Tag: Chris Perez

Where Chris Perez Signing Puts Dodgers Among MLB’s Best Bullpens

The Los Angeles Dodgers proved in 2013 that they were a force to be reckoned with, winning 62 of their last 90 regular-season games and falling two wins short of their first World Series appearance since 1988. 

They’ll head into 2014 with one of the best rotations in the game, led by Cy Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw, and plenty of star power in the lineup. Yasiel Puig enters his first full big league season and a healthy Matt Kemp will be out to prove that he’s still one of the best players in the game. 

A bullpen with closer Kenley Jansen and youngsters Paco Rodriguez and Chris Withrow, who are each coming off of terrific rookie seasons, gave the team a solid foundation with a few more good arms who could arrive soon from down on the farm. Depth was far from strong, though. 

But three key free-agent signings in a span of 18 days—Brian Wilson agreed to re-sign on Dec. 5, J.P. Howell agreed to re-sign on Dec. 16 and Chris Perez agreed to a one-year deal earlier today that was first reported by Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports—has the ‘pen in great shape. 

In fact, they have a chance to be the best group of relievers in club history. Yes, even better than the 2003 bullpen that featured a dominant closer, Eric Gagne, who was perfect in 55 save opportunities while posting a 1.20 ERA, 2.2 BB/9 and 15.0 K/9, and two other pitchers, Guillermo Mota and Paul Quantril, with sub-2.00 ERAs

Here’s a look at my current projection that can be found over at MLBDepthCharts.com.

CL Kenley Jansen, RHP: 53 Sv, 2.10 ERA, 2.5 BB/9, 13.3 K/9 over last 2 seasons
SU Brian Wilson, RHP: 171 career Sv, 19.2 IP, ER, 12 H, 6 BB, 21 K w/ LAD in 2013
SU Chris Perez, RHP: 123 Sv, 3.19 ERA, 3.5 BB/9, 8.2 K/9 since 2010
MID Paco Rodriguez, LHP: 20 holds, 2.32 ERA, 3.1 BB/9, 10.4 K/9 in 2013
MID Brandon League, RHP: Prior to poor 2013: 59 sv, 3.38 ERA from 2008-12
MID LHP J.P. Howell, LHP: 2.03 ERA, held left-handed batters to .452 OPS
LR: Jamey Wright, RHP: 3.32 ERA over last three seasons

Trade Bait or Next in Line at Triple-A
Chris Withrow, RHP: 2.60 ERA, 3.4 BB/9, 11.2 K/9 in 26 relief appearances in 2013

That’s a very well-rounded group with a good mix of experience, youth, power and attitude. How do they stack up against the rest of the league, though? I think they could be the best, and no worse than the top five.

Here’s a look at six other bullpens who you could make a pretty good case for being the best in the game. I’ve ranked them from sixth to first.

Be sure to make your case in the comments section and let me know where you think the Dodgers belong.

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Updates on Chris Perez and Dodgers Reportedly Agreeing to 1-Year Contract

The Los Angeles Dodgers haven’t made a major offseason splash that many expected them to so far this offseason, but their latest move should help solidify one of their few roster shortcomings. 

Updates from Tuesday, Dec. 24

The Dodgers made the deal official via Twitter:

Ned Coletti talked to Ken Gurnick of Dodgers.com and talked about Perez and his run-in with the law and how it impacted their decision to sign the reliever:

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Cleveland Indians 2013: The Tribe Should Trade Chris Perez

The Cleveland Indians should consider trading closer Chris Perez as soon as possible.

According to MLB.com, Perez suffered a subscapularis strain in his throwing shoulder this spring and will probably not return for the next three to four weeks.

During this time, manager Terry Francona should consider Vinnie Pestano as the closer of the staff and the Indians front office should seriously consider trading two-time All-Star Perez.  

“It’s really difficult to replace a closer like Chris,” Indians general manager Chris Antonetti said. “He means a lot to the team, and I’m hopeful we won’t need to. I’m hopeful he’ll be ready to start the season.”

According to Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, the Giants and the Phillies were both interested in the closer this offseason.  

The Dodgers were also interested in him this winter as the Indians were trying to shop the closer due to his large salary and criticism from both team management and the fanbase.

Perez was in line to represent the United States this year in the upcoming World Baseball Classic, but due to this recent setback, this opportunity will no longer be an option.

Perez will now not be available for baseball activities until symptoms of his shoulder issue are behind him.

“The shorter he’s down,” Antonetti said, “the shorter the timeframe to get him back to game activity. If his symptoms linger for a longer period of time, that means it’s likely going to take longer on the other end.”

If Perez does return by the Tribe’s Opening Day game on April 2 against the Blue Jays, it will still be a situation where the Indians will be monitoring his every move and making sure he’s ready to fill the closer position.

One way or another, the Indians should consider trading the righty for prospects and let Pestano take over closer duties whether Perez comes back to full form or not.  

“The most important thing is to make sure that he puts the injury behind him, and once he comes back, he’s ready to go,” Antonetti said.

Regardless of the general manager’s comments, it would be a wiser decision to put Perez on the block and see what the Tribe can get in return.  

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6 Reasons Cleveland Indians Fans Should Still Watch Them over the Browns

We all know that 2012 is now a lost season, but it isn’t over yet. The Cleveland Indians are two games up on the Minnesota Twins for the worst record in the American League going into Tuesday night’s game against the Detroit Tigers.

Having now compiled a 20-45 record since losing first place on June 24, the Indians’ struggles are enough to make even the biggest, most devoted fans question their relationship with the club. After all, even the oldest Indians fans who were there or remember the 1948 championship are few and far between in the 64 years that they have patiently or angrily waited.

So, with the NFL season officially starting Wednesday night and the Cleveland Browns playing their first game on Sunday against the Philadelphia Eagles in Cleveland, what is there that can still make Cleveland Indians fans hang around at Progressive Field, watch eagerly on Sports Time Ohio or listen in to Tom Hamilton on the radio?

Surprisingly, there are several reasons why Cleveland sports fans should still be a part of the remaining 27 games in the MLB season for the Indians. There are even similarities between the Browns and Indians that will surprise you.

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5 Things That Can Salvage the Cleveland Indians’ 2012 Season

The second half of the season has not been kind to the Cleveland Indians. Since the All-Star break, Cleveland is 11-32 with losing streaks of 11 and nine games. They can’t hit (27th in MLB in the second half, .231 team average), they can’t pitch (28th in MLB, 5.30 team ERA) and if it weren’t for the Astros (who are 7-35 since the break), they could be labeled the worst team in baseball since July 13.

There does not seem to be much that the Cleveland Indians can do at this point to salvage the 2012 season. Mathematically, there are reasons to think that they can, but realistically, it is not in the cards.

Sitting 16.5 games out of the AL Central heading into Tuesday’s game against the Oakland Athletics, how can the Cleveland Indians salvage this season?

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MLB: Cleveland Indians Must Learn from History to Improve Attendance

Cleveland is a city that is starving for a winner. Unfortunately for Cleveland sports fans the owners of teams are not always on the same page as what the fans would like to see. No team proves this more than the Cleveland Indians.

So far through the 2012 season, the Indians are 44-41 and are dead last in the MLB in attendance. Lately Tribe closer Chris Perez has been spouting off to the Cleveland fans about their lack of loyalty to the team, questioning the city’s blind loyalty to the Browns and lack of support for the Tribe.

Perez makes some good points, but he also needs to realize that his team is just above average right now and are only in the hunt thanks to being in an extremely subpar division. However, that does not explain why Cleveland has not supported the Indians a little bit better this year. In order to better understand what is going on, we must look at the past and see the culture that has led us to this point.

1993 is where we will begin our journey. Jim Thome, Kenny Lofton, and Albert Belle were beginning to enter their primes. Looking back on it now, that is a solid trio that laid the foundation for some of the best seasons in Tribe history. This season saw one of the biggest spikes in Tribe attendance history, it went from 15,000 people per game in 1992 to 26,000 in 1993. This started the year where the Indians became a legitimate interest in Cleveland. From there the numbers continuously climbed over the next several years, reaching a point where they sold out 455 consecutive home games between June 1995 and April of 2001 which averaged around 42,000 fans per night. For a small market club that is quite the streak.

There was one common factor during those years that led to the fan support, the team was winning consistently and making the playoffs five consecutive years between 1995 and 1999. Players that had become faces of the franchise included Jim Thome, Manny Ramirez, Albert Belle, and Sandy Alomar Jr. That would not be the case for long.

Cleveland had slowly begun to gravitate toward baseball even more in the 1990s in part due to the city losing their beloved Browns in 1995. The Indians had capitalized by building a winner that the city could fall back on and embrace. This was shown by that 455 consecutive game sellout that was notched. However, in 1999 the Browns came back to town and not long after that, the Indians lost sight of their  winning ways.


After the 2000 season, Manny Ramirez and Sandy Alomar Jr. left the club and Larry Dolan bought the club from then current owner Richard Jacobs, for whom the stadium formerly known as “Jacobs Field” was named after. To try and soften the blow of losing those players the Indians signed former MVP Juan Gonzalez and Ellis Burks. These players led the Tribe to another AL Central title, but the offseason would prove to be one of the worst in team history.

GM John Hart resigned and his assistant Mark Shapiro took over. In the process of his take over, the club lost Juan Gonzalez and traded away Roberto Alomar. Attendance dropped over 7000 people in 2002 and has since created the losing culture associated around the Cleveland Indians. Then following the 2002 season ,Jim Thome left the team and attendance plummeted as one of Cleveland’s heroes was no longer a part of the city. In less than five years (2000-2004), attendance average dropped over 20,000 people per game.

Between 2002 and 2006 the Indians had their struggles, but their young core of players was on the rise thanks to some savvy trade packages that brought back players like Grady Sizemore, Travis Hafner, Cliff Lee and Coco Crisp. 

In 2007, the young guns finally put it all together and were able to make it to the ALCS, but fell to the Boston Red Sox.  Fans, however, were finally thinking a winning team was back. CC Sabbathia, Cliff Lee, and Fausto Carmona looked like a legitimate rotation and the offense looked like it was for real, causing fans to be cautiously optimistic—raising attendance to 28,000.  Fans were quickly disappointed over the next two years as the team dealt CC, Cliff Lee, and Victor Martinez. Attendance again fell reaching its low point in 2010 with attendance averaging less than 20,000 fans per game.


All in all, the Indians have lost over 20,000 fans per game and have not been over 30,000 fans (over 10,000 less than full capacity) since 2002. For a once dominate and lively stadium, it is a shame to see so few people there on a nightly basis.

The Dolans’ excuse has always been they have been losing money. My question is how much money would they have gotten back if they had only been willing to invest money in their current stars that they have? If they had done that since 2001, they would have, for hypothetical purposes, had roughly 20,000 more fans per game over that 10-year stretch.

If my math is correct, then they would have made—on the low-end—an extra revenue of $16.2 million each season, not including playoff revenue. That, keep in mind, is estimating each ticket at $10 which is extremely low. That in itself would be enough to justify signing many of the core players we had let leave over the years.

For example Jim Thome made $8 million a year in 2002 with Cleveland. He signed a deal with Philly the following year worth $13 million a year. The extra revenue (assuming his previous salary amount, $8 million, would be carried over and then take the additional pay increase from the increased revenue) more than covers the salary and also lets the Dolans profit an extra $11 million—at the same time saving attendance from dropping over 10,000 fans per night.

CC Sabbathia made $11 million in 2008, according to Baseball Reference, and then with the deal he signed with the Yankees he maxes out around $24 million a year. If my math is correct the extra $16.2 milion a year would cover that extra $13 million a year and also would have allowed the Dolans to enjoy an extra $3 million in profit.  

Now these numbers are extremely simplified and I also let the ticket price low to compensate any major differences. If the Dolans would have invested in the team properly they would still be competing with the Browns for dominance in the Cleveland sports heart (Though they will never totally dominate as Cleveland is football first, everything else second city).


Maybe Chris Perez is right, maybe Cleveland does blindly follow the Browns. However, until the Indians become a perennial contender again, there will be no jump in attendance. Cleveland has a cult following to the Browns because it is a football city, and it was deprived of that sport for multiple years. The Indians and ownership must realize that until they invest properly in the team, the attendance will not follow.

Recently, with the acquisitions of Ubaldo Jiminez and re-signing of Carlos Santana, it seems that this current front office understands this concept. Let’s hope that they continue to build on that and see attendance, revenues, and the City of Cleveland rise.

All attendance numbers are courtesy of Baseball Almanac

Follow me on twitter @andrewj2010

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5 Creative Ways for the Cleveland Indians to Increase Attendance

Though they have been competitive in 2012, holding first place in the AL Central for 43 days this season, the Cleveland Indians have struggled to get fans to buy tickets for games at Progressive Field. The Indians rank 30th (that is last for newbies) in Major League Baseball in attendance, averaging 18,298 fans over 36 home dates as the team heads into the last two games against the Cincinnati Reds at Progressive Field on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Those 18,298 fans are 1,100 fans per game fewer than the 29th ranked Oakland A’s. Based on the average ticket price, the Indians have the seventh lowest average ticket price, $20.42, in MLB. Along with that, the Indians provide the ninth lowest fan cost index (FCI) in baseball, $173.66, which is comprised of four adult average-price tickets, two small draft beers, four small soft drinks, four regular size hot dogs, parking for one car, two game programs and two of the least expensive, adult-sized caps (via Team Marketing Report).

While the FCI is up just 1.6 percent (the league average was up 2.4 percent), the Indians average ticket price went up 10.4 percent, (the league average was 0.0 percent since it went up just one cent). This isn’t to say that the lack of attendance has anything to do with the prices or the play on the field, but whatever the reasons are for Progressive Field to be filled just 42.1 percent of each home game in 2012, the Indians need to find ways to fix it.

Attendance leads the revenue of a small-market team, and if the gates aren’t churning, it is very unlikely that the Indians will be able to “improve” through free agency.  Here, we’ll take a look at ways the Indians can increase attendance over the remainder of the 2012 season.

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2012 MLB Closer Profile: Chris Perez, Cleveland Indians

Chris Perez had a breakout year in 2011. 

After three seasons (two-and-a-half technically), Perez has established himself as the closer of the Cleveland Indians. Last season, Perez was 36/40 in save opportunities with a 3.32 ERA. 

While on the surface, 2011 looks like a tremendously perfect year for Chris Perez, it was anything but that.  First, his ERA and WHIP jumped from his previous year’s success. What was also strange was Perez’s inability to record strikeouts. 

After posting 61 Ks in 2010, he recorded only 39 in 2011.  The good news is we didn’t expect 61.  In fact, 2011 was more to the norm for Chris Perez, and if you overlook his great numbers in 2010, you’ll notice that he actually had a great season. 

At 26, Chris Perez is one of the younger closers with great years ahead of him.  He has a natural maturity to the game, and playing for Dave Duncan back in St. Louis will serve him well throughout his pitching career. 

Going into 2012, Perez is playing on a one-year year and hoping to sizzle in 2012 and get the big deal he deserves. 

While the Indians are a rebuilding team, they are also a young team with plenty of great players on it.  Even with all the problems they had last season, the Indians still managed 80 wins.  I believe with a healthy squad, the Indians can win between 82-85 games in 2012.  

The question on the minds of many are who is the real Chris Perez?  Has he peaked, or can he achieve 40-45 saves? 

As a straight fastball (94-95MPH) and slider pitcher, he doesn’t throw anything fancy and depends on hitting his spot and pitches to contact.  Contact closers aren’t my favorite, because it only takes one hit in a lot of cases to blow a save, and the more contact you can avoid, the better.

Perez should have a fine year, and in a perfect world with an 83- or 84-win Cleveland Indians team, Perez could achieve 40 saves.  Either way, the best years of Chris Perez are yet to be seen, and 2012 won’t even be there yet, but he should continue to get better.


The Closer Report 2012 Projections

38 Saves, 5 Wins, 2.98 ERA, 1.20 WHIP, 40 Ks 


2012 Fantasy Draft Analysis

Perez is just not one of my favorite closers in the draft, and there are many more closers with better value. 

He’s on a team that we just aren’t sure how well they will perform, and he himself has been inconsistent over the past couple of years.  His ADP has him going in the 17th round, and I think that is appropriate—maybe even a tad early.

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Cleveland Indians: Two Straight Losses Cause Fans to Hit Panic Button

The Indians dropped their second game in a row today in Minnesota, losing 10-3 to the Twins.  While two losses in a row may not seem like a big deal to most, many Indians fans are starting to worry.  Immediately after the game was over, numerous comments on the Cleveland Plain Dealer’s website were blasting the Indians.  One person predicted over 90 losses while another called for a players only meeting.

Let’s calm down here Tribe fans.  I know we don’t handle success very well.  And I know most of us have just been waiting for the extended losing streak to bring the Indians 2011 record back to what we thought it would be.  Yet, I really don’t take too much stock in these last two losses. 

The loss Thursday night in Kansas City may have been painful, but it was also understandable.  The Indians had a 2-run lead going into the 8th. It was raining and cold in Kansas City.  Not exactly ideal pitching conditions.  Chris Perez blew the save in the 9th, giving up two runs on a single by Melky Cabrera.  The two earned runs off Perez were the first runs of the year for him in over seven innings of work.  I am far from worried about him.

Today, the Indians got lit up by the Twins in Minnesota.  Fausto Carmona looked off from the first inning.  It was Fausto’s third loss of the year in five starts.  But looking at those starts deeper makes them look a lot better.  His ERA is inflated because of his opening day blowup against the White Sox.  Today he also gave up a lot of runs.  However, in his other three starts he only gave three earned runs total. 

Carmona’s two terrible starts had a common theme: extremely cold temperatures.  It is well known that Fausto is a warm-weather pitcher, as are most sinker ball pitchers.  Today’s start wasn’t a sign that Carmona is lost again, it was just a product of the rain out yesterday and the weather today.  Nothing to get too worried about.

What we should take away from these last two losses is the positives.  Alright, I admit, there wasn’t many positives to see today, but at least Grady Sizemore homered again.  Thursday night, we saw Josh Tomlin throw an absolute gem.  He has looked fantastic so far in 2011.  Today, the Twins got a lot of perfectly placed hits.  They had some bloopers that fell in and some infield hits that were near impossible to field.  Those things are always inconsistent. 

The Tribe can still win tomorrow and go 3-3 on the road trip, a trip in which they should already have their three wins because of the rain-induced blown save in K.C. on Thursday.  Even if they do lose again tomorrow in Minnesota with Carlos Carrasco pitching against Carl Pavano, they will still be 13-8 coming home for six games against the Royals and Tigers.

The Indians have lost two games in a row, I realize that.  We, as Indians fans, tend to panic as soon as any little thing goes wrong.  If someone would have said back in March that the Indians would be five or six games over .500 after 21 games, many Clevelanders would be jumping for joy.  Let’s not panic yet.  Let’s go out, hope for a win tomorrow in Minnesota, then come home to Progressive field and win at least four of the six games against the division rivals K.C. and Detroit. 

If the Indians come home and lose more than four games out of the six to the Royals and Tigers, then it may be time to consider the first few weeks a fluke.  But, hey, look at the bright side, the Indians do avoid Justin Verlander next week in Cleveland, who always looks good against the Tribe,so maybe the luck is turning around already and the Indians can keep up the hot start and carry it into May.

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2011 MLB Exclusive Interview: Cleveland Indians’ Chris "Pure Rage" Perez

Cleveland Indians fans have had, to say the least, a rough few years. The Tribe haven’t been able to win more than 69 games the last two seasons and 2008 only saw a .500 winning percentage. Trades and injuries have changed the vibe in Cleveland from when they won the AL Central in 2007. But even with this fall from grace, Indians fans can look to a brighter future, starting with their closer, Chris Perez.

Thanks for taking the time to do this interview with TheFantasyFix.com. I know our readers would love to know a little bit more about yourself.

TFF: Did you play other sports growing up? 

CP: I played soccer, basketball, football, volleyball and pretty much anything else that involved competing. When I was about 13, I concentrated solely on baseball.

TFF: While growing up, were there any professional baseball players you tried to emulate?

CP: Yes, Frank Thomas when he was with the Chicago White Sox. He was one of the most dangerous hitters during that period and his spring training was in nearby Sarasota, so I got to see him quite a bit. I was also a catcher most of my life and I really liked watching Pudge Rodriguez (he’s still playing!) because he had the best arm I’ve ever seen.

TFF: Being a catcher must really help you understand the Pitcher/Catcher relationship.

TFF: What did you major in at “The U?” Ideally, what would you like to do after baseball?

CP: My major was criminology with a minor in anthropology. Ideally I wanted to be an FBI profiler. If you ever watched the TV show Criminal Minds, that is exactly what I wanted to do.

TFF: On a side note, as a former Hurricane, how do you feel about the Al Golden hire for the football team?

CP: I have a little mixed feelings with the Al Golden hire. On one hand, he won at Temple which is hard to do. On the other, he really doesn’t have a very long coaching track record at the D-1 level. So I really hope he is the guy, because he’s young enough to be there for a very long time. I guess I’m a optimistic pessimist.  

TFF: Well being an optimistic pessimist is definitely the best kind. 

TFF: Early in your career you represented Team USA Baseball. Can you tell us a little bit about that experience?

CP: I’ve had the enjoyable experience of playing for Team USA twice; once on their collegiate National Team in ’05, and on the World Cup team in ’07. Both experiences are something I’ll remember for the rest of my life. Playing in the MLB is awesome and very special in it’s own right, but to play for Team USA and have the Stars and Stripes across your chest…there’s nothing like it. To be part of two select teams is pretty humbling. The time in ’05 was really fun because everyone was in college and we got to travel to Japan and Taiwan. We were pretty much on vacation with a little baseball thrown in. The time in ’07 was more business-like. We were a mixture of older and younger professionals, some with major league time, there to win the gold medal. We also went to Taiwan and participated in the IBAF World Cup of baseball. We ended up winning the whole tournament for the first time since the ’70’s.

TFF: What was it like being a first round pick? Did you have to deal with lots of pressures? People treating you differently? Asking you to borrow a few bucks?

CP: I have a really strong family and was fortunate that no one came to ask to borrow a few dollars. I don’t think I personally had any more pressure on me because I was a high pick. There was more pressure on me because I was always the youngest player on my team. I also had pretty good seasons so I kind of let my play do the talking.

TFF: How did it feel getting traded so early in your career? Did you feel betrayed by the Cardinals or did you know that it was just part of the game?

CP: I knew it was part of the game, but I was totally shocked that I was traded because I was so young. When I first was told of the trade my initial reaction was happiness and excitement. But as the day went on I started to realize that I was leaving behind a great organization in terms of fan support and tradition, but more importantly I was leaving behind a lot of friends that I had made coming up through the minors. It was also a great feeling that a team thought so highly of me and I knew I would have a tremendous opportunity with Cleveland.

TFF: Which guys on the team have you become the closest with since coming over from St. Louis? Any noteworthy jokesters in the Indians clubhouse?

CP: I’m pretty close to the whole bullpen, we are a family within a family. We all have similar interests and likes and really pull for each other during the season. We have a couple of funny guys on the team, Shelley Duncan and Frank Herrmann come to mind.

TFF: Kerry Wood really gave you a roller coaster ride in 2010. It must have been hard having a veteran breathing down your neck. Tell us about that.

CP: It would have been a lot more stressful if Kerry wasn’t such a good guy/teammate. Woody was great for all of us; we really looked up to him and tried to learn all we could from him. I told him a couple of times that I vividly remember the game when he struck out 20 Astros. I watched the entire game on WGN. So there was definitely respect there. I really didn’t have a problem wondering when he was coming back, or if he was going to be traded. I concentrated on myself and pitching as best as I could so that if something did happen I would get first crack at the closers’ role.

TFF: In your first full season in the AL you improved in virtually all possible statistical categories. What will you do differently in 2011 to continue improving and not let hitters get a read on you?

CP: I’m going to try and do the same things I did last year because I didn’t trick anyone; I went out there and got ahead of hitters and made tough pitches when I needed to. I also had a little luck, which never hurts. The way I approach hitters, I pitch to my strengths and adjust to what they do. I throw a lot of fastballs and read how the hitter is adjusting to my speed/location to see if I need to throw a slider or change locations. If I go out there and hit every spot all season long, I will have a great season. That’s the challenge of the game—you are challenging the hitter and your own self with trying to hit all of your spots.

TFF: How differently do you prepare now that you’re a closer, than when you were in middle relief? Different pitches, different mindset, etc?

CP: You probably won’t believe me, but as the closer, hitters are a little more patient, except in one-run games. So I try and throw the first pitch of an appearance right down the middle to get ahead. Other than that I really try to pitch the same in any role…dominate, be aggressive and attack the hitter. Now when guys get on base, it’s totally different trying to protect a lead as the closer vs middle relief. As the closer you sometimes have to navigate a lineup and pick out your best option to attack to protect a lead.

TFF: Have you embraced your nickname “Pure Rage”? It’s kind of like the modern day “Wild Thing” for the Indians.

CP: I’m cool with it. I think if you asked anyone that is close to me, the nickname definitely doesn’t fit me. Off the field, I’m pretty laid-back and easy going. On the field I’m more serious, quiet and focused. When I’m pitching that’s really the only time I have “Pure Rage.” I like to compete, but I love to win. Actually I hate to lose more. That’s what keeps me coming back, to compete and win at the highest level.

TFF: Have you ever played Fantasy Baseball? If so, how did you do?

CP: I’ve played twice, once in high school and once in college. Honestly it took too much time to do, so I never really enjoyed it. I would always forget to change my pitchers, or someone I started would get a day off, so I would always lose. I appreciate it though, because it really does bring in more fans and helps keep fans close to the game.  

TFF: Well, we and your fans appreciate that you appreciate us. 

TFF: What are your goals for this season? How about some stats projections…

CP: My main goal is to stay healthy. If I’m healthy I know I will have a successful year. Stats-wise I can’t really predict how many saves I’ll have because it really isn’t up to me. I’ll try to predict my blown saves at 3—2 in the first half and 1 in the second half. I think I will also be able to get a few more strikeouts this year by making better two-strike pitches and by mixing in a few more change-ups.

TFF: We so figured you would say zero blown saves! 

TFF: Other than Fausto Carmona, which Indians starter should we expect the most out of in 2011?

CP: I’m going to say with the four that are guarantee spots: Carlos Carrasco. He has the ability to throw four pitches for strikes and three of them are plus. He looked totally different last September than he did in ’09. As a dark horse look out for Anthony Reyes. He’s totally healthy now and has good velocity. He has a nice break to his slider and always has that change-up. I’ve played catch with him a few times and he looks/feels totally different. 

Thanks again Chris. You were a great interview and we at The Fantasy Fix wish you good luck in 2011. One request—try to take it easy on our buddy Will Rhymes over in Detroit, other than that…strike em all out!


Written by Alan Harrison exclusively for TheFantasyFix.com.


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