Cleveland sports fans are waiting. Thus, while we’re all waiting, the WFNY editors thought you might enjoy reading. Because you never know how long we might be waiting. So here are assorted reading goodies for you to enjoy. Send more good links for tomorrow’s edition to firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Trading Masterson is a different animal altogether. For one thing, he was the best pitcher on what was technically a playoff team a season ago. For another, he’d likely be that same pitcher again this season, depending on how bullish you are about Danny Salazar. For a third, he’s also still pretty young, at least relatively speaking. Of the potential free-agent pitchers who don’t have a club option for 2015, the only three pitchers younger than Masterson are Brett Anderson, Homer Bailey and Clayton Kershaw. Anderson is a giant question mark, and I’ll be pretty surprised if Kershaw pitches for anyone other than the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2015. That leaves Bailey. There are actually some pretty good options on the market next season aside from those guys, but age is always a big factor, and Masterson has that on his side. He’s also been pretty durable, and pretty consistent. In his four full seasons in Cleveland, only 25 starting pitchers have tossed more innings than has Masterson. And while Masterson isn’t the best pitcher alive, he compares pretty favorably to those currently on the market.” [Swydan/Fangraphs]
“But that loss aside, the Blue Jackets have been a force the past three games, and they’ve been a team that was clearly not outworked and was clearly tough to face. That was the mantra last season during the run of success, but the team hasn’t been able to find that game as consistently this year.
Has it clicked, finally? Three games certainly don’t comprise a broad enough brush stroke to say the Blue Jackets are poised for another run, but the games against the Lightning, Wild, and Penguins could be a strong indicator of better days to come. And winger Blake Comeau says playing the “right way” comes down to the team’s defensive zone first.” [Kamal/FSO]
“As soon as the Buckeyes grabbed the lead, however, the offense again became stuck in neutral. The relative inefficiency of the Buckeye passing game caught up with Ohio State. The Buckeyes were only four of 13 throwing on first down. This led to a night of the Ohio State offense finding itself behind schedule. This had a multiplier effect, making it even harder for Ohio State to rely upon their running game when it was second or third and long.
The inconsistent passing game had multiple culprits. As has all too often been the case this season, the Ohio State passing game become overly reliant on throwing vertically. It is difficult to determine if it is a function of the play calling, if the play calling is trending towards such routes because those are the only ones where the receivers are getting open, or if Miller is throwing deep even when mid-range routes in the pattern are available. Whatever the case, all too often the Buckeyes missed long, only to leave themselves in second and ten.” [Fulton/Eleven Warriors]
“The NFL has been trying to prevent such blows over the past four years, targeting improper technique and making a point to penalize and fine players for hits that leave them and their opponents vulnerable. Yet an Associated Press review of penalties through the first 11 weeks of the season found those hits are still prevalent.” [AP]
“If you forced me to choose between Carrasco, Tomlin, and Bauer, I’d probably choose Carrasco because of the upside potential, but I’d rather not have to make that choice. That’s why trading Masterson now (if the rumors are true) doesn’t make a lot of sense unless either the Indians are bringing back two pitchers or are using the proceeds from the trade to acquire another pitcher who is either better than Masterson, under control for a longer period of time, or both.” [Ryan/Let’s Go Tribe]