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Author: Joseph Coblitz

Purely Optional: Should the Indians Bring Back Brantley?

Back in 2014, the Cleveland Indians signed their most dependable hitter to a four year deal with a one year option. At just $25M guaranteed, this was a steal and Michael Brantley responded with his best year yet. In 2014, he hit .327/.385/.506 with 20 home runs, 45 doubles and 23 steals. He went to his first All-Star game that year, won the Silver Slugger and finished third in MVP voting. As an encore, he hit another 45 doubles the next season and hit .310/.379/.480, finishing 28th in the MVP vote. It was almost like the Indians could see...

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Who Will Stay and Who Will Go? 2017 Edition

With more than 40 players used by the Cleveland Indians during the 2017 season, it can be a bit confusing to understand the contract situations of every single one. With that in mind, everyone who ended the 2017 season in the Indians organization and has at least some Major League experience is listed below based on their length of team control. The Free Agent Class of 2017 The Indians went into the 2017 season with just two expiring contracts, Bryan Shaw and Carlos Santana, but added Austin Jackson before the season started, then Jay Bruce, Joe Smith and Craig...

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Are You Kidding Me? A Look back at BurningRiverBaseball’s 2017 Indians Predictions

As the saying goes, it’s time to put your money where your mouth is. Before the start of every season, the Burning River Baseball crew gets together to make a pack of outlandish predictions. These predictions would be meaningless, however, if they were never brought to light once the actual results of the season were known. With that in mind, here are how we came out with the team predictions. The results of the league wide predictions will be posted following MLB award season. The predictions this year came from Joseph Coblitz, Mike Melaragno, John Hutchison, Caitlin Boron, Justin...

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Quite Possibly the Best Pitcher, Manager and Team in Indians History just Blew it

According to WAR, the 2017 Cleveland Indians had the greatest pitching staff (rotation and bullpen) in all of baseball history. According to actual wins, they were the second best overall team in franchise history (behind 1954). Individually, Corey Kluber may be the greatest pitcher in team history and is at least the best since a trio of Hall of Famers graced the team in the 1940’s and 1950’s. In fWAR (which accounts for the league and year, so you can fairly compare different eras), the greatest single pitching seasons in Indians history belong to Bob Feller (1946 & 1940),...

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2017 Updates to Top 10 Indians Positional Rankings

While many of the articles created on BurningRiverBaseball are static, to be written and read in a specific time period, then left alone for eternity, a series of pieces written during the 2012-2013 off-season is a little different. In these, I ranked the top ten Indians at every position and every year since I have updated them to include the recently ended season. With the current generation of Indians coming of age, some possibly playing in their final season in Cleveland (Bryan Shaw and Carlos Santana) and others just starting their careers in Cleveland, but doing so in impressive...

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#RallyTogether 2017 ALDS Game 5: Yankees Out hit, pitch and field Indians to move on to ALCS

First Inning Brett Gardner tried a bit of a sneak attack to start the game, bunting down the first base line on the first pitch. What he wasn’t prepared for was how nice of a defender Carlos Santana has become and Gardner was the first out. Corey Kluber then got to work and struck out Aaron Judge. After getting ahead to Didi Gregorius, however, he left a fastball inside and the Yankee shortstop crushed it out to right for the first run of the game. Kluber would finish off the inning with a strike out of Gary Sanchez, but...

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Top 10 Indians Defense Plays of 2017

While the season started off rough for the Tribe defensively, coming in about league average according to fangraphs, a few mid-season additions completely turned things around and they finished third in the AL in defense. While a team can be good defensively just by making all the routine plays, it is the excellent that sets them apart from the crowd. The following list of the top defensive plays for the 2017 season includes both great feats of athleticism and some aggressive plays that became the standard for the Tribe as the defense improved throughout the season. Because there were...

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Updating the Tribe Leaderboards after Historic 2017 Season

It was a record setting season in Cleveland. As a team, the Indians shattered records including the most strike outs in a single season by a pitching staff and the highest fWAR by the staff as well. They also won 102 games, the second most in Indians history (after 1954) and their 17 game lead in the Central was their third highest finish in club history (after 1995 and 1999). With this, many individual milestones should be expected as well and there may be more than any other season since we’ve been keeping track on BurningRiverBaseball. Below is a...

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#RallyTogether 2017 ALDS Game 4: Tribe Defense Fails in Pivotal Loss to NY

Before game four in this half of the ALDS, the Astros knocked off the Red Sox to advance to the ALCS in the other half. The Indians were looking to do the same in this match as the Yankees were just trying to stay alive. This is how it went down: First Inning Making his first start since his extremely rough Wild Card outing, Luis Severino looked much better the second time around. He made it all the way through the first inning this time, striking out Jason Kipnis between fly outs for Francisco Lindor and Jose Ramirez. Trevor...

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2017 ALDS Game 4 Preview: Tribe Looks to Bauer to Close Out Series

Ahead two games to one after a disappointing game three loss, the Indians will turn to Trevor Bauer for the second time in the ALDS. In game one, he went 6.2 innings and allowed just two hits, striking out eight and walking one. While Josh Tomlin was originally tentatively scheduled as the game four starter before the series started, he threw two innings in relief in his game two win. That combined with Bauer’s ability to start on limited rest and his mastery in game one pushed Terry Francona in that direction. While the best case scenario sees Bauer...

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Cleveland Indians Top 10 Most Exciting Offensive Plays of 2017

There was a lot to cheer for in Cleveland this year. Coming off an AL Pennant, the Indians easily won their second consecutive Central Division championship and threw a 22 game winning streak in for good measure. While much of credit belongs to the pitching staff, there were plenty of big offensive moments to remember as well. The ten videos to follow were my favorite, but if you have another, be sure to tell me @BurningRiverBB on twitter or on facebook. 10. August 1st: The Comeback that Almost Was The only loss in the top ten, this game against...

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