wherever and he lost a stable position. lately, he's been hitting in the 7th and 8th spots. the reasoning behind that is because Santana walks and gets on base more than anyone else, Tito likes him ahead of Reynolds since Reynolds can hit balls out of the park. and Brantley bats behind Reynolds for protection. uh, since when does Reynolds need protection? i've heard it all now. however, as recently as a couple days ago, Tito had Reynolds batting 5th and Santana 6th, which went against everything he previously proclaimed. confused yet? and let's not forget how at the start of the season, Tito liked Reynolds hitting lower in the order so that his strikeouts wouldn't hurt us too much. every day seems to be a new story, and unfortunately for Brantley, he's the only one who has to deal with being placed in all the different lineup spots. just because Brantley can hit in every place in the lineup doesn't mean he should continue to move around to every place in the lineup.

in my perfect world, well i shouldn't say it like that because i think everyone knows by now that i want what Brantley really wants (to lead off and play center). so how about i say, ideally, Brantley would bat 5th, Reynolds 6th, Santana 7th (because this kid always gets into trouble when he's batting higher up in the order. he's been steadily batting around the 5th spot this month and we've seen his batting average dip down, have we not?), Chiz or whoever is taking his lineup spot 8th, and Stubbs 9th. 1 through 4 seem to be untouchable at this point unless someone gets a day off, so hop on board because complaining about that will get you nowhere. it's been made apparent to me that power is favored over batting average, and sadly Brantley will never have the power that some of the other players on the team do. but i would hope Tito would value contact over power.

when the guy with the highest batting average on the team is batting 8th, and certain guys who strike out more than Brantley are batting ahead of him, particularly Giambi Juice, this is when i have a problem. i don't care if it's a testament to the depth the team has this year, that is just not right. by now it's obvious that Brantley is too nice and too much of a quiet pushover. it reminds me of something i used to have to deal with back in grade school. boys would cause trouble sitting next to each other in class, so the teacher would have to separate them. and who was always asked to switch desks with one of the boys? that's right, it was me. this happened at least once a year in one of my classes. my teachers thought i was a nice girl and wouldn't mind it, and i never said anything to make them believe otherwise. i should have spoken up and said i don't want to be separated from sitting near my friends because other people were disrupting class. it felt like a punishment to me and i didn't like it. now in the case of Brantley, i feel like maybe he should speak up and say something along the lines of "you know, i'd like to have more of a regular spot in our lineup." maybe Tito would oblige. he won't know if he doesn't ask. he is such an important piece to this team. if he makes a demand, i bet they'd listen. i think it would be wise to keep him happy now, considering he's eligible for arbitration after this season...

because we have more power hitters on the Tribe this year, what Brantley is doing for the team is usually overlooked by many. he's worth more than he's currently being paid and i won't blame Michael at all if when it comes time for extension talks he just says forget it. it's not going to be easy to decide how much he should get, as he is a center fielder by trade playing phenomenal left field. he's playing better left field than we've seen in quite some time. his numbers aren't very good for a left fielder, but they're great for a center fielder, which Brantley is now not. so that right there makes this a tricky topic. plus the fact that he has the ability to pretty much hit anywhere, which not all players possess as has been demonstrated by some Indians in the past, that should increase his value as well.

since we have at least one outfielder who is currently being paid more than Brantley yet who is also performing on a much lower level than Brantley, i think he can use that as leverage to get a nice pay raise. but again, because this team is not positioning him where he truly wants to be, i can't confidently believe that he will sign a long-term extension. it honestly would be smarter if he held out. i've said many times before that i only want what's best for him, and if we can't/don't give that to him, i can't be upset if he leaves. but we will cross that bridge when we come to it. these are just my thoughts and opinions and virtually don't mean anything. after all, i'm not his agent. though i think i might make a pretty damn good one ;D

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Brantley's April 2013 #s

if you read my spring training blog, then you already know i have gotten more thorough with my Brantley documentation this year. after a few trial and errors, i figured out a color coding system that i'm pretty happy with and my notebook is filling up quickly. however, to keep a normally long blog somewhat less lengthy, i'm not putting everything here. i don't think the readers are very interested in the pitch count of all Michael's at bats and what innings he bat in, recorded his putouts, etc. so i'm sparing you that. now without further ado, let's get to the April blog.


this month reminded me of last April in that i am starting to notice a pattern with Brantley. aside from 2011, he usually starts the season slow. and when the end of April comes around, that's when he seems to turn it up and make his April numbers more respectable. this year is no exception, as you will see.

Michael had a hit in 16 of the 23 games he played in April and reached base safely in 21 games. Michael reached base in 14 straight games this month from April 8 - April 27 as well.

Michael was not supposed to be leading off, but once Bourn got hurt, and after trying out Stubbs for a few games, Tito decided to move Brantley into the leadoff spot. when he first started leading off, of course he was still having some struggles. that led to fans complaining that Michael's never been a good leadoff man and he shouldn't be leading off now. good grief. did anyone who made that comment bother to notice that prior to the move Michael really wasn't tearing the cover off the ball or wowing anybody yet? no, of course not. this is the same thing that happened a year ago; Michael was struggling but did start to come out of it at the end of April. and i'm hoping now he can go back to being the consistent hitter he was for the team last year.

further proving my observation, Michael ended the month by hitting his first home run of the campaign. he was the last active member of the Indians to finally go yard. homers are not his forte so i don't foresee many more of those to come, and that's okay. but when he does hit the ball out to souvenir city, it is always nice.

as a result of being moved around in the batting order, another thing that was not supposed to happen with Michael this year, some of his numbers are better than others. for example, when he was batting lower in the order, he got more RBI opportunities. then when he was moved to the leadoff spot, his RBIs went down but his runs scored increased because the guys behind him were able to drive him in more than when he was batting 5th and 6th. Michael made it clear before the season started that he didn't like it last year when he didn't know where he'd be batting from one day to the next. he ended up batting everywhere in the order except for the 9 hole. so far this season, he's been in 4 different spots. for his sake, after he's taken out of the leadoff spot when Bourn comes back, i hope he gets a place that's primarily his. ever the professional though, he will approach all his at bats the same and never complain.

now let's talk about defense. i did not anticipate Michael to be playing any center field this season because of the acquisitions of both Michael Bourn and Drew Stubbs, two center fielders by nature. however, again with Bourn out, there was one game where Michael was moved to center for the last couple innings. and although i don't expect that to happen much more in the future, that is going to expand my break downs because now i have to calculate his numbers for both left and center field. thanks, Tito lol

regardless of where Michael played in the outfield, his defense has been very impressive and his fielding percentage for April is perfect. he had 38 putouts, including his usual great catches. he also had 2 very nice assists this month due to some dead-on throws from left field. there's no denying that our left field defense has improved immensely this year and will continue to be nothing short of stellar as the rest of the season plays out.



now let's break down the numbers. i am going to document his April #s, the 5th spot #s, the 6th spot #s, the 3rd spot #s, the leadoff #s, and the #s of everything not leadoff combined, as well as the left field #s and the center field #s.


April batting average: .286

OBP: .363

SLG: .396

OPS: .758


Michael played in 23 (of 24) complete games in April. he started and played left in 23 games, and he played center for 4 innings when he was moved there in the middle of 1 game. he had 1 official at bat as the center fielder of that game. the one game he did not play in was just him not being in Tito's lineup.


Michael bat 5th in 6 games.

Michael bat 6th in 4 games.

Michael bat 3rd in 1 game.

Michael led off 12 games.


Michael played left field in 23 games.

Michael played center field for just 4 innings in 1 game.


in April, Michael had a total of 102 plate appearances and 91 at bats. here is how he fared:

26 hits

19 singles

5 doubles

1 triple

1 home run

9 RBI

13 runs scored

8 walks

3 hit by pitches

1 caught stealing

14 strikeouts

7 first at bat hits


34 left on base

38 putouts

2 assists

202 innings, 23 games

April batting average: .286 (26-91) (23 games)


now let's break down his numbers based on where he hit in the lineup.


when Michael bat 5th in April, he had a total of 26 plate appearances and 22 at bats in 6 games. breaking down the numbers are as follows:

7 hits

7 singles

2 RBI

3 runs scored

3 walks

1 hit by pitch

4 strikeouts

3 first at bat hits


11 left on base

12 putouts

1 assist

53 innings, 6 games

April batting average in the 5th spot: .318 (7-22) (6 games)
April batting average in the 5th spot while playing left: .318 (7-22) (6 games)


when Michael bat 6th in April, he had a total of 15 plate appearances and 13 at bats in 4 games. breaking down the numbers are as follows:

3 hits

2 singles

1 double

1 run scored

1 walk

1 hit by pitch

0 strikeouts

2 first at bat hits


7 left on base

6 putouts

1 assist

36 innings, 4 games

April batting average in the 6th spot: .231 (3-13) (4 games)
April batting average in the 6th spot while playing left: .231 (3-13) (4 games)


when Michael bat 3rd in April, he had a total of 4 plate appearances and 4 at bats in 1 game. breaking down the numbers are as follows:

1 hit

1 single

0 strikeouts

1 first at bat hit


1 left on base

2 putouts

9 innings, 1 game

April batting average in the 3rd spot: .250 (1-4) (1 game)
April batting average in the 3rd spot while playing left: .250 (1-4) (1 game)



when Michael was not leading off in April, he had a total of 45 plate appearances and 39 at bats in 11 games. breaking down the numbers are as follows:

11 hits

10 singles

1 double

2 RBI

4 runs scored

4 walks

2 hit by pitches

4 strikeouts

6 first at bat hits


19 left on base

20 putouts

2 assists

98 innings, 11 games

April batting average everywhere other than leadoff: .282 (11-39) (11 games)
April batting average everywhere other than leadoff while playing left: .282 (11-39) (11 games)



when Michael led off in April, he had a total of 57 plate appearances and 52 at bats in 12 games.

15 hits

9 singles

4 doubles

1 triple

1 home run

7 RBI

9 runs scored

4 walks

1 hit by pitch

1 caught stealing

10 strikeouts

1 leadoff (first at bat) hit


15 left on base

18 putouts

104 innings, 12 games

April batting average in the leadoff spot: .288 (15-52) (12 games)



when Michael led off and played left in April, he had a total of 56 plate appearances and 51 at bats in 12 games.

15 hits

9 singles

4 doubles

1 triple

1 home run

7 RBI

9 runs scored

4 walks

1 hit by pitch

1 caught stealing

10 strikeouts

1 (leadoff) first at bat hit


14 left on base

18 putouts

100 innings, 12 games

April batting average in the leadoff spot while playing left: .294 (15-51) (12 games)


when Michael led off and played center in April, he had a total of 1 plate appearance and 1 at bats in 1 game.

0 hits


1 left on base

0 putouts

4 innings, 1 game

April batting average in the leadoff spot while playing center: .000 (0-1) (1 game)



now let's break down his numbers based on where he played in the outfield.


when Michael played left in April, he had a total of 101 plate appearances and 90 at bats in 23 games. breaking down the numbers are as follows:

26 hits

19 singles

5 doubles

1 triple

1 home run

9 RBI

13 runs scored

8 walks

3 hit by pitches

1 caught stealing

14 strikeouts

7 first at bat hits


33 left on base

38 putouts

2 assists

198 innings, 23 games

(22 complete games)

April batting average while playing left: .289 (26-90) (23 games)


when Michael played center in April, he had a total of 1 plate appearance and 1 at bat in 1 game. breaking down the numbers are as follows:

0 hits


1 left on base

0 putouts

4 innings, 1 game

April batting average while playing center: .000 (0-1) (1 game)



April #s while playing center: 0 putouts, 0 assists, 0 errors, 1.000 fielding percentage (4 innings, 1 game)

April #s while playing left: 38 putouts, 2 assists, 0 errors, 1.000 fielding percentage (198 innings, 23 games)

April #s while playing the outfield: 38 putouts, 2 assists, 0 errors, 1.000 fielding percentage (202 innings, 23 games)



now my game-by-game numbers and notes.

Game 1, April 2: 1-2, single (first at bat), run scored, walk, walk. AVG: .500
(batting 5th/LF/CG)

Game 2, April 3: 4-5, single (first at bat), RBI single, single, single, run scored, reached on forceout. AVG: .714
(5th/LF/CG11)

Game 3, April 4: 1-4, hit by pitch, run scored, single. AVG: .545
(5th/LF/CG)

Game 4, April 5: 0-2, walk. AVG: .462
(5th/LF/CG)

Game 5, April 6: 0-4. AVG: .353
(5th/LF/CG)

April 7: not in lineup.

Game 6, April 8: 1-5, RBI single (first at bat). AVG: .318
(5th/LF/CG)

Game 7, April 9: 0-3, walk. AVG: .280
(6th/LF/CG)

April 10: game postponed, to be made up in a May 13 DH.
(5th/LF/CG)

April 11: game postponed, to be made up in a May 13 DH.
(5th/LF/CG)

Game 8, April 12: 1-3, double (first at bat). AVG: .286
(6th/LF/CG)

Game 9, April 13: 0-3, hit by pitch, run scored. AVG: .258
(6th/LF/CG)

Game 10, April 14: 1-4, single (first at bat). AVG: .257
(3rd/LF/CG)

Game 11, April 16: 2-4, single (first at bat), single. AVG: .282
(6th/LF/CG)

Game 12, April 17: 0-3, walk. AVG: .262
(leadoff/LF/CG)
^^i guess Tito decided to give Michael a shot at leading off again because Bourn is on the 15-day DL with a finger laceration. i definitely don't expect him to lead off again once Bourn comes back.^^

Game 13, April 18: 1-4, single, run scored. AVG: .261
(leadoff/LF/CG)

Game 14, April 19: 0-4, walk. AVG: .240
(leadoff/LF/CG)

Game 15, April 20: 2-6, 2-run double, RBI walk, run scored, single. AVG: .250
(leadoff/LF - 5 i/CF - 4 i)

Game 16, April 21: 1-5, single. AVG: .246
(leadoff/LF/CG)

Game 17, April 22: 1-3, single, caught stealing, walk, run scored. AVG: .250
(leadoff/LF/CG)

April 23: game postponed.

Game 18, April 24: 2-4, single, single, run scored. AVG: .265
(leadoff/LF/CG)

April 26: game postponed, to be made up April 28.
(leadoff/LF)

Game 19, April 27: 2-5, double, 2-run triple. AVG: .274
(leadoff/LF/CG)

Game 20, April 28 (Day Game): 0-4. AVG: .260
(leadoff/LF/CG)

Game 21, April 28 (Night Game): 2-4, single (first at bat), run scored, hit by pitch, single, run scored. AVG: .272
(leadoff/LF/CG)

Game 22, April 29: 3-5, double, run scored, double, run scored, single. AVG: .291
(leadoff/LF/CG)

Game 23, April 30: 1-5, 2-run home run, run scored. AVG: .286
(leadoff/LF/CG)


let me also put it out there that May would be a great time to get one of his hitting streaks started... ;D